By Dialogo June 15, 2011 “I don’t think I adopted America. America adopted me,” Brazilian-born Army Cpl. Joel M. Kuhn said as he sat outside of Nangalam Base in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province. As a boy, Kuhn, a combat medic assigned to Task Force Bronco, looked up to his father and cousins, who were in the Brazilian army. When Kuhn first thought about enlisting in the U.S. Army, he said, he was on a work visa in Glendale, Calif., and looking for something else to do that not only was exciting, but also would help to pay his bills. He decided to become a combat medic in 2008 because of an enlistment bonus, and he called his mother in Brazil to tell her the good news. “The first thing she asked me if my [specialty] had to work with the infantry on the front lines or if I would be working in a hospital setting,” Kuhn said. “I told her, ‘You know, I never asked that before. That should be one of the questions that I should have asked my recruiter.‘” Kuhn smiled and shook his head. “But I told her, ‘The way that things are going, the way I see it, I will probably be working with the infantry,’” he said. “And I guess I was right.” Now, on his second combat tour with the infantry, Kuhn couldn’t have been more right. Most days, he treats troops in combat, and on some days, he trains troops what to do in combat. “All right, let’s say your battle buddy gets shot in the leg. Where do you want to put the tourniquet to stop the bleeding?” Kuhn asked Afghan soldiers during medical training at Nangalam Base. He patiently waited for a response, then asked the soldier who answered to show him how to put a tourniquet on properly. Sgt. Nathan A. Timmons, an infantry team leader, said Kuhn behaves in the same way at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, their home station. “You don’t know something, he’ll spend the time to teach you,” he said. “He likes to help people — likes to make sure they are doing the right thing. All in all, I think it’s good for him, [and] good for everybody else, as well.” Timmons deployed with Kuhn during a dangerous tour in Iraq. “I would not take any other medic if I had a choice, and that’s the God’s honest truth,” he said. “Just the way he is, I mean. I’ve seen some medics who know their job. By all means, our medics are good, but Kuhn goes above and beyond.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Sarah Smith, ProPublicaAccording to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 37 states now offer voters some way to cast ballots early and avoid lining up at the polls on Election Day.These options are popular. About one-third of voters made use of them in the 2012 election.There is no act more central to a democracy than voting. Electionland is a project that will cover access to the ballot and problems that prevent people from exercising their right to vote during the 2016 election. Read more and sign up.But so-called “convenience voting” remains controversial: In some states, various types of early balloting has been challenged on grounds that it opens the door to fraud, though there’s been little evidence that such fraud is taking place.Supporters of early voting say partisan politics is what really drives the objections. Research shows early voting increases turnout by 2 percent to 4 percent. In some cases, it particularly boosts voting among minorities, a constituency that tends to vote Democrat.A GOP consultant acknowledged as much after a federal judge struck down North Carolina’s effort to curtail some kinds of convenience voting on the basis that legislators had targeted measures that disproportionately aided African Americans.“Look, if African Americans voted overwhelmingly Republican, they would have kept early voting right where it was,” the consultant, Carter Wrenn, told the Washington Post. “It wasn’t about discriminating against African Americans. They just ended up in the middle of it because they vote Democrat.”We took a look at some convenience voting tactics and what they do—or don’t do—for turnout, particularly in minority communities:In-person Absentee VotingThis form of early voting has a confusing name but an easy concept: Voters get a ballot before Election Day and turn it in at a designated place. The ballot is counted with other absentee ballots. This is also known as in-person early voting or early in-person voting.The Brennan Center for Justice reported that 14 percent of voters in nine of the top-turnout states with in-person absentee as an option used it in 2012, up from 13 percent in 2008 and 8.4 percent in 2004. Political science research hasn’t come to a consensus on what it does for overall turnout: A study out of the University of Wisconsin found that in-person absentee voting actually decreased participation.Other studies have shown that in-person absentee voting has boosted black turnout, in part because some states allow people to submit votes on the weekend. This has enabled African-American churches’ “Souls to the Polls” initiatives, in which churchgoers are transported straight from the pews to the ballot box.A paper examining the effects of Florida’s early voting patterns in the 2008 election showed that African Americans were more likely to cast in-person absentee ballots than white voters. African Americans made up 13 percent of registered voters in Florida, but cast 22 percent of the in-person absentee votes.The same pattern holds true in Ohio, which has been embroiled in litigation over cuts to the state’s “Golden Week” of early voting. A 2015 paper showed that restricting in-person absentee voting in Ohio would have disparate impacts on different racial groups and that African Americans would be hardest hit by such cuts.No-excuse Absentee VotingEvery state allows people who cannot get to polling places for specific reasons – illness or disability, military service, etc. – to mail in absentee ballots before the election.Some 27 states — plus the District of Columbia — also let residents vote by absentee ballot without providing a reason.The first states allowing no-excuse absentee voting—California, Oregon and Washington—did so in the 1980s and other states followed suit in the following decades. An