Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) – An officer in a special forces team of Honduras’ National Police has apologized to a journalist and paid for breaking her camera during a 2011 protest. It’s an unusual gesture in a country where journalists face some of the worst violence in the world.Reporter Sandra Sanchez says she hopes the apology from officer Jhonny Alexander Carrasco will set a precedent.The leader for Honduras’ Committee for Free Expression calls the apology “historic.” But Hector Becerra adds that the problem goes far beyond Carrasco, who broke Sanchez’s camera while trying to keep her from taking pictures of tear gas being used against a bus. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The vital role family plays in society Top Stories Sponsored Stories Comments Share Quick workouts for men U.N. agencies say 23 journalists have been killed in Honduras since 2006. The Honduran government human rights prosecutor puts the figure at 31.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the NATO strategy discussions.Still, there are growing signs that the Afghan political and military hostilities are starting to wear on the coalition.Compounding the insider attack threat is a recent spike in political tensions between Afghanistan’s government leaders and the U.S.Afghan President Hamid Karzai complained that the war effort is wrongheaded, and that coalition forces are not fighting the right enemy.Just days ahead of the NATO meeting, Panetta was uncharacteristically sharp, criticizing Karzai for complaining rather than thanking the troops who have sacrificed their lives for his country. Karzai’s argument that NATO is wrongly going after the Taliban in Afghanistan when it should be fighting insurgents in Pakistan’s safe havens could further erode support for the war, particularly among members of Congress.Panetta’s pique reflects the frustration of his military commanders, who have seen more than 2,000 U.S. troops die in the 11-year war. And it can only fuel the grumbling by American lawmakers who are facing hotly contested elections next month, and are hearing from constituents wondering why the U.S. is pouring billions of dollars into a fight that Afghanistan’s shaky and corruption-plagued government may no longer support. The officials told reporters that so far NATO ministers attending the conference here have not used the meeting to threaten any additional withdrawals of troops or to seek to limit the combat use of their forces as a result of the attacks.U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, are expected to assure the ministers that commanders have come up with a range of ways to reduce the attacks. And they will insist that while the Taliban has seized on the attacks as a way to derail the fight and the trust between allied and Afghan forces, it is not yet a threat to the war strategy.One of the officials said that NATO nations are concerned about both the safety of their forces and the impact on the war, so it is critical to have these discussions with the minister at this high level now. The officials said the coalition will stick to the withdrawal schedule, which has combat forces leaving and Afghan forces taking over security of the country by the end of 2014.Both Marine Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and U.S. Navy Adm. James Stravidis, NATO’s top military commander, were at the alliance’s gathering Tuesday along with Panetta, who was holding a series of individual meetings with other ministers. Panetta will make his formal address on Afghanistan to the ministers Wednesday. ___Associated Press writer Slobodan Lekic contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project One of the senior U.S. officials said that Karzai has made similar statements in the past, but noted they are still frustrated with Pakistan over the insurgent safe havens within its borders. Militants plan and wage attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan, then retreat back across the border into Pakistan.Support for the war has been ebbing across America and much of the world, triggering growing calls for a speedier troop withdrawal.That prospect leaves commanders worried they won’t have the forces they need to do the training and counterterrorism operations they believe necessary to continue the transition of security to the Afghan troops while also keeping the Taliban from resurging.During meetings Tuesday, Rasmussen said the ministers are expected to endorse a new framework for the Afghan war after 2014, ending the combat focus and turning to a more expansive training and advisory role. As a result, NATO is working on a new name for the mission from the current International Security Assistance Force to something close to the International Training, Advisory and Assistance Mission in 2015.That mission would also likely include continued counterterrorism efforts by the U.S. Top Stories Sponsored Stories Parents, stop beating yourself up Comments Share Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Associated PressBRUSSELS (AP) – The killings of more than 130 U.S. and allied forces by Afghan troops or those dressed like them is not deterring NATO countries from the war in Afghanistan, two senior U.S. defense officials said Tuesday.As NATO defense ministers gather this week, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan will tell worried allies Wednesday what the U.S. is doing to stop the escalating insider attacks. How do cataracts affect your vision?
