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  • Amazon lawsuit blames Trump for loss of Pentagon cloud contract

    Amazon.com Inc on Monday accused U.S. President Donald Trump of exerting "improper pressure" and bias that led the Department of Defense to award a lucrative $10 billion cloud contract to rival Microsoft Corp. In a complaint filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Amazon said Trump launched "repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer" the Pentagon cloud contract called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, popularly known as JEDI, away from Amazon Web Services.

  • Huawei to roll out Harmony OS to more products next year, but not phones and tablets

    SHANGHAI/SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) - Chinese tech giant Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] plans to equip more of its products with its Harmony operating system (OS) next year, and will promote them at home and abroad, a Huawei spokesman said on Monday. The plans were first reported in the government-backed Shenzhen Special Zone Daily newspaper which cited comments made by Wang Chenglu, president of the Huawei consumer business group's software division, at a store event held in the city of Shenzhen, where the firm has its headquarters. Huawei unveiled its proprietary OS in August as a possible alternative to Google's Android, as it copes with trade restrictions by the United States that threatens to cut its access to technology made by U.S. firms.

  • Hedge Funds Are Dumping Texas Roadhouse Inc (TXRH)

    A whopping number of 13F filings filed with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has been processed by Insider Monkey so that individual investors can look at the overall hedge fund sentiment towards the stocks included in their watchlists. These freshly-submitted public filings disclose money managers’ equity positions as of the end of the three-month period […]

Travel News from ABTA

  • New ABTA campaign to support Members

    New ABTA campaign to support Members Full Page image dhewitt@abta.co.uk Thu, 12/05/2019 - 09:12 This month we are launching our latest Travel with Confidence marketing campaign to reinforce and strengthen customer confidence as the industry enters into peak booking season.  2019 has been a challenging year on multiple levels but customers remain resilient and committed to travel, and as your association ABTA will do everything it can to ensure people carry through with their holiday plans for next year. Launching on 16 December, the national campaign will run across national radio and on-line sites to encourage customers to look for the ABTA logo, which independent research shows is the most recognised in the industry and also synonymous with trust. With 78% of people saying they feel more confident when booking a holiday with an ABTA Member it reassures customers looking to travel. As part of the campaign, customers will also be reminded that flight, ferry and train schedules will continue to operate in the run up to and after the 31 January deadline date for Brexit.  Members planning their campaigns to customers are therefore advised to make best use of this powerful brand equity for your own purposes by using the logo and engaging with ABTA channels on social to spread the message wider. Access to our free marketing toolkit for Members can be found here. Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive

  • UK workers in the EU – post-Brexit

    UK workers in the EU – post-Brexit Full Page image landrews@abta.co.uk Thu, 12/05/2019 - 08:43 This article was first written by Alex Padfield, Director of Hextalls for ABTA's Travel Law Today issue eight, which can be download at abta.com/travellawtoday I decided to write this article as late as possible in the hope that by the time I did, the UK and EU would have managed to reach a deal and we would all know where we stood in relation to UK workers’ rights in the EU post-Brexit. My optimism was misplaced so I have set out what will happen if Boris’ deal is approved and what will happen if there’s no deal. It is also worth having in mind that UK workers’ position will depend on whether they were living and working in the EU before Brexit or if they start working there after Brexit happens.A dealTransition Period – to December 2020 The Withdrawal Agreement implements a transition period, which will last until at least 31 December 2020. Anyone who is living and working in another EU state now, will have their position protected and their situation should be broadly unchanged. Workers will have a right of residency in an EU state if they have lived and worked there for five years. Member States can ask UK workers to apply for residency and workers will have to do so not less than six months after the transition period ends. Workers will be able to continue to live, work and travel in the state they are currently in and freedom of movement will continue throughout the transition period. UK workers will also have the same rights as their EU colleagues when it comes to tax, discrimination on the grounds of nationality, conditions of employment, collective rights and the right for their children to receive education in the Member State if they are living there too. So, broadly speaking, things should continue as they do now. This should also be the case for Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland. These agreements mean that UK workers should be able to continue working unaffected if there is a deal. Anyone who does not currently work in the EU should still be able to work there during the transition period. ABTA Members should check the Government’s country by country guidance carefully. Do not presume that even if we leave with a deal, things will be the same during the transition; check. After December 2020 After December 2020, no-one knows what will happen because it depends upon what is negotiated. A no-deal situation could happen by default so Members should keep up to date with developments and read on! No deal If there is no deal, then things become more complicated. The UK will become what is called a ‘third country’ so far as the EU is concerned. It would then be up to each EU Member State to decide what rights to grant British citizens in their country. So far, virtually all EU countries have put some measures in place covering workers’ rights if there’s no deal but these apply to people already living and working in those countries before Brexit. Broadly speaking, the 11 EU countries with more than 10,000 UK citizens (apart from Ireland) are all offering virtually the same rights to UK citizens as their citizens in the UK will be offered if there is no deal. Spain, Cyprus and Portugal will offer exactly the same as the UK is offering in reverse. The Government has already said that EU citizens living in the UK would have similar rights to those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, so we can anticipate that even with no deal, not much should change for people already in country. The biggest changes will probably be for how long workers can stay and for how long family members will be able to move freely. For example, in France anyone intending to stay for more than a year will have to apply for residency (carte de séjour). And in Germany the deadline for applying to stay will be 30 June 2020. So, it is important not to be complacent. For anyone who is proposing to travel to work in the EU post-Brexit, things will get a lot more complicated. People will need to fulfil the specific conditions laid down by EU law and the law of the particular Member State concerning third country nationals in order to live and work there. Work permits and visas will almost certainly be required and countries might put caps on the number of people who will be accepted. Some Member States have said they will be lenient for a period but there will be no unified approach and so ABTA Members cannot be complacent. For roles such as travel reps and tour hosts, Members might find that national rules and qualifications add unexpected barriers to who can work where. Social security rights may change too. UK workers may also find themselves having to pay tax and social security in the EU country where they are working. It cannot be overstated how important it is to keep updated on developments and to prepare as far in advance as possible. Check the Government’s country by country advice and also check with the Member State itself and the European Commission website. Do this well in advance so you are well prepared. Remember also, that if you currently rely upon the Posted Workers Directive to send people to work abroad, that will no longer apply, unless you establish a business in an EU/EEA Member State and hire the relevant staff there. So, to summarise, even with a deal a lot of uncertainty will remain. ABTA Members should prepare well in advance: check now what the position will be if the UK ends up as a “third country” and consider preparing for that. Then you should be equipped to deal with all eventualities. To keep up to date with developments, it is worth checking some useful websites such as the Government’s main Brexit page: www.gov.uk/find-eu-exit-guidance-business and also the regular ABTA guidance notes. And who knows whether, in a year’s time, we will still be waiting for Brexit!

