Kentucky, UConn to play for national title

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel News

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — No, this was not an instant replay, though it certainly is turning into a highlight loop that Aaron Harrison and his Kentucky teammates could get used to watching.

Harrison took a pass from his twin brother, Andrew, spotted up from NBA range and watched the ball rattle in for the lead with 5.7 seconds left Saturday night to lift the Wildcats to a 74-73 victory over Wisconsin in the Final Four.

It was a near carbon copy of his game-winner last weekend in the regional final against Michigan. It was every bit as big as the 3 he made the game before that to help Kentucky take the lead for good in the Sweet 16 against Louisville.

“You can’t be scared to miss, and you want to be that guy that wants to take the big shots,” Aaron Harrison said.

“He has that clutch gene,” Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker said.

Traevon Jackson had a last-second shot to try to beat the Wildcats (29-10), but the desperation jumper rimmed out, and once again Harrison found himself at the bottom of a dog pile at center court. Sophomore Alex Poythress’ leg bent backward in the scrum. He was icing his left knee afterward but said he’d be OK for Monday’s final.

Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) celebrates afternbsp;hellip;

Eighth-seeded Kentucky will play seventh-seeded UConn — the highest seed total to play for the title since they started putting numbers by the names back in 1979. The Wildcats, who missed March Madness last year, haven’t lost a tournament game since the 2011 semifinal against UConn.

“I know how good they are, but I don’t know how they play,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said of his next opponent.

Second-seeded Wisconsin (30-8) set a Final Four record by going 95 percent from the free-throw line — 19 for 20. But that one miss cost the Badgers dearly. Jackson got Andrew Harrison to jump into him while attempting a 3-pointer with 16.4 seconds left. His first free throw rimmed out, and — after he made the next two — Wisconsin had a 73-71 lead and Kentucky had the ball.

Any doubt where it was going?

“Coach said wanted me to take the shot, my teammates have confidence in me, and I just fed off that,” Harrison said.

Kentucky celebrates after guard Aaron Harrison madenbsp;hellip;

Against Louisville in the regional semifinal, Harrison was open in the corner when Julius Randle found him. He hit the go-ahead 3 with 39.1 seconds left on the way to a 74-69 win.

Two nights later, there were 2.3 seconds on the clock and Harrison was a few steps right of where he was Saturday when he took the pass from his brother. Michigan’s Caris LeVert hit Harrison’s hand as he shot from about 24 feet but the ball went in anyway. After that one, the freshman calmly backpedaled before his teammates reached him to congratulate.

This time, it was Josh Gasser in his face at around 25 feet — a big step back from where the NBA line would be. The ball clanged in and Harrison turned around and raised his hands over his head before running to the other end of the court.

A few minutes later, he was hugging his mom in the stands.

“He was pretty deep out there,” Gasser said. “He hadn’t really looked to pull up for a shot the entire game. I saw him start to rise up, and I tried to contest the best I could. I thought I did a good job, but he made another good shot.”

Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) makes a three-pointnbsp;hellip;

It was Harrison’s only attempt from 3 all night; the Wildcats went only 2 for 5 as a team.

James Young went to the rim hard in the first half and led Kentucky with 17 points. Randle finished with 16, but only five boards to snap his string of three straight double-doubles.

But Kentucky did damage in other ways on the inside, finding the answer for Wisconsin’s do-everything 7-footer, Frank Kaminsky, who was held to eight points and five rebounds.

Ben Brust and Dekker had 15 each for the Badgers, who came up a game short of their first appearance in the final since 1941.

Instead, it’s Kentucky going for its ninth national title and second in three years, with an almost completely rebuilt roster from 2012. It’s the way Calipari does it, like it or not, and it hasn’t all been easy sailing. The team that was ranked first in the preseason poll fell out of it completely for the start of March Madness.

Only then, did the Wildcats start playing to their potential.

“They know I believe in them. Aaron knows,” Calipari said. “If you’ve watched us, we have a bunch of stars on this team.”

Harrison is the biggest of them in this tournament. If he chooses to leave after Monday, he’ll have first-round potential, though it won’t be his final numbers in this game — eight points, three rebounds — that will impress the scouts as much as his final shot.

“He was smiling, like he knew he was going to make it,” Andrew Harrison said. “He’s a big-time player. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/kentucky-74-73-over-wisconsin-play-title-033937776--spt.html

Rush to verify signals in hunt for missing jet

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel News

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Three separate but fleeting sounds from deep in the Indian Ocean offered new hope Sunday in the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, as officials rushed to determine whether they were signals from the plane’s black boxes before their beacons fall silent.

The head of the multinational search being conducted off Australia’s west coast confirmed that a Chinese ship had picked up electronic pulsing signals twice in a small patch of the search zone, once on Friday and again on Saturday.

On Sunday, an Australian ship carrying sophisticated deep-sea sound equipment picked up a third signal in a different part of the massive search area.

“This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to treat carefully,” retired Australian Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston, who is coordinating the search, told reporters in Perth.