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia and the United States said Thursday a renewable, five-day cease-fire in Yemen’s war would start soon to facilitate aid to millions of civilians in need, if Iran-backed rebels and their allies also agree to stop fighting.At a joint news conference, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the kingdom would halt airstrikes in Yemen because it is determined to expand relief assistance to the Yemeni people. Saudi Arabia will provide $274 million in new assistance, he said. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Secretary of State John Kerry said the so-called “humanitarian pause” wouldn’t start for several days, enough time for diplomatic efforts to convince the Houthi rebels and their backers to accept the terms of the deal. He said aid organizations also needed time to coordinate the best strategy for getting food, fuel and medicine into and around the country.The announcement was made after Kerry met King Salman and other top Saudi officials in Riyadh. Kerry praised the king for seeking a peaceful resolution to Yemen’s war and for inviting “all relevant parties” to an upcoming peace conference in Saudi Arabia.Kerry said the cease-fire would mean “no bombing, no shooting” and no repositioning of forces.But he and al-Jubeir insisted the feasibility of the plan depended on the Houthis and the Iranians agreeing to it and not trying to exploit the lull in fighting. They said they would provide an update Friday in Paris, where they will gather with the foreign ministers of other Arab countries.The cease-fire pledge comes as the rebels and supporters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh consolidate their hold over parts of the southern port city of Aden. The rebels captured the area’s presidential palace, officials said Wednesday, in another sign of their resilience in the face of Saudi-led airstrikes. Yemen had long suffered from desperate poverty, political dysfunction and al-Qaida’s most lethal branch. It became more unstable in recent months as the Houthis, who are Shiite, seized much of the country and chased Yemen’s internationally recognized president into exile. That prompted the Saudis and other Gulf Arab states to intervene. The Saudis also have been backing pro-government forces on the ground trying to fight back against the Houthis.Kerry met earlier Thursday in the Saudi capital with Yemen’s exiled president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and his vice president and foreign minister.“Hopefully we’ll see you in Sanaa soon,” Hadi told the top American diplomat. Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, is controlled by the Houthis.“Ah,” Kerry replied, “there’s some work to do.”More strikes by the Saudi-led coalition throughout the country Wednesday killed dozens of rebels, according to security officials. But the mission has shown no sign of achieving its ultimate objectives or pushing the Houthis out of population centers and restoring Hadi’s government.The U.N. says at least 646 civilians have been killed since the start of the bombing campaign March 26. Some 300,000 have been uprooted from their homes. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at Riyadh Air Base in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, traveling from Djibouti, Djibouti, Wednesday, May 6, 2015, to push Saudi officials for a pause in Yemen’s war, citing increased shortages of food, fuel and medicine that are adding to a crisis that already has neighboring countries bracing for a mass exodus of refugees. Kerry is also visiting Sri Lanka, Somalia, France, and Djibouti on his trip. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Comments Share Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosis
BEIJING (AP) — A Swiss pilot of a solar plane on Sunday embarked on the longest leg of the first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fuel.Andr Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Parents, stop beating yourself up Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories
Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Also, supervisors don’t always document whether they have approved audits, or decisions to cancel audits, the report said.___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenatapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. “We are continuing the work begun in 2013 to ensure that the management mistakes made in regard to the determination process for tax-exempt status do not happen again,” Koskinen told the subcommittee.In 2014, the IRS completed a little more than 8,000 audits of tax-exempt groups.About half were chosen because IRS computers detected potential problems on their annual filings. Tax-exempt groups don’t file tax returns. But those with receipts of more than $50,000 must file a form that details their revenues, liabilities and program activities. Smaller groups have to file a postcard.Others groups were selected as part of compliance projects in which the IRS studied types of groups or activities that might be at risk for tax evasion.More than 1,600 were selected