  • ABTA to hold three new health and safety training courses in 2020

    ABTA to hold three new health and safety training courses in 2020 Full Page image dhewitt@abta.co.uk Wed, 12/04/2019 - 14:13 ABTA is pleased to announce it will be hosting three brand new, comprehensive training days that will cover gas, fire and hurricane safety for the travel industry: ABTA’s Gas Safety Management Training - 21 January 2020 ABTA’s Principals of Fire Safety in Travel Course – 18 March 2020 ABTA’s Hurricane Safety Training – 29 April 2020 These practical courses will be run by technical experts in their fields and spaces will be limited.  ABTA’s Gas Safety Management Training – 21 January 2020 Chris Jones – Technical Safety Manager at CORGI Technical Services – will be running ABTA’s Gas Safety Management training day on 21 January 2020. Chris has over 35 years’ experience and is a qualified carbon monoxide incident investigator. He works closely with tour operators, managing fuel safety issues and risk assessing gas installations in holiday accommodation worldwide. This course will teach you how to improve and effectively manage fuel and energy safety in holiday resorts and accommodation the keep customers safe. Chris will walk through gas safety good practice and provide practical examples to improve current gas safety management processes and procedures. ABTA’s Principals of Fire Safety in Travel Course – 18 March 2020 Terry Auld – an independent fire and safety consultant – will be running ABTA’s Principals of Fire Safety in Travel Course on 18 March 2020. Terry has extensive experience working with the travel industry and is a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers as well as being retained by Preverisk, a leading provider of safety related services. This one-day course will provide practical advice on fire safety management in tourism accommodation. Terry will deliver training on the principles of fire safety and what to be aware of when auditing accommodation, as well as the practical steps that can be implemented to ensure best practice and safety of customers. ABTA’s Hurricane Safety Training – 29 April 2020 Norman Lynagh – a chartered meteorologist – will be running ABTA’s Hurricane Safety Training on 29 April 2020. Norman has more than 50 years’ experience and is was previously vice-president of the Royal Meteorological Society. Given the unpredictable nature of weather systems and the impact on travel accommodation and programmes, this course will provide the skills needed to understand what a hurricane is, why its formed, the warnings issued around the world and how to prepare for the potential impact on travel programs. This includes learning how to update and correctly inform staff and customers when emergencies occur.  ABTA’s new health and safety training courses are being held throughout 2020 in central London. Find out more and register your places online. Group booking discounts are available.

