KUALA LUMPUR, 14 SEPTEMBER 2021 – The Langkawi travel bubble which has been well-received by Malaysians since its announcement last week will be a catalyst towards the revival of tourism and the AirAsia Group intends to play a strong role in further solidifying the return of travel.

As the transformation of AirAsia into a digital travel and lifestyle group is now complete, travellers can now book their ride to the airport and within Langkawi island, confirm their flights and accommodation to Langkawi, as well as complete their duty-free shopping all within one platform – the airasia Super App, at unbeatable value and prices.

For a start, AirAsia Malaysia (flight code AK) will be resuming its flights to and from Langkawi with 90 weekly flights departing from Kuala Lumpur (63x weekly), Penang (14x weekly), Johor Bahru (7x weekly), Ipoh (3x weekly) and Kota Bharu (3x weekly). More routes will be added and frequencies increased as the travel demand grows in tandem with the reopening of more leisure destinations in the near future.

Guests can look forward to an improved, more exciting travel experience as the airasia Super App is collaborating with the Langkawi Development Authority to offer a new digitized and contactless duty-free shopping experience which will see an island-wide and same-day delivery across Langkawi hotels by the end of this month. Soon there will also be a full spectrum of fulfilment from inflight seat delivery, airport pickup apart from hotel and home delivery with 13 Asean retailers on board with airasia’s duty free offerings.

The airasia Super App which now offers e-hailing with the recent launch of airasia ride will also be operating in Langkawi beginning 16th September 2021. The airasia ride e-hailing service can be booked by clicking on the ‘Ride’ icon on the airasia Super App, or visitingairasia.com/ride.

Riad Asmat, CEO AirAsia Malaysia and Amanda Woo, CEO airasia Super App announced these initiatives at an online press conference held today, which was also attended by En Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib, Chief Executive Officer, Lembaga Pembangunan Langkawi (LADA).

Riad Asmat, CEO AirAsia Malaysia said: ‘Since the government’s announcement of the Langkawi travel bubble’s SOP last week, we have seen very strong uptake for seats to Langkawi, especially with the RM12 low fares and RM99 SNAP deals by AirAsia. This clearly indicates a strong pent up demand for travel and AirAsia is committed towards working with the government, Tourism Malaysia, LADA and all tourism industry players to make this a success with more than 90 weekly flights to Langkawi. From an operational standpoint, we have prepared extensively and implemented robust and comprehensive health and safety protocols to ensure all of our guests can travel safely, while our crew can bring our guests to their favourite island destination safely as well.

‘Our self check-in system on the airasia Super App is our latest innovation that integrates data from certified healthcare providers to seamlessly verify a guest’s travel eligibility based on their test certificate and/or vaccination certificate. Our comprehensive travel

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction has been completed on a $23.6 million project to replace four bridges and rehabilitate three others along State Route 9W in the towns of New Windsor, Cornwall and Highlands in Orange County. The project enhanced safety and improved travel along a key route that’s vital for the flow of people and commerce in the Hudson Valley and also provides access to attractions like Storm King Mountain and the United States Military Academy at West Point. Extensive recycling techniques were also employed during construction to reduce the demand for new materials and reduce the project’s environmental impact.

“New York State remains committed to building a 21st century infrastructure that improves quality of life, promotes economic growth and helps to safeguard our environment,” Governor Hochul said. “Renewing the bridges along the Route 9W corridor will help countless commuters who travel this vital corridor every day, and help keep people and goods moving throughout Orange County for years into the future.”

Improvements made as part of the project include new road surfaces, increased vertical clearances, concrete arch and substructure repairs, and new parapets, railings and sidewalks. New, weather resistant steel girders were installed to significantly lengthen the life span of the bridges and lessen the need for frequent painting.  

During construction, concrete debris was taken from the bridge sites and transported to a local facility, where it was reduced and processed for use as backfill, subbase and gravel. Additionally, embankment materials were excavated, stockpiled and utilized as backfill on the new bridges, slopes and roadways.

Bioretention elements were added to create a natural filtration system, which protects wildlife and prevents adverse impacts from stormwater runoff. Stone armoring, also known as heavy stone fill, was added at the Black Forest Creek location to fix scour and erosion at inlets and outlets, which will allow for the free flow of water. 

Replaced bridges include:

  • The River Road bridge over Route 9W, Town of New Windsor.
  • The Route 9W bridge over Quaker Avenue, Town of Cornwall.
  • The Willow Avenue bridge over Route 9W, Town of Cornwall.
  • The Angola Road bridge over Route 9W bridge, Town of Cornwall.

