WATCH KSAT News Now: Omicron travel ban begins; Cowboys hit with COVID; Pro wrestler joins show – KSAT San Antonio



WATCH KSAT News Now: Omicron travel ban begins; Cowboys hit with COVID; Pro wrestler joins show  KSAT San Antonio



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Travel news: Get a taste of the East Coast, take in Montreal’s cabaret-meets-circus-arts show, explore the U.S. on responsible small-group tours


East Coast dining

Travellers will have to wait just a bit longer to check into Muir, the highly anticipated Halifax hotel debuting next month in the new Queen’s Marque harbour district. But diners can get a taste now: the in-house restaurant, Drift, has opened, serving modern Maritime fare, like the Hodge Podge with haddock and scallops, and the Yarmouth lobster pot pie with buttered rutabaga. Still to come is an outdoor waterfront patio, slated for spring.

Spruced up

The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is nearly done with its $30-million revamp. The only hotel connected to Toronto Pearson International Airport, the 484-room property has been updated throughout; you’ll find renovated guest rooms and an open-concept lobby that features a restaurant, a coffee bar, co-working spaces and soundproof booths for calls on the go. Also new is an expanded Sheraton Club Lounge, open 24/7, for Marriott Bonvoy Elite members and Sheraton Club level guests.

Putting on a show

A new cabaret act will take up residence at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth: “Celeste,” a 90-minute performance combining circus arts, illusion and live music, inspired by starry nights. A collaboration between the landmark downtown Montreal hotel, Cirque Éloize and Ivanhoé Cambridge, the show will run Dec. 16 to May 7, 2022, with tickets on sale now at cabaretceleste.com.

Music to your ears

The 2022 TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival will take to the stage for in-person shows, running from Jan. 28 to 29 (in partnership with the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre) and Feb. 3 to 5 (at Arts Court). Artists include Holly Cole, one of Canada’s most acclaimed jazz vocalists, and Dominique Fils-Aimé, winner of the 2020 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Day passes are on sale now, with single tickets available soon.

New in tours

Intrepid Travel, a certified B Corporation that specializes in responsible travel and small-group tours, has announced it will be launching 38 new trips throughout the U.S. next year. The added itineraries range from the company’s signature outdoorsy adventures (pack your hiking shoes for the “South Dakota to Montana Parks Explorer”) to culinary activities (the “Portland to San Francisco Discovery” includes cycling around to food carts and shucking oysters).

Sign up at thestar.com/newsletters to get our weekly Travel Headlines newsletter in your inbox. Travellers are reminded to check on public health restrictions that could affect their plans.





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Travel news: Get a taste of the East Coast, take in Montreal’s cabaret-meets-circus-arts show, explore the U.S. on responsible small-group tours


East Coast dining

Travellers will have to wait just a bit longer to check into Muir, the highly anticipated Halifax hotel debuting next month in the new Queen’s Marque harbour district. But diners can get a taste now: the in-house restaurant, Drift, has opened, serving modern Maritime fare, like the Hodge Podge with haddock and scallops, and the Yarmouth lobster pot pie with buttered rutabaga. Still to come is an outdoor waterfront patio, slated for spring.

Spruced up

The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is nearly done with its $30-million revamp. The only hotel connected to Toronto Pearson International Airport, the 484-room property has been updated throughout; you’ll find renovated guest rooms and an open-concept lobby that features a restaurant, a coffee bar, co-working spaces and soundproof booths for calls on the go. Also new is an expanded Sheraton Club Lounge, open 24/7, for Marriott Bonvoy Elite members and Sheraton Club level guests.

Putting on a show

A new cabaret act will take up residence at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth: “Celeste,” a 90-minute performance combining circus arts, illusion and live music, inspired by starry nights. A collaboration between the landmark downtown Montreal hotel, Cirque Éloize and Ivanhoé Cambridge, the show will run Dec. 16 to May 7, 2022, with tickets on sale now at cabaretceleste.com.

Music to your ears

The 2022 TD Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival will take to the stage for in-person shows, running from Jan. 28 to 29 (in partnership with the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre) and Feb. 3 to 5 (at Arts Court). Artists include Holly Cole, one of Canada’s most acclaimed jazz vocalists, and Dominique Fils-Aimé, winner of the 2020 Juno Award for Vocal Jazz Album of the Year. Day passes are on sale now, with single tickets available soon.

