Canada to UN Security Council gave you seen this yet?

Canada to UN Security Council have you seen this yet?

Canada to UN Security Council gave you seen this yet?

Canada will make a bid for a seat on the UN Security Council, according to an announcement made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday.

Trudeau and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met during an official visit at Parliament Hill in Ottawa where the Prime Minister also expressed his commitment to increasing Canada’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions, alongside expanding its role in conflict prevention and aid contributions.

“On the issue of the UN Security Council, I highlighted to the secretary general that part of Canada wishing to re-engage robustly with the United Nations and in multilateral engagement around the world includes looking towards a bid for the UN Security Council,” Trudeau said.

Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge to strengthen ties with UN: “Since the United Nations was founded, Canada has always been one of our most important partners,” he said, after his meeting with Trudeau.

Ban Ki-Moon welcomed the Prime Minister’s pledge to strengthen ties with UN: “Since the United Nations was founded, Canada has always been one of our most important partners,” he said, after his meeting with Trudeau.

In 2010, Canada was defeated by Portugal in its bid for a Security Council term. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government’s foreign policy strategies were seen as a key reason for the loss.

Harper and the Conservatives did not maintain a close bond with the UN and policy decisions such as strengthening ties with Israel and decreasing aid to Africa were contributing factors to the to the rocky relationship.

In yesterday’s meeting, Ban said that Trudeau had a “very constructive change” on policy initiatives such as the climate change agreement, which was reached during December’s Paris summit, as well as Canada’s pledge to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees into the country.

Ban parted ways with the Prime Minister on Thursday evening and his next stop is Montreal, where he is set to meet with Quebec’s premier Philippe Couillard.

Pope Francis’ Controversial Remarks Prompt Vatican ‘Damage Control’

Pope Francis' Controversial Remarks Prompt Vatican 'Damage Control'

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has grabbed headlines with his off-the-cuff homilies, crowd-pleasing one-liners and lengthy interviews during which he has pontificated on everything from the church’s “obsession” with rules to how he won’t judge gays. But his chattiness has gotten him into some trouble, and the Vatican has gone into damage-control mode to clarify, correct or put his comments into context. Here’s a look at some of Francis’ more eyebrow-raising comments, and the efforts by the Vatican’s spin doctors to address them.

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DID FRANCIS REALLY CONSIDER TURNING DOWN THE JOB?

In an interview with the Rome daily La Repubblica, editor Eugenio Scalfari quoted the pope as saying he was “seized by a great anxiety” moments after his election and asked the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel to give him a few minutes time to think things over.

“To make it go away and relax, I closed my eyes and made every thought disappear, even the thought of refusing to accept the position, as the liturgical procedure allows,” he was quoted as saying. “At a certain point I was filled with a great light. It lasted a moment, but to me it seemed very long. Then the light faded, I got up suddenly and walked into the room where the cardinals were waiting.” The pope was quoted as saying he signed the acceptance form and went out on the balcony to be introduced to the world as Pope Francis.

But the Rev. Thomas Rosica, who helps with Vatican media relations, later said the interview didn’t reflect Francis’ real words. He said Scalfari neither recorded the conversation nor took notes, reconstructing the conversation from memory and printing it as a verbatim interview. The Vatican doesn’t dispute the overall thrust of the interview, which Scalfari said he submitted to Francis for review and which the Vatican newspaper reprinted verbatim. But Rosica said the purported “mystical” experience recounted by Repubblica after the election didn’t happen, though Francis himself has said previously and in public that “I didn’t want to be pope.”

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CAN ATHEISTS BE SAVED?

One of the novelties introduced by Francis has been his daily 7 a.m. Mass in the Vatican hotel, to which groups and individuals are invited. Francis delivers homilies each day, the contents of which are summarized by Vatican Radio. On May 22, he caused no shortage of confusion when he suggested that even atheists could find salvation.

According to church teaching, the Catholic Church holds the “fullness of the means of salvation” — a message that has long been taken to mean that only Catholics can find salvation. But in his homily, Francis said: “The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone!”

