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Entries in Cartagena (3)

Saturday
Apr212012

Spirit Airlines Pulls ‘More Bang For Your Buck’ Ad

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Spirit Airlines has issued an apology and pulled a “More Bang For Your Buck” ad spoofing the Secret Service prostitution scandal at the Colombian government’s request, according to NBC Miami.

The ad featured pink bikini-clad women in high heels standing around a message that reads “More Bang For Your Buck: Upfront Payment is Required.” A man in a black suit, sunglasses and an earpiece has his pointer finger over his lips as if he’s saying, “Shh.”

The ad capitalized on the scandal that ensued after a group of Secret Service agents allegedly cavorted with prostitutes (and refused to pay at least one) in Cartagena before President Obama’s state visit over a week ago. The men drank whiskey at a brothel, bragged about working for Obama, and brought women from the club back to their hotel after picking up more escorts, sources said.

Spirit Airlines in a statement said that at the Colombian government’s request, “Spirit pulled its ad yesterday, and we meant no disrespect to our many friends and valued customers.”

This is not the first time Spirit has marketed an attention-getting ad of questionable taste. 2011’s Anthony Weiner scandal prompted Spirit to launch “The Weiner Sale, With Fares Too Hard to Resist.” There was also the M.I.L.F. sale (Many Islands, Low Fares) and the sale timed with the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court: “Justice Ochita Suprema Ruling against high fares. Fares as low as $8 each way!”

After the oil spill in the gulf, Spirit’s “Check Out the Oil on Our Beaches,” offended some. As did the MUFF (Many Unbelievably Fantastic Fares) Diving Sales to diving destinations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr162012

Obama, Shakira Join Forces at Colombian Cultural Event

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(CARTAGENA, Colombia) -- Before leaving Colombia, President Obama spent some time with the people of Cartagena, participating in a cultural event to recognize the historically marginalized Afro-Colombian communities and to grant the descendents of slaves the formal title to their land.

“This a historic day, decades, even centuries in the making,” Obama said.  “For generations many of you have lived on these lands, toiled these lands, raised your families on these lands and now, from this day forward, you will at long-last hold title to this land.”

Standing alongside President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and singer Shakira in the Plaza de San Pedro, Obama reflected on his own ancestry.

“Early in my presidency, my family and I visited Ghana in West Africa and we visited the historic Cape Coast Castle and I’ll never forget my two young daughters, the descendents of Africans and African-Americans, looking out through the door of no return where so many Africans began their forced journey to this hemisphere,” he said.

“Today we gather in a port city where so many of those Africans arrived in chains,” Obama said.  “Like their brothers and sisters in both our countries and across this hemisphere they endured unimaginable cruelty, but in their suffering, which revealed man’s capacity for evil, we also see the spirit of this day, man’s capacity for good, for perseverance, for healing, the belief that we can overcome.”

The United States has allocated $61 million to improve the quality of life in predominantly indigenous communities and provide support to Colombia’s land restitution efforts.

“Giving you and so many Afro-Colombian communities title to this land is part of ending this nation’s long conflict,” Obama explained.  “It gives you a new stake in a new Colombia.  Not far from here your ancestors were brought and sold.  Going forward, Colombia can realize its full potential by empowering all of its people, no matter what you like or where you come from.”

Shakira, who has a foundation that runs early childhood programs in the communities, introduced the event.

After his brief remarks, Obama worked the ropeline, interacting with the Colombian people face-to-face for the first time during his visit to Cartagena for the Summit of the Americas.  The president then headed straight to the airport and back to Washington.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr152012

Secret Service Scandal: Agents' Conduct Scrutinized

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Secret Service, congressional and military investigators are conducting a methodical fact-finding mission into allegations of misconduct by a security detail assigned to a Colombian hotel ahead of President Obama's visit.

Eleven Secret Service agents and five military service members have been accused of cavorting with prostitutes and drinking excessively at the Hotel Caribe in Cartagena.

Since adult prostitution is legal in Colombia in designated "tolerance zones," officials said the investigation would center less on moral or legal aspects of the alleged behavior and more on whether Secret Service and military protocols were violated -- and whether the security of the president could have been compromised.

"If all this happened, this compromised the agents themselves," House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told ABC News. "It left [the agents] open to be threatened and blackmailed in the future. ... They could have been threatened or blackmailed secondly to bring prostitutes in an area that's a secured zone. It just violates a basic code of conduct."

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, said Congress will also scrutinize the Secret Service as a whole to determine whether and how often similar situations may have happened before.

"In this particular case, the president may not have been in danger. But that begs the question -- what happens if somebody six months ago, six years ago became the victim of their own misconduct and is now being blackmailed?" Issa said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

"The question is, is the whole organization in need of some soul searching, some changes before the president, the vice president, members of the cabinet are in danger?" Issa said.

The Secret Service members were interviewed Saturday in Washington and have been placed on administrative leave. If the allegations are proven true, they could face reprimands and could be fired.

The Defense Department restricted to their quarters five personnel who were assigned to assist the Secret Service for alleged participation in the inappropriate conduct. They will return to the United States for questioning at the conclusion of the mission, officials said.

The House Homeland Security Committee, which oversees the Secret Service, has also launched an inquiry.

The Secret Service most recently faced public embarrassment and intense scrutiny in November 2009 when several agents allowed two uninvited guests onto White House grounds for a state dinner and photo line with the president. The so-called "Gate-crasher" incident resulted in three agents later being placed on administrative leave.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio