Away from caravan, other migrants travel out of spotlight

A small group of Honduran migrants trying to reach the U.S. border walk along train tracks in Trancas Viejas, Veracruz state, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. As a caravan of thousands of Central Americans renewed their slow march toward the U.S. on Wednesd

On a day when a migrant caravan of several thousand was still crawling through far southern Mexico, hundreds of young men were walking swiftly between train rides more than 200 miles to the north.

Some of them had left Honduras the same day as those in the caravan. One had left a week later. The difference: They were moving along one of the traditional Central American migrant trails, riding the freight trains known as La Bestia, or “the beast,” that have been speeding — and maiming — migrants on their journey toward the U.S. border for decades.

While world attention has been focused on the migrant caravan numbering an estimated 4,000 people for the past two weeks, thousands of other migrants have continued their steady flow north on well-trod migratory routes. It’s a faster option — and those taking it hope may help them fly under the radar while Mexican authorities focus on the slow-moving caravan.

In fiscal 2018, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended more than 396,000 migrants who crossed the southwest border illegally. Just the ones who were caught in a week amount to more than the estimated 7,000 traveling in the caravan at its peak.

One afternoon this week, at the spot where a set of mud-packed railroad tracks crossed a rural backroad in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, figures emerged walking in the distance. Every few minutes more groups — of eight, 10, 12 young men — came into view.

They said they had gotten off a train that had stopped an hour’s walk away and were trying to make it to a migrant shelter before nightfall.

Cesar Ferrera, wearing a green shirt and black jeans covered in grime from the train, said he left his home in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Oct. 13, the same day the caravan departed, but never considered joining it.

“The train takes you much more quickly, and they are walking slowly and are super behind,” Ferrera said. “We are, wow, way ahead.”

He estimated there were 500 to 600 people just like him on the train that crossed the Guatemalan border into Mexico, passing town after town in southern Chiapas state in recent days.

His reasons for leaving were identical to many of those traveling in the caravan. Work was hard to find and what was available didn’t pay enough to support a family. Crime was an ever-present threat. The 28-year-old left his two children at home along with his wife.

“More than anything, the government doesn’t solve people’s problems,” Ferrera said.

He was working as a private security guard at a mall in San Pedro Sula last December and had to fight off looters in the disturbances that followed President Juan Orlando Hernandez’s contested re-election, which was marred by irregularities and denounced as outright fraudulent by Hernandez’s opponent. He said he was not making enough to risk his life protecting someone else’s property.

Since leaving Honduras two weeks ago, he hasn’t had access to news about President Donald Trump’s threats of sealing the border to stop the caravan, but said he was undeterred.

Those living along the tracks in Trancas Viejas didn’t blink an eye at the sight of dozens of young men walking by their homes.

Estefana Reves Cardenas has lived there for more than 15 years. Sometimes the migrants ride the train past, but it’s also common to hear them walking by throughout the night. She couldn’t remember ever having a problem with any of the young men, pregnant women and children who have passed.

“We give them a bit of food,” Reves said. “Not everyone, because they are so many and they all want some.”

It was Manuel Hernandez’s first time attempting the trip.

The 23-year-old farmer from Santa Barbara, Honduras, had started travelling six days earlier and had heard some of Trump’s threats about the caravan.

“Yes, we heard, but we are going to try it,” Hernandez said. “It is an adventure.”

He preferred to travel this way on his own because the caravan attracted a lot more attention.

“One person alone,” he said, “that’s the way.”

Hernandez, who has family in Washington, D.C., said he was sure he could find a landscaping job there.

Noting that he’d be “very close” to Trump, he chuckled and said maybe he would “visit him.”


Fitbit Charge 3 review: Smarter than the average fitness tracker

fitbit charge 3 above

In an age of smartwatches with cellular chips and near edge-to-edge screens, the Fitbit Charge 3 is something of a throwback. It doesn’t have a color screen. You can’t install third-party apps. It doesn’t even store music.

But even without many of the things that make a smartwatch, well, smart, the Charge 3 may as well be Fitbit’s flagship device. The Ionic and Versa have higher price tags and more features, but the Charge 3 is the perfect balance of smartwatch and fitness tracker. Rather than trying to chase Apple or Samsung with large-screened devices that can answer calls, turn off the lights, and play games, the Charge 3 is just smart enough to be relevant in a crowded wearable field.

fitbit charge 3 watch

Michael Simon/IDG

The Fitbit Charge 3 has a bigger and higher-resolution screen than the Charge 2.

The Charge 3 won’t help you unplug or let you leave your phone at home on a night out, but it might make you rethink how much you really need your watch to do. I’m a smartwatch enthusiast and generally gravitate toward watches that do more, not less: Apple Watch, LG Watch Sport, Galaxy Watch, etc. But taking form factor, battery life, price, and reality into consideration, the Charge 3 is definitely something I’d consider wearing every day. Even without full smartwatch functionality, the Charge 3 does mostly everything I need it to do, even if it falls short of the things I think I want it to do.

Table of Contents

  • Getting the band back together
  • Alerts, not apps
  • Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 3?

Getting the band back together

Like the year-and-half-old Charge 2 that it replaces, the Charge 3 is more of a band than a watch. At first glance it looks quite similar to its predecessor, but there are significant differences. It has a similar vertical rectangular aesthetic as the Charge 2, but the 17.64mm x 4.95mm screen takes up significantly more of your wrist. And even with a display that’s some 40 percent larger than the Charge 2, the Charge 3 is still a couple of grams lighter, largely due to the use of aluminum rather than stainless steel.

fitbit charge 3 bands

Michael Simon/IDG

Swapping bands on the Fitbit Charge 3 is even simpler than it was on the Charge 2.

Extending out of the sides of the screen is a new swappable band system, and it’s much sleeker than the Charge 2’s bulbous lugs. The swapping mechanism is more like the Ionic’s now, which is to say it’s drop-dead simple, and the bands feel more like classic watch bands, subtly changing the look of the rose gold or graphite aluminum body rather than choking the sides of the screen. As always, Fitbit is selling a variety of them at various price points, and that sound you hear is the third-party market kicking into gear.

With a softer look and a longer body, the screen is on full display here, and it’s a good one. It’s still a monochrome OLED affair, but Fitbit’s playful use of whites and grays make the watch faces seem as lively as they do on the Versa or Ionic. Text and menus are bright, crisp, and easy to read even on a tiny screen thanks to a higher resolution though not-quite-Retina display. But more importantly, the screen is fully touch enabled now, a major upgrade from the tap-only Charge 2.

fitbit charge 3 apps

Michael Simon/IDG

You can swipe to navigate screens on the Charge 3.

As you’d expect, navigating apps and menus on the Charge 3 is much more pleasant. On the Charge 2, switching between apps requires tapping the corner of the screen or tapping the button, neither of which is all that intuitive in 2018. With the Charge 3’s touch screen, however, navigating is as you’d expect:

  • Swipe left to see your apps
  • Swipe up to see the Today screen
  • Swipe down to see notifications

While taps and swipes are all that’s needed to get around, the Charge 3 also has a home button on its left edge that would go unnoticed if not for a small indentation at the bottom. And unless they read the manual, people still might not realize it’s there.

fitbit charge 3 button

Michael Simon/IDG

That’s a button.

Here’s why: the button on the Charge 3 is not a traditional button, its an inductive one. To activate it, you need to press you finger against the side of the band until you feel a small bit of haptic feedback. Since you don’t need it for navigation anymore, the main use for the button on the Charge 3 is to turn the screen on and off—you won’t need to press it all that often. It’s a cool innovation that will surely impact Fitbit’s future designs in more meaningful ways, but it’s not really all that useful on the Charge 3, other than giving the body a cleaner look.

Alerts, not apps

Other than a physical button, the other thing the Charge 3 doesn’t have is a way to install apps. While that’s not uncommon in the world of fitness bands, it feels a bit constricting as it follows in the footsteps of the Versa and Ionic. Granted, the app library on those platforms are severely limited compared to Wear OS and Apple Watch, but on the Charge 3, there are but six apps, and one is Settings. The others are Exercise, Relax, Timers, Alarms, and Weather. Calendar and Leaderboard are coming soon, and there’s also a Wallet app for Fitbit Pay on the NFC-enabled special edition Charge 3, but for the most part apps are limited to obligatory functions.

fitbit charge 3 text

Michael Simon/IDG

Full-sized alerts make the Charge 3 smarter than ever.

Clock faces are limited as well, with just 7 to choose from as opposed to the dozens that are available for Ionic and Versa. And any new ones will need to be designed by Fitbit for now, as the company isn’t releasing an SDK for custom apps and faces. It is, however, working with “a number of popular brands” to bring extra functionality to the Charge 3. Stay tuned.

Based on its app library alone, the Charge 3 is nowhere near as smart as the Versa and Ionic. Most notably, there’s no music app or controls, so all music streaming will have to come from your phone. That’s a bummer and the Charge 3’s biggest detriment, but since it doesn’t have on-board GPS, you’ll need to have your phone most of the time, anyway.

The Charge 3’s exercise tracking are as robust as you’d expect from a Fitbit device, though automatic exercise recognition was a little wonky. For example, it properly registered a walk to a local restaurant but clocked my time there as an hour of outdoor bicycling for some reason. And if I forgot to hit stop after a workout session, my Charge 3 continued to record my movements for hours despite a return to a resting heart rate.

fitbit charge 3 exercise

Michael Simon/IDG

As always, fitness takes center stage on the Charge 3.

Where Fitbit has expanded the Charge 3’s capabilities is with notifications. The Charge 2 was able to get alerts for calls, messages, and emails, while the Charge 3 can display any notification that comes to your phone, making it infinitely more useful. It’s here where apps like Uber or Spotify are missed, but the Charge 3 does well to keep you apprised of what’s going on. While you still aren’t able to interact with any of the alert you receive—Android Quick Replies are still on Fitbit’s coming soon list and there’s no microphone for answering calls—it makes the Charge 3 a true all-day companion to your phone.

Did I say all-day? I meant all-week. Without GPS or a color screen, Fitbit has managed to squeeze seven days of battery life out of the Charge 3, and in my testing, regular workouts didn’t prevent it from reaching day seven, with a full week of sleep tracking to boot. And since it’s water resistant up to 50 meters, you really won’t beed to take it off until the battery dies a week later. When you do need to charge it, Fitbit has introduced yet another charger that’s basically a smaller version of the Versa’s squeezable dock.

Should you buy the Fitbit Charge 3?

Fitbit hasn’t changed the price of the Charge 3, so it’ll still run you $150 (or $180 for the special-edition model, which comes with an NFC chip and a second band). Compared to the $279 Series 3 Apple Watch or even the $200 Versa, it’s a bit of a steal. Quite frankly, a touch screen alone would be enough to make the Charge 3 a worthy upgrade over the Charge 2, but Fitbit has made its newest wearable smarter to boot.

fitbit charge 3 table

Michael Simon/IDG

The Fitbit Charge 3 has a bigger screen and less agressive bands than the Charge 2.

Even with greater capabilities, the Charge 3 is simplistic compared to the Samsung Galaxy Watch or upcoming Huawei Watch GT, but that’s the whole point. It’s not about piling on features and functions to challenge higher-priced watches. It’s about offering a concentrated alternative to full-sized smartwatches without sacrificing the things that are necessary to the experience. Other than music, I didn’t miss much about my other smartwatches while wearing the Charge 3 for a week. Sure, it would be nice to answer calls or respond to messages, but it also made me consider the urgency of each alert.

At some point the Ionic, Versa, and Charge 3 will converge into a single device that’s small enough for every wrist and smart enough for every task, but until the day arrives, the Charge 3 is definitely a best-of-both-worlds proposition. You can find smarter, more capable watches out there for sure, but they’ll be bigger, more expensive, won’t last through the week. And they just might change your perception of how smart your watch really needs to be.


The 19 Best Places To Travel In 2019

What’s on your travel wish list for 2019? We tapped into some of the world’s top travel experts to find out where they want to go next. From a colorful beach town in Belize that is slowly becoming discovered to an unexpected European country with a vibrant new arts scene, here are the most exciting places to travel in 2019.

Belmond Cap Juluca on Anguilla.Photo courtesy of Belmond Cap Juluca

Where: Anguilla, Caribbean

Chosen By: Tiffany Dowd is a global luxury hotel expert and luxury travel influencer known as “Luxe Tiffany” and founder of Luxe Social Media. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Why: You’ll be hard pressed to find beaches more spectacular in the Caribbean than on the beautiful British overseas territory of Anguilla. From long stretches of pristine white sand on Rendezvous Bay to the sparkling Maundays Bay, Anguilla is a honeymoon hot spot and also ideal for family holidays. The iconic Belmond Cap Juluca will soon reopen on December 15th after a complete renovation and will feature a brand new oceanfront infinity edge pool as well as a touch of Venetian glamour at the new Cip’s by Cipriani restaurant. There will also be a new Cap Shack, where you’ll sip rum punch and dine on beach BBQ tapas from a food truck while swaying to cool calypso tunes under the stars.

A bird’s-eye view of Montage Los Cabos.Photo courtesy of Montage Los Cabos


Where: Los Cabos, Mexico

Chosen By: Michaela Guzy is a media executive, entrepreneur and on-air show host. She is the executive producer for two online television shows, Michaela’s Map and OhThePeopleYouMeet. Based in New York City, she is also an adjunct professor at New York University School of Professional Studies, where she teaches a course called “Travel Storytelling: Creating Video Content.”

