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first_imgNew Delhi: An aviation studies portal has been restrained from offering counterfeit ‘Vistara’ branded products by the Delhi High Court, which said that it posed security risks at airports as it is a distinctive Tata-SIA airline trademark in the airline industry.The high court said that Pilot 18 Aviation Book Store, which operates the web portal, was not just selling products bearing the mark ‘Vistara’ but also products of various other airlines including Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Air India and this posed a serious security threat. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Justice Prathiba M Singh directed Pilot 18 to pay Rs 2 lakh as cost to the operator of Vistara Airlines within a month. The court’s order came while deciding a suit filed by Tata SIA Airlines Ltd seeking to restrain the portal from using its trademarks and selling badges, name tags and other accessories, including mugs and baggage tags, bearing the mark ‘Vistara’ with an identical device mark/logo form. The plaintiff said it came to know in February about ‘Vistara’ branded products on the website of the defendants as also on various e-commerce portals such as Amazon and Snapdeal. Justice Singh took strong exception to the incorrect statement made by the portal that they have never used the trademark ‘Vistara’. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThis constitutes perjury, the court said and noted that the portal had no remorse whatsoever while making the statement. The portal owner was not only liable to be permanently injuncted from using the mark Vistara’ but are also liable to pay costs and damages. “The mark Vistara is quite popular in India and has acquired a unique status. It is a distinctive mark that enjoys enormous goodwill and reputation in the airline, travel and tourism industry. Use of this mark, even in respect of unrelated services would create confusion and deception. It deserves to be declared as a ‘well-known mark’,” the court said and passed a decree in the favour of the airlines. The airlines said the mark ‘Vistara’ is registered in India, Singapore, and various other jurisdictions. It said the defendants are not only offering these products on their website, but also claim that they were supplying ‘Vistara’ branded aviation products to Vistara Airlines.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA — Amnesty International is calling on the Canadian government to suspend its Safe Third Country agreement with the United States in light of a controversial new refugee policy implemented this week by the Trump administration.The group says the policy no longer guarantees asylum seekers the same legal rights as those offered in Canada and could see some migrants sent back to countries where they face risks of violence and persecution.Under the Safe Third Country agreement, asylum seekers arriving in Canada from the U.S. must file a refugee claim in America as it is considered safe.But refugee agencies worry those migrants could now be at risk of deportation after the Trump administration said anyone arriving at the southern border cannot file for refugee protection if they failed to file a protection claim while moving through another country.The move would disqualify thousands of migrants who have travelled through Central America and Mexico.A spokesperson for Border Security Minister Bill Blair says Canada still deems the U.S. a safe country governed by the rule of law, but adds that American rules and policies are always being reviewed.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

first_imgNewcastle (United Kingdom): Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah was stretchered off with a head knock during the 3-2 win at Newcastle on Saturday leaving manager Jurgen Klopp sweating on the Egyptian’s fitness ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Barcelona. And Klopp will definitely be without another of his prolific attacking trident with Roberto Firmino ruled out due to a groin injury. Liverpool face a monumental task to overturn a 3-0 first leg deficit against Barca if they are to reach the Champions League final for the second consecutive season. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuSalah was caught by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka as they challenged for an aerial ball 20 minutes from time at St. James’ Park. “We’ll have to see. He took a blow to the head. He watched the game in the locker room, he was OK, but we have to do more tests,” Klopp told Sky Sports. Firmino was not involved on Saturday and Klopp confirmed he will miss Barca’s visit. “He will not be ready for Tuesday and the rest we will see,” said the German on the possibility Firmino could be fit for Liverpool’s final league game of the season against Wolves on May 12. Salah had earlier scored his 26th goal of the season to put Liverpool 2-1 in front, before Salomon Rondon levelled early in the second-half to make it 2-2. Divock Origi then headed Liverpool’s late winner as the Reds went back to the top of the Premier League.last_img read more

By Josh BabbRabat – The move comes amid continued bipartisan anger by US lawmakers over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in early October, which has also increased scrutiny over American support of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s bloody civil war.Both the Saudi announcement, which came from the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Saturday, and US comments suggested Riyadh was the initial force that led to the decision. The Saudi-led coalition has been an active participant in the Yemen conflict since March 2015, when Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), who was Riyadh’s defence minister at the time, announced military action. The Saudi coalition intervened to fight the Houthi rebels on behalf of the internationally-recognized government of Yemen.Read also: Saudi Arabia Receives Recordings of Khashoggi’s MurderBoth the Saudis and US intelligence say the Houthi rebels are backed by the Iranian government, a claim which Tehran denies. The US and other Western nations have supported the coalition through the duration of the war with intelligence and logistical support, in-flight refueling, and billions of dollars in weapon sales. In a statement, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said he supported the Saudi decision to end US refueling support, adding “The U.S. will also continue working with the coalition and Yemen to minimize civilian casualties and expand urgent humanitarian efforts throughout the country.”Although human rights organizations and aid workers applauded the decision, there are doubts weather it will have a significant impact on Saudi Arabia’s ability to conduct airstrikes. It is reported that before the announcement Riyadh was already refueling its own aircraft 80 percent of the time. American support for the Saudi intervention in Yemen has long been controversial due to the high number of civilian casualties the airstrikes have caused, with the UN estimating at least 10,000 civilians dead. Other reputable organizations have placed the tally as high as 56,000.Read also: World Food Program to Double Aid for Yemeni CrisisCoalition airstrikes have hit hospitals, wedding parties, health clinics and funerals among other non-military targets. Last August one such strike killed more than 40 schoolchildren on a bus, the bomb was US made. “After each airstrike, Yemenis often blame the United States in the same breath as the Saudi-led coalition for the tragedies.”In addition to the airstrike campaign, the Saudis have led an air, land, and sea blockade of Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest country, which has been ongoing since 2015. The blockade has had a devastating effect on Yemeni civilians, with the UN reporting 14 million people, more than half the country’s population, was at risk of famine, along with dangerous outbreaks of diseases such as cholera.In October Mattis announced the US would participate in peace talks between the Houthis and the Saudi coalition in Sweden later this year, which would be sponsored by the UN as well. Previous negotiation attempts, spearheaded by the UN special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths, between the two sides fell through last September, when the Houthis backed out claiming they had not been guaranteed safe return. read more

