As host agencies battle it out for new members, every perk is a big advantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace.Transat’s Agent@home has the strength of the Transat brand name, plus this past summer Transat Distribution Canada announced it was upping the ante in its partnership with AIR MILES, signing a deal that includes extra AIR MILES benefits for customers who book travel with TDC.Agents interested in joining a host agency, or switching host agencies, are attracted by the AIR MILES redemptions program and the new business it brings, says TDC.Transat Distribution Canada is looking to grow its Agent@home program and recently announced yet another incentive to agents who join.TDC says travel agents and home-based agents who want to move over to TDC’s Agent@Home program can sign up for the TDC Sales Academy, taking place April 27 – May 4, 2018 at the all-inclusive Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana.Registration for the Academy opens this month.Agents will receive intensive sales training from special guest speaker Michael Vickers, along with dedicated training on Sun Destinations, Europe, Cruise and Luxury products from over 20 preferred partners and professional coaches, according to TDC.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”The format includes hands-on business building workshops, site inspections of Transat’s key hotels and resorts and special events. Home-based agents get the opportunity to network with other TDC colleagues as well as with top suppliers.“They will have access to state-of-the-art training from professional coaches and our top suppliers,” said Susan Bowman, Exec VP Marketing, TDC. “At TDC, we know that education is an integral part of our travel professional’s success. Understanding all of our products thoroughly enables them to better serve their customers and exceed their expectations.”The TDC Agent@home program offers advantages for agents looking to go home based including the exclusive ability to offer and redeem Air Miles Reward Miles, as well as best-in-class marketing and systems support, she added.The 2017 Sales Academy attracted 150 delegates, a mix of junior and senior travel agents from across Canada who worked with preferred suppliers and training coaches for an intense, boot-camp- type training for a week.Transat Travel home-based agent Wayne Arsenault said the Academy was an opportunity to learn, meet new people, network with other agents, suppliers and corporate employees.“There were people from across Canada, from all walks of life, ages and years of experience. For me as a newer agent, I found this invaluable as there were so many points of view and a great variety of business backgrounds all sharing our ideas,” said Arsenault. “The participation from Michael Vickers sharing his techniques with us was irreplaceable, providing many unique ideas to touch clients. His lessons were straightforward and quite profound, I learned a lot about how to interact with clients from his sessions.”More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckArsenault has his own takeaways from the week-long training:Listen for cues. “You will be able to customize according to the client’s buying style. Ask, so that you know you have listened and heard what you think you heard.”Use social media for maximum reach and presenceKnow what is available, keep up- to- date, there is something for each client.Be unique/different in how you interact with your client.The content for TDC’s training academies is determined by feedback the company receives from its network of 450 agencies and 3,650 travel consultants across Canada. For more details see transatagentathome.com. Tags: Transat Wednesday, November 15, 2017 Big brand name, AIR MILES and now the TDC sales academy: Transat’s Agent@home woos newcomers Share Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group
Turner Broadcasting Systems’ EMEA chief Jeff Kupsky is leaving the company.Kupsky, who re-located to London to set up a regional development office for Turner in 1997 and became EMEA president since 2007, will leave within the next few weeks. His decision to quit is believed to have been taken before the appointment last month of former RTL Group CEO Gerhard Zeiler as president of Turner Broadcast System International.Turner Broadcast Systems chairman Phil Kent said there had been no channel, acquisition or progression of Turner’s business in the EMEA region that Kupsky had not been directly involved with and he was leaving “with our gratitude and respect”.
Ukrainian telco and IPTV provider Ukrtelecom has been bought out by SCM Group, which is owned by Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov. “The SCM Group will become the owner of UA Telecominvest Limited and will receive control over a 92.79% stake in public joint-stock company Ukrtelecom, after obtaining all the required permits, including ones from the antimonopoly agencies,” the firm said in a statement, published by national news agency Interfax Ukraine.The stake was bought from Austrian investment group EPIC, which acquired it from the Ukranian government in 2011 when Ukrtelecom was privatised. The new deal was done for undisclosed terms.
