Tuesday, 30 June 2015
United Kingdom: Airlines To Throw Out Drunkards
You might want to think twice about that next tipple at 34,000 feet... drunk passengers could be banned from flying with airlines for life.
Jet2, which operates 19 flights out of Belfast International Airport, is cracking down on unruly passengers as holiday companies report a "record double figure rise" in disruptive behavior.
UK travel operators are calling for industry-wide measures to tackle the problem as the summer holiday season moves into full swing.
And budget carrier Jet2 has already put new rules in place, saying it will ban disruptive passengers for life.
Managing Director Phil Ward said he had seen passengers swigging from cans of lager at 5.30am in Manchester Airport and was concerned about “pre-loading” before flights.
“The plane is not a nightclub,” he said. “It’s six miles up and going at 500mph so you can’t step outside to get some fresh air.”
The airline says it has "empowered its staff to take decisions quickly" by giving verbal and written warnings to disruptive passengers and will divert the aircraft to the nearest airport to off-load "particularly offensive people" before flying remaining passengers on to their holiday destination.
It will also hand such passengers them over to the police, issue a bill for the cost of any diversion and take legal action post-travel.
"Over the past two years, unruly and disorderly behavior often linked to excessive alcohol consumption prior to embarkation has risen drastically on-board aircraft," the company said in a statement.
"Cabin crew increasingly have to deal with people displaying abusive, racist and often noisy and aggressive conduct, causing misery and disruption for other passengers nearby."
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Turkey: Russian Crisis HurtsTurkey's Tourism
As the number of Russian visitors has dropped 30 percent, an economic cost of $2.5 billion has been forecast, while 20,000 people in the Mediterranean province of Antalya are expected to lose their jobs.
According to the president of the Union of Mediterranean Hotel Owners (AKTOB), Yusuf Hacısüleyman, who recently attended a meeting with top figures from the Ministry of tourism and Culture regarding the crisis facing the sector, Antalya has seen 450,000 fewer visitors already this year, with that figure likely to increase to one million by the end of the season.
“We had calculated this. With precautions we will take over the next few years, we will try to minimize losses as much as possible. There is a general loss and we will see if we are be able to ensure that things return to normal. We may create appealing prices for local tourists,” Hacısüleyman said
The decline in tourists will lead to a 10 percent decline in employment in the area, he stated. “Our country needs the tourism revenue, but it is also very important for the fundamental social life [of young people], as tourism is the sector that provides these young people the most jobs,” the AKTOB president said, adding that 189,000 are employed in the Antalya tourism industry, but that the number will soon shrink by 18,000-20,000 jobs.
“There has been an increase in British, American and German visitors, and only a decline in Russians. The situation resembles a flat tire, but we didn't flatten the tire, Russia did,” Turkish Association of Travel Agents (TÜRSAB) board chairman Başaran Ulusoy told Today's Zaman.
Ulusoy said that other countries competing for tourism have depicted Turkey as a country entangled in war. “Our closest province to Syria is Şanlıurfa, but they are practically portraying İstanbul as immersed in war,” he added.
Rawda Hotels Turkey Director Muhammet Emin Dilberoğlu said that hotel vacancy rates are rising as numbers of tourists decline, and that many customers are even asking if violent conflict is happening in Turkey prior to booking rooms.
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Italy: Japanese Tourist Drugged & Robbed
A Japanese tourist and his wife were robbed in central Naples after a man offered him a coffee spiked with a sedative.
The tourist, 33, and his wife, 35, were reportedly approached by a man outside the train station on piazza Garibaldi, Il Mattino reported.
The man offered them a coffee, which the male tourist graciously accepted, and the three went into a bar.
But unknown to the tourist, their new friend had added a strong sedative to the drink, causing him to fall unconscious.
Pushing the woman to the ground, the thief then grabbed her purse and fled.
The woman was able to raise the alarm by shouting and the police found the suspect hiding behind some cars in a courtyard.
The bag was returned to the woman, who was then taken to the police station where her husband was lying unconscious.
The couple were taken to hospital, where the woman was treated for bruises and the man was found to have been drugged with benziodiazepines, a class of psychoactive drugs sometimes used as a sedative.
The thief was identified as 40-year-old Luigi Esposito from Ponticelli, an eastern suburb of Naples. He was found to be in possession of the drug and was promptly arrested and taken to Poggioreale prison.
Esposito was also arrested in July 2012 for a similar robbery involving sedatives.
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Indonesia: Dozens Dead In Aircrash
Dozens are feared dead after an Indonesian military transport plane crashed shortly after take-off into a city on Sumatra island, exploding in a ball of flames in a residential area. At least 72 bodies recovered after Hercules aircraft crashed into hotel and houses in city of Medan
All 113 on board an Indonesian air force transport plane that crashed Tuesday into a major city on Sumatra are believed to have been killed, the country's air force chief said.
There were 12 crew and 101 passengers on the Hercules C-130 when it went down and burst into flames in a residential area of Medan city, Marshall Agus Supriatna said
The Hercules plane hit a hotel and houses in the northern Sumatra city of Medan on Tuesday, an official said.
The air force chief, Air Marshall Agus Supriatna, said there were 12 crew and more than 100 passengers on the plane before it reached Medan but it is unclear how many were on board when it left.
The plane was on its way from an air force base in Medan to the remote Natuna islands and crashed a few minutes after takeoff.
Asked if he believed anyone had survived, he said: "No, no. No survivors. I just returned from the site." He said that 49 bodies had so far been recovered and taken to hospital.
Buildings were left in ruins and cars reduced to flaming wrecks after the plane came down in Medan, a city of two million.An Indonesian military plane has crashed in a residential area in the capital of North Sumatra with 113 people on board, according to Indonesian Air Force officials.
Rescue teams are working through the night to recover bodies from the wreckage of the plane.
Many passengers were families of military personnel. Hitching rides on military planes to reach remote destinations is common in Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago that spans three time zones.
Indonesian Air Force chief of staff Agus Supriatna said 72 bodies had so far been pulled from the rubble, and 23 of those bodies had been identified.
He said there was no way anybody could have survived the crash.