TORONTO — Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has paid nearly $11.8 million to increase its holding of Torstar Corp.’s non-voting shares to 40.6 per cent.The Toronto-based financial company now owns about 28.9 million class B shares of Torstar, owner of the Toronto Star, the Metroland group of newspapers and other digital and print media businesses.Fairfax says it paid $1.25 each for the 9.4 million class B shares. The shares closed Thursday at $1.30 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, but Fairfax didn’t say when its shares were acquired through a private agreement.Fairfax Financial companies face nearly $1 billion in losses due to natural disastersFairfax Financial sells Singapore insurance business for US$1.6 billionFairfax says it acquired the class B shares for investment purposes but, in future, it may discuss transactions with management or the company’s board of directors.The company has gradually increased its stake over recent years. Prior to the most recent transaction, it owned 27.3 per cent of the media company’s non-voting shares.Fairfax is a holding company that’s primarily invested in insurance businesses. However, it has also made major investments in other Canadian companies including BlackBerry Ltd., International Forest Products, and Cara Operations. read more

A water cut which was in effect in several areas since last evening continued today, going beyond the initial 12 hours it was scheduled to be in force.The National Water Supply and Drainage Board earlier announced a 12 hour water cut from 6.00pm yesterday to 6.00am today. The water cut was in affect in the Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia Municipal Council areas, Wellawata, Kirulapana, Bambalapitiya, Kollupitiya, Pamankada, Havelock Town, Jayanthipura, Pelawatta, Mulleriyawa, Ambatale and Kohilawatta.This morning the National Water Supply and Drainage Board announced that the water cut will continue till 3pm today. read more

This course is the first of two five-week classes; a second batch of 54 instructors will go through the training in early September, according to UN officials. Each of the future police instructors was selected by UN staff from a list provided by the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma (RCD-Goma), the de-facto authority in the eastern city. MONUC’s civilian Police Commissioner, Gen. Gerardo Chaumont, as well as RCD-Goma officials, attended the opening ceremony. The Secretary-General, in his latest report on MONUC, highlighted the need for improvements in the DRC’s law enforcement practices, both in Kisangani and throughout the country. “As far as possible, the police force will have to be professionalized in order to protect it from undue political influence and to stress its civilian, non-military character,” he wrote. read more

first_imgTwo of Liverpool Football Club’s youth players are under investigation allegedly for sexually harassing female teachers and young girls at the school they attend.Rainhill High School in Merseyside has launched an inquiry into both rising stars of the Premier League club following allegations about inappropriate sexual comments and behaviour. Whistleblowers told The Daily Telegraph how staff and pupils had complained about the conduct of the club’s young players but that the school management had been slow to act.In one case, it was claimed that the Liverpool players acted in a sexually intimidating manner toward a group of 11-year-old girls during their sports lesson, parading around with shirts off and trousers undone. It was alleged they were shouting and swearing.In another instance, one player 
allegedly sexually harassed a female teacher. The school was made aware of both these cases after staff made formal complaints.A source close to the school told The Daily Telegraph: “They are really big, well-built lads and they have been intimidating staff and pupils, making sexualised comments aimed at them, and jeering.“A lot of people feel that the behaviour is out of control. It has really escalated. We have been told that the club is taking it seriously.” The source told how the Liverpool youth players had also been responsible for “horrendous” vandalism.“There is a lot of anti-social behaviour: kicking balls at windows and smashing them, kicking balls at children,” they said.The school is the nominated place for players enrolled at Liverpool Football Club’s academy.Another source said that “the lads do whatever they want” while the school’s management “turns a blind eye”. They added: “The attitude is that ‘boys will be boys’.”The source told how they witnessed two of the club’s young players shouting crude sexual comments at a female student. “The incident was reported but nothing was done,” they said.Staff wrote to Ofsted, the schools inspectorate, to alert them about their concerns, and that triggered inquiries from the local council about safeguarding, The Telegraph understands.A spokesman for Ofsted said it could not comment on individual cases, but added that it brought any concerns, relating to safeguarding or allegations of abuse, to the attention of the local authority social services and the police.The school was last inspected in 2014 when it was ranked “good”, with inspectors noting that “the curriculum provides some outstanding opportunities for students’ spiritual, moral social and cultural development and prepares them well for life in modern Britain”. Inspectors said that “safeguarding, particularly of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged students, is strong”, adding that all statutory requirements were met by the school.A spokesman for Liverpool FC said: “We are aware Rainhill High School is currently looking into complaints made against two of their pupils who are also young players at Liverpool.“The club will allow the school to conclude its own inquiries in the first instance before considering their findings.“Until the school completes its own process, the club will not be making any further comment.”A St Helens council spokesperson said: “The council can confirm that no investigations are currently being carried out at Rainhill High School in relation to safeguarding concerns.”Rainhill High School did not respond to requests for comment.center_img 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.last_img read more

first_imgNigeria’s Business Day reports that “coal which used to be a major source of energy in the country before the discovery of oil is gradually on the brink of collapse.” “There are no coal power plants operating in the country currently because there were factors to consider in designing and running them. For you to be able to build a coal power plant you must determine the amount of coal deposit you have and how many years it can last,” the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Sada, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The Nigeria coal industry has four closed non-operational mines of Okpara and Onyeama in Enugu State, Okaba surface mine in Kogi State and Owukpa underground mine in Benue State. “In addition to these there are about 13 undeveloped coalfields,” Business Day reports.“Some industrialists and electricity generating companies in the country are already initiating moves to import coal from South Africa as a proactive measure against the lingering power crisis in the country. The move is believed to be as a result of the frustrations the operators experience in getting gas to fuel their respective power plants, according to experts.“Dangote Cement is leading the coal import initiative from South Africa as the company has placed an initial order of 30,000 t of the commodity from the continent’s second largest economy. The company has already slated $250 million for power generating conversion, which would involve the establishment of three plants at Dangote Cement’s facilities at Obajana in Kogi State; Gboko in Benue State; and Ibeshe in Ogun State.“Even though Nigerian coal is currently in high demand in the international market on account of its low sulphur and moderate ash content, it is still in low supply, leading to the loss of $1 billion annually, information from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed.“The loss is attributed to abandoned coal mines and lack of necessary and modern infrastructure needed to drive the long-neglected sector, which has the export capacity or potential of 15 Mt/y.”Nigeria has experienced and continues to experience severe power outages. This has increased production costs and caused many businesses to close down. Many businesses have resorted to the acquisition of standby generators which has further increased their operating cost thus slowing the growth of the economy.“The recent dip in power supply has been due mainly to inadequate gas supply to thermal power plants,” said the Minister of Power, Chinedu Nebo.Last month, Business Day reported that President (at the time) Olusegun Obasanjo’s government “approved private companies to begin operating coal fields in joint ventures with the Nigeria Coal Corp (NCC), with an eventual goal of completely selling off the NCC’s assets to private investors, but nothing concrete was achieved. In 2013, the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HTG/Pacific Energy Co, with substantial technical partnership with Chinese experts, for a $3.7 billion coal-to-power project; yet there is nothing to show for it.“Records show that coal occurrences in Nigeria have been identified in more than 22 coalfields spread over 13 States of the federation. And the proven coal reserves in Nigeria is about 639 Mt, while the contingent (sic) reserves sum up to 2,750 Mt.”last_img read more

