The regulatory body has reiterated concern over Virgin Australia’s proposed 60 percent acquisition in Tiger Airways, claiming it is a complex case that needs thorough consideration before approval.Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said although the deal would create a direct competitor in the LCC market, there is still a lot to “weigh up”.”On the one hand, if the merger proceeds, Virgin will be in a much better position to take on Jetstar by using Tiger,” he told ABC News 24.”On the other hand, it will be taking out the third player in our aviation market to do that, so there’s a very complex equation there to weigh up.”The 60 percent acquisition into Tiger was announced in October last year alongside the carrier’s intentions to fully acquire regional airline, Skywest. ACCC head says there’s still much to weigh up. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
The new recruit has something to look forward to. Image: The Guardian UK Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP Source = e-Travel Blackboard: A.N There are few jobs that can be described as both someone’s best dream and worst nightmare, but heading up Ryanair’s communications department would no doubt make its way onto that list.With the airline’s current head of communications is moving onto greener pastures, rarely muzzled Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has dubbed the now empty position as “the worst job in Irish PR”.Mr O’Leary doesn’t shy away from exposing what the job will entail, when describing the position, by stating that “as a company that spends little on advertising, we rely on our communications department to generate loads of free PR as well as responding to the never-ending series of absurd claims and fanciful stories that surface on a daily basis.”We look forward to recruiting another brave soul to take on the worst job in Irish PR and look forward to grooming the next candidate to take over the high profile and incredibly overpaid position.”e-Travel Blackboard would like to say ‘good luck’ to the new head of communications and we look forward to seeing the free PR that is generated from the offices of Ryanair.
Carriers across the globe have decided to pull their Boeing 787 Dreamliners from service, following an emergency US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airworthiness directive issued earlier this week, a directive seconded by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).LOT Polish Airlines’ two Dreamliner aircraft will be re-checked by technical staff and remain grounded until further notice. Today’s flight to Beijing will be cancelled, while all of LOT’s other long-haul operations will be continued with 767 aircrafts, a statement from the carrier read. The news follows All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines grounding of their Dreamliner fleets, after experiencing safety issues.“Before further flight, operators of US-registered, Boeing 787 aircraft must demonstrate to the Federal Aviation Administration that the batteries are safe,” the FAA said in a statement.“The FAA will work alongside Boeing and airlines possessing Dreamliners to develop a corrective action plan to allow the fleet operations to resume as quickly and safely as possible.”United Airlines is currently the only US airline operating the 787.Qantas Airways was planning to replace 11 Airbus A330s in its Jetstar fleet with 15 Dreamliners, but has now trimmed its order to 14, following the release of the FAA’s directive, news.com.au reported. The Australian carrier insists the move is unrelated to the decree and is in response to projected slow-growth on Jetstar’s long-haul network. However, just yesterday Qantas said it was “confident that the current issues will be resolved before Jetstar receives its first aircraft as scheduled in the second half of this year,” without mention of cancelling orders.Qantas now plans to lease an additional five Boeing 717 aircraft and purchase three Bombardier Q400 aircraft for use on domestic servies, due to begin arriving from the second half of 2013.“It is a sensible investment in a part of the Qantas Group that is delivering strong returns,” Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T 787 Dreamliners grounded worldwide, Qantas cancels orders. Image: Boeing
Source = ETB News: Megan Tran Sydney has yet again been named as the world’s best festival and event city by the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) at the 59th Annual Convention and Expo in Missouri.President and chief executive officer of IFEA, Steven Schmader said the international panel of judges noted that among other world cities considered for the recognition, Sydney consistently stands out as a leader.“Uniquely, Sydney is the only city to have received the award every year since its inception, five years ago,” Mr Schmader said.Destination NSW chief executive officer Sandra Chipchase spoke about the agency’s long-term objectives.“Securing major events has been a priority for Destination NSW, the Government’s tourism and major events agency, as we work towards achieving our goal of doubling overnight visitor expenditure by 2020,” Ms Chipchase said.Since Destination NSW was created, the focus has been on developing the Sydney and NSW Events Calendar as the most compelling in Australia, with Sydney hosting 32.5 million visitors in the year ending June 2014.This award comes off the back of major event investments and wins secured by Destination NSW, including:The 2014 Opening Series of Major League BaseballBledisloe Cup ten year deal, where at least one Bledisloe Cup game will be played in Sydney each year from 2012 to 2021Vivid Sydney – The Southern Hemisphere’s largest festival of light, music and ideas, owned and managed by Destination NSWIn related news, Newcastle has also been recognised as an IFEA World Festival & Event City for the second time.“This recognition of Newcastle’s capability to deliver world class major events is an outstanding accolade that demonstrates the City’s continued efforts to establish Newcastle as one of the best events destinations in NSW,” Ms Chipchase said.
