Argentina sees grains windfall from US drought

first_img New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Comments   Share   More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debatescenter_img Associated PressBUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) – America’s loss is Argentina’s gain. Record soy prices due to a punishing drought in the U.S. heartland are expected to create billions of dollars in new revenue for the South American country, which is the world’s third-largest soy producer behind the U.S. and Brazil.Prices for soybeans for August delivery gained 50.25 cents, or 3 percent, to end at $17.3375 a bushel. Corn also beat its all-time high of a year ago, with September deliveries rising 12.75 cents to finish at $8.0775 per bushel. September wheat also rose a sharp 31.75 cents to close at $9.35 per bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, its highest prices since 2008. Sponsored Stories A U.S. drought has reduced supplies of the very grains Argentina grows in abundance _ mostly to China, which buys 80 percent of Argentina’s soy. Global grain supplies also are under pressure from lowered estimates in Russia and an “underperforming Indian monsoon” season, Barclays Capital said in its commodities briefing on Thursday. Meanwhile, Chinese demand remains strong, so supplies will likely remain tight until the next South American harvest, the report said.Argentine soy producers still have nearly a third of their last harvest in silos and expect windfall profits now that they can sell at record highs. Since Argentina’s latest budget was based on soy selling at $440 a ton, the government also expects major new revenues from its 35-percent take in export taxes.Rural Society President Hugo Biolcati accused the government Thursday of strangling the country’s booming farm sector.“These huge taxes add up to a suffocating burden on farming, with clearly confiscatory effects, forcing this resource to subsidize unbalanced national, provincial and municipal budgets,” Biolcati complained at the industry’s annual trade fair.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories The difference between men and women when it comes to painlast_img read more

After sons death Biden balances grief with public duties

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is facing the daunting decision of how and when to re-enter public life after burying his 46-year-old son, Beau Biden, whose death has put a somber pause on the vice president’s usually frenetic schedule.As Biden mourns with his family in Delaware, Obama administration officials describe the vice president’s office as essentially in a holding pattern, with aides working to give Biden complete flexibility to grieve as he sees fit. Although Biden is being kept up to date and has participated in some official activities, aides used phrases like “uncharted path” and “touch and go” to describe the situation, in which the vice president is determining one day at a time how best to proceed. Still, many previously scheduled commitments are being kept on Biden’s schedule even amid uncertainty about whether he’ll ultimately attend.A Friday meeting with visiting Iraqi Parliamentary Speaker Salim al-Jabouri is still on the books. Biden could also travel Saturday to Mobile, Alabama, for the christening ceremony of the USS Gabrielle Giffords, in which Biden’s wife, Jill, has an honorary role.After that, it’s unclear how many of his public duties Biden will choose to resume in the short term, said the officials, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss Biden’s plans by name.Dr. Katherine Shear, a psychiatrist and grief expert at Columbia University, said grief is often a lifelong process for those who lose a child. She said the grief process progresses best when individuals alternate between confronting the pain head-on and seeking respite through distractions, such as work.“We naturally do that, and it’s very important that we do it. How we do it is a totally other thing. That’s where it becomes very personal,” Shear said.Other politicians confronting similar tragedies have adopted differing approaches to that personal decision. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Sponsored Stories Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies When President Abraham Lincoln’s 11-year-old son, Willie, died while Lincoln was in office, he waited before fully resuming his official duties, although he couldn’t avoid them completely, said Eric Foner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who wrote several books about Lincoln. President John F. Kennedy, whose newborn son Patrick died while he was president, seemed intent on keeping busy, returning to the White House almost immediately to confer with Senate leaders about a critical vote on a test ban treaty.Aides who have worked with Biden say he’s spoken of a lesson he learned in 1972 after the car accident that took his wife and daughter: You’ve got to keep going. Some said it was possible or even likely that Biden will apply that truism once again, throwing himself with vigor into his duties.Looming in the background is another decision that Biden must make: whether to run for president in 2016. Prior to his son’s death, Biden had said he would make a decision by the end of summer, although most Democratic operatives have long since assumed he’s not running.Draft Biden 2016, a super PAC formed earlier this year to recruit Biden, has put most of its activities on hold out of respect for the vice president. But the group’s founder, William Pierce, said not to count Biden out. FILE – In this June 6, 2015 file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, accompanied by his family, holds his hand over his heart as he watches an honor guard carry a casket containing the remains of his son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, into St. Anthony of Padua Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del. for funeral services. Biden faces the daunting decision of how and when to re-enter public life after burying his 46-year-old son. On Wednesday, Biden returns to Washington for lunch with the president and a meeting with the Ukrainian leader, but he’ll head straight back to Wilmington, evoking memories of the nightly trips home that Biden took after he lost his first child decades ago at the start of his political careerStanding alongside the vice president are Beau’s widow Hallie Biden, left, and daughter, Natalie. Beau Biden died of brain cancer May 30 at age 46. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Only a handful of times in U.S. history has a president or vice president lost a child while in office. Yet for Biden, the hardship is not completely unfamiliar.After spending most of the last 11 days in Delaware, Biden returned to the White House on Wednesday for lunch with President Barack Obama and a meeting with the Ukrainian prime minister. Yet Biden headed straight back to Wilmington in the evening, evoking memories of his nightly train trips home after he lost his wife and baby daughter decades ago at the dawn of his political career.He planned to stay in Delaware on Thursday, with no public events on his schedule.“This will continue to be a difficult time for the Biden family, and for all of those of us who care deeply for the vice president and his family,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, adding that it would surprise no one that Biden was deeply dedicated to his job. “We obviously are pleased that he was able to return today and be focused again on the many difficult policy challenges that he has assumed in his role.”The vice president’s office declined to comment for this report.But officials familiar with Biden’s plans said he has not conveyed to staff when he plans to return to a normal schedule. They described a communal sense of mourning at the White House, where staffers are close to the vice president and many knew his son personally. They said that other top officials have eagerly stepped up to attend meetings or perform ceremonial functions normally left to Biden in an attempt to free the vice president to be with his family. “He’s a man who has already overcome a lot of adversity. Now his oldest son has been taken away as well,” Pierce said. “In my head, I can see him running again, because this is a man who sees a challenge in front of him but overcomes it.”___Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor in Washington and Phillip Lucas in Atlanta contributed to this report.___Reach Josh Lederman on Twitter at © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Australian charged after police say he planned to fight IS

