Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., answers a question in Union Township, N.J., Monday, July 27, 2015. The corruption indictment against Menendez is only a few months old, but early court filings pull back the curtain on a legal fight that figures to be bitter, personal and contested at every step. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) Though the FBI case agent testified before the grand jury that it was “perfectly clear” that the meeting was all about Melgen, defense lawyers say his own internal notes reveal Sebelius told investigators that “she could not recall what Menendez specifically wanted” or whether Melgen’s name came up during the meeting.The broad-based attack on the indictment is hardly surprising, given Menendez is represented by Abbe Lowell, who is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top trial lawyers and who successfully represented former Sen. John Edwards in a campaign finance case brought by the Justice Department.Lowell has already invoked that case — as well as the disastrous Justice Department prosecution against former Sen. Ted Stevens, derailed by accusations of prosecutorial misconduct — in arguing that the Menendez matter is another case that simply shouldn’t have been brought. Those two cases hover in the background of the Menendez prosecution, even though the Public Integrity Section has scored or contributed to several high-profile wins since then.“I think (prosecutors) recognize that excellent lawyers — you give them an inch and they will take a mile and make you pay for it,” said defense lawyer Jonathan Biran, a former Public Integrity Section prosecutor. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Prosecutors will have an opportunity to respond to the motions and perhaps recover whatever momentum was lost in the court of public opinion about the case.In the meantime, Menendez, who joined the Senate in 2006, has remained active in the chamber — including criticizing the nuclear deal with Iran — even as a case of enormous stakes with potential to upend his career slogs through the court system.The Menendez defense team is “going to do everything possible to win because basically, it’s life — political and otherwise — at stake here,” said Scott Fredericksen, a defense lawyer and former Justice Department prosecutor.___Associated Press writer David Porter in Newark, New Jersey, contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Quick workouts for men New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “It’s going to be down and dirty. It’ll be bare knuckles, I’m sure,” said Peter Zeidenberg, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s vaunted Public Integrity Section, which is handling the case. “From all appearances, it’s going to be a very aggressive defense.”The April indictment accuses Menendez of accepting campaign contributions and lavish gifts — including a Paris vacation, golf outings and trips to the Dominican Republic aboard a private jet — from a wealthy Florida eye doctor in exchange for political and business favors. Menendez, a Democrat, and the doctor, Salomon Melgen, were charged together in a 68-page indictment laden with headline-grabbing details about luxury entitlements and political negotiations. They have pleaded not guilty and maintain they are longtime friends who did nothing illegal.It’s not unusual for defendants to seek the dismissal of an indictment against them, and it’s possible the judge will turn aside each argument after prosecutors get their chance to respond next month. An earlier defense bid to get the trial moved from Newark to Washington was rejected.Even so, the breadth and ferocity of the Menendez defense team response has been striking, with more than a dozen motions totaling hundreds of pages that attack all aspects of the prosecution. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories The defense lawyers argue that the indictment runs afoul of the Constitution’s speech or debate clause, which gives members of Congress immunity for their legislative actions. They accuse investigators of focusing on “salacious” allegations that Menendez was cavorting with escorts in the Dominican Republican, even though those claims were later recanted and were not part of the actual indictment. They say prosecutors intimidated and threatened Menendez’s staff and family with their questions.And they contend that the indictment represents an intentional effort to criminalize routine interactions between a politician and his good friend of more than 20 years.“Officials frequently sell access by spending time with those who pay to attend fundraising events, and they are quick to answer the phone and lend an ear when major donors call,” one of the motions says. “Even presidents have been known to invite major donors to the White House for coffee or dinner, or even to stay the night in the Lincoln bedroom.”One particularly provocative argument that figures to be an ongoing source of contention accuses the government of introducing false testimony into the grand jury process. The motion centers on differing accounts of a pivotal meeting Menendez had with Kathleen Sebelius, at the time the secretary of health and human services, in which prosecutors allege that the senator sought to intervene on Melgen’s behalf in a Medicare billing dispute worth millions of dollars. WASHINGTON (AP) — The corruption indictment against Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey is only a few months old, but early court filings pull back the curtain on a legal fight that promises to be bitter, personal and contested at each step.Weeks after prosecutors laid out a quid-pro-quo bribery scheme, defense lawyers have struck back with allegations of government misconduct, improper inquiries about sex lives and prostitutes, and a warped reading of criminal law. No matter how the case goes, the initial back-and-forth portends a courtroom spectacle and a challenge for a Justice Department that has rarely tangled with such a high-ranking political figure — and has a mixed track record when doing so.