Emirates launch services to MashadEmirates, a global connector of people, places and economies today announced that it will launch a new service to Mashhad, Iran from 1 September 2015, marking its second gateway into the country. Emirates will operate to Mashhad with five weekly services utilising an Airbus A330-200 aircraft.Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Centre, said: “Mashhad’s addition to our global network will enable us to provide flexibility and choice for customers creating new inbound and outbound markets for tourism. We look forward to boosting traffic in and out of Mashhad and drawing in visitors from a host of points across our global network including cities in Europe, India, Pakistan, the GCC, as well as Far East destinations like Bangkok.”Mashhad is the second largest city in Iran and attracts more than 2 million foreign visitors per year. Due to its proximity to Central Asian countries, Mashhad hosts numerous international exhibitions each year and is the second most active exhibition centre after Tehran. Last year, Emirates carried more than half a million passengers to and from Iran. The country also has 17 UNESCO-registered world heritage sites and plans to boost its total Travel and Tourism contribution to GDP to USD $8.9 billion by 2024 (7.5% of GDP), according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).Emirates services to Mashhad will depart on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from Dubai as EK967 at 0410hrs arriving at Mashhad International Airport at 0700hrs*. The return flight, EK968 will depart Mashhad International Airport at 0845hrs* arriving in Dubai at 1045hrs. Services will be operated by a combination of a three class and two class configured A330-200.Timings have been scheduled to facilitate convenient onward connections via Dubai from points in the GCC, India and major cities like Bangkok in the Far East. Furthermore, the new flights introduce convenient connections from major European cities such as Stockholm and points across the UK, homes to some of the largest Iranian communities in the world.Travellers from the United States looking to stop in Dubai before embarking on their onwards journey to Mashhad can avail the Dubai Stop Over package, which includes stays at world-class hotels, sightseeing, among other activities.Travellers from Mashhad will be able to easily connect to popular leisure destinations such as Istanbul and Bangkok, as well as thriving business destinations in India, Europe and the Far East.Passengers travelling in the A330-200 First Class and Business Class cabins will be able to enjoy Emirates’ award-winning ice entertainment system with hundreds of channels of on-demand entertainment to choose from, including movies, television programmes, games, audio books and music from across the world. Economy Class passengers can also enjoy a great selection of entertainment including the latest international movies, television series, great music and games, in addition to savouring regionally inspired menus. As with all Emirates flights, passengers travelling on the Mashhad service will enjoy the generous Emirates baggage allowance of 30kg in Economy Class, 40 kg in Business Class and 50 kg in First Class.In addition to passenger operations, Emirates SkyCargo will offer 17 tonnes of cargo capacity each way between Dubai and Mashhad on the A330-200. Popular commodities are expected to be saffron, nuts, fruits, leather and personal effects. Fly EmiratesSource = Emirates
Evergreen’s river ships named “Best Value for Money”Evergreen’s river ships named “Best Value for Money”Evergreen Cruises & Tours’ sister company Emerald Waterways has been named “Best Value for Money” in the river cruise category for the third consecutive year by industry leader Cruise Critic in their annual 2017 Editors’ Picks Awards.The Cruise Critic Editors’ Picks Awards are chosen by the publication’s international team of editors, based on the lines and ships they feel best represent excellence in each category. Emerald Waterways has received an award from Cruise Critic every year since the line launched in 2014.The three-time win in the value category is reflective of the contemporary ship design, the high level of service which often draw comparisons to upscale boutique hotels, as well as the inclusions:Daily guided tours and shore excursionsAll meals with complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner; bottled water in cabins is replenished dailyAll gratuities, tipping, airport transfers, hotel and ship porterage, port charges and taxesInnovations like the pool which converts into a cinema in the eveningComplimentary bikes on board most Star-ShipsUnique “You’re Invited” cultural events and the “EmeraldACTIVE” program including guided hikes, guided bike tours and more“Our goal is to offer guests a river cruise experience that is both indulgent and affordable,” said Glen Moroney, founder and managing director of the Scenic Group, the parent company for Evergreen Cruises & Tours and Emerald Waterways. “We’re thrilled that our efforts to raise the standards on European river ships has been recognised by an important industry leader like Cruise Critic.”Emerald Waterways fleet of seven Star-Ships cruise the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, as well as Portugal’s Douro River and the Rhone and Saone Rivers in southern France. The river cruise itineraries in Europe range from eight to 15 days and are exclusively marketed in Australia by Evergreen Cruises & Tours.Onboard poolhttps://www.dropbox.com/s/r1bbqbeabiu3zr1/Evergreen%20Tours_Emerald%20Sky_OnBoard%20Pool_HR.jpg?dl=0Cruise in style for less with Evergreen Cruises & Tourshttps://www.dropbox.com/s/fxz1m8obi7xww32/Evergreen%20Tours_Emerald%20Sky_Koblenz_HR.jpg?dl=0The 2018 Europe River Cruising brochure can be viewed, downloaded or ordered from the www.evergreentours.com.au/brochures. For bookings, please contact your local travel agent, visit www.evergreentours.com.au or call 1300 383 747.Source = Evergreen Cruises & Tours
