Regional News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuide - Regional News North America) Feb 19, 2012

Lawmakers push back on Pentagon nuclear-cuts proposal In a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, lawmakers questioned U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on proposed cuts to the nation's nuclear stockpile. The cuts, which could reach as high as an 80% reduction in warheads, have raised alarm among some lawmakers. "This has been something that has been part of a process for discussion within the national security team and remains there at this point," Panetta said. Feb 17, 2012

Some lawmakers question air-marshal program Some lawmakers are questioning whether the federal government should continue to spend $1 billion a year to fund the U.S. air marshal program. "The reality is, the terrorists have adapted to our security measures and changed their tactics," said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chairman of the Transportation Security Subcommittee. The government employs thousands of marshals, including many retired law-enforcement officers. A report released last week mentioned complaints with the program, including favoritism, discrimination and mistrust. Feb 17, 2012

Officials from U.S., other nations opposed to EU ETS will meet Representatives from more than 25 countries opposed to the European Union's emissions-trading scheme plan to meet in Moscow next week. The countries include the U.S., Brazil, China, India and Russia. A draft agenda for the meeting says the countries will focus "on coordination of activities to oppose the inclusion of international civil aviation in the EU ETS." Feb 17, 2012

TSA will restructure federal Air Marshal Service The Transportation Security Administration plans to restructure the Federal Air Marshal Service after a report uncovered personnel complaints. "Changing the management structure and reinvigorating the focus of field operations addresses the [inspector general's] concerns by laying the foundation for real, positive cultural change to our workforce," said Robert Bray, assistant administrator at the TSA. Feb 17, 2012

Airports must adapt to high-tech advances to survive, experts say High-tech breakthroughs are making it possible for travelers to speed through airports, which means the facilities have to act fast if they want to cash in on their customers. That's a key message from the recent Future Travel Experience Asia conference. "[D]ue to advanced automation which will speed passenger processing through the airport and reduce the amount of time passengers spend there, airports will have to be far more creative to maintain and grow their commercial revenues," said Rohit Talwar, CEO and founder of Fast Future Research. Feb 17, 2012

Texas student's artwork will be displayed in aviation calendar Brianna Marie Salinas, 15, will have her artwork featured in the 2013 Texas Department of Transportation Aviation Art Calendar. Salinas' entry in a department art contest, which depicts a colorful image of a girl holding a balloon, won first place in its category. The Calhoun High School sophomore is also invited to attend the 30th Annual Texas Aviation Conference. Feb 17, 2012

Documents accuse TSA trainer of taking bribe Documents released by prosecutors this week show that a Transportation Security Administration instructor at Philadelphia International Airport is accused of taking a bribe in exchange for giving a security officer a passing grade on a mandatory exam. Shannon Gilliam, who has been suspended, could face up to 27 months in prison. Feb 17, 2012

TSA Pre expanding in 2012 Following the success of the TSA Pre passenger pre-screening pilot program, the Transportation Security Administration will expand its TSA Pre program to include 18 additional airports in 2012. TSA Pre, which is facilitated in conjunction with Customs and Border Protection, is designed to help TSA focus resources on higher-risk and unknown passengers while expediting the process for lower-risk and known passengers whenever possible. Read more in Feb. 14th Dateline ASTA Weekly. Feb 17, 2012

Developer eyes 15 new hotels in 2012 Lodging development firm Concord Hospitality Enterprises has committed $335 million toward reaching a development goal of 14,000 rooms in 2012 through the construction of 15 new hotels across the country. "We expect to more than double our development pipeline. Operationally, we will focus on adding more premium brand select-service and full-service hotels to our third-party managed portfolio, such as the DoubleTree in Albuquerque and Sheraton in Oklahoma City, which we were selected to manage late in 2011," said Concord President and CEO Mark Laport. Feb 17, 2012

Prepare security personnel to handle critical issues The revised Lodging Security Officer program from the Educational Institute has been updated with new information on child trafficking, active shooters, hostage situations and more. The four modules and DVD are ideal for self-study or group training, and can prepare employees to be a Certified Lodging Security Officer. Feb 17, 2012

