At least 10 Afghan police officers killed in Taliban assault

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Check your body, save your life Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Hotaki said the violence killed at least 10 officers and wounded 16. Later, Sangin’s deputy police chief, Haji Bari, said authorities recovered the corpses of at least 13 slain police officers, while 15 had been wounded. Such contradictory casualty figures are common amid an ongoing attack.“We are in control of 80 percent of the checkpoints and are currently fighting with Taliban at two checkpoints,” Bari said. “The Taliban numbers are high and they are attacking with full force. This level of force shows they are in a strong position to fight back.”Afghan security forces have been battling the Taliban in Helmand province for almost three months after launching an operation aimed at showing their strength ahead of the insurgents’ annual warm weather offensive. Since that offensive began April 24, the Taliban have launched a number of attacks across many parts of Afghanistan.Police checkpoints are regular targets as they are often poorly manned and vulnerable. The high number of casualties suffered by police, who often bear the brunt of the fight against the Taliban without the same resources as the army, has damaged morale and created an impression of battlefield domination by the Taliban. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban insurgents attacked police checkpoints Sunday in volatile southern Afghanistan, killing at least 10 officers in the ongoing assault, authorities said.Mohammad Ismail Hotaki, the director of Helmand province’s Joint Coordination Office, said that Taliban fighters attacked 10 police checkpoints in the province’s Sangin district. Hotaki said Taliban fighters captured three checkpoints and continued to surge forward in their assault. How men can have a healthy 2019 The offensive comes as NATO and U.S. troops ended their combat mission in the country at the end of last year, leaving the responsibility for the fight against the Taliban solely on the shoulders of local Afghan forces.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

2 million redevelopment kicks off at Jurien Bay foreshore

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls has officially kicked off the $2million redevelopment of the Jurien Bay foreshore.The foreshore project includes the construction of a new jetty; soundshell and stage area; and redevelopment of the surrounding foreshore park.“This funding will assist with the construction of the featured jetty and help attract further investment into the project, which will eventually include a mixed commercial and recreational centre,” Mr Grylls said.The project is also being funded through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions Wheatbelt Regional Grants Scheme ($750,000), Shire of Dandaragan’s Country Local Government Fund allocation ($539,000) and an additional $500,000 raised through a special rates system. It has also attracted support from industry, with the Ardross Group contributing $200,000.“This is a great example of what can be achieved with a strong local focus from the community and the Shire of Dandaragan; and strong partnerships with other stakeholders,” the Minister said.“The redevelopment of the foreshore will ensure this area is used for a multitude of community events and will be enjoyed by locals and visitors.”The project is expected to be completed in October this year, aligning with the increase in visitor numbers expected from the completion of Indian Ocean Drive. Round two of the Government’s Royalties for Regions Scheme close on February 10, 2010. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Fees no fair Expedia ad

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Using Australia and New Zealand television, Expedia has launched a 30 second ad that focuses on flight booking fees.The commercial highlights the online company’s “no value to customers” stance on bookings fees as well as the extreme charges put in place by competitors.“Australians and New Zealanders should be made aware of the amount of money they pay in fees, particularly flight booking fees, with other travel websites,” Expedia Australia and New Zealand general manager Nicolas Chu said.“These fees offer absolutely no value whatsoever to the traveller. At Expedia, we believe we should put the traveller first, not how much money we can make from them in fees.”According to a statement from the company, over the past 18 months Expedia removed its fees on flights, hotels, packages and car reservations booked through its Australian and New Zealand websites.The ad was made in response to results of research conducted by the online company which three quarters of Aussies and New Zealanders said they do not think they should be charged fees and are angered when they are.last_img read more

IATA reports passenger traffic slow

first_imgIndustry association IATA reported November 2011 saw international air passenger traffic slow and freight transport drop compared to last year because of the current poor economic environment.”Passenger traffic was 4.3 percent above November 2010 levels but this is skewed as November 2010 was a particularly weak month,” the association said in a statement. IATA’s Director General and CEO Tony Tyler said the results were reflected in air transport markets by a weak global economic performance.  “The trend has been both soft and volatile, continuing economic uncertainty will likely mean market shortcomings deepening as we enter 2012,” Mr Tyler said.International travel markets decreased by 1.5 per cent compared to October, much weaker than domestic markets that grew by 14.3 per cent.The differences in regions were noticeable, with North American carriers reporting a 0.8 per cent decline in travel while Middle Eastern carriers enjoyed a 10.1 per cent increase.Asia-Pacific airlines reported 2.4 per cent growth in demand compared to last year, which is less than half the 5.4 per cent growth in capacity.  The region’s carriers recorded a load factor of approximately 73 per cent. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