first_img RelatedPosts JW Marriott at Galaxy Macau named venue and Galaxy Entertainment Group named Venue Sponsor for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Black Tie Gala Dinner The launch of the first stage of Galaxy Macau’s Phase 3 development will likely be postponed until mid-2020 due to delays in acquiring various government approvals, according to Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen.Commenting on Galaxy Entertainment Group’s 3Q18 earnings in a Friday note, Govertsen revealed that construction work on Phase 3 has “largely maxed out for the time being” pending the approvals. 300-seat cap revealed for 2019 Asian Gaming Power 50 Gala Dinner at Galaxy Macau Load More As a result, it is unlikely that Phase 3, including the first batch of new hotel rooms, will come online until mid-2020, with the project having previously been expected to open in stages from late 2019.Govertsen added that design work on Phase 4 continues as usual.Despite the delay, Union Gaming maintains Galaxy as “the best operator in the market today” and well placed to ward off any headwinds in the coming years as it waits to add to its Cotai presence with the addition of Phases 3 and 4.Galaxy saw its net revenue grow 6% year-on-year to HK$13.0 billion and Adjusted EBITDA 10% to HK$3.9 billion in 3Q18, with both mass and VIP performing strongly. Macau GGR tumbles 8.6% in Augustlast_img read more

first_imgFile photo: Lawrence Ostrovsky.The Central Committee of the Alaska Republican Party voted  to remove one of its members over the weekend, and several other party officers resigned, all so they can publicly support Joe Miller. Miller is trying again to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. He jumped into the U.S. Senate race last week, as the Libertarian nominee. Six years ago, the Miller-Murkowski race divided the party. This time Republicans describe their differences as a friendly separation.Listen nowShannon Connelly of Palmer was, until this weekend, vice president of the Valley Republican Women, and she was chair of the District 11 Republicans. Opposing abortion is big for her, and Connelly says she was never comfortable with Murkowski’s moderate voting record on the issue. But Murkowski won the Republican nomination in August, and Connelly figured it was enough for her to just stay silent on the U.S. Senate race.“Then as Joe came into the race, I realized it wasn’t enough. I had a candidate that I did believe in, who is pro-life, which is a major thing for me,” she said. “And I thought I can’t just sit back. I have to stand for what I believe in.”Connelly knew Republican rules don’t allow a party officer to support a candidate from another party, and Miller is running under the Libertarian banner this time.“I realized I could not openly support him due to my positions,” she said.Tuckerman Babcock, chairman of the Alaska Republican Party. File photo: Lawrence Ostrovsky.State Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock knew this would be an issue.“As soon as Miller got in the race I sent all the Central Committee (members) a memo reminding them of the rule, and suggesting the honorable thing to do is to resign, if that’s what you’re going to focus on,” he said.Babcock says the party couldn’t just look the other way and let its officers campaign against a Republican.“There are a lot of individuals in the Republican Party and we respect that. But we do have a line,” he said. “You cannot publicly support the non-Republican candidate. That’s a line you can’t cross.”So Connelly did resign, as did four  others on the 80-member Central Committee. Another, Dave Bronson of Anchorage, put it to a vote of the Central Committee, which decided 36-23 to remove him. A party Rules Committee member also resigned to support Miller.Babcock made it clear there’d be no hard feelings.“What I told them was: Go with my blessing as the chairman. And if your local district re-elects you or re-appoints you, then you’d be welcome back,” he said.As for him, Babcock says he’s with Murkowski: “I think that 72 percent of the Republican Primary voters picked Lisa Murkowski and I’m going to do everything I can to get her re-elected to the U.S. Senate.”Connelly says she plans to volunteer for Miller, but she also says she’ll continue to support her local Republican candidates in the Mat-Su.last_img read more

first_imgShabana Azmi and Shefali Shah will be seen together in a web series, a medical thriller, to be produced by Vipul Shah. In the upcoming series, Shefali will be seen playing the role of a doctor, while Shabana Azmi will be the owner of the hospital. The two last starred in Aparna Sen’s 2005 film 15 Park Avenue but did not have any scenes together. Mozez Singh, who directed Vicky Kaushal-starrer Zubaan, is co-writing the series with Aligarh fame Ishani Banerjee. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”It’s a web series for OTT platform and it will have multiple seasons. The hard-hitting series will address all the wrong doings and scams in the medical world. And its a real joy to have two very talented actresses, Shabana ji on-board along with Shefali Shah,” Vipul Shah said in a statement during an interaction. While Shefali, who won a lot of critical acclaim for her performance in Netflix original ‘Delhi Crime’, said she is thrilled to collaborate with Azmi. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”It’s an extremely important and pertinent topic that any sensitive person would relate to and has to be shown. Besides that creatively it’s a huge high for me.” “To be a part of a powerful story and playing an extremely complex character and it’s my privilege and honour of work with Shabana ji. It’s my first time with her and I can’t wait to dive straight into it. And to top it Vipul’s producing it,” Shefali said. The makers are yet to lock the director for the untitled web series.last_img read more