based on referrals or complaints from the public, IRS employees and other government agencies.The referrals go to specialists, who either recommend an audit or dismiss them. Referrals that deal with political activities, churches or high-profile organizations that have attracted media attention are also reviewed by three-person panels.IRS procedures are designed to prevent individual employees from unfairly selecting groups for an audit, based on inappropriate criteria. However, the GAO report found: “Staff are not required to obtain executive management approval to deviate from these procedures.” Sponsored Stories FILE – In this photo March 22, 2013 file photo, the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) building in Washington. A government watchdog says lax oversight at the IRS increases the risk that political and religious groups could be unfairly targeted for audits. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) Top Stories 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Comments Share 4 must play golf courses in Arizona There are 1.6 million tax-exempt groups in the U.S., according to the GAO report. Fewer than 1 percent are audited each year, a process that can be costly and time-consuming for both the IRS and the group being audited.“We first learned the IRS was unfairly singling out conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status,” said Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., chairman of the Ways and Means oversight subcommittee.“This report exposes a new and more egregious frontier of potential targeting in the agency’s audit selection process,” Roskam said.Roskam’s subcommittee held a hearing on the GAO report Thursday. At the hearing, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen noted that the GAO found no evidence that any group had been improperly selected for audit. Koskinen said the IRS hired someone from outside the agency in 2013 who reviewed the audit selection criteria for the entire IRS.“He spent several months looking at the criteria used by more than 350 IRS compliance programs, and found no evidence of bias in any of them,” Koskinen said.The IRS acknowledged in 2013 that agents had improperly singled out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. The revelation led to ongoing investigations by Congress, the Department of Justice and the agency’s inspector general. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Lax oversight at the IRS increases the risk that political and religious groups could be unfairly targeted for audits, government investigators say in a report that raises concerns about an IRS division that has been under scrutiny for singling out conservative organizations.The Government Accountability Office found no evidence that agents improperly audited any groups. But a new GAO report released Thursday says poor oversight increases the risk that agents could select tax-exempt groups for audits based on their religious, educational or political views. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology
Golf and travel industry experts have singled out Thailand as Asia’s premier golf and holiday destination. “The land of smiles” was awarded the title of ‘Golf Destination of the Year” for Asia & Australasia by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).The award was recieved at the International Golf Travel Market conference and trade show in Malaga, Spain, in November 2009. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.F <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/29375/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>
Click here for more information. Jordan Tourism Board has launched a new Online Specialist Programme, designed to increase travel trade knowledge, capability and sales of Jordan. Australian tourism into Jordan has become increasingly important over the past year, particularly after Australian numbers have sustained growth to the destination since September last year. After successfully completing each module, individuals will receive the Jordan Specialist accreditation and be encouraged to utilise the information. Unveiled this week, academy.visitjordan.com is made up of a variety of modules, which provide in-depth information about Jordan and its offerings including flights, things to do, currencies, visas and weather. Source = ETB News: NJ Online Specialist Programme to help sell Jordan.