Rosica issued a lengthy “explanatory note” a few days later after being inundated with questions about whether Francis was changing church doctrine on salvation. He noted that church teaching also holds that “those who through no fault of their own” don’t know about Jesus but seek God and try to do his will can also attain eternal salvation.

“Always keep in mind the audience and context of Pope Francis’ homilies,” Rosica cautioned. “His words are not spoken in the context of a theological faculty or academy nor in interreligious dialogue or debate. He speaks in the context of Mass.”

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SHOULD THE VATICAN BANK BE SAVED?

On April 24, Francis invited members of the Vatican bank to join him for Mass in the hotel. The Institute for Religious Works, as the bank is known, has been plagued by scandals — most recently over the arrest of a Vatican monsignor on charges he tried to smuggle some 20 million euro ($26 million) into Italy from Switzerland without declaring it at customs.

Given the scandals, the arrival of a reform-minded, non-nonsense pope has prompted a flurry of speculation that Francis might shut the bank down. So imagine the headlines that followed his April 24 homily, when he lamented how the church can sometimes become too bureaucratic, too much like an aid group, and that bureaucracies are necessary up to a point.

“The church isn’t an NGO, it’s a story of love,” Francis told the bank’s staff in the pews. “But there are the IOR folks here, excuse me, OK? Everything is necessary, offices are necessary, OK, but they’re only necessary up to a certain point: as a help to this story of love. But when the organization loses this primary place, when the love is gone, the poor church becomes an NGO. And this isn’t the way to go.”

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, under secretary of the Vatican secretariat of state, told the Vatican newspaper a few days later that Francis was by no means hinting that he might shut down the Vatican bank.

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THE VICAR OF CHRIST SAID WHAT?

Sometimes, Francis’ one-liners don’t warrant Vatican clarification, but they’re worth repeating simply because they came from the lips of the Successor of Peter, Vicar of Christ, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church:

— Francis urged the church to “strip” itself of its worldy attachment to wealth during his Oct. 4 trip to Assisi and focus instead on the basics of Christ’s teachings. “You might say, ‘Can’t we have a more human Christianity, without the cross, without Jesus, without stripping ourselves?’” he asked rhetorically. “In this way we’d become pastry-shop Christians, like a pretty cake and nice sweet things. Pretty, but not true Christians.”

—Francis was asked June 7 why he chose to live in the Vatican hotel rather than the fancier Apostolic Palace where his predecessors lived. “If I was living alone, isolated, it wouldn’t be good for me,” he told students of Jesuit schools. “A professor asked me the same question, ‘Why don’t you go and live there (in the papal apartments)’? And I replied: ‘Listen to me professor, it is for psychiatric reasons.’”

—The pope has urged nuns and sisters to be like joyful mothers to the church, caring for its flock, and not act like they’re “old maids.” ”It makes me sad when I find sisters who aren’t joyful,” he lamented during his Oct. 4 visit to a cloistered convent in Assisi. “They might smile, but with just a smile they could be flight attendants!”

Given Francis’ wry sense of humor and willingness to regularly ditch speeches prepared for him, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said he wants the faithful to know the difference between a pontifical joke and an encyclical, a clever quip in a homily and infallible teaching.

“There are different genres of expression, some are magisterial and official, others are more pastoral,” Lombardi told The Associated Press. “They have a different doctrinal value.”

eMediaWorld – The History Of Airline Fees, From Checked Bags To Extra Legroom

Airlines, Airline Fees, Hidden Airline Fees, Airline Fees 2012, Travel News

NEW YORK — Airlines are introducing a new bevy of fees, but this time passengers might actually like them.

Unlike the first generation of charges which dinged fliers for once-free services like checking a bag, these new fees promise a taste of the good life, or at least a more civil flight.

Extra legroom, early boarding and access to quiet lounges were just the beginning. Airlines are now renting Apple iPads preloaded with movies, selling hot first class meals in coach and letting passengers pay to have an empty seat next to them. Once on the ground, they can skip baggage claim, having their luggage delivered directly to their home or office.

