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US Open: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic seek quarter-final berths on Day 7

first_imgRoger Federer will try to avoid a second consecutive fourth-round exit from the U.S. Open when he returns to action on Sunday while Serena Williams resumes her quest for a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title.Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic is also looking fit after a shoulder issue bothered him in his second-round match and the Serb kicks off the night session against Swiss Stan Wawrinka.Federer, who wilted in hot and humid conditions last year when he fell to Australian John Millman in the last 16, will kick off the day session inside Arthur Ashe Stadium against Belgian 15th seed David Goffin.”This is where I always try to remain young in my mindset and think back to how I used to think maybe and take the positives out of that,” said the Swiss third seed.”And also don’t do the things when you were young like underestimate the opponent, actually respect the conditions. Prepare well if it’s hot, prepare if it’s windy, not to get frustrated.”Williams, who cruised by Wimbledon quarter-finalist Karolina Muchova to reach the fourth round, will follow Federer onto Ashe when she faces Croatian 22nd seed Petra Martic for the first time.Other than in the second round when Williams had to rally to beat Catherine McNally, the American eighth seed has looked in solid form and has shown no signs of the back spasms that forced her to retire from the Toronto final.Also in action is Daniil Medvedev, who was fined $9,000 for a slew of offences committed during his third round clash with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.advertisementThe Russian fifth seed will face German qualifier Dominik Koepfer.Also Read | US Open: Nick Kyrgios sent packing as Andrey Rublev reaches last 16Also Read | US Open 2019: Rafael Nadal eases into 4th round, to face Marin CilicAlso Seelast_img read more

Holiday Travel Increases 15 Percent This Year, While Puerto Rico Makes a Comeback

first_imgMexico City and Nassau, Bahamas Crack Allianz Global Assistance’s Top 10 Holiday Destinations for First Time  Richmond, VA, December 10, 2018 – According to Allianz Global Assistance’s 2018 Top Holiday Destinations Report, American travel increased 15 percent this holiday season over last year. New York City and Cancun continue to reign as the most popular domestic and international destinations. After reviewing American plans* to travel from December 19 to December 27, 2018, Allianz Global Assistance found that warmer-weather international getaways once again prevailed, with Cancun, Mexico; San Juan, Puerto Rico; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; Nassau, Bahamas; and Montego Bay, Jamaica, claiming the top five slots. As the only non-tropical destination to make the international top 10, London placed sixth, dropping from second last year, followed by Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Mexico City, Mexico; Higuey, Dominican Republic; and Aruba. This is the first time Mexico City and Nassau, Bahamas were included in Allianz’s Top Holiday Destinations Report for international travel. New York City took the number one domestic spot again, followed by Los Angeles, Orlando, Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City. Boston jumped to fourth from 10th place, and San Francisco climbed back into the top 10 this year, knocking Denver out of the ranking. “Our holiday travel survey revealed that travel is up 15 percent over last year. Mexico City, named 2018’s World Design Capital® by World Design Organization (WDO), is a first-timer to the list, while Puerto Rico jumped up to the second most popular international destination,” said Daniel Durazo, director of marketing and communications for Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Whether you’re escaping to a sunny beach or exploring a new city, the busy holiday season can bring with it unpredictable winter weather delays or illnesses. It’s a good idea to protect your holiday trip with the right travel insurance policy** for extra peace of mind to reach your destination safely.” In addition to travel insurance**, Allianz Global Assistance recommends these tips and resources when traveling over the holidays and year-round: When possible, avoid traveling on the busiest travel dates (in terms of volume, most Americans have plans to travel on Friday, December 21 and return on Wednesday, December 26)Wash hands and carry anti-bacterial hand gel to prevent sicknessDownload Allianz’s TravelSmart™ app to quickly access assistance, file and track claims, check flight status in real-time, translate first aid/medical terms and moreWith its new customer-friendly SmartBenefitsSM, Allianz travel protection features new proactive payments and allows travelers to file other travel delay and baggage delay claims with no receipts Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit: http://www.allianztravelinsurance.com or like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS. 2018 Rank2017 RankDomestic Destination11New York23Los Angeles32Orlando410Boston56Seattle64Atlanta75Fort Lauderdale8n/aSan Francisco98Minneapolis109Salt Lake City2018 Rank2017 RankInternational Destination11Cancun, Mexico25San Juan, Puerto Rico33San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico4n/aNassau, Bahamas57Montego Bay, Jamaica62London, United Kingdom74Puerto Vallarta, Mexico8n/aMexico City, Mexico96Higuey, Dominican Republic1010Aruba, Aruba  Allianz Global Assistance USAAllianz Global Assistance USA is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company with operation centers in 35 countries. In the United States, Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) serves 35 million customers annually and is best known for its Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies. To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit allianztravelinsurance.com or Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllianzTravelInsuranceUS.last_img read more

New local media outlets crop up as traditional community papers close

TORONTO — Dave Bidini asks “what if” a lot.As in, what if the mainstream press didn’t care about George Clooney building a house on Lake Cuomo? Maybe, just maybe, he says as he sprinkles in a few profanities, communities would be better off.Next month, the prolific musician, author and general man-about-Toronto, will be trudging door to door delivering his most recent creation: a 20-page broadsheet newspaper called the West End Phoenix. It will be a community rag, served without advertisements once a month with a focus on a few west-end neighbourhoods.“We used to have a whack of really, really great community papers, but they’re all glorified flyer-mobiles now,” Bidini says, his voice rising.“Goddammit, we’re in Toronto, we’re in this amazing city and we’re in this catchment in the west end where there are so many stories and we need a paper that will focus on the community. And you know what, the lane is wide open for us.”Bidini is betting on the community where he lives to respond. He has budgeted about $300,000 for the first year for 12 issues and says he’s raised about 40 per cent of the funds needed. The money comes from a mixture of what he calls patrons, those who have shelled out $500 to $25,000. Count artists Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Serena Ryder among the donors.He says he has about 1,100 subscribers thus far and is hoping for 5,000 within a year. He’s going local.“We, as of a society, have to punch open those front doors and roll open those garages,” Bidini says. “In our times, it’s important for us to better know each other.”There is a paucity of community newspapers in Canada, according to research by a Ryerson University journalism professor. April Lindgren runs the Local News Research Project that puts numbers to the mass extinction of news organizations. Her research has led her to dub the situation across Canada as “local news poverty.”Since 2008, 194 news organizations have closed in Canada, either outright or due to mergers, her research shows. Only 62 new ones have popped up over the same time period. She is continually updating the numbers, she says.“News is becoming a luxury item for a community,” Lindgren says.Someone like Bidini finds himself in the perfect position to launch a newspaper, she says.“You need money, education, background and contacts,” Lindgren says.Bidini can tick off some of those boxes and is using his contacts to find money.“I’m having dinners and coffees with potential patrons trying to shake the trees,” he says.Lindgren points to American research that shows people who live in more affluent communities tend to have more access to more local news than people who live in poorer communities.Yet she’s excited for any new news outlets, especially if it’s local.“Research shows the availability of local news is as important to a well-functioning community as a functioning sewer system, good roads, public health services and good schools,” she says.Nearly 700 kilometres north of Toronto, Jeff Elgie speaks of his burgeoning local news empire from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. He runs Village Media and his crown jewel is SooToday.com, a digital-only news organization based in the northern Ontario city.They have news sites in four other Ontario cities: North Bay, Barrie, Timmins and Guelph, and they’re expanding. They’ve built their own publishing software that powers their sites and they also license it to other news organizations in Sudbury and Thunder Bay where they take a cut of digital sales, he says.Elgie is bullish on local news. He says on an average weekday, SooToday.com sees about 90,000 hits and 42,000 unique visitors, totalling about 15 million hits a month. This from a community with a population 73,368, according to the 2016 census.He says about 97 per cent of traffic is from local stories.“What we’re just doing is what a community newspaper did 20 years ago,” Elgie says. “It’s not that brilliant, really, we’re just focusing on local.”He says he won’t go anywhere near Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, but is targeting small- to medium-sized cities with populations from 40,000 people to 200,000. He also targets areas that have their own distinct persona, learning from their struggles in Barrie, Ont.“Barrie seems to act a little differently and in some ways behaves a bit more like (a) commuter community where there is not as much interest in engagement in purely local news, so we struggle there,” he says.Another important factor is the competition. He’s looking for places with a weak media landscape. He points to Guelph as a good example. They had already planned to go in there because it fits the profile, but when the local paper, the Guelph Mercury, closed in early 2016, they raced to enter the market and opened up shop eight days later with two former Mercury reporters in tow.The next experiment is to test an even smaller market: Elliot Lake, Ont., with a population of 10,498.They’ll leverage SooToday’s site since it’s so close and they’re already covering issues like crime and health care. He says he already has commitments from companies to buy ads that have nearly covered the new operations launch costs.Like newspapers of yore, his company is making money off obituaries, which they post for free but make advertisement dollars off of their popularity, and classifieds.“In the Soo, we have more used vehicles than Auto Trader does,” Elgie says.Back in Toronto, Bidini already has a few shoestring budget stories to tell. An old high school friend “who’s done very well” will cover printing costs. There is no rent for the newsroom space because they are considered artists in residence at the Gladstone Hotel.He’s pumped for the first issue, which will feature “massive photos and massive illustrations” to go along with both short and long stories.“We do whatever we want to do,” Bidini says.Then it’s back to the what ifs. What if the West End Phoenix is no different than the scores of news outlets that died?“Who knows, maybe we’ll be that, man,” he says, “but we’re gonna try.” read more