<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/28b66/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Hmmm … Whats behind the door ? Curiosoty got the better of a Haitian passenger this week when he accidently set off the alarms at New York’s JFK International Airport. The unauthorisied person entered a secure zone, through a door used only by airline employees. This security breach forced officials to evacuate both passengers and staff from a terminal building at JFK International Airport. Passengers at Terminal 8, which serves American Airlines, were told to leave for rescreening. Thankfully, the rest of the airport was unaffected by the incident.US airports have been on high alert after a would-be Nigerian terrorist tried to blow up a Detroit-bound aircraft on Christmas Day. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F Globus hosted an Italian coffee class at Sydney’s Barista Basics Coffee Academy last Thursday to mark the launch of its new 2011 Italy and Spain program.As a celebratory launch offer, Globus has announced amazing savings of up to $300 per couple on its all-inclusive 13-day Italian Mosaic tour, now priced from $2529* per person twin share. The discount is valid for all bookings made until December 15, 2010 and travellers can also save an additional 2.5 per cent on all tours paid in full four months prior to departure.The Italian Mosaic tourincludes two-night stays in the country’s most famous destinations, including Rome, Florence, Lake Maggiore, Venice and Sorrento plus a night in Assisi. Highlights of the Italian Mosaic tour include guided visits to the Colosseum, St Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, Michaelangelo’s David and Santa Croce Basilica in Florence and St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the Leaning Tower of Pisa as well as Pompeii and the Isle of Capri.Globus also offers other popular tours in Italy, which range from seven to 15 days and include the 10-day Italy at Leisure tour and the 12-day Highlights of Sicily and Southern Italy.In its new 2011 program, Globus has introduced five tours to Spain and Portugal, ranging from nine to 16 days.Priced from $2419* per person twin share, the popular two-week Iberian Vacation begins in Madrid, visiting Toledo, Granada and the Costa del Sol before crossing the Strait of Gibraltar to spend a night in the Moroccan port of Tangier. Travellers will then return to Madrid through Andalusia to explore Seville, Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon and the university town of Salamanca. Known as the ‘premier coach touring company in Italy’, Globus tours offer accommodation in superior hotels, first class coach transport, professional tour directors and local guides, entry to many attractions and ample leisure time. *Prices are per person twin share, land-only, subject to availability and conditions. Globus Marketing Manager Australasia Christian Schweitzer and Globus Product Brand Coordinator Kate White
Photographed at the Skal International Congress in Sydney last week are, from the left, Yohanes Gabra, Barbara Purwa, Djinaldi Gosana, Keith Bell, Jim Weston, Lawrence Bellefontaine, Anthony Syrowatka and Susan Bell. Source = Skal International
Virgin Atlantic announced it has teamed up with one of London’s most talked about restaurants to offer the first ever pop-up at an airport.Critically acclaimed ‘Ceviche’ is a Peruvian restaurant based in Frith Street, Soho and has fast become one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in London.The pop-up will be available to Upper Class customers travelling through Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouse from 12th to the 18th August and will be positioned in the exclusive Loft area of the award winning lounge.This Ceviche pop-up is a first at Heathrow which promises to serve delicious, healthy Peruvian dishes including Drunk Scallops (king scallops, serviced with pomegranate, Pisco and coriander oil) to Ensalada de Quiona will be served to passengers from 12 noon to 12:30pm for one week only.Mark Murphy, Clubhouse Food and Beverage Executive, Virgin Atlantic commented:“Our aim at Virgin Atlantic is to constantly surprise our customers when they travel with us. Ceviche is famous as one of the most exciting new cuisines around and we are so pleased to be partnering with them to open the first ever pop-up restaurant in our Clubhouse at Heathrow.“It’s our aim to offer Upper Class customers an ever-changing experience and this will give them the chance to enjoy the tastes of Lima with the buzz of Soho before they fly.”Martin Morales, Founder, Ceviche said:“At Ceviche we love doing things people have never done before. Innovation is key in what we do and above all it’s fun to do new stuff. We love serving Peruvian food, dishes and cocktails and so we are excited by our collaboration with Virgin Atlantic.“There has never been a pop-up at an airport and we think the combination of our world-class food with Virgin Atlantic’s world-class Clubhouse is perfect. It’s only on for a week so it’s a real one off treat for us all.”The Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse provides the ultimate pre-flight experience for every customer with an array of exciting and unique areas. Passengers can enjoy a stylish haircut in the salon, choose from a range of Dr Hauschka treatments in the spa; enjoy a game of pool in the Den, or enjoy a delicious cocktail at the 14 metre long bar. Source = Virgin Atlantic
