Guanacaste Surf Circuit crowns winners

first_imgPLAYA NEGRA, Guanacaste — One quick look around the staging area at the Playa Negra date of the Guanacaste Surf Circuit (Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf ?— CGS), presented by Freestyle and Otis Eyewear, and you’d think you were watching a contest to pick the Costa Rica national surf team for the International Surf Association (ISA) World Championships.There was 4-time national champion Gilbert Brown of Puerto Viejo, our international kingpin Carlos Mu?oz and his younger brother Alberto Mu?oz from Esterillos, National Surf Circuit stars Anthony Fillingim from Malpais,?Maykol Torres?of Esterillos and Angelo Bonomelli from Puerto Viejo,?and another former Costa Rica national titleholder Diego Naranjo, whose home is Jacó.Despite all that star power, it was a previously unacknowledged surfer who won the date and became the 2016 Guanacaste champion. Tomás King of Tamarindo capped off an incredible five dates of the CGS, and with the Playa Negra win visited a podium in every contest — three top spots, one second place and one third place. (He got to drop the third place in the calculations for the championship.)His performance on Sunday did not go unnoticed by the big-name pros.“Tomás is surfing so well this year,” said Brown while watching King take out Mu?oz, Fillingim and Venezuela’s Jose “JJ” López in the final open heat. “I think it’s because he believes in himself and he knows winning here in Guanacaste will put him at the next level.”Even Mu?oz had praise for his competitor. “After Tomás went to the U.S., he came back real strong, progressing a lot. I knew he was one of the guys to beat today. I’m happy for him.”The final featured Fillingim taking the lead from King early on with a powerful right. But then Tomas took a wave and did one vertical snap after the other, earning a 9.77 out of 10 that sent him far ahead of the pack. His competitors then would have needed combination wave scores to overtake him, which they didn’t have.“Tomás is an amazing, talented surfer,” praised Toni Vandewalle, the head of the CGS. “This year he got his head together. He was always a great free surfer but this year he brought it all together in contests. You can see his commitment is there.”Anyone who has spent time in Tamarindo recalls the young King going out into the local breaks with his father Brian.?There were some contests, but they weren’t really a priority. All that changed after he went to the United States to try his competitive skills there.Upon his return, he began to train and surf more intensely. He entered the CGS between some international WSL Qualifying Series dates, where he’s getting into the rhythm of those high-level contests.“I have more confidence in myself,” he said. “I had to find myself. It was something special to win in front of my friends, and family.”The waves in Playa Negra over the weekend were, by consensus, “amazing,” barreling overhead from the start to the finish. There was a lot of rail and combo power surfing, as well as dips into those barrels overhead. The seasoned surfers loved it, but to watch the young “dolphins” (under age 12), paddle out and get pushed into what amounted to quadruple overhead for the tiny kids left the spectators in awe.“Those kids have no fear,” Naranjo commented. Serena Nava (Courtesy Fabian Sanchez/Surfing Nation)At 13, Serena Nava of Playa Grande is also fearless. She may have been bested on Sunday by pro Leilani McGonagle (Pavones) who won first place in the women’s category at the date, and Emily Gussoni (Jacó) who took second, but the youngster did well enough at the other circuit dates to earn the CGS women’s champion crown for the third year in a row.?Nava, who had a harrowing childhood in Texas before settling with her father in Playa Grande, has a great attitude, especially about surfing. She won the Playa Negra date in the girls category (under 16), and ended up second place in that division for the year.“Before I went out for the girls final, I said, ‘I gotta just catch waves, get two good ones,’” she recalled. “I don’t know what got into me; I just kept getting good waves. I’m super stoked.”On Friday, even before the CGS got started, 14-year-old Dean Vandewalle of Tamarindo knew he was in a good position to win the Boys division again, as he did last year.?Not only was he ranked No. 1 before Playa Negra, but his confidence was high given that he holds three impressive spots in the National Surf Circuit rankings: No.1 in the grommets category, No. 2 in boys and No. 3 in juniors.“This year, I’ve worked hard to maintain a positive attitude and to go big in contests,” Vandewalle explained. “It’s important for me to be really consistent,” he explained. “These waves help, and this is a good spot and sure to be good in big waves. I’m stoked and happy.”Vandewalle stands out in a?lineup, not just because of his cotton-white hair and special surfing glasses, but because he surfs like a monster twice his stature. The CGS has special significance given that he is an area boy. Yet he is incredibly humble, getting excited about winning but not placing inappropriate importance on it.At the end of the day Sunday, Vandewalle’s father Toni reflected on the growth in the CGS.?Vandewalle senior noted that the level of surfing has risen quite a big, partly because of the fact that high-level pros show up and force everyone in the water to up their game.?This weekend, in reviewing the scores, he noticed that there was an abundance of 9- and 10-point scores awarded to competitors.Additionally, there were several key factors that the CGS applied to carve out its place in Costa Rica’s competitive surf world. The $1,000 cash prize was a tremendous motivator, even though Maykol Torres, Albert Mu?oz and Gilbert Brown all said they really came to Playa Negra because the waves were pumping.?Vandewalle said the priority system, the signage on the beach that indicates who should paddle for the wave,?has?really helped improve the contest, taking “the dirty tactics out and putting the surfing up front.” He noted, too, that the CGS now has a live, computerized scoring system, akin to those in the professional leagues.“The judges make the scores, they go into the system and the announcer announces them to the beach, and more importantly, to the competitors in the water. They now have their scores and know what they need to do to advance. It’s also crucial that the public can follow along?because the cheering changes the life of a surfer. This brings us up from the amateur to the professional level,” Vandewalle said.Finally, the judges are all ISA trained, either work with or worked with the National Surf Circuit and received judging clinics from Wade Sharp, the former Association of Surfing Professionals (now World Surf League) North America Head Judge and coach of the gold medal Costa Rica national surf team.“I think what we had this weekend was the best contest in Costa Rica,” concluded Vandewalle.Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Serena Nava won the CGS women’s champion crown once before this year. This is actually her third consecutive win. We regret the error. Tomás King (left) and Anthony Fillingim with their winnings. (Courtesy Chelsea Lisaius)Guanacaste Surf Circuit 2016 championsOpen1. Tomás King2. Anthony Filligam3. Angelo Bonomelli4. Isaac VegaOpen Women1. Serena Nava2. Emily Gussoni3. Zulay Martínez4. Valentina ResanoMasters (35+)1.?Ian Bean2. Christian Boos3. Alex Gómez4. Jeff AllenJuniors (Under 18)1.?Malakai Martínez2. José López3. Sean Foerster4. Dean VandewalleBoys?(Under 16)1. Dean Vandewalle2. Malakai Martínez3. Aldo Chirinos4. Francisco CoronadoGirls (Under 16)1. Valentina Resano2. Serena Nava3. Zulay Martínez4. Coral WigginsGrommets (Under 14)1. Axel Castro2. Kalani Abrahao3. Isaiah Dawson4. Ruby BrownellDolphins (Under 12)1. Pietro Garroux2. Max Babyak3. Julián Micheadeau4. Sol DíazLongboard1. Alex Gómez2.?Noldan Zu?iga3. Keiner López4. Adolfo GómezCGS Playa Negra date winnersOpen1. Tomas King2. Anthony Filligam3. Carlos Mu?oz4. José LópezOpen Women1. Leilani McGonagle2. Emily Gussoni3. Serena Nava4. Zulay MartinezMasters1. Ian Bean2. Rodrigo Miranda3. Wade Sharp4. Christian BoosJuniors1. Joseph Méndez2. Aldo Chirinos3. José López4. Sean FoersterBoys1. Dean Vandewalle2. Malakai Martínez3. Aldo Chirinos4. Josh DawsonGirls1. Serena Nava2. Zulay Martínez3. Valentina Resano4. Coral WigginsGrommets1. Rodrigo Saldanha2. Axel Castro3. Kalani Abrahao4. Lia DíazDolphins1. Pietro Garroux2. Max Babyak3. Julián Micheadeau4. Sol DíazLongboard1. Julian Schweizer2. Dorian Torres3. Andrés Rojas4. Alex Gómez5. Keiner López Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rica gets off to impressive start at ISA World Junior Surfing Championship Leilani McGonagle wins bronze medal at World Surfing Games Winners crowned in Costa Rica’s 2016 National Surf Circuit Costa Rica takes 7th at World Junior Surfing Championshiplast_img read more