Refurbished bridges include: 

  • The Route 9W bridge over Route 218, Town of Cornwall.
  • The Route 9W bridge over Black Forest Creek, Town of Cornwall.
  • The Route 9W bridge Route 218, Town of Highlands.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “All across New York, we are building a sustainable and resilient transportation infrastructure that will strengthen communities and promote growth. This project along the Route 9W corridor is no exception and demonstrates the Department of Transportation’s commitment to giving New Yorkers the transportation system they deserve and utilizing sound and environmentally conscious methods and materials.”

Senator James Skoufis said, “I am thrilled to see these improvements completed along our busy 9W corridor, a long-awaited project that I joined others in pushing for when I served in the Assembly. Making upgrades

USAFA, Colo.- The 2021-22 schedule for Rob Clayton‘s and Stan Curnow‘s group has been released, as the Falcons will officially kickoff the fresh campaign on October 1. 

Before then, both sides of the Air Force swimming and diving programs will participate in the annual Blue/Silver Intersquad event, scheduled for September 25 at 9:30 am. The first official regular season event for the men will take place six days later in Grand Junction, CO at the Intermountain Shootout.

In conjunction with the women’s program, the male swimmers and divers will participate in the Rocky Mountain Invitational, with Air Force hosting Wyoming, LSU, and Denver on October 22-23. The Falcons will then travel to three separate invites, including the Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles, CA, the Art Adamson Invitational in College Station, Texas, and the Lumberjack Diving Invitational in Flagstaff, AZ. Upon returning from the Christmas break, Air Force will have two final home events, including the Air Force Diving Invitational on February 3-5.

The postseason will begin with the WAC Championships in Houston, TX on February 23-26, followed by the NCAA Zone E Qualifiers and the CSCAA Invitational Championships. The Falcons will conclude the 2021-22 schedule in Iowa City, Iowa at th NCAA Championships, scheduled to begin March 23. 

The entirety of the 2021-22 schedule can be found here.

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OXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution Academy will field a roster of 94 players during the 2021-22 MLS NEXT season beginning this weekend, September 4. With 50 returning players and 44 newcomers representing all six New England states and beyond, the Revolution will field four teams in the Under-14, Under-15, Under-17, and Under-19 age groups.

The 2021-22 season will see the continuation of the Revolution Academy’s Residency Program, now in its third year. The program recently expanded to include a second residency home located near the Academy’s facilities at the Revolution Training Center in Foxborough, Mass. The players who reside full-time in the residency all continue their high school educations through online schooling while training daily at the club’s state-of-the-art training center. By eliminating key barriers such as transportation, the Residency Program allows players from throughout New England and beyond to benefit from the club’s free-to-play, elite player development program and established professional pathway.

The Revolution Academy is coming off a successful 2020-21 campaign in the inaugural season of the MLS NEXT platform, which saw all three of the club’s eligible age groups qualify for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs. The Under-15 team, coached by MLS and Revolution great Shalrie Joseph, advanced to the semifinal round of the national tournament. In addition, the year saw dozens of players earn training opportunities and professional experience with Revolution II. In all, 14 different current and former Revolution Academy players, as young as 15 years old, have made their pro soccer debuts with Revolution II in USL League One action.

“We are pleased with the progress the Revolution Academy program over made over the past year and are energized for the work ahead as we kick off the MLS NEXT season,” Revolution Technical Director Curt Onalfo said. “It has been an encouraging year with the expansion of the residency program, qualifying all three of our eligible teams for the MLS NEXT Cup Playoffs, and more than a dozen professional debuts by our Academy players with Revolution II. We look forward to taking more steps forward in the upcoming season as we progress more talented players through our pro pathway.”

In November 2020, Colby Quiñones (Bedford, N.H.) became the third Revs Academy product to ascend the club’s pathway to the professional ranks by signing his Revolution II contract. Fellow Academy graduates Hikaru Fujiwara (Lexington, Mass.) and Noel Buck (Arlington, Mass.) also made the leap to USL League One. In all, 14 different Academy players have made their professional debut with Revolution II.