Airlines commit to Qld

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Queensland has experienced a flurry of new international and domestic flights and increased flight frequencies, which will develop tourism and improve visitor numbers, according to Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) chief Daniel Gschwind.Increased flights to Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast are planned for China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Etihad and Qantas.China Southern Airlines will employ three non-stop services from Guangzhou, while China Eastern will offer three direct flights from Shanghai.From February 2013 Etihad will run a daily service between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi.Qantas have also responded to a rise in demand for both leisure and business travellers by announcing a return to three daily services to the Gold Coast.“We are thrilled with these airlines’ decisions to further commit to Queensland, and I know Queenslanders and tourism operators are ready to show off our state to visitors,” Mr Gschwind said.“It’s a real vote of confidence for the state’s tourism industry and provides a real impetus for visitor number growth.”These new flights and increased frequencies will provide thousands of extra inbound seats to the sunshine state each week.“By committing to these flights we will also see these airlines market Queensland as a destination to their respective markets, further spreading the word that our state is where Australia shines.”last_img read more

Malaysia colourful and unified

first_imgColours of 1Malaysia Festival inspiresguests in Kuala Lumpur. The Colours of 1Malaysia Festival afforded international guests a taste of the unified and celebrated local Malay culture, with a spectacular street parade.Kuala Lumpur came alive over the weekend with the vibrant sights, sounds and smells of Malaysia, echoed through live dance performances and an extravagant  fireworks display.The new Malaysian minister for tourism and culture Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz joined honorary guests, His Majesty Yang DiPertuan Agong King of Malaysia and Her Majesty Tuanku Hajah Haminah Queen of Malaysia, to welcome nearly 10,000 guests.Among the crowd were 250 mega-famil delegates from 24 countries, who are currently touring Malaysia for AEROMEET 2013.The evening began with a bang, as fireworks lit up the night sky to officially open the annual Colours of 1Malaysia Festival.Every aspect of Malaysian tourism was represented, with individual performances highlighting food, festivals, sports, parks and gardens, nightlife, eco-tourism and much more.Special features included live performances by well-known Malaysian recording artists, 200 Porsche’s cruising down the strip, a parade of taxi’s and buses and a ‘Mega Endang’ finale dance.  Malaysia will celebrate Visit Malaysia 2014 next year with an increased numbers of dedicated festivals and scheduled events, while AEROMEET 2013 takes place in Langkawi between 29-31 May.ETB News is in Malaysia as part of the mega-famil from 24-31 May 2013.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T. The arrival of the King of Malaysia and theMinister for Tourism and Culture, Malaysiacenter_img The Hop-On Hop-Off KL explorerbus joins the parade.last_img read more