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) released preliminary figures for 2014 today, and the results showed healthy growth in international air passenger demand across the board.A total of 256.1 million international passengers flew on the region’s carriers in 2014, representing an annual increase of 4.8 per cent from the previous year.There was also an upsurge in exports from manufacturing hubs in the region led to a rebound in international air cargo markets in 2014.AAPA director general Andrew Herdman, said that despite challenges, Asia Pacific airlines enjoyed a year of good growth in international passenger traffic in 2014.“Passenger demand was healthy, underpinned by increasing numbers of middle income earners and further expansion in airline networks, which have all helped boost air travel within the region and beyond,” Mr Herdman said.Looking ahead for 2015 Mr Herdman said that the outlook remains broadly positive.“With sustained growth in the global economy continuing to drive air travel demand, and lower oil prices will also help to keep air travel affordable. However, airlines will need to closely monitor market movements, and align future capacity increases with the actual increase in demand, whilst seeking further operating efficiencies to restore margins to more sustainable levels.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) has announced the signing of an agreement with Grand Bay Hotel Co., Ltd., wholly owned by Apex Development Public Co., Ltd, to unveil the Sheraton Phuket Grand Bay Resort.Slated to open in January 2019 on Thailand’s largest island, the hotel will support the brand’s Sheraton 2020 goal of adding 150 hotels in the next five years.“We look forward to partnering with Grand Bay Hotel Co., Ltd. to expand Starwood’s robust footprint in Thailand,” said Rajit Sukumaran, Senior Vice President for Acquisitions and Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts.“With its idyllic beaches and lush rainforests, Phuket draws an unwavering number of inbound and domestic travelers, making it a strategic market for Sheraton and further driving formidable growth for Starwood in Asia Pacific.”Boasting a private beachfront and hillside location with unobstructed views of the sparkling Andaman Sea, the 200-room resort will feature all of the Sheraton brand’s signature offerings, ranging from a premium sleep experience and rejuvenating bath amenities to a grandiose lobby area and bar serving the brand’s new bar menu PairedSM, comprised of small plates served alongside local craft beer and premium wine.On-site facilities will include three distinctive dining venues, 1,326 square meters of meeting and event space, a luxurious spa, fully-equipped fitness center and picturesque outdoor swimming pool.“We are delighted to partner with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, and we are confident that our respective strengths will steer this project toward success, elevating the hospitality offerings in Phuket with the iconic and globally renowned Sheraton brand,” said Pongphan Sampawakoop, CEO of Grand Bay Hotel Co., Ltd.Sheraton Phuket Grand Bay Resort is located in northeast Phuket in the Grand Bay area, home to the Ao Po Grand Marina. The hotel is an approximate 25-minute drive from Phuket International Airport and an hour’s drive to Patong, the hub of entertainment on the island.Sheraton Phuket Grand Bay Resort will join Starwood’s dynamic Thai portfolio, which includes 22 properties operating under eight of the company’s distinct global brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W® Hotels, Sheraton, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Aloft® and Four Points® by Sheraton.Starwood currently operates five Sheraton hotels in Thailand, including Sheraton Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers; Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa; Sheraton Hua Hin Pranburi Villas; Sheraton Samui Resort; and Sheraton Pattaya Resort. The brand’s development pipeline also includes Sheraton Phuket Kalim Beach Resort, which is slated to open in 2018. Sheraton Hotels & ResortsSource = Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
How lucrative running your own business with Travel Counsellors can be Nadine Kutz – Travel CounsellorHow lucrative running your own business with Travel Counsellors can beNadine Kutz of Queensland recently reached a sales milestone worth celebrating when she hit $30 million in total sales since she joined Travel Counsellors. Starting her business with Travel Counsellors in July 2010, the mother of two has achieved the coveted Travel Counsellors Gold Status for each year she has been running her business yet it’s her phenomenal sales results that have put her in the spotlight recently.“I was initially drawn to Travel Counsellors because I wanted a travel role that enabled me to explore my earning potential while being there for my family. Office and retail-based travel roles don’t usually afford much freedom or flexibility when it comes to the hours you work, so I loved the idea of running my own home-based enterprise for this reason,” explains Nadine. “I really enjoy running my own business with the assistance and support of Travel Counsellors. With the head office team taking care of most of the marketing, administrative and technological aspects of the business, I am free to focus on my clients.”Not one to become complacent, Nadine is always looking for new ways to improve her business, find new customers and increase her sales. “While increasing my total sales each year is a wonderful achievement, I’m very pleased that my margin is also continually increasing. This means my earnings are also growing in value each year,” says Nadine. “Apart from reaching a pretty significant sales milestone, what makes me really happy is that