early study in the 1990s found that opening up absentee voting can lead to a small increase in turnout, but since then research hasn’t shown that it has a significant impact on how many people vote.Vote By MailOregon, Washington and Colorado conduct elections entirely by mail, sending out ballots to all eligible voters and giving them until Election Day to mail them back in.Oregon was the first state to conduct its elections by mail after a ballot measure passed in 1998. Washington, which had allowed counties to choose whether to conduct elections regularly or by mail, switched to an entirely postal system in 2011. Colorado followed in 2013.The first wave of vote-by-mail studies found a huge jump in turnout, ranging from 10 to 19 percent. But as voters settled into the new laws, follow-up studies showed significantly less impact. A 2007 study in Washington found a 5 percent impact. A study in Switzerland, conducted from 1970 to 2005, saw a turnout increase of 4.1 percent.There’s also no indication that these modest increases are skewed toward any particular racial or ethnic group.In addition to the various modes of early voting, there’s a couple more way states make it more convenient to vote:Same-day RegistrationIn at least 13 states and the District of Columbia, voters can show up at polling stations on Election Day, register and vote (some states such as Maryland only allow same-day registration during early voting). In addition, Utah passed a 2014 bill enacting a pilot project of same-day registration; the project will continue through 2016.To register and vote at the same time, voters typically must show proof of residency (such as a driver’s license or, in some states, a utility bill) and provide an ID to verify their identity (photo or non-photo, depending on the state).Groups that advocate for same-day registration say it not only eases access, but also solves the problem of inaccurate voter rolls from which people who move frequently might have purged or left off. According to a study from Demos, one such group, same-day registration can increase turnout from 3 percent to 6 percent. Pew Charitable Trusts found that one in eight voters in states with same-day registration used it in the 2012 election.Not having to register in advance appears to boost minority voting disproportionately. In North Carolina, African-American voters accounted for 35 percent of those who used same-day registration in 2012, though African Americans made up only 22 percent of the electorate, according to PBS.While voters who move frequently tend to be younger, and younger voters tend to vote Democrat, that’s not always the case. A 2012 study looking at Wisconsin’s same-day registration found that while it increased turnout, it actually decreased Democrats’ share of the presidential vote.North Carolina passed a law banning same-day registration in 2013, but it has since been overturned.Automatic RegistrationFive states have recently approved automatic voter registration, which registers citizens who come into contact with government agencies (often at a DMV) to vote unless they opt out.Oregon passed the first major automatic registration law in 2015. Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia have bills pending that would implement automatic registration, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.While it’s too soon to have significant studies on how automatic registration affects turnout, advocates contend the practice not only makes elections more accessible, but saves money and improves the accuracy of voter rolls.ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.
Accor’s digital strategy over the past five years has mainly focused on increasing direct bookings through a halo of luxury and exclusivity. So far, their personalization strategy has focused on customizing the experience during the experience, but also on revenue management. Magnuson Hotels Accor Marriott Marriott directs most of its artificial intelligence through the Bonvoy mobile app. Based on user data, intentions, and attribution data, the application makes complex recommendations regarding the destination offer. Another major initiative is Marriott’s partnership with Salesforce to launch a customer recognition platform, which provides a view of each guest’s profile. The goal is to gather all customer interactions so that Marriott staff can act on the information received. Storing this data also allows Marriott to serve digital content based on behavioral and demographic data. Best Western Consumers require a personalized experience. Airbnb has invested heavily in artificial intelligence to learn from the bookings of their “Experiences” program upon completion of the accommodation reservation. “Historical data show that Japanese travelers, when visiting Paris, prefer lectures and workshops (such as perfume making), while American tourists prefer experiences with food and drink,” explains one of the scientists on the machine learning project. But interestingly, the Airbnb homepage is not personalized for unsubscribed users who have recently searched, but is static. Caesar’s IHG Companies today have more data than ever before to launch personalization. And the good news is that personalization and artificial intelligence are still in the infancy of most hotels and catering companies. So the field is wide. Hilton recently hired more than 150 scientists to help collect more than a billion data a day. One of the main areas of activity is their communication via e-mail, which now functions as an automatic one-on-one communication. “Today we send fewer e-mails than before, but engagement and key business indicators are better. More e-mail does not result in higher revenue – personalized mail and communication result in higher revenue, ”said Wesley Albaugh, Hilton’s personalization manager. Approximately 80 percent of digital personalization is done via email communication, so it’s no surprise that Hilton has invested in optimizing this channel. All IHG marketing communications, whether via email, SMS or Facebook Messenger, come from a single platform so that personalization and contextualization can include centralized analytics. They are also integrated with language processing tools to improve the “virtual assistant” and shorten customer service query processing time. Radisson Caesar’s, like many other Las Vegas brands, had to rely on innovation to attract younger consumers who are not interested in gambling. Their technologies use a deep learning algorithm that creates an “emotional profile” of customers and communicates to each individual, via e-mail, in an appropriate manner. These personalized messages led to a 12 percent increase in email openings. And Choice “threw himself” into the waters of artificial intelligence to optimize revenue. “Even the results of the small investment in artificial intelligence have been outstanding,” explains Terrilin Tourangeau, director of loyalty marketing. Best Western was the first large hotel chain to launch artificial intelligence ads aided by IBM’s Watson program. Also, since 2014, they have been using personalized email communication as well as geolocation. Personalization has become one of the primary digital strategies in the tourism sector. So at least many travel companies claim. But whether personalization is really implemented in the digital structure of online platforms, we will check in the analysis of emails, landing pages and ads conducted by the Hospitality Net website. Magnuson plans to simplify basic personalization with the ability to select a location at the top of their website. However, it is unclear which new content will be delivered after the search. Hilton Airbnb Their interactions with brands like Amazon have become standard – they want a customized experience that anticipates their wants and needs. Amazon makes about 35 percent of its sales through a referral mechanism. Choice Hotels In 2018, Radisson appointed Accenture as a global experience agency to use the data obtained for targeted campaigns. The agency said it plans to increase traffic with selected content and implement a “chatbot” specifically designed for event planning and meetings. Source: Hospitality Net Cover photo: Pixabay.com
Norwegian oil company Equinor has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) for exploration drilling in the North Sea with the Transocean Spitsbergen rig. Transocean Spitsbergen; Photo by Kenneth Engelsvold; Source EquinorThe safety agency said on Wednesday it had given Equinor consent to drill exploration well 16/5-7 in production license 502, which is located in the North Sea offshore Norway.The well 16/5-7 is to be drilled north-west of the Utsira High in the North Sea, south-west of Johan Sverdrup and north-east of Sleipner.Water depth at the location is around 105 meters. Drilling is scheduled to begin in mid-May 2019 and is estimated to last for 28 days.The well will be drilled by Transocean Spitsbergen, which is a semi-submersible drilling rig of the Aker H-6e type, operated by Transocean Norway Operations.Transocean Spitsbergen received Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) from the PSA in 2012.
Ghana legend Abedi Pele has twisted the knife even further into the Ghana Football Association for the standoff between them and his two sons.The three-time legend insists the GFA is to be blamed for the decision by his sons to withdraw from the Black Stars.“I always believe that they are grown up children, 23 and 21. Well, they’ve lived in Europe for the past 23 years so for me this is an opportunity for them to take things on their own,” Abedi exclusively told Joy Sports Kwame Dwomoh Agyemang.“But occasionally, father and mother will always chip in a word or two but for the moment, the children are doing the right thing.“It is their decision and we just have to support them.“Everybody there is a friend. Kwesi Appiah, I have played with him but if you have a friend who has disappointed you, what do you do?,” Andre and Jordan have been in the news after temporarily quitting the Black Stars citing reasons of victimization and unfair treatment, following their exclusion from Ghana’s squad to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.The Ghana FA urged the Olympique Marseille duo to reconsider their decision and make an immediate return for this month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier againstBut the two players want some more time for the wounds to heal.
The Red Door Country House in Fahan has just scooped the title ‘Best Donegal Wedding Venue 2012’ from the Irish and UK venue finder website, WeddingDates.ie.The winning venue was chosen based on the number of 5 star reviews left by couples who had their special day at The Red Door. Formerly known as Restaurant St. John’s, the 200 year old building lay dormant for over three years after the previous owners had retired in 2006.However, the new owners brought life and warmth back in 2009 and opened as The Red Door Country House.Weddings at the 18th century country house overlooking Lough Swilly have grown in popularity in the past three years, according to Wedding Co-ordinator Frances Doherty.“We opened as a restaurant with accommodation in 2009 but fairly soon couples started to approach us for intimate weddings. We can seat up to 150 guests but smaller weddings of 80 – 100 guests are the trend here.” There are many unique aspects to The Red Door such as the stunning views and top quality food. However the attentiveness of Frances and her friendly team is echoed throughout all the reviews that led to this award.“From the initial meeting with a couple until long after the wedding is over, I just take great interest and care with them. I’ve made many new friends over the past few years,” says Frances. “We’re very fortunate to have such a great team here from the kitchen through to the floor staff and we’re so grateful to read the feedback that led to us winning this title.”The Red Door is renowned for the quality of its food and service for all occasions. Head Chef Sean Clifford was recently commended by Sally and John McKenna (Bridgestone Guide) last month.For information about weddings at The Red Door Country House, visit www.thereddoor.ie/weddings. THE ‘RED DOOR’ SCOOPS TOP WEDDING VENUE AWARD was last modified: October 22nd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:FahanThe Red Door