23 Photos Now playing: Watch this: Anne McClain during a spacewalk on the ISS on March 22. NASA Excitement turned to disappointment this week when NASA announced it had to shuffle astronaut assignments, scrubbing what would have been the first all-female spacewalk in history. The reason: There wouldn’t be enough medium-sized spacesuit torsos available in time for the Friday event.NASA astronaut Anne McClain, who just completed her first spacewalk at the International Space Station on March 22, spoke out in defense of the decision on Wednesday, saying it was based on her recommendation. “Leaders must make tough calls, and I am fortunate to work with a team who trusts my judgement. We must never accept a risk that can instead be mitigated,” McClain tweeted. “Safety of the crew and execution of the mission come first.” This decision was based on my recommendation. Leaders must make tough calls, and I am fortunate to work with a team who trusts my judgement. We must never accept a risk that can instead be mitigated. Safety of the crew and execution of the mission come first. https://t.co/VU9QNaHHlK— Anne McClain (@AstroAnnimal) March 27, 2019 NASA Space NASA’s wildest rides: Extreme vehicles for Earth and beyond SpaceX: Watch Crew Dragon capsule dock at ISS for the… Comment Tags 1 NASA astronaut Christina Koch and McClain were originally slated to head out into the vacuum of space together to continue work on a project to upgrade the batteries for the station’s solar power system. Now Koch and NASA’s Nick Hague are set to share work duties outside the ISS on Friday.McClain made the call after her first spacewalk when she decided she would be more comfortable in a medium suit rather than a large. It takes time to properly prep a spacesuit and only one medium suit was ready to go, so Koch will wear it on Friday. A third spacewalk scheduled for April 8 is tentatively set for McClain and Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques. McClain had one more tweeted message for people who are bummed about the spacewalk adjustments: “Tune in — history is made every day up here!” 1:50 Sci-Tech Share your voice
Map of ChuadangaMembers of Border Guard Bangladesh seized 320 gold bars weighing around 37 kilogrammes from the Mathabhanga river along Nastipur border in Damurhuda upazila of Chuadanga on Wednesday noon.Being tipped-off that a consignment of gold would be smuggled to India through the border, BGB members took position around no 80 pillar since the morning, said Iman Hasan, a commanding officer of BGB battalion.The BGB team challenged three people who were moving around the pillar around 3:00pm, he said.Sensing danger, the trio threw three bags they were carrying into the river and crossed into the Indian territory swimming across the river, reports UNB.Later, the paramilitary force members retrieved the three bags and found 320 gold bars inside those, Iman said.
Kolkata: Two traffic sergeants rescued a 4-year-old boy who fell from a pool car while travelling home from school on Darga Road on Friday.Police said traffic sergeants — Raj Vijay Banerjee and Suman Mukherjee — were on duty in the area. They went to the spot as soon as the matter came to their notice and rescued the boy. The incident took place on Darga Road at Beniapukur. The boy, who is a nursery student, was travelling in a Maruti Omni car. Its sliding door somehow opened when the driver applied a sudden brake and the boy fell down from the car. The boy, however, remained unhurt. He was later handed over to his parents, who didn’t lodge any complaint against the pool car. The car has been intercepted by the police.
Darjeeling: Following the meeting between the management and trade unions convened by the Assistant Labour Commissioner in Darjeeling, it was decided to reopen the Risheehat Tea Estate from Thursday. The meeting resolved that wages will be cleared on March 28 and arrears will be paid on March 30.”The workers also have to ensure that there is peace in the gardens and that the management does not feel insecure,” stated Balam Tamang, president, Darjeeling Terai Dooars Plantation Labour Union (DTDPLU- affiliated to the GJM). Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe management of Risheehat Tea Estate near Darjeeling town had declared a suspension of work on March 19. The suspension of work came on the heels of Himalayan Plantation Labour Union (HPWU- affiliated to the GNLF) stopping the plucking of first flush tea leaves over non-payment of arrears. “The decision was taken to reduce the hardship of the workers, in their greater interest,” stated Sandeep Mukherjee, principal advisor, Darjeeling Tea Association. The garden, situated 15km from Darjeeling, has a workforce of more than 1,100. In another development, the Kanchenview Tea Estate in Darjeeling has been closed down. Mukherjee claimed that the lockout is owing to industrial unrest.