He stressed that the signals had not been verified as being linked to Flight 370, which was traveling from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing when it disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.

“We have an acoustic event. The job now is to determine the significance of that event. It does not confirm or deny the presence of the aircraft locator on the bottom of the ocean,” Houston said, referring to each of the three transmissions.

“We are dealing with very deep water, we are dealing with an environment where sometimes you can get false indications,” he said. “There are lots of noises in the ocean, and sometimes the acoustic equipment can rebound, echo if you like.”

China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday that the patrol vessel Haixun 01 detected a “pulse signal” Friday in the southern Indian Ocean at 37.5 kilohertz — the same frequency emitted by the flight data recorders aboard the missing plane.

Houston confirmed the report, and said the Haixun 01 detected a signal again on Saturday within 2 kilometers (1.4 miles) of the original signal, for 90 seconds. He said China also reported seeing white objects floating in the sea in the area.

The British navy ship HMS Echo, which is fitted with sophisticated sound-locating equipment, is moving to the area where the signals were picked up and will probably get there early Monday, Houston said.

Missing Malaysia Airlines jet

The Australian navy’s Ocean Shield, which is carrying high-tech sound detectors from the U.S. Navy, will also head there, but will first investigate the sound it picked up in its current region, about 300 nautical miles (555 kilometers) away, he said.

Australian air force assets are also being deployed into the Haixun 01′s area to try to confirm or discount the signals’ relevance to the search, Houston said.

In Kuala Lumpur, families of passengers aboard the missing plane attended a prayer service on Sunday that also drew thousands of Malaysian sympathizers.

“This is not a prayer for the dead because we have not found bodies. This is a prayer for blessings and that the plane will be found,” said Liow Tiong Lai, the president of the government coalition party that organized the two-hour session.

Two Chinese women were in tears and hugged by their caregivers after the rally. Many others looked somber, and several wore white T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Pray for MH370.”

Two-thirds of the passengers aboard Flight 370 were Chinese, and a group of relatives has been in Kuala Lumpur for most of the past month to follow the investigation. Liow said some of them were planning to go home on Sunday.

After weeks of fruitless looking, the multinational search team is racing against time to find the sound-emitting beacons and cockpit voice recorders that could help unravel the mystery of the plane. The beacons in the black boxes emit “pings” so they can be more easily found, but the batteries last for only about a month.

Investigators believe Flight 370 veered way off-course and came down somewhere in the southern Indian Ocean, though they have not been able to explain why it did so.

The crew of the Chinese ship reportedly picked up the signals using a hand-held sonar device called a hydrophone dangled over the side of a small runabout — something experts said was technically possible but extremely unlikely.

Deep water search for jet

The equipment aboard the Ocean Shield and the HMS Echo are dragged slowly behind each ship over long distances and are considered far more sophisticated than those the Chinese crew was using.

Footage aired on China’s state-run CCTV showed crew members in the small boat with a device shaped like a large soup can attached to a pole. It was hooked up by cords to electronic equipment in a padded suitcase as they poked the device into the water.

“If the Chinese have discovered this, they have found a new way of finding a needle in a haystack,” said aviation expert Geoffrey Thomas, editor-in-chief of AirlineRatings.com. “Because this is amazing. And if it proves to be correct, it’s an extraordinarily lucky break.”

There are many clicks, buzzes and other sounds in the ocean from animals, but the 37.5 kilohertz pulse was selected for underwater locator beacons because there is nothing else in the sea that would naturally make that sound, said William Waldock, an expert on search and rescue who teaches accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

“They picked that (frequency) so there wouldn’t be false alarms from other things in the ocean,” he said.

But after weeks of false alarms, officials were careful Sunday not to overplay the development.

“We are hopeful but by no means certain,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said of the detection of the signals.

“This is the most difficult search in human history. We need to be very careful about coming to hard and fast conclusions too soon,” Abbott told reporters during a visit to Japan.

Houston, the search coordinator, conceded that his organization first heard about the initial signal China had detected when it was reported by a Chinese journalist aboard the Haixun 01. He said that at “almost the same time” he was informed of the development by the Chinese government.

The agency was formally told about the second Chinese detection on Saturday “in absolutely the normal way,” he said.

“China is sharing everything that is relevant to this search. Everything,” Houston said.

Still, the search agency will be adding a Chinese-speaking liaison officer “to make sure nothing falls through the cracks,” he said.

Houston also said there had been a correction to satellite data that investigators have been using to calculate Flight 370′s likely flight pattern. As a result, starting on Monday, the southern section of the current search zone will be given higher priority than the northern part.

The signals detected by the Chinese ship were in the southern high priority zone, Houston said.

Up to 12 military and civilian planes and 13 ships took part in the search Sunday of three areas totaling about 216,000 square kilometers (83,400 square miles). The areas are about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) northwest of the Australian west coast city of Perth.

___

Associated Press writers Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Rohan Sullivan in Sydney contributed to this report.