Cathay Pacific counts down to Hong Kong’s biggest partyGet ready! One of Hong Kong’s biggest sporting events, The Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens, is only six months away – kicking off on 8 April 2016 and running until 10 April 2016. As the official airline and shared naming rights sponsor, Cathay Pacific is offering special Rugby Sevens packages with great return fares from Australia and match passes for the entire three-day event, starting from just $1,569 per person*.Internationally known by rugby fans as one of the most fun and memorable events of the year, The Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens is considered the premier tournament of the IRB Sevens World Series. It draws fans from the world-over into Hong Kong transforming the city, and there is an incredible atmosphere over the weekend as it reaches fever pitch for the grand final match.With the event held conveniently over the weekend, why not take advantage of Hong Kong’s famous hospitality and add on a couple of extra days to explore the city when it’s at its best. And best of all, you can now book your accommodation directly with Cathay Pacific – just see the hotels link on the homepage or visitwww.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_AU/destinations/hotels-in-hong-kong.html.Available for departures from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide or Cairns to Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Sevens flights and event ticket packages start from $1,569 for Economy, $2,687 for Premium Economy and $6,556 for Business Class per person (based on Adelaide departure)*.Source = Cathay Pacific
Source = Keep NSW Beautiful Keep NSW Beautifullearn more Keep NSW Beautiful www.knswb.org.auRegional NSW shines at Keep NSW Beautiful Blue Star sustainability awardsThe first Keep NSW Beautiful Blue Star Sustainability (Regional) Awards were announced on Saturday 7th November 2015 as a cornerstone of a weekend celebration in Gloucester, NSW.The Blue Star Sustainability Awards have grown out of the iconic Sustainable Cities, Clean Beaches and Tidy Towns award programs. The Awards are designed to promote environmentalsustainability, litter reduction, and community engagement, connection, and volunteering. The Blue Star Sustainability Awards have a 2015 approach to environmental sustainability and community health.This year, in the first year of operation as the Blue Star Sustainability Awards, Keep NSW Beautiful has received a record number of entries – more than in any of the past eight years of awards.The biggest award of the night was the Overall Regional Sustainability Award, which was awarded to Orange, NSW.“Orange is an excellent example of a regional town working towards sustainability goals, said Program Manager Emma Sinclair.“They have an outstanding volunteer force, which was also recognised at the awards; they have learnt from the past and effectively drought proofed the town with a range of initiatives; and the town also has a rich cultural history – just look at their with their relocation and restoration of Banjo Patterson’s Emmaville cottage.”The city was awarded a year’s free battery recycling program courtesy of MRI E-Cycling Solutions. They will now also go on to represent New South Wales in the Keep Australia Beautiful National Tidy Towns Awards.“I am so impressed with the quality of submissions into the first round of the KNSWB Blue Star Sustainability Awards,” said Keep NSW Beautiful Chief Executive, David Imrie.“With almost 200 entries from regional and rural NSW, it shows that there is a dedicated population from all over the state – working as individuals, in grassroots groups, within their schools and clubs, as well as within the worlds of business and local government – fiercely committed to creating positive change in their communities.”
Personal travel managers enjoy a welcome fresh coconut drink at the family friendly Anantara Dhigu Resort. From left Tina Vitelli (national partnership office), Maree Oxford, Pamela Baas, Sharon Wright, Amanda Anthony, Sylvia Holland, Lea Burford, Debbie Bean, Maria Miller and Leigh Holme (Freestyle Holidays)Personal Travel Managers discover family fun in the MaldivesA select group of personal travel managers recently enjoyed a seven-night Maldives experience as part of a TravelManagers exclusive educational, hosted by Freestyle Holidays and Singapore Airlines.The famil was offered to eight personal travel managers in recognition of their top sales in 2015 for Freestyle Holidays. Participating personal travel managers were Victoria based Sylvia Holland, Debra Bean, Sharon Wright and Lea Burford; New South Wales representatives Maree Oxford, Maria Miller and Pamela Baas; and Amanda Anthony from Queensland. Tina Vitelli from the national partnership office also joined the group that was escorted by Leigh Holme, Sales Executive Freestyle Holidays.Executive General Manager – Michael GazalTravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal attributes the company’s exceptional, strong and effective business relationships with key partner suppliers as being integral in their support of incentives.“Key supplier partner relationships have been built over many years and support of our partner suppliers’ products is absolutely key. The ability for our personal travel managers to support partners’ sales incentives and experience dedicated famils is a large part of this support.”The personal travel managers all agree the Maldives, located just a four and a half hour flight from Singapore with its beautiful beaches, rich culture and very hospitable people offers a luxurious, cultural and relaxing beach holiday experience.“The way that it looks in the brochures with its idyllic white sand beaches, clear blue waters and stunning overwater bungalows is truly how the Maldives is in real life. The snorkelling and dive sights around the coral atolls are incredible. No matter where you snorkel, you see so many different types of fish and coral of many colours. Everybody you meet is so friendly and the service of all the staff at the resorts was amazing, they couldn’t do enough for you,” says Baas, representative for Wallsend.The Maldives has a reputation for being a honeymoon destination, yet the real surprise for the personal travel managers is that the Maldives also offers a fantastic holiday experience for families.A typical start to the day as the sun rises behind the Velassaru Luxury Resort’s overwater villas“Whilst some resorts are adults only, there are plenty that cater really well for children of all ages. I can highly recommend the Anantara Dhigu Resort. It truly offers fun and games that never stop! The kids will love exploring the island with Little Hermie and his friends Mishell, Cookie Crab, Captain Red Claw at the Dhoni kids club. The climbing wall and tree house is a great place for the kids to be active and make new friends and meals times are easy with a dedicated children’s menu,” says Holland, representative for Mount Eliza.For personal travel manager Anthony, representative for Yeppoon it was the incredible cuisine that was a real highlight and the all-inclusive concept provides a great value for money holiday option.