  • Inspiring travel in 2020

    Inspiring travel in 2020 Full Page image dhewitt@abta.co.uk Thu, 11/28/2019 - 09:36 On Monday ABTA launched its annual Travel Trends report at an impressive event at The Marylebone Hotel London, outlining the trends we predict will become more prevalent and the destinations to watch in 2020.  The event celebrated the diversity of destinations and the choice on offer. Thank you to the press, Members, Partners and tourist boards that attended, I hope the report will provide inspiration to you and your customers for next year. The report includes an outlook for the market as well as for overseas, domestic and cruise holidays for the year ahead and observations from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who we work closely with to help ensure trouble-free trips.  2020 is likely to bring with it continuing challenges but customers remain committed to travel and we should remind ourselves of the tremendous benefits that tourism can bring and promote these as ABTA does at every opportunity.  If you have not yet seen Travel Trends 2020 I recommend that you download it from the ABTA website here.Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive

  • Handling claims and litigation – Ten top tips

    Handling claims and litigation – Ten top tips Full Page image landrews@abta.co.uk Wed, 11/27/2019 - 13:34 This article was first written by Sarah Barnes, Senior Associate, Hill Dickinson LLP for ABTA's Travel Law Today issue eight, which can be download at abta.com/travellawtoday Litigation can be expensive and time consuming. This, coupled with the fact that court rules on costs mean you are unlikely to recover any defence costs even if you successfully defend a claim to trial, necessitates swift action on claims swiftly. You should have an appropriate insurance policy in place and should inform the insurers of any claims, but it is also useful to understand what may lie ahead if a claim is pursued. Here are ten top tips for handling claims and litigation.1 - Preparation and preservation You should have a document management system for collating and retaining documentation from a customer’s initial booking stage to the conclusion of the holiday and a clear procedure for investigating complaints/accidents. It is vital that all employees are aware of the procedure. Whilst it may not be clear that a customer who has made a complaint or sustained an accident will bring a claim, you should still investigate any complaints to ensure that relevant documentation is preserved. If a customer has an accident during their holiday and sustains a personal injury, this should be investigated straight away and handled on the basis that a claim could be presented in the future.2 - First steps When a claim is received, consider whether you need to notify your insurers. If the claim is of minimal value, you may not want to claim under your liability policy but you may need to notify your insurers in any event. Gather and evaluate all the relevant documents/evidence, including accident reports, witness statements and photographs to assist you in analysing the claim. Consider any relevant contracts to establish if they have any relevant clauses, which may strengthen your defence, as well as any contractual indemnities from third parties, which you can rely on.3 - Privilege Consider the difference between privileged and non-privileged documents. Privileged documents are those that do not need to be disclosed to the other party. You should therefore consider whether to involve lawyers at an early stage as this will ensure legal privilege is established.4 - Limitation If the claimant has waited a long time before bringing their claim, you may be able to make an application to the court to strike out the claim. This does happen! In simple terms (a) land-based negligence actions (personal injury) have a three-year limitation period from the date of the accident; (b) cruise ship negligence actions (personal injury) have a two-year limitation period from the date of disembarkation of the passenger, or two years from the date the passenger should have disembarked in the case of death during the cruise; and (c) contractual claims (eg incorrect room/issues with air conditioning etc.) have a six-year limitation period from the date of the breach. This is a complex area of law and you should always seek advice.5 - Liability When a claim is received, you need to determine whether (a) the complaint is genuine; and (b) if you are liable, for example, the claimant did indeed sustain a personal injury because of your, or your supplier’s negligence.6 - Value the claim If you consider that you are liable, assess what the claimant is seeking by way of compensation. Is the amount they are seeking appropriate and realistic? This analysis allows you to make an informed decision on whether to settle the claim to avoid incurring any further legal costs and to limit any potential damage to your reputation.7- Disclosure and expert evidence Seek at an early stage from the claimant relevant disclosure, such as medical records, and any expert evidence they seek to rely on so you can consider the claim further. If you are dealing with a personal injury claim, it is helpful to consider the claimant’s medical records so you can gather more information about the claimant’s alleged injury, and if they had any relevant pre-existing medical issues which could have an effect on their alleged injury. You should also consider whether to obtain early expert evidence of your own on liability and/or the value of the claim to counter the claimant’s or to assist in getting the claimant to withdraw their claim.8 - Costs Consider at an early stage how much court proceedings are likely to cost. This can only be an estimate as litigation can be unpredictable. Having an idea of your potential costs exposure assists in determining your strategy for the claim.9 - Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) If you decide to defend the claim then consider whether you should use ADR, which allows the dispute to be resolved without the costs and time of going to court. The courts encourage parties to consider whether ADR would be more suitable than litigation, and arbitration and mediation are frequently used to resolve disputes outside court. ADR is far cheaper than litigation and the arbitration courts are private. If you are a Member of ABTA you can ask your customers if they would like to use the ABTA arbitration scheme. ABTA also operates a conciliation service, which could be recommended to a customer.10 - Part 36 offers The earlier an offer to settle is made the more likely you are to save on costs. Therefore, as soon as you have investigated a claim, and if you consider you are at risk on liability, then you should consider making what is called a ‘Part 36 offer’. If you make a ‘Part 36 offer’ and the claimant fails to recover more than that amount at trial, then the claimant’s damages will be applied to pay your defence costs, but only up to the level of damages recovered by the claimant. The higher the ‘Part 36 offer’ the greater the costs protection you would be afforded.

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