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Therapeutic abortion part II paper vs practice

first_img Semanario Universidad Logo Part II of a three-part series published in English at The Tico Times by permission of journalism student Paula Uma?a; the mentoring program Punto y Aparte; and Semanario Universidad?, where Paula published the original piece.?Read Part I here.Because of a lack of knowledge and fear of legal consequences, health care professionals in Costa Rica often bolster obstacles to pregnancy interruption in Costa Rica, even though the practice is legal when it is carried out to protect the health of the mother.In one case studied by Semanario Universidad, a pregnant woman was hospitalized because of complications as a result of heart disease. Her life was in danger and her pregnancy had to be terminated. The patient’s discharge papers describe her treatment; however, the abortion wasn’t registered as such in the medical record. According to those records, she was treated for heart disease.“At this moment I wouldn’t be able to give you real statistics on how many [therapeutic] abortions are performed because often, because of the lack of norms [for abortion], the discharge records indicate the pathology that caused the interruption of the pregnancy” without listing the abortion itself, said Allan Varela, chief of the Health Services Unit of the Caja, or Costa Rican Social Security System.In total, the number of medical abortions registered since 2007 doesn’t even reach 30. Since 1997, only 78 cases have been documented by the Caja’s statistics department. That’s about four therapeutic abortions per year in a country that attends, on average, 70,000 births per year, and in which the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) has reported approximately 1,190 child deaths from congenital malformations since 2011.The hospitals that register the most abortions are the México (26), the San Juan de Dios and Calderón Guardia (9 each), and the Adolfo Carit Hospital (8), all in San José, and the Max Peralta Hospital in Cartago (5). Medical centers outside the Central valley have reported between one and four therapeutic abortions each during the past two decades.Some practicing doctors told us that there is also a “black number,” given that fear knocks on doctors’ doors when it comes time to register abortions on paper, even if they are sheltered under Article 121, the section of the Penal Code that makes therapeutic abortion legal.For that reason, knowing the exact number of therapeutic abortions that have been performed, or showing the quantity of women who have solicited, is as impossible as traveling to the past. The statistic is highly uncertain.“Only in a hospital it would be that number (80),” said one of the doctors interviewed. The doctor added that ectopic pregnancies – when the fertilized egg is implanted outside of the uterus, especially on the Fallopian tube – and molar pregnancies?– the growth of abnormal tissue inside the uterus – are not being taken into account, either.For her part, María Carranza of the Costa Rican Research and Teaching Institute in Nutrition and Health (INCIENSA), who analyzed therapeutic abortion egress records between 1994 and 2003, says that the cases on record are unquestioned given that they were carried out in women with serious diseases such as cancer or heart disease.“In the cases where [an abortion was] not performed… we don’t have much knowledge, because mental health is not conceived as being part of the health that has to be protected. You find a very limited interpretation of the potential causes of therapeutic abortion,” Carranza explains.Stay tuned for Part III in this series. Therapeutic abortion: a Costa Rican right ensnared in doubts and fears Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Therapeutic abortion: a Costa Rican right ensnared in doubts and fears Therapeutic abortion, part III: looking ahead New Challenge Issued To Abortion Ban PHOTOS: Nicaraguans in Costa Rica on protests in their home country Costa Rican scientists discover new bacterialast_img read more

