Business travelers who are making their way across the subcontinent of India have numerous options when it comes time to travel from town to town.

Business travelers who are making their way across the subcontinent of India have numerous options when it comes time to travel from town to town. Those professionals who would rather stay on the ground won’t have to skimp on the quality of their journey, as Indian Railways and the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation have announced the launch of a new luxury train line with service to three of the country’s most popular states.

The new line is called Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, and is being called “India’s most luxurious train.” With service beginning in Delhi, ending in Safdarjung, and moving through Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, the journey is ideal for business travelers who will be spending a lot of time in the subcontinent.

Train travel is an excellent way for professionals to make their way across the country, as it’s more leisurely pace allows them plenty of time to complete their work on the road. Investing in an international calling card is another wise decision, as these items provide travelers with a versatile tool that can keep them in touch with the home office for a reasonable price.

At launch, the Royal Rajasthan on Wheels held a full house, with 61 of the 82 travelers enjoying the trip hailing from overseas. One of those passengers was Australian tourist Kent Vodan, who told the Indo-Asian News Service that he was impressed by the train immediately

“So far, the service has been really good and the crew is really hospitable,” said Vodan, as quoted by the India Daily News.

The train features 25 coaches and a bevy of luxurious amenities, including an onboard spa, gym, deluxe saloons and two restro-lounges.

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Brazil releases the 2014 World Cup mascot, possible names

Brazil World Cup 2014

Brazil World Cup 2014

Brazil and FIFA have released the mascot for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and they have chosen an endangered armadillo, according to BBC News.

The mascot is usually light brown, but the mascot is yellow with green eyes and a blue shell for the country’s flag. It was unveiled by former Brazil striker Ronaldo while on TV, according to the news source.

“The mascot will play a key ambassadorial role in the next two years,” Ronaldo, who played in three World Cups, said on Brazilian television. “I’m sure he will inspire many young football fans in Brazil and all over the world with the great passion which he has for the sport and for his country.”

The three-banded armadillos live in Brazil’s arid northeast and are threatened due to habitat destruction. They are different than other armadillos because they can roll up in a ball to protect themselves against a predator, the media outlet reports.

“The mascot is one of the key visuals of a FIFA World Cup, providing FIFA, the LOC [local organising committee] and other stakeholders with a strong and exciting brand asset through which promotional campaigns can be activated and target audiences can be engaged,” said FIFA in a statement.

A few days after FIFA revealed the mascot, they came up with names, according to The Global Times. Amijubi, Fuleco and Zuzeco are the names to be chosen from. A panel of individuals fused Portuguese words with the meanings joy, econology, football and blue. However, these names were heavily criticized by Brazilians, who wished they had more say in the process. FIFA was quick to defend themselves.

“When the original plan was drafted we thought about having an open system in which the public could suggest names,” FIFA said in a statement. “However it was impossible to put this process into practice due to the complexity of legislation regarding intellectual property.”

Brazil is still protesting the names even after the statement was made, and an online petition has been circulating. By this past Saturday morning, it already had 30,000 signatures, the media outlet reports.

Those who want to talk about the upcoming World Cup and the mascot can make calls to Brazil using international calling cards


Air Canada talks new low-cost carrier to be launched in June

Air Canada recently announced it will be integrating a new low-cost carrier as a part of the new leisure group taking flight in June, according to The Vancouver Sun. This move will ramp up the amount of Air Canada planes to 50 additional aircrafts.

“Our new leisure group will benefit from combining the low-cost carrier with the strong brand reputation of Air Canada Vacations and leveraging the established marketing and distribution channels of both Air Canada Vacations and Air Canada,” Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu told the news source. “As a result, Air Canada will be able to compete more effectively in this highly dynamic and expanding market.”

The details about the carrier’s name and schedule will be announced later this year, when Air Canada releases its schedule for 2013, the media outlet reports.

The low-cost carriers will attract the bargain-seekers, but it could also deter some of the higher-paying customers, as they will not want to be on a plane with more seats and less room. These low-cost carriers are most likely good news for consumer spending, but that all depends on how fast the new planes are put out.

“If they’re added in aggressively, then the capacity will be raised and that’s always good for the consumer,” David Typerman of Canaccord Genuity told the news outlet.”If they’re added in a relatively slow manner it may not make much difference because the market does grow over time so they may just be picking up the growth in the market.”

Those who want to talk about the new planes can make calls to Canada using calling cards.

South African truckers protest in Johannesburg

Truckers in South Africa followed the footsteps of other works in the nation by hosting a massive strike in Johannesburg, according to The Associated Press. The thousands of strikers who gathered together are fighting for an increase in pay. They protested while submitting a petition for a 12 percent pay raise.

The spokesman for the union, Vincent Masoga, said it wanted thousands of people in attendance, and 15,000 people peacefully marched, according to the media outlet. The protesters, armed with signs and banners, joined together at Johannesburg’s Beyers Naude Square.

This comes soon after the Lonmin’s Marikana mines, where a strike starting in early August, and resulted in 34 deaths in one day and approximately 44 altogether. Labor unrest has spread among the gold, platinum and chrome mines. Other strikes are currently taking place at the Anglo American Platinum, Gold Fields, Samancor Chrome Western Mine and Anglo Gold Ashanti. Not only is this affecting the country as a whole, but it is also influencing investors of these valuable minerals across the globe, the publication reports.

The Markiana strikers returned to work in September, when they were offered a 22 percent increase in pay. As a result of the settlement, many believe it will give other industries the motivation to strike as well, and it may have set a negative precedent for labor relations in the country, according to the news outlet.

“Lonmin should have known that getting wage negotiations to be facilitated by the churches and allowing everybody, no matter their legal status, to play a role in the negotiations will create precedents that they will not be willing to repeat anywhere else,” the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the National Union of Mineworkers said in a statement.

According to AllAfrica, a former investigator of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is moving toward the state giving the victims of the Marikana mines financial assistance. However, nothing has been finalized.

“[The victims] want to believe that if they can be part of this process it can assist them in the healing process. We believe that they should be assisted by the state to be here,” advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza told the news source.

Those who want to talk about the recent strike can make calls to South Africa using international calling cards.