“All the food was amazing, so fresh and delicious. The tuna was simply exquisite; my mouth waters every time I think about it. As the resorts are island based you eat at your resort. To make it cost effective I recommend for clients to purchase the half board or full board option at the time of booking. As it’s prepaid, you don’t spend your holiday worrying about the prices on the menu, instead just enjoy the cuisine. It really is the perfect way to holiday.”The TravelManagers’ personal travel manager educational programme is backed up by strong state and national support, which includes a national partnership office and seven state-based business partnership managers.“TravelManagers national partnership office provide access to virtual office technology, training, marketing, fares and ticketing as well as 24/7 access to all mid and back-office processes. Combined with local business partnership managers and valuing key partner supplier relationships, personal travel managers have access to the broadest and most in-depth support nationwide. This type of behind the scenes central and local state-based support is crucial,” says Gazal.For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases. TravelManagers Australiabecome a personal travel manager here Source = TravelManagers Australia
Direct flights from Fiji to Adelaide to take off in 2017This morning the South Australian Government made the announcement that Fiji Airways flights between Adelaide and Nadi would begin in June 2017.The new service will operate twice a week during peak season from 30 June 2017. It will utilise a Boeing 737 offering economy and business class seating options.Adelaide Airport Managing Director Mark Young said the new partnership would also act as a mid-point stop off between Australia and the United States.“Fiji has always been a hugely popular destination with South Australian travellers, and Fiji Airways’ new link will make it even more attractive,” he said.“This creates another one-stop connection with the US West Coast with the added bonus of being able to stopover in beautiful Fiji.”Young said Qantas Frequent Flyers would be able to earn and use points on the service because of the airline partnership between Fiji Airways and Qantas.About 350,000 Australians visit Fiji every year and the new flight pattern is expected to boost that number.Flights from Fiji to South Australia will depart from Nadi at 4.30pm and arrive in Adelaide at 8.30pm on Monday and Friday.Services from Adelaide will depart at 10.00pm on Monday and Friday and arrive in Nadi at 5.35am the following morning (all times local).Fiji Airways is the third international airlines to announce direct flights into Adelaide this year.Qatar Airways began direct flights between Doha and Adelaide in May, where it became the first airline to use the new generation A-350 in Australia.It was followed by China Southern Airlines, which earlier this month launched a new Guangzhou and Adelaide direct link.Flights between Fiji and South Australia are now available for booking. Fiji Airwaysfor more information, visitSource = Fiji Airways
Sydney Airport introduces indoor Google Maps at terminalsSydney Airport today announced a new indoor Google Maps feature which will empower its visitors to navigate through the airport directly from the palms of their hands.The new initiative delivers the most up-to-date terminal location information via indoor Google Maps and will allow millions of passengers to travel through the airport using familiar technology.Sydney Airport General Manager Technology Stuart Rattray said the introduction of indoor Google Maps enhanced the airport’s service to passengers.“We’re pleased to welcome indoor Google Maps across our terminals, and we’re confident this new interactivefeature will assist passengers with a more seamless journey through the airport,” Mr Rattray said.“The new maps give our visitors visibility of airport location information at the touch of a button, and we expect travellers will enjoy the benefits of accessing this information as they navigate through the terminal to reach their gate.“Importantly, this initiative builds on our commitment to transform the airport experience through adding innovative digital technologies and our open data strategy to better serve the 42 million passengers who use Sydney Airport each year.”The maps feature all of the airport’s facilities including gates and check in counters, retailers and other locations of interest across its multi-level floors through the T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals, with T3 to be added shortly.Visitors and passengers using the new maps will benefit from Google’s intuitive search capabilities, such as locating similar nearby stores to those previously searched, as well as the ability to share live social media feedback on retailers directly from the app or website.The zoomable maps’ other features include both indoor and outdoor coverage and integration with various modes of transport.The initiative is part of Sydney Airport’s technology strategy, which has seen the airport roll out a range of new and customised technology measures, including free Wi-Fi, self-service check-in, automated bag drops, SmartGates, and multilingual wayfinding e-directories.New multilingual Flight Information Displays (FIDS) are also available in 13 languages at the T1 International terminal. They feature intuitive display to enhance readability and wayfinding for passengers.Additionally, the airport has introduced a real-time queue measurement system to help passengers anticipate how long it will take them to pass through security and passport control. Sydney AirportSource = Sydney Airport