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/more-ships-rush-probe-signals-plane-search-073214198--finance.html

Deals: Ireland

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Guys’ getaway in Ireland

The deal: Sceptre Tours is offering the new, four-night “Ultimate Mancation” package to Ireland for guys looking to cut loose with their brothers, fathers and friends.

Cost: $3,129 per person, based on departure date, gateway city, inclusions and number of participants. The tour is ideal for groups of 10; if nine travelers are booked, the 10th person goes free.

What’s included: Round-trip economy class airfare from New York to Dublin; coach and driver for duration of trip; four nights at the O’Callaghan Davenport Hotel; three rounds of golf; tours and sightseeing including visits to the Old Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse; additional inclusions, such as a welcome dinner and full Irish breakfast daily.

When: For travel by Dec. 31.

Information: Sceptretours.com or 800-221-0924.

— Elyse Toribio

Article source: http://www.northjersey.com/travel/travel-deals/deals-ireland-1.842622

Travel Deals and Steals for Sunday, April 6

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

An exterior view at Oberoi Hotels  Resorts, which is a offering a special deal for visitors to India.
An exterior view at Oberoi Hotels Resorts, which is a offering a special deal for visitors to India.

AN EXOTIC TIME IN INDIA

Experience the vibrant culture and exceptional landscapes of India with Oberoi Hotels Resorts.

Deal: Book the “Oberoi Exotic Vacation,” with pricing starting at $1,800 for a six-night stay. This offer includes accommodation for two in a premier room, along with a complimentary additional room for up to two children (up to 12 years of age, subject to availability at time of booking). Guests also receive daily yoga sessions, daily breakfast, a 25% discount on all spa therapies, and complimentary car transfers between the hotel and local city airport or railway station. This deal is valid through Sept. 30 at all participating hotels.

Experience: Take in the rich history of India, from the colonial architecture of Delhi to the regal tigers of Ranthambore. Guests choose from curated itineraries or create their own signature experience.

Book it! Call 1-800-562-3764 or go online to oberoihotels.com.

MARRAKECH MEMORIES

Plan the perfect escape to Morocco this summer with friends or family.

Steal: The “Private Riad” package starts at $83 per person per night — based on 10 guests — for exclusive use of a five-bedroom riad, which is a traditional Moroccan home. Included: daily breakfast for up to 10 guests. For stays of four nights or more, a group cooking lesson with an executive chef is included at the riad. This package is valid for stays from June 1 to Aug. 31.

Experience: A host is on hand to arrange a wealth of excursions and experiences to entertain and give guests the chance to discover the culture of Morocco. The riad host offers expert, in-depth local knowledge on everything from where to find handmade Moroccan slippers to the most fashionable nightclub. Such aid is only a phone call away — because each guest is given a mobile phone.

A stay at Angsana Riad Bab Firdaus puts visitors in the heart of Marrakech.
A stay at Angsana Riad Bab Firdaus puts visitors in the heart of Marrakech.

Book it! Email Marrakech@angsana.com, call 00-212-524-388-905 or 00-212-524-388-906 or visit angsana.com.

GREAT GOLF GETAWAY

Grab five friends and hop the next flight to Georgia, for the Masters final on April 13 at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Deal: Book the “Masters Final Sunday” golf package with Kensington Tours for a total of six people. You’ll pay $5,395 per person, down from $9,643 per person, and get VIP access to the coveted Masters final round. Also part of the deal: a police escort to the Augusta National, four nights at the Presidential House of the Ritz Reynolds Plantation, two rounds of golf at the championship golf courses and one night at the Ritz Buckhead. If you don’t have five buddies at the ready, then ask about Kensington’s other last-minute Masters options.

Experience: You’ll make it there just in time for the final, and you’ll enjoy coveted access and cuisine. Food served at the Augusta National Golf Club includes the four-cheese pimento sandwich (the recipe is a tight-lipped secret), served on the Par 3 at tea time at The Masters. Some golf trivia: The first Masters was played in 1934 with Robert T. Jones Jr. making a return to competitive golf; in 1953 a cabin was built for then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which is one of a handful of residences on the course’s grounds.

Book it! Online at kensingtontours.com or by calling 888-903-2001.

Conway Confidential is a content syndication provider specializing in travel, food and lifestyle.

Article source: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/travel-deals-steals-sunday-april-6-article-1.1746058?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nydnrss%2Fsports%2Fhockey%2Fdevils+(Sports%2FHockey%2FDevils)

Tennessee proposes free community college for high school grads

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel News



View photo

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to fund community college tuition appears headed toward approval (AP)

Tennessee Gov. William Haslam has proposed that his state use lottery funds to provide high-school graduates with two free years of education at community or technical colleges.

First announced in February, the proposal now appears to be on track for approval having won support from several of Haslem’s Republican colleagues in the state general assembly.

Called “Tennessee Promise,” Haslam’s plan would allow high-school graduates to attend an in state technical or community college without having to pay any tuition or associated fees. The funds would come from newly created endowment using money from the lottery’s reserves.

