Kiev: A court in Ukraine on Thursday released from pre-trial detention a man suspected of involvement in the downing of flight MH17, amid speculation he may be used in a prisoner swap with Russia. Ukraine captured Vladimir Tsemakh, accused of fighting for pro-Russian separatists, in June, but he is believed to be a person of interest in the downing of MH17. European lawmakers described him as a “key suspect” and asked Kiev to make him available for testimony in the probe.
TORONTO – A plant that can take about a decade to produce a flower that emits a scent akin to rotting flesh is set to bloom this week at the Toronto Zoo — years ahead of schedule.The corpse flower, a native of Indonesia, will bloom for just eight to 36 hours sometime this week, said the zoo’s curatorial gardener, noting that when in full bloom, the plant produces one of the largest and smelliest flowers in the world.“This is a very rare occasion,” said Paul Gellatly. “They only flower every seven to 10 years sporadically and there is no guarantee that it will.”The plant at the zoo is only five years old, but Gellatly said he knew something unusual was going on based on what he saw over the past few weeks.A month earlier, the leaf portion of the plant began to die off and recede into the corm, an underground plant stem. Such plants then produces more leaves or a flower, never both, he said.But the plant at the zoo showed signs of flowering, despite its young age.“I was pretty excited,” Gellatly said. “I couldn’t get to my supervisor fast enough to let her know.”Gellatly said he then sent off numerous pictures to colleagues at the New York Botanical Garden to be sure the plant was about to flower before the zoo went public.“This is the first one I have seen gone to flower,” he said.The plant is native to the jungles of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and smells like rotting meat while blooming, which attracts carrion flies and beetles for pollination.The flower will smell its worst on the first night it blooms, Gellatly said. The flower is threatened in Indonesia and will become the first in the Toronto area to ever bloom, he said.The zoo has 14 corpse flowers of various ages, but this is among a group of the oldest.A corpse flower recently bloomed at Edmonton’s Muttart Conservatory. The two have great differences in mass, Gellatly said.The Toronto Zoo’s corpse flower bulb weighs 24 pounds while Edmonton’s came in at a whopping 200 pounds, he said.The zoo has dubbed the Toronto plant “Pablo ‘Pe Ew’ Caso” after a naming contest.It has been moved to one of the zoo’s production greenhouses for display from its usual spot in the Indo-Malaya pavilion and visitor hours will be extended so members of the public can see the pungent plant in bloom.A corpse flower also bloomed in Vancouver earlier this year.In July, that plant — dubbed Uncle Fester — flowered at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park, drawing thousands of visitors.Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly said the flower was endangered. In fact, it is a threatened plant.
“The crisis continues to displace thousands of vulnerable women, children and men every week. Many have gone through unspeakable hardship and the UN and its partners remain committed to help alleviate their suffering,” said Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria.Set up through the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF), the assistance includes $2 million in support to the UN Humanitarian Air Service for frontline responders in the country’s north-east.“This UN fund give us the flexibility to prioritize those who are most in need of aid and act swiftly for the good of the people of north-east Nigeria.”The region’s humanitarian crisis, sparked mainly by Boko Haram’s years-long insurgency, remains one of the most severe globally.In the worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, at least 7.7 million people are in need this year– with about 80 per cent, or 6.1 million, targeted for humanitarian assistance.The $9 million allocation will help fund 15 projects supporting humanitarian rapid response in areas affected by large-scale conflict-related displacements, particularly in the northern parts of Borno, along the Maiduguri-Monguno axis.In just three months, the close to 30,000 people who have fled violence in hard-to-reach areas are in dire need of food, water, shelter, clothes and medical services. Additionally, the funds will help scale up the response near the border with Cameroon in eastern Borno – Gwoza, Bama, Dikwa, Kala/Balge, Monguno, Askira/Uba – and northern Adamawa – Madagali – where approximately another 30,000 have arrived following military operations.Finally, the funds will also help maintain UN Humanitarian Air Service operations, crucial to reach and deliver aid in remote areas of the north-east, especially where roads are unusable.Under the leadership of Edward Kallon, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, the NHF is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to provide flexible and timely funds for basic life-saving support. To date, it has raised $48 million in contributions and pledges.
An unbelievable tragedy was caught on camera around 4pm (local time) yesterday on the 83 kilometre of the Athens-Lamia National highway.A rental Porsche, speeding at over 200km/hr is seen crashing onto a parked Honda Civic near Ipato in Thiva, leading to the death of four individuals. The Civic driver, a 41-year-old man had legally stopped the car at a parking spot next to the emergency lane to visit the station bathroom. In the car were waiting his 33-year-old wife and three-year-old son.The tragic father saw the Porsche crashing into his car from the toilet and run outside screaming only to find his family dead and in flames. He tried but was unable to help them and despite being in shock he called the police and fire brigade. He can been seen rushing out of the toilet in the security camera video below (graphic content).The Porsche driver died in the explosion while his 24-year-old friend and co-passenger who was not wearing a seat belt was ejected several metres away from the car crash through the window.“It’s horrific. The family was waiting in the parking. They weren’t even on the emergency lane,” a driver passing through told the local news agency, LamiaReport.The Porsche was driven by George Vakakis, son of Greece’s biggest toy industry tycoon Apostolos Vakakis. The Vakakis family, who own JUMBO, have been the only business increasing their profit steadily during the financial crisis, thanks to Apostolos Vakakis’ dedication and pioneering ideas supporting Greek manufacturers. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
L’objet geek du week-end : un bras armé à la Batman pour recharger son iPhoneBatman se servirait-il d’un iPhone pour trouver le Joker ? Non, non, il s’agit juste d’un concept dévoilé par la société ArmStar : un bras armé équipé notamment d’un dock iPhoneL’objet semble tout droit sorti du comic book de Marvel et pourtant, c’est une invention très sérieuse. Mis au point par la société ArmStar, le concept apparait efficace : un bras fabriqué en coton et Nomex, une fibre synthétique identique aux équipements de pompiers et protégé par du kevlar. À lire aussiiPhone : Une appellation qui, au Mexique, coûte cher à AppleCôté capacité, le bras est équipé d’un système de dissuasion électrique capable de paralyser un quelconque adversaire (pourquoi pas Mister Freeze), une caméra HD 720p pour filmer les preuves et enfin, le fameux dock dédié à l’iPhone d’Apple et permettant sa charge (s’il faut prévenir le commissaire Gordon en cas de difficultés). Selon la société, ce gant hightech pourrait convenir aux forces de maintien de l’ordre pour mettre hors d’état de nuire des adversaires avec un maximum d’efficacité, relève Clubic.com. Cependant, initialement, le bras a été pensé pour se protéger des animaux sauvages, la femme du fondateur d’ArmStar s’étant fait attaquée par un cougar près de chez elle, en Californie du Sud. Certes, des “fauves” arpentes parfois les rues mais on est loin de Gotham City… Aucun prix n’a pour l’instant été communiqué mais vous pourrez déjà jeter un œil sur le site (lien non disponible) d’ArmStar. En espérant que ce bras, ne tombe pas entre de mauvaises… mains.Le 31 décembre 2011 à 15:24 • Maxime Lambert
The majority (94%) of group personal pension (GPPs) members invest in their scheme’s default fund, according to research by the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) and Columbia Threadneedle.Its annual The future book: unravelling workplace pensions report, based on data from from sources including the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Association of British Insurers (ABI), an in-house survey on defined contribution (DC) asset allocation and projections of future fund and membership levels, also found that 99.7% of master trust members invest in their pension scheme’s default fund.The research also found:In July 2017, 8.3 million employees and approximately 700,000 employers have gone through auto-enrolment.There are 12.8 million active pension scheme members, with £373 billion of aggregate assets in DC workplace pensions.The size of the median DC pension pot at the state pension age is £28,000.Diversified growth funds deliver a median return of £88,000, lifestyle funds provide median returns of approximately £84,000 at the state pension age, and high-risk funds deliver a pension pot of about £102,000. This is based on a median earner contributing 8% into their workplace pension from age 22 to the state pension age.Daniela Silcock (pictured), head of policy research at the PPI, said: “As bonds and equities are increasingly being viewed as less secure, DC pension funds, including master trusts, are looking more towards diversification by increasing investment in alternatives such as real estate, infrastructure and commodities. There is more focus on the use of diversified growth funds as an alternative for lifestyling. [Diversified growth funds] do not provide the same opportunity for high returns as funds more heavily invested in equities and may be less appropriate for those with high risk appetites, but they are less volatile and may therefore provide better long-term protection from investment losses.”Michelle Scrimgeour, chief executive officer, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Columbia Threadneedle, added: “There are myriad issues facing pension savers and schemes, but what is becoming increasingly apparent is that people are not investing their pension in a way that makes the most of their money and protects them adequately against market downturns. According to Nest, people with low-risk appetites and low incomes are more likely to be put off by losses incurred during the early stages of pension saving and opt out, compounding the nation’s savings problem.“What this analysis shows is that the majority of DC schemes invest in funds that may not be fit for purpose. Auto-enrolled savers in particular, but not exclusively, tend to struggle making active investment decisions, ending up in their pension scheme’s default fund. Lifestyle strategies have fared well over the last two decades, in a market environment that has experienced strong, multi-year returns from both equities and bonds. But they do not adequately protect savers against losses and we don’t expect these favourable market conditions to hold going forward.“The key consideration for pension savers and trustees is which investment strategy best protects their assets while, in this context, providing the best possible financial outcomes. We believe in the long-run benefits of equities and bonds, but diversification is needed more than ever to guard against a potential market correction. With the ability to deliver inflation-plus returns as well as better protecting investors against downturns, actively managed [diversified growth funds] present a good, fit for purpose default solution for DC pension schemes and their members.”