I’m able to work in a way that allows me to be there for my family.”Fred van Eijk, Interim Managing Director of Travel Counsellors Australia comments, “Nadine’s ongoing success is a prime example of the wonderful things that can happen when experienced travel agents join Travel Counsellors. Year after year Nadine has consistently grown her business thanks to her excellent work ethic, can-do attitude and innovative approach. At Travel Counsellors, we focus on empowering travel agents to reach their full potential, earn what they’re worth and achieve a good work/life balance at the same time. Nadine’s recent sales milestone is a great reminder of how far agents can go with Travel Counsellors. The possibilities are truly endless.”About Travel CounsellorsTravel Counsellors Australia was established in 2007 and currently has nearly 150 Travel Counsellors. Our head office in Australia is in Melbourne. Travel Counsellors Australia is accredited with ATAS. Travel Counsellors is the world’s largest home-based travel company. Founded in 1994 it currently has 1,646 travel consultants who work from home with the support of over 350 staff at the company’s UK headquarters and overseas offices. The company operates in Australia, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, UAE and Belgium.Source = Travel Counsellors – Australia
Hong Kong a hit with Sydney and Melbourne Trade150 travel trade professionals were given the Hong Kong star treatment late last month when representatives from the destination rolled into the two cities to provide product updates.The Hong Kong Tourism Board, Cathay Pacific Airways and The Murray Hotel teamed up for the Sydney event which was held on 14 November at The Establishment. A Melbourne event then followed on 22 November, held at the Red Spice QV and in partnership with Cathay Pacific Airways.Updates at both events included Cathay Pacific Airways’ new A350 aircraft deployment into Sydney as well as developments at one of Hong Kong’s newest five star hotels, The Murray.Congratulations to the prize winners – Chris Bellmon from Travel Associates Rose Bay won two Cathay Pacific Airways economy return tickets to Hong Kong and three nights’ accommodation at The Murray at the Sydney event, and Felicity Moss from Jigsaw Travel won two economy return airfares to Hong Kong at the Melbourne event.HKTB’s trade marketing and business tourism manager, Lisa Lee said face-to-face contact with the Australian travel trade remains a vital element to the HKTB trade strategy.“Both events were fantastic opportunities to catch-up with our destination ambassadors and provide them with in-depth and informative product updates on all things Hong Kong, including our exciting new transportation links, Hong Kong – Zhuhai – Macau Bridge and Hong Kong’s High Speed Railway.”Source = Hong Kong Tourism Board
The government of Tanzania has announced its willingness to interact with tourism industry players to find out the reason behind their disapproval of value added tax (VAT) on tourism products.Concerns voiced by tour operators were ‘discussable’, said Prof Jumanne Maghembe, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism. The government has however not declared any decision of waiving the tax that has been ever since its implementation.Tour operators are of the opinion that tax would have an adverse affect on tourism, an industry that is the chief foreign exchange earner for the country. There might be a decline in the tourist arrivals, fears the players.The government is now ready to sit down and discuss the matter with tour operators, who have been more vocal against the tax than other players in the industry.
The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer has revealed a five percent rise in international tourist arrivals between January and April 2016. The prospect for May-August is also positive with around 500 million tourists projected to have travelled abroad in the Northern Hemisphere in the summer holiday peak season.Destinations worldwide received 348 million international tourists (overnight visitors) between January and April 2016, that is, around 18 million more than the same period last year (+5.3%). This follows an increase of 4.6% in 2015, and could make 2016 the seventh consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year following the crisis in 2009.“Results show a strong desire to travel and this continues to drive tourism growth. Destinations keep benefitting from solid demand across all world regions despite ongoing challenges, showing that tourism is a dynamic and resilient economic sector,” said Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, UNWTO.By region, Asia and the Pacific (+9%) recorded the highest increase in international arrivals, with all Asian subregions enjoying a growth of seven percent or above. By subregion, Subsaharan Africa (+13%) led growth, strongly rebounding from previous years’ modest results.UNWTO forecasts international tourist arrivals to increase by 3.5% to 4.5% over the full year 2016, in line with UNWTO’s long-term projection of 3.8% growth a year for the period 2010 to 2020.