first_img Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall SYDNEY (AP) — An Australian man appeared in court Tuesday on terror charges after police say he tried to join Kurdish-aligned forces battling the Islamic State group in Iraq.Jamie Williams, 28, was stopped by customs agents as he was boarding a flight to Qatar at Melbourne airport in December after military-style equipment and clothing were found in his luggage, the Australian Federal Police and Immigration Department said in a statement. He was charged with making preparations for incursions into a foreign country for the purpose of engaging in hostile activities. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies In Williams’ case, police say he was planning to fight alongside Kurds who are battling to win back territory that Islamic State militants have seized. Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said traveling to Syria and Iraq to support either side of the conflict is illegal.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Williams did not apply for bail in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Tuesday, and was remanded to custody until his next court appearance in October. If convicted, he faces a maximum punishment of life in prison.Outside court, his lawyer Rob Stary said Williams would apply for bail soon. He declined to comment further.Williams’ court appearance comes one day after an Australian nurse appeared in the same court on a charge of supporting a terrorist group. Adam Brookman, 39, voluntarily returned to Australia from Turkey on Friday after he says he was forced by Islamic State militants to work as a medic in Syria.The Islamic State group has been particularly effective at recruiting followers in Australia. The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence estimates that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria, a relatively high number given Australia’s population of just 24 million.In a bid to stem the flow of foreign fighters heading to the Middle East, Australia made it a criminal offense for its citizens to travel to certain parts of Iraq and Syria that are held by Islamic State movement fighters. The government has also canceled the passports of people it believes are planning to join the fight in the Middle East.last_img read more

Bringing Adelaide closer to Vietnam

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Adelaide Airport Ltd Managing Director, Phil Baker announced last week travel agency Bunnik Tours and Vietnam Airlines will host the first ever non stop flights between Adelaide and Saigon in November and December. Mr Baker said Vietnam Airlines would be using their new Airbus A330-200 for the two return services departing from Adelaide on 21 November and 5 December. “We see the attraction of charter flights such as this as important step in our efforts to attract more international airlines and flights to Adelaide.”“Vietnam, along with other South East Asian countries provided an excellent opportunity to show Vietnam Airlines what the airport and the city of Adelaide had to offer.”last_img read more

Daydream scoops Whitsundays accommodation award

first_imgSource = Daydream Island Daydream Island Resort and Spa is celebrating after taking out the Best Deluxe Accommodation category of the 2012 Whitsunday Tourism Awards.The resort, located in the heart of the spectacular Whitsunday Islands, was announced as the winner during a gala ceremony on Hamilton Island on Saturday.The island’s Living Reef – one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons – was also a finalist in the Tourism Attraction category, which it won in 2011 and 2010.”Daydream Island has recorded a significant increase in occupancy over the past 12 months and guests are being delighted with their tropical holiday getaway,” Daydream Island CEO Phil Casey said.”Having been in the Tourism Whitsundays ‘Hall of Fame’ for Best Deluxe Accommodation in 2008-9 after winning the award for three consecutive years prior to that, we are thrilled to win this award again in 2012. This is proof of our commitment to delivering the best accommodation experience possible for our guests.””Daydream Island has never looked better. We’ve worked hard to enhance the guest experience over the past 12 months with the completion of a soft refurbishment as well as an upgrade to the Living Reef, new weekly health programs at our Rejuvenation Spa and exciting new additions to our activities.”Mr Casey said Daydream’s domestic leisure market grew strongly as did business from both conferences and weddings, improving the island’s operational efficiency.”The island’s management team have done a fantastic job in increasing operational efficiency and implementing a diverse marketing program which has involved utilising different marketing channels and appealing to both the core leisure and niche markets like weddings and conferencing,” he said.”I’d like to thank our staff for their dedication to making Daydream Island one of best getaways in Queensland and of course our guests, who continually inspire us to deliver the best experiences in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.”Daydream Island will now contest the state award in the Deluxe Accommodation category at the Queensland Tourism Awards in November.Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Daydream Island Resort and Spa is the ultimate tropical getaway boasting turquoise waters, lush rainforest and an unspoilt fringing coral reef.The resort features 296 rooms and suites and one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons known as the Living Reef. Here, guests can feed de-barbed stingrays and cute baby sharks, walk among curious baby stingrays, hold a sea star and learn about the marine eco-system from Daydream’s resident marine biologists.Daydream Island also boasts the Rejuvenation Spa – a world-class spa facility that offers a comprehensive selection of health and beauty treatments – as well as a range of free activities including kayaking, an open air cinema, rainforest walks, sailing, beach volleyball and mini golf.last_img read more

Rex voted Best Regional Airline

first_imgRegional Express (Rex) has been voted in the Australian Traveller People’s Choice Awards as the Best Australian Regional Airline for the third time.Rex has had success in this category before, winning it in 2011 and 2013, and finishing as a finalist in 2012.The Australian Traveller Peoples’ Choice Awards Survey saw over 2500 readers nominate their favourite Australian travel experiences.At the awards ceremony held last night in Sydney, Rex was chosen as the Best Australian Regional Airline ahead of four other finalists.A statement from The Australian Traveller website said that the category is usually fought out between QantasLink and Rex.“Traditionally, our two regional mainstays, QantasLink and Rex fight it out for this title, but this year Rex has a clean victory by a huge 44 per cent. Australia’s largest independent airline has got to be happy with that.”Rex chief operating officer Neville Howell, said the airline was delighted to receive the award for yet another year.“We are honoured to be Australia’s undisputed favourite regional airline. This outcome is a reflection of Rex’s commitment to regional travellers in providing the most reliable and safest air travel with affordable fares and heartfelt country hospitality,” Mr Howell said.Regional Express (Rex) is Australia’s largest independent regional airline operating a fleet of more than 40 Saab 340 aircraft on some 1,300 weekly flights to 52 destinations throughout New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Queensland.The Rex Group comprises Regional Express, air freight and charter operator Pel-Air Aviation and Dubbo-based regional airline Air Link, as well as the pilot academy Australian Airline Pilot Academy.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

IHG partners with Water Footprint Network

first_imgInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has today announced the appointment of global water-use experts, the Water Footprint Network, to develop a worldwide water stewardship programme for IHG.As part of the programme, IHG and the Water Footprint Network will develop a deep understanding of IHG’s water usage at a local level, applying best practice techniques and behaviours to manage and reduce its water footprint.The partnership will build on the strong progress IHG is already making to reduce water consumption per occupied room in water-stressed areas, one of the company’s 2013-2017 Corporate Responsibility targets.Paul Snyder, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility – Environmental Sustainability, IHG, commented: “We are delighted to add the Water Footprint Network’s expertise to the great work we’re doing towards achieving our reduction targets around water consumption.“IHG has a presence in nearly 100 countries, so ensuring we are good water stewards locally generates significant environmental and economic benefits for both IHG and the communities in which we operate.”Ruth Mathews, Executive Director, Water Footprint Network, commented: “We are very much looking forward to partnering with IHG to develop its global water stewardship programme.“IHG’s global scale gives us an opportunity to make both a broad and positive impact, as well as to inspire the millions of people and guests that work and stay in IHG’s hotels.”IHG helps its hotels to manage freshwater usage through the company’s online environmental sustainability tool, IHG Green Engage™ system.In addition to water, the system gives hotels the ability to track how much carbon, and energy they are using, as well as to assess how waste is managed.IHG’s global estate of more than 4,900 hotels is enrolled, giving them access to more than 200 specific actions – or ‘Green Solutions’ – designed to reduce hotels’ environmental impact.There are nearly 30 Green Solutions devoted solely to water. These include the ability to track consumption on a monthly basis, as well as guidance on more specific water-saving solutions such as metering, rainwater harvesting, and the installation of devices such as low-flow taps and showerheads.Such solutions helped IHG drive a 4.2% reduction* in water use per occupied room in water-stressed areas to the end of 2014.Source = InterContinental Hotels Grouplast_img read more