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Costa Rica will ramp up police presence after tourist murders

first_imgOn two coasts, communities mourn tourists’ deaths in Costa Rica Costa Rica announced on Friday that it plans on ramping up police presence at popular tourist hotspots after two female tourists were murdered last weekend.“We’re going to increase Fuerza Pública personnel in delegations with high tourist presence,” said Vice Minister of Security Eduardo Solano. “We’re going to conduct a scientific analysis in our most visited areas and those with the most crime to see where it’s most pertinent to increase personnel.”The boost in police presence will cost an estimated $1 million a year for the next four years.The issue of tourist safety became a national concern after a Spanish tourist was murdered in Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast, followed by the murder of a Mexican tourist in Santa Teresa, on the Pacific coast, the very next day. Related posts:Police to streamline crime reporting in far-flung beach spots Highway headaches didn’t delay flights for tourists during Sele celebrations Israeli tourist caught smuggling cocaine at Costa Rica airport Costa Rica’s lack of safety regulations comes into view after death of 6 tourists in Januarycenter_img Solano said that the suspects in both murders have been apprehended.“We need to stop being afraid to talk to tourists about safety,” the Minister of Tourism, Maria Amalia Revelo said.Tourism is one of Costa Rica’s main sources of income. Nearly 3 million people visited Costa Rica in 2017 and they spent $3.87 billion during their stays.The country currently has 284 officers in its tourism police force. They’re spread across 18 locations, speak English, and are trained to help foreign tourists.Revelo said an app, scheduled for release in December, with up-to-date information about security is being developed for tourists and business owners.The government will also train 2,000 business owners in risk prevention strategies. Additionally, Revelo said Costa Rica will provide more infrastructure and equipment to police in tourist hotspots. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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UK police to take DNA from spies in body probe

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements ErrorOK ErrorOKWilliams, 31, worked for Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping service. He was attached to MI6 when his remains were found in August 2010.Metropolitan Police Commisioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said Tuesday that detectives would conduct voluntary mass DNA screening of MI6 employees.He said police needed to ensure “all areas of his life were fully explored.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Comments ? Share ? New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories LONDON (AP) – Britain’s top police officer says spies will be asked to give DNA samples in a bid to solve the mystery of an agent whose body was found padlocked inside a sports bag in his bathtub.Last week an inquest concluded that Gareth Williams had probably been killed by another person in a “criminally meditated act.”Coroner Fiona Wilcox was critical of the MI6 spy agency, which failed to pass evidence to investigating police.center_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Top Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

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Pakistani police told to lose weight or else

first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Top Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Comments ? Share ? center_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths ISLAMABAD (AP) – Pudgy Pakistani police officers have been given until the end of the month to shrink their waistlines below 38 inches (96 centimeters) _ or get off the streets.Punjab police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar said the province’s police chief was determined to “turn the force into a fit one.”She declined to comment on a local media report that said 77 percent of the police in Rawalpindi had girths bigger than 38 inches around, but she acknowledged that many are overweight. Ghazanfar said Monday that police doctors would measure the force’s 175,000 officers at the end of the month. Oversized ones would be taken off operational duties, meaning less pay.She said officers are “working out vigorously, jogging, going to the gym and dieting” to try to slim down in time.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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Red Cross South Sudan joins Geneva Conventions

first_imgGENEVA (AP) – The International Committee of the Red Cross says South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, has signed on to the Geneva Conventions on the conduct of warfare, making the treaties “truly universal.”The Geneva-based Red Cross, which oversees compliance with the 1949 conventions that form the core of international humanitarian law, said Thursday that South Sudan signed the treaty after its legislature gave approval this week. Melker Mabeck, head of the Red Cross delegation in Juba, South Sudan’s capital, said the conventions must now be “incorporated into the training and doctrine of South Sudan’s army so they are known and complied with.”South Sudanese lawmaker Dengtiel Ayuen Kuur said his nation, which gained independence last year, emphasizes its “commitment to the principles of humanity even in times of war.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments ? Share ? center_img How men can have a healthy 2019 More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Sponsored Stories Check your body, save your life Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

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Official Zanzibar misled into flagging Iran oil

first_img Sponsored Stories Top Stories The flag ruse appears to have been an effort by Iran, which is under pressure from the U.S. and its allies to halt its nuclear enrichment program, to avoid crippling international sanctions.Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, had been under pressure from the international community to investigate the origins of the vessels.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments ? Share ? ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) – Zanzibar says it is in the process of de-registering 36 Iranian oil tankers that bear the flag of Tanzania after an investigation proved their true origins.Zanzibar Vice President Seif Ali Iddi told the House of Representatives on Friday that his government would also terminate the contract of Philtex, a Dubai-based contracting agency that is accused of misleading the government.Iddi said that Zanzibar’s maritime authority had made a mistake in registering the vessels and that the government should de-register them “to avoid international sanctions.” More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathscenter_img The vital role family plays in society Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Four benefits of having a wireless security systemlast_img read more

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Russia slams new US sanctions on Iran

first_img Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Check your body, save your life Top Stories MOSCOW (AP) – Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday harshly criticized new U.S. sanctions on Iran, calling them “undisguised blackmail” and warning that relations between Washington and Moscow would suffer if Russian companies were affected.On Friday, President Barack Obama signed into law new sanctions on Iran’s energy, shipping and financial industries as part of an effort to pressure Tehran over its suspected nuclear weapons program. The new sanctions would hit foreign companies that mine uranium with Iran or help it export oil by providing tankers, insurance or banking services. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement that while Russia supports U.N. sanctions, it opposes U.S. efforts to spread its legislation throughout the world and “rejects methods of undisguised blackmail used by the U.S. against the companies and banks of other countries.”The new sanctions build on previous penalties that U.S. officials say have reduced Iran’s oil exports, costing Tehran more than $60 million daily.Russia, however, argues that the unilateral sanctions undermine international diplomatic efforts and risk harming U.S.-Russia relations.“Those in Washington should understand that our bilateral relations will seriously suffer if Russian companies working with Iranian partners in strict accordance with Russian law and U.N. Security Council resolutions are affected by the American restrictions,” Zakharova said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Comments ? Share ? center_img Sponsored Stories Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Men’s health affects baby’s health too New high school in Mesa lets students pick career pathslast_img read more

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Australian court OKs logo ban on cigarette packs

first_img Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Australia’s Health Minister Tanya Plibersek dismissed those claims, saying there are still measures to prevent counterfeiting, such as the use of alphanumeric codes on legitimate cigarette packs.Australia faces a potential challenge to its laws through the World Trade Organization, with three tobacco growing countries _ Ukraine, Honduras and the Dominican Republic _ making official requests for consultation on plain packaging. Consultations are the first stage of the WTO’s dispute resolution process.These countries argue that the laws contravene Australia’s international obligations in respect to trade-related aspects of intellectual property.Roxon said while countries had raised with Australia the trade implications of the laws, her government would fight to maintain them.“It’s never been asserted successfully around the world in any trade dispute that governments are not allowed to take public health measures to protect their community,” she said.Ross McKenzie, a Macquarie University lecturer on health studies, said it was likely that the tobacco industry was behind the WTO challenge.“From everything I’ve read, the challenges won’t be particularly strong,” McKenzie said. The court, which ordered the tobacco companies to pay the government’s legal fees, withheld its reasons for the judgment on Wednesday. They’ll be released later this year.Philip Morris said it would continue to pursue compensation through the terms of a bilateral investment treaty between Australia and Hong Kong.“There is still a long way to go before all the legal questions about plain packaging are fully explored and answered,” company spokesman Chris Argent said in a statement.British American Tobacco spokesman Scott McIntyre said the company was disappointed in the court’s decision but would comply with the law.“Although the (law) passed the constitutional test, it’s still a bad law that will only benefit organized crime groups which sell illegal tobacco on our streets. … The illegal cigarette black market will grow further when all packs look the same and are easier to copy,” McIntyre said in a statement.Imperial Tobacco echoed that argument.“Plain packaging will simply provide counterfeiters with a road map,” spokeswoman Sonia Stewart said in a statement. “The legislation will make the counterfeiters’ job both cheaper and easier by mandating exactly how a pack must look.” Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia’s highest court on Wednesday upheld the world’s toughest law on cigarette promotion, meaning tobacco companies will be prohibited from displaying their logos on cigarette packs that will instead feature images of cancer-riddled mouths, blinded eyeballs and sickly children.The High Court rejected a challenge by tobacco companies who argued the value of their trademarks will be destroyed if they are no longer able to display their distinctive colors, brand designs and logos on packs of cigarettes. “The trademarks aren’t being expropriated; they’re being restricted in their use, which is quite different. There’re lots of trademarks that are restricted by lots of governments,” he added.Tobacco advertising was banned from Australian television and radio in 1976. Restrictions on advertising have tightened over the years to include print ads, the Internet and retail outlets.Smokers account for 17 percent of Australia’s population, compared with around 20 percent of American adults.With high taxes aimed at dissuading smokers, a pack of 25 cigarettes retails in Australia for about 16 Australian dollars ($17).____Associated Press writer Kristen Gelineau in Sydney contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments ? Share ? How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Starting in December, packs will instead come in a uniformly drab shade of olive and feature dire health warnings and graphic photographs of smoking’s health effects. The government, which has urged other countries to adopt similar rules, hopes the new packs will make smoking as unglamorous as possible.“Many other countries around the world … will take heart from the success of this decision today,” Attorney General Nicola Roxon told reporters after the court ruling.“Governments can take on big tobacco and win and it’s worth countries looking again at what the next appropriate step is for them,” she added.British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International, Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International are worried that the law will set a global precedent that could slash billions of dollars from the values of their brands. They challenged the new rules on the grounds that they violate intellectual property rights and devalue their trademarks.The cigarette makers argued that the government would unfairly benefit from the law by using cigarette packs as a platform to promote its own message, without compensating the tobacco companies. Australia’s constitution says the government can only acquire the property of others on “just terms.” Top Stories last_img read more

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Thailand breaks massmassage world record

first_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day The event ended quietly, but hands went up and therapists cheered after Mollow confirmed they had won a Guinness Record shortly afterward.“I felt I was enchanted,” Yingluck told reporters afterward. “I felt calm and relaxed watching them. I felt really relaxed.”Chayanan said the therapists who participated were given a video from the Ministry of Public Health to practice with. They are part of an army that the Health Ministry estimates numbers 50,000 nationwide and an industry that generates at least 13 billion baht ($415 million) annually.Health Minister Wittaya Buranasiri has said he wants to see the industry bring in even more revenue. The National News Bureau of Thailand reported last week that the government “is aiming to make Thailand the world’s ultimate destination for massage, with plans to improve the quality of the workers, offer more massage classes to the public and set up a massage center in every hospital.”___Associated Press writer Thanyarat Doksone contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Sponsored Stories The therapists more than doubled the previous record _ attained in Australia in 2010 _ of 263 people being massaged at the same time for five minutes.“It was easy because this is what we do every day for a living,” said 53-year-old Chayanan Chanwuttisawan, one of the mostly female masseuses who took part in the event. “I’m proud of myself and my profession. I never thought we’d have a chance to be recognized like this.”Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra presided over the spectacle, and a senior representative from Guinness Records, Rob Molloy, was on hand to certify the feat.Although some of Thailand’s massage parlors notoriously double as fronts for prostitution, the vast majority are legitimate spas offering everything from aromatherapy to foot rubs to Thai “traditional massage” _ an ancient art offered at shops across Bangkok that is still practiced and taught at the city’s revered Wat Pho temple.A traditional massage lasts two hours. An abbreviated version was on display Thursday as therapists, dressed in traditional garb, demonstrated their skills on a sea of thin sky blue mats spread across the floor. To a soundtrack of dreamy music that included the sound of chirping crickets, they went through their repertoire with a series of massage positions choreographed by the tinkling of a bell. Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories Associated PressBANGKOK (AP) – Thailand has long been known as the massage capital of the world. Now, it has a Guinness World Record to prove it.A record-breaking 641 massage therapists mass-massaged 641 people simultaneously for 12 minutes to win the honor Thursday at an indoor exhibition hall in Bangkok. The event was organized by the Ministry of Public Health to promote the Southeast Asian nation’s massage and spa industry. Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments ? Share ? last_img read more

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Australian gay politician gets married in Spain

first_img Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Top Stories “Without a doubt it’s inevitable in Australia, but you’re looking at six or seven years, and me and my partner weren’t willing to wait that long,” Hunter said a few hours before he and Semmens were married at an art gallery in the town of Jun.Mayor Jose Antonio Rodriguez officiated at the ceremony attended by more than a dozen friends and relatives. In accordance with a local tradition, the couple kissed for 17 seconds, which were counted out loud by the guests.Hunter, 52, is believed to be the first sitting member of an Australian legislative body to marry a gay partner.The former scientist has long been a vocal advocate for gay rights, and a lawmaker in the ruling Labor Party in the South Australian state legislature since 2006. He became a state Cabinet minister last year.The party’s annual national conference in December 2011 reversed its opposition to gay marriage, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard remains opposed.Legislation that would have recognized same-sex marriages was defeated in the House of Representatives in September in a 98-48 vote. While Gillard allows Labor lawmakers to vote however they choose on gay marriage legislation, opposition leader Tony Abbott, a staunch Roman Catholic, insists lawmakers in his conservative Liberal Party reject it. Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments ? Share ? Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Opinion polls consistently show that most Australians support same-sex marriage. There are other same-sex marriage bills before the Australian Parliament which have yet to be voted on. Hunter thinks it will take years for Australian lawmakers who have staked out positions against gay marriage to change them, and for the election of new and younger parliament members supportive of gay marriage.Hunter said he and Semmens married for love and commitment and not to push the gay marriage issue forward in Australia, but predicted their marriage “will of course have some impact on a political level in Australia.”Spain enacted its gay marriage law in 2005. The country’s top court approved it in an 8-3 vote in November, rejecting an appeal contending marriage in Spain’s constitution means only the union of a man and a woman___Rod McGuirk reported from Canberra, Australia.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Associated PressMADRID (AP) – A prominent gay Australian politician married his longtime partner Wednesday in southern Spain, two months after his country voted down a proposal to enact same-sex marriage legislation.Ian Hunter, the social inclusion minister for the state of South Australia, said he was disappointed that his marriage to artist Leith Semmens won’t be legal in Australia, but said the two decided they couldn’t wait for their country to approve a gay marriage law. Top holiday drink recipeslast_img read more

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Pope puts family first at outdoor Mass in steamy Guayaquil

