Central Bank of Nigeria executives arrested in 33m theft

first_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Among the suspects are officers from eight commercial banks in Nigeria, including bank leaders Ecobank and Zenith Bank, it said.The fraud involved using cut-up pieces of newspaper to replace notes in Nigeria’s naira currency that had been designated for destruction at the Central Bank. It charged the commercial bank officers then helped put the defaced and mutilated notes back into circulation.Those arrested will be charged on five counts in a federal high court this week, the statement said.Nigeria’s newly installed President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to fight Nigeria’s endemic corruption and graft.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Financial crime agents arrested 21 bankers including senior executives of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the theft of $33 million worth of defaced naira currency notes, Nigerian officials said Monday.The Economic and Financial Crime Commission said a whistleblower alerted it to the “mega scam.”“The lid on the scam, which is widely suspected to have gone on unchecked for years, was blown via a petition to the EFCC alledging that over 6,575,549,370 naira was cornered and discreetly recycled by light-fingered top executives of the CBN,” a statement said.center_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   last_img read more

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New questions about why more women than men have Alzheimers

New questions about why more women than men have Alzheimers

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and now some scientists are questioning the long-held assumption that it’s just because they tend to live longer than men.What else may put woman at extra risk? Could it be genetics? Biological differences in how women age? Maybe even lifestyle factors?Finding out might affect treatments or preventive care.One worrisome hint is that research shows a notorious Alzheimer’s-related gene has a bigger impact on women than men. Brinton studies how menopause changes the brain. Estrogen helps regulate the brain’s metabolism, how it produces the energy for proper cognitive function, and it must switch to a less efficient backup method as estrogen plummets, she explained.“It’s like the brain is a little bit diabetic,” said Brinton, who is studying whether that may relate to menopausal symptoms in women who later experience cognitive problems.Carrillo notes that 40 years ago, heart disease was studied mainly in men, with little understanding of how women’s heart risks can differ.“How do we make sure we’re not making that mistake when it comes to Alzheimer’s?” she asked.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk She points to another disproportionate burden: About 60 percent of caregivers for Alzheimer’s patients are women.“My daughters are in their 20s and I’m already ill,” Shives worries. “It’s very stressful for them to think about when their mother’s going to need their help.”What drives the difference in Alzheimer’s cases isn’t clear, said Dr. Susan Resnick of the National Institutes of Health, pointing to conflicting research.“We really have had a tough time understanding whether or not women really are more affected by the disease, or it’s just that they live longer,” Resnick said.Data from the long-running Framingham, Massachusetts, health study suggests that because more men die from heart disease in middle age, those who survive past 65 may have healthier hearts that in turn provide some brain protection. Many of the same factors — obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes — that damage arteries also are Alzheimer’s risks.What about hormones? That’s been hard to pin down. Years ago, a major study found that estrogen therapy after 65 might increase risk of dementia, although later research showed hormone replacement around the onset of menopause wasn’t a problem. “There are enough biological questions pointing to increased risk in women that we need to delve into that and find out why,” said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer for the Alzheimer’s Association.Last month, the association brought 15 leading scientists together to ask what’s known about women’s risk. Later this summer, Carrillo said it plans to begin funding research to address some of the gaps.“There is a lot that is not understood and not known. It’s time we did something about it,” she added.A recent Alzheimer’s Association report estimates that at age 65, women have about a 1 in 6 chance of developing Alzheimer’s during the rest of their lives, compared with a 1 in 11 chance for men.The tricky part is determining how much of the disparity is due to women’s longevity or other factors.“It is true that age is the greatest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease,” said University of Southern California professor Roberta Diaz Brinton, who presented data on gender differences at a meeting of the National Institutes of Health this year.But, she said, “on average, women live four or five years longer than men, and we know that Alzheimer’s is a disease that starts 20 years before the diagnosis.” That’s how early cellular damage can quietly begin. Top Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to helpcenter_img Amy Shives, right, and her husband George walk their cavalier King Charles spaniel Chester in their neighborhood, Wednesday, June 3, 2015, in Spokane, Wash. Amy Shives was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2011 and has since been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association. Nearly two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and now some scientists are questioning the long-held assumption that it’s just because women tend to live longer than men. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)n 0 Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Brinton researches if menopause can be a tipping point that leaves certain women vulnerable.However it starts brewing, there’s some evidence that once Alzheimer’s is diagnosed, women may worsen faster; scans show more rapid shrinkage of certain brain areas.But gene research offers the most startling evidence of a sex difference.Stanford University researchers analyzed records of more than 8,000 people for a form of a gene named ApoE-4, long known to increase Alzheimer’s risk.Women who carry a copy of that gene variant were about twice as likely to eventually develop Alzheimer’s as women without the gene, while men’s risk was only slightly increased, Stanford’s Dr. Michael Greicius reported last year.It’s not clear why. It may be in how the gene interacts with estrogen, Brinton said.Amy Shives, 57, of Spokane, Washington, recalls when her mother began showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s. But it wasn’t until after her own diagnosis a few years ago that Shives looked up the gender statistics.“That was alarming,” said Shives, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, which struck at a younger-than-usual age and forced her retirement as a college counselor. “The impact on our lives and that of our families is extraordinary.” Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

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As Kurds gain in Syria Turkish govt ponders military action

