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WestJet adding more flights in July, but where are Albertans permitted to travel? – Global News

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As WestJet announced plans to offer more flights this summer, many Albertans are thinking ahead to possible trips. But, given restrictions put in place due to COVID-19, where can they safely fly? And what things should consumers consider when booking a flight?

Calgary-based WestJet released its updated summer schedule and starting July 5, it’s offering flights to 39 Canadian destinations, five in the U.S. and one to Mexico.

The new schedule includes six flights a day from Edmonton to Calgary, and three a day each from Edmonton to Vancouver and Toronto. In anticipation of the border opening, WestJet is adding flights from Calgary to Los Angeles and Las Vegas four times weekly.


READ MORE:
Coronavirus: WestJet extends international flight suspensions to May 4

The airline grounded all international flights during the pandemic due to low demand.

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WestJet said it will keep its “safety above all” policy in place, which allows more flexibility in bookings and cancellations.

READ MORE: WestJet announces layoffs for nearly 50% of staff due to COVID-19, Air Canada reduces pilots

However, Alberta Health is still strongly recommending against travel outside the country — or even outside the province. Non-essential travel is not included in Phase 2 of Alberta’s relaunch plan, which started on June 12. Alberta Health said it would continue to monitor the situation and notify Albertans if the recommendation changes.

“This is a global pandemic, with new evidence emerging daily, so we cannot provide a specific timeline for when this recommendation will change,” Alberta Health spokesperson Tom McMillan said.


READ MORE:
Nasty notes left for drivers with Alberta licence in B.C. as COVID-19 continues

The travel advisory from the government of Canada is also still urging people to avoid non-essential travel.






3:09
Looking at a summer vacations in Canada? Here’s what provinces are open for tourism this summer


Looking at a summer vacations in Canada? Here’s what provinces are open for tourism this summer

Passenger travel is down 90 per cent at the Edmonton International Airport. According to spokesperson Tom Ruth, that’s improved slightly from when COVID-19 started shutting down borders and travel. Initially, passenger travel dropped 95 per cent at the EIA.

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Ruth is encouraged by the added flights and hopes traffic picks up soon.

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“We’re not only seeing an increase in the future flights that are being loaded into Edmonton, but we’ve also seen an increased number of passengers,” he said.

“But let’s put it in perspective: we’re down significantly from where we were during our normal traffic, but we’re up about 16 per cent over the past two weeks. We’re doing a little over 1,000 passengers a day,” Ruth said.

“We can see the beginnings of what we hope to be a long-term recovery over time.”






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How COVID-19 travel restrictions are affecting Edmonton International Airport


How COVID-19 travel restrictions are affecting Edmonton International Airport

AMA Travel says most of its customers aren’t looking south of the border yet, but there has still been interest for next year.

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“That’s as a result of the current government restrictions to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada,” Nikola Berube said. “But we are seeing lots of interest in future bookings in 2021 for international travel, cruises and coach touring.”

She said now is a good time to plan for future trips — to make the most of deals, low prices, or use up travel credits and vouchers — as long as you’re familiar with the cancellation policies and your insurance coverage.


READ MORE:
American tourists in Alberta? RCMP investigating possible breaches of COVID-19 restrictions

“It’s definitely going to be confusing to navigate and understand what countries’ restrictions are, what your travel limitations are relative to the government advisories in place in Canada.”

Berube also recommends booking any travel with a credit card in case travel companies face hardship in the future.

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Deutsche Bank fined $150M US for failing to monitor Jeffrey Epstein transactions – CBC.ca

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Deutsche Bank AG has agreed to pay $150 million US in penalties to settle charges by a New York state regulator that the bank had “significant” compliance failures in its relationships with the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, Danske Bank Estonia and FBME Bank.

The New York State Department of Financial Services said on Tuesday that the agreement marks the first regulatory enforcement action against a financial institution for dealings with Epstein, the registered sex offender who died by suicide in August 2019.

“For years, Mr. Epstein’s criminal, abusive behaviour was widely known, yet big institutions continued to excuse that history and lend their credibility or services for financial gain,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

New York said Deutsche Bank failed to properly monitor Epstein’s transactions despite “ample” publicly available information about his sexual misconduct.

It said this led to the bank processing hundreds of transactions for Epstein that should have prompted more scrutiny, including payments to victims, alleged accomplices and law firms representing Epstein and the accomplices.

Penalties related to Danske Bank scandal

In the cases of Danske Estonia, which is embroiled in a money laundering scandal, and FBME, New York said Deutsche Bank failed to properly monitor their correspondent and dollar-clearing businesses.

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Christian Sewing told staff in an internal memo on Tuesday that it was a “critical mistake” to take Epstein on as a client in 2013, just a few years after he had served a sentence in Florida as part of a controversial plea deal.

The bank also acknowledged deficiencies in its monitoring of Danske Estonia and FBME.

“We all have to help ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again,” Sewing said.