It’s estimated that the plan would cost about $34 million each year.

The state currently has about 80,000 community college students, evenly divided between full-time and part-time students, according to the American Association of Community Colleges.

“As we encourage more Tennesseans to continue their education, we know we have to remove as many barriers as possible,” Haslam said during his State of the State address in February. “Cost is often the biggest hurdle to furthering education.”

Some Democrats in the state oppose the proposal, saying it would take away funds from other currently existing scholarship models.

In 2012, Tennessee’s lottery sales reached a record high of $1.2 billion. In the state lottery’s short history (it was first launched in 2004), it has already raised more than $2.5 billion for educational programs .

Several other states such as California and New York generate billions each year for their education systems with lottery funds . However, those funds are directed to K-12 programs. As the Chronicle of Higher Education reported, other states including Arkansas, Georgia and South Carolina use their lottery funds for college education scholarships but not to fully fund community or technical college programs.

A recent independent ranking put Tennessee 43rd in national college graduate rankings. Haslem has announced a goal of having 55 percent of the state’s adults complete an associate or bachelor’s degree program by 2025 . Currently, 32.1 percent of the state’s adults complete a bachelors’ degree program.

“Even at a community college, it’s not cheap. You’ve got all that debt,” 22-year-old community college graduate Cody Mitchell said at a state legislative hearing this week covered by the Daily News Journal. “That money can go to a lot of other things.”

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/tennessee-close-to-approving-free-community-college-to-all-high-school-grads-212301676.html

Kentucky beats Wisconsin; plays UConn for national championship

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel News

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — No, this was not an instant replay, though it certainly is turning into a highlight loop that Aaron Harrison and his Kentucky teammates could get used to watching.

Harrison took a pass from his twin brother, Andrew, spotted up from NBA range and watched the ball rattle in for the lead with 5.7 seconds left Saturday night to lift the Wildcats to a 74-73 victory over Wisconsin in the Final Four.

It was a near carbon copy of his game-winner last weekend in the regional final against Michigan. It was almost as clutch as the 3 he made the game before that to help Kentucky take the lead for good in the Sweet 16 against Louisville.

“You can’t be scared to miss, and you want to be that guy that wants to take the big shots,” Aaron Harrison said.

“He has that clutch gene,” Wisconsin’s Sam Dekker said.

Traevon Jackson had a last-second shot to try to beat the Wildcats (29-10), but the desperation jumper rimmed out, and once again Harrison found himself at the bottom of a dog pile at center court. Sophomore Alex Poythress’ leg bent backward in the scrum. He was icing his left knee afterward but said he’d be OK for Monday’s final.

Kentucky celebrates after guard Aaron Harrison madenbsp;hellip;

Eighth-seeded Kentucky will play seventh-seeded UConn — the highest seed total to play for the title since they started putting numbers by the names back in 1979. The Wildcats, who missed March Madness last year, haven’t lost a tournament game since the 2011 semifinal against UConn.

“I know how good they are, but I don’t know how they play,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said of his next opponent.

Second-seeded Wisconsin (30-8) set a Final Four record by going 95 percent from the free-throw line — 19 for 20. But that one miss cost the Badgers dearly. Jackson got Andrew Harrison to jump into him while attempting a 3-pointer with 16.4 seconds left. His first free throw rimmed out, and — after he made the next two — Wisconsin had a 73-71 lead and Kentucky had the ball.

Any doubt where it was going?

“Coach said wanted me to take the shot, my teammates have confidence in me, and I just fed off that,” Harrison said.

Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) makes a three-pointnbsp;hellip;

Against Louisville in the regional semifinal, Harrison was open in the corner when Julius Randle found him. He hit the go-ahead 3 with 39.1 seconds left on the way to a 74-69 win.

Two nights later, there were 2.3 seconds on the clock and Harrison was a few steps right of where he was Saturday when he took the pass from his brother. Michigan’s Caris LeVert hit Harrison’s hand as he shot from about 24 feet but the ball went in anyway. After that one, the freshman calmly backpedaled before his teammates reached him to congratulate.

This time, it was Josh Gasser in his face at around 25 feet — a big step back from where the NBA line would be. The ball clanged in and Harrison trotted backward for another muted celebration.

A few minutes later, he was hugging his mom in the stands.

“He was pretty deep out there,” Gasser said. “He hadn’t really looked to pull up for a shot the entire game. I saw him start to rise up, and I tried to contest the best I could. I thought I did a good job, but he made another good shot.”

Kentucky guard James Young celebrates during the secondnbsp;hellip;

It was Harrison’s only attempt from 3 all night; the Wildcats went only 2 for 5 as a team.

James Young went to the rim hard in the first half and led Kentucky with 17 points. Randle finished with 16, but only five boards to snap his string of three straight double-doubles.

But Kentucky did damage in other ways on the inside, finding the answer for Wisconsin’s do-everything 7-footer, Frank Kaminsky, who was held to eight points and five rebounds.