The Love Boats Isaac Washington heads to Australia

first_imgThe Love Boat’s Isaac Washington heads to AustraliaThe Love Boat’s Isaac Washington heads to AustraliaTed Lange, best known for his role of Isaac Washington, the cocktail maker and confidant on the iconic TV series ‘The Love Boat’, will be in Sydney from 9-12 July 2019 to celebrate the return of Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess to Australia.The December 2020 arrival of the 670-guest Pacific Princess in Sydney will coincide with the 45th anniversary of Princess Cruises’ first roundtrip cruise from Australia, a voyage that was made on the original Pacific Princess which was the ship that starred in ‘The Love Boat’.“I’m so excited to return to Australia. I first fell in love with the country while I was filming an episode of ‘The Love Boat’ in Sydney back in the 1980s,” Ted Lange said.“Two of my Love Boat co-stars, Gavin MacLeod who played Captain Stubing and Lauren Tewes who played Julie McCoy have both also travelled down-under since the show – Australia holds a special place in our hearts. I can’t wait to show Aussie’s how to make my signature cocktail, The Isaac, when I get there!”Announced yesterday and on sale on Friday July 12, Pacific Princess’ program will include an epic 90-day roundtrip Sydney voyage around South America, a 13-night cruise visiting ports on New Zealand’s North and South Islands and a special 21-night sailing to remote locations in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.The addition of Pacific Princess means Australians will have an unprecedented choice of Princess ships sailing from their doorstep over the 2020-21 summer, from the cruise line’s smallest ship, the 30,277-tonne Pacific Princess, to two of its largest ships – the 143,700-tonne Majestic Princess and 142,200-tonne Regal Princess.  With Sapphire Princess, Sun Princess and Sea Princess also sailing in local waters, Princess Cruises will further cement its position as Australia’s biggest cruise line, offering almost 25 per cent more beds across the 2020-21 summer than any other cruise line in AustraliaAbout Ted LangeTED LANGE certainly exemplifies the Renaissance Man Theatre Award that he received from the NAACP in Los Angeles and the Heroes and Legends HAL Lifetime Achievement Award.  A prolific author, educator, and director and actor of stage and screen comprise the talents that have created a revered career and worldwide recognition. On May 10, 2018, Lange received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of his Contribution to the History of Television for his work on The Loveboat.A graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Lange has written over twenty five plays and has been labeled The Black Neil Simon, The Brown Bard, and The Footnote Historian.  These nomenclatures reflect the nature of the plays that he has written and produced around the country in black theatres to rave reviews and numerous awards.  Lange is passionate about comedy, Shakespeare, history, and character driven theatre.  His quest is to weave the African American experience into stories that entertain and educate by using current events as the touchstone for timely stories and characters, by discovering little known historical facts and bringing alive lost moments of our black history, and by using the timelessness of Shakespearean tales to reflect what is still relevant to our culture today.His Shakespearean based play written in verse, The Cause, My Soul, the Prequel to Othello, the NAACP Theatre Best Play of 2017, was presented at the Odyssey Theatre on the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and at the North Carolina Black Theatre Festival.  The Tears of Shylock another Shakespearean based play will be read at the Matrix Theatre in April 2019.Lange’s historical based plays have been produced around the nation and at the National Black Theatre Festival to rave reviews.   His American historical trilogy includes George Washington’s Boy, the story of George Washington’s favorite slave, Billy Lee, The Journals of Osborne P. Anderson, the story of the five black activists that were a part of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and Lady Patriot, the tale of a Union spy in the Confederate White House.    George Washington’s Boy, was rated by the Denver Post as one of the top most important American plays.As an educator, Lange has lectured on the life of Ira Aldridge at the University of Lutz, Poland. He was named an adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Cinema/Television at USC, where he taught a weekly course in film directing.  In addition to this, he currently lectures on Shakespeare and acting at high schools and colleges across the nation.An award winning theatrical director, Lange received the Artistic Director Achievement Award, as Director of an Original Play for his comedy Lemon Meringue Façade and the Dramalogue Award for outstanding directing of The Visit, which was later turned into a film. Lange also received the Oakland Ensemble Theatre’s Paul Robeson Award and the James Cagney Directing Fellow Scholarship Award from the American Film Institute.Other highlights from his stage directing include: an interracial Hamlet starring Glynn Turman, an avant-garde version of Richard III, Driving Miss Daisy, a one man show- Big Daddy’s Barbecue starring Jeff Wayne and The Heart of Biddy Mason, a jazz musical which he co- wrote with noted jazz musician Gerald Trottman. He directed the independent feature film For Love of Amy. In 1989, he directed and starred in the film, Othello. Behind the Mask – An Evening with Paul Laurence Dunbar is Lange’s one-man show, which toured to sold-out houses at Ohio State University, San Jose State and Indiana State University.Four Queens – No Trump played garnered critical acclaim in Los Angeles, Cleveland, Omaha, and Chicago and won the NAACP Best Play – 1997.  The Valley Theatre Awards nominated his play, Lemon Meringue Façade, in five categories and played off Broadway in New York at the New Perspectives Theatre. Another respected play, Soul Survivor, was staged at the National Black Theatre Festival at the 1996; The Olympics in Atlanta, and at the Lee Strasberg Institute in Hollywood, which co-starred Yolanda King.Evil Legacy – The Story of Lucretia Borgia was nominated by LA Weekly for Best One-Woman Show.  Also written, directed, and produced by Lange was Born a Unicorn, a rock ‘n roll musical depicting the life of Black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge. Lange made his Broadway acting debut in the musical hit Hair and his theatrical acting careers spans over fifty plays including South Coast Repertory’s Piano Lesson, Sunshine Boys, Biloxi Blues, and a national tour of Driving Miss Daisy. Lange was bestowed The Best Actor 2001 by the NAACP for his work in Louie and Ophelia.  His passion for Shakespeare has led to the roles of Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew, Bottom in Midsummer’s Night Dream, and leads in MacBeth, King Henry VI, and Romeo and Juliet.  Other credits include Othello, in which he directed and starred in the stage version at the Inner City Cultural Center.Honored to be named a mentee of James Burrows, Lange’s TV & film directing career includes: sixty episodes of Mr. Box Office, and The First Family, as well as multiple episodes of Are We There Yet? He has directed Eve, Dharma and Greg, Moesha, Mike Hammer, and In the House. His directing expertise also encompasses a pilot he co-created for NBC, Big Daddy’s Barbecue.As a star of the television classic The Love Boat, Lange’s ten seasons as Isaac Washington earned him global recognition. His television acting career also includes That’s My Mama, Mr. T and Tina, and guest appearances on Evening Shade, Half and Half, Family Matters, In the Heat of the Night, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Oprah Winfrey Show.  He hit the reality TV genre running on Celebrity Fit Club.Combining all his talents, Lange wrote, acted, directed, and produced his play, Let Freedom Ring in Los Angeles. A historical dramedy about how the Liberty Bell was cracked. The play is based on a true story…almost.When asked about the diversity of his career, Lange states, “The duty of the Artist is to find his muse, then let her rip.”About Princess CruisesOne of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global premium cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, carrying two million guests each year to 380 destinations around the globe, including the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Europe, South America, Australia/New Zealand, the South Pacific, Hawaii, Asia, Canada/New England and World Cruises. A team of professional destination experts has created more than 150 award-winning itineraries, ranging in length from three to 111 days and Princess Cruises has been continuously recognised as “Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.”Princess Cruises continues its multi-year, “Come Back New Promise” – a $450 million-dollar product innovation and cruise ship renovation campaign that will continue to enhance the line’s onboard guest experience. These enhancements result in more moments of awe, lifetime memories and meaningful stories for guests to share from their cruise holiday. The product innovations include partnerships with award-winning Chef Curtis Stone; engaging entertainment inspired shows with Broadway-legend Stephen Schwartz; immersive activities for the whole family from Discovery and Animal Planet that include exclusive shore excursions to onboard activities; the ultimate sleep at sea with the award-winning Princess Luxury Bed and much more.Three new Royal-class ships are currently on order with the next new ship, Sky Princess, under construction scheduled for delivery in October 2019 and Enchanted Princess in 2020. Princess recently announced that two new (LNG) ships which will be the largest ships in the Princess fleet, accommodating approximately 4,300 guests with expected delivery in 2023 and 2025. Princess now has five ships arriving over the next six years between 2019 & 2025. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE:CUK).Source = Princess Cruiseslast_img read more

