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Guard soldiers may lose training if not reimbursed for Capitol mission

The National Guard could cut training as soon as July unless Congress passes emergency legislation reimbursing the cost of the Capitol security mission, Army leadership told a Senate Appropriations Committee subpanel Tuesday morning. The four-month response to the Jan. 6 riots reportedly cost more than $500 million, depleting the Guard’s operational and training funds. “Without…

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The National Guard could cut training as soon as July unless Congress passes emergency legislation reimbursing the cost of the Capitol security mission, Army leadership told a Senate Appropriations Committee subpanel Tuesday morning. The four-month response to the Jan. 6 riots reportedly cost more than $500 million, depleting the Guard’s operational and training funds. “Without these resources [reimbursed], the Guard…will find themselves with training issues,” warned Army Secretary Christine Wormuth. She indicated that the force has already postponed some training and could begin cancelling training events as soon as July, due to concerns over violating federal law that bars spending in excess of the allotted budget. Wormuth’s concerns echoed those of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who told senators Thursday that a reimbursement failure will impact the Guard’s ability “in the near term to be able to train and adequately prepare.” The National Guard Association of the United States also sounded the alarm on the topic last week, citing a National Guard Bureau whitepaper that highlighted the need for reimbursement. If an Aug. 1 funding deadline passes without Congress authorizing reimbursement, annual trainings, drills and individual schools will be cancelled, the NGAUS release stated. 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Although the House already passed a Capitol security bill that includes $521 million in reimbursement for the National Guard, it also included $200 million to establish a permanent Guard quick reaction force. Republican lawmakers and NGAUS officials have repeatedly spoken against such a mission. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville seemed to push back against the idea, too, when a lawmaker asked if a permanent military security task force was “appropriate.” “My best military advice,” he said, “is law enforcement should be conducted by law enforcement agencies, and the military should be the last resort when it comes to loss of law enforcement.” McConville and Wormuth had little to say, though, about the proposed end strength and top line cuts in President Joe Biden’s budget request for the Army. Instead, the two leaders emphasized to lawmakers that the service’s key modernization priorities remained funded despite “tough decisions.” The chief of staff expressed concern in April that the Army already had too few troops to meet its requirements. That was before the budget request. “Success can only be assured through continued transformation,” said Wormuth. “The Army has already made — and will continue to make — tough decisions to ensure the best use of resources to adapt to and stay ahead of the capabilities of our adversaries.”

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Limited seats cause cancelations for many travelers to Kuwait

By Nawara Fattahova KUWAIT: An unpleasant surprise awaited tens of passengers at Beirut airport who were returning to Kuwait, as they were told their seats were canceled, although their flight was still flying to Kuwait. They were not the only ones who faced such a problem. Passengers on various airlines complained of unfair behavior by…

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By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: An unpleasant surprise awaited tens of passengers at Beirut airport who were returning to Kuwait, as they were told their seats were canceled, although their flight was still flying to Kuwait. They were not the only ones who faced such a problem. Passengers on various airlines complained of unfair behavior by airlines, which canceled their seats that they had booked and paid for, although the flight itself was not canceled.
Kuwait Times spoke to three different people flying on two different airlines whose seats were canceled. One was only refunded half the price he had paid and was told his flight was canceled, while in fact it wasn’t. The other two got full refunds and were offered two seats on the same flight but for a higher price.
Khaled from Al-Sayed travel agency explained the reason behind this problem. “This is due to the limited seats on flights to Kuwait on some airlines, which does not include Kuwait Airways. This quota of only 35 seats was set by the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGCA),” he told Kuwait Times.
These airlines submitted a request to DGCA to increase this quota or cancel it completely. “Based on this request, these airlines booked the entire flight. When they received the response from DGCA that their request is rejected, they canceled the tickets of a majority of passengers who exceeded the 35 seats on each flight,” added Khaled.
“The passenger should always be offered either a different date without paying any additional charges or a complete refund. But refunding only half the fare or offering rebooking for a higher price cannot be acceptable. We haven’t faced such a situation at our agency,” he concluded.
According to Mohamed from Ritz travel agency, their agency also hasn’t faced such a problem. But he said they experienced some cases of cancelation of flights. “We had some clients complaining that after arriving at the airport, they were told that their flight was cancelled, which caused inconvenience, especially since they were not informed in advance.
They blame us for not informing them, but it’s the airlines’ fault, who didn’t inform us in the first place. These passengers will either reschedule their flights or be fully refunded,” he told Kuwait Times. DGCA Director General Yousef Al-Fouzan told Kuwait Times that no meeting regarding increasing the quota for the airlines has been held yet. He also noted that it’s not clear when this quota will be lifted.

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How to eliminate ‘ghost’ devices on your Alexa account video – CNET

Adding, renaming, or moving around smart devices on your Alexa account over the years can lead to glitches. We’ll show you how to eliminate these “ghost” devices for good — but with a cost.