New in tours

Intrepid Travel, a certified B Corporation that specializes in responsible travel and small-group tours, has announced it will be launching 38 new trips throughout the U.S. next year. The added itineraries range from the company’s signature outdoorsy adventures (pack your hiking shoes for the “South Dakota to Montana Parks Explorer”) to culinary activities (the “Portland to San Francisco Discovery” includes cycling around to food carts and shucking oysters).

Sign up at thestar.com/newsletters to get our weekly Travel Headlines newsletter in your inbox. Travellers are reminded to check on public health restrictions that could affect their plans.





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Africa & Middle East Travel Show Signs of Recovery


Signs of a recovery in the travel industries of Africa and the Middle East are becoming clearer to see, according to several different sources, including the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The UNWTO Tourism Recovery Tracker has found that while the global hotel occupancy rate is at 59 percent, the Middle East is seeing an occupancy rate of 64 percent. Hotel bookings for the Middle East are only 13 percent lower than pre-pandemic levels, while the global average is 40 percent lower

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Additionally, 2021’s international seat capacity on flights to the Middle East is 56 percent lower from 2019’s levels, while capacity on flights to Africa is 48 percent lower. Both are higher than the global comparison, at -65 percent, indicating that these regions are both welcoming more international visitors than both the European and Asia & Pacific regions.

According to ForwardKeys, air ticketing data shows that Africa and the Middle East’s inbound international traveler numbers are greater (at -68 percent) than those of the global figure (at -77 percent).

The numbers of inbound international travelers are largely dominated by family members and friends visiting, especially in the North Africa region, in which they account for 46 percent of all inbound arrivals. But the Middle East is seeing a larger proportion of leisure travelers, due to large events like the 2020 Dubai Expo.

Travelers to these regions are also from countries that have larger vaccination rates, easier travel conditions and flight connections; the largest three nationalities of travelers to these regions are Saudis, Emiratis and Qataris.

Both Africa and the Middle East have been incredibly impacted by the pandemic. While the Middle East seems to be recovering faster due to access to vaccines, both regions are on the path to a recovery.

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s Global Economic Impacts & Trends Report 2021 found that Africa lost about half of its travel and tourism GDP in 2020 along with 7.2 million jobs and put many sustainability and conservation initiatives at risk. By comparison, the Middle East lost 51 percent of its travel and tourism GDP in 2020, losing 1.2 million jobs.

For the latest insight on travel around the world, check out this interactive guide:



For the latest travel news, updates, and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.





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Environmentally smart ways to show gratitude during holidays


If you have plenty of food this Thanksgiving, you may want to express gratitude by avoiding food waste and sharing with those less fortunate. Unfortunately, sharing prepared food is not easy.

Food Share, a nonprofit food bank serving Ventura County, is unable to accept prepared food. 

“Food safety is our number one concern, and finding a local food pantry with the staff, refrigeration and other capabilities needed to handle prepared food may be difficult,” said Monica White, president and CEO of the nonprofit food bank.

Food Share specializes in packaged food and produce, feeding about 140,000 people a month. To help the hungry during the holidays it holds an annual CAN-tree Drive in which donors assemble canned food in the form of Christmas trees, each with hundreds of decorative cans.

This year’s drive, scheduled for Dec. 9-12, is at Figueroa Plaza in downtown Ventura. For details, see www.foodshare.com/cantree, or email the event organizer. Jennifer Caldwell, at jcaldwell@foodshare.com.

Rather than trying to share your Thanksgiving leftovers, you can avoid waste by sending food home with guests.

“Just beware of time and temperatures,” warns Graciela Garcia, who manages food inspections for the Ventura County Environmental Health Division. U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines say turkey should not be left at room temperature for more than two hours and no more than one hour if the temperature is above 90 F. 

Simply donating money to a hunger relief organization is often more practical. In addition to Food Share, local food-based charities include Food Forward, Spirit of Santa Paula, and Ventura County Rescue Mission.

Another environmentally smart way to express gratitude is to donate warm clothing to people in need. Ventura County Supervisors Matt LaVere and Carmen Ramirez recently organized a drive to collect warm clothing from employees at the county government center through December 17.

The clothing will go to the county’s Homeless One Stop program, which holds west county events that provide food, medical and employment assistance. To coordinate with the program for a donation drive at your workplace, contact Yolanda Huerta or James Boyd at 805-652-6694.

The Rotary Club of Ventura has drop-off sites countywide for donating winter clothes through its popular Coats for Kids program. The Crowne Plaza in Ventura cleans the donations, thanks to Danny Quintana, the hotel manager and a Rotarian.

