20 Aug

Contiki is bringing sexy back to winter with new campaign

first_img Wednesday, November 16, 2016 “The winter months are a great time to explore Europe, offering unique experiences, smaller crowds and more bang for your loonie,” says Sheralyn Berry, Director of Sales for Contiki Canada. “I am extremely excited to introduce ‘Sexy Winter Man’ to our trade partners – he’s not only a looker, but we hope that his videos will encourage clients to get out to Europe and heat up the sexiest season with 15% off our most popular winter European trips!”One such itinerary that personifies ‘Sexy Winter Man’ is the Western Rocker trip, which starts in Rome, parades through Switzerland and France before arriving in London. Spending two glorious days in Switzerland, winter enthusiasts will have the opportunity to frolic in the Swiss Alps and bounce out with endless vigor – from spotting traditional horn players to savouring a Swiss fondue lunch.11 of Contiki’s most popular winter Europe trips are included in the new campaign, including the 25-day ‘Winter Wanderer’, the 13-day ‘Mediterranean Highlights’, and the 10-day ‘European Magic’.For more information go to contiki.com. TORONTO —As the season of oversized parkas and thermal underwear, winter can hardly be considered a time to dress provocatively. But Contiki is hoping to change Old Man Winter’s image with the launch of an exciting new Europe campaign.Dubbed ‘Sexy Winter Man’, the campaign (contiki.com/ca/en/sexywinter) offers 15% off Contiki’s most popular European trips when clients book by Jan. 15, 2017. As the holiday season approaches, agents will also have the chance to win weekly prizes, including a holiday lunch and a night out to the movies for two.Agents can enter through several ways:Share the campaign on their own social media channels by using #sexywinterman and #contiki;Post a photo wearing an ugly Christmas sweater and incorporate Contiki messaging on Contiki’s Travel Agent Facebook page;Post a photo of them building a Contiki Gingerbread house on Contiki’s Travel Agent Facebook page;Create a Contiki Christmas jingle and share it on Contiki’s Travel Agent Facebook page;Any Contiki Winter Europe booking will be an automatic entry to win. Posted by Travelweek Group Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Contiki is bringing ‘sexy’ back to winter with new campaign Tags: Contiki, Millennial Travellast_img read more

19 Aug

Customs system outage causes long delays at airports

first_img WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Monday saying a processing system outage caused delays at various airports.CBP officers continued processing international travellers using “alternative procedures” until the system came back online but waits were longer than usual at some airports, according to the statement.Officers still had access to national security databases and all travellers were screened according to security standards during the outage, the CBP said.The release does not give a cause for the disruption but said it doesn’t seem to be malicious.In Atlanta, CBP public affairs officer Robert Brisley said the outage at the city’s airport lasted about an hour from late afternoon into early evening. He said that officers were working to recover quickly afterward but even short outages can lead to backups at the airport, one of the world’s busiest.He said the agency apologizes to travellers who were delayed getting into the country after long flights. Tags: Airports, Travel Alert Tuesday, January 3, 2017 Source: The Associated Press Share Customs system outage causes long delays at airports << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 Aug

Perfect Fit Campaign is back with air credits vouchers loyalty points

first_img Posted by MISSISSAUGA — TravelBrands has reintroduced its Perfect FIT campaign with one of its premier partners, Sandals & Beaches Resorts, offering air credit and holiday vouchers to clients as well as agent loyalty points.TravelBrands clients travelling with Sunquest will get up to Cdn$1,100 air credit per couple. Holiday House clients will receive a US$100 for Island Routes voucher per couple towards an excursion. Travel partners benefit from up to 10X the Loyalty Points.For travel agents TravelBrands also offers Sandals & Beaches Reservation Specialists, first priority calling and the company’s Price Match Guarantee.Agents can also use shortcuts for booking Sandals and Beaches Groups, get top commissions, three-day options on land only and Sandals Select Points Redemption. For more information, visit travelbrands.com. Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Tags: Beaches Resorts, Commission, Promotions, Sandals Resorts, Sunquest, TravelBrands Sharecenter_img Perfect Fit Campaign is back with air credits, vouchers, loyalty points Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

19 Aug

America is open for business The latest updates from Discover America Day

first_imgOpening last month, the new Kimpton is located adjacent to Denver’s iconic Union Station. The new 199-room hotel features 8,300 square feet of meeting space, including a street-level patio and rooftop patio, a 2,000 square-foot fitness center and two chef-driven restaurants and bars.Opening in November, Embassy Suites and Hilton Garden Inn in Boulder will feature a combined 375 rooms and 9,500 square feet. The properties will offer two price points at a single site, as well as what will be the largest hotel-ballroom in Boulder.In the heart of Colorado’s Wine Country, the Wine Country Inn in Palisade is offering a stay and ski package. The package includes a king room, two lift tickets to Powderhorn Mountain Resort, 10% off lessons, an afternoon wine reception and a wine country breakfast. Prices start at US$225 per night.TEXAS << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, September 26, 2017 In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Houston is once again “open for business”, with “95% of Houston hotels already open,” said Rosalyn Hunter, PR Director for Texas Tourism. “We need to get the word out that much of the state was never affected, and that the main tourist regions in Houston are back up and running.” “America is open for business:” The latest updates from Discover America Day The JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa has completed phase II of its summer poolside enhancement program with the addition of six new, luxury cabanas. The 120 square-foot private cabanas has its own private attendant, chaise lounge chairs, sofa seating, misting fan, refrigerator with complimentary bottled water and more.Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale has revamped its rooms and suites in The Tower. Completed in September, the rooms feature new mid-century-inspired elements including lighting, décor, flooring and millwork.Prescott has been named the Best Destination in the State of Arizona for Nature Lovers by Expedia.com’s Viewfinder travel blog. The article cited the 1.25 million acres of National Forest, 16 parks, three lakes and miles of trails. Posted by ARIZONAcenter_img In 2016, 498,500 Canadians visited Texas, up 10% over 2015. This will likely continue to increase with Air Canada’s new nonstop air routes: Vancouver to DFW, Toronto to San Antonio, and Montreal to DFW.In Houston, more than 800 hotel rooms will be added in prominent neighbourhoods like Downtown, Energy Corridor and Uptown. These include the 225-room Hotel Alessandra, the 158-room Hotel ZaZa Memorial City, the 225-room Le Meridien-Downtown, and the 250-room The Post Oak.Downtown Dallas’ historic Statler Hilton hotel will soon be flying the Hilton flag again after a US$255 million redevelopment. The 59-year-old landmark hotel will open this fall.In 2018, Virgin Hotels will open a 200-room hotel in the growing Design District. The $80 million lifestyle property will cater to the savvy traveller, offering free Wi-Fi, cancellation and late checkout and a complimentary social hour. It’s the fourth planned Virgin Hotels property in the U.S.Opening last October, NLand Surf Park is the only inland surfing destination in North America for surfers and wave sport enthusiasts. The lagoon features 11 surfing areas with four levels and is self-sustaining with rainwater.In 2018, San Antonio will celebrate its 300th anniversary with year-long events and activities. Festivities kick off on Dec. 31, 2017 with a downtown celebration and fireworks, and will continue throughout the year with a big focus on Commemorative Week in the first week of May. Travelweek Group TORONTO — The overwhelming message at yesterday’s Discover America Day was that the United States is open for business, ready to welcome Canadians, and that nothing – not even a hurricane or a so-called ‘Trump Slump’ – can keep the country down for long.Now in its 11th year, the Discover America Day event is hosted by Discover America Canada, the only Canadian-based organization sanctioned by the U.S. Travel Association, which aims to increase awareness of, and build Canadian tourism to the United States. This year’s event took place on Sept. 25 in Toronto’s Arcadian Court, and featured 28 U.S. destinations, suppliers and travel partners, all of whom were optimistic about inbound tourism in the coming year.According to recent statistics from Brand USA, which was a major sponsor of the event, much of this traffic is expected to come from Canada.“Canada remains the #1 source market for inbound travel to the United States. In 2015, 20.7 million Canadians visited the USA, and spent $22.7 billion during their trips here – second only to the Chinese,” said Christopher L. Thompson, president and CEO of Brand USA.The organization also reported that Canadians made almost 24.5 million overnight trips to the United States and other destinations during the first three-quarters of 2016. Of this total, an estimated 19.5 million trips were in the leisure category. Compared to 2015, overseas leisure trips increased 2.5%, though leisure travel to the U.S. declined 9.3% – largely due to a weakened Canadian dollar.But Patrice Bell, Director – Travel Trade Partnerships for Brand USA, said that Canadian visitation is on an upswing. “In the first six months of 2017, Canadian travel was up over 5%,” which shoots down any theories about a possible ‘Trump Slump’. “Canada is a very important market – it makes up 30% of overall visitation to the United States.”Thompson also noted that a significant trend in the Canadian market is the “graying of its population.” According to CIA World Factbook 2016, 58% of Canadians are now 55 years old and over. These adults are 40% more likely to travel out of the country compared to younger Canadians.“This is who we should be marketing to,” said Bell.Here are a few updates from top destinations and suppliers:ST. PETE/CLEARWATER Tags: America The area was largely spared from Hurricane Irma’s worst, sustaining minimal superficial damage. Within just a few days, hotels, restaurants and businesses were back to business as usual.1,000 new hotel rooms came online in 2016, and another 1,000 rooms are set to open by year’s end. Notable openings include Hyatt Place St. Petersburg Downtown on Sept. 26, which will be St. Pete’s tallest building at 15 storeys and 175 rooms, and the Fenway Hotel, due to open in March 2018 following a US$11 million renovation. In 2016, the 230-room Opal Sands Resort, sister property of the luxurious Sandpearl, and the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach – the second biggest hotel on Clearwater Beach with 343 rooms – celebrated their grand openings.St. Pete/Clearwater boasts the largest craft beer scene in the state. The St. Pete/Clearwater Craft Beer Trail runs north to south from Tarpon Springs to St. Petersburg and features 33 craft breweries. Visitors can explore with the ‘Gulp Coast’ Craft Brewery Passport, which comes complete with maps, tour information and descriptions for all 33 breweries. GulpCoast.com.MYRTLE BEACHKimberly Hartley, Canadian/International Account Manager at Visit Myrtle BeachMyrtle Beach kicked off its annual ’60 More Days of Summer’ campaign on Sept. 1, featuring a myriad of wellness and adventure offerings. Special offerings of the fall season include complimentary weekly beach yoga and meditation zones, as well as wellness-focused packages and deals at top area resorts. These include a US$200 spa credit with a minimum two-night stay at the newly renovated Marriott at Grande Dunes, and a facial, massage and daily breakfast with a two-night minimum stay at Marina Inn at Grande Dunes.The Broadway at the Beach entertainment and attraction complex is undergoing major changes as it enters its 21st year. The former Celebrity Square district is being transformed into a historic-looking warehouse district, while all buildings will also be refaced with brick eaves.“Myrtle Beach has matured and evolved over the last decade,” said Kimberly Hartley, Canadian/International Account Manager at Visit Myrtle Beach. “The area is a lot more sophisticated, with more elegant looking buildings, spas and fine dining restaurants. It’s more of a well-rounded, year-round destination now.”More news:  Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTVIRGINIANew lodging properties opening in the next year include the ultra-luxe Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach and the new boutique Bristol Hotel adjacent to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Two new properties are already open: Hotel Indigo, Alexandria on the waterfront and The Main in Norfolk.This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Urbanna Oyster Festival, taking place on Nov. 3-4. This is America’s oldest oyster festival, which highlights the state’s eight oyster regions and the Virginia Oyster Trail.Virginia Tourism Corporation has launched virginia.org/lgbt to showcase Virginia as a great destination for LGBT travellers. The new site features itineraries, LGBT-friendly businesses, and a welcome message from the Governor.KISSIMMEEDenise Graham, Account Manager at Experience KissimmeeKissimmee suffered minimal damage from Hurricane Irma, with no flooding reported. According to Denise Graham, Account Manager at Experience Kissimmee, it was “business as usual within two days.”A total of 8.2 million Canadians visit Kissimmee annually. In April 2017, there was a 16% uptick in Canadian visitation, representing a 5% year-over-year growth.56% of all visitors in July 2017 stayed in vacation home rentals, which are commissionable and bookable through major tour operators like TravelBrands. According to Graham, these are much cheaper than hotels, and are particularly enticing since home rentals are not permitted in Orlando.The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is back, running from Aug. 31 to Nov. 13. It celebrates international cuisines and cultures with concerts, cooking demonstrations, celebrity chefs and more.Opening this fall, the Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens is a sustainable winery and microbrewery. Surrounded by botanical gardens, the winery will also feature a bistro, tours, tastings and over 3,000 square feet of meeting space for meetings and weddings.‘Goblins & Giggles Getaway Weekends’ at Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center are back, running on weekends until Oct. 29. Guests can take part in a Halloween Hide & Seek scavenger hunt and enjoy a Wicked Awesome Pool Party and more.NORTH CAROLINAWithin a one-year period, Charlotte – North Carolina’s largest city – is on track to see a 20% increase in hotel rooms. These come courtesy of hotels like The Ivey’s Hotel, a 42-room boutique property featuring reclaimed 17th-century wood from France for flooring, and the InterContinental, coming in 2019 and representing North Carolina’s first InterContinental-brand property featuring 250 rooms and a five-storey theatre.Opening in November will be Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in Charlotte, a luxury-high-rise featuring 216 rooms and an indoor/outdoor rooftop bar. Also from Kimpton, an intimate boutique hotel in the stately Dilworth neighbourhood will open, date TBD.A new tower atop Uptown Charlotte’s EpiCentre dining and entertainment complex will be home to two Marriott brands: a 182-room AC Hotel and a 120-suite Residence Inn.Asheville’s tallest high-rise and three foundry buildings will be renovated into a 92-room hotel in spring 2018 as part of Hilton’s Curio Collection. The inn will incorporate two new buildings and feature a 100-seat restaurant, luxury spa and fitness centre, lounge with library and fireplaces.More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”COLORADO Sharelast_img read more

19 Aug

Barceló breathes new life into iconic Santo Domingo hotel

first_img Travelweek Group Posted by Wednesday, October 4, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Sharecenter_img MIAMI — The iconic El Embajador in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic has been given a new lease on life by the Barceló Hotel Group, which has dedicated US$40 million towards a two-year, top-to-bottom renovation.The hotel group, which acquired the famed hotel in 2015, will update the property with state-of-the-art enhancements and renovations. Now under the Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts banner, El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel has been designated as the group’s “top urban icon”.Updates have been made to the El Embajador’s luxurious suites, which range from 440 square feet to more than 5,000 square feet in the Presidential Suite. A new wellness spa features a private pool, gym and four treatment rooms, while the ballrooms, event rooms and the Signature Venue Embassy Garden have welcomed an additional 10,000 square feet of space.In addition, the hotel has set aside 40% of its 28,000 square feet for business travellers in a space featuring a sophisticated 800-foot glass enclosure. Meanwhile, the upscale El Jardín and Los Porches restaurants continue to serve gourmet cuisine under the guidance of acclaimed chef José Soto.More news:  A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerOpened in 1956, El Embajador attracted a wide range of famed personalities in its heyday, from Rock Hudson to Errol Flynn. It was also used as the set of several iconic films, such as Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘The Godfather Part II’ and ‘The Lost City’, among others. In 1965, it even hosted an assembly of the Organization of American States (OES), which was attended by dozens of heads of state. Tags: Barceló Hotel Group Barceló breathes new life into iconic Santo Domingo hotellast_img read more

19 Aug

Toronto agents charged with operating without registration

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Friday, November 3, 2017 Share Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Two Toronto-based travel agents have been charged with operating as an agent without registration and will appear in court later this month.According to TICO, Emmanuel Adjei was charged with seven counts of operating as a travel agent without registration, contrary to section 4(1)(a) of the Travel Industry Act, 2002. In a similar case, Dominic Daly was charged with three counts of operating as a travel agent without registration.The first court appearances in both cases are scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Ontario Court of Justice, Provincial Offences Court. Tags: TICO Toronto agents charged with operating without registrationlast_img read more

19 Aug

Avalon announces free air savings on select river cruises

first_img Wednesday, July 18, 2018 Tags: Avalon Waterways, Deals, Europe << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — Savings abound this fall season with Avalon Waterways, but only if clients book by July 24.The cruise line has announced a host of savings on a select number of European river cruises departing between September and December 2018.The offer includes free scheduled air on flights from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, while clients from other gateways receive a special $299 fare.Moreover, clients will enjoy a $1,200 savings per couple off the regular price of these cruises if booked by July 24.Select cruises range from eight to 21 days on the Danube, Rhine and Moselle rivers, and some include land extensions to London.For more information go to agentlingo.ca. Sharecenter_img Posted by Avalon announces free air & savings on select river cruises Travelweek Group last_img read more

19 Aug

Winner announced in CIE Tours contest

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Share Friday, April 26, 2019 Posted by Travelweek Group center_img TORONTO — Cathy McDonald, travel advisor and independent owner with TPI – Travel Professionals International, is packing her bags for a trip to Ireland with CIE Tours.McDonald is the grand prize winner in a recent contest with CIE Tours and Travelweek, launched earlier this year. The Halifax-based advisor and owner has won a five day, four night land-only Taste of Ireland tour with CIE. The tour is a great introduction to the Emerald Isle and includes sightseeing by luxury coach, services of a professional Irish driver/guide, superior First Class hotels, most meals including full Irish breakfast daily, a tour of Dublin with a local guide, sheepdog trials on Ring of Kerry, ferry ride across the River Shannon and visits and admissions to Dublin Castle, Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills, Skellig Experience and Cliffs of Moher. Tags: CIE Tours, Contest, Winner Winner announced in CIE Tours contestlast_img read more

19 Aug

Costa RicaCanada Free Trade Agreement updated

first_imgCosta Rica and Canada finished a fifth round of negotiations to modernize a free trade agreement between the two countries.Last week, foreign trade officials from the two governments reached agreements on technical barriers to trade, provisions, objectives, administration of the treaty, financial services, government purchases and customs procedures.They also completed chapters on cooperative agreements, monopolies and state enterprises, and an agreement on telecommunications and investment is almost ready, pending review.Issues on market access, tariff elimination for products from free zones, more flexible rules for textiles and Canada’s interest in greater market access for agricultural products are still being discussed.“There are very few pending issues, and our plan is to finish them during a meeting in mid-September,” said Costa Rican Foreign Trade Vice Minister Fernando Ocampo.The free trade agreement between Costa Rica and Canada was implemented in 2002. Since then, total trade between the countries has increased from $102 million to $273 million in 2011, a cumulative increase of 168 percent. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

19 Aug

Thank you

first_imgThe Salvation Army:Would like to take this opportunity to deeply thank everyone who made invaluable contributions to the Angel Tree Christmas program this year. By spreading your love and sharing Christmas gifts for children in need, you helped make the difference this Christmas in many needy homes.Recalling the words of the great maestro, “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” –Matthew 25:40 Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

19 Aug

Murder of union leaders in Colombia among problems facing Alabama coal tycoon

first_imgWith power and money came scrutiny. In 1979, a federal grand jury indicted Garry Neil, two other Drummond executives and three Alabama lawmakers in an alleged scheme to influence the legislators by, among other things, providing them with prostitutes. Judge Frank McFadden dismissed the case without letting it go to the jury. McFadden declined to comment and suggested looking up his rulings in the docket. But the entire record of the case has been sealed, according to the U.S. District Court in Birmingham.In election years, the Drummond family donates tens of thousands of dollars. In the 2012 cycle, Garry Neil alone gave $67,800 to candidates and political action committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. The company is the third-biggest donor to Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., behind power generator Southern Co., a big Drummond customer, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.War and death as businessIn the 1980s, Garry Neil started prospecting in Colombia, during a civil war. Soon after Drummond opened his first mine, the FARC started bombing the railway that carries coal to Drummond’s Caribbean port. In 1999, according to Collingsworth’s complaint, Drummond began paying the paramilitary group Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia) for protection, a charge Drummond Co. denies in court papers.Other companies have acknowledged paying the AUC, designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization in 2001. Chiquita Brands International pleaded guilty in 2007 to U.S. charges that it paid the AUC more than $1.7 million to protect its banana plantations from 1997 to 2004 and agreed to a $25 million fine.AUC gunmen first arrived in the town of Becerril, about 15 miles from one of Drummond’s mines, in 1997 or 1998, according to Victoria Sánchez, 32. She fled in 2003 after a death squad murdered her father, a butcher with no connection to the Drummond union.Yameris Herrera, 45, ran in 2002 after the murder of her father, a farmer, and her uncle. Herrera’s mother discovered their tortured bodies after returning to the family farm from a trip to town. Her husband had been cut to pieces. Her brother’s head was severed.“They thought all the farmers were guerrillas,” Herrera said in an interview.Sánchez and Herrera are among 600 plaintiffs in Collingsworth’s lawsuit, all people who lost family members to the AUC’s reign of terror in towns along the rail line, a campaign that the complaint said was heavily funded by Drummond. Collingsworth says he hopes to win his latest fight by using the testimony of the AUC members who have given depositions under Colombia’s 2005 Justice and Peace Law, which rewards those who confess to their crimes with reduced sentences.Alcides Manuel Mattos Tabares is one who talked. In a March 2012 deposition, he said Drummond Co. paid his AUC unit to provide security along the rail line.“We used lethal force,” Mattos said. “We would just kill anyone who was said to be a guerrilla around those parts.”In January, Jaime Blanco Maya, who had run a food concession at Drummond Co.’s mines, was convicted in Colombia of arranging for the AUC to kill Drummond union leaders Valmore Locarno, Soler’s predecessor, and Locarno’s deputy, Victor Orcasita. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison.In a 2009 motion to dismiss Collingsworth’s complaint, Drummond Co. denied any link to any of the killings anywhere in Colombia. The company never hired the AUC to do anything, its lawyers said. In a June 2012 deposition, Garry Neil said, “I was never in charge of anything in Colombia.”There have been no convictions in Gustavo Soler’s murder, said his widow, who supports herself by giving manicures and pedicures. After Garry Neil reneged on his promise to pay for her children’s education, Nubia Soler said, she paid for it herself by selling cattle and jewelry.“It’s 12 years without justice,” she says.With assistance from Margaret Newkirk in Atlanta, Andrew Willis in Bogotá and Mario Parker in Chicago. Adapted from Bloomberg Markets magazine.© 2013, Bloomberg News Facebook Comments “It’s 12 years without justice,” says Nubia Soler, the widow of Gustavo Soler, union president at a Colombian coal mine owned by Drummond Co. After his murder, CEO Garry Neil Drummond promised to pay for her children’s schooling but “never paid for a pencil,” Soler says. David Nicolas/Bloomberg Markets BOGOTÁ, Colombia – Gustavo Soler knew he was in trouble. In 2001, Soler was union president at a Colombian coal mine owned by Drummond Co., controlled by the wealthiest family in the U.S. state of Alabama.Soler’s predecessor, and his deputy, had been killed seven months earlier. Now Soler was getting threats, Nubia Soler said. He told his family to pack, that they would leave as soon as he got home from the union office in Valledupar, a city in Colombia’s coal belt.He never made it. Armed men stopped his bus, asked for him by name and abducted him. He was found under a pile of banana leaves with two bullet holes in his head, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports.Afterward, Nubia Soler said, Drummond Chief Executive Officer Garry Neil Drummond sent a taxi to bring her to company offices near the coastal town of Santa Marta. He promised to put her children, then 14 and 9, through school.“He never paid for a pencil,” Soler said.Garry Neil, as he’s known, declined to comment and did not answer questions sent to spokesman Steve Bradley of Stephen Bradley & Associates.Drummond faces many challenges related to the mining operations he began in 1995 in Colombia. That first mine came under attack from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), a group at war with the government since the 1960s.Currently, workers at Drummond, Colombia’s second-biggest thermal coal producer, may strike as early as Saturday after rejecting the company’s latest pay offer.And labor lawyer Terry Collingsworth has filed four civil suits against Drummond Co., two demanding compensation for the families of union leaders killed in Colombia while representing workers at its mines.In 2007, Drummond won one case brought by Collingsworth after a U.S. District Court jury in Birmingham, Ala., concluded the company didn’t aid or abet the killers. Another suit was dismissed in 2012.In the current case, filed in 2009, Collingsworth charges that Drummond Co. paid right-wing paramilitaries to terrorize the population along the 120-mile rail line from Drummond’s two mines to its port on the Caribbean, torturing and killing innocent people to keep them from giving haven to the FARC. Collingsworth sued Garry Neil personally for the same allegations in February.Collingsworth, now a partner at Conrad & Scherer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, made his claims in part under the 1789 Alien Tort Statute, which gives federal courts jurisdiction to hear complaints from non-U.S. citizens for violations of international law. He said he is suing in the U.S. instead of Colombia partly out of concern for the safety of the plaintiffs.In numerous filings in the case, Drummond Co. and its CEO have denied any links to murders in Colombia. Its lawyer in the Colombian matters, William Jeffress of Houston-based Baker Botts, declined to comment.Vaulting into international marketsThe Colombian mines are crucial to Drummond Co., which had 2012 revenue of $3 billion, based on the volume of its coal shipments. On its website, the company estimates its coal reserves at 2.2 billion tons, 2 billion of which are in Colombia.In 2011, when coal prices were higher, Drummond Co. sold a 20 percent stake in the Colombian operations to Tokyo-based Itochu Corp. for $1.5 billion. Based on that sale, the Colombian mines were worth $7.5 billion. Two years later, the fall in the coal price makes them worth less than $3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg comparing Drummond with publicly listed coal companies.Garry Neil, 75, is one of two surviving heirs of Heman Drummond, who founded the company in 1935 and died in 1956. Today, Garry Neil owns 100 percent of the capital stock in Drummond Co., according to an April report by Dun & Bradstreet, meaning that he is a billionaire. Spokesman Bradley declined to comment on the company’s ownership.It was Garry Neil who vaulted the regional miner into international markets. He earned a civil engineering degree from the University of Alabama in 1961, and in 1969 negotiated a five-year, $100 million export deal with Japanese trading company Ataka & Co., now part of Itochu, Drummond’s partner in Colombia. He became CEO four years later, leapfrogging his older brothers. Drummond Co. now sells its coal in more than 30 countries.In 1976, Drummond signed a 15-year contract with Alabama Power, a unit of Southern Co., to deliver 2 million tons of coal a year to the utility, according to Drummond’s website. It filled it by stripping coal from the Alabama hills.center_img No related posts.last_img read more

19 Aug

The name is Preet Bharara Youll be hearing it a lot

first_imgMonday, Nov. 4, when the long-running insider-trading case against Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors culminated with the firm pleading guilty, Preet Bharara had won again.Bharara is a name you’ve probably heard even if you don’t pay much attention to Wall Street legal intrigue. During his three years as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York — the most prestigious and powerful prosecutor gig in the country — he’s taken down the world’s most threatening terrorists, cybercriminals and corporate wrongdoers, and will probably be worth keeping an eye on after his term expires next year.Here are a few things you ought to know:Why is the SAC Capital Advisors case such a big deal?Until recently, regulators and prosecutors haven’t been all that good at punishing Wall Street firms for misdeeds leading up to the financial crisis. The SAC prosecution is a big exception.Victory in the criminal case against SAC is the first of its kind in a generation, and resulted in the largest fine ever, at $1.8 billion in total for the $14 billion institution. And the implications could be substantial, setting a precedent for further prosecution of Wall Street shenanigans — like JPMorgan’s alleged hiring of the children of Chinese dignitaries, which Bharara is considering whether to take on.Where did this guy come from?Bharara was born in the northern Indian state of Punjab in 1968, and emigrated to Eatontown, N.J., as an infant (to this day, the Indian press closely covers his career).The son of a pediatrician, he lived a “typical American” childhood, editing his prep school’s newspaper and becoming captain of the speech team. He went to Harvard, and then Columbia Law School along with his younger brother, Vinit, who later sold a company that sells diapers on the Internet to Amazon.com for $540 million.After a few years in private practice, Bharara landed a spot in 2000 as an assistant U.S. attorney for the office he would later head (then run by Mary Jo White, who chairs the Securities and Exchange Commission).He specialized in organized crime, from racketeering to narcotics — where he would learn the use of tools like wiretapping, which he later deployed against hedge funds’ secrets.In 2005, Bharara went to work as chief counsel for Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., leading an inquiry into the Bush administration’s firing of U.S. attorneys and ultimately securing a key recommendation for the Southern District job.What else has he dealt with?Being a U.S. attorney doesn’t mean that you’re the one lawyer charged with making every case in your jurisdiction. Rather, it means you run a large office of attorneys — the Southern District has 230 of them, which Bharara thinks is still not enough — who have a bunch of cases each.Bharara has made some strategic choices with his resources that suit the evolving nature of criminal activity. Along with beefing up investigation of political corruption and combining the offices of international narcotics and terrorism, he created the Complex Frauds Unit to go after schemes like SAC’s, supporting his philosophy that no one is too big to jail.It also put the office on a legal frontier, pursuing digital currency fraud and cybercrime groups such as LulzSec and Anonymous, which not all prosecutors are well equipped to take on.Bharara’s office has had an impressive record on insider trading cases, with 73 guilty pleas as of July, as well as other white-collar fraudsters like Bernard Madoff. But it’s equally well known for its prosecution of terrorists and highjackers from around the world, including a Somali pirate, al-Qaida kingpins and homegrown bomb plotters.Bharara has been aggressive in going after his targets’ assets, yielding more than $3 billion in 2012 — the largest haul ever for any U.S. attorney.Why do people think he’s so special?At first, Bharara kept a low profile even as his office started making headlines, granting few interviews and keeping news conferences brief. Nevertheless, adulatory profiles started rolling off the presses, including a February 2012 Time magazine cover story.During the past few months, Bharara has been speaking more widely, chatting with journalists and doing the rounds on TV (to the point where a federal judge complained about his “tabloid” approach).In all his appearances, he articulates something Americans haven’t heard much from top law enforcement officials: There is a culture of corruption on Wall Street, and he’s there to end it.“The pendulum has swung too far back the other way,” Bharara said in September. “I think we should be entering a serious era of institutional accountability, not just personal responsibility.”“Casual and rampant and routine insider trading tells everybody at precisely the wrong time that everything is rigged and only people who have a billion dollars and have access to and are best friends with people who are on boards of directors of major companies, they’re the only ones who can make a true buck,” he told Time in early 2012.Elevating his prosecutions to the level of a moral crusade leverages his office’s resources by sending a message.As Neil Barofsky, former special inspector general for the Troubled Assets Relief Program, put it, Bharara’s presence in high-profile cases like the one in 2011 against hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam “made sure that the target audience, traders on Wall Street, fully understood the extraordinary lengths that his office will go to discover these crimes, and that justice will be served.”What’s this about Bruce Springsteen?Yes, the Boss called out Bharara at a concert once, in thanks for his get-tough approach to the plutocrats Springsteen’s songs so often rage against.© 2013, The Washington Post Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

19 Aug

Breathtaking mountain estate in San Rafael de Heredia for sale

first_imgFEATURES  INCLUDE:BBQ social areaWarehouseCaretaker’s house with two bedrooms and one bathroomThe property includes kennel for 5 or six dogsNative fruit treesPlanted to attract birds and wildlifeIndoor parking for one car and outdoor parking for four more,24/7 security, the property is located inside gated communityThe total lot size is 25,632 square meters and can be split into two lots.Lot sizes are 12816 square meters each. https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/fotografia-3-castillo-copy.jpg https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/fotografia-1-castillo-copy.jpg This breathtaking mountain estate home is located in Residencial El Castillo in San Rafael, Heredia. The main house has two chimneys, three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Additional guest bedroom and bathroom is located next to BBQ social area. Property has a total of 300 square meters constructed and is priced below the 2013 appraised value. Related posts:Construction and homes expo in Belén to focus on sustainability For Sale: Villa with panoramic view Heredia Hills Estate – Reduced to sell What $50 million gets you in Miami’s resurgent condo market https://ticotimes.net/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/fotografia-2-castillo-copy.jpg Price: $1,500,000Cellphone: +(506) 8814-0614Email: realestate@ticotimes.netBedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 3Lot: 25,632 M2Construction Area: 300 M2 Next Image info heading info content Check out all of our offerings in our new real estate section here.  Facebook Comments Previous Imagelast_img read more

19 Aug

Costa Rica calls for compliance with international court ruling on gay marriage

first_img Facebook Comments Related posts:Candidates in favor of expanding gay couples’ rights, but not marriage The voices of the Supreme Court in division over gay marriage Ireland could become first country to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote Costa Rica’s expanding definition of family gets nod from president Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís called Wednesday for full compliance with the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CIDH) that all member states recognize same-sex marriage and ensure that same-sex spouses have the same rights as heterosexual couples.“Costa Rica and the other countries that have accepted the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court must fully comply with the court’s opinion, respecting each country’s processing time, jurisdictional and administrative spaces,” he told reporters during a tour of the Caribbean.The court handed down a ruling on Tuesday indicating that same-sex couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples, rejecting the idea that their unions should be subject to a different legal status.Solís said Costa Rica’s compliance with the ruling of the court, headquartered in San José, will require a “gradual process” of dialogue among the branches of government, civil society and political parties.The court’s ruling also recognizes the right of transexuals to register themselves using the name and sex with which they identify.“The court’s opinion ratifies our commitment to guaranteeing people access to the rights they acquire through their personal relations, without any sort of discrimination,” Solís said.The court’s ruling was presented in response to a consultation filed in 2016 by Costa Rica.Costa Rica has not always implemented CIDH rulings with alacrity. In 2012, the court ordered Costa Rica to overturn its ban on in vitro fertilization to legalize the practice within one year. However, officials failed to meet this deadline, and in 2015 was called to a hearing by the court to explain its noncompliance.The procedure was finally legalized through executive decree in 2015.However, support for implementing the marriage equality ruling appears widespread. The daily La Nación consulted eight presidential candidates Tuesday on this issue, all of whom said they would respect the ruling with two exceptions: Mario Redondo of the Democratic Christian Alliance, and Fabricio Alvarado of the National Restoration Party.center_img IVF Watch: Inter-American Court of Human Rights demands answers from noncompliant Costa Ricalast_img read more