Source = JW Marriott Nashville JW Marriott Nashville transforms the Nashville SkylineJW Marriott Nashville transforms the Nashville SkylineTurnberry Associates and Marriott International today announced the Grand Opening of JW Marriott Nashville, ideally situated steps from Music City’s most treasured landmarks. The striking, 33-story glass tower transforms the iconic Nashville skyline and ushers in a new chapter for luxury hospitality and sophistication in one of the South’s most dynamic and storied destinations. “We are beyond excited and proud to welcome JW Marriott Nashville to our vibrant city. The work that the Turnberry and Marriott teams have done truly signifies a turning point for Nashville in the luxury space, and we look forward to welcoming visitors from all over the globe to our beloved city to enjoy a true taste of Southern hospitality,” said David Briley, Mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.JW Marriott Nashville features 533 spacious guestrooms including 37 luxurious suites, a rooftop pool, a full-service Spa by JW, over 50,000 square feet of indoor event space, a 13,000-square foot outdoor event lawn as well as renowned chef and restaurateur Michael Mina’s first Nashville outpost of Bourbon Steak. The modern glass tower, designed by internationally celebrated architecture firm Arquitectonica, offers unprecedented views and draws inspiration from the nearby Cumberland River and its symbolic place in the city’s history. The contemporary interiors, led by award-winning design firm Stonehill Taylor, exude a masculine aesthetic with rich color schemes and subtle nods to the city’s industrial past.“We are thrilled to officially introduce JW Marriott Nashville as a tribute to Music City’s rich history and to provide a highly individualized, luxury experience for our guests, the likes of which have not yet been seen in Music City,” said Lukus Kindlesparker, General Manager, JW Marriott Nashville. “JW Marriott Nashville is truly in a league of its own, and we look forward to offering an unmistakably authentic Nashville experience through our thoughtfully designed guestrooms, innovative food and beverage and downtown Nashville’s largest spa.”JW Marriott Nashville masterfully combines modern luxuries with subtle yet intentional nods to the city’s unique history. Each expansive guestroom incorporates pale wood paneling with pops of deep earth tones and contemporary bronze finishes. Tailored lines and custom carpet featuring an eye-catching geometric design and modern furniture guide the eye to floor-to-ceiling windows, which reveal unparalleled views of the city’s best entertainment attractions. The residential style and intuitive layout of the rooms immediately exude the feeling of home, all the while offering the approachable luxury of a JW Marriott experience.“At JW Marriott, we pride ourselves on offering the ultimate in luxury without pretense, with a relentless focus on intuitive service and thoughtful programming. We always strive to find new ways to offer elevated and enriching experiences to guests through original amenities and partnerships,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President & Global Brand Leader, JW Marriott. “As the first luxury hotel in the downtown area, JW Marriott Nashville has gone above and beyond to incorporate local influences into a distinctly luxurious hotel experience that will allow guests to enjoy all that Nashville has to offer.”Located on the 33rd floor with panoramic views of Nashville, the expansive rooftop lounge is the hotel’s crown jewel — attracting in-the-know locals and guests seeking exceptional service in a warmly authentic, convivial atmosphere that transitions seamlessly from sunset cocktails to late-night live music. Just as the unparalleled views offer a unique outlook on Music City, the sophisticated design and artfully crafted menus are indicative of a new perspective – one that combines a deep respect for Nashville roots with cosmopolitan panache.Additionally, the hotel features multiple dining options designed to suit every guest’s needs. The top floor of the JW Marriott Nashville is home to award-winning chef Michael Mina’s indoor-outdoor American steakhouse, Bourbon Steak, which offers guests a timeless dining experience with a modern twist. With striking interiors conceptualized by renowned hospitality designer, Adam D. Tihany, the opening of Bourbon Steak at JW Marriott Nashville further cements the hotel as the must-visit destination in the heart of downtown. Situated on the hotel’s main level, Stompin Grounds Restaurant & Market serves as the property’s culinary ode to the city, featuring fresh, homemade dishes that are locally sourced and prepared with integrity. Stompin Grounds offers guests the option of a casual grab-and-go market as well as a three-meal modern restaurant, both of which feature inspired service and a vibrant ambiance.Additional standout amenities include a 10,000 square-foot outdoor pool oasis and the Spa by JW. The pool’s understated elegance is complemented by a full outdoor bar where guests are invited to soak up the sun and enjoy the breathtaking Nashville sunset. Five cabanas featuring customized pool-service offerings will be available for private use to provide respite from climbing temperatures. Each evening, the pool will transform into a destination of its own, complete with a glowing stone-encased fire pit and a vibrant, upbeat lounge soundtrack to entice the senses. The spa, conceptualized by award-winning design firm Stonehill Taylor, is a 4,000-square foot sanctuary featuring five private treatment rooms. The spa will offer facials, massages, manicures and pedicures using Aromatherapy Associates products, all of which are designed to address four core benefit states – Calm, Indulge, Invigorate, and Renew.