Etihad Airways Paris flights to go All-Airbus A380Etihad Airways Paris flights to go All-Airbus A380Effective 1 October, 2018, Etihad Airways will operate the Airbus A380 on its second daily service linking Abu Dhabi and Paris Charles de Gaulle. This will transform the airline’s operation between the UAE and French capitals into a year-round all-A380 service, joining London Heathrow as the second European destination enjoying daily multiple visits by Etihad’s award-winning double-decker aircraft.The introduction of the aircraft on the second daily service will provide business and leisure travellers between both cities with more options to experience Etihad’s latest award-winning cabins and products. The airline has operated the A380 between Abu Dhabi and Paris on one of its two daily flights since 1 July 2017, with the service performing very strongly since its introduction.Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer said, “Paris has always been a very special destination on the Etihad network and the number of visitors from France to Abu Dhabi, and vice versa has continued to show significant growth. The route has never been more in demand.“We have seized the opportunity to place our flagship Airbus A380 on our second daily flight, following the great reception the aircraft has received from our guests, and to ensure we offer product consistency on the route. This will also allow us to significantly increase the number of leisure and premium seats available, providing more options for those wanting to travel point-to-point between Abu Dhabi and Paris, two capitals now also united by Louvre museums, or to connect via our Abu Dhabi hub to points all over the Middle East, Asia and Australia.”Etihad Airways’ A380s feature a total capacity of 496 seats – up to two in The Residence, nine in First Class, 70 in Business Class and 415 in the Economy Class cabin. The aircraft replaces the currently deployed Boeing 777-300ER on the popular route.The Residence is an ultra-private, three-room suite featuring a living room with a 32” LCD monitor, bedroom with a double bed, separate en-suite shower room and dedicated personal butler.The nine First Apartments feature a flat-screen television, a chilled mini-bar, personal vanity unit, wardrobe and a fully equipped shower room.The 70 Business Studios on the upper deck offer direct aisle access, a fully flat bed and an increase of 20 per cent in personal space.The Lobby, a luxurious lounge located between the First Class and Business Class cabins, features two comfortable sofas and a staffed bar.The main deck features 415 Economy Smart Seats, which offer ergonomic fixed-wing headrests, lumbar support and an 11-inch personal, high-definition monitor screen to enjoy more than 750 hours of on-demand movies, TV programmes, games and live TV news and sports.Etihad Airways has enjoyed a codeshare partnership with Air France since October 2012. Under the agreement, Etihad Airways places its ‘EY’ code on Air France’s services from Paris Charles de Gaulle to nine European points. Air France places its ‘AF’ code to 11 Etihad destinations in Africa, the Indian Sub-Continent and Australia.Source = Etihad Airways
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Alitrip, a renowned Chinese Online Travel Agent have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost their online cooperation in promoting Thailand at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.The MoU, signed by Yuthasak Supasorn, the TAT Governor, and Li Shao Hua, Chief Executive Officer of Alitrip, is designed to raise the quality of Chinese tourism to Thailand and enable the TAT to promote FIT Market focusing on luxury travel, health & wellness, sports, etc. Both sides will cooperate to specifically target these groups of travellers, and undertake joint marketing campaigns to promote the packages.Supasorn, TAT Governor commented, “China is the biggest source of tourists to Thailand and this MOU marks a new milestone in the relationship between our nations. We will be able to jointly work on marketing and publicity and promote the best ways Chinese visitors can enjoy Thailand via one of the best-known web platforms in China PRC.”Alitrip is an online travel business and marketing platform under the Alibaba group. The online platform currently has over 10,000 sellers who provide airline tickets, hotel and holiday packages, hotel booking services, tour guides and visa application services. The site also has an online payment process and customer protection scheme.
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. Processing Service Providers 2014-02-14 Tory Barringer To help keep up with growing demand for private mortgage insurance, “”Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation””:http://www.mgic.com/ (MGIC) announced the addition of six veteran industry professionals to its sales team.[IMAGE]Bolstering MGIC’s ranks are Rob Deters, Christie Buff, Carl Benefield, Trey Waters, Laura Plunkett, and Andrew Amenson.A mortgage veteran of 24 years, Deters has worked with large national lenders and local credit unions, giving him broad experience in specific issues facing different types of lenders. He is MGIC’s account manager for Central Indiana, Northern Kentucky, and Ohio.Managing accounts in Western Florida is Buff, who has worked in housing for 27 years. Throughout her career, she has worked as a wholesale account executive, a loan producer, and a licensed real estate salesperson. [COLUMN_BREAK]Benefield brings 21 years of industry experience to his new role as account manager for Lousiana. Having started his career as a credit officer and loan officer, he eventually transitioned to wholesale account executive. He also has direct consumer lending experience as co-owner of a mortgage company.Waters has spent 11 years in the mortgage industry and has worked as a loan officer, a business development manager in mortgage technology, and a mortgage insurance account executive. He is now overseeing Arkansas and Oklahoma as account manager.Plunkett has taken over as account representative for Northern California and Nevada. She has extensive experience as an account executive, focusing on wholesale lending.Finally, Amenson was named account representative for Arizona and New Mexico. He has been with MGIC since 2003, serving most recently as a member of the inside sales team.””Rob, Christie, Carl, Trey, Laura and Andrew bring with them a depth of knowledge in the mortgage market,”” said Cheryl Webb, SVP of field operations for MGIC. “”Their well-rounded experience is invaluable for helping customers maximize the benefits of mortgage insurance at a time when mortgage finance is adjusting to both market and regulatory changes.”” in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing MGIC Announces Additions to Sales Team February 14, 2014 473 Views Share
Share Updated: Obama Announces Cuts to FHA Insurance Premiums in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News January 7, 2015 766 Views FHA Mortgage Insurance National Association of Realtors Urban Institute 2015-01-07 Tory Barringer Updated to include additional comments and confirmation.The White House announced Wednesday that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will reduce mortgage insurance premiums in an effort to boost U.S. homeownership.Bloomberg first reported Wednesday that FHA will cut its mortgage insurance premiums to 0.85 percent, a 0.5 percentage point reduction. President Obama was expected to make the announcement on Thursday in a scheduled speech on the housing market, but the White House made it official following initial media reports.FHA raised premiums in response to its declining mortgage insurance fund, which forced the agency to take a $1.7 billion bailout in 2013. Since then, it has rebuilt its capital, spurring some commentators to call for a cut.In a statement, the White House estimated that the reduction will translate to a $900 increase in annual mortgage payments for first-time buyers, with existing homebuyers expected to see similar savings.”This step is part of the President’s broader effort to expand responsible lending to creditworthy borrowers and increase access to sustainable rental housing for families not ready or wanting to buy a home,” the statement reads, adding that the Obama administration “will be taking additional steps to cut red tape and clarify lending standards” in the coming months.In a separate statement, HUD Secretary Julian Castro said the change will make homeownership more affordable for millions of Americans in the next three years.”By bringing our premiums down, we’re helping folks lift themselves up so they can open new doors of opportunity and strengthen their financial futures,” Castro said.The announcement is welcome news to many of housing’s biggest trade organizations, who have been vocal in the past few months about the consequences of higher premiums.In a statement to MReport, Chris Polychron, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), said the group is hopeful at the rumor, adding that current premiums “have priced too many potential home owners out of the market.” NAR estimates that in 2014 alone, nearly 234,000 creditworthy borrowers were priced out of the housing market because of high FHA premiums.”By lowering its fees, FHA will provide greater access to homeownership for historically underserved groups,” Polychron said. “I look forward to attending the speech … and sharing our views with President Obama.”Housing analysts have also joined the rising chorus of those urging for lower premiums. In a report put out before Wednesday’s announcement, researchers Laurie Goodman, Bing Bai, and Jun Zhu at the Urban Institute argue that FHA could still net at least $2 billion in 2015 with premiums as low as 0.9 percent annually, allowing the agency to continue rebuilding its insurance fund.”It makes sense to make up the shortfall more slowly, pricing new business more appropriately for the risk,” the group said. “Thus, rather than attempting to make $5.7–$6.8 billion with its 2015 book of business … it would serve the FHA better to lower the premiums and achieve the reserve at a more gradual pace.”Still, the move is bound to attract some measure of criticism, particularly among Republicans and analysts who say FHA is setting itself up for another disaster. In an interview with MReport in November, Edward Pinto, co-director and chief risk officer of the American Enterprise Institute’s International Center on Housing Risk, said it would be a bad course of action for the agency to bring premiums down, especially as it continues to engage in what he said are risky lending practices.”Since FHA’s financial future is still uncertain, now is not the time to reduce premiums. It has nowhere near the level of reserves to withstand even a minor recession,” Pinto said. “Given FHA’s current high risk practices, it would be imprudent to not stay the course; it should not lower premiums.”