WILMINGTON, MA — The Town’s Purchasing Department currently has the following bidding and contract opportunities available:Invitations To BidInstallation of Porous Pavement on Shady Lane Drive — Deadline: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 at 10amCanyonlands Trip — Deadline: Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 2:3pmAll interested parties must first complete the town’s Bid Registration Form.Visit the Town’s Purchasing Department website for additional information. Contact Wendy Martiniello at wmartiniello[at]wilmingtonma.gov with questions.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 email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedTown’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”Town’s Current Bidding & Contract OpportunitiesIn “Government”
Vijayawada: Minorities Welfare Minister and Deputy Chief Minister Amjad Basha said that Haj pilgrims of Andhra Pradesh can stay at the Haj House in Hyderabad and avail the services because the relations between the two States had improved.He said during the last few years, Andhra Pradesh Haj pilgrims faced some problems at the Haj house located in Hyderabad due to the political differences between the two States. Minister Amjad Basha participated in an awareness programme organised for Haj pilgrims at the Sub-Collector’s conference hall here on Wednesday. Also Read – Rs 65.30lakhs Exgratia paid to deceased family Advertise With Us Addressing the gathering, he said the Telangana government was also not collecting service charges from Haj pilgrims of Andhra Pradesh. He said the online flight booking confirmation will be useful to Haj pilgrims because they can get information about the flight ticket booking within 10 hours. He said the pilgrims earlier had to wait two days for the confirmation of tickets in the offline system. He said the government is planning to get land in Gannavaram area for construction of Haj House. He felt the Haj House built under the TDP rule in Kadapa district was of no use to the pilgrims of the State. Telangana Haj Committee chairman Masivulla Khan said the Andhra Pradesh Haj pilgrims can stay at the Haj House in Hyderabad and avail the facilities available there. He has suggested to the Haj pilgrims not to take the luggage or packets of other unknown people and reject the requests during the return journey to India after performing the Haj. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us He said the Telangana Haj House will accord warm welcome to the Haj pilgrims of AP and tendered apology for the inconvenience caused to the Haj pilgrims of AP in the Haj House in Hyderabad. He said all Haj pilgrims will be treated equally without bias between AP and Telangana. AP State Haj Committee executive officer Tajuddin Arif presided over the event. Due to lack of Haj House and boarding facility from Gannavaram Airport in AP, the AP Haj pilgrims stay for some days at Telangana Haj house, which was built in the combined State of AP. After bifurcation of the State, the Telangana Haj House is solely used by Telangana pilgrims.
After years of tepid performance, fund raising through Initial Public Offerings (IPO) route touched a six-year high this year as more than 20 companies raised over Rs 26,000 crore from investors.According to a report in Press Trust of India (PTI), 26 companies have raised more than Rs 26,000 crore through public offers so far this year. As markets enter into a vacation mood owing to Christmas and New Year, analysts don’t see any further fund raising during the last fortnight of the year.Interestingly, companies were able to raise more than double the amount of money in 2016 as compared to the previous year. During 2015, 21 companies mopped up Rs 13,564 crore from investors. The report quoted experts saying that while the first nine months of this year saw most of the activity with larger number of issuance, it slowed down in the past two months after weakness in the secondary market.”Deepening uncertainty over the impact of the note ban may see a marked slowdown (on IPO issuances) in the short term,” the report said.During this year, companies belonging to diverse sectors such as business services, small finance banks and insurance firms tapped the market route to raise funds. Notably, fund mop-up in 2016 has turned it into one of the best years after 2010, in which a record amount of Rs 37,534.65 crore was raised.The year 2016 saw some landmark movements when India’s first life insurance company ICICI Prudential hit the market with its Rs 6,057 crore public offer, making it the largest share sale of the year. The IPO, which was oversubscribed 10.44 times, was the one of the highest fund raising activity by a company after Coal India’s Rs 15,000 crore IPO in 2010.Meanwhile, this year also witnessed listing of many small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the SME platforms of BSE and NSE. As per the report, most of the 150 small firms listed on the BSE entered the market in 2016. SMEs together raised Rs 721 crore till September this year, mostly on the BSE platform, the report said.OutlookHowever, outlook for next year seems to be clouded in a lot of uncertainties on the back of domestic and global headwinds. With US Federal Reserve’s outlook on three rate hikes next year, analysts are concerned over the participation of Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) in upcoming public offers. Further, the impact of note ban on economic growth and outcome of state elections will determine the overall sentiments in the market.According to reports, around Rs 12,500 crore worth initial public offerings (IPOs) are set to hit the market next year with major exchanges like NSE and BSE figuring in the list.