The jackets, sweaters and sweatshirts are distributed by the Boys & Girls Clubs, Project Understanding, Casa Pacifica, the Union Rescue Mission, The Salvation Army, The Hope Center Project, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, local police departments and local churches.

Coats for Kids is neither just for coats nor just for kids. All sizes are accepted.

“Sometimes, entire families that would otherwise be cold in the winter receive warm clothing,” said Kristin Taylor, a travel agent and member of the Ventura Downtown Rotary, which coordinates the program.

However, donations from children are among the most important.

“When kids donate, even just something they have outgrown, it helps them realize the importance of giving,” Taylor said. Kids learn “there are people in our community who don’t have as much as you.”

For drop-off locations see https://bit.ly/CoatsForKid2017DropOffSpots.

Some locations are available only Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, others year round. The three most popular drop-off sites are the two Trader Joes in Ventura and Green Thumb Nursery in Ventura.

David Goldstein is an environmental resource analyst with the Ventura County Public Works Agency. He can be reached at 805-658-4312 or david.goldstein@ventura.org



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#MUBB Radio Show Debuts Thursday at 6 p.m. CT



With the 2021-22 regular-season opener rapidly approaching on Nov. 9 against SIUE at 7:30 p.m. CT, radio and television coverage of the Marquette University men’s basketball team will tip off as well.
 
The Inside Marquette Basketball television program is back this season on Bally Sports Wisconsin and is being produced by My People Creative.  The bi-weekly show debuts on Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. CT and provides access to the team all season long.  Marquette graduate Sophia Minnaert will host the 30-minute program with head coach Shaka Smart and the show will include player interviews, exclusive behind-the-scenes features and much more.
 
ESPN Milwaukee (94.5 ESPN FM) will again serve as the flagship station for the Marquette Sports Network, which is overseen by Marquette Sports Properties, a division of Learfield and the Golden Eagles’ multimedia rights holder.  Game broadcasts include a 30-minute pregame show, play-by-play action handled by Steve “The Homer” True and former MU standout Tony Smith and a postgame recap with Smart.
 
The Marquette Basketball Hour with Shaka Smart, a weekly radio program dedicated to the latest news surrounding the program, debuts at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, Nov. 11.  True will host the 60-minute program, which features interviews with the players and staff, special guests and much more, live from Dave & Buster’s (2201 N. Mayfair Road). 
 
The radio show will air weekly on Thursday nights all season long, with the exception of conflicts with game coverage, holidays or team travel.
 
2021-22 Marquette Radio Network
WKTI – ESPN Milwaukee (94.5 ESPN FM) – Milwaukee (Flagship)
WOMT 1240 AM – Manitowoc
WCUB 980 AM – Green Bay
WFHR 1320 AM – Wisconsin Rapids
WDLB 1450 AM – Marshfield
WXCO 1230 AM – Wausau
WSCO 1570 AM – Appleton
 
Keep up with the Marquette men’s basketball program through social media by following on Twitter (
@MarquetteMBB) and Instagram (@marquette.basketball) and ‘liking’ on Facebook (/MarquetteMensBB). Fans interested in tickets can contact the Marquette Ticket Office online or at 414-288-GOMU (4668).
 





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‘How long can you maintain it?’ Cost of Taiwan’s pursuit of Covid zero starts to show | Taiwan


At a beachside bar at the southern tip of Taiwan, a handful of visitors in swimwear and bare feet mill around the open air deck, enjoying the warm midweek night, cheap beer, lack of crowds, and zero Covid.

The bar’s owner, in between serving drinks, says domestic tourism to the surf village of South Bay, is booming, but the custom is concentrated on the weekends. There are no international visitors to fill tables during the week, let alone to make up for a difficult three months of forced shutdown during the summer outbreak of Covid.

She says the business has also been affected by supply chain issues – a knock-on effect of the pandemic – and has been unable to buy basics such as mayonnaise or tortillas. “It’s crazy – I haven’t found it in three months.”

The scene sums up the mixed fortunes of Taiwan, as the rest of the world opens up but the island remains firmly closed.

‘There is a price’

For the first 18 months of the coronavirus pandemic, life in Taiwan was blessed. As cities locked down across China, Europe and Asia, and death tolls climbed into the millions, Taiwan was safe, vibrant, almost normal.

Thanks to a strategy of case prevention and swift elimination, it recorded a relatively low 16,430 cases – mostly imported and detected in quarantine – and 847 deaths.