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Sponsored Stories Across the park, flags from Ecuador and more than a half dozen other countries waved above the enormous sea of people, who were divided into quadrants that Francis looped around slowly on his popemobile to cheers of “Francisco! Francisco!”The pope’s homily brought Janeth Valencia Bersosa to tears. The primary school teacher came to the Mass with her older sister Pilar from Cuenca, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) away, spending the night in the park and then baking under the heat of the noontime Mass. She said it was worth it.“Francis has given us back hope in our families, in those we love the most, the nucleus of society,” she said. “I wept at each phrase.”Francis has dedicated the first two years of his pontificate to family issues, giving weekly catechism lessons on different aspects of family life and inviting the entire church to study ways to provide better pastoral care for Catholic families facing difficulties today, including people who are divorced, gays and families in “nontraditional” situations.A preliminary meeting of bishops on these issues ended last year in bitter divisions between liberals and conservatives, particularly over ministering to gays and to Catholics who divorce and remarry outside the church. Church teaching holds that Catholics who enter into a second marriage without having the first one annulled cannot receive Communion. Pope Francis laughs as he meets the journalists aboard the papal airplane on the occasion of his visit to Quito, Ecuador, July 5, 2015. The Pontiff is visiting Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay during his Apostolic trip from July 5 to July 12. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Tens of thousands who lined up outside the Quito park where the Mass was to be held got soaked in a punishing rain and hail storm. People grabbed what they could to protect themselves. They tore vinyl advertising placards off the metal fences surrounding the park, which was the city’s international airport until two years ago.Some just shrugged it off. Although her clothes were soaked and she shivered in the cold of Quito’s 9,000-foot altitude, 71-year-old Angelica Naranjo said: “This isn’t a sacrifice. It’s a demonstration of faith.”Quito security chief Juan Zapata said officials would distribute blankets from stocks kept by civil defense authorities.___Associated Press writers Jacobo Garcia and Frank Bajak contributed to this report.Copyright ? The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help “How many women, sad and lonely, wonder when love left, when it slipped away from their lives?” he asked. “How many elderly people feel left out of family celebrations, cast aside and longing each day for a little love?”Firefighters sprayed water from hoses on the crowd to provide relief from a searing sun and high humidity that made the 86 degree Fahrenheit temperature in the Pacific port city of Guayaquil feel at least 10 degrees hotter.Many pilgrims had spent the night outdoors, and some walked for miles to reach the park on Guayaquil’s northern outskirts to catch a glimpse of history’s first Latin American pope celebrating Mass on his home turf. They said it was well worth the discomfort.“I’m tired, I’m hungry, I haven’t slept, but I’m also full of emotion and joy in my heart,” said Vicente Huilcatoma, a former police officer who walked 25 miles (40 kilometers) to reach Samanes Park.The Vatican originally estimated more than 1 million people would turn out for the Mass, and government organizers put the crowd at above that figure in the hour before the service began. But Gabriel Almeida, the government spokesman at the scene, rolled back the estimate to about 550,000 after officials viewed aerial images of the area. Comments ? Share ? Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (AP) — Pope Francis received a hero’s welcome in Ecuador’s biggest city Monday as he celebrated the first public Mass of his South American tour, telling hundreds of thousands of faithful their families are the bedrock of society but need to be supported better and strengthened.In his homily, Francis praised families as the nucleus of society, calling them “the nearest hospital, the first school for the young, the best home for the elderly.” He said miracles are performed every day inside a family out of love, but sometimes the love and happiness run out. In his homily Monday, Francis said he hoped the second meeting of bishops on family life, scheduled for October, would come up with “concrete solutions to the many difficult and significant challenges facing families in our time.”“I ask you to pray fervently for this intention, so that Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, scandalous or threatening, and turn it … into a miracle.”“Families today need miracles!” he added.The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Francis wasn’t referring to the gay or divorce issue specifically but was making a more general reference that he hoped the bishops would “help the church chart this path of leaving a situation of sin to one of grace.”Upon his arrival in Guayaquil, the pontiff allowed several acolytes on the tarmac to take selfies with him. He then headed to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy, where 2,000 invitees gathered, including young cancer patients, residents of homes for the elderly abandoned by their families and some of Guayaquil’s poorest people.He told those gathered that he would pray for them “and I won’t charge you a thing. All I ask, please, is that you pray for me.” Top Stories After the open-air Mass, Francis had lunch with a group of Jesuits at a nearby high school.A highlight was his reunion with the Rev. Francisco Cortes, a priest affectionately known as “Padre Paquito,” to whom the Argentina-born pope, then the Rev. Jorge Mario Bergoglio, entrusted his seminarians on study trips to Ecuador years ago.In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Cortes couldn’t fathom that Bergoglio remembered him, much less made a point of coming to have lunch. “I don’t know what to ask him,” the soon-to-be 91-year-old Cortes said. “I’m really just a Mr. Nobody.”Returning to the capital of Quito at dusk, Francis paid a 50-minute courtesy visit to Rafael Correa at the presidential palace. When it ended, Correa ushered him to reception line of dozens that took a quarter hour to negotiate.The pope then prayed in Quito’s cathedral and went out on the steps to address a crowd, many of whom had waited hours to see him and endured a deluge. But instead of giving the short speech that he had prepared, Francis offered a brief blessing.Tuesday brings another big public Mass, this time in Quito, as well as a meeting with the country’s bishops, a speech at Ecuador’s Catholic University and an evening gathering with civil society groups, including indigenous leaders.last_img read more

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Greek relief over bailout deal tempered by harsh reality

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Top Stories Rizos, 36, who owns the small bakery with his brother, said the deal serves up a double blow: Greece’s sales tax on food looks likely to rise from 13 percent to 23 percent — meaning he’ll have to raise prices for already struggling customers — and the deal liberalizes laws to let many more businesses open on Sunday, something that favors big chain stores because many small businesses like Rizos’ can’t afford to open seven days a week.“They’re calling this bailout the third package of help for Greece, but I could get hit at least two ways,” Rizos said. “I don’t know if my customers will still buy here or end up going somewhere else.”Around Greece, the elderly worried about what Greece’s agreement to reform its pension system might mean for them.Roza Alverti, 83, hoped the package won’t reduce the 900 euros ($994) she gets each month to support herself and two grown grandchildren living with her. The retired apartment building concierge said she’s just getting by, and was so afraid of the changes that she stopped watching television this weekend while Greece negotiated with its creditors.“My pension’s low, so I hope they don’t cut it,” she said. A man counts his coins at a bakery in Athens, Monday, July 13, 2015. News that Greece clinched a deal to stay within the eurozone group of nations broke Monday morning while Alexandros Rizos sold one loaf of warm bread after another to customers in a middle-class Athens neighborhood full of boarded up storefronts, but the 36-year-old bakery co-owner wasn’t smiling. Under terms of the agreement, it’s almost certain Greece’s sales tax on food will rise from 13 percent to 23 percent _ meaning he’ll have to raise prices for clients he knows are already economically hurting. (AP Photo/Spyros Tsakiris) Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Men’s health affects baby’s health too About the only consolation, Logothetis said, is that things could have been even more dire had Greece been forced to leave the euro.“It would be worse,” he said, “if the drachma returned.”Copyright ? The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies ATHENS, Greece (AP) — In a middle-class Athens neighborhood full of boarded-up storefronts, customers lined up at the Rizos Bakery on Monday to inhale the lovely smells of fresh bread and emerge with loaves still warm from the ovens. Co-owner Alexandros Rizos stood behind the counter and worried whether he would have to lay off workers, or whether his 15-year-old business might go under.Greece secured a third bailout Monday that averts financial catastrophe but hits some of its already struggling citizens hard. Comments ? Share ? There was worry too in the hotels that bring in key tourism dollars — and where sales tax will rise from 6.5 percent to 13 percent — and in restaurants, where the 23 percent food tax will apply.“If the government takes our profits like this, we could lose everything,” Mary Cromba, 49, said as she sat at the cash register in her unusually empty Cap D’Oro seafood restaurant on the pebbly Psatha beach, where Athenians take day trips for the turquoise waters and pine-covered mountains.She speculated that some restaurant owners will likely respond by ignoring the tax altogether, leaving sales tax off the bill for cash-only transactions and not reporting the transaction.“That way they don’t have to pay the tax for the business or for the customer,” she said. “It’s good for both sides.”Utility company office worker Alexandros Logothetis said he is “furious” that working-class and middle-class Greeks will end up bearing the brunt of the tax increases.“Regular people will pay more, not the big fishes like the media tycoons and the shipping magnates,” said Logothetis, 58. “I wanted a deal where the rich people would pay off our debt.” Sponsored Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helplast_img read more