The Rosslyn Harvest Festival is a brand-new celebration of autumn spanning from Oct. 27– 28, located at 1800 N Lynn St. The events are free and open to the public. The festival is family friendly as it offers a wide variety of games, arts and crafts, vendors, and more. Food and drinks will be sold as well. There will also be a live magic show, music performances, and free trick or treating offered for the youth. For adults, there will be a beer-drinking competition, scavenger hunts, and more. For more information, visit rosslynva.org.
By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff WriterMayor Muriel Bowser had a busy week. She turned in one of the most important documents that could impact the District. Nope – not the Mueller Report. The two-term mayor presented her fiscal Year 2020 Budget and Financial Plan to D.C. Council this past week after a season of public engagements, town halls and press events to bolster enthusiasm.“This budget is about ensuring that everyone living and doing business in the District is giving and getting their fair share,” Bowser said in a statement. “This is a budget that advances our D.C. values and addresses our city’s most pressing challenges – a budget that recognizes that these are very good times for Washington, D.C., and asks our commercial property owners to share some of the upside so that we can invest more in keeping D.C. affordable for Washingtonians across the income spectrum.”District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser turned in her fiscal year budget for 2020 to the D.C. Council, with a great deal focusing on affordable housing and continuing her mission of offering Washingtonians a “fair shot.” (Courtesy Photo)“Fair” and “Fair shot” are words the mayor has used for years. The $15.5 billion budget is part of a larger attempt to get at equity for all D.C. residents in key areas like housing, education, families and public safety. And while the District boasts its 24th consecutive balanced budget, it faces a rise in fatal shootings and housing disparities that brought angry protesters during the mayor’s State of the District Address.Housing has been on many people’s minds and Bowser addressed it several times most recently during her address saying: “We know the number one issue on the minds of Washingtonians is affordable housing.”“Rising housing costs have created new challenges for homeowners and renters alike, particularly for those on a fixed income and those who are struggling to make ends meet,” the mayor shared.So how does that commitment toward housing translate in the budget? The mayor’s office highlighted a few areas including:Increasing the District’s investment in the Housing Production Trust Fund by 30 percent to $130 millionIncreasing the District’s investment in the Housing Preservation Fund by 50 percent to $15 million, which will yield an additional $45 million in private investmentThe creation of a new $20 million Workforce Housing Fund, which will leverage another $180 million in private sector investment$37 million in new funds to continue the implementation of Homeward D.C. to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring$5.2 million to expand and increase Schedule H – DC’s income tax credit to help offset rising property taxesTo make the District safer the Mayor’s office stated they would invest in the following ways.$3 million to expand the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) workforce to 4,000 officers by 2021, focusing on bike and on-foot officers$3.5 million in new funds to add four ambulance units, including 45 firefighter paramedics or firefighter EMTs$3.3 million to bolster the efforts of the Office or Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, including $610,000 to support increased wages for the Pathways program to more participants and grow the reach of the Aspire to Entrepreneurship Program$1.6 million to our Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants to open three new offices where residents can get trauma-informed mental health support and where we can train community leaders in strategies for addressing traumaThe D.C. Council still has to hold oversight hearings on the budget through the spring. Voting on the budget won’t happen until sometime in June. To view the full FY2020 budget or selected highlights please visit: https://mayor.dc.gov/2020budget
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but try to include avocado, banana, coconut milk and carrot to keep hair fall away, say experts. has shared how some kitchen ingredients can be used in one’s daily routine to keep hair fall away:* Avocado: Mash an avocado and add egg yolk to it. Apply it on your hair and leave it on for 20 minutes before you wash it off. * Carrot: Extract carrot juice with the help of a juicer and keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Apply it directly to your hair to prevent hair loss. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’* Onion: Extract the onion juice and apply it on your hair follicles. Wash it properly after 20 minutes, because the smell of onion might stay. * Banana: Mix one mashed banana with one tablespoon honey and apply this mask on your hair roots for 15 to 20 minutes and wash it thoroughly with a mild shampoo. * Coconut milk: Mix coconut and honey together and apply it on damp hair. Massage it into your scalp and leave it on for one hour. Wash it properly with a mild shampoo afterwards to get the best results.* Oatmeal: Blend one tablespoon oatmeal with one cup of fresh milk and almond oil together and make a paste. Apply this mask onto your hair after properly detangling it. Wash it off with lukewarm water after 15 to 20 minutes for best results.