YouTube has disabled all comments from its videos featuring young children in order to curb the spread of pedophiles who are using YouTube to trade clips of young girls in states of undress. This issue was first discovered, when Matt Watson, a video blogger, posted a 20-minute clip detailing how comments on YouTube were used to identify certain videos in which young girls were in activities that could be construed as sexually suggestive, such as posing in front of a mirror and doing gymnastics. Youtube’s content regulation practices have been in the spotlight in recent years. Last week, YouTube received major criticism for recommending videos of minors and allowing pedophiles to comment on these posts, with a specific time stamp of the video of when an exposed private part of the young child was visible. YouTube was also condemned for monetizing these videos allowing advertisements for major brands like Nestle, Fortnite, Disney, Fiat, Fortnite, L’Oreal, Maybelline, etc to be displayed on these videos. Following this news, a large number of companies have suspended their advertising spending from YouTube and refused to do so until YouTube took strong actions. In the same week, YouTube told Buzzfeed News that it is demonetizing channels that promote anti-vaccination content. YouTube said that this type of content does not align with its policy and called it “dangerous and harmful” content. Actions taken by YouTube YouTube said that it will now disable comments worldwide on almost all videos of minors by default. It said the change would take effect over several months. This will include videos featuring young and older minors that could be at risk of attracting predatory behavior. They are further introducing new comments classifier powered by machine learning that will identify and remove twice as many predatory comments as the old one. YouTube has also banned videos that encourage harmful and dangerous challenges. “We will continue to take actions on creators who cause egregious harm to the community”, they wrote in a blog post. “Nothing is more important to us than ensuring the safety of young people on the platform,” said YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki on Twitter. Despite her apologetic comments, she was on the receiving end of a brutal backlash with people asking her to resign from the organization. The internet is slowly becoming a harmful place for young tweens. Not just Youtube, recently, TikTok, the popular video-sharing app which is a rage among tweens, was accused of illegally collecting personal information from children under 13. It was fined $5.7m by the US Federal Trade Commission. TikTok has now implemented features to accommodate younger US users in a limited, separate app experience that has additional safety and privacy protections. Similar steps have, however, not been implemented across their global operations. Read Next Nestle, Disney, Fortnite pull out their YouTube ads from paedophilic videos as YouTube’s content regulation woes continue. Youtube promises to reduce recommendations of ‘conspiracy theory’. Ex-googler explains why this is a ‘historic victory’. Is the YouTube algorithm’s promoting of #AlternativeFacts like Flat Earth having a real-world impact?