Travel Counsellors see New Zealands food wine and cultural scene in

first_imgSource = Travel Counsellors – Australia Travel Counsellors see New Zealand’s food, wine and cultural scene in action Rebecca R, Heidi, Emma, Bronwyn, Julie, Kris, Rebecca M at the chocolate factoryTravel Counsellors see New Zealand’s food, wine and cultural scene in actionLast month, a group of Travel Counsellors travelled to New Zealand to be schooled on the phenomenal range of opportunities to relax, dine, pursue adventure and soak up culture in New Zealand’s Wellington and Marlborough regions.Travelling last month, Rebecca Munnings, Emma Cammarata, Kris Higgins, Bronwyn Weir, Heidi Smithers, Cheryl Andrews, Julie Moore, Rebecca Russell and Dean Hickford all travelled to the Land of the Long White Cloud to experience different sides of New Zealand on two separate itineraries that showcased the very best of the regions that are so popular with Australian travellers of all ages.A great viewRebecca R, Heidi, Emma, Bronwyn, Julie, Kris, Rebecca M at the chocolate factoryIn stunning Marlborough, the group got to visit iconic cellar doors to sample drops of cool climate pinot noir and sauvignon blanc, feast on local fresh seafood, try handmade chocolates, stay in deluxe accommodation and cruise the famous Marlborough Sounds.“I was really impressed with the Marlborough Region. It’s the perfect getaway for food and wine lovers because it’s got such a high concentration of top quality food and wine producers in a relatively small area. It’s for this reason I’ll be recommending it to my clients who love hitting the open road on self-drive holidays or organised group tours,” says Heidi Smithers of Queensland.In Wellington, the group got to discover the thriving arts and dining culture that the city is fast becoming known for. A visit to a film studio revealed the talent behind New Zealand’s film production industry, while a food tour led by a local guide helped to uncover the city’s best bars, restaurants and cafes to find gourmet produce, craft brews and wine. A trip across Cook Strait on the Interislander Ferry also demonstrated why it’s known as one of the most beautiful ferry rides in the world.Emma meeting teh middle earth locals“Wellington is such a fun, friendly city to visit. I was blown away by the food and wine offering in Wellington, as well as the opportunities to learn about history and culture at galleries and museums. Apart from offering incredible views, the ferry between the North and South Island is so convenient, I will be urging my clients to make use of it when in New Zealand,” says Julie Moore of Victoria.Fred van Eijk, Acting Managing Director Travel Counsellors Australia considers educational trips such as these as an invaluable experience for travel agents. “New Zealand is a key destination for Australian travellers so I am pleased to see Travel Counsellors spending time in Wellington and Marlborough. Nothing beats experiencing a place for yourself and seeing it with your own eyes. I am sure this educational trip will put them in the best position to sell New Zealand as a destination of choice.”About Travel CounsellorsTravel Counsellors Australia was established in 2007 and currently has nearly 150 Travel Counsellors. Our head office in Australia is in Melbourne. Travel Counsellors Australia is accredited with ATAS. Travel Counsellors is the world’s largest home-based travel company. Founded in 1994 it currently has 1,646 travel consultants who work from home with the support of over 350 staff at the company’s UK headquarters and overseas offices. The company operates in Australia, UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, South Africa, UAE and Belgium. become a Travel Counsellor todaylast_img read more

Qatar Airways Becomes Official Airline of the MCKAYSON

first_imgQatar Airways Becomes Official Airline of the MCKAYSONQatar Airways Becomes Official Airline of the MCKAYSONQatar Airways, a supporter of premier sporting events around the globe, has signed on to become the Official Airline for three editions of the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open. The event features a USD $1.3 million prize purse and will mark the first ever LPGA Tour event to take place in New Zealand.As part of this sponsorship, Qatar Airways will have extensive marketing and branding rights at the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open, with millions of overseas spectators expected to tune in from 28 September to 1 October 2017, when the Open takes place at the spectacular Windross Farm golf course in Ardmore, south of the Auckland central business district.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is proud to lend our support to the historic MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open. As a major global sporting partner, we see sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of our own brand message – Going Places Together. It has been eight months since Qatar Airways began operating the world’s longest flight from Auckland, and we have been welcomed with open arms by Kiwi travellers. The MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open is our opportunity to support the city of Auckland as the world’s golfing finest come to play.”Tournament Director of the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open, Mr. Michael Goldstein, said: “It was serendipitous timing that Qatar Airways, a passionate sponsor of global sporting events, launched in New Zealand in the year of the first-ever LPGA Tour event in New Zealand. We are thrilled to partner with Qatar Airways as our Official Airline of the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open, and hope that many of their passengers experience seeing the world’s best in our backyard.”Today’s announcement builds on Qatar Airways’ sponsorship strategy of supporting a range of exciting international and local initiatives dedicated to enriching the global community that it serves. Besides the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open, Qatar Airways is a proud partner of the Sydney Swans in Australia and the Formula E electric car races in Paris and New York, among others. Qatar Airways is also the official FIFA partner of many top-level sporting events, including the FIFA 2018 and 2022 World Cups to be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.Qatar Airways is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world, with 200 aircraft flying to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.The airline has launched many exciting new destinations in 2017, including Nice, France; Dublin, Republic of Ireland and Kyiv, Ukraine, among others. Cities including Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina; Chiang Mai, Thailand and Canberra, Australia, are just some of the destinations that will soon join the airline’s extensive global network, providing even more leisure and business travel options for passengers.Source = Qatar Airwayslast_img read more

Belize Tourism Board hosts its annual Tourism Industry Conference

first_imgThe Belize Tourism Board hosted its annual Tourism Industry Conference in the month of August. The venue was in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, at Fido’s Courtyard.The purpose of the event was to update industry partners about the tourism accomplishments over the past year in the ‘Year in Review’, and inform on strategies implemented for the ‘Year Forward’. This year’s event had a slight twist from the usual setting, as there were two informative sessions administered by local and international panellists.The topics and panellists were:1. a) Service Excellence: A Silent Seller – focused on hospitality and customer service> Importance in the Caribbean- Dr Emil Lee- President of Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association> Importance of Service Excellence in Wedding Destination- Jacqueline Johnson- President of Global Bridal Group> Importance of Training in Service Excellence – Carlos Cuellar Chair of Tourism & Business Studies, Stann Creek Ecumenical CollegeModerator – Javier Gutierrez– Manager of Banyan Bay and Hospitality trainer1. b) Digital Marketing- focused on branding, social media, and online mediums of marketing> How to bridge offline and online media: QR Codes- Tanya Mc Nab from Mc Nab Designs> Digital Domination: A precursor on working the cursor for your brand- David Fiedler- Olson International> Importance of Digital Marketing to Cruise Passengers- Allison Smith Media and Marketing Manager for Norwegian Cruise LineModerator – Roberto Harrison Marketing Manager Chaa Creelast_img read more

MBA Purchase Applications Reach Highest Level Since 2010

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Rates Purchase Loans Refinance Service Providers 2013-01-23 Tory Barringer January 23, 2013 453 Views application,MBA: Purchase Applications Reach Highest Level Since 2010 Applications for purchase loans reached their highest level since 2010 last week, the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””: (MBA) reported Wednesday.[IMAGE]The group’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 18 showed overall application volume was up a seasonally adjusted 7 percent from the prior week. On an unadjusted basis, application volume was up about 8 percent.Demand for purchase loans continued to rise, with the weekly Purchase Index rising 3 percent from the previous week to its highest level since May 2010, when the first-time homebuyer tax credit expired. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week and was 26 percent higher than the same week in 2011.According to the MBA, the increase in purchase applications was primarily for conventional loans, as the seasonally adjusted Conventional Purchase Index hit its highest level since October 2009 last week.Refinances also continue to see interest, with the weekly Refinance Index increasing 8 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity was unchanged at 82 percent of total applications.The rise in applications comes despite a slight rise in interest rates. According to the MBA, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.62 percent, up from 3.61 percent in the prior week. That rate has risen for five of the last six weeks, keeping in line with the “”MBA’s forecast””: for a bounce in rates in 2013.center_img in Data, Origination Sharelast_img read more

Fannie Mae KPMG Reach 153M Settlement with Ohio Plaintiffs

first_imgFannie Mae, KPMG Reach $153M Settlement with Ohio Plaintiffs in Secondary Market May 10, 2013 429 Views Sharecenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage-Backed Securities Service Providers 2013-05-10 Krista Franks Brock “”Fannie Mae””: and Dallas-based accounting firm, “”KPMG””: agreed to a $153 million settlement with a group of Ohio shareholders this week. Pending approval from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the settlement will end multi-year litigation started in 2004.[IMAGE] The “”Ohio Public Employees Retirement System””: and the “”State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio””: were lead plaintiffs in the class action suit alleging Fannie Mae and KPMG “”issued false and misleading financial reports in violation of federal securities laws,”” according to a press release from “”Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.””: misleading reports allegedly took place between April 2001 and December 2004. “”I am pleased to see this litigation finally resolved on behalf of the Ohio pension funds and other members of this very large class,”” DeWine said. “”This settlement brings closure to this matter and recovery for our Ohio pension funds and class members.”” Despite agreeing to a settlement, both Fannie Mae and KPMG deny wrongdoing. “”KPMG is pleased that this long running litigation, related to matters at Fannie Mae occurring more than a decade ago, has been resolved,”” a spokesperson relayed to in an email. “”KPMG determined that it was in the firm’s best interest to put this matter behind us and avoid the significant additional cost, and the distraction and inherent uncertainty, of protracted litigation,”” KPMG stated. Fannie Mae EVP Bradley Lerman expressed a similar sentiment in an email statement. “”We are satisfied with the outcome and pleased to put the matter behind us.”” “”With the Bank of America resolution and this agreement we have closed two long-standing issues and resolved both in a positive manner,”” Lerman said. Fannie Mae and KPMG will contribute equally to the settlement amount.last_img read more

New Home Purchase Applications Plummet

first_img December 11, 2014 484 Views Share New Home Purchase Applications Plummet in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association New Home Sales 2014-12-11 Tory Barringer An early look at mortgage application activity suggests new home sales plunged in November as first-time homebuyers struggled to get a foot into the market.The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) monthly survey of loan application volumes at home builders shows new home purchase activity was down 22 percent month-over-month in November, the group said Thursday. Looking at all indicators, MBA estimates new single-family home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 401,000 units last month, a 13 percent drop from the association’s October estimate.”Following strong new home sales in October, our data shows November sales volume dropped significantly,” said Mike Frantantoni, MBA’s chief economist, in a statement.The average loan size for new home applications increased to nearly 307,000 from $300,000 in October, “indicating that builders are having greater success with higher priced homes and difficulty at the entry level, as first-time buyers continued to face tight credit conditions,” Fratantoni added.Home sales in October were at a seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 458,000, according to an estimate from the Commerce Department, up slightly from a revised September sales rate of 455,000. That estimate, which is subject to change in future reports, was more or less in line with MBA’s prediction of 461,000.The government’s new home sales estimate for November is due December 23.By product type, MBA reports that conventional loans composed 69.3 percent of total new home purchase applications. Mortgages guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs accounted for 15.8 percent and 14 percent of applications, respectively.last_img read more

Analysis Shows That Lenders Overly Restrict Credit

first_img July 28, 2015 562 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Credit Fannie Mae Freddie Mac Ginnie Mae Lenders Loosening Tightening 2015-07-28 Staff Writer Analysis Shows That Lenders Overly Restrict Creditcenter_img Many mortgage lenders are still applying credit overlays that are stricter than what Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or Ginnie Mae require.Recent survey data from Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research group found that approximately 40 percent of lenders who deliver loans to the GSEs or Ginnie Mae reported applying credit overlays that are more stringent than what the GSEs or Ginnie Mae require.The research group surveyed senior mortgage executives in May 2015 through its quarterly Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey to examine the attitudes of lenders in relation to credit overlays. Credit overlays refer to stricter mortgage approval standards that lenders place above the guidelines set by investors (such as the GSEs), are a potential and often cited factor impacting consumers’ access to mortgage credit.In an analysis released on Tuesday of this survey, Li-Ning Huang senior manager of Economic & Strategic Research delved into how lenders are limiting credit to borrowers unnecessarily.Huang notes that an improving economy since the recession has caused mortgage credit standards to loosen gradually. However, homeownership rates continue to decline and are at the lowest level since 1990.”This situation has prompted policymakers, regulators, and industry participants to examine the appropriateness of credit standards and the availability of mortgage credit for American consumers,” Huang said. “Better understanding lenders’ attitudes about the lending parameters they employ may shed additional light on factors that could make it more viable for lenders to do business within the full credit boxes of the GSEs.”According to survey results, about 40 percent of lenders who deliver loans to the GSEs or Ginnie Mae reported they apply more stringent credit overlays than what the GSEs or Ginnie Mae require. Additionally, 60 percent of lenders who originate or acquire loans through wholesale channels said they apply credit overlays through these channels.Fannie Mae also reported that 64 percent of lenders who deliver loans to the GSEs or Ginnie Mae said that credit overlays are applied on just 20 percent or less of their loan originations.The most common type of overlay applied, as cited by lenders, is higher credit score (47 percent), followed by additional documentation requirements (21 percent), reflecting the impact of the Ability-to-Repay and Qualified Mortgage rule that took effect on January 10, 2014.Lenders cite high Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratios, low credit scores, and documentation quality as the most common reasons for purchase loan application denials. Similarly, for refinance applications, lenders cite high DTI ratios, low credit scores, and insufficient collateral as the most common reasons for application denials.”Overall, the survey results suggest that lenders apply credit overlays on a limited basis, but the extent to which they apply credit overlays varies by channel, the author said. “Correspondent lenders and mortgage brokers are more likely to apply credit overlays than are retail lenders who deliver loans directly to the GSEs or Ginnie Mae.” Sharelast_img read more

OCC Informs Lenders of Upcoming TRID Compliance Exams

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will no longer be the only entity monitoring TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule compliance among lenders. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced Friday that TRID compliance exams are coming.The OCC provided guidance on what to expect in their forthcoming TRID compliance exams directed to “chief executive officers and compliance officers of national banks and federal savings associations, federal branches and agencies, department and division heads, all examining personnel, and other interested parties.”This guidance applies to national banks and federal savings associations with $10 billion or less in total assets, according to the OCC.TRID went into effect October 3, 2015 and just days after its passing, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bipartisan bill (303-121) that will provide a “hold harmless” grace period for those making a “good faith” effort to comply with the regulation.The White House threatened to veto the bill just one day before it passed in the House, according to a Statement of Administrative Policy.”The CFPB has already clearly stated that initial examinations will evaluate good faith efforts by lenders,” the White House wrote. “The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3192, as it would unnecessarily delay implementation of important consumer protections designed to eradicate opaque lending practices that contribute to risky mortgages, hurt homeowners by removing the private right of action for violations, and undercut the Nation’s financial stability. If the President were presented with H.R. 3192, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”The initial examinations that the OCC intends to conduct will evaluate a “bank’s compliance management system and overall efforts to come into compliance, recognizing the scope and scale of changes necessary for each bank to achieve effective compliance.”The OCC noted that banks will be expected to “make good faith efforts to comply with the rule’s requirements in a timely manner.”The bulletin also explained that the examiners will be looking at the bank’s implementation plan, including actions taken to update policies, procedures, and processes, as well as training of appropriate staff and handling of early technical problems, or other implementation challenges.This approach will be similar to the one that the OCC took in initial examinations for compliance with the mortgage rules implementing provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that went into effect in January 2014.No official exam date was mentioned by the OCC.The OCC provided these TILA-RESPA narratives and procedures:• Interagency TILA/Regulation Z Examination Manual Narrative • Interagency TILA/Regulation Z Examination Procedures • Interagency RESPA/Regulation X Examination Manual Narrative • Interagency RESPA/Regulation X Examination Procedures November 6, 2015 503 Views OCC Informs Lenders of Upcoming TRID Compliance Examscenter_img Share Banks Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Lenders Office of the Comptroller of the Currency TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule 2015-11-06 Staff Writerlast_img read more

LenderClose Adds New SVP Manager

first_img Allen JingstWes PetersonLenderClose recently announced the addition of Allen Jingst and Wes Peterson to the team. Jingst will serve as SVP of Sales; Peterson as Relationship Manager.Jingst has an extensive sales background in the technology sector. Mostly recently, he served as director of sales for Dwolla, a Des Moines-based payments platform active in the fintech startup community. There, Jingst grew sales revenue by 60 percent while hiring and training a sales team that tripled under his leadership. Prior to Dwolla, Jingst surpassed sales goals as a leader within teams at and BirdDog HR, both Des Moines-based technology companies.“We are excited to add another mentorship-minded executive to our team,” said Ben Rempe, LenderClose COO. “Individual growth is just as important to us as team growth, and Allen’s experience developing young leaders is second-to-none. We’re excited to support his efforts to create a challenging and inclusive environment for the talented sales professionals who have joined this team.”Peterson will be among the sales professionals reporting to Jingst. He joins LenderClose from the Iowa Finance Authority where he served as director of government relations, advocating for the passage or rejection of legislation on behalf of the agency and the Iowa Governor’s office. Prior to the Iowa Finance Authority, Peterson worked with the Republican Party of Iowa, first as deputy finance director and then as deputy house majority fund director. He has also contributed to a number of political campaigns since 2007. Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Northern Iowa and a certified public manager designation from Drake University.“Wes’ extensive experience in government relations and finance positions him perfectly to consult with our community financial institution clients,” said Rempe. “As our most recent experience advocating for the passage of e-notary legislation proved, innovation and regulation are perpetually intertwined. With Wes on our team, clients can be confident LenderClose not only understands, but is working to shape, the future of financial services legislation to help them thrive in the era of digital banking.” in News LenderClose Adds New SVP, Manager LenderClose 2019-04-26 Seth Welborncenter_img Share April 26, 2019 463 Views last_img read more

Plant biologists at the University of Zurich have

first_img Plant biologists at the University of Zurich have shown that plant hormones can be used for food production in space, Scitech Europa reported.One of the biggest challenges of space exploration is that space farming would be required. The necessity for food production to sustain human space exploration has led to a need for researching plant hormones which can be used to achieve this.The paper published in Nature says: “Human-assisted space exploration will require efficient methods of food production. Large-scale farming in presence of an Earth-like atmosphere in space faces two main challenges: plant yield in microgravity and plant nutrition in extraterrestrial soils, which are likely low in nutrients compared to terrestrial farm lands.” State of the Market – Week 24, 2019 … CRISPR-Cas technology precisely improves plants … U.S.: Gotham Greens expands into New England with … You might also be interested incenter_img The use of plant hormones for space farming previously did not have enough supporting evidence.The study adds: “To date, mycorrhization has not been assayed in space-like conditions, likely because environmental requirements are difficult to re-create on the International Space Station (ISS) and microgravity conditions are short-lived on parabolic flights.”The study has now been able to test this on model plants to draw conclusions about the use of plant hormones in extra-terrestrial environments.The paper concludes that the plant hormones can make space farming possible. The research leader Lorenzo Vorghi commented: “In order to get crops such as tomatoes and potatoes to grow in the challenging conditions of space, it is necessary to encourage the formation of mycorrhiza…This seems to be possible using the strigolactone hormone. Our findings may therefore pave the way for successful cultivation in space of the types of plants that we grow on earth.” January 11 , 2019 Avocados in Charts: Market jumps US$5 in one week … last_img read more


first_imgIstanbul Just two hours after fans had filed out of Istanbul’s Vodafone Arena on Saturday night [local time], after a soccer match between home team Besiktas and Bursaspor, twin bomb attacks in quick succession – one a car filled with 300kg of explosives and the other a suicide bomb – struck outside the stadium, killing 38 people and injuring around 160 others.There was no claim of responsibility, but Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said there was “almost no doubt” the attacks were the work of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has carried out a three-decade insurgency, mainly in Turkey’s largely Kurdish south-east.Thirteen people have been detained, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.“Sooner or later, we will have our vengeance,” Suleyman Soylu said in a speech at a funeral at the Istanbul police headquarters for five of the officers killed.“This blood will not be left on the ground, no matter what the price, what the cost.”Turkey has declared a national day of mourning. IMAGE: Reuters:Murad Sezerlast_img read more