As Kurds gain in Syria Turkish govt ponders military action

first_img ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — As Kurdish rebels in northern Syria rack up wins against the Islamic State group, Turkish media is abuzz with talk of a long-debated military intervention to push the Islamic militants back from the Turkish border — a move that will also outflank any Kurdish attempts to create a state along Turkey’s southern frontier.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired a National Security Council meeting Monday which covered developments in Syria and pro-government newspapers were rife with purported proposals, ranging from loosening the rules of engagement to give Turkish troops a freer hand to fire into Syria, to a tanks-and-troops invasion aimed at occupying a 110-kilometer (70-mile) long, 33-kilometer (20-mile) wide buffer zone. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Patients with chronic pain give advice The burst of tough talk has analysts “scratching their heads about what to make of all of this,” Aaron Stein, an associate fellow at the London-based RUSI think tank, said in a Twitter message.In a telephone interview, Stein said the new talk of action was due in part to dramatic Kurdish gains in Syria, where rebels have scored a series of victories against IS, most notably in the border town of Tal Abyad. That key transit point is not far from the IS’s Syrian power base of Raqqa.The capture of Tal Abyad opened ways for Kurds to connect their stronghold in Syria’s northeast to the once-badly isolated border town of Kobani — which famously resisted a months-long Islamic State siege — and perhaps even the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in Syria’s northwest.Turkish officials fear the creation of a vast and contiguous zone of Kurdish control could stir up separatist sentiment among its own Kurdish minority. Ankara is concerned over reports that Kurdish rebels are chasing other ethnic groups, such as Arabs and Turkmens, out of the areas under their control.Ankara is also eager to shake accusations that it is turning a blind eye to the Islamic State group — especially after photos were published showing the grinning fanatics within a stone’s throw of the Turkish border during the battle for Tal Abyad, Stein said. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall “If there is a decision to attack the cantons in Rojova (the Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria), it would amount to an attack on all Kurdish people,” senior Kurdish rebel commander Murat Karayilan said in a statement Monday. “Such an intervention would be an intervention that takes Turkey to civil war.”More modest forms of intervention in Syria seem likelier. Turkey has long pressed the U.S. to set up a no-fly zone — to no avail — and previous plans for a buffer zone have been shelved. Stein believes Monday’s meeting will probably result in orders to Turkey’s border forces to take their gloves off.Meanwhile any hopes that recent rebel gains against the government of President Bashar Assad elsewhere in Syria had turned the dictator’s allies against him were knocked back by a surprise visit by Syria’s foreign minister to Moscow on Monday.The Kremlin’s policy to “support Syria, the Syrian leadership and the Syrian people remains unchanged,” news agencies quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin as telling the envoy.___Satter contributed to this report from Istanbul. Berza Simsek in Istanbul also contributed. There is no evidence that Turkey did anything except stay out of the fight, but Stein said the pictures were embarrassing.“You had ISIS fighters walking within 10 feet (3 meters) of the border, smiling and waving at Turkish border guards,” he said, using an acronym for Islamic State. “That gives the impression of complicity. It’s very damaging to Ankara.”The idea of military intervention across the border remains unpopular in Turkey. Any battles in urban areas would almost certainly mean heavy casualties in a fight against a determined and entrenched foe. The Dogan News Agency on Monday broadcast footage of what it said were IS militants digging ditches and planting mines across from the Turkish border.Even a more limited intervention, such as artillery or air strikes, could increase the flow of Syrians seeking shelter in Turkey, which is already burdened with the world’s largest number of refugees.Fighting in Syria could also weaken the standing of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party, which recently lost its parliamentary majority and is now courting potential coalition partners to stay in power.Most seriously, any fighting in Kurdish areas of Syria risks derailing the peace process with Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey, overturning a key achievement of Erdogan’s leadership and potentially spreading violence across the country. Sponsored Stories center_img Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility FILE-In this Monday, June 15, 2015 file photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, Turkish soldiers run to their new positions next to the border fence in Akcakale, southeastern Turkey. As Kurdish rebels in northern Syrian rack up wins against the Islamic State group, Turkey’s press is once again abuzz with talk of plans for a long-debated intervention aimed at pushing the radical religious group back from its border, and outflanking any Kurdish attempt at creating a state along Turkey’s southern frontier. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, file) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Daylast_img read more

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Republicans lash homeland security chief over pier killing

Republicans lash homeland security chief over pier killing

first_img Men’s health affects baby’s health too Both amendments were added by the panel’s Republicans, over objections from Democrats, to a measure funding the Department of Homeland Security for the upcoming budget year.“Dangerous criminals who are in the Unites States illegally must now be incarcerated until they are deported to their home country,” Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas.Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., followed with an amendment to block sanctuary cities like San Francisco from receiving millions of dollars in preparedness grants from the Department of Homeland Security. Democrats noted it would cut off the nation’s largest cities from such grants, including New York and Chicago.“This is such a broad, knee-jerk reaction,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is pursuing similar legislation on sanctuary cities in the Senate. He had planned to offer it as an amendment to an education overhaul bill currently on the floor, but announced Tuesday that he had backed off that plan after securing a commitment it would come to a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist FILE – In this Thursday, July 2, 2015 file photo, Liz Sullivan, left, and Jim Steinle, right, parents of Kathryn Steinle, talk to members of the media outside their home in Pleasanton, Calif. Steinle’s parents will be interviewed by Bill O’Reilly Monday, July 13, 2015, for a segment on his Fox News show. Steinle was walking along a San Francisco pier July 1 when she was killed by a gun allegedly fired by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who is in the country illegally. (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File)n San Francisco is among some 300 communities nationwide that refuse to abide by federal immigration detention requests, or “detainers,” which have been successfully challenged in court by critics who say they indiscriminately target immigrants including many innocent of criminal wrongdoing.In the wake of Steinle’s death, Republicans have called for making such detainers mandatory.“A convicted criminal alien who had been deported numerous times killed an innocent American woman,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. He said the crime exposed “the tragic impact of DHS’s reckless policies on the safety of Americans.”Johnson said the killing underscores the need for local authorities to cooperate with the federal government and its detention requests, but he said making such cooperation mandatory would be counterproductive.Even as Johnson was testifying before the Judiciary Committee, another GOP-controlled panel, the House Appropriations Committee, was taking action aimed at depriving sanctuary cities of funding and requiring the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to continue to detain immigrants in the country illegally who have been convicted of crimes, instead of exercising discretion and releasing them into the general population. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home And he agreed with Republicans who said it didn’t make sense for the alleged killer to have been handed over to a jurisdiction like San Francisco, a “sanctuary city” that limits its cooperation with the federal government on immigration and was unlikely to try to send him home.“I want to evaluate whether some discretion can be built into the process so when we’re faced with a choice like that, we can make the best decision for the purposes of public safety,” Johnson told the House Judiciary Committee in his first appearance on Capitol Hill since the July 1 murder of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle sparked national controversy.Steinle’s alleged killer, Mexican national Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, had been serving a federal sentence for illegal re-entry. Instead of being deported upon finishing his term, he was handed over to San Francisco on a decades-old drug charge. San Francisco authorities ended up dismissing Lopez-Sanchez’s case and releasing him despite a request from federal officials to keep him detained.Lopez-Sanchez went on to allegedly shoot Steinle as she walked along a popular pier with her father in broad daylight. Lopez-Sanchez has pleaded not guilty, claiming he found the gun on the pier and it accidentally went off. Top Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans lashed the Obama administration Tuesday for failing to deport an immigrant who allegedly murdered a woman in San Francisco, and advanced legislation aimed at deterring local communities from harboring immigrants who are in this country illegally.Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson disputed the GOP criticism, but said he plans to evaluate whether a new approach is needed to avoid what happened in San Francisco, where an immigrant with a long criminal record and without legal status was released onto the streets and committed a murder. Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   last_img read more

