Diversity training doesn’t run afoul of president’s executive order, Army officials say - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
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Diversity training doesn’t run afoul of president’s executive order, Army officials say

The Army’s emerging diversity initiatives don’t conflict with an executive order signed Tuesday prohibiting the armed forces from instituting training programs that suggest the United States is “irredeemably racist and sexist,” service officials said Thursday during a telephone call with reporters. The Army has started various reforms intended to cut down on unconscious biases in…

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The Army’s emerging diversity initiatives don’t conflict with an executive order signed Tuesday prohibiting the armed forces from instituting training programs that suggest the United States is “irredeemably racist and sexist,” service officials said Thursday during a telephone call with reporters. The Army has started various reforms intended to cut down on unconscious biases in the promotion process, including by eliminating official photos for selection boards and redacting race, ethnicity and gender data from both officer and enlisted record briefs. The goal is to create diverse teams of soldiers that data shows don’t always exist, especially in the officer corps, at the moment. It falls under a larger effort by the service called “Project Inclusion.” Other initiatives involve updating the Army’s diversity and inclusion education for soldiers at all ranks. The current educational format is designed around reciting policy and regulation. Service leaders want it to be more discussion-based to create dialogue among peers. However, some types of diversity training programs have drawn criticism from the the administration of President Donald Trump. “[The] Uniformed Services should not teach our heroic men and women in uniform the lie that the country for which they are willing to die is fundamentally racist,” the Tuesday executive order stated. “Such teachings could directly threaten the cohesion and effectiveness of our Uniformed Services.” The Army’s initiatives won’t do that, said Casey Wardynski, assistant secretary of the Army for manpower, who noted that the executive order is not a surprise to his office. Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Army Times Daily News Roundup. “We wouldn’t have been going down the critical theory road anyway,” Wardynski said. “We would not have gone down that road to spend money that way. It would not have aligned with our fundamental strategy and so, no, it’s not a concern for us.” Critical race theory has been criticized by the Trump administration for teaching that societal institutions are inherently racist. The Office of Management and Budget called it “divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda,” in a recent White House memo. Graphs pulled from the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Annex of the Army People Strategy. The initiatives the Army is implementing, and codified this month in a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Annex to the year-old Army People Strategy, focus on culture and cohesion, “not an approach that would be advocated under one of the critical theories,” Wardynski added. Lt. Gen. Gary Brito, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for personnel issues, explained that the Army’s intention is to create an environment where all soldiers have the opportunity to excel based on their own merits. “We want to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion is an integrated part of how we do business in the Army,” Brito said. “We want to make sure that at some point in time, we can talk about diversity, equity and inclusion without actually saying the words because it’s just in the way we do business.” New talent management processes, removing certain biographical data points from promotion packets, issuing exit surveys to soldiers leaving the force and looking at how the service recruits and mentors personnel, such as ROTC cadets, will be part of the Army’s strategy. The Urban Access Initiative, for instance, is designed to improve minority representation in the Army from large metropolitan areas. A pilot began this summer with the intent of recruiting future officers from the greater Houston and Los Angeles areas using “key physical and virtual networks,” according to a primer shared by the service. Another initiative will involve strengthening the Army’s partnership with minority groups like the National Society of Black Engineers, the League of Latin American Citizens, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Pan-Pacific American Leaders and Mentors, according to the primer.

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World Spa Awards announces 2020’s best international spa and wellness brands

World Spa Awards – the global initiative to recognize and reward excellence in the spa and wellness sector – has announced the winners of its 2020 programme.Brands to lift top honours include Gstaad Palace, Switzerland (‘World’s Best Hotel Spa’), Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany (‘World’s Best Medical Spa’) and doTERRA (‘World’s Best Aromatherapy Brand’), whilst the minimal…

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World Spa Awards – the global initiative to recognize and reward excellence in the spa and wellness sector – has announced the winners of its 2020 programme.Brands to lift top honours include Gstaad Palace, Switzerland (‘World’s Best Hotel Spa’), Lanserhof Tegernsee, Germany (‘World’s Best Medical Spa’) and doTERRA (‘World’s Best Aromatherapy Brand’), whilst the minimal opulence of Utah’s Amangiri led to its acknowledgement as ‘World’s Best Desert Spa’.Anantara also emerged as one of the big winners by taking the title for ‘World’s Best Hotel Spa Brand’, whilst the cutting-edge facilities of Switzerland’s Bürgenstock Hotel & Alpine Spa was recognised in the ‘World’s Best Spa Design’ category. Dubai cemented its reputation as the destination with it all by collecting the title for ‘World’s Best Spa Destination’.In the newcomer categories, Mandarin Oriental, Lago di Como, Italy was named ‘World’s Best New Hotel Spa’; Lefay Resort & SPA Dolomiti, Italy was voted ‘World’s Best New Resort Spa’; whilst Qatar’s Zulal Wellness Resort was crowned ‘World’s Best New Wellness Retreat’.The announcement follows a year-long search for the world’s top spa and wellness brands. Votes were cast by professionals working in the spa and wellness industry and by spa tourism consumers.Rebecca Cohen, Managing Director, World Spa Awards, said: “Our winners represent the very best of the best in the global spa and wellness sector and my congratulations to each of them. They have all demonstrated remarkable resilience in a year of unprecedented challenges.”The World Spa Awards 2020 programme received a record number of votes cast by the public. This shows that the appetite for spa and wellness tourism has never been as keen and bodes well for the industry’s future as the global recovery begins.Other winners included InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, Vietnam (‘World’s Best Resort Spa), One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai (‘World’s Best Hammam Spa) and Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo (‘World’s Best Casino Hotel Spa’).Launched in 2015 World Spa Awards aims to drive up standards in spa and wellness tourism and foster growth by rewarding the leading organisations in their respective fields.For a full list of winners visit here.