Apparently though Clayton thinks the Cardinals s

first_imgApparently, though, Clayton thinks the Cardinals should have. Talent and value be damned, he thinks they needed a quarterback at five, and since they didn’t take one they ended up losing in the first round.If Patrick Peterson is losing, though, I’m not sure anyone would want the Cardinals to win. Yet, ESPN’s John Clayton, in his Round 1 winners, losers article, lists the Cardinals among those who lost Thursday evening.Listen, we’re not debating the values of cornerback Patrick Peterson going to Arizona or linebacker Aldon Smith going to San Francisco. Peterson could be the next Charles Woodson. The 49ers desperately need pass-rushing help. The Seahawks stunned everyone by taking offensive tackle James Carpenter. But the knock on the division is that none of its teams took a quarterback in the first round. I know the 49ers are going to re-sign Alex Smith and the Cardinals might add Marc Bulger. But in a quarterback-driven league, to see three NFC West teams in desperate need of quarterbacks pass on the position is still stunning. At the moment, Sam Bradford of the Rams is the division’s only legit starter. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments   Share   Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Yes, the Cardinals still need a quarterback. Nobody in a stable state of mind can really believe that not to be true. However, opinions of this year’s crop of rookie QBs are as mixed as some drinks at your favorite bar, with most feeling it is a generally weak group. Talented, sure. But question marks abound, which is why most people thought the Cardinals would be foolish to reach for one at five. center_img Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke According to many pundits, the Arizona Cardinals got arguably the best player available when they selected Patrick Peterson number five overall. At the very least Peterson is regarded as a “sure thing” prospect, someone who will not be a bust and a waste of a high selection. Hell, just take a look at the very web site you’re reading and you’ll see reactions from every host, columnist and fan are nothing but positive. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Second-year pro Kevin Minter, who played just one defensive snap last season, is expected to start, with veteran Larry Foote possibly joining him.Drug-related issues are not the only ones the linebacker is currently facing.Washington pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge in March and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation in April stemming from an incident in May of 2013 with his child’s mother. The felony charge would be reduced to a misdemeanor if Washington completes his probation.According to the police report from 2013, Washington had paid a visit to the accuser’s apartment to see their baby, which was not out of the ordinary. However, at some point Washington left to take the baby to Dairy Queen, which upset the woman.Upon Washington’s return with the baby, the report states he and his ex-girlfriend got into an argument, which continued as they reached the top of the apartment complex’s stairs. The report states that from there, as the woman asked Washington to return the baby to her, he pushed her away and would not allow her to get close enough to him to take the baby. The report goes on to say Washington, at some point, “extended his hand and grabbed” the woman by the neck before pushing her over to the landing railing while choking her. The NFL confirmed the suspension is related to drugs.Washington, a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2010, was suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. After returning from the suspension, Washington accumulated 75 tackles and three quarterback sacks for the Cardinals.“It’s completely unacceptable that Daryl has once again put us in this position. We all know what the consequences are and will deal with them. From a personal standpoint, our hope is that this suspension will give Daryl the opportunity to accept the necessary help and guidance to get his life back on track and we will certainly support him however we can,” general manager Steve Keim said Friday in a statement.“As it pertains to our team, our approach is the same as it’s always been: next man up. We talk a lot about how critical depth is to a team because situations always arise where you lose players, whether by injury or other circumstances such as this one. One player’s absence is another’s opportunity. That approach has served us well in the past and we will rely on it now.” Without Washington, the Cardinals are fairly thin at the inside linebacker position, especially since Karlos Dansby left for Cleveland in free agency. The report says Washington eventually let loose of his grip and the woman was able to take the baby from him, but as she tried to close the apartment door behind her he shoved it open and “pushed his way in.”The report says the woman’s injuries were consistent with her account of the events.It was later found that Washington and his ex-girlfriend had cases in Maricopa County’s family court system. Comments   Share   center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The NFL has confirmed the news that was first reported by Cardinals insider Mike Jurecki: Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has been suspended for the entire 2014 season.Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi then noted that the suspension had nothing to do with Washington’s pending domestic violence case.Update: Sources say #Cards LB Daryl Washington suspended “at least one year” for violating NFL substance abuse policy. Official word coming— Paul Calvisi (@PaulCalvisi) May 30, 2014 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more