Tag Archives: Caribbean

Travel To Cuba Legally & Expertly

By Larry Olmsted, Contributor

In the nearly two decades that I have been writing on travel, few destinations have interested my audience as much as Cuba – I am asked about it all the time. For sure some of this is based on the principle of forbidden fruit, and some people are interested simply because our government makes it practically impossible for most American citizens to visit the Caribbean island. But much of it is Cuba’s legitimate appeal, be it cultural, natural, musical or historical, and for a variety of reasons, there is a sizable audience of Americans who would like to visit Cuba. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Former soccer official Jack Warner makes political comeback, winning Trinidad parliament seat

Former international soccer official Jack Warner has made a political comeback in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad & Tobago a few months after a regional sports group’s ethics panel accused him of enriching himself through fraud. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Where Will the Fantastic Four Reboot Film?

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It’s clobberin’ time on the bayou.

TheWrap reports that Fox’s reboot of The Fantastic Four will shoot in Louisiana rather than the originally planned location of Vancouver, where past Marvel-Fox films have been shot.

You can thank Louisiana’s tax incentive program for why big budget flicks such as the Fantastic Four reboot, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes are shooting there.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Movies

Thoughts On Vacation, Fishing And Summer Reading

By Karl Shmavonian, Forbes Staff

It’s that time of year, when anybody and everybody heads to all points of the world to enjoy vacation. One item on the menu for many vacationers: What to read while on roads, airplanes, lakes or oceans. Earnest readers spend a lot of time strategizing their vacation reading lists. Therefore, it seems appropriate that all of our quotes this time are from literary folk. Writer Ben Dolnick sums up the summer reading menu: There are good books, even great books, that you read happily but with a faint feeling of duty. Then there are the books, often less pedigreed, that you read in a haze of compulsion, as if their pages emitted a drug. Summer is the season for the latter.” Colum McCann takes a disdainful view of this sort of reading: Whenever summer rolls around I begin to realize that I’m a complete and utter book snob. In relation to reading, I have absolutely no guilty pleasures at all. No graphic novels. No murder mysteries. My summer read is really no different from my winter read. I know many bookshops and magazines would have me believe that our summer forays are different, but literature is literature, and unfortunately snobbery is snobbery.” Humorist Bill Bryson is of the opinion that you might as well sit at home and do your reading: What an odd thing tourism is. You fly off to a strange land, eagerly abandoning all the comforts of home, and then expend vast quantities of time and money in a largely futile attempt to recapture the comforts that you wouldn’t have lost if you hadn’t left home in the first place.” Aldous Huxley echoes Bryson’s sentiments: To travel is to discover that everybody is wrong. The philosophies, the civilizations which seem, at a distance, so superior to those current at home, all prove on a close inspection to be in their own way just as hopelessly imperfect.” Christopher Hitchens speaks for those of us who have never understood fishing as a vacation activity: For me, the life of the angler is an almost flawless example of how not to have a good time.” Stephen Leacock takes an opposing view: ‘Angling’ is the name given to fishing by people who can’t fish. Clive James sums up another aquatic vacation activity that often ends up badly: A luxury liner is just a bad play surrounded by water.” P.J. O’Rourke gives this historical twist on vacations: Everybody in 15th century Spain was wrong about where China was and as a result, Columbus discovered Caribbean vacations.” Finally, FORBES magazine founder B.C. Forbes has this eminently sensible prescription: Temporary release from work, through vacations, becomes more welcome, more pleasurable, even more necessary, as we grow older.”   …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Thousand-plus show up in Haiti anti-gay protest

More than 1,000 people in Haiti are participating in a rare demonstration to protest homosexuality.

Eddy Jean-Pierre, who says he’s a Protestant, is among demonstrators in the capital of Port-au-Prince. They are urging lawmakers not to pass legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in the Caribbean nation.

The Friday demonstration organized by several religious groups comes two days after watchdog groups condemned what they say is an increase in threats targeting homosexuals in Haiti.