first_img“I think we took this market for granted”: Visit Florida boosts spending in Canada Share Tuesday, July 11, 2017 Travelweek Group Tags: Floridacenter_img Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — The number of Canadians travelling to Florida has decreased over the past 12 quarters but we’re still the state’s number one international market, and new Visit Florida President and CEO Ken Lawson intends to keep it that way.“The numbers don’t lie, Canadians are number one to Florida and Canada is an extremely important market for Florida,” said Lawson, in Toronto yesterday for a whirlwind schedule of meetings with travel industry reps, including Visit Florida’s top tour operator partners.Back in 2011, more than 4 million Canadians headed to Florida for a visit. In 2016 that number was down to 3.2 million. ““I think what happened was, we had competition from California, Las Vegas, Hawaii. I think we took our eyes off the ball,” said Lawson. This year Visit Florida bumped up its spending in this market, in an effort to reverse the slide. “We’ve doubled-down [in Canada]. This past year we’ve increased our spend in Canada and now we’re going to see the results of that.”He admits that Canada, always such a strong market for Florida, may have been neglected. “We saw a decrease in our numbers. I think we took this market for granted.”Lawson said it’s important to recognize too that the Canadian market has changed. “We have the snowbirds with their Florida vacation homes. They’re kind of like ‘we’ve been there, done that’. We have new Canadians. And we have the Millennials, and they’re saying ‘we don’t want to do what our grandparents did’.More news:  Marriott Int’l announces 5 new all-inclusive resorts in D.R. & Mexico“Sure we have Disney, we have the beaches. But are we marketing the rest of Florida? We have craft breweries, bike trails, people can swim with a manatee, we have culture … these things matter, and they connect with Canadians.”Lawson added that Visit Florida’s goal “is to make sure we’re diverse in our marketing, and that we’re connecting. That’s why I’m here.”Lawson took up his post in January 2017 following a unanimous vote of the Visit Florida Board of Directors in Orlando. Lawson had been serving as the Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). He’s also a native Floridian and former U.S. Marine Corps Judge Advocate General.In late December Visit Florida announced that a leadership transition plan was in the works following the resignation of three Visit Florida executives, including Visit Florida CEO Will Seccombe, in the wake of the Pitbull scandal.Florida Governor Rick Scott called for Seccombe to step down after Visit Florida refused to publicly disclose it paid rapper Pitbull US$1 million to promote the state. Visit Florida’s Chief Operating Office Vangie Fields and Chief Marketing Officer Paul Phipps also resigned.Asked if the post-Pitbull shake-up was overdue, Lawson had this to say: “I think we had great results over the years but we needed to improve our processes. We’re putting 89.7% of our new budget into marketing. Because that’s what it’s about.”More news:  Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaThe fallout from the scandal saw Visit Florida briefly lose its multi-million dollar budget, only to have it reinstated. Visit Florida’s full-year 2017-18 budget, pegged at US$76 million, was passed last month by the Florida legislature after a marathon three-day special session. “It was dead serious,” said Lawson. “We had great blockers who were out there advocating for our organization.”How is 2017 looking? “Better,” says Lawson. Last year was a positive year overall internationally for the state, with 112.3 million visitors. While the Canadian market faltered, largely due to the weak dollar, other markets thrived. Visit Florida started 2017 with its best Q1 ever, with 31.3 million international visitors. Canada still has a ways to go “but with our additional spending in Canada, I think in the next 60 days with our extra resources, it’s going to drive those numbers up.”The weak dollar continues to be a challenge. “One thing we’ve been communicating to our partners is ‘do something that adds value’.”Travel agents are “very important” to Visit Florida, says Lawson. “We need to do a better job educating agents about Florida, about all of Florida,” he said.Lawson said that Visit Florida will be looking to hire a trade relations rep for the Canadian market this fall, partly to serve as a liase with the retail trade.last_img read more