Deutsche Telekom Croatian telecom operator T-Hrvatski Telekom is to offer its MAXtv to new subscribers for the token price of HRK1 (€0.13) for the first six months to drive take-up.The offer gives new customers access to the Pickbox package, offering on-demand access to 250 seasons and over 2,600 episodes of TV series and films.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 10 2018Spurred by the rapidly expanding use of in-home tests for “omic” – genomic and microbiomic – data for humans, pets, and even homes themselves, university researchers have begun tackling the difficult challenge of making the results interactive and understandable to non-experts.While misinterpreting a pet’s lineage or the tracks of a cockroach across a kitchen countertop may or may not carry large financial consequences, scientific literature brims with examples of incorrect or misinterpreted omic home-test results that prompted expensive and unnecessary follow-up medical tests. Already, more than 5 million reports of genetic and microbiome (the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in and on our bodies) have been delivered as a result of such direct-to-consumer tests, and in some cases the emotional toll can be as consequential as the financial.Supported by a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, NYU Tandon School of Engineering Associate Professor Oded Nov, an expert in human-computer interaction, leads the research project with Associate Professor Orit Shaer of Wellesley College. The team is working with the Open Humans Foundation platform to fashion user studies en route to first-of-their-kind tools that he hopes industry will widely adopt.Related StoriesGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaNew strategy may strengthen gut-brain communicationWarning issued by FDA after patient dies following fecal transplantThe team is developing mobile apps to allow users to share results and curated medical news with others within their families or a community interested in the same disease, for example. In the process, the researchers plan to design and test best practices for communicating and interacting with complex genomic and biome data.In addition, the researchers will build an UbiqOmic space to test volunteers’ understanding of data presentation and interaction tools. They will also conduct a longitudinal study in three households, whose members will self-monitor for allergens or undesired food ingredients – and perhaps discover how changing these ingredients affects their own microbiome and those of other people in the household. As part of NYU Tandon’s ITEST summer program supported by the NSF, Nov will engage New York City middle and high school students and teachers in the project.Nov, a member of the NYU Tandon faculty in the Department of Technology Management and Innovation, has long focused on human-computer interaction and social computing. He holds degrees from Tel Aviv University, the London School of Economics, and Cambridge University. His many honors include a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, as well as grants from Google, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative.The NSF Division of Information and Intelligent Systems granted $500,000 for the research, which NYU and Wellesley College share equally.Source: http://www.poly.edu/news/new-apps-take-confusion-out-genome-and-microbiome-home-tests
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 29 2019Less than 48 hours after a federal judge struck down Medicaid work requirements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday gave Utah permission to use those mandates.CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in her approval letter that requiring Medicaid enrollees to work was allowed because it helps make them healthier.”Therefore we believe an objective of the Medicaid program, in addition to paying for services, is to advance the health and wellness needs of its beneficiaries, and that it is appropriate for the state to structure its demonstration project in a manner that prioritizes meeting those needs,” she wrote.Verma’s stance runs directly counter to U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg, who in twin rulings Wednesday said work requirements in Arkansas and Kentucky are illegal under the 1965 Medicaid law. Boasberg said several times that promoting health was not the objective of Medicaid, despite that opinion from Verma and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.In his Kentucky ruling, Boasberg wrote that using health as an objective would be “arbitrary and capricious.”Promoting health, he added, is “far afield of the basic purpose of Medicaid: ‘reimbursing certain costs of medical treatment for needy persons.'”Verma noted that Utah is structuring its program somewhat differently than other states.Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., said the Trump administration is “doubling down” by allowing a state to add work requirements.”This is such a remarkable example of sticking a finger in the eye of the court,” Rosenbaum said. “We will see what happens. Because when you disrespect a court, it can backfire.”CMS’ approval also allows Utah to cap enrollment if the state runs out of money.Health experts said Utah’s letter clearly shows that the Trump administration plans to appeal Boasberg’s decision.In addition to Kentucky, Arkansas and Utah, CMA has approved Medicaid work requirements in Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio and Wisconsin.Verma’s approval was for an application that Utah made in 2018. It will partly expand Medicaid to cover all adults under the poverty level ($12,490 for an individual this year). Enrollees will be asked to make some job searches but they will not be required to report a certain number of hours of work.In November, Utah voters approved a ballot measure calling for the expansion to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $17,200) as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.Related StoriesMedicare going in ‘right direction’ on opioid epidemicPodcast: KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Is ‘Medicare for All’ losing steam?Persistent poverty endangers health in 20% of UK childrenState officials expect about 90,000 people to gain coverage under the expansion approved Friday. About 150,000 people would have been covered under the plan approved by voters.The plan approved Friday will require Utah to pay a bigger portion of the costs for the new enrollees because they will enter Medicaid under the traditional program and the state will get a 70 percent contribution from the federal government to cover their care. If the state had expanded to 138 percent of poverty, the federal government would have paid 90 percent of the costs.November’s vote raised concerns among state officials, who have opposed Medicaid expansion for years. They have opted instead to prepare another request to CMS that seeks the full 90 percent funding for the new enrollees. But to secure that, Utah is offering to accept unprecedented annual limits on federal and state spending.Allison Hoffman, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said getting a