Ben Brust and Dekker had 15 each for the Badgers, who came up a game short of their first appearance in the final since 1941.

Instead, it’s Kentucky going for its ninth national title and second in three years, with an almost completely rebuilt roster from 2012. It’s the way Calipari does it, like it or not, and it hasn’t all been easy sailing. The team that was ranked first in the preseason poll fell out of it completely for the start of March Madness.

Only then, did the Wildcats start playing to their potential.

“They know I believe in them. Aaron knows,” Calipari said. “If you’ve watched us, we have a bunch of stars on this team.”

Harrison is the biggest of them in this tournament. If he chooses to leave after Monday, he’ll have first-round potential, though it won’t be his final numbers in this game — eight points, three rebounds — that will impress the scouts as much as his final shot.

“He was smiling, like he knew he was going to make it,” Andrew Harrison said. “He’s a big-time player. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/kentucky-74-73-over-wisconsin-play-title-033937776--spt.html

Ship hunting for Malaysia jet detects signal

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel News

PERTH, Australia (AP) — Officials on Sunday were trying to confirm whether a “pulse signal” reportedly picked up by a Chinese ship in the Indian Ocean came from the missing Malaysian jetliner.

The Australian agency coordinating the search for the missing plane said that the electronic pulse signals reportedly detected by the Chinese ship are consistent with those of an aircraft black box.

But the agency’s head, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said they “cannot verify any connection” at this stage between the signals and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported late Saturday that a Chinese ship that is part of the search effort detected a “pulse signal” at 37.5 kilohertz (cycles per second) — the same frequency emitted by flight data recorders — in southern Indian Ocean waters. Xinhua, however, said it had not yet been determined whether the signal was related to the missing plane, citing the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center.

Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, confirmed the frequency emitted by Flight 370′s black boxes were 37.5 kilohertz.

Houston said his Joint Agency Coordination Centre had asked China for “any further information that may be relevant.” He said the Australian air force was considering deploying more aircraft to the area where the Chinese ship reportedly detected the sounds.

Malaysia Vows to Keep Looking for Jet

“I have been advised that a series of sounds have been detected by a Chinese ship in the search area. The characteristics reported are consistent with the aircraft black box,” Houston said. The agency had also received reports of white objects sighted on the ocean surface about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from where the electronic signals were detected.

“However, there is no confirmation at this stage that the signals and the objects are related to the missing aircraft,” Houston said.

The agency said up to 12 military and civilian planes and 13 ships would take part in the search on Sunday, which would focus on three areas totaling about 216,000 square kilometers (83,400 square miles). The areas are about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) northwest of the Australian city of Perth.

It was not immediately clear if the report of pulse signal being picked up helped to determine the areas to be searched on Sunday.

China has nine ships and eight planes in the southern Indian Ocean looking for the lost flight, according to an article on the China Maritime Rescue Center’s website. The Haixun01, which Xinhua reported was the ship that detected the pulse signal, is equipped with sophisticated search equipment including underwater robots, an underwater sonar locator, and a black box locator, the article said.

A woman ties a message card for passengers aboard thenbsp;hellip;

After weeks of fruitless looking, the multinational search team is racing against time to find the sound-emitting beacons and cockpit voice recorders that could help unravel the mystery of the plane. The beacons in the black boxes emit “pings” so they can be more easily found, but the batteries only last for about a month.

Finding floating wreckage is key to narrowing the search area, as officials can then use data on currents to backtrack to where the plane hit the water, and where the flight recorders may be.

As officials tried to verify the Chinese reports, Malaysia’s defense minister and acting transport minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, was hopeful. “Another night of hope — praying hard,” he tweeted in response to the latest discoveries.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott also expressed caution about the unconfirmed Chinese report.

“We are hopeful but by no means certain,” Abbott said in comments on Australian Broadcasting Corp. television. “This is the most difficult search in human history. We need to be very careful about coming to hard and fast conclusions too soon.”

A Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail takes offnbsp;hellip;

There are many clicks, buzzes and other sounds in the ocean from animals, but the 37.5 kilohertz pulse was selected for underwater locator beacons on black boxes because there is nothing else in the sea that would naturally make that sound, said William Waldock, an expert on search and rescue who teaches accident investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

“They picked that (frequency) so there wouldn’t be false alarms from other things in the ocean,” he said.

Honeywell Aerospace, which made the boxes in the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, said the Underwater Acoustic Beacons on both the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder operate at a frequency of 37.5 kilohertz plus or minus 1 kilohertz.

Waldock cautioned that “it’s possible it could be an aberrant signal” from a nuclear submarine if there was one in the vicinity.

If the sounds can be verified, it would reduce the search area to about 10 square kilometers (4 square miles), Waldock said. Unmanned robot subs with sidescan sonar would then be sent into the water to try to locate the wreckage, he said.