A group called the Haitian Coalition of Religious and Moral Organizations said three weeks ago that it disagreed with recent laws in other countries supporting gay marriage.

Haiti’s small gay and lesbian community has long remained largely underground because of a strong social stigma that sparks fears of physical violence and loss of employment.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Lizards show evolution is predictable

If you could hit the reset button on evolution and start over, would essentially the same species appear? Yes, according to a study of Caribbean lizards by researchers at the University of California, Davis, Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts. The work is published July 19 in the journal Science. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

Obama’s Latest Blunder Is Treasonous In 178 Countries

By Floyd Brown

Democrats Despise Taxpayers SC Obamas Latest Blunder is Treasonous in 178 Countries

In May, I shared with you the details about 172 House members visiting over 90 countries and every continent except Antarctica in 2012 – all on your dime. But members of the U.S. House of Representatives actually travel modestly compared to the VIP travel undertaken by Obama’s friends and appointees.

And of course, any travel review needs to start with the travel queen of the last four years, Hillary Clinton.

Hillary traveled at a record-setting pace, journeying 956,733 miles and setting foot in 112 countries. This adds up to 2,084 hours spent flying around the world, which is equivalent to 86 whole days spent aboard her government-issued luxury jetliner. And how do we know these facts? Because she likes to brag about them.

But when it comes to costs, your guess is as good as mine. Despite repeated Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, her department refuses to come clean about how much this travel cost U.S. taxpayers.

Ironically, Obama’s “most transparent administration in history” works hard to hide the details of the luxurious globe-trotting. But thanks to some hard work by lawyers using the Freedom of Information Act, some other portions of the travel details are beginning to surface.

And That’s Only the Beginning…

It’s only proper that Attorney General Eric Holder tells us how much his travels cost, since he’s the federal officer in charge of FOIA compliance. While he hasn’t been too diligent about asking others to comply, he did comply himself – to some degree.

From his disclosures, we learned that during 2011, Holder filed 62 long-distant jaunts that cost us, at a minimum, $1.45 million. However, he refused to disclose flight costs for seven major trips out, including travels to China, Hawaii, and Brussels.

Holder’s travelling includes an April 2011 sojourn to Las Vegas, mixing business and personal travel, which totaled $46,358. Other “personal” trips, including visits to Martha’s Vineyard and Miami, cost us taxpayers a whopping $169,502.

And of course there’s Joe Biden. Today, we learned that the vice-president’s six-day trip to South America and the Caribbean included one 20-hour stop in Trinidad and Tobago that cost an astounding $245,000. As has become standard, the contract was awarded without “full and open competition” because of security and logistical concerns.

Yet the scariest part is that, while the travel for administration officials sounds expensive to those of us who pay our own bills while flying coach or driving on our summer trips, these Obama appointees don’t even hold a candle to Michelle and Barack.

First, there was Michelle Obama’s 2012 President’s Day weekend ski vacation to Aspen, Colorado with her two daughters. The total cost for the Aspen ski vacation was at least $83,182.99. The bill for the U.S. Secret Service, including accommodations at the Fasching Haus deluxe condominiums and the Inn at Aspen, came to $48,950.38. The cost for the flight, per official DOD published hourly rates, was $22,583.70.  Food and miscellaneous on-flight items cost $235.44. The cost for rental cars totaled $6,442.23.

But that’s nothing. A drop in the bucket. More importantly, …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Groups condemn threats against Haiti's gay society

Watchdog groups in Haiti are condemning what they say has been a series of threats targeting the Caribbean nation’s small gay community.

Attorney Mario Joseph and gay rights advocate Charlot Jeudy said at a news conference Wednesday that people who are gay or lesbian should be able to live freely without being harassed or attacked.

Jeudy is the president of a gay rights group. He says he was recently the victim of several threats, including a call from someone who told him to shut his mouth, or have it shut for him.

The conference comes three weeks after several Protestant leaders in Haiti said on national television that they disagreed with recent laws in other countries supporting gay marriage.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Cuba calls weapons on North Korean ship 'obsolete'

Cuba said military equipment found buried under sacks of sugar on a North Korean ship seized as it tried to cross the Panama Canal was obsolete weaponry from the mid-20th century that it had sent to be repaired.

Panamanian authorities said it might take a week to search the ship, since so far they have only examined one of its five container sections. They have requested help from United Nations inspectors, along with Colombia and Britain, said Javier Carballo, Panama’s top narcotics prosecutor. North Korea is barred by U.N. sanctions from importing sophisticated weapons or missiles.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said Tuesday that the ship identified as the 14,000-ton Chong Chon Gang, which had departed Cuba en route to North Korea, was carrying missiles and other arms “hidden in containers underneath the cargo of sugar.”

Martinelli tweeted a photo showing a green tube that appears to be a horizontal antenna for the SNR-75 “Fan Song” radar, which is used to guide missiles fired by the SA-2 air-defense system found in former Warsaw Pact and Soviet-allied nations, said Neil Ashdown, an analyst for IHS Jane’s Intelligence.

“It is possible that this could be being sent to North Korea to update its high-altitude air-defense capabilities,” Ashdown said. Jane’s also said the equipment could be headed to North Korea to be upgraded.

North Korea has not commented on the seizure, during which 35 North Koreans were arrested after resisting police efforts to intercept the ship in Panamanian waters last week, according to Martinelli. He said the captain had a heart attack and also tried to commit suicide.

But Cuba’s Foreign Ministry released a statement late Tuesday acknowledging that the military equipment belonged to the Caribbean nation, saying it had been shipped out to be repaired and returned to the island.

“The agreements subscribed by Cuba in this field are supported by the need to maintain our defensive capacity in order to preserve national sovereignty,” the statement read.

It said the vessel was bound for North Korea mostly loaded with sugar — 10,000 tons of it — but added that the cargo also included 240 metric tons of “obsolete defensive weapons”: two Volga and Pechora anti-aircraft missile systems, nine missiles “in parts and spares,” two Mig-21 Bis and 15 engines for those airplanes.

It …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

N. Korean ship carrying weapons seized near Panama Canal

A North Korean ship carrying weapons system parts buried under sacks of sugar was seized as it tried to cross the Panama Canal on its way from Cuba to its home country, which is barred by United Nations sanctions from importing sophisticated weapons or missiles, Panamanian officials said Tuesday.

The ship appeared to be transporting a radar-control system for a Soviet-era surface-to-air missile system, according to a private defense analysis firm that examined a photograph of the find.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said the ship identified as the 14,000-ton Chong Chon Gang was carrying missiles and other arms “hidden in containers underneath the cargo of sugar.”

Martinelli tweeted a photo showing a green tube that appears to be a horizontal antenna for the SNR-75 “Fan Song” radar, which used to guide missiles fired by the SA-2 air-defense system found in former Warsaw Pact and Soviet-allied nations, said Neil Ashdown, an analyst for IHS Jane’s Intelligence.

“It is possible that this could be being sent to North Korea to update its high-altitude air-defense capabilities,” Ashdown said.

Panamanian authorities said one container buried under sugar sacks contained radar equipment that appears to be designed for use with air-to-air or surface-to-air missiles, said Belsio Gonzalez, director of Panama’s National Aeronautics and Ocean Administration. He said Panamanian authorities expected to find the missiles themselves in containers that must still be searched. An Associated Press journalist who gained access to the rusting ship saw green shipping containers that had been covered by hundreds, perhaps thousands, of white sacks marked “Cuban Raw Sugar.”

Later Tuesday, Cuba acknowledged that the military equipment belonged to the Caribbean nation, saying it had been shipped out to be repaired and returned to the island.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry said the vessel was bound for North Korea mostly loaded with sugar but added that the cargo also included 240 metric tons of “obsolete defensive weapons”: two Volga and Pechora anti-aircraft missile systems, nine missiles “in parts and spares,” two Mig-21 Bis and 15 engines for those airplanes.

“The agreements subscribed by Cuba in this field are supported by the need to maintain our defensive capacity in order to preserve national sovereignty,” the statement read.

The U.N. Security Council has imposed four rounds of increasingly tougher sanctions against North Korea since its first nuclear test on Oct. 9, 2006.

Under current sanctions, all U.N. member states are prohibited from directly or indirectly supplying, selling or transferring all arms, missiles or missile systems and the equipment and technology to make them to North Korea, with the exception of small arms and light weapons.

The most recent resolution, approved in March after Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, authorizes all countries to inspect cargo in or transiting through their territory that originated in North Korea, or is destined to North Korea if a state has credible information the cargo could violate Security Council resolutions.

“Panama obviously has an important responsibility to ensure that the Panama Canal is utilized for safe and legal commerce,” said Acting U.S. Ambassador Rosemary DiCarlo, who is the current Security Council president. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

British royal pregnancy a trial for Kate

The Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy has seen her endure illness, media frenzies, bikini shot scandals and a prank that ultimately ended in tragedy.

The news that Prince William’s wife Catherine was expecting a baby was released on December 3, after she was taken to hospital suffering from acute morning sickness.

Three days earlier, Kate had shown no sign of discomfort as she played hockey on a visit to one of her former schools.

The new arrival will be directly in line to inherit the British throne after William, who is second-in-line after his father Prince Charles.

But joy at the news of a baby tinged with concern for the duchess’s condition, soon turned to anger and then tragedy.

During her three-night stay at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, a hoax phonecall made by two Australian radio presenters — pretending to be Queen Elizabeth II and William’s father Prince Charles — resulted in details of Kate’s condition being divulged.

The stunt, by Michael Christian and Mel Greig, triggered a global media storm of its own and sparked a backlash against the presenters and the radio network.

Jacintha Saldanha, the Indian nurse who answered and put through the call, was found hanged on December 7, having taken her own life.

William and Kate were left “deeply saddened” by her death, a spokesman said.

England’s state prosecutors eventually decided not to bring any charges against the radio hosts, saying that “however misguided, the telephone call was intended as a harmless prank”.

Looking well, Kate returned to public duties on December 16 at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, handing Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins the main trophy.

But in February, pictures of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge holidaying on the Caribbean island of Mustique were printed in Italian and Australian publications, showing Kate in a bikini, her baby bump clearly visible.

Infuriated, St James’s Palace called it a “clear breach of the couple’s right to privacy”. It came after topless pictures of the duchess had been published the previous September, incensing the royals.

Britain’s media got themselves into a frenzy in early March, believing Kate had accidentally given away the sex of their baby while meeting members of the public on a visit to a fishing town.

National newspapers ran front-page headlines reading “It’s a girl!”.

However, recordings of the exchange revealed nothing of the sort.

“Is this for us? Oh, thank-you so much, it’s very, very sweet of you,” she said as she was handed a teddy bear.

“Did you nearly say my daughter?” a 67-year-old woman a few metres away asked shortly afterwards.

“No, no, no,” the duchess replied. “We don’t know”.

But the molecule of confusion was enough to get the papers all in a lather.

“Obviously, Will’s grown up in it, but Kate’s become very used to that kind of circus,” said Claire Irvin, editor-in-chief of Mother and Baby magazine.

The duchess carried out her final solo public engagement on June 13, launching a new liner in the southern English port of Southampton, sending a 15-litre bottle of champagne smashing into its hull.

Two days later …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Five Reasons To Love The Four Seasons Resort, Nevis

By Lisa Loverro, Contributor

Nevis epitomizes an island paradise. But while the visual beauty of this island located in the West Indies is undeniable, it’s the hospitality of the local people and its luxury resorts that will take you by surprise. The most luxurious of resorts is the Four Seasons, Nevis; the one that put this tiny and relatively unknown island in the Caribbean on the map.  Here’s my top reasons to love this property.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Did Berkshire's Poaching Just Send AIG Back Into the Abyss?