Why: You might think you know about Los Cabos, but did you know that one of the largest, protected national marine parks in the world is just 60 miles south? Cabo Pulmo National Park used to be heavily overfished before the park became officially protected in the 90s; it’s also a UNESCO site because of its rich biodiversity, high marine productivity and beauty. Cabo Pulmo stretches five miles along the coast of Baja California Sur and houses the oldest living reef of on the west coast of North America. (Fishermen have been taught how to be dive masters to keep the ocean healthy and full of fish.) There, you can find sea turtles, sea lions, dolphins and humpback whales. Thanks to the success of the national marine park, travelers can now kayak, go stand-up paddleboarding or snorkel/scuba dive with sea lions and even (friendly) bull sharks. Back in Los Cabos, visit chef Enrique Silva’s working organic farm and restaurant at Los Tamarindos, where you can pick your produce and make a meal with him. There are a number of hotels to check out, including a recently opened Montage Los Cabos and the forthcoming Four Seasons Costa Palmas, slated to open in 2019. My pick: the sustainable Hotel El Ganzo, which has an artist-in-residence program and a music recording studio. The hotel also supports the children’s community art center across the street.

A tented room at Fairmont Mara Safari Club.Photo courtesy of Fairmont Mara Safari Club

Where: Kenya

Chosen By: Natalie Beauregard is the travel guides editor at AFAR, where she covers emerging travel destinations and best hotels.

Why: Kenya Airways just started offering direct flights from New York’s JFK to Nairobi, which is going to open the idea of a safari to so many people, since it used to take multiple connections to get to Kenya. This spring, Delta will also start flying direct from Atlanta to Nairobi. In Kenya, I love the Fairmont, which has three properties across the country. Nairobi’s Fairmont The Norfolk is focused not just on being a hotel, but being a cultural center by showcasing the city’s vibrant culture with exhibitions by Kenyan artists and local fashion designers. At the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club Resort, the property is running conservancy efforts to protect the animals as well as the culture of the people who live there. The Fairmont Mara Safari Club provides the quintessential safari experience: Nowhere else in Africa can you get so close to the animals.

Overlooking glacial Black Lake in Montenegro. PHOTO: GETTY

Where: Montenegro

Chosen By: Joanna Kuflik is director of services at Marchay, a membership-based community that plans luxury travel experiences for a select elite worldwide.

Why: With breathtaking scenery, undiscovered beaches, UNESCO World Heritage towns, a burgeoning wine culture and incredible Southern European cuisine, this country should be on everyone’s radar for 2019. While it used to be considered a stopover that travelers combined with its popular neighboring country, Croatia, this Adriatic paradise has experienced a development boom this past year, making it a perfect country to explore on its own. The legendary Aman Sveti Stefan, a fortified island that dates to the 15th century, is the go-to spot for rest and relaxation with its pink-sand beach and killer spa. In nearby Tivat, the glitzy Regent Porto Montenegro is a prime place for shopping, socializing, beach clubs and boating; a St. Tropez scene, though at a more reasonable price. Meanwhile, the recently opened Chedi Lustica Bay, part of the new Lustica Bay Marina Village, is one of seven hotels to be built in this area, complete with an 18-hole golf course, along with the One & Only Portonovi, due to be finished by the end of next year. With luxury accommodations now able to match its stunning surroundings, Montenegro is a place to put on your horizon in the new year.

An aerial view of Itz’ana in Placencia, Belize.Photo courtesy of Itz’ana

Where: Placencia, Belize

Chosen By: Jeri Clausing is the contributing editor for luxury at Travel Weekly.

Why: When you think of Belize, you think of the cays or the inland eco resorts. But further sound on the mainland is Placencia, a cute waterfront fishing village with bright houses and buildings that is slowly being discovered. It’s also home to Itz’ana, the first luxury resort in the area. The owner collects Mayan artifacts, and this is his second independent hotel in Belize (the first was Ka’ana in San Ignacio). At Itz’ana, the lobby is designed to feel like you’re in a guest house, not a hotel. In addition to the stunning rooms in the main property, there are also villas with private plunge pools.

The Taj Tashi in Bhutan.Courtesy of Taj Hotels

Where: Bhutan

Chosen by: Juliana A. Saad is a Brazilian writer and editor who specializes in travel, lifestyle and luxury. Her company, MMJX Comunicação, produces develops special editorial content and projects for numerous publications and companies.

Why: Bhutan is ideal for everything, with a peace and calm that you don’t experience anywhere else. It transports you to another culture with different values than what we are used to. You can also challenge yourself to trek to places like the Tiger Nest, a cliffside Buddhist temple. There are great hotels, like the Taj Tashi in Thimphu, which is modeled after a Bhutanese temple and has wonderful amenities, like a signature spa that uses oils from the Himalayas. Amanjiwo in Paro is spectacularly beautiful with a trail between the different lodges in Bhutan.