Map shows search areas for missing Malaysia Airlinesnbsp;hellip;

John Goglia, a former U.S. National Transportation Safety Board member, called the report “exciting,” but cautioned that “there is an awful lot of noise in the ocean.”

“One ship, one ping doesn’t make a success story,” he said. “It will have to be explored. I guarantee you there are other resources being moved into the area to see if it can be verified.”

Hishammuddin told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday the cost of mounting the search was immaterial compared to providing solace for the families of those on board by establishing what happened.

“I can only speak for Malaysia, and Malaysia will not stop looking for MH370,” he said.

He said an independent investigator would be appointed to lead a team that will try to determine what happened to Flight 370. The team will include three groups: One will look at airworthiness, including maintenance, structures and systems; another will examine operations, such as flight recorders and meteorology; and a third will consider medical and human factors.

A Royal Australian Air Force E-7A Wedgetail takes offnbsp;hellip;

The investigation team will include officials and experts from several nations, including Australia, China, the United States, Britain and France, Hishammuddin said.

Officials have said the hunt for the wreckage is among the hardest ever undertaken, and will get much harder if there are no confirmed debris sightings and the beacons fall silent before they are found.

If that happens, the only hope for finding the plane may be a full survey of the Indian Ocean floor, an operation that would take years and an enormous international operation.

The search agency said Friday that sophisticated sound locating equipment from the U.S. Navy had been deployed for the first time from the Australian navy vessel Ocean Shield. The British navy ship HMS Echo was fitted with similar equipment.

Because the U.S. Navy’s pinger locator can pick up signals to a depth of 6,100 meters (20,000 feet), it should be able to hear the plane’s data recorders even if they are in the deepest part of the search zone — about 5,800 meters (19,000 feet). But that’s only if the locator gets within range of the black boxes — a tough task, given the size of the search area and the fact that the pinger locator must be dragged slowly through the water at just 1 to 5 knots (1 to 6 mph).

___

Ng reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Associated Press writers Gillian Wong in Kuala Lumpur, Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, Kristen Gelineau and Rohan Sullivan in Sydney, and Joan Lowy in Washington contributed to this report.

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/china-ship-hears-signal-unclear-jet-related-153110408--finance.html

Travel tips: holidays in Wales, and this week’s best deals

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Why go?
Known as the Dragon’s Tail, this 30-mile peninsula poking into the Irish Sea feels like a place apart: a stronghold for Welsh language and culture with a distinct microclimate which can see it basking in sunshine while the rest of north Wales is lashed by rain. The chichi yachting town of Abersoch may have been colonised by well-heeled holidaymakers and second homers, but elsewhere you’ll find empty golden beaches, fishing hamlets and peaceful clifftop walks.

What to do
Start by visiting Porth y Swnt, the new National Trust centre in Aberdaron (nationaltrust.org.uk). You can pick up maps, walking routes and ideas for days out, such as a visit to the “whistling sands” at Porthor which squeak as you walk on them, or a boat trip to Bardsey Island, a medieval pilgrimage site. Llyˆn Adventures can organise canoeing, kayaking and coasteering (llynadventures.com), but if you prefer to stay on dry land, the Wales Coast Path runs right around the peninsula. For a day at the beach, Llanbedrog is postcard-perfect.

Where to eat
Llyˆn is famous for its lobster, crab and mackerel, all of which you’ll find on the menu at Twnti Seafood Restaurant, in a converted barn in the hills behind Pwllheli (twntiseafood.co.uk). At Venetia in Abersoch, chef Marco Fillipi puts an Italian spin on seafood dishes such as Aberdaron crab linguini (venetiawales.com).

Where to stay
The National Trust has cottages and apartments to rent in Porthdinllaen, Aberdaron and Rhiw, some of which are just yards from the sea (from £475 per week, nationaltrustcottages.co.uk).

Insider tip
Gwyn Jones, director of Plas Glyn-y-Weddw Arts Centre (oriel.org.uk), recommends a walk along the north coast. “Park in the car park at Morfa Nefyn and walk along the beach to Porthdinllaen, once a bustling ship-building village. After a brief refresher at the beach tavern, Tyˆ Coch – recently voted the third-best beach bar in the world – carry on around the headland to see dolphins and seals.”

Give me a break


Northumberland
The Radcliffe at the Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland, Northumberland.