Two prominent lawmakers are urging housing regulators to reject any proposed changes to their non-performing loan (NPL) sales programs that could potentially be harmful to taxpayers.Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, have written a letter to HUD Secretary Julián Castro and FHFA Director Mel Watt to voice concerns over potential changes that would “negatively impact the purpose of those programs and taxpayers alike.” The lawmakers said they believe such changes should be “swiftly and categorically rejected.”The Agency NPL sales programs have come under fire in recent months for selling the majority of the loans to private investors and equity firms. Critics believe that these buyers are more concerned with turning a profit than producing the best outcomes for the deeply delinquent mortgage loans. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Massachusetts) led a protest in Washington, D.C., in September, at which time they met with Acting FHA Chief Ed Golding and other federal housing regulators. In early February, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Center for Popular Democracy organized a nationwide protest over the sales of Agency NPLs to investors and speculators.Richard ShelbyJeb HensarlingProtestors believe that the loans should be sold to non-profits and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) which they believe will focus more on preventing foreclosure, stabilizing neighborhoods, and developing the communities.“Such calls are particularly inappropriate at a time when our country faces enormous fiscal challenges,” Hensarling and Shelby wrote, citing an annual budget deficit expected to exceed $500 billion for the sixth time in eight years and a total public debt of more than $19.5 trillion. “Advocates of amending your NPL sales programs to establish beneficial classes of bidders—based on subjective special interests and not those of U.S. taxpayers—would violate the solemn responsibility that HUD and FHFA have as public stewards to minimize taxpayer losses on government-backed mortgages by maximizing their recoveries.”“Such calls are particularly inappropriate at a time when our country faces enormous fiscal challenges.”Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Sen. Richard ShelbyHensarling and Shelby said campaigns that criticize the open and competitive NPL sales process are “based on a false notion that doing so is somehow contrary to the goal of ‘neighborhood stabilization.’” The lawmakers contend that maintaining private market participation is essential to that goal because “the best outcome for taxpayers is always the best outcome for communities.”The lawmakers cited a study released by the Urban Institute in January which stated that “The borrower outcomes are far better under the nonperforming loan sales than they would be without these programs.” They further pointed out a New York Times report from September 2015 which stated that private investors were more “creative and nimble” with banks with terms for delinquent borrowers. They also noted that in the FHFA’s recently released 2015 Scorecard Progress Report, the Agency said that “Sales of (NPLs) can improve outcomes for delinquent borrowers because the purchaser’s financial interest is having borrowers re-perform on their loans and in avoiding foreclosure where possible (and) achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.”Hensarling and Shelby encouraged both HUD and FHFA to continue to focus on private market participation “so that taxpayers and homeowners have the best chance at a successful future,” adding that “a government guarantee on a mortgage is not and cannot be a license to inflict losses on NPLs on taxpayers.”Click here to read the full text of Hensarling and Shelby’s letter. Share Delinquent Mortgage Loans FHFA HUD Jeb Hensarling Non-Performing Loan Sales Richard Shelby 2016-03-23 Seth Welborn Hensarling, Shelby to HUD and FHFA: Don’t Change a Thing in Government, Headlines, News March 23, 2016 474 Views
Neel Kashkari Discusses Bailouts, Dodd-Frank, and More in Government, Headlines, News On Tuesday, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability Neel Kashkari held a Q&A with members of the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota in Golden Valley. Kashkari was the first Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability under the Bush and Obama administrations. During the Q&A, Kashkari voiced his views on bank restructuring, and he also shared his personal experiences with trying to obtain a mortgage, and the frustration caused by the mortgage lending process. He stated that higher capital for big banks and relaxed policy on smaller banks may provide relief for banking institutions. “If we can make sure we’ve taken care of the biggest banks and the risk they pose, I think we could relax a lot of regulations on just about everybody else,” said Kashkari, “so that people are freer to run their businesses, to make the investment decisions they believe are right, we all then would have confidence that the biggest banks are safe, and not so micromanaged.”According to Kashari, the Troubled Asset Relief Program wasn’t about protecting the banks, it was about protecting the people from the inevitable fallout.“I was the guy who bailed out the banks.” he said. “We hated it. You know, we were a free market Republican administration. We wanted to let the markets work and let all these banks fail. The problem was if we allowed the financial system to collapse, instead of the great recession, we would have been looking at the great depression.”Kashkari spent some time during the Q&A discussing the recession. He remarked that in 2006, it was about “time for a financial crisis,” since it had been eight or 10 years since the last crisis. He also stated that a national housing bust was never on the radar, and that a “nationwide delusion that homes prices only go up” was the root cause of the financial crisis. The session concluded with a question on the struggle of community banks in the face of the big banks. Kashari also spoke about Dodd-Frank, which he stated increased the cost of compliance, which many small banks are incapable of handling. “We need to relax some of the regulations that are smothering community banks,” he said. “If we can address the big banks, and relax regulations smothering community banks, we can probably solve both problems at the same time.”Watch the entire Q&A with Neel Kashkari here. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneap Mortgages Neel Kashkari Trump Administration 2017-02-21 Staff Writer February 21, 2017 655 Views Share