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Adding, renaming, or moving around smart devices on your Alexa account over the years can lead to glitches. We’ll show you how to eliminate these “ghost” devices for good — but with a cost.

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CLIA announces 2021 North America Hall of Fame cruise industry award winners

WASHINGTON D.C. – Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced the 2021 North America Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards. The awards identify individuals and organizations whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the cruise industry in the United States and Canada. Award winners were inducted at the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry…

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WASHINGTON D.C. – Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has announced the 2021 North America Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards. The awards identify individuals and organizations whose efforts and accomplishments represent a significant contribution to the cruise industry in the United States and Canada. Award winners were inducted at the Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Awards Gala Dinner during the CLIA Cruise360 conference in Hollywood, Florida on Thursday, July 29, 2021.“The Hall Of Fame winners represent the best of the best -innovative, visionary and committed-this group demonstrates passion, dedication and a continued commitment to propel the cruise industry forward,” said Kelly Craighead, CLIA President and CEO. “CLIA is honored to acknowledge the hard work of these exceptional industry leaders.”CLIA congratulates the 2021 North America Hall of Fame Cruise Industry Award winners:Lifetime Achivement Award WinnerAwarded to an individual who is a lifetime champion of cruise travel and has made monumental contributions to the cruise industry.Scott Koepf – Senior Vice President of Strategic Development, Cruise PlannersAfter getting bitten by the travel bug, Scott was compelled to open one of the country’s first cruise-only travel agencies just two weeks after his first cruise. Over the course of his career, Scott took on many leadership roles including with Club Med, Sitmar Cruises, Cruise Holidays International, GalaxSea Cruises, Sabre, Nexion, Avoya Travel – his impact was wide-reaching. Today, he is Cruise Planners’ Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning leading events, training, and strategic partnerships where he is able to make a positive impact on the network’s 2,500 travel advisors across the country. Scott also gives back to the industry by writing regular sales articles tapping into his personal stories about being a football player, opera singer and shipboard entertainer, leading to his two well-known monikers “The Sales Coach” and “The Singing Salesman.” As a natural entertainer, Scott leverages his on-stage presence with tried-and-true sales advice to inspire travel advisors from all walks of life and all over the world including in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.He has passionately served in leadership positions for National Association of Cruise Only Agencies (NACOA), National Association of Career Travel Advisors (NACTA) and American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA). Scott is the current chair of the Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (STARBoard) for CLIA.Travel Agency Innovator Award WinnerAwarded to a CLIA Travel Agency Member or Premier Agency Member that has demonstrated innovative and visionary leadership in their approach to promoting cruise travel, growing their cruise travel sales, and supporting their affiliated travel advisors.KHM Travel GroupA CLIA Premier Agency Member and a leading host agency, KHM Travel Group empowers, educates, supports, and promotes independent travel agents through a unique program focused on personal support and agent development. Led by a set of thirteen Core Values, KHM Travel Group’s 70+ dedicated team members share their knowledge and passion to help agents reach their goals in the rewarding travel industry.Founded in 2005, KHM Travel Group has always been committed to helping both new and experienced agents grow their businesses through a variety of innovative educational opportunities and resources. Webinars, Facebook Lives, hands-on events, and even a weekly talk show are just a few of the ways KHM Travel Group connects agents with the latest information from CLIA and other important industry partners and associations.As a proud CLIA Premier Member and CLIA Strategic Trade Advisory and Review Board (STARBoard) Member, KHM Travel Group champions the efforts of CLIA to amplify the reach of its campaigns to both the travel community and the traveling public. Over the years, the host agency has also contributed ideas and feedback to help CLIA develop a variety of training tools for its members.KHM Travel Group is located in Brunswick, Ohio with over 4,000 independent agents across the country.Elite Cruise Counsellor of the Year Award WinnerAwarded to an Individual Agent Member who has demonstrated their career commitment to professional development through achievement of Elite Cruise Counsellor or Elite Cruise Counsellor Scholar status – the pinnacle of CLIA certification – with the requisite sales requirements, as well as, someone that has significantly impacted the travel agent landscape through contributions to their agency.Jeannie Lipphard, ECCJeannie began her travel career in 2001 with mentor Diane Mason, ECCS, and by 2005 went out on her own after obtaining her CLIA certifications: ACC, MCC, ECC, then ECCS (as well as LCS).  Jeannie has maintained ECCS status with CLIA since 2005.  CLIA education in the early part of her career set Jeannie up to be successful and within just a few years of entering the cruise travel industry, she became a top producing cruise travel advisor.  Since moving over to host agency Nexion Travel Group (Travel Leaders) in 2013, Jeannie has been a top 10 or top 5 producing agent each year using the education provided by CLIA as well as the support and tools provided by Nexion. 

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