Home: Northumberland getaway
The Lord Crewe Arms in Blanchland reopens this week after a two-year renovation by new owners Calcot Hotels (also behind the not-too-shabby Barnsley House and Calcot Manor). Expect cosseting bedrooms, a vaulted crypt bar and the beautiful North Pennines on your doorstep. Go before the end of April for a special spring rate of £113 for a “canny” room (lordcrewearmsblanchland.com)


Italian road trip
Dinner with a panoramic view at the Grand Hotel Bristol in Liguria. Photograph: Alamy

An Italian road trip
Inspired by The Trip to Italy, the latest gourmet road trip from Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, Citalia has a nine-night Liguria to Capri self-drive holiday from £1,335pp, which includes stays in the Grand Hotel Bristol in Liguria and the Caesar Augustus on Capri.  Based on a 6 May departure, the offer includes an early-booking discount of £200 per couple, return BA flights and car hire (citalia.com

For more inside tips, advice and holiday ideas, go to theguardian.com/travel

Article source: http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2014/apr/06/travel-tips-wales-northumberland-italy

Strengthening Rupee, Smart Deals Buoying Outbound Travel

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Fior the outbound Indian traveller, this holiday season is all merriment and cheer. For starters, the rupee is strengthened and is perched at Rs 60-61 against the dollar. This has led international, even domestic, carriers to offer competitive pricing and has also resulted in a rather nominal annual hike in tariff at international hotels and resorts. The travel sector firmly believes that this holiday season (2014-15) will see at least 15 per cent growth over the last year and that over 15 to 20 million Indians are likely to travel to foreign destinations, for work and leisure. “Despite fewer Indian travellers planning to increase their travel budget this year compared to 2013, the focus on travel whether budget or average remains strong,” notes Nikhil Ganjoo, Country Manager, TripAdvisor. He further points out that 8 out of 10 (82%) Indian hoteliers are being optimistic about their business profitability in 2014, which is significantly higher than the global average of 67.

The World Travel Tourism Council (WTTC) predicts that the number of outbound Indian travellers will touch 50 million by 2020. In a recent study, global consulting firm Deloitte pointed out that India is predicted to be among the world’s fastest growing markets with consumer spending hitting $13 trillion by 2030, boosted by rapid expansion of middle class income levels. 

‘Outbound travel’, as Subhash Goyal, Chairman STIC Travels, puts it, “will certainly improve this season after a prolonged slump because of the global slowdown. The rupee is strengthening, stock markets are high and this will lead to increased disposable income in the hands of people.” He expects outbound travel especially to Southeast Asia, which is now cheaper than many domestic holidays, to see a rise. “As countries like Indonesia, Madagascar, Ethiopia now offer visa-on-arrival (VOA) more and more tourists are headed there,” adds Goyal.

Apart from VOA, the sheer convenience of direct flights to destinations like Phuket, Istanbul, South Africa also contributes to pick-up in outbound travel this season. 

Travel experts point out that to beat the downturn and low occupancy even in destinations like Europe, hotels have marginalised their tariff hikes. “Last year, we offered five-night Europe package for `80,000 per person and today the price is about `92,000 for the same package. It’s a nominal hike, considering that we offer a better room for the same price,” a sector expert points out.

Sharat Dhall, president of travel portal Yatra.com, makes a point: “A sizeable section of Indians are looking beyond established holiday destinations and there is a reason to it. The rupee is strengthening while hotels abroad are offering very attractive rates to beat the slowdown.” He calls it a ‘win-win’ for the traveller, who now gets a superior room at the price of a standard room.

Dhall points out that with the rupee stabilising, a lot of first-time foreign travellers are expected to head to SE Asia. “SE Asia marks the entry point into international travel. This year, I expect to see at least 20 per cent of the outbound travellers embarking on their first ever international holiday.”

Sector experts say that with packages starting at Rs 25000-30,000 for Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka or Indonesia, first time travellers are making a beeline for travel portals that customize holiday packages. “Those who have never travelled abroad due to budget constraints can now get a package suited to their budget; this is an option that will spur Indian outbound travel,” says Dhall. This reflects positive sentiment.

Rati Dhodapkar, Managing Director Abercrombie Kent India, says that outbound tourists have waited a while for the rupee to reach an acceptable level and this is the season when bookings look very healthy. Though the first time outbound travellers would prefer closer-home holidays, the seasoned traveller still prefers Africa (for safaris, hot air ballooning) New Zealand (for sightseeing, kayaking and general leisure) or Turkey, more exotic, less clichéd.

Dhodapkar like Goyal also says that cruises were becoming very popular among the seasoned traveller. Unlike airfare and hotels, cruise packages can be greatly customized and altered to suit every pocket. Starting at Rs 13,000 for a two-night-three-day Asian water cruise to a lavish month long Alaskan, Mediterranean and Scandinavian cruises that run into lakhs, there’s something for everybody.

“The experience is stealer. You are on land by day and voyaging by night, in a moving five to seven-star property, hitting a new destination every other day,” says Dhodapkar. “Cruise is another segment that we believe has matured and will continue to grow in 2014. All-inclusive cruising holidays will be a good segment to watch out for in the year to come,” adds Goyal.

Call it the lure of the high-seas or the thrill of the skies, a stronger rupee is taking the Indian out of India, instilling in him, the ageless passion of world travel.

Article source: http://www.newindianexpress.com/business/news/Strengthening-Rupee-Smart-Deals-Buoying-Outbound-Travel/2014/04/06/article2151643.ece

NRA’s quest to expand gun rights takes it to court

April 6, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel News

The San Diego County sheriff denied Edward Peruta a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Christopher Haga’s gun collection was seized, and he was charged with crimes after he was mistakenly linked to a theft of assault weapons from a Fresno-area military base.

