Friday, December 14, 2018
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HOAX BOMB THREATS ACROSS U.S.

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14 DEC 2018: A wave of bomb threats emailed Thursday to hundreds of schools, businesses and government buildings across the US triggered searches, evacuations and fear - but there were no signs of explosives, and authorities said the scare appeared to be a crude extortion attempt. Meanwhile a ‘suspicious package’ found at Terminal 1 in Toronto on Wednesday closed level 3 at the airport for about four hours while police investigated, but was found not to be not a threat.   MORE

MORE THAN TWO SIDES TO THE STORY

A move to ban many vacation rentals in New Orleans
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14 DECC 2018: A ban on “whole home” short-term vacation rentals in New Orleans was proposed Thursday by a City Council member, a move long-awaited by critics who say investors were helping drive up housing costs and marring the character of historic neighbourhoods by buying up properties and renting them to out-of-towners. MORE

GOOD GUY

Man gives up 1st class plane seat for mother with ill child
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14 DEC 2018: A Pennsylvania man who gave up his first-class seat for a mother with an 11-month-old sick baby said he doesn't think it was that big of a deal. His kind gesture, shared by the baby’s mother on Facebook, has garnered international attention and praise.   MORE

BAD GUY

Man gets 9 years in prison for sex assault on flight
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14 DEC 2018: A man was sentenced to nine years in prison Thursday for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman during an overnight flight to Detroit. Prosecutors asked for a sentence of nearly 11 years, but US District Judge Terrence Berg settled on a nine-year term. He said he hoped it would be “grave enough” to deter others from committing similar crimes. MORE

WHAT NEXT

Carnival announces roller coaster on new cruise ship
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14 DEC 2018: Carnival Cruise Line has announced plans to launch the first cruise ship with a roller coaster on board. Carnival announced Thursday that BOLT will circle the top of a new ship, Mardi Gras, when it sets sail in 2020.   MORE

BIRD BRAINED SCHEME

Customs finds 70 finches in hair rollers
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14 DEC 2018: Customs officials at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport say they found 70 live finches hidden inside hair rollers. Authorities say a passenger arriving from Guyana on Saturday had the songbirds in a duffel bag.   MORE

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING

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18 DEC 2018: The Holland Tunnel between New Jersey and New York City may be in for a makeover after critics called the placement of its holiday decorations a distraction, a possible trigger for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder - and just plain ugly.   MORE

SWEET HOME CHICAGO

Blues legends at Guitar Festival
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14 DEC 2018: This Friday’s 'city' music video is a performance from the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival, held at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois and features Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, John Mayer, Hubert Sumlin and Jimmie Vaughan.   MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

GIVE THEM A BREAK

Canada has new regulations on pilot fatigue
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13 DEC 2018: The federal government is enacting strict new measures to address mounting concerns about tired flight crews on commercial planes. New regulations will set lower limits for the number of hours a pilot can be in the air and on duty before having to take a break. The government plans to allow carriers that have a harder time meeting those hours to create fatigue-management systems to mitigate risks. MORE

COMPETITIVE OR PREDATORY

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13 DEC 2018: Flair Airlines chief executive Jim Scott says predatory pricing and scheduling by rival WestJet Airlines Ltd. placed his budget carrier in jeopardy over the past six months culminating in an investigation by Canada's competition watchdog. On Tuesday, the Federal Court of Canada's chief justice ordered a WestJet vice-president to appear before the Competition Bureau to explain the airline's tactics, the latest development in a probe launched in the fall.   MORE

HAVE FAITH

Israel tourism continues to grow
By MICHAEL BAGINSKI
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13 DEC 2018: Despite residing in what is often dubbed a “dangerous neighbourhood,” Israeli tourism continues to grow – especially from Canada, where visitations are “going through the roof.” The interest in the Middle Eastern destination was reflected by a full house of agents at an Israel Government Tourist Office (IGTO) trade event held in Toronto Dec. 6, despite the distraction of the holiday season – both Hanukkah and Christmas – and a correspondingly chaotic location near Yorkdale mall in Toronto. MORE

ANNE RIGAIL APPOINTED CEO OF AIR FRANCE

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13 DEC 2018: Air France has announced that Anne Rigail will become the CEO of the airline. She will replace Benjamin Smith, who was appointed acting CEO of Air France through the end of 2018. Previously the airline’s executive vice president customer service, Rigail will assume her new role as CEO on December 17. MORE

WORTH A VISIT

A new kind of museum in Whistler
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13 DEC 2018: The picturesque village of Whistler, BC, is better known for its mountains and resorts than galleries, but the Audain Art Museum offers visitors a respite from the slopes and an opportunity to take in work by a variety of artists. With pieces from painter Emily Carr, carver James Hart and photographer Jeff Wall, the permanent collection tells the story of Canada in a very BC-specific context, said Curtis Collins, the museum's director and chief curator. MORE

PROVIDING A GOOD HOME

Busch Gardens certified for animal care
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13 DEC 2018: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has earned the Humane Certified seal through the American Humane Conservation program.  The program is devoted to helping verify the welfare, well-being and demonstrably humane treatment of animals living in zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers across the globe.  MORE

A WELCOME ADDITION

New cruise pier planned for Hoonah Alaska
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13 DEC 2018: A small town in southeast Alaska is planning to construct a new pier, aiming to boost tourism by allowing access for more cruise ships. The city of Hoonah on Chichagof Island is partnering with Huna Totem Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings to build a pier at Icy Strait Point.   MORE

THANKING AGENTS

And appreciating partners
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13 DEC 2018: Riu Hotels and Resorts and Sunwing got together to thank their top-performing agents this month with appreciation lunches in Quebec City and Ontario. Top producing agents were invited to enjoy lunch, meet with RIU and Sunwing sales teams and learn about upcoming renovation and expansion plans for RIU Hotels & Resorts. MORE
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