But now, as the world begins opening up, having accepted coexistence with the virus while mitigating it with high vaccination rates and other measures, Taiwan risks being left behind.

Almost two years after Covid first emerged, the island has held tight to the measures that made it an early success – closed borders, strict quarantine, intensive case tracing and widespread mandatory mask-wearing. And there is little sign of these requirements ending.

The island is now among a few holdouts – alongside China and Hong Kong – that are resisting rejoining the post-Covid world and wrestling with what that means for the economy and the public.

The restricted borders have crushed international tourism, hindered trade and exacerbated supply chain issues. Airmail services to and from several countries are suspended. Families have been separated, livelihoods hurt.

Throughout the pandemic tourists and other non-residents have been banned from entry, including the foreign partners and children of Taiwan residents. Authorities recently lifted the ban, but it only applied to the families of Taiwanese citizens, not foreign residents.

“Being unable to be with the one you love is really, really hard,” said French national, Clement Potier, whose partner is stuck overseas. The partial lift was even harder to swallow, he told local media, because “you see that it could be possible, but not for you”.

In 2019 there were more than 29 million international arrivals in Taiwan. In 2020, during the height of the pandemic and prior to vaccines, the figure dropped to 3.9 million. So far this year there have been just 335,000.

“How long can you maintain it? There’s a price for it,” says Prof Chunhuei Chi, the director of Oregon State University’s centre for global health. “Taiwan sacrificed international collaboration in commerce and exchange.”

A woman with a face mask passes National Chengchi University in Taipei
A woman with a face mask passes National Chengchi University in Taipei Photograph: Brennan O’Connor/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

In July, the Economist Intelligence Unit said the Zero Covid approach used in Asian countries “has delivered both health and economic benefits, and has been popular where implemented”.

“If the rest of the world had adopted a similar approach, zero‑Covid might prove a sustainable strategy,” it said. But they hadn’t, and the policy “will become unviable as the global economy reopens”, the report found.

Some Taiwan-based businesses relying on the global market have begun looking at moving manufacturing on the island, given there is no indication when the problems will ease, because there is no clear roadmap being presented to residents.

Currently all entrants must quarantine in designated hotels or government facilities, and then spend another week “self managing” limited isolation. Home quarantine ended after it was linked to Taiwan’s only significant Delta outbreak in Pingtung county, and observers don’t see it returning soon.

‘We must wait until the virus becomes mild’

A primary factor in Taiwan’s continued closure is its struggle to match international vaccination rates, especially in second doses. A drive to deliver Moderna doses to some sector workers saw delivery of second shots, which are recommended at 28 days by the WHO, delayed to at least 12 weeks, with some recipients forced to cold-call hospitals around Taiwan looking for doses.

A combination of under-ordered supplies, global shortages, and foreign interference by China, means Taiwan’s vaccination program has been largely propped up by significant but inconsistent donations, and lately its own domestically developed vaccine.

About 73% of people in Taiwan had received at least one dose – with the highest proportions among the elderly – and just over one-third has received their second dose. The government says it’s on track to meet its 60% target by year’s end, when they will consider unspecified future changes.

Politics is also a factor, says Prof Chi. With local elections on the horizon, Chi predicts the DPP will wait to open borders because of the high chance any outbreak will be used by the opposition KMT to criticise the government.

“It cannot afford any new outbreak,” he says.

In September the central epidemic command centre (CECC) told the Guardian Covid Zero was not its target but they were heading in that direction. Asked in parliament last month if their plan was for Covid zero or coexistence, health minister Chen Shih-chung appeared to say both.

“The current goal is to achieve Covid-19 zero, but Taiwan must also be prepared to coexist with Covid-19,” he said, suggesting they were hoping the virus eventually lessened in severity.

In October, special adviser to the CECC, professor Lee Ping-ing, appeared to suggest that would take three years. “We must wait until the virus becomes mild and the human immune system can adjust before it can start coexisting with the virus,” he said.

Observers note readying the public is a key issue for the short term if Taiwan is to open up, in order to address strong fear and significant stigma attached to infections.

“Even if Taiwan had 70% of the population who received two doses, it is still worrying to think of opening up,” said one resident on Taiwan’s social media platform PTT, saying other countries have become accustomed to the pandemic.

“Taiwanese are afraid of death and opening after vaccination. They still hesitate.”

Prof Steve Tsang, of the SOAS Institute, said he understands why the government is going slow, “but it will have to accept that we will have to live with Covid now, and the Zero Covid policy is not sustainable”.