CN-served Canadian port to get $55.2M for multi-user dock project Canadian National-served Port of Sept-eles in Quebec is expected to receive up to $55 million for a $220 million multi-user dock project after the Canadian government pledged to help with funding. "The new multi-user dock will have multiple important effects, as it will ensure the start-up of major new iron ore mines in Quebec and Labrador, the expected impacts of which will be key, with nearly 3,000 new jobs and more than $10 billion in investments," according to a statement by Pierre Gagnon, port CEO and president, and Carol Soucy, port chairman. Feb 17, 2012

AAR reports mixed weekly rail traffic The Association of American Railroads on Thursday reported mixed weekly rail traffic for the week ending Feb. 11, with U.S. railroads originating 279,501 carloads, up 1.7% compared with the same week last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 227,207 trailers and containers, down 0.4% compared with the same week last year. Feb 17, 2012

How the Internet is changing the way we experience television The technological possibilities of the Internet are challenging our traditional perceptions of television, Eric Spiegelman writes. The concepts of "channels" and "shows" are dramatically changing, particularly with YouTube, and the use of the iPhone as a remote control for watching TV programming is no longer a novel concept for Apple TV owners, he notes. Feb 17, 2012

NPD: Consumers are integrating portable media devices in cars Consumers last year spent more than $170 million to integrate portable media devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, into their automotive vehicles, according to The NPD Group. A study by the market research firm found that 79% of vehicle owners use portable media devices in their vehicles to access digital content on the road. "Traditional radio and CD audio remain firmly entrenched in the vehicle from both a device and entertainment standpoint," said Ben Arnold, the director of industry analysis at NPD. "But as ownership of mobile devices, digital content, and apps expands, consumers will be looking for ways to customize the in-vehicle environment with content and services." Feb 17, 2012

Supporters, critics square off over Senate cybersecurity bill Battle lines are being drawn over a controversial cybersecurity package debated in the Senate this week, which critics in government and industry say vests too much authority in federal authorities and should face a stronger vetting process. The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, the culmination of three years of legislative wrangling, seeks to improve cybersecurity cooperation between the federal government and the private sector. Feb 17, 2012

How managers can promote their employees' career development Beverly Kaye and Lindy Williams suggest steps that busy managers can take to help their talented employees excel. "A manager's job becomes easier when direct reports are performing at peak, and peak performance only occurs when people have the skills and tools to do their jobs well," Kaye and Williams write. Managers should be proactive about giving feedback and encourage employees to think broadly about their career goals. Feb 17, 2012

Should green groups get into bed with swimsuit models? The Nature Conservancy has raised eyebrows by partnering with Sports Illustrated for a swimsuit-themed party, with some environmentalists lamenting what Keith Goetzman calls the group's "stripped-down approach to environmental protection." It's certainly true that the campaign is sexist and helps Sports Illustrated's greenwashing efforts, writes RP Siegel, but the buzz generated by the event means it's probably still a net positive. "[S]ometimes the ends do justify the means," Siegel writes. Feb 17, 2012

Rise of the soapbox CEO Chief executives are increasingly using their positions to speak out about political issues, with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz discussing job creation and former Costco chief Jim Sinegal taking a tough line on gun control. Critics say that outspoken bosses can be bad for business. "You pick up a little gain from customers that like what you're doing, but you could also conjure up calls to abandon your products," warns Wharton professor Michael Useem. Feb 17, 2012

Can social innovators go global? Social innovators shouldn't seek a one-size-fits-all operating model if they want to have a global impact, writes Eric Nee. Cultural norms, business conventions and relations between the private and public sectors all vary from place to place, and social innovators need to recognize that. "[T]he concept of a social enterprise has a different meaning in China than it does in the West. ... [S]ocial innovations often come in different forms." Feb 17, 2012

Are you ignoring your next superstar employee? Star employees don't always arrive fully formed -- they may need to be recognized, cultivated and helped to achieve their...

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