It is unclear whether the victims were military personnel or civilians. Smoke billowed from the site and several thousand people milled nearby. Rescue teams scrambled over the rubble, searching for any survivors.
The plane had traveled from the capital, Jakarta, and stopped at two locations before arriving at Medan. The air force is still to trying to determine how many people got off or boarded during that journey.
Supriatna said the aircraft was produced in 1964, but was well maintained and was regularly used to transport personnel. “It’s an all-weather aircraft, our mainstay for transport aircraft,” he said.
It is the third Indonesian Air Force Hercules to crash since 2001, when a Hercules overshot the runway and burst into flames with no casualties, according to the Aviation Safety Network.
In 2009, an Indonesian Air Force Hercules hit four houses before skidding into a rice field killing 95 people onboard and two on the ground, the group said.
In December, an Airbus A320 run by AirAsia crashed on a flight from Indonesia to Singapore, killing all 162 people onboard.
Mr Supriatna said the 50-year-old C130 Hercules had 12 crew and another 101 passengers on board when it took off from Soewondo Air Base in Medan shortly before midday (local time) on Tuesday.
Minutes into the flight, the pilot requested permission to return to the base.
The plane then banked to the right and plummeted into the ground, bursting into flames and wiping out buildings, including part of a hotel.
Indonesian military spokesman Major General Fuad Basya said the cause for the crash is yet unknown.
He said the plane did not have a black box flight record, which would make investigations into the crash difficult.
Dozens of people on the ground were also killed nearly ten years ago, when a commercial jet crashed in the same street.
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Ethiopia: Gambela National Park
Located in the Gambela Region, its 5061 square kilometers of territory is encroached upon by cotton plantations and refugee camps. The general topography of the Park is flat, with some areas of higher ground where deciduous woodland and savanna occur; these higher areas are often rocky with large termite mounds. About 66% of the area is considered shrubland, 15% is forest, while 17% has been modified by man. Gambela National Park also supports extensive areas of wet grassland and swamps where the native grasses grow over 3 metres in height. Ethiopia as a tourist destination remains well behind its potential, and while known for its history, ancient cultures, and allegedly hidden treasures.The mystical Ark is rumored to have been hidden in Ethiopia somewhere,the country is not too well known for its national parks. The Gambela Park was established primarily to protect two species of endangered wetland antelopes: the White-eared Kob and the Nile Lechwe. Other wildlife reported as living here include elephant, African Buffalo, lion, roan antelope, tiang, Lelwel Hartebeest, olive baboon, and guereza monkey. Several birds only found in this area include the shoebill stork, the Long-tailed Paradise Whydah and the Red-throated and Green Bee-eaters. Located about 600 kilometres from Addis Ababa on the river Baro, Gambela has a strange history. From 1902 until it was captured by the Italians in the Second World War, it was administered by the British, the only part of Ethiopia to be so governed, The reason for this is that the British opened a port there on the wide and navigable Baro River, which during four months of the rainy season is navigable and provides direct access to the sea via the Nile through Khartoum. Ethiopian coffee was exported via this route, up to 1940. Now the port has fallen into disrepair, though remains of the warehouses and jetty can be seen. At its peak, up to 40 ships would be in dock at any one time. The undulating plains of high Sudanese grass offer excellent opportunities for wilderness exploration. It is not particularly easy to access however. Beyond Gambela towards the Sudanese border, the Anuak cultivators give way to the nomadic Nuer. These pastoralists herd their long-horned cattle into huge camps when they stop for the night. The presence in the park of a permanent major river, the Baro, which flows towards the Nile, adds to the attraction of the park as it is navigable for much of the year though reportedly not used for regular trips by tourists and its depth and width makes a good habitat for many hippo colonies and the giant Nile Perch. The most common plains game are reportedly the white-eared kob, also found in the hundreds of thousands at Boma National Park in Southern Sudan, and the Nile or Kafue Lechwe. In the river are to be found huge Nile perch, up to 100 kilograms, crocodiles and hippos. Other wildlife includes buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, Roan antelope, zebra, bushbuck, Abyssinian reedbuck, warthog, hartebeest, hyena, lion and elephant. Unfortunately, there are very few animals to be seen in the park, but the birds are many and varied, the olive baboon and the local race of the vervet, with its white whiskers, are the very common, as is the black and white colobus monkey. Bus links to Addis Ababa via Bako. (Min 2 day journey) 4 weekly flights from Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Airlines (Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat). All accommodation is to be found in nearby Gambela town. Ethiopia has rich tourism assets. With its diverse tourist attractions, which include cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, as well as a great variety of flora and fauna, the government of Ethiopia has initiated a number of measures to preserve and develop tourist sites throughout the country. Tourist infrastructures in various national parks have been upgraded, while renovation work on roads linking the parks with major roads and lodges is being carried out. Other measures include the protection of animals from illegal hunting in sanctuaries and parks, as well as the conservation of heritage sites, nine of which are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Through these activities, Ethiopia has seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting its many attractions. Ethiopia continued to record positive growth in tourist arrivals over the review period. The country achieved larger tourist numbers in 2012 than in 2011 thanks to increased participation in international travel and tourism exhibitions. Showcasing the nation’s tourism products globally has enabled Ethiopia to promote its natural, cultural and historical attractions to the rest of the world. This has helped the country to attract more international tourists and also generated more travel and tourism revenue. Some of the notable international tourism and trade fairs Ethiopia has participated in recent years include the ITB, Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin, the World Travel Market in London, the Moscow International Tourism Fair and the Shanghai 2010 Expo. Good luck Ethiopia Paul Okia firstname.lastname@example.org www.happytoursug.com Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa email@example.com www.happytoursug.com
Jordan: Tour Groups Cancel Bookings Enmass
Tourism is one of the most important sectors in Jordan's economy. In 2010, over 8 million tourists from various countries visited Jordan, with tourist receipts amounting to about 3.5 billion dollars. An additional $1 billion was earned through medical tourism to the kingdom. In 2011, Jordanian tourism lost $1 billion due to the political instability across the region. Its major tourist attractions include visiting historical sites, like the worldwide famous Petra (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, and one of New Seven Wonders of the World), the Jordan River, Mount Nebo, Madaba, numerous medieval mosques and churches, and unspoiled natural locations (as Wadi Rum and Jordan's northern mountainous region in general), as well as observing cultural and religious sites and traditions. Jordan also offers health tourism, which is focused in the Dead Sea area, education tourism, hiking, scuba diving in Aqaba's coral reefs, pop-culture tourism and shopping tourism in Jordan's cities. More than half of the approximate 4.8 Arab tourists in 2009, mainly from the GCC, said they plan to spend their holidays in Jordan. Campsites are empty, and 4x4 tourist trucks are lying idle yet not many years ago they were busy ferrying tourists on guided tours daily to the red dessert. While tourism in Jordan has been on the decline since the outbreak of the Arab Spring uprisings four years ago, it has witnessed its sharpest drop in 2015, with the number of tourists in the first four months of the year down 40 percent from 2014. The tourism sector makes up 13 percent of Jordan's gross domestic product, and provides jobs in hotels and resorts for around 49,000 people. This figure excludes members of local communities - Bedouins in Petra and Onaizi in Rum - whose livelihoods are based on tourism. Officials and experts in the sector attribute the decline to Jordan's prominent role in the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). "We are paying a tax for being in the middle of an inflamed region," said Abul Razaq Arabiat, the head of Jordan's Tourism Board. In December, ISIL downed a Jordanian jet and captured its pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, in the Syrian city of Raqqa. In February, ISIL released a video showing the pilot being burned alive, sparking angry protests across Jordan calling for revenge and increased Jordanian air strikes against the group in Syria. Instability around us will remain our biggest challenge.Abul Razaq Arabiat, head of Jordan's tourism board laments. Tourism industry leaders say the worldwide publicity created by these events scared off thousands of tourists, prompting tour groups to cancel their bookings to the kingdom. "The pilot crisis created a perception that Jordan is not safe," said Lina Khalid, director of the Jordan Inbound Tour Operators Association. The capture of the pilot happened at around the same time as the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, which Khalid believes also caused thousands of cancellations. Many French tourists were worried by demonstrations against the cartoons that took place in Jordan. Late last year and early this year, the US and French embassies in Jordan issued travel warnings, asking their citizens to be cautious and to stay away from malls and shopping centres in the country. The travel warnings have discouraged many Westerners from visiting Jordan. The drop in tourists is most noticeable in what is known as Jordan's "golden triangle" of tourism: the sites of Wadi Rum, Petra, and Aqaba. Occupancy of hotels in the region has not exceeded 20 percent so far this year, whereas normally occupancy rates reach 90-95 percent. The ancient city of Petra is nearly empty, a few dozen tourists roam the petra to visit its cavernous gorges and rock-carved temples. Out of desperation. Bedouin men and women advertised 50-percent-off sales on silver and antiques, while young men strolled back and forth, treading the same dusty paths with their horses and camels, trying to convince the handful of visitors to take a guided tour. In Petra alone, more than 10 hotels have been reported closed this year due to mounting losses, and many have reduced their staff, leaving hundreds of residents jobless. In Rum village, which has a population of roughly 1,300, people rely mainly on tourism as a source of income, while others work in the military or herd animals. Tour guides say that unless the industry rebounds soon, they will have to abandon their livelihoods as tour guides. Tour guides say in previous years, they used to host up to 30 or 40 people a night for each of the guides but now, barely any come in an entire week. Religious Tourist Sites Muwakir (Arabic for Machaerus) was the hilltop stronghold of Herod the Great. Upon Herod's death, his son Herod Antipas inhabited the fortress, and ordered John the Baptist to be beheaded there and where the fabled Salomé daughter of Herodias is said to have danced the famous Dance of the Seven Veils thus asking for John the Baptists' head. Jordan River, which is the river where Jesus was baptised by John the Baptist according to Christian tradition. Madaba is well known for its mosaics, as well as important religious sites such as The Madaba Map, the oldest surviving original cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and especially Jerusalem. It dates to the 6th century AD. Mount Nebo, where Moses was said to have gone to get a view of the Promised Land before he died, according to the Bible. Seaside Tourist Sites Aqaba - is a town on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba with numerous shopping centers, hotels and access to various water sports and protected coral reefs and marine life. It has the ruins of the mediaeval town of Ayla and other Edomite ruins. Aqaba also has a vibrant nightlife scene especially on holiday weekends when thousands of wealthy Jordanians visit the coastal city. Numerous raves and concerts are held by international DJ's and artists at the major resorts and beach clubs.Aqaba is seeing nearly $20 billion worth of developments centered on tourism and real estate projects transforming the city into a "new Dubai". Dead Sea – It is the lowest point on earth, 402 metres (1,319 ft) below sea level,and becomes 1 meter lower each year. It is the only depository of River Jordan and was part of the biblical kingdoms of Midianites and later the Moabites. The Dead Sea area is home to numerous world-class resorts such as the Sheraton, Crown Plaza, Kempinski, Mövenpick and Marriott. In addition, there are water parks, a public beach and international restaurants. The ultra-chic destination in the area, however, is the O-Beach which is home to cabanas, bars, international restaurants, and a beach club. Tourist Hot Spots in Jordan Amman: is a modern and cosmopolitan city known for its shopping centers, hotels and an ancient Roman amphitheatre. Mahis:has religious sites. Wadi Rum: is a desert full of mountains and hills located south of Jordan. It is popular for its sights in addition to a variety of sports that are practiced there, such as rock-climbing. It is also known for its connection to D.H. Lawrence; some scenes in Lawrence of Arabia were filmed here. In the late 2000s it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site for its natural and cultural heritage. Irbi:Jordan's second largest city, is home to several museums and malls as well. However, the main reason