“It may well need more time to increase the rate of vaccination before it can relax substantially the travel restrictions, but it should provide clear guidelines on the criteria for doing so.”



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Salads, travel tips ahead on show


Information on preparing salads, travel tips and an online resource for living gluten-free will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and noon Thursday (all times Mountain).

Connie Moyers represents Mrs. Cubbison’s Kitchens, and she’s going to talk about the abundant selection of pre-packaged salads available in most supermarkets, as well as all the add-ons that can be used, including croutons, tortilla strips and wonton strips. Moyers lives in Clovis.

Adventure writer and photographer, Yvonne Lanelli will share some super tips for savvy travelers. She recommends doing a lot of research before undertaking a trip. She has lots of good suggestions from avoiding scams, to packing tips, and even information for international travel. Lanelli is from Alto.

K. C. Pomering is the founder of G-Free Foodie, and she’s going to tell about this online resource for living deliciously gluten free. She’ll talk about all the options that are available in her Box Club as well as why anyone would need to be gluten free. She’s from Madera, California.

Information on showcasing a collection and making chenille fabric will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” noon Tuesday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Latriece Brooks is an interior decorator from Clovis. Brooks will share tips and samples to show how to feature various collections in the home. Her company is Brooks’ Interior Re-Decorating.

Diane Lieb will show how to make faux chenille and then use it to add embellishments to pillows, vests, sweatshirts and much more. She’s from Portales.

Salads and toppers

Most people love to have a salad as the first course of their meal. In supermarkets today, there is a tremendous refrigerated section that gives you a choice of pre-packaged salads of all types. You can also pick out your favorite greens and make your own mixture.

After you’ve chosen your salad mix, you can then vary your “add-ons” from a complete variety of fresh, dried or canned items. There is also a large variety of salad dressings. Here too, the consumer may choose to make her own, usually using such items as mustard, wine, vinegar and spices.

Or, you can take advantage of the new toppers that are available. There are traditional croutons, which now come in a larger variety of flavors. Or, use tortilla or wonton strips to add a little punch to your salad.

“Creative Living” is produced and hosted by Sheryl Borden. The show is carried by more than 118 PBS stations. Contact her at:

[email protected]



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Travel news: Indigenous stories in Montreal, Diptyque’s new scents of place, and a touring show for rock ’n’ roll fans


Listen and learn

As part of its centennial programming, Montreal’s McCord Museum has launched a new permanent exhibition, “Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience.” Produced by Huron-Wendat curator Elisabeth Kaine, it features nearly 100 objects, as well as 80 text and video stories — the latter gathered by Kaine through lengthy dialogue with 800 members of Quebec’s 11 Indigenous nations. Guided tours to spark discussion will be offered daily starting Oct. 12.

Scents of place

Diptyque "Paris" scented candle, $137, holtrenfrew.com

Luxury perfumer Diptyque is marking its 60th anniversary with a destination-themed collection called Le Grand Tour. Pick up the “Paris” scented candle, with notes of a Seine-side stroll, antique books and cobblestones as an ode to the company’s hometown. Or if you’re in the French capital, stop by Diptyque’s exhibition, “Voyages Immobiles” (on at La Poste Du Louvre until Oct. 24), which features original, travel-inspired works by nine contemporary artists.

Road show

Memorabilia at "Unzipped" will include The Rolling Stones' stage costumes.

Unzipped,” a major touring exhibition all about The Rolling Stones, will open at TheMuseum in downtown Kitchener, Ont., on Nov. 30. The multimedia retrospective (previously known as “Exhibitionism”) features everything from a recreation of the band’s dingy Edith Grove flat to a trove of original artifacts, including instruments, stage costumes and personal diaries.

Night lights

Canada's largest free outdoor light festival will return to Niagara Falls this winter.

Canada’s largest free outdoor light festival will be back this winter and running longer than usual. From Nov. 13 to Feb. 21, 2022, the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights will set the Niagara Parkway, Dufferin Islands and streets across Niagara Falls aglow with sparkling trees, wildlife displays and other designs, totalling 3 million lights.

Sign up at thestar.com/newsletters to get our weekly Travel Headlines newsletter in your inbox. Travellers are reminded to check on public health restrictions that could affect their plans.





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Travel news: Indigenous stories in Montreal, Diptyque’s new scents of place, and a touring show for rock ‘n’ roll fans – Waterloo Chronicle



Travel news: Indigenous stories in Montreal, Diptyque’s new scents of place, and a touring show for rock ‘n’ roll fans  Waterloo Chronicle



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