In the near future, airlines plan to go one step further, using massive amounts of personal data to customize new offers for each flier.

“We’ve moved from takeaways to enhancements,” says John F. Thomas of L.E.K. Consulting. “It’s all about personalizing the travel experience.”

Carriers have struggled to raise airfares enough to cover costs. Fees bring in more than $15 billion a year and are the reason the airlines are profitable. But the amount of money coming in from older charges like baggage and reservation change fees has plateaued. So the airlines are selling new extras and copying marketing methods honed by retailers.

Technological upgrades allow airlines to sell products directly to passengers at booking, in follow-up emails as trips approach, at check-in and on mobile phones minutes before boarding. Delta Air Lines recently gave its flight attendants wireless devices, allowing them to sell passengers last-second upgrades to seats with more legroom.

And just like Amazon.com offers suggested readings based on each buyer’s past purchases, airlines soon will be able to use past behavior to target fliers.

“We have massive amounts of data,” says Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “We know who you are. We know what your history has been on the airline. We can customize our offerings.”

Other airlines are experimenting with tracking passengers throughout the airport. In the future, if somebody clears security hours before their flight, they might be offered a discounted day pass to the airline’s lounge on their phone.

Airlines have yet to find the right balance between being helpful and being creepy. So, for now, most of the data is being used to win back passengers after their flight is delayed or luggage is lost.

“We want to get back to a point where people feel like travel isn’t something to endure, but something they can enjoy,” says Bob Kupbens, a former Target executive and Delta’s current vice president of marketing and digital commerce.

Most passengers select flights based on the lowest base fare. The online travel industry plays up that price sensitivity with sites named CheapOair.com, CheapTickets.com and InsanelyCheapFlights.com.

When airlines try to raise fares, they are met with resistance.

“Customers are very quick to either change travel plans, or use another carrier or not travel at all,” says Jim Corridore, an airline analyst with Standard & Poor’s.

In the past three years, airlines have tried to hike fares 48 times, according to FareCompare.com. During 29 of those attempts, bookings fell enough that airlines abandoned the increase.

Most fares today don’t cover the cost of flying. While the average domestic roundtrip base fare has climbed 3 percent over the past decade to $361.95, when adjusted for inflation, the price of jet fuel has nearly tripled.

When oil prices spiked in 2008, airlines added checked baggage fees. Passengers still bought tickets on the base price and didn’t think about the extra expense until the day of travel.

Now airlines are recasting fees as trip enhancements.

Travelers like Nadine Angress, of Mansfield, Mass., see the value. Her recent late-night US Airways flight home landed past six-year-old son’s bedtime. She had to work early the next morning. So, for $30 she bypassed the baggage carousel and had the suitcase delivered.

“That was a very reasonable price to pay,” Angress says. “It’s making your life easier.”

U.S. airlines collect more than $6 billion a year in baggage and reservation change fees. They also collect $9 billion more from selling extras like frequent flier miles, early boarding and seat upgrades. Together, the fees account for 10 percent U.S. airlines’ revenue.

Fees provide airlines with another advantage: The Internal Revenue Service has said since they aren’t directly related to transporting passengers, they aren’t subject to the 7.5 percent excise tax travelers pay on base fares. Taxing fees would give the government an extra $1.1 billion a year to fund the Federal Aviation Administration, runway upgrades and air traffic control improvements.

Without the fees, experts say fares would be 15 percent higher.

“You’re either going to go out of business or find a way to cover” your costs, says Robert E. Jordan, Southwest Airlines’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

Southwest has held off charging for most checked bags. But it sells plenty of other add-ons.

Recently, it introduced a way for people at the back of the boarding line on some flights to cut to the front for $40. It’s not a blockbuster seller – one person pays up every two flights – but with 3,600 daily flights, that nets $70,000 in extra daily revenue or $25 million a year.