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Social Security disability fund projected to run dry in 2016

Social Security disability fund projected to run dry in 2016

first_imgFILE – This Feb. 2, 2015, file photo, depicts a part of a U.S. $100 bill. The federal government’s two largest benefit programs face short- and long-term financial problems as they close in on milestone anniversaries. The magnitude of those problems will become clearer when the trustees for Social Security and Medicare issue their annual report cards. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick, File) Top holiday drink recipes There is an easy fix available: Congress could shift tax revenue from Social Security’s much larger retirement fund, as it has done in the past.President Barack Obama supports the move. But Republicans say they want changes in the program to reduce fraud and to encourage disabled workers to re-enter the work force.The date that the fund will be exhausted is unchanged from last year’s report. But as the deadline gets closer, advocates say the need to act becomes more urgent.The average monthly benefit for disabled workers and their families is $1,017. That means the typical beneficiary would see their benefits reduced by $193 a month.“The president has proposed a commonsense solution to improve the solvency of this fund in the short run so that Americans who rely on it will continue to receive the benefits they need,” Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said. “It is vital that Congress move forward to maintain the integrity of this critical program sooner rather than later.”Medicare turns 50 at the end of the month and Social Security turns 80 two weeks later. Together, the programs accounted for more than 40 percent of federal spending last year. Both are feeling the strains of retiring baby boomers. The trustees said the retirement fund has enough money to pay full benefits until 2035, a year later than last year’s report. At that point, Social Security will collect enough in payroll taxes to pay about 75 percent of benefits.If the retirement and disability funds were combined, they would have enough money to pay full benefits until 2034, the trustees said.Advocates for seniors say that gives Congress plenty of time to address Social Security’s long-term problems, without cutting benefits. But some in Congress note that the longer lawmakers wait, the harder it gets to address the shortfall without making significant changes.“Today’s report shows that we must seek meaningful, in some instances even urgent, changes to ensure the program is on stable ground for future generations,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, the chief executive officer of AARP. “An honest, open, national discussion about the value of Social Security and its importance to millions of retired workers, spouses, children, veterans, and persons with disabilities remains the clear path forward for this crucial component of economic security.”Medicare’s giant hospital trust fund is projected to be exhausted in 2030, the same date as last year’s report. At that point, Medicare taxes would be enough to pay 86 percent of benefits. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Comments   Share   WASHINGTON (AP) — The 11 million people who receive Social Security disability face steep benefit cuts next year — unless Congress acts, the government said Wednesday.The trustees that oversee Social Security said the disability trust fund will run out of money in late 2016, right in the middle of a presidential campaign. That would trigger an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits.The report said the fund faces “an urgent threat” that requires prompt action by Congress.center_img Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Medicare is adding 10,000 new beneficiaries a day as baby boomers reach age 65. But so far the demographic shift has not overwhelmed the program with costs because, for the most part, boomers are healthier than the older generations of Medicare beneficiaries. That has a positive impact on the bottom line, helping to hold down per-beneficiary costs.Nonetheless, the Obama administration is in the midst of overhauling the way Medicare pays doctors and hospitals to emphasize quality results over the sheer volume of procedures, tests, and services.The Department of Health and Human Services has set a goal of tying 30 percent of payments under traditional Medicare to new models of care by the end of 2016, and an increasing share thereafter. Among the initiatives is a proposal to change the way hospitals are paid for hip and knee replacement surgery.The Medicare and Social Security trustees are the secretaries of the Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor departments, as well as the Social Security commissioner and two public trustees — a Democrat and a Republican.Nearly 60 million people receive Social Security benefits, including 42 million retired workers and dependents, 11 million disabled workers and 6 million survivors of deceased workers. 5 ways to recognize low testosterone About 55 million retirees and disabled people get Medicare. The hospital trust fund is only part of the program. Coverage for outpatient care and prescription drugs is covered by premiums and other government spending.___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenatapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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oneworld wins best airline alliance

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J oneworld is the number one alliance according to Global Traveler (GT) magazine readers who voted the group in as the Best Airline Alliance in a GT Test Reader Survey 2010. This marks the airlines third major airline alliance award for 2010 after receiving the World’s Leading Airline Alliance for the eighth consecutive year and the World’s Best Airline Alliance at the Skytrax 2010 World Airline Awards in May. Global Traveler chief executive Francis X Gallagher said oneworld was selected by a group of knowledgeable travel readers. “The award is a testament to the service, products and superiority of the oneworld alliance and its member alliance,” he said. The alliance’s Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific took out the Best Airline for First Class award in the GT survey while British Airways won the Best Airline for Business class. Qantas also won an award for the Best Airline to Australia and New Zealand while American Airline came out top for Best Domestic First Class. oneworld managing partner John McCulloch said the alliance would continue working hard in the hopes of reclaiming the award in the future. “oneworld has always aimed to be the world’s premier alliance, so we are thrilled to be judged the best by the people who really count, customers,” Mr McCulloch said. Up to 35,000 readers contributed to the open ended questionnaire.last_img read more