first_imgPUERTO VIEJO, Limón — Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez has a life story with more twists and turns than a Cold War thriller, a Hollywood movie and a conspiracy buff’s fondest dream.The 53-year-old New Yorker, now living in Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, is the daughter of the German spy Marita Lorenz, dubbed “the Mata Hari of the Caribbean,” who had an affair with Fidel Castro and then was recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.When that failed, her next mission involved deposed Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez, with whom she had another affair and became pregnant with Monica. Marita Lorenz with young Monica. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)Lorenz’s CIA handler, Monica says, was none other than Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, who had his own connections to Castro, and allegedly to the John F. Kennedy assassination.As if all that weren’t enough, Monica’s story gets really strange when she says she tried to shoot Sturgis in New York in 1977 — when she was a 15-year-old girl — because she believed he was about to kill her mother. Frank Sturgis’ mug shot after Watergate break-in arrest. (Google Images)The Tico Times interviewed Monica on the property she shares with her boyfriend in Puerto Viejo. A transcript of the conversation follows, edited for length, with material in [brackets] added for clarity and background.TT: So where do we start this story? Can you tell me how your mom, coming from Germany, ended up becoming a spy for the CIA?MMPJ: My grandfather, Heinrich Lorenz, was captain of the ocean liner The Bremen, which used to sail from Germany to Cuba and other places. My mother would sometimes stow away on the ship. She was a young, beautiful, 19-year-old girl. When the ship docked in Cuba, my grandfather was asleep, and my mom welcomed Fidel onto the boat. That’s how she met Fidel. Marita Lorenz, the German lover of Fidel Castro, who was recruited by the CIA to assassinate the Cuban leader. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)Why did Fidel come onto the boat?Because the boat was in Cuban waters.What year was this?This was in ’59.He came to power in ’59, right?Yeah, he came to power in ’59. Fidel came onboard the ship and met my mother. They made an instant connection. Mom went back to New York and then she was called back by Fidel to work as an interpreter. She went back to Cuba, and that’s how her relationship started with Castro. Marita Lorenz with Fidel Castro. (Google Images)She became pregnant with Castro’s child and had a life-altering experience. She was drugged in her last trimester and woke up with no child. This brutality caused her to go back to the United States. And that is when the CIA recruited her.Do you mean she had an abortion?She would not choose to abort so late, as she was excited to be a mother. Castro would not have kept her around if he wanted to have the child aborted. I don’t know for sure. All I know is what my mother has told me. Castro was away when this happened to her — she was in her eighth month, and she was given something to drink, and she woke up and there was no child.So the presumption is that Castro’s people forced an abortion?When you’re in that late of a term, you can also be clinically induced and have the baby taken out of you still alive.You mean you don’t know if the child was —My mother believes the child was born alive. I cannot say for sure. Let’s remember this was before my time and this is Marita’s story to tell. Either way, she was a vulnerable young woman sent back to the United States sick and childless. That is when the CIA got ahold of her and started mind control.Because the CIA found out that she had a connection to Castro.Right. And they wanted to remove Castro.So what do you mean ‘mind control’?The means they used to brainwash my mother to go back to be an assassin were inhuman, to say the least. They used a combination of drugs, sleep deprivation and stimuli, consistent audio and visual stimuli. They would play recordings of baby cries, they would show her pictures of dismembered fetuses and they would say, “This is what Castro did to your baby. OK, now you need to go back and kill him.” Everything was in the name of God also … God wanted her to kill Castro. The U.S. government has stated that it had a program called MKUltra that used these kind of tactics to turn people into assassins.So the CIA has now created the perfect assassin … or so they thought.They gave her poison pills?Yes, they gave her botulinum toxin pills to poison Castro.To poison his food.Or his drink or whatever. She couldn’t bring herself to do it. She loved him. She was 19, and Fidel was the very first person that she ever loved. But once you’ve been recruited by the CIA, you have to continue working for them.Like the mob.Right, like the mob. You’ve already been schooled, you’ve already been trained. The cross-ties between the mob and the CIA at that time were very strong — especially when we go into the Kennedy assassination, which is another thing my mom has ties to. I sat through the House Assassination Committee hearing while my mother testified.Really?I actually fell asleep during some of the testimony. I was a teenager and my mother didn’t want to leave me home, fearing my life would be in danger. I remember it was really boring, I had to sit there for hours and it was killing me — a big room and a bunch of talking heads.So your mom met Lee Harvey Oswald? Reputed Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. (Google Images)There are pictures of her with Frank Sturgis and a man she called Ozzie. Frank Sturgis, the Watergate burglar, was my mother’s handler. But let me tell you how she got to the Kennedy thing.My mom, after her failed Fidel mission, was still useful, but not on that level. So she was sent to my father [deposed Venezuelan President Marcos Pérez Jiménez] to pick up funds for the CIA. My father got thrown out of Venezuela for stealing money from the country and other crimes. They booted him and his family out and he went to the U.S. Venezuelan dictator Marcos Pérez Jiménez on the cover of Time Magazine. (Time Magazine)Now at that particular point, he’s worth $600 million, one of the richest men in the world. So he was in Florida and had to pay off the government in order to stay in the U.S. So my mother was picking up the money. She didn’t know who my father was when she met him, because he went by “General” Marcos Pérez Jiménez. Nor did she know he was married. A little thing my father forgot to mention.She said she figured out who my father was when she saw a coin, and the coin had my father’s face on it.So now she meets this man, and as she likes to say, “with a bottle of nice fine Rhine wine,” she conceived me and became his amante, or mistress, in Miami. My father put her up in her own place while she was pregnant.Mama wanted out of the CIA. She wanted a normal life. She thought that she couldn’t have children anymore, then she gets pregnant with me. She just wanted to nest and have her baby and this man was willing to give her a normal life. She was 22 and my father was in his late 40s.When I was about 1 and a half, I lived a life of being a president’s daughter until he was extradited back to Venezuela to be imprisoned. Now my father had recognized me and that’s why I have my name. He had left me a large trust fund at that time.What’s a ‘large’ trust fund?In the hundreds of thousands…. I try not to think about it. Deposed Venezuelan President Marcos PŽérez JiméŽnez is extradited from the U.S. to his home country to face embezzlement charges in 1963. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)Why was he extradited? For being a dictator?Yes. For stealing money from the Venezuelan people and other crimes, which is why he was thrown out. When Papa was extradited, his lawyer, David Walters [who was appointed U.S. envoy to the Vatican by President Carter in 1978] was in charge of my trust fund.So once my father went to jail, we were left to the lions. There was a clause in my father’s trust fund that you couldn’t reveal the unknown donor, because he was married. The lawyer told my mother, “The only way you’re going to save this man is if you sue him for paternity. That will keep him in the country.”I just read that online, that his extradition was delayed because of a paternity suit by your mom.Marita loved my father and was desperately trying to help him from being extradited, so she followed David Walter’s advice. So, my mother sues him for paternity and now she’s in the public arena with his love child and my father is in jail in Venezuela.Now, with the paternity suit comes the media. I have pictures where my mom is walking into court, beautiful blonde, and there are pictures of me with her. There’s a huge one in the spy museum in Germany. I am the spitting image of my father, spitting image. They used to call me “the little dictator” because I looked just like him. It was funny, but not to his wife. I can understand her anger but not her cruelty. I was just a baby. Marita Lorenz with daughter Monica. Note the resemblance between Monica and her father, below. (Google Images) Venezuelan President Marcos Pérez Jiménez pumping iron. (Google Images)So my mother goes to visit him in jail, but when she comes back there is an attempt on her life. She is also pregnant again, with my father’s second child, which she loses. The only people with motivation to remove us was Mrs. Pérez Jiménez and David Walters. She’s publicly embarrassed, and she’s the wife of a dictator.She’s used to getting her way.And she is a scorned woman. So what happens is, on the pretense that my mother’s going back to visit my father, which she did one time before that, we boarded a small airplane to see him again.This was about 1964-ish?Right. Mama tells me how we get on the airplane, and when we are up in the air she notices that they’re going towards the jungle, and the airplane lands in the middle of the Amazon jungle in Venezuela somewhere.There’s just the pilot and us. It was an old emerald mine, that’s all Marita remembered. He landed on the strip and he took a gun out and he told her, “Get out. Get out and take your kid with you. And whatever you do, don’t smile — it’s considered a sign of aggression.” (The natives considered smiling aggressive because it shows teeth, and when animals show teeth it’s a sign of aggression.)You were 1 and a half?Yeah, 1 and a half, 2-ish. I do have one memory of this, which is interesting. I remember my mama being deathly afraid and me holding her leg, and I could feel the fear in her leg. And I remember all the green around me.So they left us there, and a tribe of Indians came, and my mother tells me the story of how she got very sick with malaria and they took care of her. She said I had lederhosen on at the time. “They took the lederhosen off you, they stripped you,” she goes. “They sewed [the lederhosen] up and made a water bottle out of it and carried water with it. And they cut your hair, bowl cut, they put paint on you.”They put paint on your face?I was darker. I’m darker than my mom — remember, I’m half Latin, so they just took me in as one of their kids while my mom was lying deathly ill.These are like Yanomami type of aboriginal people? A Yanomami girl and child (for illustrative purposes). (CMacauley via Wikimedia)Yeah. We spent months in the jungles until my grandmother sent the Red Cross, which finally found us. My grandmother was also aware of my mother’s activities. She had started a search for us.Before we got dropped in the jungles, my mother knew that my father’s wife was trying to have us eliminated, and she had contacted her CIA people again and said, “I need help.” They said, “Well, if you want help to keep you alive, keep you away from Mrs. Pérez Jiménez, you’re going to have to do a little something-something for that.” So that was when she had her Dallas trip. She was by accident in Dallas, to be a woman decoy with a group of men.