“The JW Marriott Nashville embodies the city’s creative spirit, and Stonehill Taylor’s elegant design strikes the perfect balance with the energy of downtown Nashville,” said Jackie Soffer, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairman of Turnberry Associates. “There is no denying that Nashville is having a moment right now and we are excited to play a part of this dynamic city’s renaissance.”Turnberry Associates, which owns Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Turnberry Isle Miami, brings its extensive experience in luxury hospitality to the JW Marriott Nashville property. Adhering to long-held standards of excellence, Turnberry properties are renowned for their quality, personalized services, inviting amenities, exceptional guest relations and unparalleled attention to detail.JW Marriott Nashville reimagines the modern luxury hospitality experience in Music City and is poised to become the ideal destination for meetings and events in customizable spaces that capture the spirit of the city. Boasting 50,000 square feet of beautifully appointed meeting and event space including two ballrooms, 16 meeting rooms and two boardrooms equipped with advanced audio visual and wireless technology, the hotel caters to business and corporate travelers looking to book meetings and events of all sizes. Additional offerings will include an “event-hub” with 24-hour access providing an environment conducive for work or meetings with a full spectrum of business services.The property will offer a variety of luxury experiences to guests, including a ‘Boots & Bourbon’ package which features a VIP boot-fitting at the famed Lucchese Bootmaker retail store in Nashville as well as a credit for a pair of custom-made Lucchese boots and an F&B credit to Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak. Guests staying in the hotel’s coveted Presidential Suite can also book ‘The Reserve,’ a seven-course dining experience at Bourbon Steak, a reserved poolside cabana with dedicated poolside service, a private songwriting session in-suite with Nashville’s top hitmakers, a VIP boot-fitting at Lucchese Bootmaker and a couple’s full-day spa experience.
Wyndham Hotel is World First in Environmentally Sustainable BuildingWyndham Hotel is World First in Environmentally Sustainable BuildingWestern Australian building technology company NXT TEC. Ltd (NXT) will build the world’s first hotel to achieve a verified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).The Wyndham LUX Perth Hotel, to be built on Great Eastern Highway in Rivervale, is the first hotel worldwide, and the only built structure in the southern hemisphere, to obtain an EPD.An EPD is an independently verified document that reports environmental information about the entire life cycle of a product, in this case, the Wyndham LUX Perth Hotel building. Producing an EPD is an internationally recognised way for companies like NXT to be transparent about the environmental impact of producing and maintaining products. To deliver the hotel’s EPD, its life cycle was assessed using rigorous scientific methods, conducted according to strict international standards.Chair of the Australasian EPD Programme Stephen Mitchell said having an EPD showed NXT was a contemporary business setting the bar in its industry.“Obtaining the first EPD for a hotel globally at the concept design stage is a significant achievement that NXT should be incredibly proud of,” Mr Mitchell said.“Not only does it set a benchmark for the hospitality sector, this EPD demonstrates NXT’s genuine commitment to environmental transparency and improved environmental outcomes.”NXT developed a unique, simple model of assembling buildings using a suite of patented technologies to reduce wastage and significantly improve time, cost and energy efficiency.The building system, which can be implemented from the foundations up to the skylights, was designed to be environmentally sustainable and was a factor in NXT achieving such favourable EPD results.NXT TEC. Ltd chairman and managing director Natasha Di Ciano said while it was not uncommon for building companies to conduct life cycle assessments, EPD verification required data to be collected and reported according to strict rules and standards.“Obtaining an EPD for an entire hotel building is not a simple process,” Ms Di Ciano said.“It requires collecting and analysing a substantial amount of data about the building’s life cycle – right down to determining environmental impacts based on where materials come from, how they’re transported to site, and the fuel efficiency of that transport.“We then looked at the operational efficiency of the hotel, down to how much water would be used to wash the floors. It’s incredibly rigorous.”To obtain an EPD, NXT assessed the environmental sustainability of more than 99 per cent of the mass of the hotel over its life cycle, from sourcing raw materials through to dismantling and disposing of the building materials at the end of its usage period.“NXT is committed to creating environmentally sustainable buildings, so this information drives the continuous improvement of our products. By quantifying the environmental impact of our buildings, we can ensure our future projects are exponentially more sustainable,” Ms Di Ciano said.The information within NXT’s EPD will also enable architects, engineers and builders to achieve project environmental targets for their own buildings by utilising the NXT™ Building System or its individual technologies.Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, Procurement, Project Management and Technical Services, David Wray said the company was proud to be managing the hotel when completed.“The Wyndham LUX Perth Hotel will change the nature of hotel development and hospitality by placing a greater emphasis on minimising the environmental impact of building and ongoing management,” he said.“Our company is committed to sustainability and it resonates strongly with our guests. We are pleased to partner with NXT and this announcement will give our guests confidence that a stay at Wyndham LUX Perth is an environmentally responsible one.”Works on the Wyndham LUX Perth are planned to commence in the near future.NXT’s full EPD is available online HERESource = Wyndham LUX Perth
OTM Mumbai is a good trade show. I have been attending last two years through the government of Dubai and every year there is a growth. This year we are participating on our own as exhibitor and expecting something really good. Business is blooming and we met lots of potential buyers from Mumbai which makes us very happy. We will be back next year.
Thanks to Fairfest for giving us the honour and recognising our efforts to the contribution in tourism and congratulation for completing 26 years. For us, TTF is the mega event of tourism in Kolkata. This year we have some special arrangement with TTF for the members of IATO and ADTOI and I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the organiser of TTF for extending those privileges to our members.
Iran has started promoting skiing possibilities in the Middle East. There are lots of huge mountains with high peaks and appropriate slopes, a terrain most suitable for different types of skiing. Ski resorts have been built for the skiers who love this sport.The highest peak of Iran is Damavand with 5671 m above sea level, located in north-east Iran on the Alborz range and can be seen from inside Tehran in Sunny days. The burnt out volcano is characterised by snow on top, all year round. Along the same mountain range and close to Tehran, there are possibilities of skiing at different ski runs. Dizin, Tochal, Shemshak and Darbandsar are such places for Iranians as well as foreign enthusiasts.Dizin is the largest skiing field in the region with Dizin Ski Resort in a fantastic geographic location, near Tehran. One of the advantages of Dizin skiing pist is that it has different ski runs, for beginners and professional skiers, so that one can ski in different styles one after another. There are several villas, hotels, cottages, restaurants, etc at Dizin.Shemshak is the second largest ski area in Iran after Dizin including two ski lifts, three dish teleskis and two Hammer teleskis. The resort includes two main slopes each with a chair lift that apex at the top and several lifts. There are also lighting facilities for night skiing.Tochal peak is right on the north of Tehran and at a perfect condition for skiing in Middle East. Access to the location is possible by cable car that starts from the north of Velenjak district in Tehran. A modern hotel has recently been constructed up at the peak for the skiers so that they can stay in a well-equipped accommodation. One can bring one’s ski gears or rent them in Iran at stalls located close to the ski pists.
Israel Ministry of Tourism and Indian cab aggregator Ola Cabs signed up to collaborate on a two-week contest that ran from April 16-30 on the Ola app which was valid for its Mumbai and Pune users only. The Ola users who undertook the maximum number of rides during the two weeks period and used the code “ISRAEL” stood a stand a chance to win a free trip to Israel for 3 nights and 4 days. Talking more about the association Hassan Madah, Director – India & Philippines, Israel Ministry of Tourism, said, “Ola is one of the largest taxi services in India and have a large user base, especially in metro cities. We are always thinking of distinct ways to promote Israel and felt this association with Ola cabs will help us reach Ola’s over 80 lakh users in Mumbai and Pune.” The company promoted the contest by marketing digitally, through push notifications, in-app promotion, mailers (Mumbai and Pune database), Ola website and running the campaign on their social media pages. Israel welcomed close to 10,000 Indian travellers between January and March this year, resulting in a 15% increase in Indian tourists arrivals compared to the same period in 2016. Eying the responsive growth, recently Air India launched a direct connection from Delhi to Tel Aviv.
The Global DMC Network by JTB Group focuses on the Indian market by organising a multi-city roadshow in January 2019. The host cities are New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai respectively on January 21, 23 and 24.The purpose hereof is to introduce the Group’s services to Indian travel agencies and help them to plan long-haul trips for their potential customers. At each roadshow, over 200 agents will be invited to participate in sessions with six DMCs from Asia Pacific, Europe, Japan and Korea: Tour East, Tumlare Destination Management, Kuoni Global Travel Services, Europamundo Vacaciones, JTB Global Marketing & Travel, Inc., and LOTTE JTB.This roadshow comes at a time where long-haul travel from India is increasing. According to Euromonitor International, in 2017, outbound departures from India reached 17 million, an increase of 1.6 million from the previous year (16,335.8). More travellers are visiting further destinations, with Thailand, the U.S., Singapore and France at the top.“With this gradual increase of long-haul travel, India has become a key source market for the world,” stated Abrar Uppal, Senior Manager for the Global DMC Network by JTB Group. “Now is the prime time to show the soon-to-be travellers what opportunities we can offer, giving them the choice and ease of mind when deciding where to travel.”