A confirmation hearing for “”Consumer Financial Protection Bureau””:http://www.consumerfinance.gov/ (CFPB) director-nominee Richard Cordray largely went as expected for the “”Senate Banking Committee””:http://banking.senate.gov/public/ Tuesday, with Democratic members defending the federal agency and Republicans heaping criticism on it. Lingering tensions found their way into exchanges between lawmakers from both parties, in and outside the committee room.[IMAGE]For his part, Cordray used his opportunity before the committee to downplay the array of rule-making authority and supervisory abilities for which the CFPB is responsible.Reading from a “”prepared statement””:http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=34fb5952-05b5-409f-801a-d9471615ff3c, he said that his experience as Ohio attorney general offered up the idea that “”lawsuits can be a very slow, wasteful, and needlessly acrimonious way to resolve a problem.””He pledged to “”judiciously”” deploy the CFPB’s powers by first attempting to resolve compliance disputes outside of the litigation process.Cordray went on to say that “”enforcement… will still have an important role at the Consumer Bureau. If people are ignoring or evading consumer protections laws ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and seeking to gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô then litigation is an essential tool.””[COLUMN_BREAK]The committee hearing played the part of another forum in which lawmakers found reason to fight each other over the controversial nomination process, from which “”President Barack Obama””:http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/president-obama ejected CFPB architect Elizabeth Warren in July.””MSNBC””:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44413026/ns/business-consumer_news/ quoted “”Sen. Richard Shelby””:http://shelby.senate.gov/public/ (R-Alabama) as describing the bureau’s director as one that is too powerful for any one federal agency, saying in his opening statement that “”government should be accountable to the people.””Committee chairman “”Sen. Tim Johnson””:http://johnson.senate.gov/public/ (D-South Dakota) fired back by calling Republican measures “”political gamesmanship”” that prevents “”Americans from receiving the consumer protections they deserve.””More recently, outside the committee room, “”Rep. Barney Frank””:http://www.house.gov/frank/ (D-Massachusetts) published a “”_Washington Post_””:http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-senate-refuses-to-consider-obama-nominees/2011/09/01/gIQA2AkJvJ_story.html column criticizing 44 Republican colleagues for their avowed opposition to any CFPB director-nominee, calling their measures ones that “”blatantly distort… the Constitution, substituting a refusal to allow the constitutionally mandated nomination process for the legislative process in which they [Republicans] simply do not have the votes to accomplish what they want.””Speaking to _MReport_, Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies with the “”Cato Institute””:http://www.cato.org/, says “”it is incredibly hard for me to see them letting this guy move forward.”” He adds that the decision to confirm or not will “”be along party lines, and the question will be whether they want to devote any time.””He says that he believes Cordray will leverage his media attention as CFPB director-nominee to return for election to higher office in Ohio.He calls Cordray a “”perennial candidate,”” and says that he has no doubt that “”he’ll be back running for office in Ohio sometime soon.”” Share Political Tensions Alive at Cordray Hearing September 6, 2011 473 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Elizabeth Warren Lenders & Servicers Processing Richard Cordray Service Providers The Cato Institute 2011-09-06 Ryan Schuette
NeighborWorks America Elects New Board Chairman in Featured, News July 8, 2016 486 Views Grovetta GardineerNeighborWorks America elected Grovetta Gardineer as their board chairman. This appointment is effective as of June 28, 2016, according to the announcement from the company.Gardineer is the successor to Comptroller of the Currency Thomas J. Curry, who had been the chairman since March 2014. During his tenure, Curry led the corporation as it managed and invested stakeholder funds that resulted in more than $27 billion of investment over the past five years in communities across the United States by the NeighborWorks network.Before being elected as board chairman, Gardineer served as vice chairman of the board from December 2013 through March 2014 and chairman from June 2005 to April 2012. NeighborWorks America’s board consists of the heads of the financial regulatory agencies and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or their statutorily designated representatives.“All of us at NeighborWorks are honored and excited to have Grovetta lead the board of directors and help guide the organization as it begins a new five-year strategic plan,” said Paul Weech, NeighborWorks America president and CEO. “Her experience and commitment to community development and operational excellence will enhance the corporation’s ability to meet its mission and help every community be a place of opportunity.”In this role, Gardineer will provide strategic leadership and oversight in support of NeighborWorks America’s mission to create economic opportunities, further the ability of people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives, and strengthen communities.“It is a tremendous honor to chair an organization with such an important mission of enabling quality and affordable rental housing and homeownership,” Gardineer said. “Through education, access and empowerment, NeighborWorks strengthens the foundations of communities and enriches individuals’ lives throughout our nation.” Share Neighborworks America OCC 2016-07-08 Seth Welborn
Camino de Santiagoguidewalks UTracks has published a handy new quick reference guide to the Camino de Santiago, available in print and online, to help agents plan the right Camino experience for their clients.The Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of Saint James, is the name used to refer to all the routes that lead to where the apostle Saint James is said to be buried. It has been one of the most important Christian pilgrimages for more than 1,000 years.“Each year around 200,000 people, from all walks of life, embark on a journey along part or all of the Camino de Santiago,” says UTracks’ Camino expert, Jaclyn Lofts, who has walked the full Spanish Camino (all 790km kilometres of it!).“They all do different trails; that span France, Spain and Portugal. Some of them cycle, but most tend to walk.”Lofts has also walked sections of the Portuguese Camino, and has presented Camino walking and cycling information nights at countless venues around the world.“While there is a myriad of ways to walk ‘The Way’, when it comes to planning their journey, most prospective pilgrims ask travel consultants the same questions.“What is the Camino? Why are there so many routes? Which one should I do? When should I go? How fit do I have to be?” she says.The UTracks Quick Reference Guide to the Camino de Santiago is available at utracks.com or call 1300 303 368 to order a print version.