federal judge to accept the premise that Medicaid is improving health is vital to getting work requirements through the courts. Federal officials “need a judge to buy that,” Hoffman said. “They are going to fish for a different jurisdiction to push this opinion.”What’s most compelling about the Utah approval, Hoffman said, is how the state legislature ignored the will of voters who approved the referendum. “The legislature is blocking what people voted for … and it appears to be an anti-democratic move.” This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 27 2019Insights into how a gene that increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease disrupts brain cells have been revealed by scientists.Brain tissue from people with Alzheimer’s showed that a protein called clusterin builds up in vital parts of neurons that connect cells and may damage these links.Scientists say the findings shed light on the causes of the disease and will help to accelerate the search for a treatment.The study, led by Professor Tara Spires-Jones at the University of Edinburgh, focused on synapses – connections between brain cells that allow the flow of chemical and electrical signals. These signals are vital for forming memories and are key to brain health, experts say.Related StoriesResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryPosterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions, research showsResearchers showed that synapses in people who had died with Alzheimer’s contained clumps of clusterin, which could contribute to dementia symptoms. These synapses also contained clumps of amyloid beta, the damaging protein that is found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.People with a common risk gene, called apolipoprotein E4, had more clusterin and amyloid beta clumps in their synapses than people with Alzheimer’s without the risk gene.Those without dementia symptoms had even less of the damaging proteins in their synapses.The discovery was made using powerful technology that allowed the scientists to view detailed images of more than one million synapses. Individual synapses are around 5000 times smaller than the thickness of a sheet of paper.Synapse loss in Alzheimer’s disease was previously established, but the clumping of damaging proteins together in synapses was unknown until now because of difficulties in studying them due to their tiny size.Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting around 500,000 people in the UK. It can cause severe memory loss and there is no cure.Professor Spires-Jones, Programme Lead at the UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh, said: We have identified another player in the host of proteins that damage synapses in Alzheimer’s disease. Synapses are essential for thinking and memory, and preventing damage to them is a promising target to help prevent or reverse dementia symptoms. This work gives us a new target to work towards in our goal to develop effective treatments.” Source:University of EdinburghJournal reference:Spires-Jones, T. et al. (2019) Clusterin accumulates in synapses in Alzheimer’s disease and is increased in apolipoprotein E4 carriers. Brain Communications. doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcz003.
Desperate & duped? GoFundMe means big bucks for dubious care Jeremiah Jon Smith, 38, pleaded guilty Oct. 17 in Rice County District Court to theft by swindle, a felony. He admitted spending more than $23,000 raised for his medical bills through GoFundMe, an online fundraising platform, and benefit events.Swindles like the one Smith pulled raise the question of whether online fundraising is safe, consumer advocates said.”I don’t think anyone’s got their arms around it,” said Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates in Washington. “And the GoFundMes of the world pooh-pooh it.”GoFundMe claims to have raised more than $5 billion since 2010 and says fraud on its website is minuscule. The company warns potential donors to give only to people they know.”GoFundMe is dedicated to empowering people to help people, and an overwhelming majority of campaigns on our platform are safe and legitimate,” the company said in a statement. “Fraudulent campaigns make up less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all campaigns.”In the rare instances where people create campaigns with the intention of taking advantage of others’ generosity, GoFundMe takes swift action to resolve the issue.”A GoFundMe spokeswoman said the company will refund donations if a campaign organizer or beneficiary is charged with a crime. The company also may refund donations of up to $1,000 if its own investigation finds “misuses” of donations.Scams have always been with us, said Christina Tetreault a staff attorney with Consumers Union, a nonprofit based in Yonkers, N.Y.”I would say that the mode is new, but the scams are old,” Tetreault said during a panel discussion on peer-to-peer payments sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission.But the fact that fraud is taking place on the internet doesn’t make it any less prosecutable, said Prentiss Cox, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and the former head of consumer protection with the Minnesota attorney general’s office.”There are three kinds of consumer protection cases: scum, scam and skim. And this is scum,” Cox said of the cancer swindle. “If someone lies about cancer to take money from people, that’s just scum.”And the most effective way to stop it is to make sure people know that if they’re going to do this, they’re going to jail.”That apparently won’t happen in Smith’s cases. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9 in Rice County District Court. His plea agreement calls for no jail time, 10 years of probation, full restitution to identifiable victims and 480 hours of community service.Rheingold said GoFundMe and other fundraising platforms have a duty to ensure their campaigns are legitimate, because the platforms make money from them.”What level of duty do they have to the consumers who use it?” he said. “I would argue pretty strenuously that if somebody is using their platform and committing fraud, they need to demonstrate that they have engaged in some level of due diligence.”Adrienne Gonzalez runs a site called GoFraudMe that tracks GoFundMe scams. Gonzalez, of Richmond, Va., said she’s uncovered more than 220 scams in just over three years. GoFundMe has been better at taking down fraudulent campaigns, she said, but the site still relies on users to report suspected fraud.”GoFundMe says they’re the safest fundraising platform,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just over here on the other side, saying, ‘Look, these things happen.’?” ©2018 Star Tribune (Minneapolis) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: GoFundMe scams: ‘I don’t think anyone’s got their arms around it’ (2018, October 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-gofundme-scams-dont-arms.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further A Faribault, Minn., man has admitted faking cancer and spending the money raised for medical bills on marijuana, liquor, video games and dart tournaments.