18 Aug

Colombia Major trafficker surrenders to US

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements The U.S. State Department said Javier Antonio Calle Serna has since 2005 allegedly run “Los Rastrojos” and “been linked to kidnappings, tortures, and assassinations in Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama.”A former guerrilla fighter, he is believed associated with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and its late nemesis, the far-right United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, both designated terrorist organizations by the U.S. government, the State Department says on its website.Colombian police officials say drug traffickers often create alliances of convenience with the countries’ competing illegal armed groups, placing business over ideology.The March 2011 U.S. press release announcing the indictment of Javier Antonio Calle along with nine other alleged members of Los Rastrojos said that in addition to partnering with Mexican drug cartels to ship cocaine from Colombia to the United States via Mexico, Venezuela and Central America, the organization levied a “tax” on other Colombia traffickers on drug shipments traveling through territory under its control.That territory includes parts of Colombia’s Pacific coast and the border with Venezuela, Colombian police say. A recent study by the Nuevo Arco Iris think tank that Los Rastrojos coexist in the Colombia-Venezuela border region with criminal organizations including Mexico’s Zetas. Comments   Share   The U.S. government had a $5 million reward out for Calle, who deputy Colombian police director Gen. Jose Roberto Leon said turned himself in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Friday in Aruba, off the Caribbean coast of Colombia and Venezuela.A spokesman for the U.S. attorney in New York’s Eastern District, Robert Nardoza, said he could neither confirm nor deny Leon’s statement that Calle was flown to New York. Nor would Nardoza discuss why the indictment was not available in the U.S. federal court system’s online electronic database. The DEA also declined comment.The 43-year-old Calle allegedly heads a violent cocaine-trafficking paramilitary force called “Los Rastrojos,” or The Leftovers.His brother and alleged accomplice, Juan Carlos Calle, was captured in Ecuador in March and sent to the United States. A $5 million reward had also been offered for him by the U.S. State Department.The Rastrojos emerged roughly a decade ago from the dissolution of Colombia’s Norte del Valle cartel, and allegedly shipped tons of cocaine northward through Mexico.The brothers, originally hired guns for Norte del Valle bosses, gained the nickname the “Comba,” short for combatants, as their criminal gang expanded its influence over drug-trafficking routes, corrupting local officials and battling a rival offshoot of the cartel called the “Urabenos.” 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories center_img Associated PressBOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – An alleged major Colombian drug trafficker whose paramilitary organization controls coastal and border smuggling routes surrendered to U.S. drug agents in Aruba and was flown to New York, where he faces criminal charges, Colombian authorities said Monday.Jose Antonio Calle was indicted in New York’s Eastern District last year for the alleged international distribution of 25 metric tons of cocaine, money laundering, racketeering and murder, according to a news release the local U.S. attorney’s office issued at the time. ___Associated Press writer Frank Bajak contributed to this report from Lima, Peru(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

18 Aug

Brazil police detain American tourist in Rio

first_imgMendonca says Scott’s relatives in the United States paid his bill after police contacted them and that he will be allowed to fly home Thursday night.The U.S. consulate said it had no comment.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Top Stories Comments   Share   Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Police in Brazil say an American tourist was detained for several hours after trying to leave Rio de Janeiro without paying his hotel bill of more than $7,000, including $3,000 for “caipirinhas” _ Brazil’s national cocktail of sugarcane rum, lime, sugar and ice.Police inspector Marcio Mendonca says 63-year-old Robert Scott from Murietta, California, was detained Wednesday night at Rio de Janeiro’s International Airport. He says Scott claimed he could not pay the hotel bill because his credit card had been cloned.center_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system The difference between men and women when it comes to pain New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories last_img read more

18 Aug

Croatian gay pride event passes without incident

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Police said that they had briefly detained more than 40 people, but that there was no unrest despite threats of violence. Last year, extremists threw bottles and rocks at participants, drawing international condemnation.The crowd walked along a route that was fenced off by the police, while a helicopter flew overhead and a water cannon was parked nearby.Participants urged more rights for Croatia’s gays and lesbians. “We want to be equal, we want equality for our families,” activist Mirjana Kucer told the gathering.“We have to stand in defense of every person in Croatia, and let them be whatever she or he wants to be,” Minister for Foreign Affairs Vesna Pusic, t. “People should have the freedom and right to be what they want. And no one should persecute, attack, beat and discriminate them just because of what they want to be.”Local police chief Ivica Tolusic said police were “more than pleased” that the event had passed without incident.Also Saturday, a march in support of the Split event was held in the northern Adriatic port of Rijeka, where some 300 people took part.Anti-gay violence is common in the conservative Balkans. A pride event was cancelled in Serbia last year over extremist threats, while hundreds were injured during a march in 2010. The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories SPLIT, Croatia (AP) – Riot police watched on as several hundred people, including some government ministers, marched unhindered through the Croatian town of Split on Saturday, many carrying flags and banners reading “Gay is OK” and “We are all equal.”Authorities had pledged to secure the pride event as a sign of determination to protect gay and other human rights ahead of joining the European Union in 2013. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk No pride events were ever held in Bosnia or Montenegro, while in Croatia, the first pride gathering took place ten years ago in the capital of Zagreb.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvementslast_img read more

18 Aug

Versace revisits Giannis memory in Ritz couture

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) In 1997, Gianni staged his last runway show there shortly before his murder in Miami in 1997.But on Sunday, Donatella ensured there was no room for mourning. Instead, her couture was a bejewelled celebration of a house with buoyant revenues and still lots to say. With actors such as Pierce Brosnan, Milla Jovovich and Jessica Alba in tow _ the celebrity presence alone was proof enough of the house’s enduring pull.“It’s my first Atelier Versace show, and to be here in the Ritz is very special,” said Madmen’s Christina Hendricks, sitting on the front row.The 26 dresses were all strict, revealing and uber-sexy. Waists were cinched to within an inch of life on mainly corseted bodices _ in metallic gold rose, blush and purple. Skirts were either mini _ one leather micro number was so short it verged on bondage gear _ or long.The longer length evening gowns billowed with techno chiffon, of Barbie doll proportions.Donatella is a designer demanding of perfection. It seems that being 6 feet (1.8 meters) is still not tall enough: one model stumbled twice, her heel tangled in her gown’s cascading layers.But the garments, bought by a core group of no more than 100 rich women around the world, are not for the average Jane. Creations range in price from $19,000 to $125,000. Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories center_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates AP Fashion WriterPARIS (AP) – In an emotional coming home, Donatella Versace finally took Atelier Versace couture back to the Ritz Hotel in Paris _ the last place she saw her late brother Gianni.On Sunday, she chose the hotel for Versace’s much-anticipated fall-winter 2012-13 show, which mirrored the glitz of her brother’s heyday.The Ritz _ in Paris’ magnificent Place Vendome _ has a particular significance for the storied Italian house. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology The show ended to Prince’s hit “Kiss.”You don’t have to be rich to rule Versace’s world. But it must help.____Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAPlast_img read more