A view of a volcanic lake on San Miguel Island in the Azores. PHOTO: GETTY

Where: The Azores

Chosen By: Michele Wise is a travel advisor with KK Travels Worldwide. Michele travels constantly, seeking out new, unique destinations for her clients, which include families, couples, multi-gen groups and girlfriends, as well as wellness and incentive travelers.Follow her travels on Instagram @michele.wise

Why: Portugal is on everyone’s radar right now, however, new to the scene is the Azores, a set of beautiful islands that are situated in the middle of the Atlantic. With new, seasonal nonstop flights on Delta Air Lines from New York’s JFK, the Azores are now very easy to reach. The Azores are known for outdoor adventure along with historical and cultural charm. These islands have something for everyone: vineyards, volcanic crater lakes, world-class whale watching, hot springs, UNESCO protected landscapes, natural swimming pools, thermal springs, diving, surfing, waterfalls — this destination is one big playground that’s rich in natural beauty. Rest your head at the lovely Furnas Boutique Hotel, which has a thermal swimming pool that is nice to come home to after a day of sightseeing. You can visit its sister property, Azor Hotel in Ponta Delgada and relax at the rooftop pool, which has amazing views of the city and the port. Looking for something off the beaten path? Santa Barbara Eco Hotel sits on cliff overlooking the Atlantic and is popular with surfers, while White Exclusive Suites & Villas is an intimate spot on the south side of the island with breathtaking ocean views from the infinity pool.

Glamping at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge.Photo courtesy of Belmond

Where: Botswana

Chosen By: Fernanda Costa Gama Logemann is the founder of the Brazil-based travel platform, Spice up the Road, which is focused on sharing the most exclusive travel experiences around the world and the best tips for food, hotels and attractions. Spice up the Road is also a column in the lifestyle magazine Revista Donna.

Why: I am always looking for unforgettable adventures and authentic experiences, so glamping (upscale camping) is a trend that I am really excited about. It’s the perfect way to disconnect from your routine and connect with wildlife and nature, but still have the opportunity to enjoy the kind of comfort and luxury that makes a difference in a stay. Want a great way to experience the glamorous and unique world of glamping? The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge has just reopened and is located in the heart of Chobe National Park in Botswana, offering beautiful lodges and amazing wildlife viewing in the savannah.

A Mexico City panorama after dark. PHOTO: GETTY

Where: Mexico City

Chosen By: Based in Mexico City, María Pellicer has been working in the travel industry for the past decade. Formerly the editor in chief of Travesias magazine, she now oversees all the editorial projects in the company.

Why: Mexico City is going very strong, and I’m not saying that because I’m a local. Just check out the number of hotels that are opening here. Now, joining Ritz-Carlton and Park Hyatt, Kimpton and Sofitel have both announced they will open in Mexico’s capital. This clearly speaks to a rising interest among tourists to explore our city — and I’m pretty sure our gastronomic scene has a lot to do with that, too.

Silversea’s Silver Cloud will be traveling to Iceland in 2019.Photo courtesy of Silversea

Where: Iceland

Chosen By: An avid traveler, Tania L Swasbrook grew up in the travel industry. She specializes in ultra luxury travel with a particular passion for wellness, romance and adventure.

Why: From waterfalls and glaciers to whale-watching and puffins, Iceland is a place like none other. In 2019, the way to see it is with Silversea, which is venturing to Iceland with Silver Cloud, the finest and most elegant expedition ship float. She will be circumnavigating the land of fire and ice in August of 2019, and only 250 lucky guests will be able to experience the beauty of this mystical country so close up.

A view of Paseo del Prado in Havana, Cuba. PHOTO: GETTY

Where: Havana, Cuba

Chosen By:  Jill K. Robinson writes about travel, adventure, food and drink for AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Robb Report and more. Her magazine and newspaper articles have won Lowell Thomas, Society of American Travel Writers, and American Society of Journalists and Authors awards.

Why: One of the things that got my attention recently was the announcement of the first SO/ property in the Americas. The SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado is expected to open in early 2020, at the intersection of Paseo de Marti and the Malecón in the heart of Havana. The property will feature the creative signature of Spanish designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, who has been inspired by the world of Cuban dance for the glamorous, yet playful hotel. I have to admit that my initial reaction was selfish, because I traveled in Cuba for my honeymoon in 2001, so I’m already planning to celebrate the opening and my wedding anniversary in Havana.

The pool at Hotel Casa San Agustin in Cartagena.Photo courtesy of Hotel Casa San Agustin

Where: Cartagena, Colombia

Chosen By: Haisley Smith is the vice-president of marketing and business development for Brownell, the agency of choice for intrepid travelers since 1887. Smith looks for properties with personality, cruises with creativity and experiences that excite the senses on behalf of the luxury agency powerhouse.

Why: Cartagena is a riot of color, cuisine and culture. Where to stay? Casa San Agustin is situated in the center of the action inside the city walls. It’s a romantic getaway with unique features, like a pool running beneath a centuries old aqueduct.

The pool at the InterContinental Ljubljana.Photo courtesy of InterContinental Ljubljana

Where: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Chosen By: Tiffany Dowd is a global luxury hotel expert and luxury travel influencer known as “Luxe Tiffany” and founder of Luxe Social Media. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Why: Discover one of Europe’s most charming places in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It’s a young and lively city that should be hot on everyone’s radar. For a unique perfective and beautiful views, sail the Ljubljanica River on a traditional wooden boat to experience the city. The new InterContinental Ljubljana is the perfect place to stay for a luxurious and modern chic experience. The hotel has a great location near the train station, Old Town and Park Tivoli. You’ll find some of the most spectacular views from its rooftop B-Bar and B by Alfredo Russo restaurant.

A hacienda at Chable in Merida, Mexico.Photo courtesy of Chable.

Where: Mérida, Mexico

Chosen By: Michaela Guzy is a media executive, entrepreneur and on-air show host. She is the executive producer for two online television shows, Michaela’s Map and OhThePeopleYouMeet. Based in New York City, she is also an adjunct professor at New York University School of Professional Studies, where she teaches a course called “Travel Storytelling: Creating Video Content.”

Why: Sunrise yoga on the banks of a sacred Mayan cenote? Sí, por favor! This is just one of the magical wonders you’ll discover at Chable Resort, in a 250-year-old converted hacienda just outside Merida, Mexico. But Chable is more than just a wellness retreat with a world-class spa. It incorporates indigenous Mayan traditions and healing into treatments, like a temezcal under the careful eye of the Résident Abuela Ak’bal, a spiritual leader. After a mind, body, soul connection, take a dip in the thermal pools. For golf lovers, a Pitch & Putt will open in January 2019, and the well-curated gift shop features only Mexican designers. No visit to Mexico is complete without tasting the local cuisine and tequila. An estimated 40% of produce and herbs used at Chable are grown on its own farm, utilizing traditional Mayan techniques. At Ixi’im Restaurant, executive chef Luis Ronzon works hand in hand with star chef Jorge Vallejo, known for his award-winning restaurant, Quintonil, in Mexico City. Ixi’im also has the world’s largest tequila collection (in terms of bottle design), with 3,500 on display. And you must not miss the handmade tortillas at the Palapa Maya, where Doña Eneida — the village’s grandmother and Chable’s Yucatan chef — cooks her family’s recipes for guests.


El-Erian on global market sell-off: ‘I don’t think the party is over’

Mohamed El-Erian

A recent global stock market sell-off won’t be enough to persuade the U.S. central bank to stop raising interest rates, noted economist Mohamed El-Erian told CNBC on Friday.

It comes as financial markets have been hit hard by a range of worries in recent weeks, including the U.S.-China trade war, a rout in emerging market currencies, rising borrowing costs and bond yields and economic concerns in Italy.

“I don’t think the party is over. I think what we are seeing is a transition in regimes,” El-Erian, chief economic advisor at Allianz, told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble in Paris on Friday.

“One from where markets were comforted by ample, predictable liquidity to now having to recognize that divergent fundamentals are going to be the driver of asset prices.”

Not ‘a single soothing word’

The Federal Reserve has already hiked rates three times this year, and investors have priced in a fourth hike in December.

Earlier this month, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said rates are a long way from so-called neutral, a level neither accommodative nor restrictive to the economy.

Since beginning his four-year term at the Fed in February, Powell’s tenure has been marred by disapproving comments from President Donald Trump.

At the start of the month, Trump called the Fed’s plan to continue hiking interest rates “crazy” after the S&P and the Dow marked their worst losses in eight months. Global markets have since whipsawed in recent weeks, amid lingering worries the Fed could soon pick up the pace of its planned interest rate hikes.

Nonetheless, El-Erian said it was “not surprising” to see a recent spike in market volatility. That’s because the Fed has been “very insistent” with its plan to raise interest rates this year and next — without saying “a single soothing word” during the recent bout of selling.

Liquidity risk

When asked which market indicators were keeping him worried, El-Erian replied: “I think that this divergence theme is a really important one.”

“We see interest rate differentials between Germany and the U.S. stretched to high levels (and) we are going to see more pressure on the FX markets. Of course, the best way of dealing with it is for Europe to get its act together on policies and pick up.”

On Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) kept its policy unchanged, staying on course to hike interest rates sometime after next summer. The ECB also confirmed its plan to end monetary easing by the end of 2018 remained on track.

“The second issue that I think that is important is underestimated liquidity risk … Liquidity risk is back and investors need to pay attention to that.”[“source=cnbc”]

Best Halloween cult classic movies for streaming

9 hillshaveeyes h18 jma

Sometimes Halloween is best when we get nostalgic and remember our past costumes, past sojourns at trick-or-treating, past jack-o-lanterns, and past viewings of scary movies. The following 20 streaming selections are re-watchable horror movies from days gone by, or, perhaps, waiting for a few fresh, innocent viewers. In any case, get ready for somnambulists, vampires, killers, monsters, mutants, demons, and giant bugs! Happy Halloween!


1 cabinetofdrcaligari h18 jma Kino Lorber

Robert Wiene’s essential The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) is an unquestionable landmark in cinema, influencing everyone from Murnau and Lang to Hollywood filmmakers of the 1940s. Rather than attempting to capture “realism,” which was the general method of the time, Wiene went the opposite route, slathering the screen with forced perspectives and all kinds of bizarre diagonals and slants; there is hardly a right angle to be found in this film. It results in vivid, dreamlike logic and a terrifying lack of control.

Werner Krauss stars as the doctor, who enters a carnival with his main attraction, a somnambulist (Conrad Veidt) who predicts people’s deaths, and may well be the cause of same. When his best friend is found murdered, Francis (Friedrich Feher) immediately suspects Caligari and sets out to prove his hunch. A prologue and epilogue were apparently added over Wiene’s objections to lessen the overall impact of the film’s sheer, unrelenting madness.


Facebook takes down 82 more pages tied to Iran that were posting politically charged memes

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Matt McClain | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook said Friday it has taken down 82 more pages and accounts with ties to Iran that were posting politically charged memes.

A combined 1 million users followed at least one of the accounts, which were live on both Facebook and Instagram. The accounts formed Facebook groups and hosted Facebook events — consistent with the online activity of previously detected fake accounts.

The most recently removed accounts were first detected late last week and spent less than $100 on two advertisements across the two platforms. The first ad ran in January 2016 and the second ran in January 2018, Facebook said.

Though some of the accounts were live as early as 2016, they were most active in the past year, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy Nathaniel Gleicher said on a call with media.

It’s the latest in a series of updates from Facebook on continued misinformation efforts taking place on the platform. The company previously identified Russia and Iran as the source of potential state-sponsored campaigns.

In August, Facebook — along with other social sites like Twitter and Google — said it had removed more than 600 pages and accounts from Russia and Iran that it found to be engaging in what it called “inauthentic behavior.”

The company found some overlap and links between the accounts removed in August and the accounts removed on Friday, Gleicher said.

Facebook is boosting its detection efforts and take-down rates in light of foreign efforts to stir up social debate around the 2016 presidential election and the upcoming midterm elections in November.

But the company’s been relatively limited in the information it’s shared about the actors or action, declining to assign motivation or provide details like how many people indicated they would attend one of the Facebook events hosted by the accounts, for example.

Here are some of the posts made by the most recently removed accounts, as provided by Facebook:


Panasonic announces Eluga Z1 and Eluga Z1 Pro with big batteries

Panasonic India launched two upper mid-rangers earlier this month and now introduced two entry level handsets to continue the expansion of its portfolio – Panasonic Eluga Z1 and Panasonic Eluga Z1 Pro pack Helio P22 chipsets, AI Face Unlock, and big batteries.

Both devices share the same 6.19” notched screen with HD+ resolution and Dragon Trail Pro protection glass on top. The main camera is 13 MP + 2 MP, while the front-facing shooter is 8 MP, both setups coupled with an LED flash. The regular Eluga Z1 has 3 GB RAM and 32 GB internal storage, while the Eluga Z1 Pro comes with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage; both with a microSD slot for up to 128 GB more.

The battery is 4,000 mAh, which sounds impressive, but it is charged through a microUSB port on the bottom. The OS is Android 8.1 Oreo which Panasonic coupled with Arbo Hub. The pre-installed app promises “go-to solutions for all needs” like booking cabs, comparing fares, live cricket updates, news reports, paying the bills, weather updates, etc.

Panasonic Eluga Z1 (Pro) Panasonic Eluga Z1 (Pro) Panasonic Eluga Z1 (Pro) Panasonic Eluga Z1 (Pro)
Panasonic Eluga Z1 (Pro)

Dimensions of the phone are 157.2 x 76.3 x 8.1 mm with a weight of 169 grams. The back panel and the rim of the Eluga are from metal and arrive in three colors – Black, Gold, Blue. The regular Z1 costs INR14,490, while the Z1 Pro goes for INR17,490. Both will be available at offline retailers starting October 31.


