The United States Senate passed the Travel Promotion Act (TPA) late last week by a vote of 78-18. The House already passed the bill which is now on its way to President Obama who is expected to sign the bill into law sometime this week. This is a major accomplishment for the hospitality industry, said Vicky Tebbetts, Vice President of the Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council. This legislation is important for the continued growth and success of the travel and tourism economy in Vermont and across the United States. The TPA will aggressively promote international travel to the United States by creating a public-private partnership campaign to market the country as a premier travel destination with the goal of increasing the number of international visitors. The Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council commends Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch for supporting the Travel Promotion Act and recognizing the important role the tourism industry plays in Vermont, Tebbetts added.The Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council would like to thank Congressman Welch for his efforts in getting this important piece of legislation passed. At the urging of the Vermont Chamber s Hospitality Council, Welch joined the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus last summer in order to represent Vermont s vibrant hospitality industry. Welch is one of nearly 100 members in the Caucus which has worked on the Travel Promotion Acts of 2007 and 2009, promoting the brand of America to the rest of the traveling world and increasing international travelers to the United States. In 2007, visitors made an estimated 14.3 million person trips to Vermont for leisure, business or personal travel and direct spending by visitors for goods and services totaled $1.6 billion. In addition, visitor spending entirely supports an estimated 37,490 jobs for Vermonters (approximately 12% of all jobs in our state).The TPA aims to create 40,000 new jobs in the United States to handle the 1.6 million new visitors to this country. Travel represents 40 percent of fine dining restaurant sales in the United States, 25 percent of both family and casual dining segment sales, and 15 percent of quick service sales. This industry also employs 13 million Americans.Source: Vermont Chamber of Commerce. 3.1.2010
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Norway’s sovereign wealth fund has divested one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies over allegations of corruption and bribery.The NOK7.1trn (€742bn) Government Pension Fund Global’s Council on Ethics last year investigated ZTE Corporation, listed on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges, over concerns it was responsible for gross corruption, as defined by the fund’s own exclusion guidelines.In a statement, the fund’s manager, Norges Bank Investment Management, said its executive committee felt it was inappropriate to exercise its ownership rights to bring about change and instead opted to divest its stake worth NOK85m, accounting for just 0.15% in voting rights.The Council’s report from June last year noted the company had been sent a draft version of its report but had not commented in the findings, which listed allegations of corruption in 18 countries. The report adds: “All corruption allegations against ZTE of which the Council is aware relate to the payment of bribes to public officials to secure the award of contracts.“In 2012, ZTE’s representative in Algeria was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for corruption in connection with a contract won by ZTE in the country.”The report points out that, following the sentencing of the representative in Algeria, the company was barred from bidding for public contracts for two years.It also cites allegations of corruption in Zambia, Kenya, the Philippines, Myanmar, Nigeria and Liberia, and claims “large” commission payments were passed to the prime minister of Papua New Guinea.The decision to exclude ZTE from the sovereign fund’s investment universe comes only a month after it decided to remove Alstom from its observation list after previous concerns over corruption.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to recommendation by Council on Ethics
While Kim attended Harvard, his father’s ties to USC as an alumnus facilitated a connection to the University studying under the late Thornton School of Music professor and famed cellist Eleanore Schoenfeld during high school. Kim also taught at USC in 2007, designing and co-instructing a weekly seminar at the Gould School of Law. “Beong’s diverse and high-level legal expertise, mission-driven approach to taking on challenges and commitment to public service made him our clear first choice,” Folt told USC News. “He will be an important addition to the USC leadership team and an asset to our entire university community.” As chief of the major frauds section in the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles for nearly 10 years, Kim directed investigations into health care fraud, securities and investor fraud, government fraud, theft of intellectual property and embezzlement, leading the nation’s largest federal white-collar prosecution section. “It is a privilege to join this remarkable institution, which touches the lives of so many people throughout Southern California and the world,” Kim said to USC News. “USC’s mission has never been more vital and relevant, and I am tremendously excited about working with President Folt and other stakeholders to move that mission forward.” Kim’s search committee comprised Gould School of Law dean Andrew Guzman, Board of Trustee member Oscar Munoz, Ostrow School of Dentistry dean Avishai Sadan, president of faculty of Academic Senate Rebecca Lonergan, Senior Vice President for Human Resources Felicia Washington and Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp. Kim also served as a litigation associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson before moving on to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in L.A. and later serving as partner at Jones Day in L.A. Before his appointment as general counsel of USC, he worked as vice president and assistant general counsel at Kaiser Permanente. Former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill general counsel and vice chancellor Mark Merritt served on the search committee and will continue in his role as an adviser to the University, according to Folt. Vice President and Managing General Counsel Stacy Bratcher, who managed the search committee, will now report to Kim. Corporate lawyer Beong-Soo Kim will serve as senior vice president and general counsel of USC starting July 1, President Carol Folt announced Tuesday. After earning his master’s degree from the London School of Economics, Kim worked for the New York City mayor’s office and later on graduated from Harvard Law School in 1999. Following a clerkship at the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York, Kim returned to Harvard as a teaching fellow. The USC Office of the General Counsel addresses legal issues related to the University, Keck Medicine of USC and other USC-owned entities.