agentsRail Expert Training Program. trainingRail Pus Over 300 travel agents across Australia and New Zealand have graduated with flying colours from this year’s Rail Expert training program, with an elite group of consultants also securing themselves spots on an unforgettable rail famil across Europe.The 2017 Rail Expert program required travel agents to complete a total of 10 modules, the majority of which focused on some of Europe’s most popular rail networks, including TGV France, Swiss Travel System and Eurail. For the first time, the training initiative was supported by all of Rail Europe’s Australian distribution partners – Infinity Rail, Rail Tickets and Rail Plus.The top two graduates from four regions across Australia won places on the European famil, with this year’s winners including:· VIC/TAS – Garrath Ridd (Helloworld) and James Hughes (Flight Centre)· NSW/ACT – Lela Hopkins (Helloworld) and Telisha Kelso (Flight Centre)· QLD/NT– Brenda Simon (Helloworld) and Brad Sward (Flight Centre)· SA/WA – Caitlin Byrne (Flight Centre) and Katrina Miragliotta (Helloworld)The top scorer for each of the 10 training modules also won a $100 VISA gift card, while every travel agent who qualified received a certificate and an ‘I’m a Rail Expert’ banner for their email signature.Rail Plus Commercial Director Ingrid Kocijan says that the number of graduates emerging from this year’s program shows that consultants understand the benefits that flow from ongoing training and education.“Knowledge provides a commercial edge on competitors and is the key to delivering outstanding customer service. This is particularly true when it comes to areas such as rail, where networks and products are continually evolving.“As with all quality training initiatives, this year’s Rail Expert program required focus and skill to complete, so well done to everyone who took part and congratulations to all of this year’s worthy graduates.”Agents are reminded that Rail Europe tickets are distributed via Rail Plus, Rail Tickets and Infinity Rail in Australia (Rail Plus in New Zealand). See =raileurope.fr/wheretobuy for more details.IMAGE: Off on an exclusive European rail famil: Rail Expert graduate Brenda Simon with Rail Plus’ Brisbane-based Account Manager Larry Burrows.
PTMsTravelManagers The arrival of three new personal travel managers (PTMs) has boosted the total number of PTMs past 550 for the first time in the company’s 12 year history.Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says it’s taken just eighteen months to grow from 500 to 550 PTMs: an achievement which he accredits to the company’s excellence in providing support in the form of product training, technology support, accounts and business mentoring. “The strongest endorsements for our business model are the rate at which we’ve grown the number of PTMs and the fact that we have a number of long-serving PTMs who have been with us since the beginning.”The three new PTMs together have more than 50 years’ travel industry experience between them. Coupled with the intensive, three-day induction programme at the National Partnership Office (NPO) in Sydney which they have just completed, Gazal says all three are now ready to hit the ground running and are excited about the opportunities offered by their new business ventures.Caroline Rutherford joins TravelManagers as representative for Forestville, NSW, Elaine Taylor, joins as representative for Bethania, QLD, and Stacey Farnham joins as representative for Mount Duneed VIC.IMAGE:TravelManagers’ Michael Gazal