Florida man, Cesar Sayoc Jr., arrested in probe of mail bombs targeting Obama, Clinton and other Trump critics

A 56-year-old man, Cesar Sayoc Jr., was arrested Friday morning in Florida in the investigation of 12 suspected mail bombs sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other leading Democratic critics of President Donald Trump.

Sayoc, a registered Republican voter who lives in Aventura, Florida, will face federal criminal charges for the mailed devices, according to NBC News.

The Brooklyn, New York, native, previously was arrested, in Florida in 2002, on a charge of threatening to throw a bomb. He received probation in that case, without having been convicted.

Read more: Cesar Sayoc charged with five federal crimes in bomb plot

“I’m as surprised as anybody,” said Daniel Lurvey, a Florida criminal defense lawyer who represented Sayoc in several cases in which Sayoc had been charged with theft from retail stores.

At the time, Lurvey said, Sayoc was doing work as a bouncer for a group of male dancers similar to Chippendales.

“He was a normal guy. Somebody I would never think he’d be capable of something like this, if he is responsible,” Lurvey said.

The attorney said Sayoc never discussed anything “political” during their meetings about his criminal cases.

Records show that Sayoc also was arrested in 2015 for violating probation in a case in which he first was charged with grand theft and battery.

A mugshot of suspected package bomber Cesar Sayoc Jr. 

A mugshot of suspected package bomber Cesar Sayoc Jr.

Sayoc also had previously been arrested in Florida on charges of possession of steroids.

In 1994, a woman who had the same name as Sayoc’s grandmother accused him of domestic violence in the civil division of domestic violence court in Broward County, Florida. If it was Sayoc’s grandmother, she would have been about 80 years old at the time.

Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012, public records show.

The Justice Department has scheduled a news conference in the case at 2:30 p.m., Eastern time.

Police on Friday seized a van that had been parked outside an AutoZone store in Plantation, Florida.

FBI investigate a van owned by a suspect who was arrested in relation to the a series of package bombs that were sent to leading democrats, in Plantation, Fla on Oct. 26th, 2018.

FBI investigate a van owned by a suspect who was arrested in relation to the a series of package bombs that were sent to leading democrats, in Plantation, Fla on Oct. 26th, 2018.

Investigators were examining a white van plastered with stickers carrying Trump’s name and the presidential seal, according to MSNBC. The network said authorities were looking at “right-wing paraphernalia” found at the scene.


Samsung teases the Galaxy A8s with a camera hole in the screen

In a recent change of strategy, Samsung decided to start implementing new tech into the mid-range lineup if it’s available, rather than withhold stuff so flagships can get it first. And with the recent quad and triple camera Galaxy A9 (2018) and Galaxy A7 (2018) smartphones, it looks like the company is already executing its plan.

And to top it off, the company just teased the arrival of Galaxy A8s at the end of the Galaxy A9s and A6s announcement event. The new phone will be a first of its kind with a hole in the upper left corner of the display. The hole is for the front-facing camera and will most likely integrate the rest of the sensors as well – for proximity and ambient light.

This would eliminate the need for a notch, preserve screen real estate and allow for an almost bezel-less full-screen experience. The spokesperson on the stage restrained from disclosing more about the phone, so specs, availability and price are yet a mystery but we will probably hear more about it soon enough.


Brainstorm Health: Anthem AI, Google Maps and the Opioid Crisis, Pre-Existing Conditions

Story image for Health from Fortune

This coming weekend includes a marquee event in the fight against opioid addiction. Saturday, October 27 is the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day—dedicated to dumping unused, unneeded, and (to others) potentially harmful prescription medications that still may be lying around the house.

This year, though, tech giant Google is expanding its involvement in the effort. In fact, Google Maps will post 5,800 locations where people can dispose of powerful painkillers and other prescription drugs in a (relatively) new tool.

The product was first released back in April, and Google says that 50,000 Americans used the locator service on its very first day. “Every day 134 people die from opiate related overdoses—and misuse of prescription painkillers is a large contributor to this crisis,” says the company in a statement. “Thankfully, there is something we can do. One way that you can help reduce the potential misuse of drugs is to properly dispose of expired or unused medications.” The firm points out that expired medicines left lying around could also have environmental effects if they aren’t thrown out properly.

The National Take Back Day hours last between 10 am and 2 pm on Saturday. Furthermore, Google announced a partnership earlier this week with Walgreens, which has numerous drug disposal sites, to add such locations to Maps year-round.