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Thai AirAsia X almost a reality

first_imgThe low-cost carrier is one step closer to opening its first international hub outside Kuala Lumpur, planning to launch Thai AirAsia X in the first quarter of next year, with a base in Bangkok. “With its 10-year track record, Thai AirAsia has built a strong domestic and international short-haul network that can provide feeder traffic to Thai AirAsia X, which plans to be based in the same Don Muang Airport,” AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani?said. Thai AirAsia X will focus on flying to long-haul destinations in North Asia and Australia. Source = ETB News: P.T. The Ministry of Transport Thailand issued the AOL approval in early October, with final approval of the Air Operators Certificate expected by the close of 2013.center_img “Passenger traffic from destinations in these markets to Bangkok is very high, largely leisure travellers, and primarily served by higher-cost full service airlines,” Mr Osman-Rani said. The additional hub in Thailand will offer improved competitiveness and flexibility for passengers. AirAsia X has officially received approval for an Air Operator License (AOL) in Thailand.last_img read more

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helloworld 100th store

first_imgJetset Marion in Adelaide was the first branded agency to join helloworld. A number of Australian leisure and corporate travel agencies have signed with helloworld, including Phil Hoffmann Travel (eight stores), Goldman Travel (two stores) and the Read Group (three stores). “helloworld is something we’ve been excited to be a part of since day one… the strategy and direction behind the new brand will situate us in a market leading position,” Jetset Marion owner and manager Helen Goodings said. “helloworld will create the momentum and inspiration for change in our industry,” JTG chief executive Rob Gurney said. Jetset Travel Group’s (JTG) helloworld brand has signed its 100th store, ahead of targets for the first phase of store refits and its consumer launch.center_img helloworld was officially launched in late September this year, combining the strengths of Travelscene Corporate and JTN Business Select. helloworld also has agreements underway with a further 150 stores. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

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Alan Joyce blow torched in fiery Senate argument

first_imgIn addition, Mr Joyce has also rejected union suggestions that sending Qantas maintenance facilities offshore would affect the safety of Qantas operations, labelling it “fearmongering”. While answering questions at a Senate inquiry into the future of Qantas, Mr Joyce slammed suggestions he should resign and defended his management style, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. In a fiery argument with Labor Senator Sam Dastyari, Mr Joyce said that since he started as chief executive in 2008,?46 per cent more passenger capacity had been added to the Australian market. However, Senator Dastyari said that the more important facts were that since Alan Joyce had joined Qantas, its share price had fallen to AUD $1.09 and market capitalisation had fallen from AUD $4.5 to AUD $2.5 billion. Source = ETB News: T.N Mr Joyce also rejected the idea that he should consult with the Qantas Board to test their support for his tenure, saying that such an action would only happen in the political world. The Qantas Board has backed its besieged chief executive officer Alan Joyce, following the airline reporting a half year loss of AUD $235 million and an interrogation by Senators.last_img read more

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AIME wins best exhibition award

first_imgAsia-Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME) has been named the Best Exhibition in the annual Australian Event Awards (AEA) 2014, further cementing its standing as the leading business events industry exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere.The award ceremony was established in 2006, the Australian Event Awards is Australia’s premier awards for honouring excellence in the events industry.The awards receive hundreds of entries from organisations of all sizes and from all over Australia each year to make the list of just four finalists in the category.Joining AIME in the running for Best Exhibition was Australian Tourism Exchange 2014 (Tourism Australia), Taste of Sydney 2013 (Taste Festivals) and PAX Australia.The category of Best Exhibition is judged on a company’s innovation in relation to techniques, knowledge and practices, its long term benefits to the industry and the degree to which the event delivers outcomes for not only its attendees, but exhibitors and key stakeholders too.AIME and CIBTM exhibition director Jacqui Timmins, said that AIME was honoured by the accolade, and that the win was testament to the organisation’s determination.“At AIME we’re committed to constant innovation to ensure we provide for the industry’s evolving business needs, and this award is further testament to our dedication to stay at the forefront for the last 23 years. Our team is passionate about ensuring we stay on top of worldwide trends to provide attendees with the latest insights, information and opportunities out there,” Ms Timmins said.AIME is the largest international business event in Australia attracting more than 700 exhibitors from across five continents.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

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South African Airways extends West Africa routes

first_imgSouth African Airways extends West Africa routesSouth African Airways further strengthens West African network, introduces Abuja as second Nigeria destination.South African Airways (SAA), Africa’s leading airline has added a second entry point into Nigeria with the addition of Abuja, the country’s capital city.According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager for Australasia, Nigeria has one of the fastest-growing and largest economies in Africa with the new destination adding considerably to business travel options to the country: “We have seen significant growth in traffic to Nigeria recently, both as a destination in itself and as part of our growing West Africa network, so the addition of Abuja is good news,” Tim said.“Adding a second gateway in Nigeria to our existing daily service to Lagos really strengthens SAA’s position in West Africa where we play a significant role in enabling commerce between Southern and West Africa and enhancing the growing trade and cultural exchanges between the two regions.” he said.“This follows the successful introduction of the Accra in Ghana to our Washington DC route as a West African platform in August this year. We launched flights between Accra and Washington in cooperation with Africa World Airways. The introduction of the Accra to Washington route has seen a steady growth in passengers using the route and has performed in line with expectations. This has also enabled us to invest further and enhance our West Africa footprint.”“Enhancing air travel links with Nigeria also underlines the growth in bilateral relations between South Africa and Nigeria. The two countries historically have had strong economic, diplomatic, social and fraternal ties with both being economic powerhouses of Africa.”According to Tim, the Abuja flights have been scheduled for seamless connectivity into SAA’s route network to and from international cities which means passengers can reach Nigeria with one stop in Johannesburg.With Abuja, SAA will now serve eight destinations in Central and West Africa, with flights from Johannesburg to Lagos (Nigeria); Abidjan (Ivory Coast); Cotonou (Benin); Accra (Ghana); Douala (Cameroon), Dakar (Senegal) and Libreville (Gabon) already forming part of the extensive regional route network. South African AirwaysSource = South African Airwayslast_img read more