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Crown Melbournes Restaurants Scoop a Bakers Dozen of Awards and Acco

first_imgSource = Crown Over the past few weeks alone, Crown Melbourne’s precinct of restaurants has scored over a dozen individual accolades. Prestigious awards have been presented by revered international publication, Wine Spectator, respected magazine, Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE and at this week’s Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards of Excellence for Victoria. Nicolas Kurban, Crown’s Executive General Manager, Food & Beverage, commented, “We are thrilled to have received these prestigious accolades. We take great pride in our commitment to excellence and are sincerely grateful for this recognition.”At the annual Victorian Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards of Excellence, 7 of Crown’s restaurants, including Nobu, Conservatory, Silks, Koko, The Merrywell, Number 8 restaurant & wine bar and Mings were all  recognised. In addition, Crown Melbourne’s Food and Beverage Training Department was presented with the prestigious 2012 Victorian George Mure Memorial Award and Crown Melbourne was named a finalist in the Function and Convention Centre Caterer, Restaurant in a Training Institute and Wedding Caterer categories. 2012 Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence Conservatory                                                           Winner    New Restaurant Nobu                                                                       Winner    Modern Asian Restaurant Silks                                                                         Winner    Chinese Restaurant Koko                                                                        Finalist    Japanese Restaurant Mings                                                                      Finalist    Chinese Restaurant Number 8 restaurant & wine bar                           Finalist    Contemporary Australia Restaurant Informal The Merrywell                                                        Finalist    New Restaurant Culinarium                                                              Finalist    Restaurant in a Training Institute Crown Melbourne                                                   Finalist    Function/Convention Centre Caterer Crown Melbourne                                                   Finalist    Wedding Caterer Food & Beverage Training Department                   Winner  George Mure Memorial Award Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine’s annual Australia Wine List of the Year AwardsRecently, Number 8 restaurant & wine bar, Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and The Waiting Room were all included in Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine’s annual Australia Wine List of the Year Awards for 2012. Each wine list is assessed on five criteria: content, balance, suitability, presentation and pricing by an expert panel of impartial judges. Number 8 restaurant & wine bar’s wine list is described as “A high roller list that reads like a Langton’s catalogue. Plenty of blue-ribbon names and prestigious wines. Back vintages are available for notable Australian wines, such as Cullen Cabernet Merlot and Penfolds Grange. The global representation for each variety is impressive.”Rockpool Bar & Grill’s award-winning list is praised as, “an impeccable list of the highest standards with balance being its core strength. Top-end respectable wines sit alongside lesser-known gems, with a vein of quality throughout. Not only does it reflect current drinking trends but it sets them.” While Spice Temple’s concise list of 100 wines is declared, “interesting, forcing closer scrutiny and careful selection, especially making certain the wines match Neil Perry’s fabulous cuisine.” The Waiting Room’s list was awarded two goblets and is named “a Southbank star, which has a thoughtful and well-priced wine list, best attacked by the glass, and one of the most exciting spirit collections in the country.” Wine Spectator Magazine – Best of Award of Excellence August 2012 Issue For the fifth consecutive year, both Number 8 restaurant & wine bar and Rockpool Bar & Grill were awarded a “two glasses award” in the Best of Award of Excellence by the world-renowned and revered magazine, Wine Spectator. This award recognises restaurants that offer over 400 expertly chosen wines along with superior presentation and breadth across several wine regions. In 2012, Crown Melbourne has launched Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar at Crown Metropol, the double-storey gastro-pub The Merrywell, a live performance and sports bar named the Common Room, the Lumia cocktail lounge and Cotta, an all-day café; as well as the newly re-launched Conservatory restaurant at Crown Towers.Later this year, Neil Perry will launch his new Italian restaurant, Rosetta, while an addition to Crown’s new West End precinct is also planned with the opening of Jimbo & Rex, modelled on a traditional pub experience.These recent awards and accolades further cement Crown Melbourne’s reputation as Australia’s leading dining precinct.  Crown continues to offer guests and visitors an unsurpassed experience with a myriad of choices for dining, entertainment and accommodation.last_img read more

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InformationWeek Names Sabre Red App Centre as a Top 20 Great Idea

first_imgSabre Holdings Makes InformationWeek Top 500 List of Leading Technology Innovators for 10th Consecutive Year Sabre Holdings, a global travel technology company, picked up two wins last night, after being recognised for the 10th consecutive year by InformationWeek as one of the top technology innovators in the U.S. Sabre was listed among the top 100 companies, ranking of 26 in the 2012 InformationWeek 500 listing. Additionally, Sabre’s signature Red App Centre was heralded as one of InformationWeek’s “Top 20 Great Ideas” of the year. Launched in March, the Sabre Red App Centre is the first business-to-business online marketplace to connect travel buyers with third party application providers from around the world. Today, the Red App Centre offers more than 75 different apps with 24 new apps on the way from third party developers. After only six months, agencies from 27 different countries have generated nearly 6,000 Red App downloads from the site. “We are thrilled to once again be recognised for our business technology leadership by InformationWeek. The companies and ideas included in this coveted list represent the best and brightest of the technology arena, so it is a real honor to be considered at the forefront of this prestigious field,” said Robert Wiseman, chief technology officer for Sabre Holdings. “Innovation is about creating paths for opportunity, growth and ongoing improvement, and the Red App Centre is another example of the collaborative and innovative tools that Sabre is dedicated to bringing to our customers.”According to Bob Chaiken, president of Adelman Travel Group, a leading global travel management company, innovative technology is one of the reasons they choose to partner with Sabre. “One of my company’s key differentiators is our culture of using leading technology and the innovative capabilities it brings to serve our customers however and whenever they wish to be served,” said Chaiken.  “Sabre is a key partner that helps me stay ahead.  This recognition is one more important proof point of Sabre’s commitment to innovation – and demonstrates why we choose Sabre as a partner.” Ranking on the InformationWeek 500 list is one of many awards and recognitions received by Sabre, highlighting the company’s business technology vision, innovation, and execution across all industries. Sabre is one of 14 companies within the hospitality and travel industry to receive this recognition.“The InformationWeek 500 has recognised the most innovative users of business technology for 24 years, and this year’s innovations were particularly impressive,” said InformationWeek Editor In Chief Rob Preston. “What the editors looked for are unconventional approaches —new technologies, new models, new ways of grabbing business opportunities and solving complex business problems with IT.”This is the 10th consecutive year that Sabre’s technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices have been recognised alongside some of the most innovative organisations in the country. Sabre’s most recent inclusion in 2011 highlighted the Sabre Red Workspace, a unique work system that simplifies the travel shopping and booking process, allowing agents to book air, hotel, car and other suppliers using a fully graphical workflow. For more than two decades, the InformationWeek 500 listing has served as a benchmark for companies to measure their work in information technology against other business leaders. Past winners include PACCAR Inc., The Vanguard Group, CME Group, National Semiconductor, Con-Way, Levi Strauss & Co., The Procter & Gamble Co., and Principal Financial Group. The InformationWeek 500 rankings are unique among corporate rankings as it spotlights the power of innovation in information technology, rather than simply identifying the biggest IT spenders.   Source = Sabre Pacificlast_img read more