for foreigners visiting the city is the plethora of universities that the cities host with Jordan University of Science and Technology and Yarmouk University being the two most prominent. The city hosts a large student population from all across Jordan, the Middle East and internationally. Irbid's University Street is home to the most internet cafes per mile in the world. Fuheis: a town about 20 minutes north-west of Amman known for its traditional 18th and 19th century churches and turn of the century provincial Jordanian architecture. Goodlife in Jordan Jordan, most specifically Amman and to a lesser extent Aqaba, has emerged as one of the region's hotspots for nightlife. Alongside Dubai, Beirut, Sharm el Sheikh, and Manama, Amman is a premier clubbing destination in the Arab World and the Middle East. The country has seen an explosion in nightlife options ranging from high end nightclubs and bars in the capital city to world-class raves at the Dead Sea and Wadi Rum. Aqaba too has seen a proliferation in nightclubs and beach clubs as a result of the massive of foreign investment and influx of foreign labor and tourists due to the establishment of the special economic zone, ASEZA. Distant Heat held annually in Wadi Rum is considered one of the world's top raves. Natural Reserves Azraq Wetland Reserve - Azraq is a unique wetland oasis located in the heart of the semi-arid Jordanian eastern desert, managed by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN). Its attractions include several natural and ancient built pools, a seasonally flooded marshland, and a large mudflat known as Qa'a Al-Azraq. A wide variety of birds stop at the reserve each year for a rest during their arduous migration routes between Asia and Africa. Some stay for the winter or breed within the protected areas of the wetland. Dana Biosphere Reserve - covers 308 square kilometres, composed of a chain of valleys and mountains which extend from the top of the Jordan Rift Valley down to the desert lowlands of Wadi Araba. Dana is home to about 600 species of plants, 37 species of mammals and 190 species of birds. Mujib Nature Reserve - the lowest nature reserve in the world, with a spectacular array of scenery near the east coast of the Dead Sea. The reserve is located within the deep Wadi Mujib gorge, which enters the Dead Sea at 410 metres below sea level. The Reserve extends to the Kerak and Madaba mountains to the north and south, reaching 899 metres above sea level in some places. Wadi Mujib enjoys a magnificent bio-diversity that is still being explored and documented today. Over 300 species of plants, 10 species of carnivores and numerous species of permanent and migratory birds have been recorded. Shaumari Wildlife Reserve - The Shaumari Reserve was created in 1975 by the RSCN as a breeding centre for endangered or locally extinct wildlife. Today, following breeding programmes with some of the world's leading wildlife parks and zoos, this small, 22-square-kilometre reserve is a thriving protected environment for some of the most rare species in the Middle East, as Arabian oryx, ostriches, gazelles and onagers, which are depicted on many 6th century Byzantine mosaics. Jordan is investing heavily in its tourist infrastructure in the form of luxury hotels, spas, resorts, and massive real estate projects, as The "Abdali Urban Regeneration" Project and the "Marsa Zayed" in Aqaba. Luxury residential housing like Sanaya Amman and the Living Wall are attracting affluent Persian Gulf vacationers to buy property in Jordan. Queen Alia International Airport is being expanded to handle 9 million passengers annually in the first phase; 12 million in the second phase. With the establishment of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, nearly twenty billion dollars have been invested in Jordan's sole coastal city. Luxurious resorts such as Saraya Aqaba and Tala Bay are being constructed with more in the pipleline like the $1 billion Ayla Oasis. With Jordan becoming increasing popular as a cruising destination, a new and modern cruise ship terminal is being constructed in the Marsa Zayed project. The Jordanian government has said its considering an "emergency plan" to sort out the challenges facing the country's tourism industry. The measures include waiving the $56 visa fee for visitors staying in the country for a minimum of two consecutive nights, and introducing a new, $100 "all-inclusive" pass for the country's most famous tourist sites, such as Petra, Jerash, and the site where Jesus is believed to have been baptised. Currently, the entry fee to Petra alone is $70. There is doubt whether these measures will be enough to counter potential tourists' security concerns. Instability in Jordan remains a great challenge for as long as the middle east is in turmoil, thanks to Islamic States fighters who have destroyed tourism and scared them in the entire middle east region, as all countries in the region are affected. Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa firstname.lastname@example.org www.happytoursug.com
Gambia: Drug Trafficking at Banjul International Airport
Tembisa Chichi Soares, a native of Brazil, who was apprehended at the Banjul International Airport in August by National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDEA) officers and subsequently charged on drug related offences was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment and a fine of D300, 000 by Magistrate Dayoh S.M Dago of the Banjul Magistrates’ Court, while her co- accused, Obiora John Nwobudu, a Nigerian national, was acquitted and discharged. Delivering the judgment in a crowded court room, the trial magistrate indicated that the two acused persons Madam Soares, first accused, and Mr. Nwododo, second accused, were both arraigned before the court on a four (4) count charge; that on Count (1), the 1st ·accused Soares is charged for being in possession of prohibited Drugs for the purpose of drug trafficking contrary to section 43A (1) of the Drugs Control Act Amended recently again in 2011; according to the particulars of offence, Soares on or about the 20th of August 2013, at the Banjul International Airport in the West Coast Region of the Republic of The Gambia had in her possession 6 kilograms 780grams of cocaine, a prohibited drug, and thereby Committed an offence. He said on Count 2, both the 1st and 2nd accused persons are charged with Conspiracy to commit an offence contrary to section 53 (1) (a) of the Drug Control Act 2003 as amended; that the particulars of offence stated that both accused persons on or about the 20th of August 2013, at the Banjul International Airport in the West Coast Region of the Republic of The Gambia conspired to traffic 6 kilograms 780grams of cocaine, a prohibited drug and thereby committed an offence. On Count 3, trial magistrate indicated that the 1st accused person, Soares, is charged with dealing in prohibited drugs contrary to section 33 (1) (d) of the Drug Control Act 2003 as amended; that the particulars of offence stated that Soares on or about the 20th of August 2013, at the Banjul International Airport in the West Coast Region of the Republic of the Gambia acquired and possessed 6 kilograms 780grams of cocaine, a prohibited drug and thereby committed an offence. The magistrate said Count 4 states that the 2nd accused person, Nwododo, on or about the 20th of August 2013, at the Banjul International Airport in the West Coast Region of The Gambia, imported 6 kilograms 780grams of cocaine, a prohibited drug and thereby committed an offence. The magistrate said in an attempt to establish the guilt of both accused persons, the prosecution called on a total of eleven witnesses and tendered a host of exhibits, whilst the accused persons in their defence testified as a lone witness in their case and tendering no exhibits, but were represented by counsels. “The 1st and 2nd accused persons are both acquitted and discharged on count 2 and the 2nd accused person is hereby acquitted and discharged on count(4) accordingly,” he said. The magistrate further noted that the first accused person was in actual possession of 6 Kilograms 780grams of prohibited cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and dealing in prohibited drugs contrary to the laws of the Gambia. “I therefore conclusively hold as a fact that the prosecution has fully discharged the legal burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt. The accused person Tembisa Chichi Soares is found guilty on count one being in possession of prohibited drugs for the purpose of drug trafficking and also found guilty on count 3 dealing in prohibited drugs,” said the magistrate Plea of Mitigation: Defence counsel Akimbo urged the court not to impose a custodial sentence on the convict; adding that the court has such powers not to impose custodial sentence under Section 29 of the Criminal Procedure Code, but a fine instead. He said the convict is a first time offender without any criminal record and therefore appealed to the court to tamper justice with mercy. Counsel Akimbo further submitted that they shall also rely on the authority of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency versus Muminatou Ceesay, a decision of the lower court in Banjul and a decision of the Gambia Court of Appeal in Nyabally versus the State 1997 Gambia Law Reports. “We hereby urge the court to consider the age of the convict who is an elderly woman and a grandmother,” he appealed. He further submitted, “more importantly Your Worship, we urge the court to put into consideration the medical condition of the convict who is a diabetes patient and her medical reports both in Brazil and the Gambia were mentioned in court,” he disclosed. According to counsel, the convict has shown remorse of her act and has always pleaded for mercy. “In the light of the forgoing, I hereby urge the court to grant the convict an option of fine and for the counts to run concurrently,” he pleaded. Passing his sentence on the convict, the trial magistrate indicated that due to the medical condition of the convict, he is incline to tamper justice with mercy. He then sentenced the convict on count one to 6years imprisonment without hard labour whilst on count two he asked the convict to pay a fine of D300,000 which after payment, 75% should go to the NDEA and 25% be given to the State. He added that the convict should also be deported back to her country after serving her sentence. The trial magistrate finally stated that the convict has the right to appeal within 30 days. State Counsel Abdourahman Bah disclosed to the court that the State intends to appeal against the decision of the court base on Section 285 E sub section 1 and 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code. “We are urging this court to issue an order for the 2nd accused (Nwobuhdu) to be detained pending the determination of the appeal,” Bah submitted. According to counsel Bah, there is high likelihood that the accused person might flee the jurisdiction of the court and therefore the court should issue an order for the 1st accused to be in custody pending the determination of the appeal by the State. Hagum Gaye, counsel for Mr. Nwobuhdu, who was discharged and acquitted by the court, submitted that the law cited by the state to appeal against the decision of the lower court is what they are relying on to ask the court to grant bail to the 2nd accused person. She said the 2nd accused was in detention close to 3 months, adding that the documents of the 2nd accused person have been surrendered to the NDEA. She added that the 2nd accused has a young family and a wife who is heavily pregnant. She finally urged the court to exercise its discretion and admit bail to the aforesaid person pursuant to Section 99 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Replying to the application of the defence, counsel Bah objected for bail to be granted to the 2nd accused, adding that bail is at the discretion of the court and it is also trite law that it should be exercise judicially and judiciously. The trial Magistrate upheld the objection on the bail application sought by the defence. Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa email@example.com www.happytoursug.com
Ethiopia: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
Ever been here? Yes, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport The new airport started operation in January 2003 and is one of the most convenient and welcoming airports in the continent. The facilities are designed to speed up your departure and arrival. Terminal II of the new Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is dedicated to render service for international flights while Terminal I services all domestic flights. Terminal I located at the old airport building and it is handling all domestic and regional flights. Airport code: ICAO: HAAB, IATA: ADD Run ways Run way length Old Run Way: 3.7 Km New Run Way: 3.8 KM Run way angel and direction West: (OLD) 07L, (NEW) 25 R East: (OLD) 07 R, (NEW) 25 L Passenger counters Domestic Passengers Terminal: 14 Counters International Passengers Terminal 28 Counters Total Passenger carrying capacity of Passenger Terminals: 52,800 Passengers Per day 19, 219,200 Per year Departure gates International Passengers Terminal: 7 Domestic Passengers Terminal: 4 Services at the Airport: There are different Restaurants, coffee, Flower, gift, Sovenier, duty free shops and Banking, Telephone, Cab and interntet services available at the airport. Lounges at Addis Ababa Airport Cloud Nine Lounge, located at the Departure Hall, is exclusive for our Cloud Nine Passengers where they can wait for their flight in a relaxing and quiet atmosphere in comfortable seats. Passengers here do not need to worry when to board their flights as Customer Service Agents will personally come to announce the departure time for each flight. For customer’s who have questions connected with their flights, a Customer Service agent is on hand manning the counter. A variety of refreshments, cold and hot snacks and a selection of reading materials are available at all times. The Lounge has a wireless connection and personal computers are also available for customers’ use. For those interested to watch international news or follow a program there are wall mounted TV screens. ShebaMiles Lounge, located on the inside corridor away from the gates in the Departure Hall, is designated for use by our ShebaMiles members with Gold and Silver membership cards. Here, our esteemed Gold/Silver card holders can wait for the departure of their flights comfortably away from the busy area of the Departure Hall. Here also a Customer Service Agent is available at the counter to answer any queries regarding flights. Refreshments including cold and hot snacks and a selection of reading materials are available. Personal Computers are availed for those interested to browse the internet. A wide screen television set is conveniently placed in the lounge for those interested in watching the news or programs. Transit Service Interline Desk on the first floor will facilitate the smooth transit for immediate connecting passengers. For passengers whose connecting flight is over 8 and up to 24 hours, interline desk will facilitate hotel accommodation provided that such passengers have transit /entry visa. For those nationals/ citizens who are eligible for transit visa on arrival, interline desk will facilitate such transit visa. The airline provides a bus service for transfer to/from hotel layover transit passengers. Facilities at the Arrivals Hall A number of hotels have Hotel Contact Booths for passengers who want to book for rooms before exiting the terminal building. Car rentals and city taxis are also available and can be hired at the Arrivals Hall before exiting the terminal. There are a couple of Cafes where passengers can wait in comfort for their pick up. Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa firstname.lastname@example.org www.happytoursug.com
South Sudan: Boma National Park
As water sources dry up after the seasonal rains, and then again when the seasonal rains return, enormous herds of animals migrate in Boma National Park, South Sudan. It is estimated that the migration is far greater than the famous migration of the Serengeti, where nearly 2,000,000 animals search for grazing. Every year the movement takes place at different times depending on the rains. Elephant herd from the air in Boma National Park. Some of the elephants have been radio collared so that they can be tracked. Boma National Park is the largest park or reserve in all of Africa. Many people say Kruger or Ruaha or Virunga are the largest, but no it is Boma at 22,800 square kilometers. Boma National Park is 2,280,000 hectareas (5,631,600 acres) in size. This vast park has virtually no roads or park ranger outposts. Mostly flat it is crossed by many small streams and swamps. White-eared Kob and Zebra in Boma National Park before the civil war began. Today there are few zebra, but 800,000 to 1 million Kob are estimated in the park. In South Sudan, as in the Serengeti, the migration takes place all year, it is a slow movement dependant on the grass and the rains. In March/April/May/June the animals are moving from North to South and West to East, from the Sudd flood plains and Bandigalo National Park, back into Boma National Park and Gambela Park in Ethiopia, because the rains will have started. In November/December/January the animals are moving from South to North and East to West as the dry season is well under way and the animals are searching for grass. In November/December/January the white-eared kob will be calving as they migrate north into the Sudd flood plain and west into Bandigalo National Park. The major migrating species involved are: white-eared Kob antelope, Tiang Antelope,and Mongalla Gazelle. Prior to the the war with the north there were huge herds of Zebra, these animals were considerable reduced in number. A 2008 survey estimated that there were 6,850 Elephants in the park and surrounding area adjacent to the park. The Elephants and Zebra also migrate with the water and grass. In 1982 it was estimated there were about 6000 Giraffe in the Boma Park area, by 2007 it was estimated there were only 404 Giraffe remaining. The armies used the animal to feed their soldiers during the 25 years of war with Khartoum.Mongalla Gazelle is one of the major mammals involved in the migration.The tribal people in the area are the Murle, Anyuah, Suri/Kachipo, Jie and Toposa. There will be many opportunities to visit them and view how they have retained their traditional dress, housing, adornment, tools, religious beliefs. MAJOR SPECIES OF WILDLIFE IN BOMA NATIONAL PARK In 22,800 square kilometer (2,280,000 Hectareas or 5,631,600 acres) Boma National Park the major species are: Elephant, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile, White-eared Kob, Tiang, Mongalla Gazelle, Lion, Leopard, Caracal, Serval, Cheetah, Wild Dog, Jackal, Hyaena, Nile Buffalo, Zebra, Topi, Ostrich, Grant's Gazelle, Roan, Lesser Kudu, Lelwel Hartebeest, Beisa Oryx, Derby's Eland, Bohor Reedbuck, Warthog, Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey.Hippos exist not only in the Nile River, but in the many small rivers and swamps throught out South Sudan. Barge on the Pibor River, that flows from the NW edge of Boma Park northward to form the boundary between South Sudan and Ethiopia. The Golden Pipit is an all year resident in the park.Hemprich's Hornbill is an all year resident in the park.Ostrich can be spotted in the park.The Abyssinian Scimitarbill is an all year resident in the park. Bahr el Jebel is the Arabic name for the White Nile that flows through Northern Uganda, into South Sudan and onward to the Mediterranean Sea. Long before Europeans arrived and changed the river's name it was known as the Bahr el Jebel. This is where our safaris take place. The people still adhere to their traditional culture and way of dress, still believe in spirits and ancestor worship and all wealth is measured in cattle. The people do not understand what a tourist is and do not dress up for the tourists. The largest park in all Africa exists in South Sudan to protect the greatest migration of mammals on the earth. This vast park named Boma, has few roads and navigation is often by GPS. Bahr el Jebel or Bahr al Jabal is classic Arabic for literally "The Sea of the Mountains". This refers to the giant swamp (the size of England) known as the Sudd, that the Bahr el Jebel flows into. In Juba Arabic (the Arabic of South Sudan) Bahr el Jebel means "The River of the Mountains". Eco-tourism we practice. We use bottled gas for the majority of the cooking, we always clean our campsites leaving them as we found them and we take our trash out in bags and take it to designated sites. Wildlife Biologist have estimated by aerial counts, that more mammals migrate in South Sudan than in the famous Serengeti migration. Close on two million white-eared kob antelope, tiang antelope, mongalla gazelle, elephant, buffalo and many other species, follow the above general migration path. Basically the animals are following the grass and water from wet season to dry season as the grass recedes and then comes back. The wet season is early April to late December and the dry season is late December to late March.Tiang antelope herd in Boma National Park is enormous and exciting, South Sudan. Although the elephant herds still exist in South Sudan, ivory poaching has greatly reduced their numbers. Wildlife Conservation Society and the South Sudan Wildlife Service have radio collared some elephants to follow their migratory patterns. Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa email@example.com www.happytoursug.com
Botswana: A top Tourist Destination in Africa
Botswana has been listed among Africa’s top ten most competitive tourist destinations. According to the World Economic Forum Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015. Botswana is ranked 7th out of 9 other countries yet South Africa is first. The report states that the most competitive countries in Africa had benefited from early investment into the tourism sector by their governments. Other countries on the list are Seychelles, Mauritius, Namibia, Kenya, Cape Verde, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia in tenth place.However countries like Uganda don't seem to attract tourism significantly. This is because the governments do not seem to take tourism seriously hence have not invested seriously in the sector. High time Uganda government thinks twice about investment in tourism. Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa firstname.lastname@example.org www.happytoursug.com
Sierra Leone: High Airfares Strangle Tourism
Sierra Leone’s high airfares strangle tourism, this is indeed true as confirmed by the countries tourism minister Kadi Sesay Officials in Sierra Leone’s Tourism Ministry say high charges of airfares have forced potential tourists to go elsewhere, leaving the sector performing below its potential. Tourism in Sierra Leone is about the most dormant economic activity in the country, yet many experts say it has a huge potential, considering the tourist sites adoring parts of the country, as well as its beaches. The acting minister of Tourism and culture, Kadi Sesay, cited a number of other factors in addition to airfares which she said were keeping her department dormant. She cited a very small budgetary allocation. The tourism ministry, receives the lowest annual allocation of about 1 percent of the total national budget. Very little of whatever amount is allocated reaches the ministry, making it unable to do anything meaningful. For the tourism sector to become viable, the sector needs funding increment from the Finance Ministry. Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa email@example.com www.happytoursug.com
Colombia: Pablo Escobar Grave A Tourist Attraction
Later this month sees the release of Paradise Lost, a film starring Benicio del Toro about a young surfer who meets the woman of his dreams - only to discover her uncle is Colombian drugs baron Pablo Escobar. Now tourists can see the backdrop of where he played out his crimes as enterprising local companies have started to offer city tours which take in the places associated with Escobar and his fellow cartel members. At the height of his power in 1989, Escobar was ranked the 7th richest man in the world by Forbes magazine. One stop on the tour is the Monaco Building, which was bombed by the rival Cali cartel in order to try and kill Escobar and his immediate family. Escobar's business had allowed him to be lavish in his spending in the city - he owned luxurious homes, expensive cars and private jets. He was shot dead in December 1993 as he tried to escape Colombian Special Forces. The house where he was shot and killed also features on the tour. Because of the city's mild year round climate it is called 'the city of eternal Spring' in Colombia. Now, because the city has been so successful at dealing with crime and poverty in recent years, tourism has grown significantly over the last decade. The Escobar tours that are now on offer in Medellín show that the city has made use of the notoriety given to it by Escobar and is not afraid to confront its past. While an enemy of the U.S. and Colombian governments, he was a hero to many in Medellín where he was seen as a Robin Hood character who distributed money to the poor. Some claim U.S. military snipers took part in the final hunt for Escobar, mounted after he escaped in 1992 from a private prison in Colombia. Escobar's grave, which has become a shrine to some, is the third tour stop. Tourists have been returning in increasing numbers in Colombia since the government defeated the drugs cartels like Escobar's and called a ceasefire with FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the left-wing guerrillas who had control over much of the country until the start of the millennium. However, the government is now in the final stages of peace negotiations with them and Colombia has become one of South America's safest and more prosperous countries.
Burundi: Tourism Growth Affected By Bad Politics
Burundi has a great deal to offer tourists, including mountainous landscapes, natural parks, wildlife and access to one of Africa’s largest lakes. The country’s travel and tourism industry, however, remains undeveloped and only contributes marginally to the country’s GDP. Visitor numbers have only increased marginally since the peace agreement was set up in 2001 and many still consider the country too dangerous. In comparison with its neighbour Rwanda, a country with a similar sad history of ethnic violence, Burundi is still lingering on the starting blocks when it comes to attracting tourists. Opportunities for ecotourism Ecotourism is a niche area of travel and tourism in Burundi but has great potential to attract visitors. The national conservation areas, including Kibira National Park, Ruvubu and Lake Tanganyika, all offer unique natural habitats for wildlife. In addition, the country also holds a number of flourishing wildfowl lakes, such as the Rwihinda Lake Natural Reserve, which is a sanctuary for migratory, aquatic birds and has strong potential to attract many visitors. Plans by the government to boost nature-based tourism will help open up new tourist areas and, as a result, stimulate growth in tourism in Burundi. Poor infrastructure hinders tourism sector The infrastructure in Burundi remains poor and transportation and travel accommodation options for tourists are limited. Substantial improvements to infrastructure are planned, with funding coming from donors as well as public and private investment. Improvements to power supplies, transportation and communications facilities should all help with the future development of travel and tourism in Burundi. The 20-year infrastructure development plan that was put in place in 2010 by the Burundian government in conjunction with the African Development Bank has done little to improve the situation although the issue is becoming an increasingly important topic of discussion on the government’s agenda. Burundi’s peace continues Intertribal tensions in Burundi have had a devastating effect on the country since independence in 1962. A power-sharing agreement was set up in 2001 and, since then, around half a million refugees have returned home. A brittle peace reigns in Burundi although tensions have recently erupted again. This threatens the cautious strides that the travel and tourism industry made in 2011 and 2012. A single tourist visa throughout the East African Community (EAC) Despite plans to have it in place by July 2012, the single tourist visa for EAC members has not become operational. The EAC is made up of five countries: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, and plans were initially put forward in 2006 for a single visa issued by member state embassies and valid for access to any country within the EAC. The EAC secretariat highlighted the roll-out of the single tourist visa and common passport as one of the top priority projects for 2013. The visa will enable travel within any of the five countries in the EAC, as well as the possibility to travel between countries without the need for a further visa.
Saudi Arabia: Hotels Looking For Women Chefs
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - With the tourism season starting, hotels are requesting the Ministry of Labor to allow them to employ Saudi women as chefs, Al-Riyadh reported. Eastern Province Ministry of Labor Recruitment Director Omair Al-Zahrani said the ministry always encourages and supports women employment in various fields as long as her work does not contravene Islamic teachings and her nature as a woman. He said: “The ministry has constricting regulations on women working in hotels because there has been a record of hotels violating the ministry’s regulations on women employment. “Hotels have employed women as receptionists, forcing them to interact with men.” He said women may work in places where they are not obliged to constantly deal with men, they have their own entrances and exits to the workplace and they have their own rest rooms and facilities. “The ministry’s regulations do not prohibit women working as chefs at a hotel as long as her work environment is clear of men and she has the freedom to use the rest rooms available for her,” said Al-Zahrani. Gulf Tourism Committee member and former Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry tourism committee head Abdullah Al-Qahtani said the chambers of commerce and industry always support women’s employment. He said: “The role of women in society and the labor market has become vital. Women entering the hospitality industry is a good move toward social development. “With the right training and exposure, women’s involvement will raise the quality of our hotels to an international standard. However, hotels must cooperate and abide by the ministry’s regulations.” Al-Khobar InterContinental Hotel services employee Hisham Al-Shammary said they have never received applications from Saudi women wanting to work as chefs. He said: “Our current chef is a foreigner with many years of experience. He can cook dishes from various parts of the world and not just local dishes. “This is important to us as 75 percent of our guests are foreigners who may not like local dishes. “That’s the only advantage our chef has over Saudi women who are talented in the kitchen. “We might need Saudi chefs whenever we have a particular occasion where we need local dishes.” He added they do have a Saudi event planner working for the hotel. “The criteria for a chef in our hotel are very challenging for most Saudi women. “If they want to become chefs at InterContinental they must be able to produce various dishes from all around the world because our employment policy is the international employment policy of the hotel.” Rihan said she runs her own homemade food business in Dammam and would like to work in hotels as a chef. She said: “I prepare a variety of dishes for my customers. I would like to expand my outreach as I mainly cater to my neighborhood. “I didn’t know that hotels were looking for Saudi women chefs so I never really applied.” She added with the right training Saudi women have the potential to be more qualified than foreign chefs as they understand the tricks of the trade already and they just need to be exposed to a variety of ingredients and tastes. Samar Mohammad said she also runs a homemade food business but would like to join the job market and work at a hotel. She said: “I have applied to many hotels and places. There is a stigma against Saudi women working as chefs in hotels. “They always believe more in the foreign chef who has exotic taste and years of experience. “Hotels do not want to put in the time and effort to train us when I have the right to be employed as a citizen.” She added that her profits from her home business are good enough to provide her with a decent living but she wants to make a career out of her hobby. She said: “If we were able to work in hotels, especially international ones, the national cooking industry will leap in quality and experience. “Saudi society will have better food quality in any other services such as school cafeterias.” Paul Okia Happy Tours Africa firstname.lastname@example.org
Ethiopia: Gambela National Park
Located in the Gambela Region, its 5061 square kilometers of territory is encroached upon by cotton plantations and refugee camps. The general topography of the Park is flat, with some areas of higher ground where deciduous woodland and savanna occur; these higher areas are often rocky with large termite mounds. About 66% of the area is considered shrubland, 15% is forest, while 17% has been modified by man. Gambela National Park also supports extensive areas of wet grassland and swamps where the native grasses grow over 3 metres in height. Ethiopia as a tourist destination remains well behind its potential, and while known for its history, ancient cultures, and allegedly hidden treasures.The mystical Ark is rumored to have been hidden in Ethiopia somewhere,the country is not too well known for its national parks. The Gambela Park was established primarily to protect two species of endangered wetland antelopes: the White-eared Kob and the Nile Lechwe. Other wildlife reported as living here include elephant, African Buffalo, lion, roan antelope, tiang, Lelwel Hartebeest, olive baboon, and guereza monkey. Several birds only found in this area include the shoebill stork, the Long-tailed Paradise Whydah and the Red-throated and Green Bee-eaters. Located about 600 kilometres from Addis Ababa on the river Baro, Gambela has a strange history. From 1902 until it was captured by the Italians in the Second World War, it was administered by the British, the only part of Ethiopia to be so governed, The reason for this is that the British opened a port there on the wide and navigable Baro River, which during four months of the rainy season is navigable and provides direct access to the sea via the Nile through Khartoum. Ethiopian coffee was exported via this route, up to 1940. Now the port has fallen into disrepair, though remains of the warehouses and jetty can be seen. At its peak, up to 40 ships would be in dock at any one time. The undulating plains of high Sudanese grass offer excellent opportunities for wilderness exploration. It is not particularly easy to access however. Beyond Gambela towards the Sudanese border, the Anuak cultivators give way to the nomadic Nuer. These pastoralists herd their long-horned cattle into huge camps when they stop for the night. The presence in the park of a permanent major river, the Baro, which flows towards the Nile, adds to the attraction of the park as it is navigable for much of the year though reportedly not used for regular trips by tourists and its depth and width makes a good habitat for many hippo colonies and the giant Nile Perch. The most common plains game are reportedly the white-eared kob, also found in the hundreds of thousands at Boma National Park in Southern Sudan, and the Nile or Kafue Lechwe. In the river are to be found huge Nile perch, up to 100 kilograms, crocodiles and hippos. Other wildlife includes buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, Roan antelope, zebra, bushbuck, Abyssinian reedbuck, warthog, hartebeest, hyena, lion and elephant. Unfortunately, there are very few animals to be seen in the park, but the birds are many and varied, the olive baboon and the local race of the vervet, with its white whiskers, are the very common, as is the black and white colobus monkey. Bus links to Addis Ababa via Bako. (Min 2 day journey) 4 weekly flights from Addis Ababa by Ethiopian Airlines (Mon, Thurs, Fri, Sat). All accommodation is to be found in nearby Gambela town. Ethiopia has rich tourism assets. With its diverse tourist attractions, which include cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, as well as a great variety of flora and fauna, the government of Ethiopia has initiated a number of measures to preserve and develop tourist sites throughout the country. Tourist infrastructures in various national parks have been upgraded, while renovation work on roads linking the parks with major roads and lodges is being carried out. Other measures include the protection of animals from illegal hunting in sanctuaries and parks, as well as the conservation of heritage sites, nine of which are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Through these activities, Ethiopia has seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting its many attractions. Ethiopia continued to record positive growth in tourist arrivals over the review period. The country achieved larger tourist numbers in 2012 than in 2011 thanks to increased participation in international travel and tourism exhibitions. Showcasing the nation’s tourism products globally has enabled Ethiopia to promote its natural, cultural and historical attractions to the rest of the world. This has helped the country to attract more international tourists and also generated more travel and tourism revenue. Some of the notable international tourism and trade fairs Ethiopia has participated in recent years include the ITB, Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin, the World Travel Market in London, the Moscow International Tourism Fair and the Shanghai 2010 Expo. Good luck Ethiopia Paul Okia email@example.com www.happytoursug.com
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