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5-km-long artwork pays homage to abused Iraq Kurd women

Iraqi visual artist Tara Abdallah speaks during the unveiling of an artwork on gender-based violence.Along a five-kilometer (three-mile) stretch of road in Sulaimaniyah, an Iraqi Kurdish artist on Monday unveiled a stitched collage of clothes from women survivors of domestic violence. “Three months ago, I started collecting the clothes of women subjected to violence by…

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Iraqi visual artist Tara Abdallah speaks during the unveiling of an artwork on gender-based violence.Along a five-kilometer (three-mile) stretch of road in Sulaimaniyah, an Iraqi Kurdish artist on Monday unveiled a stitched collage of clothes from women survivors of domestic violence. “Three months ago, I started collecting the clothes of women subjected to violence by their husbands and families throughout the region,” Tara Abdallah, who stitched the artwork that has been strung up across the city, told AFP.

The visual artist had asked women survivors to donate a scrap of clothing that symbolized their trauma and sewed them together to create a giant, colorful patchwork. “I heard lots of stories about violence that women in our society endured in the course of my research… Every piece in this work has a story behind it,” she said.

The UN regularly condemns “honor killings” of women in Iraqi Kurdistan, which promotes itself as progressive, over sexual conduct. About 37.5 percent of Kurdish women aged between 15 and 49 are also forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in the autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraqi, according to the United Nations.

The figure is less than one percent for women in the rest of Iraq. Out of desperation, Iraqi Kurdish women often commit suicide to escape domestic violence or forced marriages. Rights groups say domestic violence surged globally during the lockdown earlier this year to curb the coronavirus pandemic.-AFP

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Deported Marine veteran wins federal lawsuit, earns US citizenship

A Belize-born Marine Corps veteran won his battle for U.S. citizenship on Tuesday, completing a naturalization interview that had been on hold for more than a year, according to a release from his attorneys. Former Sgt. Roman Sabal, 59, had been eligible for citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act, but a series of missteps…

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A Belize-born Marine Corps veteran won his battle for U.S. citizenship on Tuesday, completing a naturalization interview that had been on hold for more than a year, according to a release from his attorneys. Former Sgt. Roman Sabal, 59, had been eligible for citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act, but a series of missteps landed him deported last year. “We are thrilled that Roman will finally be able to return home as a U.S. citizen. Despite a decades-long process, Roman never gave up the hope of coming home to his family,” his attorney, Helen Boyer, said in the release. “But it should not take a federal lawsuit to force the government to adjudicate the citizenship applications of those who have served in uniform. Deported veterans deserve better.” Sabal, on a tourist visa, enlisted using a fake identity in the ’80s, then served six years in the Corps and several more in the Army Reserve. He told the San Diego Union-Tribune last year that he confessed his deception during boot camp, but was told, “Don’t worry about it. You’re a Marine now.” After leaving the military, he applied for citizenship in 1995. In the mean time, he had two children with an American citizen, and in 2008, returned to Belize for diabetes treatment. When he made his way back to the U.S. in 2016, it triggered an immigration case, and then a deportation order. So in July 2019, when he finally had an appointment for a citizenship interview, Border Patrol turned him away as he tried to enter California. That denial prompted an outcry in the veteran community, and Sabal began working with a team of attorneys to sue the federal government. “While the law provides a clear path to citizenship, the government has failed in its duty to make that path accessible to deported veterans,” Talia Inlender, also on Sabal’s team, said in the release. “By failing to perform basic functions — including background checks, interview scheduling, and timely decision making — the government routinely denies deported veterans their rights under the citizenship laws.” Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. Sabal’s case followed that of another former Marine, Mexico-born Marco Chavez, who in 2017 returned to the U.S. 15 years after he’d been deported for a criminal conviction. Those stories caught the attention of Army veteran Sen. Tammy Duckwork, D-Ill., who earlier this year proposed a bill that would specifically help veterans who served honorably with their naturalization process. The Strengthening Citizenship Services for Veterans Act, which the Senate Judiciary Committee has yet to consider, would require Customs and Border Patrol to grant veterans parole to attend their citizenship proceedings in the U.S., regardless of a deportation order. “Roman Sabal was willing to put on the uniform to protect our nation and what happened to him was a disgrace,” Duckworth said in a statement Tuesday. “While he never should have been deported in the first place, much less denied entry to complete his naturalization process by the Trump Administration, I’m so proud to finally be able to call him a fellow American.”

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