GEORGE TOWN: The Federal Government is expected to announce positive news on the (VOA) for tourists after the Aidilfitri celebrations in June or July, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi (pix) said today. He said his ministry is currently discussing with the Home Ministry to iron out certain issues and an announcement will be made soon. “We were in discussion with the Home Minister to sort out some issues regarding the VOA including making it easier for tourists to come into Malaysia, more lenient and relaxed in requirements, to increase the number of visitors annually. “It is going to be sorted out soon and we will make the official announcement in the next two months after everything is ready,“ he told reporters after attending the preview of the Royal Caribbean International’s newest and largest cruise ship, Spectrum of the Seas, at the Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal here today. He said the government’s intention was to make it … [Read more...] about Govt expects to announce positive news on Visa-On-Arrival soon
International travel news
When the budget airline Wow Air abruptly ceased operations earlier this year, thousands of travelers were left stranded and scrambling, on both sides of the Atlantic, to make alternate travel plans. The news, after months of speculation that the Icelandic airline was struggling financially, came at a period that has already been particularly difficult for low-cost carriers. Cyprus’ Cobalt Air, Pakistan’s Shaheen Air, and Primera, based in Denmark and Latvia, collapsed in October. In February, Flybmi and Germania filed for bankruptcy. For most, rising fuel costs and overexpansion led to their demise. Budget airlines are appealing to travelers because they offer much lower prices than major airlines. A flight to London from New York can cost around $1,000 on American Airlines, British Airways or another major carrier, but the same trip on low-cost Norwegian, for the same dates, can be around $600. Similarly, a flight from Washington to Paris costs around $1,200 on Air France, … [Read more...] about News Are budget airlines really worth it?
SHANGHAI, China - Dozens have taken shortcuts while one hopped on a bike -- cheating by Chinese marathon runners has become so rampant that there are warnings it is harming the country's reputation. Running has taken off in China with competitors wearing the latest trendy gear and boasting of their achievements on social media or on job applications to boost their employment prospects. But race organizers are struggling to keep up with a growing number of attempts -- some laughably audacious -- to break the rules. The Chinese Athletic Association (CAA) issued lifetime bans to three runners who cheated at the prestigious Boston Marathon in April. Two of them presented forged certificates to fraudulently reach the strict entry standard while the third gave his bib to someone else to run for him. Their behavior "had a negative impact on China in the (international) community", the CAA said in a statement. An official with the CAA's marathon department who spoke on condition of anonymity … [Read more...] about News Bikes, shortcuts, bibs for cash: China marathon cheats run rampant
AKRON, Ohio — Colin Robertson wonders why he pays federal taxes on the $18,000 a year he makes cleaning carpets, while the tech giant Amazon got a tax rebate. His concerns about a tilted economic playing field recently led Robertson to join the Akron chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. At a gathering this month, as members discussed Karl Marx and corporate greed over chocolate chip cookies, it was not long before talk turned to income inequality and how the government helps the wealthy avoid taxes. “One of the benefits of taxation is taking it and using it for the collective good,” said Robertson, 25, comparing his minimal income to the roughly $150 billion net worth of Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive and the world’s richest person. “He could be taxed at 99.9 percent and still have millions left over,” Robertson said, “and I’d be homeless.” It is a topic that several presidential candidates, led by Sens. … [Read more...] about News $0 corporate tax for Amazon, profitable giants sickens US voters
AKCAKALE, Turkey — Like thousands of other Syrian refugees, Shakar Rudani worked last summer in Turkey’s Black Sea region, home to the largest concentration of hazelnut farms in the world. He arrived in August, expecting that he and his six sons, ages 18-24, would earn the equivalent of a few thousand dollars. He left in late September with little more than a firm resolution: to never return again. The work was arduous and risky. Because the terrain is filled with steep inclines, his sons spent much of their time attached by ropes to rocks, a precaution against a potentially fatal fall. Worse, the pay was $10 a day, half the rate promised by the middleman who had pitched him the job. “We made just enough to cover the cost of getting there and getting back,” said Rudani, a sun-baked 57-year-old who lives in a Turkish village on the Syrian border. “Plus our living expenses. We returned with nothing.” About 70 percent of all hazelnuts come from Turkey, … [Read more...] about News Where Ferrero gets its hazelnuts, Syrian refugees eke out a living