WATCH l Ghislaine Maxwell arrest ‘long overdue for victims’ says rights lawyer Gloria Allred:

Representing 16 of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, the celebrated women’s rights lawyer, Gloria Allred, speaks to the CBC’s Hannah Thibedeau about the arrest of Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, on charges that include recruiting and abusing underage girls.   9:04

Epstein was awaiting trial last year on new federal charges of trafficking minors between 2002 and 2005 when he was found dead in a federal jail in New York City.

Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite accused of luring underage girls so Epstein could sexually abuse them, was arrested last week in New Hampshire.

She is expected to appear by video from the federal Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn on Friday for a court hearing.

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Deutsche Bank faces $150m fine for Jeffrey Epstein ties – BBC News

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Deutsche Bank has been hit with a $150m (£120m) fine for failing to properly monitor its relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

New York state regulators said the bank had suffered “significant compliance failures”, processing hundreds of transactions for the late financier.

Those included payments to Russian models and $800,000 in “suspicious” cash withdrawals.

Deutsche said it “deeply” regretted its relationship with Epstein.

It said it had spent almost $1bn to improve its training and controls and expand its anti-financial crime team to more than 1,500 people.

“We acknowledge our error of onboarding Epstein in 2013 and the weaknesses in our processes, and have learnt from our mistakes and shortcomings,” the bank said in a statement. “Our reputation is our most valuable asset and we deeply regret our association with Epstein.”

New York’s Department of Financial Services said the bank, which worked with Epstein from 2013 to 2018, helped him transfer millions of dollars, including more than $7m to resolve legal issues and more than $2.6m in payments to women, covering tuition, rent and other payments, among other transactions.

“Whether or to what extent those payments or that cash was used by Mr Epstein to cover up old crimes, to facilitate new ones, or for some other purpose are questions that must be left to the criminal authorities, but the fact that they were suspicious should have been obvious to bank personnel at various levels,” the regulator said.

“The bank’s failure to recognise this risk constitutes a major compliance failure.”

The settlement also cited Deutsche’s failures to monitor transactions with the Danske Estonia and FBME Bank adequately, despite having identified risks related to money-laundering at the two institutions.

The fine is the first regulator action against a financial institution for its dealings with Epstein, who died in prison on 10 August as he awaited, without chance of bail, his trial on sex trafficking charges. His death was determined to be a suicide.

But Deutsche has faced multiple penalties for its compliance failures in recent years, including over its failure to stop Russian money-laundering. Its relationship with US President Donald Trump has also brought scrutiny.

In an internal memo, Deutsche Bank chief executive Christian Sewing said it had been a “critical mistake” to accept Epstein as a client and acknowledged past lapses in the lender’s oversight.

“We all have to help ensure that this kind of thing does not happen again,” he said.

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Uber launches on-demand grocery delivery in Latin America and Canada – The Verge

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Uber is launching an on-demand grocery delivery service in Latin America and Canada, the company announced on Tuesday. It’s Uber’s first major move into the competitive world of online grocery shopping since acquiring Cornershop, a leading online grocery provider in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Canada, Brazil, and Colombia.

Grocery delivery will be available through both Uber’s main app and its Uber Eats app. Customers will see food delivery available from local grocery stores and will be able to receive their orders “in as little as one to two hours,” according to Uber Eats head of product Daniel Danker.

The service is available starting today in 19 cities across Latin America and Canada. Later this month, it will be available in the US, Danker said. And when it launches, it will be included in Uber’s subscription services, Rider Pass and Eats Pass, in which customers can get free delivery on orders over $30.

The announcement also comes on the heels of Uber’s $2.65 billion acquisition of Postmates. Uber is scrambling to expand its food delivery options as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pummel its core ride-hailing business. At the height of the pandemic in April, Uber said its ride-hailing division was down about 80 percent. And now, with the number of cases spiking in many parts of the US, the company’s losses could continue to mount.

“I think this would make a lot of sense in a pre-COVID world,” Danker said in a call with reporters. “But our world has just fundamentally changed. And so this represents even more of a huge responsibility for us.”

It’s not hard to see why Uber is banking so much on food delivery. Bookings in the company’s Uber Eats division were up more than 54 percent year over year, thanks to increased demand for food deliveries, the company reported in May. Meal delivery has seen an acceleration in demand since mid-March, with 89 percent year-over-year gross bookings growth in April excluding India. But the company has also moved fast to abandon its unprofitable markets, recently shuttering its Eats business in eight countries.

Uber is entering a crowded field, with huge companies like Amazon and Instacart jockeying for market share with major grocers like Kroger and Walmart. And it’s not an obvious moneymaker either. Last year, only 3 percent of grocery sales in the US take place online. Sales are certainly increasing during the pandemic — US online grocery revenue hit a record $7.2 billion in June — but customers say they feel hesitant to shop for groceries online for fear of being overcharged or experiencing late deliveries, according to a recent survey.

Cornershop was founded in 2015 in Santiago, Chile. The company was almost acquired by Walmart for $225 million in 2018, but Mexican antitrust regulators ultimately blocked the deal, arguing Walmart could not guarantee a level playing field for its rivals.

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