Kolkata: A woman was arrested for allegedly killing her husband with help from her lover at Katwa in Burdwan. Both of them have been arrested and were remanded to police custody on Friday.According to sources, the housewife identified as Shampa Mondal had developed an extramarital affair with her children’s private tutor Nayan Pal. But her husband Sujit had no idea of what Shampa was doing behind his back. A few days ago Shampa and nayan planned to kill Sujit in order to clear their way so that they can get married later. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAs per the plan, on Thursday night Shampa sedatives in Sujit’s food. As a result, he became unconscious after a few minutes. Later, she called Pal and both of them strangulated Sujit using a pillow. After the murder they placed his body on the bed and Pal left the house. On Thursday morning Sujit was found dead. At that moment members of the Mondal family suspected that he had died due to cardiac arrest. But during the autopsy examination, it was found that Sujit has been murdered. Following that Sujit’s father lodged a complaint against Shampa at the Katwa police station. Immediately police arrested her and during interrogation she admitted to the crime. Later, police arrested Pal on Thursday. The duo were produced at the concerned court with prayer for police remand which was eventually granted. Sleuths may reconstruct the crime scene soon.
Source = Trakka Close to four decades in the RV industry has earned Trakka some enviable accolades. Now, in 2012, the Australian owned company can celebrate having their Trakkaway 770 awarded the overall winner of the Caravan World Motorhome Legends Series.Against solid competition from some of the RV industry’s leading motorhome brands, the Trakkaway 770 won on 10 criteria including value for money, driveability, setting up on site, suitability for intended touring, layout liveability, quality of finish, build quality, creature comforts, innovation and The X-Factor.The Legends Series motorhome roundup was evaluated by four expert journalists with decades of combined experience in RV testing. The reputable names on the RV test panel included Max Taylor, Editor of Caravan World magazine; Malcolm Street, seasoned RV journalist with a wealth of experience; Paul Hayes, Editor of Camper Trailer Australia magazine; and the highly regarded RV journalist, Philip Lord.The highly sought after title of ‘winner’ in the Legends Series motorhome roundup is reserved for only select motorhomes that exceed in the stringent quality and luxury standards of the test.As the overall winner, the Trakkaway 770 received a score of four and a half stars out of five with the judges commenting on the versatility and the ‘X-Factor’ appeal of the motorhome. “Whether you’re cruising the highways and van parks or heading for some free camping, this luxury motorhome has everything you could ask for,” the judges reported.“During our week in the Hunter Valley, we all noticed that whoever was to spend the night in the Trakka was also likely to receive envious looks from the other judges.”“As cosy as all the other vehicles were, the comforts offered by the Trakka – without having to use a slide-out – were envied by all,” noted the judges.Martin Poate, General Manager at Trakka, says that the win is a reflection of the company’s hallmark style, quality, craftsmanship and years of expertise in the RV industry.“All of our motorhomes are proudly manufactured in Australia by our dedicated and passionate team of designers, engineers and builders,” Mr Poate said.“We are delighted to have the effort and detail in the Trakkaway 770 recognised with such a prestigious title.”“The comfort and ride of the Trakkaway 770 is also a tribute to the spacious Fiat Ducato base with AL-KO chassis that provides a low centre of gravity for increased road holding and ride comfort,” Mr Poate explained.The build and construction of the Trakkaway 770 also received high praise from theteam of RV experts.“This is a typical Trakka build – lightweight but strong… the polish and core engineering of the Trakka are outstanding,” noted the judges.“As is the case throughout the rest of the rig, the lockers and wardrobes are covered with Trakka’s signature rolling doors, which perform their function well and look cool, too.”The Legends Series motorhome roundup also covered ways in which the Trakkaway 770 considers the environment while adding to greater traveller independence. “…the rear features Trakka’s patented Rainwater Retrieval System which uses clever mouldings to capture rainwater and store it in one of the tanks,” the judges commented.The Trakkaway 770 innovatively packs a range of features into a convenient and space efficient, compact motorhome.“Starting at the rear, the bedroom is a highlight. The large north-south bed… was comfortably large enough for my 6ft 1in frame. Large double-glazed acrylic windows and an overhead Dometic hatch make for a light and airy space, and there is plenty of room on each side.”“Storage is also good, with deep drawers and hanging wardrobes on either side, and a couple of lockers overhead.”“Like any good motorhome design, the Trakkaway cab’s swivel seats have been integrated, along with two fixed sideways-facing seats, into the dinette layout.”Over the years, Trakka has received many awards including numerous ‘Business Most Committed to Training’ titles, ‘Best Manufacturer’ as well as ‘Best of The Best Business’ from the Caravan and Camping Industry Association Awards of Excellence and now, the overall motorhome winner (Trakkaway 770) in the Caravan World Legends Series.