Cyprus witnesses 245 hike in tourism receipts in March 2016

first_imgAccording to the passenger survey results announced by the Statistical Service of Cyprus, the country registered a significant increase of 24.5% in tourism receipts in March 2016 amounting to €80.9 million as compared to €65.0 million in the corresponding month of the previous year.The largest increase has been recorded from tourist arrivals from Britain, amounting to 59,282 tourists in March 2016 compared to 41,149 tourists in the corresponding month of 2015. A significant increase was also recorded in arrivals from Germany (12,917 in March 2016 compared to 7,443 in March 2015) and Russia (12,835 in March 2016 compared to 7,855 in March 2015).The tourism revenue growth, however, was not commensurate with the increase in arrivals in March 2016 by 40.6%, compared to the same month of 2015. This is due to the drop in total per capita expenditure, which in March 2016 fell to € 590 from € 667 in March 2015.last_img read more

Indian government changes its visa rules

first_imgThe Indian government has unveiled changes in the existing rules to liberalise, simplify and rationalise the visa regime in order to encourage more foreign nationals including Omanis, to visit India for tourism, business and other purposes.The government, as part of this policy initiative has modified the existing e-Tourist Visa scheme. In a statement, the Indian Embassy in Muscat stated, “The e-Visa will now be issued for the specific purpose of the visit viz e-Tourist Visa, e-Business Visa and e-Medical Visa. While e-Tourist Visa will be issued for visits aimed at recreation, sight-seeing, casual visits and to attend yoga programmes, e-Business Visa will be issued for enhancing business activities, including establishing business ventures, purchase or sell commercial products, attending technical meetings, discussions, board meetings, recruitment of manpower etc. Similarly, e-Medical Visa will be issued for treatment in India.”The window for issuing visas under e-Visa has also been increased from 30 to 120 days, meaning that the applicant can travel to India within 120 days of the issue of e-Visa. Similarly, the duration of stay under e-Visa has also been increased from existing 30 to 60 days. In the case of e-Medical Visa, extension can be granted for stay up to six months on the case to case basis by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) concerned.Foreigners, under e-Tourist Visa and e-Business Visa, will now be allowed to undertake two visits as against the current one. Applicants availing the e-Medical Visa will be issued triple entry visas enabling them to visit India three times on the same visa. e-Visa, except for e-Medical Visa, will be non-extendable and non-convertible.The government has also permitted e-Visa holders to enter India through five major ports including Mumbai, Kochi, Goa, Chennai and Mangalore to tap the potential of cruise tourism. They are also allowed to enter India through 16 airports including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Goa, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Gaya, Jaipur, Lucknow, Thiruchirapalli and Varanasi.last_img read more

Los Angeles welcomes a record 473 million visitors in 2016

first_imgLos Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr announced that the city welcomed 47.3 million visitors in 2016, exceeding mid-year forecasts and breaking visitation records for the sixth consecutive year. The new visitor record is 1.7 million higher than 2015’s total, which is an increase of 3.8%.New tourism records were set for overall domestic and international visitation, with total domestic visitation reaching 40.2 million, a 3.8% increase over 2015, and 7.1 million international visitors, a 3.5% increase over the previous year.In 2016, Los Angeles also became the first U.S. city destination to welcome more than one million visitors from China, the destination’s number two international market after Mexico. China alone accounted for 75% of the destination’s overall international growth, derived from the market’s year-over-year growth of nearly 22% – the seventh consecutive year of at least 20% visitation growth for China. L.A. Tourism will continue to invest in the market with plans to expand its footprint in Chengdu, which will become L.A. Tourism’s fourth China office when it opens by the end of June 2017, joining Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.India was L.A.’s second-fastest growing the international market with a growth of 10.2%. L.A. Tourism established official representation in this market in 2016 as well as the Gulf/Middle East, an important connection point for visiting Indian travellers.“Tourism is booming in Los Angeles, and it’s helping to drive our whole city’s economy forward,” said Mayor Garcetti. “My goal is to welcome 50 million tourists to our city by 2020, and new attractions like the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will have even more people from around the world lining up to come to L.A.”“Global desire for the Los Angeles experience is at an all-time high, a fact largely attributable to our city’s celebration of diversity and creativity, from which thriving culinary, cultural and lifestyle scenes have emerged,” said Ernest Wooden Jr, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.last_img read more