The National Rifle Association then lent legal assistance to both men as part of its aggressive legal and political campaign to blunt gun controls across the nation.

Emboldened by a seminal U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2008 that upstanding Americans have the fundamental right to keep guns in their homes, the NRA has involved itself in hundreds of legal cases, many in California.

That case “unleashed a torrent of litigation,” said University of California, Los Angeles Law School professor Adam Winkler, a Second Amendment expert.

Much of it is either started by the NRA or supported by the organization, which offers financial assistance and legal help to people embroiled in lawsuits and legal trouble because they own guns.

Winkler said the latest legal battle over the Second Amendment centers on expanding the right to carry guns outside the home, which is why the NRA is representing Peruta and several other gun owners who are challenging restrictions blocking permission to carry concealed firearms in public.

Peruta filed a lawsuit in 2009 after the San Diego County sheriff rejected his application for a concealed-weapons permit because Peruta failed to show he had a “good cause” to carry a gun outside his home. Peruta owns a motocross track in Connecticut, but he and his wife spend many months each year in San Diego living in their recreational vehicle.

This image released by the Fresno County Sheriff vianbsp;hellip;

Peruta said he wanted permission to carry a gun weapon for protection, but the sheriff and California law said he needed a better reason, such as that his occupation exposes him to robbery.

“I’m not a hunter. I’m not a collector or a target shooter,” Peruta said. “I’m not a gun crazy. But I do want to protect myself.”

After a federal judge refused to toss out the lawsuit in 2010, the NRA took over the case for Peruta. “The NRA is the 800-pound gorilla in this fight,” he said.

In February, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, citing the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling, struck down California’s “good cause” requirement, ruling that self-defense was a good enough reason to issue a concealed-weapons permit.

The California attorney general and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence are seeking to overturn that decision after San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said he would abide by the court decision.

“The issue is important: As a result of the decision, residents and visitors will be subjected to the increased risk posed by the carrying of loaded, hidden handguns on the streets of San Diego County by persons with no good cause to do so,” a lawyer for the Brady organization wrote in a court filing seeking permission to formally oppose Peruta and the NRA in an appeal.

This March 31, 2014 image provided by Ed Peruta showsnbsp;hellip;

The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut —where a gunman used an assault rifle to kill 20 children and six others— led some cities and states to enact laws banning high-capacity magazines, and the NRA countered with lawsuits.

So far, federal judges across the country have unanimously rejected the NRA’s legal challenges to these bans. Federal judges in recent weeks have upheld bans enacted by San Francisco and Sunnyvale, a Silicon Valley suburb about 40 miles to the south.

“California has always been sort of one of the front-line states,” said Chuck Michel, a Long Beach lawyer who represents the NRA in many of its California-based cases. Michel said the NRA and other Second Amendment advocates have filed “a whole slew of lawsuits” using the 2008 high court ruling to challenge gun-control laws enacted after Sandy Hook.

NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the group has always involved itself in furthering gun rights in court, but that legal challenges have increased since 2008.

NRA has been involved in “hundreds of cases” and spends “tens of millions” of dollars out of its $300 million annual budget on legal issues, Arulanandam said.

Among the cases is a lawsuit to repeal a Connecticut law that went into effect Monday, requiring a state license to buy rifles. Another is a challenge to New Jersey’s concealed-weapons law, which is similar to California’s.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear two NRA-backed cases. One sought to overturn a federal law barring licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to anyone under 21; the other was a Texas law barring people under 21 from carrying concealed weapons.

The NRA employs about two dozen in-house lawyers and hires many more outside lawyers — including former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement — to do battle in courtrooms across the country. It not only takes on weighty constitutional issues seeking to broaden the reach of the Second Amendment but also helps people who find themselves in trouble with the law because they own guns.

The NRA provided financial assistance and legal counsel to Christopher Haga, a gun collector who owns an auto shop in the Central Valley town of Parlier.

In 2011, Haga allowed federal firearms agents to search his house after they were tipped he had some of the 26 AK-74 assault rifles recently stolen from Fort Irwin, Calif. Haga’s lawyer Mark Coleman said his client had no connection to the theft and consented to the search after agents assured him they only were interested in stolen guns. After finding none, the investigators left — but they told Fresno police Haga had types of assault rifles prohibited by California law.

Following that tip, Fresno police searched Haga’s home and business and seized his gun collection. He was later charged with 35 felony gun counts.

With legal support and money from the NRA, Coleman challenged the legality of the guns search, and a judge sided with him. The district attorney dropped all charges late last year and returned Haga’s guns. Haga agreed to remove two of his AK-74s and a submachine gun from California.

The case was more about search-and-seizure laws than expanding gun rights, Coleman said. “But the NRA’s help was still valuable,” he said.

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/nras-quest-expand-gun-rights-takes-court-151143399.html

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