By Jessica Alling, The Motley Fool

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Executives move from from one company to another all the time — that’s a normal proceeding of the business world. But when several high-ranking executives leave all at once for the same company, we’re often seeing a piece of a larger puzzle. That’s what we saw this past Friday, when it was announced that four top employees were defecting from AIG to join the team at Berkshire Hathaway .

The moves pose several questions for AIG investors: Are the people in the know fleeing because they know something we don’t? Does this leave AIG vulnerable? How will the company move forward? Let’s look at the people that left, how it may effect AIG, and what you should consider for your investment.

Name that executive!
A quick lineup of the defecting executives gives you a good idea of how Berkshire will be using their talent:

  • Peter Eastwood, head of AIG‘s U.S. property-casualty operations.
  • David Bresnahan, president of  Lexington Insurance, the excess and surplus insurance division of AIG.
  • Sanjay Godhwani, president for Latin America and the Caribbean for AIG‘s property-casualty operations.
  • David Fields, another top property-casualty executive.

Berkshire is ranked seventh overall in the property-casualty providers as of year-end 2012, with 3.88% of the market share, while AIG is ranked fifth with 4.58%. So with three of the new employees heading major P&C units for AIG, their knowledge will surely help Berkshire to expand where necessary. The final member, Bresnahan, led the excess and surplus operations — one of AIG‘s most successful segments, with the company dominating the market with an estimated 20% share. Berkshire’s E&S operations are only a fraction of AIG‘s, with an estimated 1.6% of the $25 billion market.

So with that info, we can see what Berkshire’s objectives might be, but where does that leave AIG? The company itself has stated that it possesses a “deep bench,” with lots of talented and capable people willing to step up and take over added responsibilities after the departures. Since the business operations of the P&C and E&S divisions are so established, there is little to fear that the whole house of cards will fall because of the changes in personnel. But regardless, the move is a big hit to AIG whether it realizes it or not.

It’s all a matter of perception
In investing, perception of a company can oftentimes sway someone’s opinion enough to make or abstain from a buy. With AIG, the company’s involvement in the financial crisis has created a lasting impression on investors that the company is bad, weak, deceiving, and the like. And with the news that four top players are leaving, investors’ perception of the company may be sustaining that impression further.

If you note the timing of this news, it’s easy to guess that these executives stayed with AIG throughout the resolution of the bailout and now think it’s an appropriate time to seek new positions since the company has paid off all of the governmental money. In

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Trinidad opposition seeks Jack Warner resignation

The leader of Trinidad’s main opposition party is seeking the resignation of former world soccer vice president Jack Warner, who currently serves as the island’s national security minister.

Opposition leader Keith Rowley said late Friday that he will present the issue for debate in Parliament next week.

His comments came just hours after CONCACAF‘s ethics and integrity committee released a report stating Warner and the former secretary general of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football enriched themselves through fraud during their terms with the organization.

Warner is a former vice president of the world soccer body FIFA who oversaw North American and Caribbean soccer for almost 30 years. He resigned in June 2011 to avoid investigation into a bribery scandal.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/world/~3/fyUbn9Mwb0Q/

Best Yoga Retreats 2013: 8 Wellness Centers To Visit In The U.S. (PHOTOS)

By The Huffington Post News Editors

With wellness travel gaining popularity (it’s already been labeled a major tourism trend of 2013), destination yoga retreats have popped up around the world. India, Thailand, Mexico and the Caribbean have become hotspots for wellness travel, but some of the best retreat centers on the globe are here in the U.S., including yoga epicenters like Kripalu and Omega and intimate lodges in the Santa Barbara mountains and along the Hawaiian coastline.

If you’re looking for a getaway where you can really get away from it all — and, of course, return to your center — consider one of these top-notch retreat centers around the country, from the Big Island to the Colorado Rockies.

Tell us: Have you been to any of these retreat centers? Would you ever try a yoga retreat? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet @HuffPostTravel.

Read More…
More on Less Stress, More Living

From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/20/best-yoga-retreats-2013-8_n_3117491.html