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share Top 10 Cities to Save for Down Payments August 20, 2018 622 Views Down Payment Home Home Buyers HOUSING Millennials Zillow 2018-08-20 Radhika Ojha Saving up for a down payment is one of the biggest hurdles cited by first-time homebuyers when it comes to purchasing their abode. Now, according to a new study by Zillow Group’s RealEstate.com, it is easier to save for down payment in some cities than in others.The analysis, that identified 10 metros where first-time buyers could find it easier to save for their future home purchase, factored in the median household income among millennials and their estimated annual household savings to determine how long it would take to save for a 2o percent down payment on typical starter homes.It found that among all metros, it took buyers in Chicago around three years to save a 20 percent down payment on a home, making it the fastest among all the 35 metros analyzed in the study. Dallas, Detroit, and Baltimore were ranked second, third and fourth with saving for a home taking 3.5, 3.7 and 3.8 years respectively. At 3.9 years, homebuyers in Indiana could also look at being able to buy a home soon. Other cities on this list included Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Ohio; St. Louis, Montana; Austin, Texas; and Washington, D.C.The analysis said that since nearly half (44 percent) of buyers moved outside of their current city with their home purchase, “knowing which metros can help ease some of the down payment burdens can be valuable for first-time buyers considering moving.”Saving for down payments also depended a lot on how much a millennial household was able to save in each city. Giving an example, the analysis revealed that in Portland, Oregon, the estimated savings for a millennial household was $5,288, nearly half of that in Chicago, where average savings were $10,821. “Less savings combined with higher home values means a first-time buyer in Portland would need to save for more than 13 years to reach a 20 percent down payment on a starter home – the longest of the metros analyzed,” the report said.The study also found that it would take more than 10 years for a household to save up for a down payment in Denver, San Jose, and Riverside, California.
July 03 , 2019 Chile’s Agricultural and Livestock Service (SAG) has announced the launch of a free application for cell phones, which is able to quickly detect agricultural and forest pests.The platform will allow users to send a photo, video or audio of the plague that is affecting the crops, so that SAG specialists can analyze said information, respond to the request and, if necessary, take appropriate measures to control it.Horacio Bórquez, National Director of SAG told PortalFrutícola.com that this application responds to the permanent surveillance performed by the service for both Chilean and foreign pests.”We all have to take care of Chile, we all have to take care of our exports and our phytosanitary patrimony,” said Bórquez.”The information we receive will be part of the vigilance that the country has. Guatemalan mango exports to U.S. get underway in … You might also be interested in “And if there is a plague that is in quarantine, we can be in the place where it occurred no later than 72 hours, which allows us to make a quick attempt to isolate, diagnose and control the plague,” he explained.He also said that the creation of the platform responds to other factors that could have an impact on crops.These include the number of people who enter the country annually as well as climate changes.”The truth is that we have to be much more alert than we were a few years ago,” Bórquez added.The application, called “SAG Phytosanitary Reports” is available free of charge for devices with an Android operating system.It will allow users to enter complaints even without an internet connection, so that when the device can connect to a mobile network or Wifi it will be sent automatically.Meanwhile, this system seeks to modernize and facilitate the procedures under which a complaint or phytosanitary alert is made, encouraging citizens to participate in the care of agriculture pests or diseases. Chilean clementine season sees greater volumes of … Chile forecasts slight dip in citrus exports for 2 … Dalian Yidu chief wins visionary award at Global C …
Mexican avocados: WTO to mediate after Costa Rican … The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued a public safety alert after 62 people in eight states were infected with salmonella after eating fresh papaya imported from Mexico, said CBS News.Specifically, Federal health officials are warning consumers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island not to eat papaya from Mexico due to the risk of food poisoning.In addition to whole papayas, the CDC said these consumers should not eat fruit salads or other food that might contain the fruit.Between 65% and 80% of the papaya imported into the U.S. comes from Mexico, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Currently, safety officials and regulators are still trying to pinpoint exactly where in the country the tainted fruit came from.Public responses to the papaya-linked outbreakIn response to the public health concern, the news station noted some consumer safety watchdogs are suggesting the fruit be pulled from supermarket shelves.Additionally, they have asked the government to consider banning imports of papayas from Mexico until the source of the salmonella outbreak is identified. Mexican table grape exports to resume growth trend … July 02 , 2019 Felix Instruments launches “major upgrade” to avoc … Sarah Sorscher, director of regulatory affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in a statement that the current outbreak shows the FDA’s import protections “are clearly not working,”Instead of relaying on third-party testing, the agency should inspect the farms where the fruits are grown to ensure they meet food safety standards, she commented.If that’s not feasible, the FDA should consider banning imports of the fruit, she added.The FDA did not immediately respond to Sorcher’s comments.A months-long outbreakThe illnesses started in January and continued through June 8, with most occurring since April, said the CDC.Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps between 12 and 72 hours after eating contaminated food, and are ill between four days and a week.The bacteria is most prevalent in the summer, when warmer weather and unrefrigerated foods create an ideal environment for salmonella to grow.Potentially tainted papayas were sold at select Walmart and Sam’s Club stores, said CBS News.Read the full story here You might also be interested in Grapes in Charts: California sees low prices after …
What’s it really like to be an aerialist on the world’s largest cruise ship?On Harmony of the Seas, incredible feats are performed by soaring aerialists, tight-rope walkers and agile divers during spectacular shows in the AquaTheater. But behind the scenes there is an entire team of specialists that make it all run seamlessly – from rigging specialists to certified scuba divers, and intricate equipment like hydraulic lifts and underwater trap doors. AquaTheaterHarmony of the SeasRoyal Caribbean
A group of TravelManagers Personal Travel Managers (PTAs) recently spent a day with representatives from six boutique, small ship and river cruise suppliers, including Wild Earth Travel, Buffalo Tours and Uniworld, at Rydges World Square in Sydney. Participating suppliers were each allocated a 45-minute slot to update the 27 attendees on latest product offerings as part of the TravelManagers training day. L-R: Julianne Gazal-Rizk, Katia Mora, and Chantel AddisonExecutive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says product training days are organised by TravelManagers’ seven state-based Business Partnership Managers (BPMs), and each training day has a different focus, with plans already under way for USA & Canada, Luxury Ocean Cruises and Groups days.“It’s important that our PTMs are able to get together in a format that not only enhances their product knowledge, which helps them to provide a better service to their clients, but also that we nurture the camaraderie and the practice of mutual help and respect that is an important part of TravelManagers’ culture.”L-R: Lyn Tyson, Maria Furnari, Danielle Goncalves, Beverly Burt, Alma Araullo, Sue Kuti and Teresa ReyesLyn Tyson, representative for Pymble, NSW, said the latest training day was ‘excellent’. “The number of suppliers and the length of presentation were both spot on,” Tyson said, adding that she finished the day with an increased awareness of unique cruising opportunities that she is looking forward to sharing with her clients.L-R: ) Kerrie Baguley, Janice Lee, Diane Craig, Mamita Mishra, Kelly Chapman, Lana Kanchik agentstrainingTravelManagers
Top Stories At the first of two Arizona Cardinals minicamp practicesWednesday, John Skelton filled the role of first-teamquarterback.Tuesday, it was Kevin Kolb running with the ones.The alternating between the two quarterbacks sharing firstteam reps has been a constant throughout the team’s OTAsand minicamp practices.The competition will continue throughout training campnext month in Flagstaff as the Cardinals get ready fortheir season opener September 7 against Seattle atUniversity of Phoenix Stadium. And while the quarterback competition will certainly bethe main focus surrounding the team for the next two and ahalf months, head coach Ken Whisenhunt wishes it didn’thave to be.“If it was up to me, I would have preferred that we had aquarterback resolution two years ago,” Whisenhunt saidWednesday. “But obviously that hasn’t happened.”But the desire to have a solution won’t press the sixth-year head coach into making a decision until he’s ready toname a starter.“When it happens, it happens,” he said. “The guys areworking hard and that’s all you can ask of them. They’regetting better at the things we’re asking them to do.They’re going to have to go through different tests — thenext stage is going to be being able to do that intraining camp and then being able to do that in thepreseason games.”Despite the uncertainty concerning the identity of thequarterback that will be the opening day starter,Whisenhunt is okay with either Kolb and Skeltonpotentiallyfilling that role.“I feel comfortable with the fact that we have guys thatcan do that, and more of a known quantity maybe than we’vehad before. “You’ve got to let this competition play out honestly,it’s got to be a fair competition. I think our playersunderstand that, and I’m excited to see how it goes.”Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to thisreport – / 21 D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation
Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Week 7 Award WinnersOffensive Player of the Week: Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis – Gurley has become the biggest single factor in the Rams’ offense and he’s arguably been the league’s best back over the last four weeks.Honorable mention: Arizona RB Chris Johnson, Arizona QB Carson Palmer, Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes and Chris Johnson ran for 122 yards and a score for Arizona.Safety Tony Jefferson sealed the game with an interception of Baltimore’s Joe Flacco in the end zone with six seconds left and the Ravens left Glendale with their second three-game losing streak of the season.John Harbaugh complained after the game that Baltimore’s phone communication stopped working on the final drive.Arizona Money Quote: “I love them. I love Monday night. Everyone around the world is watching. I like playing night games. It is a different energy for not just me, but the whole team, it is a different energy when you play on Monday night.” — Cardinals RB Chris JohnsonStat of the Game: Johnson became the first Cardinals running back to have three 100-yard games in a season since Edgerrin James in 2007.Big bounce back win. Our great crowd showed everyone watching #MNF what home field advantage looks like! We felt your energy all 4 quarters!— Bruce Arians (@BruceArians) October 27, 2015 He’s been worth the wait.The rookie ran for 128 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Rams romped over the Cleveland Browns at the Edward Jones Dome.Cleveland had closed the gap to 10-6 early in the third quarter after a Travis Coons field goal, but that’s when Gurley took over. He capped an 88-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring plunge late in the third and then capped the scoring in the fourth with a 16-yard touchdown run.In his last three games, Gurley has run for 433 yards on 68 carries (6.4 yards per attempt).St. Louis Money Quote: “Chris Johnson was outstanding early and Eddie George was outstanding early. I don’t recall them having the numbers after three full games like Todd has.” — St. Louis head coach Jeff Fisher, comparing Gurley to some other great running backs he’s worked with.Stat of the Game: Nick Foles threw for 163 yards in the win, marking the 18th straight game St. Louis has had under 300 yards passing.Go inside the #Rams locker room to hear Coach Fisher’s postgame speech! #MobSquad #YearOfTheRamhttps://t.co/EKxL0zxdD1— St. Louis Rams (@STLouisRams) October 26, 2015 3-41541282-12-33-31-12-10-1 Comments Share St. Louis Rams 24, Cleveland Browns 6Some around the league scoffed when the Rams took Georgia running back Todd Gurley with the 10th overall selection in the 2015 draft. Gurley was coming off a severely injured knee and wouldn’t be ready for the beginning of the season. 5-22291333-12-14-11-12-01-1 3-31081192-11-22-22-00-11-1 TeamOverallPFPAHomeAwayConf.Div.NFC NorthAFC North Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Defensive Player of the Week: Michael Bennett, DE, Seattle – Bennett terrorized San Francisco’s offensive line and Colin Kaepernick by racking up 3.5 sacks on Thursday night. He had just three sacks in Seattle’s first six games.Honorable mention: Arizona S Tony Jefferson, St. Louis S Mark Barron, St. Louis S Rodney McLeod, San Francisco LB Michael Wilhoite, San Francisco LB Aaron Lynch, Arizona S Tyrann MathieuSpecial Teams Player of the Week: Justin Bethel, Arizona – Bethel’s tackle and strip of Baltimore’s Jeremy Ross on a punt return led to a Cardinals’ touchdown that gave them a 14-10 lead late in the second quarter.Honorable mention: Seattle K Steven Hauschka Seattle held the 49ers to just 142 total yards in beating San Francisco for the fourth straight time. In those four wins, the Seahawks have outscored San Francisco 79-30.Kaepernick’s struggles against his division foe continued — he went 13-of-24 for 124 yards and posted a QB rating of 68.8. Kaepernick also failed to record any rushing yardage in the game — the first time that’s happened in his 46 career starts.Seattle Money Quote: “It felt like a really normal Seahawk night tonight.” — Seattle head coach Pete CarrollSan Francisco Money Quote: “Something ain’t right in SF.” — 49ers receiver Kasim Osgood, on Twitter after the game.Stat of the Game: Lynch topped 100 yards in a game for the first time this season, and the first time since Seattle’s Super Bowl loss to New England last February.”A lot of guys can get 100 yards, but they don’t punish the team. He punishes the team” @mosesbread72 on @MoneyLynch https://t.co/2vVLya4ENg— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) October 24, 2015 2-51031802-10-41-40-21-11-1 Arizona Cardinals 26, Baltimore Ravens 18It wasn’t a dominating effort, but a solid win for the Cardinals, who bounced back from a disappointing Week 6 loss at Pittsburgh. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Week 7 in the NFC West started with a Thursday night division game between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers and ended Monday night with the Arizona Cardinals hosting the Baltimore Ravens in Glendale.After the smoke had cleared, three division teams tasted victory in Week 7.Here’s a closer look at what went down in the NFC West this week.Seattle Seahawks 20, San Francisco 49ers 3For the first time in a long time, the Seahawks looked like the Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch ran the ball nine times on Seattle’s opening drive and finished with 122 yards and a touchdown while the Seahawks defense sacked Colin Kaepernick six times and held the 49ers out of the end zone in a convincing 17-point win.
(Twitter photo/@ESPNNFL) In Week 1, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert got a good idea of how the team’s tradition for the loser of the bucket challenge works.Gabbert dressed up like a bear, looking all smiles on the way into the plane. 2 Comments Share The team’s starting quarterback Carson Palmer was the second one to face the wrath of the punishment in Week 2, sporting a colorful onesie with rainbows and clouds. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling This week’s opponent: ColtsThis week’s Bucket Challenge outfit: 🦄 pic.twitter.com/kO8rRxP9VJ— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 16, 2017Palmer was the loser once again in Week 3, and with it being the first home game of the season and on Monday Night Football, it probably wasn’t the best week to lose.It was the norm for Palmer from the waist up, but tied around that waist was a blown up unicorn. The look on Palmer’s face says it all. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Carson Palmer arriving to MNF like he lost his fantasy football league 😂 pic.twitter.com/jEJb6WSluJ— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) September 25, 2017 Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact