ADC AUTHOR A bill is advancing in New Mexico that would waive professional licensure fees for service members, spouses and dependent children, according to the Kirtland Partnership Committee, which has helped guide the legislation. It passed a House committee unanimously Tuesday and is moving through other committees ….Canada became the sixth country to send a delegation to visit the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta, according to an Augusta Chronicle editorial. The cybersecurity facility is a partnership among the Army, academia, state and local officials, and the private sector. “When Augusta is producing useful, helpful answers to one of the world’s biggest emerging problems, the world will come to Augusta,” the editorial board wrote.Chief Master Sergeant Clayton Watson Jr. and Col. Mary Stewart at the New Mexico Capitol. Photo by Kirtland Partnership Committee
The state department of Public Safety announced Wednesday that the Alaska State Trooper post in Girdwood will remain operational until June 30 of next year. Earlier this year, the Girdwood post was slated for a January 1 closure due to state budget reductions. But this week, the Trooper post got a reprieve.Colonel Jim Cockrell is the director of the division of State Troopers. He says the post will stay open for a few months more.“Essentially the last month or so the administration, our office and the municipality of Anchorage has been looking at alternatives to closing Girdwood down at the first of the year as was originally scheduled. And a decision was made during that time by the administration to extend our service to Girdwood area and the surrounding areas until the end of the fiscal year, which is June 30. Currently that is what we are planning for. We are planning to be out of Girdwood by the end of June in 2016.”One sergeant and four Troopers will continue to operate out of Girdwood. Cockrell says the plan to shut down the Girdwood post was driven by an increase in crime in the Kenai Peninsula.“As you know, in July we lost 27 Trooper positions and five of those came from the Kenai Peninsula and our intentions were to reallocate the Troopers we were moving out of the Girdwood area into the Kenai Peninsula where we are struggling to keep up with the call volumes and most of them are criminal type crimes, versus what we are dealing with in the Girdwood area, which is more traffic related.”The Girdwood jurisdiction also covers the Seward Highway communities of Bird, Indian and Portage, and the Seward Highway safety corridor falls within the post’s area of responsibility.Traffic accidents are common along the route, and local residents had feared that the shutdown of the Trooper post in Girdwood would result in more of them. Cockrell says three Bureau of Highway Patrol officers will still be assigned to traffic enforcement after the post closes.Although the four communities fall within the municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Police Department officers do not patrol them, or the highway.The Girdwood ‘s board of supervisors this year initiated a task force that has been working with the city on a way to provide for the public safety needs of the community after the Trooper post closes, although no firm plan has been presented yet.
CognizantWikiMedia CommonsAfter firing a considerable number of its employees, IT major Cognizant is planning another round of layoffs. As per a report published in Financial daily, the Economic Time, Cognizant is ready to fire a few hundred as a part of the restructuring that is aimed at reducing cost. Moreover, the company is exploring more ways to further cut down on cost.The US-headquartered company is under the process of restructuring which is targeted at spurring growth and lowering cost. Further, the company is also boosting the variable pay components of salaries which will result in cost-cutting. One of the sources close to the development said, “It is part of the appraisal process; it is getting stricter. If you were a marginal performer or have not been allocated (a project), then they would look at beginning a separation process.”Cognizant Technology Solutions CorpReutersThe employees having experience more than eight years are expected to be targeted. The exact figure to be fired is still under evaluation and would depend on growth registered in this quarter. It is to be noted that the company has already suspended non-essential travel to save costs. Cognizant cut down its revenue growth forecast earlier this year and submitted that its hiring has overtaken revenue growth which eventually led to lower margins. As per Cognizant’s annual report for 2018, the company has around 281,600 employees at the end of 2018, with 194,700, or 69%, in India. Globally, the Cognizant had 288,200 headcounts as of June 30, 7 per cent more than 268,900 a year ago.The company, which has guided for the lowest growth in its history for this calendar year, had given voluntary separation package to around 400 senior executives in 2017 as part of its cost optimisation measures. Additionally, the New Jersey-based company is also delaying the joining date of the freshers and other new employees hired. The second person added,”The joining dates are being calibrated to ensure that utilisation is maintained. There is a strong focus on cost control.”However, the company’s spokesperson has said that it has started to dispatch joining letters since June this year. “We have already on-boarded several thousand students who are currently undergoing training in Cognizant Academy, and the rest will be onboarded in a staggered fashion, as is the process every year. Cognizant has a long history of honouring all campus offers and there is no reason to believe that this year will be any different,” the spokesperson added.
Sharful Islam Babu, the president of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s Khulna metropolitan unit, was arrested early Friday.JCD is the student wing of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).Police said the student front leader is wanted in three cases, including that of subversive activities.”Acting on a tip-off, a police team raided Sonadanga central bus terminal in the city and arrested Babu,” said Sheikh Moniruzzaman Mithu, additional deputy commissioner of Khulna Metropolitan Police.
Map or Iran locating the city of Zahedan. Photo: AFPA suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, state media said, in a southeastern region where security forces are facing a rise in attacks by militants from the country’s Sunni Muslim minority.The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.The heavy losses among Iran’s premier military force prompted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander to issue a warning to the country’s foes.“Our response in defence of the Islamic Revolution will not be limited to our borders,” Ali Fadavi was quoted as saying by Fars.“The enemies will receive a very firm response from the Revolutionary Guards like before.” He did not specify which enemies or what actions Tehran would take.In the past Iran has accused its regional rival, Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia, of supporting Sunni separatist groups who have attacked its security forces. Riyadh has denied the charges.Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighbouring country to crack down on them.A suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with explosives attacked a bus transporting members of the Guards, the force said in a statement. Thirteen people were wounded.A video posted by Fars showed blood and debris at the site of the attack on a road in a volatile area near the Pakistan border where militants and armed drug smugglers operate.The bus was turned into a twisted pile of metal, a photo published on Fars showed. Reuters could not independently verify the image.While Sunni militant groups are not regarded as a major threat, the attack dealt a fresh blow to Iran’s security establishment, which has often said it can repel any threat no matter how big, even from the United States and its ally Israel.Military Might And Business InterestsThe assault in impoverished Sistan-Baluchistan province – among the worst ever on the Guards – illustrated that Iran’s elite force, which answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, can be vulnerable to guerrilla-style operations.The Guards’ estimated 125,000-strong military, with army, navy and air units, has acted as the sword and shield of Shi’ite clerical rule in Iran since its 1979 Islamic Revolution.The force also operates outside of Iran’s borders in countries such as Iraq and Syria where it works with proxies to promote Tehran’s interest. It runs a business empire in Iran worth billions of dollars.“The self-sacrificing military and intelligence children of the people of Iran will take revenge for the blood of the martyrs of this incident,” Fars quoted Foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi as saying.Iran’s Guards fired missiles at Islamic State militants in Syria in 2017 and 2018 after the group claimed responsibility for two attacks in Tehran and Ahvaz. In 2018, the Guards launched missiles at an Iranian Kurdish armed opposition group in northern Iraq.Wednesday’s violence comes during a month in which Iran has been commemorating the 1979 Islamic Revolution which swept the US-backed Shah from power. Tehran showed off ballistic missiles in defiance of US efforts to curb its military power.Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appeared to blame the United States for the attack, citing a US-sponsored conference in Warsaw aimed at rallying support to further isolate Iran.On Twitter he asked: “Is it no coincidence that Iran is hit by terror on the very day that #WarsawCircus begins?”Iran had enjoyed relative stability compared to Arab neighbours who have grappled with political and economic upheaval touched off by popular uprisings in 2011.But economic hardships fuelled by US sanctions have triggered waves of protests that sometimes call for Iran’s clerical leaders to step down.Twelve members of the Guards were among 25 people killed last autumn by gunmen on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz in the southwest. The Sunni Islamic State and an Arab separatist group both claimed responsibility.Jaish al-Adl emerged as the main armed opposition movement in the southeast after members of another Sunni group, Jundullah, joined it after their leader was captured on a plane in 2010. He was tried and executed.
From high-altitude places to spots near the waters, densely populated cities to the dense jungles – there are a lot of travel lovers who wish to explore every corner of the world but arent able to do so due to financial constraints. But there’s a solution.There are some top tips and tricks with which people can earn a living and get their trips sponsored while travelling peacefully around the globe. Experts list how.Put your language skills to use: If you possess leadership qualities, and have commendable knowledge of two or more foreign languages, you will find many opportunities to put all of that to work. You can work as a tour guide for travellers and earn a pretty hefty sum of money in exchange. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAnother way to put your language skills to good use is by teaching English online. There are lots of portals where you can teach the language online while you are still travelling the globe, all you need is an Internet connection.Click! Click! to earn big: The scenic beauty of the places close to nature, away from the daily hustle-bustle of the city amplifies many times more from the pictures clicked by an avid photographer. If you have the skills of creating a magical spell with the camera while exploring new places around the world and are receiving huge appreciation for the same. Find the right portals, be it travel magazines, newspapers, or even websites, share the pictures and get ready to earn some handsome bucks to travel more and more. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpread the magic through social media: Thanks to the digitalisation wave, an avid traveller is blessed with platforms like Facebook, WordPress, Twitter and Instagram to share their story with travel lovers around the world with some easy-breezy tips and tricks to survive in a new place. The more engaging and helpful your insights are to the audience, the more followers will be there on the wall, ultimately making you a renowned personality of the social media world. And, once this gets done, brands and top-notch corporates will approach you for paid collaborations. First of all, even if you are a semi-decent photographer and shoot pictures of lesser known treks or difficult to see animals during your exploration quest, many magazines and online sites will be ready to pay for your photographs.Next is if you maintain a blog or social profile of your own and post original content (travel experiences) at regular intervals then slowly your follower base will grow exponentially as online travel researchers are hungry to hear first hand experiences.As you grow traction on your blog and social media, there will be many hoteliers, brands, travel companies offering you free trips, free stays or monies in lieu of their promotion. At the same time, you also have to maintain a clear travel niche (trekking, wildlife, homestays, remote countries) of your own and keep delivering original content regularly.