NTC Recognized as One of Floridas FastestGrowing Firms

first_imgNTC Recognized as One of Florida’s Fastest-Growing Firms Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Nationwide Title Clearing Processing Service Providers 2013-10-04 Tory Barringer “”Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc.””: (NTC), a post-closing services provider for the residential mortgage industry, has been recognized by the _Florida Business Journals_ as one of the state’s fastest-growing companies.[IMAGE]For its achievements, NTC was honored at the _Florida Business Journals’_ 2013 Florida’s Fast 100 Awards Dinner, held September 26 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & [COLUMN_BREAK]Convention Center in Orlando. The state’s 100 fastest-growing companies were in attendance, with NTC ranking as No. 56.In order to be eligible for the list, a company must be privately held, owned, and headquartered in Florida; must have shown “”tremendous growth”” between 2010 and 2012; and must provide documentation verifying its revenue figures.””We are honored to be a part of the Florida Fast 100 Awards list–our company strives to distinguish itself within the industry by upholding top-notch standards amongst our employees and business practices,”” said NTC CEO John Hillman. “”Being recognized is a nod to the dedication of our team, a group of people that exceeds my expectations each day.””The Florida Fast 100 acknowledgement isn’t the only recognition NTC has received lately. The company also ranked No. 26 on the Fast 50 Awards list of the fastest-growing companies in Tampa Bay and was 1,900 on _Inc.’s_ 2013 500|5000 list.center_img October 4, 2013 453 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more

Study 70 of Consumers Lack Knowledge of Financial Rights

first_imgStudy: 70% of Consumers Lack Knowledge of Financial Rights in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Fewer than one-third of American consumers have a passable understanding of their financial rights, according to a new study from FICO.In a comprehensive survey of U.S. bank customers, the analytics company found only 30 percent of those quizzed about their financial rights earned a passing grade, with only 1 percent achieving an A (with 92 percent of responses correct).Out of the remaining number who passed, 3 percent earned a B grade (83 percent correct), 12 percent got a C (75 percent correct), and 14 percent got a D (67 percent correct).Of all the topics included in the 12-question survey, the questions that stumped the most respondents largely revolved around credit reporting. For example, 81 percent of consumers quizzed thought a credit reporting agency (CRA) did not need written consent to provide their credit report to their employer, and 78 percent weren’t aware that consumer information agencies can report negative information that is more than three years old.Meanwhile, a full three-quarters did not know that their credit rating is protected by the government in the event of a credit-related dispute.As a whole, FICO found younger consumers were generally less informed about their credit rights than older generations. According to the survey results, only 48 percent of millennials (age 25–34) could answer even half of the questions, while 57 percent of Generation X (35–50) and 62 percent of people over the age of 50 could achieve the same result.FICO says banks should take notice of the survey results, as consumers who fared better on the test also tended to say they were more satisfied and engaged with their banks: The respondents who were most satisfied answered 47 percent of questions correctly on average, while those who were the most engaged answered 50 percent right.On the other hand, unengaged customers were correct on only 42 percent of the questions, while unsatisfied consumers were right on 40 percent.”The study showed a correlation between financial literacy and better customer engagement, more use of bank services and decreased likelihood to switch banks,” said Anthony Sprauve, senior consumer credit specialist at FICO. “Educating consumers, especially Millennials, about their financial rights makes good business sense. Basic financial literacy equips consumers with the knowledge and confidence they need to make responsible financial decisions at all stages of their lives.” October 14, 2014 425 Views center_img Share Credit Score Credit Standards FICO Financial Education 2014-10-14 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Housing Affordability Outlook Turns Pessimistic