Airlines now alter fees based on demand. United Airlines used to sell its Economy Plus extra legroom seats for one price per route. Today, aisle seats cost more than middle seats; prices are higher on popular flights.

That change in thinking has helped United increase fee revenue by 13 percent this year to more than $20 per one-way passenger.

Airlines are also starting to bundle items. Passengers purchase items they might not necessarily buy alone; it also simplifies the dizzying array of offers.

“I don’t want you to have to do the math every time,” says Rick E. Chat, managing director of digital marketing at American Airlines.

American offers a package for $68 roundtrip that includes no change fees, one checked bag and early boarding. Delta is experimenting with a $199 subscription that includes a checked bag, early boarding, access to exit row seats and extra frequent flier miles on all flights a passenger takes between now and Jan. 5.

Airlines say the fees bring a sense of fairness to the system. Why should a passenger with a small carry-on subsidize a family of four, checking suitcases?

Jamie Baker, an airline analyst with JP Morgan Chase, likens it to a meal at a restaurant.

“The sides are not included in the price of a steak,” he says. “Airline ticket prices should reflect the costs incurred by the individual passenger.”

eMediaWorld.com Reports $270 million worth of cocaine found on Air France flight

eMediaWorld.com Reports $270 million worth of cocaine found on Air France flight

FRANCE – There was something odd about the 30 suitcases that showed up on a flight from Venezuela. The colorful bags weren’t registered to any of the passengers on the plane.

When French officials opened them up, they discovered why — 1.3 tons of pure cocaine were stuffed inside the anonymous bags.

The street value of the stash? About 200 million Euros, or $270 million.

The catch was made on September 11, but French authorities didn’t publicize the find until Saturday.

The suitcases came from Caracas aboard an Air France flight to Paris, but did not match any of the passengers on board, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported.

“Several” people have been taken in custody, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters Saturday.

Authorities worked with Spanish, British and Dutch police on the investigation, BFMTV said.

This case “illustrates the importance of strengthening International cooperation in the fight against traffickers,” Valls said.

Venezuelan authorities are also investigating. The country’s Public Ministry said prosecutors will investigate, along with the Counterdrug Command of the National Guard in Simon Bolivar International Airport, to see if any criminal activity took place.

eMediaWorld.com Reports Disabled vet kicked off US Airways plane in service dog dispute

eMediaWorld.com Reports Disabled vet kicked off US Airways plane in service dog dispute

A disabled Vietnam veteran was escorted off a US Airways flight in Phoenix after getting into a heated discussion with a flight attendant over seating for his service dog.

MyFoxPhoenix.com reports that the unidentified man was boarding a flight from Phoenix to El Paso on Sept. 7 when he refused to comply with a crew member’s instructions to place his service dog on the floor.

A video of the confrontation posted on the Internet by a fellow passenger shows the man yelling at the flight crew, insisting that the dog remain seated on the empty seat next to him.

“I’m sorry folks but I’ve earned the right to have this service animal because of my service to this country in Vietnam,” the man said. “I am 100 percent disabled, I have a service dog because of it and everyone has to obey the [Americans with Disabilities Act] laws except this airline! So I’m sorry but I’m not budging!”

A US Airways spokesman told MyFoxPhoenix.com that service animals are required to remain on the ground for safety reasons.

“If the aircraft were to experience something in the air and it needs to evacuate you don’t want that animal to be in the way of people getting off the aircraft,” spokesman John McDonald said.

McDonald told the station that the veteran told airport personnel he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He said there was concern among members of the flight crew that the man would get even more upset after the aircraft took off.

“We had had conversations to the customer trying to explain what was going on. And the captain was involved when the flight attendant wasn’t able to resolve it and in fact, many of our captains are former military people, this is an issue we are very familiar with and unfortunately this gentleman’s reaction was what resulted in the incident,” McDonald said.

Airport police cited the man with trespassing and booked him on another flight for the following day. US Airways also paid his tab for a hotel room for the night, according to the report.