“Brisbane is a New World City with an enviable climate, lively al-fresco dining scene, green spaces, world-class art galleries and premier events, who’s reputation will further skyrocket as it hosts the G20 later this year,” Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said. Source = ETB News: L.B. “Brisbane is a patchwork of urban villages, each with a distinct style and topography: bohemian, low-lying West End; hip, hilltop Paddington; exclusive, peninsular New Farm and prim, pointy Kangaroo Point,” Lonely Planet authors Charles Rawlings-Way and Meg Worby said. It seems the long standing rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne on who’s “hippest” has seen a new competitor enter the race, with Lonely Planet naming Brisbane ‘Australia’s hippest city’, much to the surprise of its larger counterparts. With the Group of 20 Nations Summit (G20) being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in November, Brisbane will continue to enjoy the limelight in 2014. Despite being identified as one of the world’s most expensive cities and experiencing a thrashing from storms and fires, Queensland’s capital is “arguably Australia’s hippest city”, according to Lonely Planet. Describing “booming Brisbane” as a “diverse, eccentric, happening capital”, the traveller’s bible advises visitors to move from village to village to fully experience the city’s edgy arts scene, burgeoning nightlife, quirky bookshops, great coffee and interesting restaurants.
New Conference and Incentives Sales Manager Linda LohmeijerDream job at Southern DiscoveriesThe latest staff member for South Island tourism operator, Southern Discoveries, is loving her ‘dream job’ based in the resort town of Queenstown.Linda Lohmeijer, 25, had always wanted to come to New Zealand from her home country, the Netherlands.“While working in the hotel industry in the Netherlands, I met some really lovely Kiwis and heard so much about the country, so I really wanted to come to New Zealand,” she says.After working in the meetings, conference and events sector of five-star hotels in the Netherlands and at Hilton Queenstown Resort and Spa, Linda has now joined Southern Discoveries as its conference and incentive sales manager.Her new role sees her working with the meetings, incentive, conference and events (MICE) sector, primarily creating unique events on Southern Discoveries’ catamaran Spirit of Queenstown and at Mt Nicholas High Country Farm.Smaller groups of up to 30 guests can be catered for on the company’s Queenstown Discovery vessel which runs scenic cruises around Lake Wakatipu and into Frankton Arm, and Linda’s role also extends to offering client experiences in stunning Milford Sound.“These are all absolutely amazing products which almost sell themselves making it a delight to promote them to the MICE market,” she says.“The very best way to experience Queenstown or Milford Sound is from the water because whichever way you look, the backdrops are stunning, simply incredible.“I’ve absolutely fallen in love with New Zealand and Queenstown and can appreciate what it means for our visitors to come here and have the best experiences possible.”Linda’s passion for Queenstown and her enthusiasm for her new role has been welcomed by Southern Discoveries director of sales and marketing Julia Savill.“Linda has an outstanding background, working with one of the biggest and best properties overseas, and in Queenstown, all at a five-star level,” she says.“When it comes to creativity, customer service and delivery of memorable events for conference organisers and their clients, Linda has both the skills and experience to excel.“The conference and incentive market continues to grow for us and the future is looking positive. The challenge is to continue to think outside the box to deliver events with innovation and flair in the exclusive, unique and stand-out locations we have to offer.”Spirit of Queenstown has operated exclusive cruises to Mt Nicholas on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu since late 2013. The 26m high-speed catamaran is a bespoke, purpose-built venue for gatherings of up to 130 people.The woolshed at Mt Nicholas is an inspiring and versatile venue for corporate events, exclusive dinners and weddings as well as team building exercises – from orienteering to claybird shooting and helicopter adventures.About Southern DiscoveriesSouthern Discoveries operates four vessels at Milford Sound ranging in capacity from 35 to 400 passengers, and offers the widest range of trips and experiences in the fiord.The company operates Scenic Cruises, Encounter Nature Cruises, Nature Cruises, Cruise and Kayak Milford Sound and the Discover More Cruise which incorporates a visit to the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.It owns and operates Discover Milford Sound Information Centre and Café in Milford, three information centres in Te Anau and Queenstown, and Te Anau-based coach service Go Milford Day Trip.The company operates Queenstown Lake Cruise which provides day and charter cruises on Lake Wakatipu for up to 35 people and owns 50% of KJet, Queenstown’s original Jet boat operator.Southern Discoveries’ newest addition, Spirit of Queenstown, operates exclusive cruises to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu. Visitors can choose from a range of excursions including a Scenic Cruise on Spirit of Queenstown, or an authentic Farm Experience at Mt Nicholas to meet to the working farm animals, get up close to merino sheep and get off the beaten track by 4WD into the landscape to spectacular vantage points. Newly introduced is the Station 2 Station Cycle Trail, a half day cycling trip between Mt Nicholas and Walter Peak. Carrying up to 130 passengers, Spirit of Queenstown is also available for private hire and charters.Southern Discoveries’ ongoing commitment to conservation is through the Sinbad Sanctuary Project in conjunction with the Fiordland Conservation Trust and Department of Conservation. The company received the 2015 New Zealand Tourism Export Council Operator of the Year, Trip Advisor ‘Hall of Fame’ Certificate of Excellence for Milford Sound Cruises and is Qualmark endorsed. Source = Southern Discoveries
Viking’s September 2018 trade survey has garnered over 1,100 responses and the cruise company is now in the process of analysing the results to discover how they can further strengthen their trade partnerships in 2019. The survey was designed to gather feedback from Viking’s trade and industry partners about events, products, marketing materials, offers and the way in which Viking communicates, and Viking says it is dedicated to using this feedback to help develop new strategies and plan for the future with their partners’ needs in mind.Survey participants were also given the chance to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards. The lucky winners are: Melissa Stafford, Tailor Made Travel; Jared Voss, Travel Associates Mt Eliza; Kerryn O’Neal, Dreamlines; Karen Jarvie, Helloworld Charlestown; Racheal Pearce, YOU Travel Eltham (NZ).“Viking really values our trade partnerships, they are a core part of our business, so we look forward to doing everything that we can to refine and build upon how we work with these partners moving forward,” said Erin Kramer, Trade Marketing Manager at Viking. cruisesurveytradeViking
By Lizzy IoannidouA portable male urinal in the shape of a bent-over nude woman was slammed on Friday as a sexist, vulgar commercialisation of the female body by Pogo, the women’s wing of Akel.The urinal, called ‘Body Jane the Men’s Jar’, shows how “sexism, vulgar devaluation and commercialisation of a woman’s body and being can even take the form of ‘business innovation’,” Pogo said on Friday.Worse, according to Pogo, the logos featured on the product’s website show that it received funding from EU structural funds, specifically the European regional development fund, as well as from of the Republic of Cyprus.“In any case, the marketing of the product it is an unacceptable insult to women. But the fact that it received funding and approval by the Republic of Cyprus makes the situation doubly unacceptable,” Pogo said.The urinal comes in the shape of a headless naked woman, while the design is such that its male owner urinates into a hole at the neck of the female figure.The product description on the product’s website, www.bodyjane.com, describes the urinal as a ground-breaking innovation: “Body Jane is here to break the tradition, providing a fresh, modern & sexy take on men’s handheld urinals! Body Jane’s design reflects the curves and form of “the perfect woman,” the male ideal while concurrently being aesthetically pleasing to the female population as well”.Pogo called on the equality commissioner to intervene and demand an explanation regarding the product, while they have also requested that the house committee on human rights and equal opportunities between men and women examine the conditions under which the product was approved and financed by Cyprus.The company’s website describes how the idea was born. Signed by D.L, CEO, Hacienda Entertainment Ltd, it says Body Jane was born through the personal experience of an injured skier “who was appalled by the looks of the modern portable urinal”.“Interestingly enough, the voice of consumers during market research urged us not to confine the design for the sole use of a portable urinal and instead promote the design into a novelty jar for multipurpose use. It is a concept not for the faint hearted!”The item with EU and Cyprus government logosYou May Likecheap car insurance | Search AdsCheap car insurance, Save up to $668 Todaycheap car insurance | Search AdsUndoYeah! MotorJerry Seinfeld’s Coolest 40 CarsYeah! MotorUndoFittors15 Best Dog Breeds For SeniorsFittorsUndo From space heroes to artists: women written out of historyUndoCypriot ambassadors gather in Nicosia for annual briefingUndoFilm review: Child’s Play ***Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
By Agnieszka Rakoczy “Anastisei means to resurrect, just like my name,” jokes Daniel Anastasis taking another dangerous turn on a narrow dirt strip winding through ancient vineyards that cover the slopes of the Machairas mountains which enfold Farmakas, his family village.“This is what I do with these vineyards – I resurrect them.”He stops his car, gets out and points to the green covered mountain flanks spread in front of us.“These are all vineyards that we have saved within the last couple of years,” he says. “I will take you the oldest ones. They are 130-140 years old. You will love it.”We press on, a rise-and-fall progress, at times climbing well above 1,000 metres. Of the many roads here, all, sooner or later, seem to lead to grape vine plantations. Some are well looked after – neat, cultivated, in pristine condition. Others, sadly, tell a different story, and appear to be barely surviving, weed-filled and in a state of neglect.Anastasis seems to know all of them like the inside of his own pocket. He points out those his team has been taking care of, as well as those they will be tending next winter. He also indicates those that are still in the care of owners who toil on them day in day out. Then there are the lots that nobody works on any more.“Nothing upsets me more nowadays than seeing an old vineyard dying,” he admits, quickly adding: “But I know I cannot save all of them. One man cannot save the whole world. I can just do a little bit.”He stops again to show me the gold and green leaves of small, endemic golden oaks that grow in abundance in the area around and above Farmakas.