[Lorenz has said she met Kennedy’s reputed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, in the fall of 1963 in Miami, where she said Oswald, Sturgis and other men were studying Dallas street maps. Lorenz says she traveled with the men to Dallas carrying “rifles and scopes,” but left the day after they arrived. Kennedy was assassinated shortly afterward in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.] A photo said to show Lee Harvey Oswald, left, and Frank Sturgis. ( Photo from the same day said to show Lee Harvey Oswald, Frank Sturgis and Marita Lorenz. ( later — now we’re going to jump from when I’m about 4 to when I’m about 15. Throughout those years, I grew up in New York City with my mom working for CIA, FBI, different agencies. It was me, my mom and my grandma until my brother Mark came along in ’69. My grandma would take me to ballet lessons, trying to give me a normal life. I loved her very much.Then around the age of 15, which is ’76, ’77, my mother is subpoenaed to the House Assassination Committee for Kennedy. [The House Select Committee on Assassinations first convened in 1976 and reported in 1979 that Kennedy’s murder was probably the result of a conspiracy, disagreeing with the Warren Commission report that Oswald acted alone.] The House Select Committee on Assassinations. (Wikimedia)Prior to that, her old handler, Frank Sturgis, started to come around more, was buddy-buddy. He had exposed himself in the media for whatever reason and he was taking my mom down with him. [Sturgis had been convicted in 1973 of the Watergate break-in and served 13 months in prison.]This is how my life crosses from being a normal girl into being forced to be part of my mom’s cloak-and-dagger lifestyle.First of all, I’m a physical product of one of her assignments. That’s the first thing. I’m now exposed as a tool to help a president not get extradited when I’m 1, 2 years old. Now I’m 15 years old, and Frank Sturgis is out there talking to Geraldo, talking to this one, talking to that one, exposes my mother as a CIA agent, exposes her and now she gets subpoenaed. Great! Now Frank doesn’t want my mom to say certain things because they implicate him and his buddies.So my grandma — a very strong, lovely, beautiful woman, 60-something years old at the time — takes a little stumble and hurts her shoulder. They [Sturgis’ associates] take her to one of their doctors and my grandmother gets an injection. Now my grandmother is dying of an unknown paralysis. She also knows everything.This is a message to my mother, Marita — we got one of your family, we’re going to get more of them unless you change your testimony, and make sure you say what you need to say. Now that would be perjury. Now you’ve got somebody threatening your life and wanting you to lie under oath.It was Halloween of 1977, and Frank was threatening my mom to change her testimony, and my grandmother is dying in the other room. [Monica’s grandmother died shortly afterward.] Photos of Frank Sturgis. (Wikimedia)So he calls up very aggravated and he’s starting to indirectly threaten my mother, in terms I knew were threats. My mother tapes every single phone call. And when I hear this, I know what’s happening now. OK, you already got my grandma, now you’re going to take my mama too? No, you’re not.So being raised with Marita Lorenz, I had in my basement a firing range, a shooting range, with BB guns and everything. From very early on I was raised knowing guns. Marita always made sure that I knew about weapons. I was taught to be able to defend myself with or without weapons. I would set listening devices in our apartment for parties where there were people of interest. I was being trained for that work. And I was privy to Mom’s little Minox cameras and numerous other spy techniques — Mommy was a spy. I just wanted to be a kid.When she worked for the FBI, she used to pick out documents from the garbage, and my brother, we’d have to put them together like puzzles: “OK, who gets the first page together gets a prize.” [Monica’s brother Mark, eight years her junior, was born to Lorenz while married to an FBI agent named Louis Yurasits.] That’s how we were raised.And so by the time I was 15, I knew how to fire a gun, I knew how to take a gun apart and put it back together, and I was a pretty decent shot.So when I knew Frank was going to come talk to my mother about [how she was going to testify], I truly thought he was going to kill my mother.So I waited outside for him with a gun because I was planning on shooting him as he walked into our apartment building.Frank Sturgis. Frank Sturgis. He was arrested for coercion, and when they arrested him going up to my mother’s house, he had weapons in his bag.The only reason he got arrested was because, when I was downstairs waiting for him with a gun, somebody saw me, a little girl with my Catholic girl school uniform, brandishing a gun.What kind of gun? It was a .25 automatic. So, 15-year-old, .25 automatic, I think I’m going to take down a known CIA big shot, but I don’t take into consideration range, I don’t take into consideration shooting across an avenue. So a man was coming down the block, and I actually shot at him, but it was not Frank.Did you miss him, I hope?I did miss him. My intention was to, à la Mafia, try to take him out from below the waist, to try to stop him from walking into the building. I did not want to kill him, but I was prepared, if that were to happen.Now there’s a man walking into the building to kill my mother and I ****ed up and didn’t hit him, so now I’m freaking out.Now I see a cop car that’s all the way down at the end of the street and it’s blocking the street. And then as I’m getting up I see that there’s no traffic anymore and then I see that there’s another cop car down the street. So now everything around me is blocked off, because somebody saw me shooting across the street and now there’s a sniper.I don’t have the chance to do anything else. My neighborhood is blocked off and now there are cops everywhere. Then a cop comes towards me, Terry, who happened to know me and who was a friend of my mother’s.And he said, “Do you have a gun?” And I was like, “Yes, I have a gun. But you need to get upstairs because there’s a man upstairs about to kill my mom.”While I was cuffed in the police car, Terry takes my gun from the pocket of my Catholic school uniform jacket, over my skirt, and in my other pocket I have bullets and Fireball candies, so get that visual.When I was arrested I was released into my mother’s custody because I was a juvenile. And I was not arrested for attempted murder, I was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm, a lesser charge, thanks to the officer who knew me. Terry wiped the gun off and took the bullets. He said to me, “You never fired this, just remember that,” and I said, “OK.” And this officer saved me because he knew what kind of dirt-bag Sturgis was and that I was a good Catholic girl, just trying to protect her mama.So, on Oct. 31, 1977, while other kids my age were out trick-or-treating, I was getting arrested and interrogated. Then he [Sturgis] shows up and he also gets arrested. So now I have accomplished what I wanted to do — I stopped this man from getting upstairs to my mama.Because you told the police that he was coming.Right, and they waited for him.[Charges against Sturgis were dropped within a week when the prosecutor told the judge there was no evidence that Sturgis coerced or harassed Lorenz.] News story in 1977 saying charges against Frank Sturgis had been dropped. (Google News)Before this my mom was earning money working for the government. After that happened, everything was cut off and we went on welfare, we went all the way down to homelessness. I lived on the top of my girlfriend’s roof. Now mind you, I go to the welfare office and they say, “What’s your last name? Pérez Jiménez, really? Your father’s worth 600 million dollars, right?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I’ve never seen a penny.”What happened to your trust fund? It was taken away when my mother revealed the unknown donor. I went to Spain to see my father twice before his death. I was greeted with threats of arrest by his family. All my attempts were met with venom. So the last time I ever saw my father was when I was a baby, before he went to prison.So the FBI, the CIA, you had no more support from the government after that?No. I started working at a very young age as a waitress. I didn’t finish high school, but tested my way into college later on in life. Once the Sturgis thing happened, I was kicked out of my high school because I didn’t make them look good. The New York Daily News, I was on the front page, 15-year-old girl goes after Watergate burglar. They put my school picture on the news. Monica on the front page of the New York Daily News after she tried to shoot Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, right. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)***Monica ended up working in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, working with such celebrities as model Cheryl Tiegs, actors Gregory Hines and David Keith and musician Herbie Hancock. Monica in a bodybuilder pose. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)She appeared topless in Playboy with other female athletes in a 1991 pictorial called “Flex Appeal.” She became a bodybuilder and fitness athlete and placed seventh in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s first Miss Fitness World competition in 1994, representing Latin America. Monica in Playboy (cropped). (Paul B. Goode/Playboy)She became a musical theater actress and television stuntwoman in New York, working on HBO’s “Oz,” and developed a distinctive style of jumprope she calls the Mercedes Method, a combination of dance and jumprope skills. Monica came in seventh in the 1994 Ms. Fitness World competition. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)She appeared with her son in a 2011 episode of “Fear Factor,” where she had to eat five scorpions, and where she came within one flag of winning $50,000. Monica shows off her jumprope skills. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)In yet another connection to infamous historical events, she married one of the sons of Orlando Letelier, the Chilean socialist who was assassinated a few blocks from the White House by the Pinochet regime’s secret police in 1976. With Los Angeles artist Francisco Letelier, she had a son, Matias Orlando Letelier, who is now an assistant director and producer in L.A. and is the light of Monica’s life. Monica’s son Matias Letelier with his grandmother, Isabel Morel Letelier, widow of Orlando Letelier. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)After three marriages, she met her current boyfriend, Augusto Polo (“my fourth and last relationship”) and they came to Puerto Viejo a year and a half ago to leave behind the hectic pace and glitzy lifestyle of New York and L.A. She hopes to start a charity here to help young single mothers and to open a fitness studio “where women can come to feel empowered and nurtured.” Monica with Augusto Polo, her “fourth and last” relationship. The “M” tattoo over her heart stands for her son Matias. (Courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez)She says people have often doubted her fantastic story about being a “spy kid,” the child of a German CIA operative and a Venezuelan president. She and her mother once went on a show called “Lie Detector,” and her mother passed two lie-detector tests confirming that the story was true.Then she made contact with the eldest daughter of Marcos Pérez Jiménez, who remembered her from when she was a baby, and who agreed to submit a DNA sample to test Monica’s paternity. (The former president died in exile in Spain in 2001.) Monica has yet to meet the sister who helped her confirm her identity, but she looks forward to giving her a hug one day and visiting her father’s gravesite in Spain.“I have forgiven all involved, as that is the only thing that can free a person from the chains of pain and anger,” she says. “I choose love, as did my mother.”The results of the DNA test showed a 99.7 percent probability that Monica was “The Dictator’s Daughter,” which she thinks would be a good title for the memoir she plans to write.She has the results of her DNA test— “99.7%” — tattooed on her right shoulder. Monica’s “99.7%” tattoo represents a DNA test showing the probability that she is the daughter of ex-Venezuelan President Marcos Pérez Jiménez. The tattoo on her back suggests the double helix of DNA and the seven stars (now eight) on the Venezuelan flag. (Erik Erikson, courtesy of Monica Mercedes Pérez Jiménez) Facebook Comments Related posts:Cuban-born ex-CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles hospitalized after crash US Senate panel votes to release CIA interrogation report White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan In Castros’ home region, Pope Francis praises Church ‘sacrifices’last_img read more