first_img More Americans are losing faith that the housing crisis is really over. A new study released by the MacArthur Foundation has found that 81 percent of Americans believe that housing affordability is still a big problem, while more than two-thirds believe that it is more challenging today to secure such housing than it was for previous generations.“Too many Americans today believe the dream of a decent, stable home and the prospects for social mobility are receding,” said MacArthur President Julia Stasch. “Having a decent, stable, affordable home is about more than shelter: It is at the core of strong, vibrant, and healthy families and communities.”On the upside, 63 percent of those surveyed said they think much could be done to address problems of housing affordability, and that it should be addressed by the presidential candidates.But the overall dark mood of the survey is even darker than a year ago. MacArthur’s findings show that 6 percent more Americans than in 2015 think the housing crisis is still palpable. Forty-four percent believe we are still in the middle of the housing crisis and 19 percent believe the worst is yet to come. About 39 percent still call the situation “a serious problem.”Thursday’s report reverses what had been an upward trend in the number of people who felt the crisis was over. This year’s 29 percent of optimists is just above where numbers were in 2014, and down from last year’s 35 percent. And the pessimism is especially pronounced among renters. About 12 percent fewer renters and people 65 and older think the housing crisis is on the way out. This is the same decline among those with four-year college degrees. Along ethic lines, Hispanics are the most pessimistic since last year, with 13 fewer people thinking the worst is over.“Too many Americans today believe the dream of a decent, stable home and the prospects for social mobility are receding.” Julia Stasch, MacArthur Foundation PresidentAmong the surveys other findings, stable, responders said that affordable housing is a fundamental component of economic security for families, yet Americans find it increasingly unattainable. One-third of adults reported that they know someone who has or have themselves been evicted, foreclosed upon, or lost their housing in the past five years. And three in ten adults spend more than 30 percent of their monthly household income on their rent or mortgage payment.“It is understandable why so many Americans are still skeptical about the housing recovery,” said Geoffrey Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, which helped conduct the survey for MacArthur. “Stable, affordable housing equates to feelings of security and having achieved a middle-class lifestyle, yet as Americans continue to make sacrifices to keep their homes. Americans want their elected officials to focus more on the challenge of affordable housing, and they think the issue has not so far received the attention it deserves from the candidates.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share June 17, 2016 504 Views center_img Housing Affordability Housing Crisis MacArthur Foundation 2016-06-17 Seth Welborn Housing Affordability Outlook Turns Pessimisticlast_img read more

Mortgage Activity is On the Move for Banks in Q2

first_img“We had a good second quarter against a backdrop of global uncertainty.”William S. Demchak, chairman, president, and CEO of PNC in Daily Dose, Headlines, News Banks Citigroup Earnings PNC Profits U.S. Bancorp Wells Fargo 2016-07-15 Seth Welborn July 15, 2016 879 Views Mortgage Activity is On the Move for Banks in Q2center_img PNC Financial Services Group’s net income for Q2 was $989 million, up from $943 million in the first quarter but down from $1.04 billion from Q2 of 2015. Residential mortgage banking net income accounted for about $43 million of Q2’s net income, more than double the total from Q2 2015 ($19 million). Residential mortgage banking noninterest income increased by $65 million over-the-quarter and by $1 million over-the-year in Q2 up to $165 million, driven by net hedging gains on mortgage servicing rights of $35 million. U.S. Bancorp passed the Fed’s stress tests, the results of which were released in June.“We had a good second quarter against a backdrop of global uncertainty,” said William S. Demchak, chairman, president, and CEO of PNC. “We grew fee income, along with average loans and deposits, and we announced plans to return additional capital to our shareholders in the coming year. In the wake of the Brexit vote, as lower interest rates weigh on future performance, we remain focused on executing against our strategic priorities to create long-term shareholder value without compromising our risk profile or balance sheet.”Citigroup, however, was not as lucky as the other three, posting a net income of $4 billion in Q2—down from $4.8 billion in the same quarter a year earlier, a 14 percent decline. According to Citi, the decline in net earnings was driven by lower revenues and a higher effective tax rate, partially offset by lower cost of credit and lower operating expenses.Citigroup’s loans totaled $634 billion as of the end of Q2, which was unchanged over-the-year. According to the bank, the 6 percent growth in Citicorp loans was offset by continued declines in Citi Holdings—which was driven mostly by continued reductions in the bank’s North America mortgage portfolio. The Fed did not object to Wells Fargo’s capital plan in the stress testing.“These results demonstrate our ability to generate solid earnings in a challenging and volatile environment, again highlighting the resilience of our institution. Nearly all of our net income came from our core businesses and we continued to reduce non-core assets in Citi Holdings,” said Michael Corbat, CEO of Citi. “We significantly improved our efficiency ratio, return on assets and return on tangible common equity from the first quarter. We also grew loans in both our consumer and institutional businesses, reduced expenses, and utilized additional deferred tax assets, bringing the total utilized to $10 billion over the last four years. This utilization fuels our ability to generate regulatory capital and, with the Fed’s non-objection to our capital plan, I am pleased that we will significantly increase the amount of capital returned to our shareholders over the next year.”Click here for Wells Fargo’s Q2 earnings report.Click here for U.S. Bancorp’s Q2 earnings report.Click here for PNC’s Q2 earnings report.Click here for Citigroup’s Q2 earnings report. Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp, and PNC Financial Services Group all continued what JPMorgan Chase started, reporting increased mortgage activity for the second quarter of 2016 as demand for mortgage loans rises and underwriting standards slowly ease, according to the banks’ Q2 earnings reports released Friday.On the other hand, Citigroup, which also released its Q2 earnings statement on Friday, reported continued reduction in its mortgage portfolio as well as overall net income.Wells Fargo reported a slight decline in net income year-over-year in Q2 (from $5.7 billion down to $5.6 billion, of $1.01 per share) but did report an uptick in net income from Q1 ($5.5 billion) and a 4 percent increase in revenue up to $22.2 billion. Though overall mortgage banking revenue was down, residential mortgage loan originations increased by 43 percent over-the-quarter, up to $63 billion. Residential mortgage applications shot up over-the-quarter from $77 billion up to $95 billion in Q2, and total loans were up by 1 percent over-the-quarter to $957.2 billion, partially driven by the growth in single-family first mortgage loans. The rise in first mortgages can be attributed to the launch of Wells Fargo’s Your First Mortgage during the quarter to help more first-time buyers and low- to moderate-income families achieve sustainable homeownership.“Wells Fargo’s second quarter results demonstrated our ability to generate consistent performance during periods of economic, capital markets and interest rate uncertainty,” Chairman and CEO John Stumpf said. “Compared with a year ago, we had solid growth in loans, deposits and customers, which are our fundamental drivers of long-term value. We also improved our efficiency ratio while continuing to reinvest in the franchise. We returned more capital to our shareholders in the quarter and were pleased to have received a non-objection to our 2016 Capital Plan from the Federal Reserve. We remain well positioned to continue to meet the financial needs of our customers.”U.S. Bancorp reported records for both net income ($1.52 billion) and earnings per share ($0.83). Residential mortgage originations jumped to $55.5 billion, an increase of 2.4 percent over-the-quarter and 8.6 percent over-the-year. The bank’s Q2 mortgage banking revenue in Q2 was $238 million, which was an increase of 27 percent over-the-quarter and 3 percent over-the-year. Also, the Fed did not object to U.S. Bancorp’s capital plan as part of the annual stress testing released in June.“U.S. Bancorp reported strong second quarter results, delivering record revenue and net income in an economy that continues to be challenged by global concerns and low interest rates,” said U.S. Bancorp Chairman and CEO Richard K. Davis. “Despite these economic headwinds we continued to effectively execute on our strategy to be the most trusted choice and to unify the customer experience. The second quarter was a record quarter for us as we once again delivered industry-leading returns, steady loan growth and strength in our fee-based businesses. Steady loan growth, demonstrated by continued strength in commercial loans and momentum in consumer loans, led to increased net interest income despite a decline in net interest margin.” Sharelast_img read more