Tags: Collette << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share Cindy Sosroutomo TORONTO — Travel is an industry based on relationships, and few are more important than the one between Travel Agent and Supplier. Ask any agent and they’ll tell you that working with a reputable, honest and loyal tour operator is paramount to their business, and they’ll easily fire off names of companies they regard as preferred and trusted.So when this valued relationship breaks down for any number of reasons, the damage can be irreparable. But Collette, which has a reputation for slighting travel agents in the past, is hoping this isn’t the case. After a short period in its nearly 100-year-old history during which it often poached group business from agencies, the family-owned company is now doing its best to right its wrongs and reverse the damage it has done to its retail relationships.“We are aware of the perception that Collette has taken groups from agencies in the past. I want to make very clear that this is not our policy. In the past we may have brought a larger percentage of groups directly to Collette, but now we are really focused on working through the travel agent,” said Doug Patterson, who was appointed President, Canada of Collette earlier this year.Patterson tells Travelweek that groups at one time brought in the vast majority of Collette’s business (it’s just shy of 50% today), thanks in large part to BDMs who sought them out. This, however, sometimes led them to bring groups directly to the company, essentially cutting out agents in the process. It was never an official company policy, says Patterson, who also noted that the last incidence of ‘poaching’ he has found dates back to 2008. “Since then, our commitment to the retail channel has been significantly enhanced. Agents are vital to our success – 98% of our bookings come from agents.”But are Patterson’s assurances a case of too little, too late? Absolutely not. Collette is proving that it’s not just talking the talk, but also walking the walk to the tune of agent-specific directives. He says that although the company is still searching out groups, when it does find them it now takes the necessary steps to match them with local agents.“If it’s an independent booking or a group, we will make a concerted effort to recognize if they’ve worked with an agent in the past, and if they’re planning on doing so, we will make a recommendation of somebody in their particular area,” he says. “We believe in the agent community. They provide a great service and we believe they should be rewarded for that.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”Even more, Collette’s commitment to agents can be measured in dollars; according to Patterson, over the past five years, the company has brought over $10 million worth of group business back to agents. “I would say that’s a strong commitment,” he adds.To hammer home the message even further, Collette made the decision to not participate in the discount arena and work with agencies that slash its product prices.“If a retailer wants to discount our product, we will not work with them, whether they’re OTA or bricks and mortar. It was an expensive move walking away from accounts like this, but we believe our product stands on its own and our customers deserve the level of service provided by a dedicated travel professional,” Patterson says.Agents, so it seems, has started to take notice and are putting their faith back in Collette. One Ontario agent, who wished to remain anonymous, tells Travelweek that she’s willing to give the company another chance after it directly email marketed all members of a group her agency had booked a few years ago.“I know that the Collette rep we have here has been trying to push the fact that they are changing their ways and that things have been on an upswing,” she says. “They have been pushing everything back to the travel agent and are trying to rebrand themselves in a favourable light to agents.”On Collette’s direct marketing efforts, Pablo Keselman of Milton, Ontario, who has over 30 years of experience as a travel agent, chalks it up to simply a difference in culture.“Unlike here in Canada, American-based companies tend to bombard you with emails and are very aggressive as far as sales go, either by sending things directly to clients or sending too many emails to agents. This overloading of direct mail and brochures is a cultural thing; that’s just the way they operate in the U.S.,” he says.Keselman, who has a $20,000 group booking with Collette that’s ready for payment soon, says that he’s never had a negative impression of Collette. In fact, he’s always appreciated how the company has been upfront about their marketing tactics.“Collette certainly uses the database of my clients, who will get direct mail from them from time to time. However, when they send direct mailing to clients with a discount number or coupon attached, if they’re loyal to their agent, the assumption is they’ll call their agent to book,” he says. “I have absolute respect for Collette’s product and this has always been the case. They have a BDM that’s proactive, they will hold space for groups, and they will print your logo on marketing materials to send to clients. They’re a lot more trustworthy than they were in the past because they’ve made it clear that they want to work with us.”More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesPatterson, who confirms that the call-to-action on all Collette marketing materials today directs consumers back to agents, knows that misperceptions are hard to overcome and that people have long memories. So when asked what reassurances the company can give to agents that they won’t repeat ‘sins’ of the past, he is unequivocal in his answer.“Let me put it as clearly as possible – Collette will not attempt to take any group from your agency. In fact, if unfortunate circumstances arise and a direct relationship exists where an agency partner is no longer involved, we will pay the agency partner 100% of its commission due on that group and take any necessary corrective actions,” he says.And to those who are still skeptical despite his reassurances?“Call us on it. Mystery shop us. If an agent feels like this is happening let us know about it. We will always make it right.”Doug Patterson is also the star of Travelweek’s latest video series. See how else Collette is looking to work with agents: Collette’s Doug Patterson says poaching groups from agents is in the past Thursday, November 10, 2016 About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019