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Industry leaders have raised concerns that British Airways’ (BA) recent purchase of up to six daily British Mainland International (BMI) slots at Heathrow Airport could reduce competition on flights to and from the facility.Securing its place as the largest operator to and from the London hub, the purchase reduced BMI’s 8.2 percent takeoff and landing slots at the airport, which kept Lufthansa’s subsidiary as the second largest carrier operating out of Heathrow, Carrentals reported.Although a Lufthansa spokesperson has assured that the sale would not affect BMI’s flights, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson warned selling the slots to rival BA would leave the flights coming in and out of Heathrow “uncompetitive and unattractive” to consumers.“With BA already holding such a dominant position at Heathrow, it cannot be beneficial to the consumer in any way if BA continues to disproportionately strengthen its position and it will also undoubtedly concern BMI’s staff and pilots,” Mr Branson explained. In a bid to alert regulators, Virgin Atlantic Airways advised that it would be writing to the Office of Fair Trading and the European Commission, advising that the disposals of BMI’s assets be reviewed before sale, so as to not impact consumers.last_img read more

first_imgThe Global Hospitality Conclave (GHC) an initiative organised by the alumni of the erstwhile Oberoi School of Hotel Management (OSHM), now The Oberoi Centre for Learning & Development (OCLD), recently organised its fourth edition at The Leela Gurugram.The conclave’s agenda was to initiate a dialogue between industry professionals on diverse themes, catering amass hospitality segment. The opening and overview was given by Vikram Mehta, Chairman, Brookings India.The first panel discussion on Hospitality Development & Investment- The future ahead was moderated by Rattan Keswani, Deputy Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels with Nirupa Shankar, Brigade Hospitality; Ashish Jakhanwala, Managing Director & CEO, SAMHI Hotels; Manav Thadani, Chairman, Asia Pacific-HVS and Dilip Puri, Managing Director, India & Regional Operations, Starwood.It discussed the shortcomings and the turn key features that can add value for the growth of the hospitality industry. “We should be more focused on why an investor will invest in hospitality segment. In the purview of an investor, capital and return plays a key role. Therefore, it’s essential that the hospitality industry accentuates more on the returns on their capitals,” pointed Thadani.The second session had an overview by Patu Keswani, Founder, The Lemon Tree Company.  In 2002, he founded the Lemon Tree hotel, a mid-market hotel. Thereafter, the company expanded in two more categories like Lemon Tree Premier and RedFox. “We have observed that our mass market is the mid scale category. Hence, we realised the potential on expanding within the mid market space that in India is still far behind and collectively we as hospitality professionals should work hard in achieving this segment,” said Keswani.Ingo Schweder, Founder, GOCO Hospitality headed the third session by giving a brief on wellness tourism. The fourth panel was on Diversity & Inclusion at Workplace, moderated by Radha Ahluwalia, IMA with panellists Niren Chaudhary, President-Global, Yum Brands; Aradhna Lal, Vice President, Sustainability Initiatives, Lemon Tree Hotels and Pritha Dutt Director, EMPOWER.The concluding session of the evening was on F&B Trends and Innovation moderated by Vir Sanghvi with panellists including Habib Rehman, Ex-Managing Director, ITC Hotels; AD Singh, Partner & Managing Director, Oliver Group; Rohit Khattar, Chairman, Old World Hospitality Pvt Ltd.last_img read more