18 Aug

Minn trial could expose alShabab recruiting

first_img Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Prosecutors say he also told another man how to get a visa and ticket to Africa and which route was best, according to court documents and transcripts of calls recorded by the FBI.His brothers, Mohamed Osman and Abdullahi Said Omar, have described their brother as shy and easily led, lacking the brains to be a terrorist and the money to buy weapons.They say his trip to Somalia in early 2008 was to get married and that he went overseas in November of that year to make the Hajj pilgrimage.They declined to be interviewed again prior to the trial.At least initially, many of the Minnesota men appeared to have been motivated by patriotism. In late 2006, Ethiopian soldiers were brought into Somalia by its weak U.N.-backed government, and many Somalis saw that as an invasion. By fall 2007, some were holding secret meetings at Minneapolis mosques and homes, plotting ways to fight the Ethiopians, court documents said.Prosecutors allege Omar was part of the “secretive plan” to recruit young men to wage jihad against Ethiopians.Authorities have said early plays on patriotic feelings were eventually supplemented with more radical appeals.Prosecutors declined to talk about the case as the trial approached, but documents show they plan to call about 25 witnesses, including experts on al-Shabab’s methods of recruiting and activities in Somalia, such as five coordinated bombings on a single day in 2008. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) “Everyone wants to see the details, how (recruiters) do it,” Bihi said. “A lot of families are afraid and they want to know what happened so they can be educated in the future and watch out for the young ones.”E.K. Wilson, the FBI supervisory special agent who is heading up the Minneapolis investigation, said Omar’s trial is just one piece of a complex, ongoing case.“It is definitely not the end of the road or the end of the investigation, by any stretch,” Wilson said.___Follow Amy Forliti on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/amyforliti 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Associated PressMINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A Minnesota man accused of helping to recruit and finance U.S. fighters for an overseas terror group heads to trial Monday in a case that’s expected to show how some young Somali expatriates in Minneapolis were persuaded to risk their lives for insurgents back home.Mahamud Said Omar, 46, faces five terror-related counts as part of a much broader investigation into recruiting by al-Shabab, a U.S.-designated terror group linked to al-Qaida at the center of much of the violence in Somalia. Sponsored Stories Prosecutors also intend to play recordings of phone calls, in which Omar is accused of talking about an “uproar” in Minneapolis, plans for some men to leave the city and the fighting overseas.At least two men who traveled to Somalia and spent time with al-Shabab are also expected to testify.Omar’s attorneys would not talk about defense strategies. They’ve ruled out mental disease or insanity as a defense but may ask witnesses to talk about Omar’s state of mind. Omar has a history of seizures and nightmares, and told the court he sees ghosts.One pretrial filing hints that defense attorneys could present evidence about the anti-Ethiopian sentiment among the Somali diaspora, suggesting someone other than Omar might have provided the travelers with money. The defense plans to call Omar’s three brothers as witnesses. A decision on whether Omar will testify will be made later.Abdirizak Bihi, a member of Minnesota’s Somali community whose 17-year-old nephew, Burhan Hassan, traveled to Somalia and died there, said the trial is important because it shows “justice is slow, but it’s coming.”Prosecutors say Hassan was among the travelers Omar helped. Since 2007, more than 20 young men are believed to have left Minnesota for the East African nation, presumably to take up arms with al-Shabab. The departures shook the Somali community in Minnesota _ the largest in the United States.While prosecutors don’t consider Omar a mastermind in the Minneapolis pipeline, they allege that he was far more than a bit player: They say he encouraged young men to fight, helped some get tickets for travel to Somalia and helped pay for weapons.“We believe it’s a very important case because it will be the government’s only opportunity, to date, to explain to the public what has been going on in the Somali community, and how these recruiters have been going after these young men,” said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jeanne Cooney. “I think it will go a long way in explaining how these cases tie together.”Omar, who came to the U.S. in 1993 and is a permanent resident, insists he is innocent of the charges, which include conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. He could face life in prison if convicted.“He maintains that he has never lifted a hand or spoken a word against the interests of the United States, and that’s what the evidence will show,” said Jon Hopeman, one of Omar’s attorneys. “He also has a great respect for the country that took him in.” Eighteen men have been charged in the Minnesota case, but Omar is the first to go to trial. Seven men pleaded guilty, while others are presumed to be out of the country or dead.A congressional investigation last year put the number of al-Shabab supporters higher, finding that more than 40 people left the U.S. to join the terror group.Prosecutors say Omar gave money to men who traveled to Somalia in 2007 and went there himself in early 2008. In their account, Omar stayed at a safe house in the city of Marka with other Minnesotans _ including Shirwa Ahmed, who the FBI said was “radicalized” in Minneapolis and would later become the first known U.S. citizen to carry out a suicide bombing.At the safe house, prosecutors allege, Omar gave provisions to men and discussed training and fighting for al-Shabab. He also is accused of giving hundreds of dollars to fighters so they could buy AK-47 assault rifles.Omar returned to the U.S. in April 2008 and, prosecutors say, continued to help al-Shabab. He accompanied two travelers to the Minneapolis airport in August 2008.That November _ days after Ahmed’s suicide bombing _ Omar followed the directions of a man in Somalia and helped a group of six men buy airline tickets, accompanied them to the travel agency and gave one traveler money, prosecutors said.last_img read more

18 Aug

Army Jordan patrol shoots infiltrator from Syria

first_img 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies AMMAN, Jordan (AP) – A Jordanian army spokesman says border patrols have shot and killed a gunman who opened fire at them as he and three others tried to cross in from Syria.The spokesman says the other three were wounded in the Monday dawn exchange.He declined to disclose their identities.It is the second clash on the Syrian border since Saturday, when Jordanian patrols returned fire at 10 gunmen in an isolated area, wounding seven and arresting three, according to officials. Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories center_img Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of A key U.S. Arab ally that has a peace treaty with Israel, Jordan is concerned that al-Qaida or militants affiliated with its rival, the Shiite Lebanese Hezbollah, may target it.The spokesman insisted on anonymity, saying he is not allowed to comment on an ongoing investigation.(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more