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-08-06 Tory Barringer Share New,30-Year Mortgage Veteran to Lead ASI as President August 6, 2013 406 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing In Florida, Scott French has joined “”Auction Services International””:http://www.auctionservicesintl.com/index.php (ASI) as president.French has 30 years of business experience to his name. In the past, he has worked as a CPA for an audit advisory firm with a focus on real estate-based financial institutions, held VP positions in the mortgage default divisions of two international financial firms, and served in SVP positions with organizations focused on real estate sales and related services. At ASI, he will partner with founder Jon Rice and CEO Mike Rice to bring additional focus on strategic direction and business development.””We are thrilled to have Scott join our team,”” Jon Rice said. “”Scott and I have worked together on and off since 1990. He has a great understanding of how critical ASI’s auction model can be to the auction strategy of financial institutions with REO portfolios of any size and geographic distribution. I look forward to a great partnership!””
As national home prices recover, Texas and Colorado are already busy setting new highs, data from “”Lender Processing Services, Inc.””:http://www.lpsvcs.com/Pages/default.aspx (LPS) revealed. [IMAGE]In June, national home prices rose to $229,000, representing a 1.2 percent gain from May, and a sharp 8.4 percent increase from a year ago, according to LPS’ Home Price Index (HPI). When compared to the index’s 2005 peak of $270,000, prices are still down 15.2 percent. However, Colorado and Texas moved ahead of the national trend and hit new highs of $256,000 and $182,000, respectively. [COLUMN_BREAK]On the other hand, California saw a 19.6 percent annual jump in prices, but remains 26.3 percent below its peak. Arizona also saw a significant increase over the last year in June. Prices in the state rose 13.9 percent, but are 32.8 percent away from the peak value. Out of the 40 large metro areas LPS tracks, three in Texas reached new highs: Austin ($237,000), Dallas ($182,000), and Houston ($181,000). Denver also established a new high-water mark of $265,000. At the same time, San Antonio is just 0.3 percent below its August 2007 peak, while Honolulu sits 2.1 percent below its 2007 peak. Overall, nearly half, or 19, of the 40 large metro areas experienced double-digit annual gains, LPS reported. Las Vegas led with a 27 percent increase, followed by San Francisco (+23.9 percent), Sacramento (+23.9 percent), San Jose (+20.1 percent) and Riverside, CA (+19.8 percent).When factoring in distressed sales, LPS found short sales sold for a discount of 25 percent, while REOs were marked down by 26 percent. Discounts varied greatly by state, with Nevada seeing REO discounts of only 8 percent compared to 36 in New York. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Investors Lender Processing Services Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-08-26 Esther Cho Share in Data, Origination August 26, 2013 482 Views Home Prices Up 1.2% in June, Texas Metros Post New Highs
December 19, 2013 541 Views Flagstar to Sell $40.7B in Servicing Rights to REIT Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Ginnie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Servicing Rights REIT Service Providers 2013-12-19 Tory Barringer in Secondary Market, Servicing Share The holding company for “”Flagstar Bank””:””:https://www.flagstar.com/ announced late Wednesday the bank unloading a large portion of its mortgage servicing rights (MSRs) to a real estate investment trust (REIT) in a $500 million deal.[IMAGE]Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., announced a deal with Matrix Financial Services Corporation, a subsidiary of “”Two Harbors””:http://www.twoharborsinvestment.com/, an REIT. According to Flagstar’s announcement, the agreement covers the sale of $40.7 billion in unpaid principal balance on residential MSRs, an amount making up about 55 percent of Flagstar’s mortgage loans “”serviced-for-others”” portfolio. The pool of loans covered in the deal is made up of loans originated mostly after 2010 and serviced for Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, the announcement says.Per the companies’ agreement, Flagstar will act as the sub-servicer on all of the loans underlying the MSRs, taking income from sub-servicing and retaining a portion of the ancillary fees. That portion of the agreement will remain in effect as long as the loans remain outstanding.The acquisition is expected to close by the end of 2013.For Flagstar, the deal represents an opportunity to reduce the firm’s MSR concentration and strengthen its balance sheet, says Lee Smith, COO.””Equally important, we are able to utilize Flagstar’s servicing platform to generate on-going servicing revenue and diversify the Company’s operations. We believe our re-branded servicing platform presents an attractive opportunity for organizations that are looking to purchase MSRs and have Flagstar sub-service these loans, and we believe there is a growing market for such services,”” Smith went on to say.Speaking on behalf of his company, Two Harbors president and CEO Thomas Siering said the transaction “”represents substantial ongoing progress related to our MSR investment initiative.””