Remember when 1-800 numbers were cause for concern? Tripcentral.ca has seen it all Tuesday, May 29, 2018 About Latest Posts Kathryn FolliottEditor at TravelweekKathryn is Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 1995. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Hong Kong, Jerusalem, the Swiss Alps and the Galapagos Islands among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Kathryn Folliott (see all) “They need to go where the bucks are”: Agents on ACTA partnership – April 18, 2019 As the cost of doing business climbs, host agencies, retail groups say they have options – April 4, 2019 As of 2021 Europe-bound clients will need to apply online for a visa waiver and pay a fee – April 3, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Tags: Travelweek, Tripcentral.ca Kathryn Folliott This story originally ran in the May 10th, 2018 issue of Travelweek magazine. To get Travelweek delivered to your agency for free, subscribe here.TORONTO — Tripcentral.ca is looking to grow with new locations in Western Canada and in Quebec but timing is everything and the travel agency chain, now with 26 storefronts in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, says getting its expansion ‘right’ is more important than getting it ‘right away’.Growth into Quebec would be either a strategic acquisition or partnership, says Tripcentral.ca President Richard Vanderlubbe, adding, “out West would be fun too. We do better when we have a presence on the ground, but the distance is bigger and we’d need to do it carefully. We’re not in particular hurry – if the timing is right, you never know. Each location and opportunity is evaluated uniquely, since our locations are not only a place for our agents to work, but also a live billboard for the website and a trust factor for a geographic market.”That website, Tripcentral.ca, is the travel agency’s calling card in the consumer market, and one of the original online travel sites, going back to the very early days of OTAs. The site was launched in 1996, the same year Expedia and Travelocity got their start. When Tripcentral.ca launched, seven years after the travel agency was founded in 1989, very few travel agencies had their own domain name, much less a functioning site. “It started with Microsoft Access 1.0 and my ex-wife literally keying last minute package specials faxed to us into a database,” said Vanderlubbe. “We eventually made that database public on the web in 1996. From there we were able to eventually have all Toronto departures, not just last-minutes, and then national. The site was branded tripcentral.ca in 2001, and we branded our locations tripcentral.ca in 2003.” These days Vanderlubbe and industry veteran Paul Foster own and operate all 26 of the company’s storefront locations in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.While the Tripcentral.ca site has become a powerhouse, the majority of the company’s sales still come through the bricks-and-mortar agencies. “People will be surprised that most of our volume is through our traditional channels but our website is not in competition with our agents. We use the multi-channelled approach because that is what customers want. They want the convenience of web shopping and booking at any time, and they like the trust and knowledge of our agents.”Tripcentral.ca’s agents are credited back web bookings when they have been in recent two-way contact. There’s overlap, and that works to the company’s advantage, says Vanderlubbe, with each point of contact building brand recognition for the other points of contact. “It becomes very hard to determine exactly what is online, local phone, or web-influenced … and there is strong action to call an agent and interact on the phone or over chat.”The ratio of pure, unassisted online bookings to non-online bookings hasn’t changed much for the company, he adds. “Today we are not heavy into the flight-only marketing. If we decide to, our flight-only transactions would likely have a much higher online percentage. When people are going to spend a week or more of their precious holiday time, they usually have a lot of questions.”While Tripcentral.ca certainly isn’t the only retail travel agency to have a website, Vanderlubbe says Tripcentral.ca’s vertical integration with online and bricks-and-mortar, going back more than 20 years, has given the company a multi-channel experience that is an entirely different model from lead-generating sites where agents make bids for would-be bookings. “Those businesses would not necessarily have the consistency of customer experience as Tripcentral.ca.”Back in the mid-1990s, bricks-and-mortar and online seemed like two increasingly at-war camps. Then came the realization that travel agencies needed to be everywhere their clients were, and that included the web. “I’ve always said, the Internet is not a channel of distribution. It is a channel of communication, just like walk in, phone, etc. You never saw a travel agency that only dealt in person and not by phone,” says Vanderlubbe. “In the 1980s and 1990s there were not ‘fax only agencies’.” He adds: “Back in my early days, it was 1-800 numbers everyone was freaked about. Customers are customers who want value for their money and a trusted place to book. That has not changed.”