first_img in Commentary, Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Share The Long Road to Consensus on Tax Reform & the Mortgage Interest Deduction November 9, 2017 766 Views center_img The clock keeps moving forward on tax reform as Senate Republicans on Thursday released their version of a overhaul plan while House Republicans on the Committee on Ways and Means advanced their reform bill that was initially announced last week to the House floor. The House and Senate must come in line with their tax visions to create one uniform plan to pass through Congress.While the House bill is expected to cost $1.51 trillion over a decade, the Senate version comes with the major difference of waiting to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent until 2019. This move would lower the cost of the bill by over $100 billion.Another major difference is that the Senate bill has more individual tax brackets at seven compared to the House’s four. The Senate bill merely seeks to change the estate tax, as opposed to the House bill that proposes to eliminate it entirely by 2024.The Washington Post reports that the Senate bill seeks to reduce the number of people who are required to pay the estate tax by doubling the size of the estates that are tax-exempt.Perhaps the biggest difference presented by the Senate bill impacting housing professionals is that the Senate plans to keep the mortgage interest deduction intact at $1 million while the House counterpart seeks keep existing homeowners at the deduction while capping future purchases at $500,000.Finally, CNN reports that the Senate bill seeks to potentially repeal the state and local tax deduction, known as SALT, which is a priority for moderate House Republicans to keep in the bill. The current plan for the House bill is to keep the tax deduction for property taxes up to $10,000 while repealing deductions on income or sales taxes.“While we are still reviewing the outlines of this proposal, we are watching closely for changes to current law that might leave middle-class homeowners–and homeownership broadly–in a worse place than it is today,” said National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall.  “We’ve already seen that a near-doubling of the standard deduction, combined with the elimination of other deductions like the state-and-local tax deduction, can turn the American Dream into a nightmare for families, as the rug is pulled out from under them. Simply preserving the mortgage interest deduction in name only isn’t enough to protect homeownership.” House HOUSING Mortgage Interest Deduction Senate Tax Reform 2017-11-09 Rachel Williamslast_img read more

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterPrivate Luxury Events unveiled details of a new luxury travel show that revitalises the traditional tradeshow format. TFest is billed as the “world’s first luxury travel festival” and will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to connect buyers and exhibitors at its launch event in Dubai next February.Based in the UK, Private Luxury Events (PLE) has 15 years of industry experience and operates other events including Private Luxury Forums (in Istanbul, Palm Beach and Montenegro) and Amour, home of romance travel.The company says it has used insight, research and data from over 100 events to “radically improve the quality of meetings between buyers and exhibitors”.TFest is a three-day festival that will unite 300 influential buyers from Europe (50%), Asia Pacific (20%), Middle East & Africa (10%), Americas (10%) and the Indian Ocean (10%) with 250 exhibitors from the same regions.Speaking exclusively with LATTE from Istanbul where TFest was officially announced overnight, Christy Kuplic, Director of Marketing, said that within 24 hours of launching the event, TFest has been contacted by over 400 interested buyers and exhibitors.“For us 500 is an ideal size to use the technology to create the perfect networking event. We qualify our buyers and suppliers attending, ensuring the right people meet to do business and build lasting relationships,” she said.Christy Kuplic, Director of Marketing, Private Luxury EventsKuplic said the group has many representatives from across Asia Pacific and Australia that attend PLE’s events and are interested in attending TFest.“We want to grow our market presence in APAC because as a company we are historically leaders in the European regions but just beginning our journey in Asia Pacific. We will continue to increase our footprint in this market by promoting our events and inviting exhibitors, buyers and sponsors to get involved and experience TFest, which is a new and exciting event of its kind.”The “Festival Hub” centres around six “Festival Zones”: Inspire, Social, Connect, Co-Work & Collaborate; Relax and Explore.Attendees have guaranteed morning meetings (a total of 40 over three days) with matched buyers or exhibitors. In TFest’s free-flowing afternoons, AI matchmaking tech empowers delegates to break free of strict schedules through personalised recommendations, helping them meet the right people to take their business further.TFest promises to showcase the freshest brands, ideas, destinations and properties in luxury travel. It features inspiring workshops, insightful thought leaders and offers hundreds of connections for every attendee. By taking the guesswork out of making connections, AI opens the door to hundreds of extra connection opportunities that attendees would otherwise miss.Richard Barnes, CEO, Private Luxury Events said: “We launched TFest to make personalised connections happen on a larger scale and in real time, at a single celebratory event where our global luxury travel community can come together. We believe AI matchmaking technology will reshape the networking industry and give delegates at our events a better experience, where they have complete control of every interaction and get a better return on their valuable time. It’s going to transform B2B networking by helping everyone get the outcomes they want.”To be held from 23-27 February 2020, the host venue will be Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.See for more information.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

first_imgMTN has entered a collaboration with Wargaming.Net, an international game developer and publisher based in Cyprus, to which it will offer collocation services, MTN said in a statement Tuesday.The service is a type of data centre where companies can rent equipment, space and bandwidth receiving server security, storage, space, power and cooling.“Our collaboration with an energetic, world class company such as Wargaming more than justifies ΜΤΝ’s persistence in investing in technology, equipment and workforce, as we currently have one of the best Data Centers in the Eastern Mediterranean region,” MTN’s Chief Executive Officer Philip van Dalsen said.The move came as a result of the entertainment giant’s decision to expand its network connectivity between Cyprus and their own international network using MTN Cyprus data centre facilities in Latsia, Nicosia.“ΜΤΝ Business has provided Wargaming with the reliable and efficient solutions they were looking for in Cyprus in accommodating the needs of the company’s extensive network,” Director of MTN Business Andreas Neocleous said.Wargaming.Net was established in 1998 by Victor Kislyi in Belarus as a game development studio focused primarily on military games. Today, it boasts awards and a presence in 17 countries employing more than 3,700 people.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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