“These trees are very important for our vines…,” he says. “Because in nature they are all interconnected – they help each other, they add to the quality of our grapes. This and the climate, the soil, the water, the age of our vines – it is all linked together.”The vineyards near FarmakasAnastasis, born in Farmakas in 1945, left it as a teenager with his mother and three other siblings to join their father who had emigrated to Australia in search of work in 1950. The reunited family settled in Sydney.Several years later, Anastasis was himself to move on, when he and his new bride set off from Sydney to South Africa. There, from modest beginnings building on the sturdy foundations of hard work, he developed a network of highly successful businesses that included bakeries, a hotel plus restaurant and casino and a string of other retail outlets.He returned to Cyprus and his birth place a mere seven years ago and determined to do something for his ancestral community quickly put his entrepreneurial skills to work.By then in his late 60s, retirement was the last thing on Anastasis’ mind. His restless energy and resourcefulness drove him forward. Soon he had bought Farmakas Water, the famous local water factory. “The water is very good. It comes from 1,700 feet below the ground, a natural spring. Thanks to the mountain vines, it has very special characteristics,” he says.It wasn’t long before he turned his attention to the possibilities represented by the vines. Childhood memories of how his grandfather, who used to take his home-made wines and zivania in goatskin bags by donkey the 40 kilometres to Nicosia, got him to thinking that it might be even more interesting to do some wine making of his own.Not a man who is afraid to take the initiative, Anastasis quickly turned thought to action.“At first it was supposed to be just a kind of hobby but it quickly became much more than this. We planted some vines, bought equipment, started buying grapes from the local farmers and then realised that to make good wine we needed grapes of certain quality.“That was when I invited all the local vineyard owners to discuss what I was doing and planning and what I needed from them. By the end of that initial meeting, some of the owners approached me with an offer – they were prepared to let me make use of their vineyards for free.”“For free,” this reporter asks herself, wrestling with the concept. Who ever heard of anything coming free in this world!My obvious scepticism makes no impression on Anastasis. He insists that, yes, this is exactly what happened. He proceeds to explain.“Fewer and fewer people in Farmakas and other neighbouring villages are willing (and/or capable because of advancing years) to sustain the hard back-breaking work needed to maintain the local vineyards in good shape.Some of Daniel’s grandfather’s traditional wine storage jars“A lot of young people have left the village and the old ones often cannot do it anymore. I know some people in their 80s who still work very hard and their vineyards are among the best but, sadly, how much longer will they be able to keep it up?”He is realistic about this increasingly obvious fact of life as the demographics of Cypriot rural life shift and the young move (and stay) away.“Nowadays, I am taking care of about 50 per cent of the local plantations. I have a lease on them for next 15 years on condition that I keep them alive and productive. This gives their owners some peace of mind. They are happy because they know that these vineyards that were planted by their grandfathers are still going strong, even though they themselves no longer can work them themselves.”The vineyards Anastasis mantains produce two local grape varieties – red Mavro and white Xynisteri – both indigenous to the island. Many of the vineyards are more than 100 years old, thus making them among the oldest in Cyprus.“Their age is what makes them so special. They give you a much more mature grape. So the juice is also more mature and this enhances the wine,” says Anastasis.Add to this the high attitude of the rocky mountain growing area. “Here in Farmakas we have possibly the highest vineyards in Europe. And the way we prune the vines, focusing on quality rather than quantity. All of these contribute.”Anastasis employs a half-dozen permanent staff who work in the vineyards. He also relies on the advice of a number of visiting experts who assess his vineyards several times a year way and experienced master of wine Alexis Machuca.That said, he claims his best “university” is the local coffee shop where the elderly farmers meet and exchange stories.“Local farmers know everything about these vineyards. I used to go there quite a lot when I first started,” he says.“But now more and more the roles have been changing. People see our results and come for advice to me.”Daniel in the winery’s shopAnastasis’ winery Santa Irine produces seven types of wine: three red, a rose and three white, including the only locally produced blanc du noir, the white wine produced from black grapes. Within the last year, his wines have won numerous medals at wine competitions in Vienna, Thessaloniki and London. His range can be bought either at the vinery or select wine shops.As if he weren’t busy enough, Anastasis also runs a restaurant in Farmakas called Ierambelos that features fusion cuisine based on local ingredients, and an eco tourism agency Farmakas Living.Asked if he plans some more ventures, he grins and says his wife Theoni has told him to let up and stop.“I think we have done enough. I wanted to develop various types of wines from local grapes and I have succeeded. I still play with some more wines. For example, I’m now planning to start making semi-sweet and sparkling wines and we also want to start making zivania. Otherwise, yes, I am stopping now.”For more info check: www.santairenewinery.com and www.farmakasliving.comYou May LikeDirectExposeWorld’s First Surviving Octuplets Are All Grown Up. 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