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(Demerara Waves) PANAMA CITY, Panama — An agreement to operate joint flights was signed on Friday between Star Alliance members Copa and Turkish Airlines, and is a major game changer for the travel industry of Latin America and the Caribbean.

This is especially important to Guyana, a country very much isolated from global hubs. Now travelers can fly Copa Airlines from Guyana to Panama City and connect with Turkish Airlines’ vast global network to cities in Africa, Europe, Central Asia, the Middle and Far East.

Through this code-sharing agreement, these two top global carriers will offer passengers seamless connection from 74 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Guyana, four times a week to 226 international destinations in Europe, Africa, the Middle and Far East and Australia on the Turkish Airlines network.

Turkish Airlines (THY), a state owned company, operates 337 aircraft and has been chosen as Europe’s best airline for the past six years by Skytrax survey.

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BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union leaders vowed Saturday to stand shoulder-to-shoulder behind their negotiating team during the divorce proceedings with Britain and warned that demands from British Prime Minister Theresa May will be dealt with "firmly."

The 27 EU leaders in Brussels finalized the cornerstones of their negotiating stance within minutes of starting a short summit, a month after the British leader triggered two years of exit talks on March 29. The negotiations themselves are to open shortly after Britain holds an early election on June 8.

"Guidelines adopted unanimously. EU27 firm and fair political mandate for the #Brexit talks is ready," EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted.

The leaders say there can't be any discussions on the future relationship between the EU and Britain before some key issues are settled. Those include how much Britain owes the bloc, what to do about the Irish land border with Britain and, Tusk said, making sure the welfare of citizens and families living in each other's nations will be a priority.

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(BVI News) The government has announced the new cruise permit fees it is proposing for local and foreign vessels day-tripping in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

The biggest increase is by 300 percent for locals and foreigners who cruise in-season from December to April 30 each year.

Fees out-of-season (May to November 30) are lower.

Foreigners will be charged more than locals year-round, according to proposed amendments to the Cruise Permit Ordinance Cap 203, which is now being put forward as the Cruising Permit (Amendment) Act 2017.

The chart below, which appears in the proposed Act, outlines the new fees the Government is likely to implement.

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(Jamaica Observer) As Red Stripe moves to position itself as a key global player, the beer company has announced that it has signed top international firm Ogilvy as its new creative agency.

The brand is looking to push boundaries with its new global marketing campaign and is banking on the partnership to do just that, according to a recent news release from the Heineken-owned company.

Ogilvy will deliver a campaign strategy that will “leverage every media platform including an exciting global music platform”, the release said.

With this partnership, Red Stripe plans to take aim at international markets and expand its export presence.

“We chose Ogilvy because they are the best creative advertising agency in the world,” said Blandine Jean-Paul, head of Marketing & Innovations at Red Stripe.

“This campaign will be a major step for Red Stripe as it will ground the brand's positioning in the territory and exemplify what Red Stripe means to its adorers.

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(Caribbean 360 News) PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Trinidad and Tobago has been slapped with its second downgrade in as many days – and it’s even more worrying.

Moody’s Investors Service has revised its previous Baa3 rating to Ba1, a rating deemed by investors as “junk” status.

The New-York based rating agency has however revised the country’s outlook from negative to stable.

The downgrade was driven by three main factors, including ineffective economic policies; increased borrowing, which has resulted in sustainable debt levels; and a significant decline in oil production.

According to Moody’s, with the fall in oil and gas prices, energy-related government revenues fell to only one per cent of GDP in the 2016 fiscal year, from eight of GDP in the previous fiscal year.

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