Moving in With Mom and Dad

first_img Millennials are moving back in with their parents in order to afford a home, according to a recent report by USA Today. See what’s causing them to shy away from the nomadic lifestyle they’ve been labeled as having in the Video Spotlight. Millennial Homebuyers 2017-08-08 Brianna Gilpin August 8, 2017 834 Views Moving in With Mom and Dadcenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Media, News Sharelast_img

Where Do New Home Sales Stand

first_img Danielle Hale HUD US Census Bureau 2019-01-31 Donna Joseph The new residential sales statistics for November 2018 by the latest U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development revealed that sales of new single‐family houses in November 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000, reflecting an upward trend at 16.9 percent (±19.9 percent) above the revised October rate of 562,000—but is 7.7 percent (±20.7 percent) below the November 2017 estimate of 712,000. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, unlike other housing indicators released during the shutdown, today’s new home sales data shows a pick up from October’s pace. Hale indicated that “the November figure trails the sales figure of a year ago, which is consistent with other data showing a sluggish finish to 2018 home sales.”The median sales price of new houses sold in November 2018 was $302,400, the report found. The average sales price was $362,400. Data on sale inventory and month’s supply on a seasonally-adjusted basis revealed that the estimate of new houses for sale at the end of November was 330,000—representing a supply of six months at the current sales rate, the report noted. The report also stated that the U.S. Census Bureau is updating its 2019 economic indicator release calendar in coordination with other agencies and the Office of Management and Budget to address the impacts of the recent lapse in federal funding. The survey is primarily based on a sample of houses selected from building permits. The purpose of the survey is to provide current national and regional statistics on starts, completions, and characteristics of new, privately-owned single-family and multifamily housing units and on sales of new single-family houses.Read the full report here. Where Do New Home Sales Stand? in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, Newscenter_img January 31, 2019 719 Views Sharelast_img read more

Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup Release Q1 Results

first_imgGoldman Sachs and CitiGroup Release Q1 Results April 15, 2019 1,498 Views On Monday, Goldman Sachs and CitiGroup released their earnings reports for Q1 2019. CitiGroup’s profits rose 2% year over year, while Goldman Sachs saw a 13% decline, below analyst’s expectations.“We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter, especially in the context of a muted start to the year,” Goldman CEO David Solomon said in the release. “Our core businesses generated solid results driven by our strong franchise positions. We are focused on new opportunities to grow and diversify our business mix and serve a broader range of clients globally.”Goldman Sachs’ real estate lending declined from Q4 2018, but increased year over year in Q1 2019. Meanwhile, CitiGroup reported a slight increase in mortgage lending, both year over year and quarter over quarter in Q1 2019.“Our earnings reflect the progress we are making to improve our return on and return of capital,” said Citi CEO Michael Corbat in a statement. “Both our consumer and institutional businesses performed well and we saw good momentum in those areas where we have been investing, such as U.S. Branded Cards, Treasury and Trade Solutions, and Investment Banking. Importantly, our strategy in North America consumer banking is showing good early results as we introduce new products and engage with a broader range of customers, through digital channels.”Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase released their respective Q1 2019 earnings on Friday, with both banks exceeding expectations.“In the first quarter of 2019, we had record revenue and net income, strong performance across each of our major businesses and a more constructive environment,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase in a statement. “Even amid some global geopolitical uncertainty, the U.S. economy continues to grow, employment and wages are going up, inflation is moderate, financial markets are healthy and consumer and business confidence remains strong.”JPMorgan Chase’s home lending net revenue was $1.3 billion, up from the previous quarter by down 11% year over year, driven by lower net servicing revenue. Wells Fargo’s mortgage banking income was $708 million, up from $467 million in fourth quarter 2018, and the production margin on residential held-for-sale mortgage loan originations increased to 1.05%, from 0.89% in the fourth quarter. Citigroup Goldman Sachs Income Lending Mortgages Wells Fargo 2019-04-15 Seth Welborncenter_img Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

InterContinental Hotels Group IHG has launched i

first_imgInterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched its Booker Bonus promotion via the IHG® Rewards Club – book meeting or social events, or accommodation, by 30 November 2017 for events taking place before 28 February 2018 and earn 50% extra IHG® Rewards Club points.Book a Xmas event and earn 100% extra IHG® Rewards Club points, valid for all types of events taking place in December 2017. Members can also earn 35,000 extra IHG® Rewards Club points each time they spend at least $25,300 AUD on a single event to use towards redeeming a Reward Night and more. Redemption deals include Air Miles, Digital Rewards, Retail Vouchers, Gifts, Hotel Stays and more.Plus members can go into the prize draw to win up to 10,000 IHG® Rewards Club points through their social channels. To enter, upload an image of your perfect organisation at work or at home using #ihgbrleader on Facebook or Instagram. earlybirdshotelsIHGMICElast_img read more

Helloworld Travel LimitedMelbourne

first_imgHelloworld Travel LimitedMelbourne The Australian duo took home the first ever Gold Medal for Beach Volleyball, beating the world class Canadian team in a thrilling final.As part of his national tour with fellow athletes, Chris stopped by the Helloworld Travel Limited office in South Melbourne to meet and chat with staff, sharing stories of his time at the Games, and how his career in Beach Volleyball began. The visit was a great opportunity for those in attendance to gain insights into Chris’ journey and to learn more about the sport, and to take selfies with a Commonwealth Games gold medallist.The Helloworld Travel Volleyroos Indoor Team will be in action from 22-24 June at Hisense Arena for the Volleyball Nations League, taking on Brazil, Argentina and Poland. For more information click here. Aussie Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist, Chris McHugh, paid a visit to delighted staff at Helloworld Travel Limited Melbourne earlier this week, on the back of his Beach Volleyball win, with teammate Damian Schumann, at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast last month.last_img read more


first_imgairlinesLATAMMelbourneSantiago LATAM Airlines Group will increase the number of flights on its non-stop service between Melbourne and Santiago, Chile, in response to growing demand from passengers travelling between Australia and South America. Starting 1 January 2019, LATAM Airlines will increase its service between the two cities from three to five flights per week. The service, which launched on 6 October 2017, is the only non-stop connection between Melbourne and Santiago and has significantly reduced travel times between the two cities. “LATAM is committed to providing unrivalled connectivity to, from and within Latin America so that more people have the opportunity to experience the unique destinations our region has to offer,” saidRoberto Alvo, Chief Commercial Officer, LATAM Airlines Group. “With two extra weekly flights, we expect to transport an additional 50,000 passengers per year between the two cities.”LATAM Airlines flight LA804 will depart Melbourne (MEL) at 20:10 (local time) on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, arriving in Santiago (SCL) at 19:05 the same day (local time), with a flight time of 12 hours 55 minutes. The return flight (LA805) will depart Santiago at 12:45 (local time) on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, arriving in Melbourne at 17:30 (local time) the following day, with a journey time of 14 hours 45 minutes.IMAGE: LATAM Entregalast_img read more