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Sunshine Coast Airport celebrates one million passengers

first_imgSunshine Coast Airport celebrates one million passengersSunshine Coast Airport celebrates one million passengersIt’s Sunshine Coast celebration time!? Sunshine Coast Airport has hit the one million passenger mark – the first time this has been achieved in a 12-month period.The milestone, 55 years in the making, continues an incredible period of growth and development for the region’s air traffic gateway.Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the one million passengers achievement, saying it further highlighted the strong progress the airport had recently made.“In the last 18 months, the airport has broken passenger growth record after record,” Mayor Jamieson said.“We have consistently been the country’s fastest growing airport since the middle of last year.“We have seen the return of Qantas to the Sunshine Coast, investment in capacity by Jetstar and Virgin Australia on Sydney and Melbourne routes, the continued growth in popularity of Air New Zealand services to Auckland, and the welcoming of Jetstar flights to Adelaide.“Reaching one million passengers for the year is the pinnacle of that sustained growth and investment by the airlines in our region.”Sunshine Coast Airport General Manager Peter Pallot said he was extremely proud of the record.“It has been an amazing period for Sunshine Coast Airport.? I would like to acknowledge the efforts of my fantastic team and thank our airline partners, our community, and our stakeholders for their ongoing support,” Mr Pallot said“Each month, we continue to achieve new highs in passenger numbers, but to reach the million mark for the year is something extra special.”Sunshine Coast Airport today released a short “Sunshine Coast celebration” video https://youtu.be/Vu–J96ZSLE recognising the strong partnership between the success of the airport and the region.“We wanted to celebrate in Sunshine Coast style and what better way to do that than share the fun with some of our on and off-airport partners,” Mr Pallot said.“Thank you Sunshine Coast, we couldn’t have done it without you!” Sunshine Coast AirportVisitSource = Sunshine Coast Airportlast_img read more

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A new home to the stars – worlds first astrology hotel opens

first_imgSource = The Ultimo Hotels About The Ultimo HotelThe?Ultimo features modern accommodation in the vibrant Chinatown district. Constructed in 1911 as a key component in Haymarket’s transition to become Sydney’s fresh fruit market, the heritage-listed building is a reminder of Sydney’s bustling and vibrant commercial heritage which continues to this day. After an extensive refurbishment in 2016, the character of the hotel was transformed to showcase its original historic roots within a contemporary setting as seen through its exposed brick walls and graphic tile. You will experience an iconic story of heritage meets industrial modernism, East meets West, New York in China Town.The Ultimo Hotel,?37 Ultimo Rd, NSW 2000, Sydney,?T?+61 2 9281 5555,?E?res@theultimo.com.auAbout 8Hotels8Hotels stands for innovation and leadership in the Australian boutique hotel space and has owned and operated 21 properties across Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Thredbo, Daylesford , Bali, Fiji and Paris. 8Hotels is launching new hotels later this year such as Little Albion, a 35 room luxury guest house hotel in Surry Hills and Felix, a 150 room cutting edge hotel at Sydney’s Airport. For more information visit?www.8hotels.com A new home to the stars – world’s first astrology hotel opens in SydneyYesterday, 8Hotels launched the World’s first Astrology Hotel in Sydney. The Ultimo Hotel in Haymarket features everything star struck travellers need when coming to town and gives an experience for guests to explore the city based on their sign.In partnership with leading Astrologer, Damian Rocks, Founder of Stars Like You, The Ultimo has created unique experiences throughout the hotel to make guests feel aligned to their astrological sign with city guides recommending the best ‘Gastrology’ (places to eat and drink) and ‘Experiology’ (things to see and do) destinations for each of the twelve star signs, zodiac tailored ‘Do not Disturb’ signs, daily horoscopes with their newspapers, slippers in matching zodiac designs as well as monthly updated horoscopes on the website.“Working with the Ultimo team on the launch of the World’s first Astrology Hotel has been very exciting! There is a huge appetite for Astrology and the stars fascinate humans since the beginning of time. Travellers will be glad to hear that the stars have now aligned when booking a hotel in Sydney,” says Damian Rocks, resident Ultimo Hotel Astrologer and creator of?Stars Like You.After a recent refurbishment, the boutique hotel features 95 rooms across seven categories from?cosy?Ultimo Single to spacious Ultimo Courtyard ranging from $139pn to $329pn. Stars Like You Astro Packages, Complimentary Wi-Fi, a barista coffee station, Astrolo-tea specially selected to match your zodiac sign and an Astrology library in the lobby round up the stay at The Ultimo Hotel in Sydney’s vibrant Chinatown neighbourhood.“We are very excited to open the doors to the World’s first Astrology Hotel. The Ultimo Hotel is a one of a kind concept speaking to the trend of unique and personalised travel and creates an experience with the ultimate star rating for our guests.,” states Scott Hartley, GM The Ultimo Hotel.As an opening offer, The Ultimo Hotel offers 20% discount off its Astrology packages for the months of February and March.?Star Charts?packages start from $229 for one person and $265 for two people and include accommodation for up to two guests with a personalised star chart on arrival, moon calendar and slippers. The?Off The Charts?consultation package from $329 for one person and $469 for two people includes accommodation for up to two people with a one-hour face-to-face astrology reading with the?Stars Like Youteam, moon calendar and slippers.last_img read more

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