Additionally, the Revolution Academy continued to place players at elite NCAA Division I universities as six recent graduates will continue their careers at top men’s soccer programs – Cole Dewhurst (Lancaster, Mass.) at Providence College, Taha Kina (Maynard, Mass.) at Brown University, Samuel White (Sterling, Mass.) and Aidan Farwell (Randolph, Mass.) at Boston College, Joe Buck (Arlington, Mass.) at Georgetown University, Greg MacLean (Walpole, Mass.) at University of Connecticut, and Michael Tsicoulias (Needham, Mass.) at University of Virginia.

On the coaching

In just over one week, Disneyland Resort will transform into the Spookiest Place on Earth for its much-anticipated Halloween season. Disneyland was closed last Halloween due to the pandemic, so Guests are especially excited to see the return of Mickey pumpkins, specialty treats, and the incredibly popular Halloween party, Oogie Boogie Bash.

oogie boogie bash
Credit: Disney

Oogie Boogie Bash will run on select nights from September 9 until October 31 and will feature a ton of exciting events and experiences. One of the top experiences for party Guests is the Frightfully Fun Parade, which will run through the streets of Disney California Adventure. On August 26, Disney announced a fan favorite would be returning to the parade. According to Disney Parks Blog:

Get ready to be dazzled as your favorite Disney characters and Disney villains pass by in a parade with a spell-binding beat. Led by the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow arriving on his eerie black steed, this rockin’ gathering of vivacious ghosts and hair-raising haunts is not-to-be-missed.

headless horseman disney
Credit: Disney

While Guests attending Oogie Boogie Bash will be able to experience a bunch of exclusive events, they will also be able to take advantage of all the Disney California Adventure Park has to offer, with much lower crowds.

With your ticket to Oogie Boogie Bash, you will also be able to explore Disney California Adventure park, including the all-new Avengers Campus! Check out the transformed Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark, an exciting Halloween adventure filled with creepy creatures and thrilling drops. For more thrills, don’t forget to include a ride on the Incredicoaster in Pixar Pier. If you prefer a smoother, less spine-chilling ride, enjoy the majestic views on Soarin’ Around the World.

Monsters After Dark
Credit: Disney

On Oogie Boogie Bash party dates, California Adventure will close at 6 p.m. and the party will run from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. However, Guests with Oogie Boogie Bash tickets can enter California Adventure as early as 3 p.m. All Oogie Boogie Bash tickets are sold out at this time.

Are you excited to see the Headless Horseman make his return? Will you be attending Oogie Boogie Bash? Let us know in the comments!

CLICK HERE to book your Disneyland Resort vacation with our friends at Academy Travel – an EarMarked Diamond travel agency that can provide you with a free quote today!

New Mexico United and the Somos Unidos Foundation announced the signing of two Academy contracts earlier today.Midfielders Dane Gallegos and Taylor Rogers will join the New Mexico United Academy Team for the 2021 season. Both players have won titles in New Mexico and are now eligible to play with the United first team.In a statement released by New Mexico United, head coach Troy Lesesne said:“Dane & Taylor’s talents are numerous and unquestionable. But more important than their skill is their commitment to hard work, humility and diligence. These two young men are incredible leaders and have earned this step.”Both Gallegos and Rogers both earned full scholarships into the New Mexico United Academy, this means they do not have to pay for equipment, travel, training or any other costs associated with play.

New Mexico United and the Somos Unidos Foundation announced the signing of two Academy contracts earlier today.

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Midfielders Dane Gallegos and Taylor Rogers will join the New Mexico United Academy Team for the 2021 season. Both players have won titles in New Mexico and are now eligible to play with the United first team.

In a statement released by New Mexico United, head coach Troy Lesesne said:

“Dane & Taylor’s talents are numerous and unquestionable. But more important than their skill is their commitment to hard work, humility and diligence. These two young men are incredible leaders and have earned this step.”

Both Gallegos and Rogers both earned full scholarships into the New Mexico United Academy, this means they do not have to pay for equipment, travel, training or any other costs associated with play.

USAF ACADEMY, Colo. – Air Force women’s soccer released its schedule for the 2021 fall season, announced today by head coach Larry Friend.  The 19-game regular season schedule features games against both service academy rivals Army and Navy, in addition to a non-conference home game against in-state rival Colorado.

The Falcons get their first taste of competition Aug. 9 with an exhibition game at Oklahoma.  Air Force then opens the regular season Aug. 14 hosting Colorado.

Air Force also hosts non-conference home games Sept. 2 against Cal Poly for Parent’s Weekend and Sept. 20 against South Dakota State.  

The non-conference road slate opens with two games at the University of Denver campus, with the Falcons taking on host Denver on Aug. 19 and Northern Colorado on Aug. 22.  Air Force also takes to the road for games at George Mason on Sept. 9, Navy on Sept. 12 and Army West Point on Aug. 16.

Air Force opens Mountain West play with four straight home games.  The Falcons host San Jose State Sept. 24 and Fresno State on Sept. 26.  The following weekend sees visits from UNLV on Oct. 1 and Nevada on Oct. 2.  Air Force caps its home schedule hosting Utah State on Oct. 14 and Boise State on Oct. 17.

Road matches for the Falcons begin with a weekend at Wyoming on Oct. 8 and Colorado State on Oct. 10.  The Falcons travel to San Diego State Oct. 22 and New Mexico Oct. 24.  The regular season wraps Oct. 29 in-town rival Colorado College.

The Falcons look to make the MW Soccer Championships, held Nov. 3-7, in Boise, Idaho.  The top six teams in head-to-head conference play make the championships.

Air Force Women’s Soccer 2021 Fall Schedule

Date – Opponent – Location – Time


Aug. 9 – at Oklahoma (Exhibition) – Norman, OK – 7 pm CT

Aug. 14 – Colorado – USAFA – 6 pm

Aug. 19 – Denver – Denver – 7 pm

Aug. 22 – vs. Northern Colorado – Denver – 5 pm

Sept. 2 – Cal Poly – USAFA – 6 pm

Sept. 9 – at George Mason – Fairfax, VA – 7 pm ET

Sept. 12 – at Navy – Annapolis, MD – 12 pm ET

Sept. 16 – at Army – West Point, NY – 6 pm ET

Sept. 20 – South Dakota State – USAFA – 6 pm

Sept. 24 – San Jose State* – USAFA – 6 pm

Sept. 26 – Fresno State* – USAFA – 12 pm

Oct. 1 – UNLV* – USAFA – 6 pm

Oct. 3 – Nevada* – USAFA – 12 pm

Oct. 8 – at Wyoming* – Laramie, WY – 3 pm

Oct. 10 – at Colorado State* – Fort Collins, CO – 12 pm

Oct. 14 – Utah State* – USAFA – 6 pm

Oct. 17 – Boise

Roger Dow, who as CEO of U.S. Travel oversaw the conversion of a tepid industry association into a lobbying powerhouse, announced he will be stepping down in July 2022.

Dow will be remembered for wrangling a fractious group of travel sectors with competing interests — hotels, cruise lines, destinations, airlines, airports, theme parks, tour operators, rental car companies, payment systems, intermediaries — into a unified organization that put aside their differences to line up behind the common goal of increasing travel to and within the United States

Together with Loews Hotel chairman Jonathan Tisch, Dow helped engineer the merging of the former U.S. Travel Industry Association and Tisch’s Travel Business Roundtable to create U.S. Travel in 2008.

That year, the meetings and hospitality industry faced the double challenge of a recession and criticism from elected officials, including President Obama, for holding meetings in luxury properties during an economic downturn. In coalition with other industry groups, the Meetings Mean Business initiative was launched, helping to stem the threat during a particularly difficult period. Dow recalls that period as the association’s “coming of age” period.

Another of the organization’s major accomplishments under Dow’s leadership was the passage of the Travel Promotion Act, which led to the creation of Brand USA, which markets the country abroad.

The group also advocated heavily to increase the number of countries in the Visa Waiver Program; 11 additional countries were admitted into the program while Dow was CEO.

Most recently, U.S. Travel played a significant role in ensuring that travel companies were included in relief packages during the Covid crisis.

Dow, who prior to accepting the role at U.S. Travel had been senior vice president of global and field sales for Marriott International, said he had had an epiphany when he realized that lobbying was just another form of sales. 

“It’s a matter of saying, ‘This is important, and here’s why.’ That’s what I’ve done my whole life.”

Dow said that following his departure from U.S. Travel, his intention is to stay in the industry in a role that continues to address what he considers to be important unresolved challenges.

U.S. Travel national chair Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, praised Dow and said she would appoint a search committee to identify the association’s next CEO.

Each year, the Presidential Leadership Academy (PLA) at Penn State chooses 30 exemplary first-year students and the academy is excited to celebrate the next round of standout members. 

The PLA fosters an environment where students of diverse backgrounds are welcomed to advance their critical thinking skills to confront highly nuanced problems in our community and globally. The academy members call this “thinking in the gray.” In the fall, these students will begin their PLA journey with a seminar class with Penn State president Eric J. Barron, something academy members have done since it was founded by Edward R. and Helen S. Hintz in 2009. 

This year, the Presidential Leadership Academy received applications from 161 students. Of those, 87 were chosen to partake in a two-part interview process consisting of a virtual one-on-one interview and a virtual group interview. That group of 87 was narrowed down to 30 students who were chosen based on their critical-thinking ability, communication skills, and diverse viewpoints. 

PLA’s 2021 class members are in major and minor programs spanning every academic college at Penn State. Seven of the 30 members are enrolled in the Schreyer Honors College. Outside of their academics, new PLA members have a breadth of experiences at Penn State, participating in Engineers without Borders, Glee Club, THON, UPUA, BLUEPrint, LionScouts, the Smeal College of Business’ Sapphire Leadership Academic Program, Interventional Student Orientation Leader, the Salt Company, Blue Band, and the Penn State Fencing Team. 

The rising second-year students come from all walks of life and bring diverse perspectives with them. Twenty students consider their home state to be Pennsylvania while five other states are represented, including New Jersey, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maryland, and Florida. One member is from Washington, D.C. Three members have home cities and countries outside of the United States in Nigeria, Honduras, and England. Many of the students are fluent in more than one language. 

Sébastien Kraft, a fourth-year student, recognizes the strength of having diverse experiences. 

“One of PLA’s key virtues is the human component,” Kraft said. “Our blend of 30 students from a variety of backgrounds puts the ‘people’ aspect at the forefront.”    

For the incoming second-year students, the PLA provides an experience that does not exist anywhere else on campus. Valarie Hibbard, an elementary and early childhood education major and member of the Blue Band, said she is “excited to be a part of the PLA and have a place where students, along with important members of faculty, discuss heavier topics freely and work together to improve not only University Park, but PSU campus as a whole.” 

Hibbard also noted how she aims to develop skills in the academy that will be useful in her career and life. The incoming class will begin its PLA journey by taking a seminar class with Barron, which discusses difficult issues that face Penn State and other universities across the nation.

Ayden Herold, a College of Communications student and another member of the incoming class, is most looking forward to working with

New Zealand

Sydney/NSW records 29 new community cases on day 1 of partial lockdown. Video / ABC

The transtasman quarantine free travel bubble has been paused for three days as of 10.30pm tonight.

This is the first time the bubble to all Australian states has been paused.

Quarantine Free Travel from all Australian states and territories will be paused from 10.30pm (NZT) tonight until 11.59pm (NZT) on Tuesday June 29.

Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins announced the bubble pause in a media statement at 9pm tonight.

“There are now multiple cases and outbreaks in Australia in differing stages of containment and the health risk for New Zealand in response to these cases is increasing,” the statement said.

The short bubble pause will also allow officials to consider the potential implementation of a range of measures to make the bubble safer, such as the introduction of pre-departure testing for all flights from Australia to New Zealand, Hipkins said.

The 72-hour pause to quarantine-free travel has meant Air New Zealand has had to cancel all passenger flights to New Zealand from Australia.

Air New Zealand chief operational integrity and safety officer Captain David Morgan said cargo-only services will continue to operate.

“We are in the process of contacting impacted customers, who are being provided the option to rebook, put their flight into credit, or receive a refund if they purchased a refundable ticket.”

Millions of NSW residents will go into lockdown tonight in the state’s latest attempt to stamp out Covid-19 infections spreading across greater Sydney.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced further rules for NSW as infections in the state increased to 82 cases.

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins  during a press conference at Parliament on  June 25. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins during a press conference at Parliament on June 25. Photo / Mark Mitchell

From 6pm today, all of Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong will go into lockdown until midnight on July 9.

“As a result the Government has taken the precautionary step of temporarily widening the current pause with New South Wales to include all of Australia,” the statement from Hipkins’ office said.

“This short pause will give us time to get a better understanding of the developing situation and to consider the potential implementation of a range of measures to make the bubble safer, such as the introduction of pre-departure testing for all flights from Australia to New Zealand.”

“I acknowledge the frustration and inconvenience that comes with this pause, but given the high level of transmissibility of what appears to be the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep Covid-19 out of New Zealand.”

Any travellers who were in Australia from June 21 onwards are being asked to monitor their health.

New Zealand travellers in Australia should follow the health instructions of the state or territory they are in.

Hipkins said the paused bubble is necessary considering the growing number of cases