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A great apportunity for Travel Counsellors customers

A great apportunity for Travel Counsellors customers

first_img Travel Counsellors Source = Travel Counsellors A great app-ortunity for Travel Counsellors’ customersA great app-ortunity for Travel Counsellors’ customersTravel Counsellors has announced the launch of its first consumer app ‘my TC’ this month, developed to further strengthen its core principles of customer care.The independent travel company has partnered with leading mobile app developer Apadmi to develop ‘my TC’, which is available from the Apple Store and Google Store. It provides leisure and corporate customers with instant access to travel information, itineraries and travel documents, as well as offering constant contact with the customer’s Travel Counsellor if required, reflective of the company’s focus on making the experience as personalised as possible.Rob Snelson, IT Director at Travel Counsellors, said: “We are very excited about the launch of my TC. Travel Counsellors is synonymous with high levels of personal service and that unique selling point has been encapsulated through a digital medium with the launch of this app. Using the very best technology combined with a caring heart to connect people is fundamental to our business and that is brought to light with this latest development.”‘My TC’ also allows the Travel Counsellor to personalise booking information with imagery, names and trip notes on each part of the journey, as well as giving a countdown of upcoming trips. Customers will also have the ability to share details of their trip via e-mail and social media.Last month ‘my TC’ was soft launched to 80 Travel Counsellors across the company’s seven global operations, with 350 corporate and leisure customers trailing the app, who provided feedback prior to the app being released this week. The app has been accessed 1,300 times and viewed in 25 countries so far.Victoria-based Travel Counsellor Julie Moore, who was part of the focus group, commented: “My customers love the new app. I have had feedback that it makes such a difference to them when they’re on the move, as they can get in contact with me at the touch of a button and can access all their documentation wherever they are in the world, even without Wi-Fi.  It definitely won’t replace the personal relationship I have with them, but I think it’ll actually enhance the service I provide.  There are clear benefits for my business too – with the sharing functionality, customers can easily pass on my details and post on social media about their fantastic experience”.Snelson adds; “This is the first phase in an ongoing programme of development for the app, with further features and functionality planned for roll-out over the coming months.”last_img read more

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China India lead growth in JanuaryApril

China India lead growth in JanuaryApril

first_imgChina, India lead growth in January-April visitor arrivals to ThailandChina, India lead growth in January-AprilLed by a 30 percent increase in visitor arrivals from China and a 17 percent growth from India, the Thai tourism industry has recorded total international arrivals of 13.7 million in January-April 2018, up 13.9 percent over the same period of 2017.Mr. Pongpanu Svetarundra, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports announced at a press briefing that the total visitors in January-April generated an estimated 730.7 billion Baht in tourism income, up 17.55 percent from the same period of 2017.In April alone, international visitor arrivals totalled 3,092,725, up by 9.38 percent over the same period of 2017. The top ten source markets were China, Malaysia, Lao PDR., Russia, India, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively.Here is a summary of the key results for January – April 2018:Overview: All regions grew well except the Middle East. Visitors from East Asia totalled 8,894,642 (+17.50 percent), Europe 3,006,525 (+9.75 percent), the Americas 599,431 (+3.55 percent), South Asia 607,379 (+15.18 percent), Oceania 296,741 (+0.26 percent), the Middle East 237,322 (-6.75 percent), and Africa 59,371 (+7.11 percent).Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

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Mizoram to be developed as bamboo State says Dr Jitendra Singh

Mizoram to be developed as bamboo State says Dr Jitendra Singh

first_imgUnion Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh addressing a press conference at Aizawl, Mizoram said, the government is committed to develop Mizoram as the ‘Bamboo State of India’.Dr Jitendra Singh said that the State of Mizoram is blessed with very high production of bamboo, which can be turned into a major source, not only for furniture but also for paper supply to the rest of the country. This could not only generate revenue for the State, but also create opportunities for youth outside India. In this regard, he said, he had already initiated an effort to reinforce “Bamboo Development Board” of India.Dr Singh said that the successive Governments had neglected Mizoram’s vast potentials and this is an opportunity for the people of the State to ensure adequate implementation of various pro-poor Central schemes initiated by the Modi government.The minister referred to the rising prevalence of cancer in the State, which is the highest in Mizoram and said, at the initiative of the DoNER Ministry, there will soon be cancer care facilities in collaboration with other advanced institutes of the country like Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai. In this regard, he said, the local municipal bodies to be elected through the poll will be expected to play a crucial role by mobilising local population to avail of the facility provided by the Modi Government.Mizoram has a high literacy rate of over 92%, next to the State of Kerala, said Dr Jitendra Singh and added that some of the scholars from Mizoram are occupying important teaching faculty positions in reputed colleges and Universities in the rest of the country. But, he said, the irony is that the local government here has failed to bring up standard educational institutes which has led to brain drain to other parts of the country.last_img read more

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63rd Annual TAAI Convention to be held from October 1416 at Abu

63rd Annual TAAI Convention to be held from October 1416 at Abu

first_imgTAAI will promote ‘Inbound into India’ as an important subject at the Convention to encourage more visitors to India63rd Annual Convention & Exhibition of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), popularly known as the Indian Travel Congress will be held from October 14-16, 2016 at Abu Dhabi. The venue and dates for the convention were finalised at the recently held Managing Committee meeting in Mumbai.Emirates Palace, the seven star hotel with a strikingly magnificent and unmatched edifice is shortlisted to be an important venue for the Convention.Talking about the host destination, Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI, said that Abu Dhabi has grown into a masterpiece among the cities of the world. He added that when a survey was done on 100 outbound passengers from India who visits Dubai, it revealed that only about five percent visits Abu Dhabi, which is quite shocking. One prime reason is the inadequate awareness on the growing strengths of Abu Dhabi, particularly in the areas of Tourism and MICE.TAAI is associating with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) who have assured of their support to TAAI to hold this event in Abu Dhabi.Speaking about the Convention, Kumar reflected that the Convention would be rich in its content as well as in offering experiential take-home to the delegates. He said that the content would focus on the importance of a fast changing ‘today’ and the urgent need for members to rise beyond the routine.The Convention will also focus on an exhibition that will offer exhibitors and vendors from the region, the valuable opportunity to connect with the fast growing Indian outbound industry and to also promote India. TAAI will promote ‘Inbound into India’ as an important subject at the Convention to encourage the region to connect well with India.Evenings will be classy– pre and post tours will be plenty and above all the attendees will be offered abundant luxury of a very high order. TAAI will be soon rolling out the registration opportunities.last_img read more

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Oaks debuts in India with opening of Oaks Bodhgaya

Oaks debuts in India with opening of Oaks Bodhgaya

first_imgAustralian accommodation provider Oaks Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Oaks Bodhgaya, marking the brand’s debut in India. Bringing Oaks’ smart simplicity to a new regional destination, Oaks Bodhgaya welcomes travellers to the captivating temple town of Bodhgaya in the Indian state of Bihar.The 78-key new-build Oaks Bodhgaya provides modern accommodation with spacious living areas having 74 Deluxe Rooms and three Suites. Designed specifically with disabled access, a Deluxe Suite is equipped with two bathrooms featuring walk-in showers, along with well-planned living and dining areas. Hotel services range from a 24-hour reception, concierge, kiosk and multilingual staff. Facilities and public areas are designed to be accessible for guests who are physically challenged or handicapped, and a doctor is on call 24-hours a day.last_img read more

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74 of Consumers Unmoved by Feds Promise of Low Rates

74 of Consumers Unmoved by Feds Promise of Low Rates

first_img October 22, 2012 429 Views Share 74% of Consumers Unmoved by Fed’s Promise of Low Rates Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bankrate Confidence Consumer spending CUNA Federal Reserve Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2012-10-22 Tory Barringercenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing The “”Federal Reserve’s””:http://www.federalreserve.gov/ recently-announced commitment to keep interest rates low until 2015 isn’t doing much to persuade consumers to borrow, according to “”Bankrate’s Financial Security Index””:http://www.bankrate.com/finance/consumer-index/financial-security-poll-1012.aspx for October.[IMAGE]The survey bounced from 96.6 in September to 99.2 in October-a solid increase, but still short of positive territory (a number less than 100 indicates falling financial security compared to the same time last year). Most telling was consumers’ response to Bankrate’s “”wild card”” question of whether or not the Fed’s pledge on interest rates would spur them to borrow money: 74 percent of consumers said they are not interested in taking on debt, while 23 percent said they are more inclined to borrow. Three percent said they did not know.While the Fed’s announcement was intended to stimulate economic activity, it may have had the opposite effect, one expert told Bankrate.[COLUMN_BREAK]””If anything, the effect of the announcement itself would be to reduce borrowing today,”” said Bill Hampel, SVP of research and policy analysis and chief economist for the “”Credit Union National Association””:http://www.cuna.org/. “”Some people may want to borrow now because credit is so cheap, but you’ve just told them you don’t need to rush out and borrow now because it’s going to be cheap next quarter, next year, the year after that and the year after that.””Hampel added that, even in normal times, consumer loan demand is rarely affected much by interest rates. Rather, demand tends to be influenced by consumer confidence, which is still limited by an uncertain economic climate and falling household income.””In today’s environment, it’s upside down: Incomes are falling. So, when incomes are falling, people worry, ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├ï┼ôHow am I going to pay it back if I borrow?’ no matter what the interest rate is,”” said Robert Barone, economist, portfolio manager, and partner at “”Universal Value Advisors””:http://www.universalvalueadvisors.com/ in Reno, Nevada.Adding to the problem is the amount of debt accrued in the household sector. The most recent numbers from the Fed show total household debt├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Øincluding mortgage and nonmortgage├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┬Øis at 103 percent of disposable income.With debt so high, the Fed is hoping to free up spending by giving consumers a low mortgage interest rate at which they can refinance, Hampel explained. However, with the bank committed to keeping rates low until 2015, Bankrate says customers may not be motivated to borrow until the 2015 deadline is almost up.last_img read more

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Industry Leaders Take On Housing Challenges at National Property Preservation Conference

Industry Leaders Take On Housing Challenges at National Property Preservation Conference

first_img Share Five Star Institute National Property Preservation Conference Safeguard Properties 2014-11-06 Tory Barringer Housing industry leaders gathered Thursday at the 11th annual National Property Preservation Conference (NPPC) to discuss some of the greatest challenges facing housing today and collaborate on how to tackle them head-on.Hosted by Safeguard Properties in Washington, D.C., this year’s conference featured pannel discussions boasting a host of policy experts offering insights on what’s happening inside the  beltway, including Laurie Maggiano, program manager for servicing and secondary markets at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Ivery Himes, director of HUD’s Office of Single Family Asset Management; and Meg Burns, former senior associate director at the Federal Housing Finance Agency and current managing director at the Collingwood Group, among others.Some of the housing industry’s leading minds—including representatives from Freddie Mac, Safeguard, SolutionStar, and TSI Appraisal—were also in attendance to discuss the current state of housing and property preservation and expectations for the future.Together, the panels, led by Five Star Institute President and CEO Ed Delgado, fielded questions on topics ranging from compliance challenges to the government’s growing oversight of the housing industry, including what’s on the agenda for 2015.”It’s clear that property preservation companies are increasingly playing a larger role in the stabilization of homeownership and communities” said Caroline Reaves, CEO of MCS, one of the nations leading property preservation companies and a key sponsor of NPPC.  “The dialog from this event will go a long way in establishing best practices and compliance as an industry for 2015 and beyond.”The event kicked off Thursday morning with remarks from Delgado, who described the outlook for housing as one of “reserved confidence.” That was followed by a keynote address delivered by Leonard Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.Alan Jaffa, CEO of Safeguard Properties, said the conference serves as a jumping-off point for dialogue that will hopefully continue.”I’m hearing a lot of great conversations taking place around the roles we all play in maintaining properties and communities,” Jaffa said. “We all come from a different perspective, but property preservation is a team effort.”Safeguard’s founder and chairman, Robert Klein, echoed Jaffa’s sentiment.”When I initiated the conference 10 years ago, my goal was to create a platform for open communication—an opportunity for truly honest dialogue about the issues we face as an industry,” he said. “In these discussions, everyone’s perspective is important, and everyone, from lenders to policy makers, GSEs and community groups, has a seat at the table. A decade later, the conversation continues to evolve and produce real solutions.”Editor’s note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of MReport and theMReport.com. Industry Leaders Take On Housing Challenges at National Property Preservation Conferencecenter_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News November 6, 2014 468 Views last_img read more

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FourthQuarter Earnings Down at Goldman Sachs

FourthQuarter Earnings Down at Goldman Sachs

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Share Results were mixed for some of the nation’s biggest banks when they released earnings statements earlier in the week: Citigroup and Bank of America both reported net income losses, while JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo reported gains.New York-based investment bank Goldman Sachs reported a slight year-over-year decline in Q4 2014 net earnings, but for the whole year of 2014 the firm reported a slight uptick from 2013, according to the firm’s Q4 and year-end earnings statement released on Friday.Goldman Sachs’s net earnings for 2014 were $8.48 billion on $34.53 billion in revenues, compared to a net income of $8 on $34.21 billion in revenues for all of 2013. Diluted earnings per share rose from $15.46 in 2013 to $17.07 in 2014. The firm was first worldwide in announced and completed mergers and acquisitions for 2014, having advised on announced transactions valued at a combined $1 trillion. Net revenues on investment banking for 2014 totaled $6.46 billion, the second-highest annual total in the firm’s history and an increase from $6.0 billion for 2013.”We are pleased with our performance during a year characterized by mixed global economic and financial conditions,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO. “The depth of our global client franchise and our continued discipline on expenses and capital management produced a solid return for our shareholders. Looking ahead, we see evidence of a continued pick up in momentum for the global economy that will improve the opportunity set for 2015.”For Q4 2014, Goldman Sachs reported a net income of $2.17 billion on $7.69 billion in revenues, down slightly from the net earnings of $2.33 billion on $8.78 in revenues for the same quarter a year earlier.For Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Client Execution, Goldman Sachs reported net revenues of $8.46 billion for 2014, a 2 percent decrease from 2013. The minor decline can be attributed to slightly lower net revenues in interest rate products and mortgages, combined with significantly lower rates for credit products, offset by higher rates in both commodities and currency (significantly higher in the case of commodities). Credit products, interest rate products, and mortgages experienced generally low levels of activity in 2014 due to economic uncertainty. January 16, 2015 495 Views center_img Goldman Sachs Profits Quarterly Earnings 2015-01-16 Seth Welborn Fourth-Quarter Earnings Down at Goldman Sachslast_img read more

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What Does the Disappointing Jobs Report Means for Housing

What Does the Disappointing Jobs Report Means for Housing

first_img Share A mostly disappointing April jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, combined with recent turbulence that includes a 0.5 percent GDP estimate for the first quarter, has many wondering whether another economic slowdown is on the way.Friday’s April 2016 Employment Situation from the BLS reported 160,000 jobs added during the month, while the unemployment rate held steady from March to April at 5.0 percent. February’s and March’s job gains were both downwardly revised by a combined 19,000 jobs, which brings the average monthly job gain for the three-month period from February through April down to 200,000.Will the slowdown in labor market be a hindrance to growth in the housing market, or will the will the housing market boom this summer due to the amount of pent-up housing inventory being bought up?“This weak jobs report follows tepid GDP growth in the first quarter and growing uncertainty about the future by both business and consumers,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke said. “The impact of this uncertainty on the spring and summer housing market is not clear. On the one hand, consumers must feel confident about their circumstances and future to make big investments so slowing job growth creates concern. On the other hand, this spring has already produced evidence of substantial pent-up demand rapidly buying up available inventory. If the April report turns into a true declining trend in job creation, we likely won’t see that impact in home sales until the summer.”The good news for the April jobs summary is that average hourly earnings for employees increased by 8 cents up to $25.53, bringing the over-the-year average increase up to 2.5 percent. The average workweek also ticked up slightly by 0.1 hours up to 34.5 hours.Also on the positive side was a decline in the U-6 unemployment rate, which is defined as the total number of unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force. The U-6 rate dropped from 9.9 percent in March down to 9.7 percent in April and has remained below 10 percent since October 2015. The post-recession peak for the U-6 unemployment rate is 17.1 percent from October to December 2009 and then reached again in April 2010.“This weak jobs report follows tepid GDP growth in the first quarter and growing uncertainty about the future by both business and consumers.”Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist, Realtor.comThe low number of construction job gains in April may be a bad sign for the housing industry. Only 1,000 construction jobs were added in April, compared with an increase of 41,000 in March.“Today’s jobs report suggests the labor market slowed, but did not falter, in April. While a weak headline job creation number and downward revisions to the past two months offer an uninspiring view of the labor market, there are some underlying positives,” Fannie Mae SVP and Chief Economist Doug Duncan said. “The pickup in the average workweek and annual wage growth are encouraging, though neither improved enough to stand up and cheer. More promising is the fall in the U-6 rate, the broadest measure of unemployment, which dropped to tie the lowest level since May 2008. While the report may or may not be the start of a weakening trend in the labor market, it supports our expectation that the Fed will not hike in June. On the housing front, the paltry gain in construction jobs is an unfortunate hiccup for a market that needs more building.”Fannie Mae has already downwardly revised its 2016 economic forecast and now expects only one rate hike from the Fed instead of two for the rest of the year. While many analysts have stated they expect a rate hike from the Fed in June, Friday’s less-than-stellar labor market data may change that. Freddie Mac has downgraded its economic forecast for the GDP in the first quarter from 1.8 percent down to 1.1 percent.“The labor market slowed in April as job gains and labor force growth each declined. The main area of weakness was retail trade, which had its worst month of job growth since December 2014,” said Curt Long, Chief Economist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). “On the bright side, wage growth improved during the month. This report will have little bearing on the Fed’s next rate hike decision in June, as policy makers have made it clear that threats abroad are of greater concern that the domestic economy.”Click here to view the complete April 2016 Employment Situation from the BLS. in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News What Does the Disappointing Jobs Report Means for Housing?center_img Bureau of Labor Statistics HOUSING Jobs Report 2016-05-06 Seth Welborn May 6, 2016 480 Views last_img read more

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New Home Sales Reverse Course

New Home Sales Reverse Course

first_img Sales of new single-family houses in May came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 551,000, according to estimates released today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Census Bureau.This is 6 percent below the revised April rate of 586,000, but 8.7 percent above sales figures from last May. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of May was 244,000, a supply of 5.3 months at the current sales rate, which has been the norm for several months.The median price of new houses sold in May 2016 was $290,400, with the average coming in at $358,900.Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia, acknowledged May’s falloff, but said that the drop was to be expected, given April’s large jump in sales. “To put it into perspective,” McLaughlin said, “May’s figure of 551,000 is the second largest annual rate over the past year, eclipsed only by last month’s revised figure of 586,000.”Also, he said, the share of all home sales composed of new homes ticked downward to 10 percent in May, but new residential construction “continues to slowly ease the crunch of low existing inventory.”“Homebuyers, constrained by persistent low inventory of existing homes, are increasingly turning to builders to satisfy their demand,” McLaughlin said.The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) noted that the May HUD/Census Bureau numbers are up from the average pace of 524,000 in the first quarter.“The monthly numbers can be volatile and subject to revision,” said Robert Denk, assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis at NAHB. “April’s initial 691,000 pace was revised down to 586,000 in May, but the upward trajectory beginning in 2012 is clear and continuing. New home sales, as well as single family housing starts, are still well below pre-housing boom norms but up from the depths of the 2011 trough.” New Home Sales Reverse Course June 23, 2016 506 Views Sharecenter_img Census Bureau Housing Supply HUD New Home Sales 2016-06-23 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Headlines, Newslast_img read more

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DC Court Rejects Intervention in CFPB Litigation

DC Court Rejects Intervention in CFPB Litigation

first_img CFPB governemnt PHH 2017-03-08 Staff Writer Share March 8, 2017 518 Views D.C. Court Rejects Intervention in CFPB Litigationcenter_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News On Tuesday, the D.C. circuit rejected bids from both supporters and opponents of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the trial of PHH Corp. vs. CFPB, Law360 reports, which has declared its leadership system unconstitutional, as the bureau’s single-director structure is in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers clause.The coalition had moved for reconsideration after already being rejected in February. Additionally, the court had blocked a bid by State National Bank of Big Spring, Texas. The small bank had previously attempted to challenge the constitutionality of the CFPB.The case, as previously reported by DS News, sees New Jersey-based lender PHH Corp. trying to overturn a $109 million penalty issued by the CFPB in June 2015 over alleged violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.The $109 million disgorgement order from CFPB to PHH remains at the center of the litigation and CFPB Director Richard Cordray is at risk of being fired by President Trump at will as provided in the Dodd-Frank Act. Cordray had originally ruled an appeal of an administrative judge’s initial smaller penalty.Motions from 17 state attorney generals and Democratic lawmakers Senator Sherrod Brown and Representative Maxine Waters to back the CFPB were rejected by the court, in addition to a coalition of consumer advocates who seek to represent CFPB. In October, Sherrod Brown released a statement on the original case and the decision to review the CFPB’s constitutionality.“I disagree with the Court’s decision. The CFPB’s structure works–just look at the critical role CFPB played in holding Wells Fargo accountable for customer abuses. Despite the industry’s claims, the CFPB is subject to extensive oversight and it is one of the most accountable financial agencies,” said Brown. “The CFPB will continue its tireless work advocating on consumers’ behalf and today’s decision underscores the importance of having a White House and Congress that supports its mission of strengthening consumer protections, rather than seeking to weaken and undermine oversight.”A filing by the Justice Department indicates that the Trump Administration plans to move against the CFPB’s bid to defend its structure. “As this court recognized in calling for views of the United States on the question whether rehearing should be granted, the view of the United States on matters involving the president’s removal of power are not always congruent with the views of independent agencies,” the government’s motion said.The case is PHH Corp et al v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, case number 15-1177, in the U.S. Court of Appeals.last_img read more

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Buyers Looking to Leave Expensive Metros

Buyers Looking to Leave Expensive Metros

first_img April 24, 2017 773 Views HOUSING migration Residential 2017-04-24 ScottMorgan1 Buyers Looking to Leave Expensive Metros One in five prospective homebuyers searched mostly for homes outside their current metro area in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Redfin Migration Report. Unsurprisingly, the highest numbers of prospective buyers looking elsewhere were searching from the country’s most expensive metros in coastal California and New York City.One difference between migrating buyers on the coasts is that buyers looking to move out of the Bay Area predominantly wanted to stay in California, whereas emigrants from New York favored moving to Philadelphia. Nevertheless, at the state level, California had the largest net outflow of residents.Redfin found that 19 percent of San Francisco residents searching its listings (about 15,000 people) looked elsewhere, and that 22 percent preferred nearby Sacramento. Another 14 percent preferred heading north to Seattle. Many also have headed south to Austin.In New York, about 7,100 buyers looked elsewhere, with 12 percent favoring Philadelphia. Los Angeles buyers also preferred looking out-of-state, with 9 percent looking in Las Vegas.In terms of sheer percentage, no metro saw a higher number than Dayton, Ohio. While the net loss was only 97 residents in the quarter, 52 percent looked elsewhere. Half of those favored Cincinnati, with 5 percent moving to Chicago.Coastal cities across the country gave up more residents to the south than any other region, the report found. At the same time, buyers looking out of state more often chose Florida. Buyers in Washington, D.C., and St. Louis favored Miami, but not as much as New Yorkers who were specifically looking to head south. Nearly a quarter chose Miami.Nearly 53 percent of searches for homes in Tampa were made by people in another metro, with 14.9 percent of those from the D.C. metro alone. At the same time, 22.1 percent of searches in Miami from the outside were from New York.The one thing the coastal cities with largely outflow have in common is that they’re expensive, despite opportunities.“Fast-growing coastal cities may be generating the high-paying jobs, but they haven’t created enough budget-friendly housing to keep pace,” said Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist. “The price of real estate and desire for homeownership is compelling many to uproot and seek housing in more affordable communities.”Richardson noted that even a Bay Area family with two solid incomes can struggle to afford a modest home.“For many, the only path to homeownership is to pack up and move out,” she said.Not everyone everywhere is looking to get out, of course. Buyers in Chicago, Boston, and Seattle were the most eager to stay put, each reporting at least 91 percent of buyers looking within their respective metros. Though Washington D.C. residents often looked to the warmer climes of Florida, it too reported nearly 91 percent of residents looking within the metro.center_img in Daily Dose, Data, News Sharelast_img read more

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