Thai authorities spot boat carrying migrants near Malaysia

August 18, 2019

first_img Top holiday drink recipes Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai provincial governor says authorities have spotted a boat carrying hundreds of migrants near Malaysian border waters.Satun provincial governor Dejrat Simsiri said navy and fishing boats working for the government were monitoring the boats.He said it was “unlikely that we will bring them to shore because the mainland is too far and we will need order from higher officials before we can proceed.” Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Comments   Share   center_img Top Stories Sponsored Stories Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day More than 1,600 men, women and children from Myanmar and Bangladesh aboard crowded wooden boats have landed on Indonesia and Malaysia in recent days.Thousands more are believed to be aboard vessels stranded in waters north of the Malacca Strait after human traffickers and captains abandoned the ships.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

The Latest Pope in Ecuador talks about being model Catholic

August 18, 2019

first_imgNuns embrace at Independence square, while they wait for the Pope’s arrival to the government palace in Quito, Ecuador, Monday, July 6, 2015. Pope Francis is making his first visit to his Spanish-speaking neighborhood. He travels to three South American nations, Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay. (AP Photo/Ana Buitron) The Mass featured readings in Quichua, the native language most spoken in Ecuador, and Ecuadorean vestments for the pope.___10:40 a.m.Pope Francis is preparing to address hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Quito to celebrate Mass at a large park that previously was the site of the Ecuadorean city’s airport.Entering the area, Francis stopped the popemobile for a brief moment to hug an elderly woman in a wheelchair. He then gave her a blessing and continued.The large crowd near the stage where Francis will celebrate Mass briefly broke the barrier, but security forces stepped in and moved people back.___9:35 a.m.A water-logged crowd estimated by officials at half a million awaits the pope at Quito’s Bicentennial Park. Francis will be celebrating the second Mass of his South American tour.City operations director Cristian Rivera says more than 300,000 faithful spent the night and got doused with a pre-dawn torrential rain. He said paramedics treated more than 20 people for hypothermia and handed out blankets to the crowd.He said two hydrosuction trucks worked to remove puddles from several inundated sections of the park.A 59-year-old seafood vendor, Abel Gualoto, rubbed his cold hands and said he didn’t mind the discomfort. The vital role family plays in society 0 Comments   Share   “The joy at seeing the pope gives us the warmth we need,” he said.___8:27 a.m.Pope Francis is beginning the second full day of his South American tour. The 78-year-old pontiff is set to meet with Ecuadorean bishops in Quito before celebrating Mass at the city’s Bicentennial Park, a large green space in the area of a former airport.In the afternoon, he’ll address leaders of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador before doing the same with civil society groups in the early evening.Then later at night, he’ll make a private visit to the Church of the Society of Jesus, known locally as Iglesia de la Compania. The Jesuit church is one of the oldest and most known in Ecuador. It houses a painting of the Virgin Mary that was said to shed tears in 1906.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The pope’s words come at a time of changing religious landscapes across Latin America, including Ecuador and Bolivia, two of the three countries he’s visiting.In Ecuador, 79 percent of the population identified as Catholic in 2014 compared to 95 percent in 1970, according to Pew Research Center. In Bolivia, 77 percent were Catholic in 2014 compared to 85 percent in 1970. In both Andean countries, many Catholics have left the church for evangelical faiths such as Pentecostalism.___11:05 a.m.Pope Francis is urging all of Latin America to channel the same urgency that brought them independence from Spain two centuries ago to spread the faith and bring together their ideals in a world torn apart by war and individualism.Francis chose to celebrate his final Mass in Ecuador in Quito’s Bicentennial Park — an apt location given that Ecuador was where the first cries of independence against Spanish rule rose up in Latin America in 1809.Francis told an estimated half-million people gathered Tuesday that in a world divided by wars, violence and individualism, Catholics should be “builders of unity,” bringing together hopes and ideals of their people.He said: “There was no shortage of conviction or strength in that cry for freedom which arose a little more than 200 years ago. But history tells us that it only made headway once personal differences were set aside.” Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories Men’s health affects baby’s health too QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis’ trip to South America:___Pope Francis is telling faithful in Ecuador that being model Catholics is the best form of evangelization.During his homily at a park in Quito, Francis said: “Evangelization doesn’t consist of proselytizing. Rather, it’s about using our own testimony (of God) to attract those who have become distant, in humbly bringing close to us those who feel far from God and the church.” Top Stories last_img read more

Serbia Bosnia leaders pledge to boost fragile postwar ties

August 18, 2019

first_imgSerbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, left, welcomes Bosnian Muslim member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency Bakir Izetbegovic during a welcoming ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, July 22, 2015. Bosnia’s three-member presidency visits Belgrade following recent tensions over the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre of Muslims by Serbs. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic) BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The leaders of former Balkan foes Serbia and Bosnia on Wednesday pledged to boost fragile post-war ties shaken earlier this month on the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.Bosnia’s three-member presidency and Serbia Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic held a hastily-called meeting in Belgrade to underscore a bid to put the past behind and work together for a warless future in the volatile region. Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Comments   Share   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 like How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationcenter_img Tensions soared after Vucic — a former extreme Serbian nationalist — was attacked during the July 11 commemoration ceremonies in the eastern town, with angry crowds throwing stones and bottles at the Serbian prime minister.Bosnian Muslims also have been angered by Serbia’s refusal to call the massacre by Bosnian Serbs of 8,000 Muslims genocide, as has been ruled by two U.N. courts. Serbia’s ally Russia has blocked a U.N. resolution that referred to the 1995 slaughter as genocide.Srebrenica was a U.N. safe haven during the conflict that pitted Bosnian Serbs, Muslims and Croats against each other. Serbia at the time backed the Bosnian Serb war effort and Vucic was an outspoken supporter of the war policies.Bosnian Muslim leader Bakir Izetbegovic said after talks that “we have agreed to do everything to improve relations so that evil will never repeat itself.”Vucic added that he has “forgotten all about” the incident in Srebrenica. He said that “what happened was hard, but it is nothing compared to what happened to Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs” during the war.”The 1992-95 conflict left more than 100,000 people dead and millions homeless. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

July busiest on record for Syd airport

August 17, 2019

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W Sydney airport has experienced its busiest July on record, boosted by an increase in domestic and international passenger numbers.The rise in arrivals and departures was driven by increased capacity for both international and domestic airlines, including Scoot, AirAsia X, Emirates, Tiger and Jetstar. Overall the number of domestic passengers increased by 2.6 percent to 2.1 million and international passengers increased 3.6 percent to 1.1 million for the month of July, according to Sydney Airport chief executive Kerrie Mather.Ms Mather revealed there was a significant growth in Singaporean (54 percent) and Malaysian (45 percent) nationals arriving in Sydney, with Chinese passengers also continuing to grow at 12 percent for the month.last_img

American US Airways 11 billion merger

August 17, 2019

first_imgAfter weeks of speculation, American Airlines and US Airways have confirmed the two carriers will merge to form the world’s biggest airline.Subject to regulatory and US Airways shareholder approval, the $11 billion merger is expected to be completed by the third quarter 2013 and will see US Airways rebrand into American Airlines to offer 6,700 daily flights and an annual revenue of up to US$40 billion.Flying to 336 destinations in 56 countries, the combined airline will provide the most services across the East Coast and Central regions of the US, 21 destinations in Europe and the Middle East as well as enhanced connectivity through American’s oneworld membership.The airline will also maintain all American Airlines and US Airways hubs and take delivery of up to 600 new aircraft, including 517 narrowbody aircraft and 90 widebody international planes.On the management side, American Airlines current chief executive Thomas Horton will step into the role of chairman while US Airways chief executive Doug Parker will serve as chief executive and a member of the board of directors.  Mr Horton said the agreement will unify ‘two highly complementary networks’ to form a ‘global premier carrier’, with a ‘strong platform’ for travellers.“As part of this process, after months of exhaustive analysis and a thorough review of all alternatives, we concluded that this merger is the best outcome for our company, delivering not only the greatest value for our financial stakeholders, but also positioning us well for sustainable success over the long term,” he said.Excited for the new extended carrier? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of the American Airlines and US Airways union. Airlines merge to form the world’s largest airline. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Agents urged to integrate online bookings

August 17, 2019

first_imgBricks and mortar travel agencies are being encouraged to adapt to the consumer behavioural shift towards researching and booking travel online.Research conducted by Roy Morgan revealed six out of 10 Australians who booked international holidays last year, did so via the internet.“Customers are extremely sophisticated and don’t want to compromise on receiving a high level of customer service, particularly when making big ticket purchases such as overseas trips,” Sabre Pacific chief information officer and head of product Mark Mison said.“By integrating online booking engines into their websites, travel agencies can extend the service they offer to their customers and tap into this, now mature, channel,” Mr Mison said.China Holidays reported triple-digit growth since introducing Sabre Pacific’s leisure online booking tool, Sabre Explore, three years ago.“This technology has allowed us to complement our existing business to reach new markets and customers… and the high level of automation the tool offers has meant we haven’t had to hire new staff,” China Holidays spokesperson Simon Hughes said.Roy Morgan’s research indicates that online bookings will continue to grow in the coming years.Does your agency have an integrated online booking system? If not, would you consider this option? Bricks and mortar agencies “need to give their customers the best of both worlds.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.last_img read more

Jin Air unveils the Standing Room Ticket in new ad

August 17, 2019

first_imgKorean low-cost carrier Jin Air has become the first ever airline to introduce a Standing Room Ticket in its latest television commericial.In the minute-long ad, the airline announces it now offers “standing tickets at the lowest price ever” and features a passenger standing on top of a jet enjoying amazing views and the wind against his face.As you have probably guessed, the ad is entirely satirical.The commercial follows Jin Air’s first creative video titled Jet Fighter Service, which the airline released last November.The airline explained the video was created to promote the brand internationally through its iconic marketing slogan, ‘Delight’, which represents Jin Air’s aim to ‘provide pleasant travels’.Jin Air will also host giveaways and lucky draws on its Facebook page and website to coincide with the commercial’s release.Another creative commercial is set to be released later this year.Watch the video below: Fly Jin AirSource = ETB Travel News: Brittney Levinsonlast_img read more

AIME 2016 Experience Club Med resorts like never before

August 17, 2019

first_imgVirtual reality with Club Med A lot of things are going to happen at the Club Med stand during the AIME conference, do not miss it! Representing Club Med unique Rent a Resort concept, mystery “keys to Club Med resorts” will be given away to the event attendees, along with delicious patisseries. A secret message attached to the key will invite MICE professionals to share the dream event they would organize if they could indeed rent one of Club Med resorts. One of the creative participant will have the chance to experience Club Med unique Ski concept during a 7 days all included ski trip to the French Alps including flights with Air too can win with Club MedAll AIME attendees can to enter the competition: either by filling the form at the Club Med stand or online at Club Med Virtual Reality AIME 2016: Experience Club Med resorts like never before!AIME is the biggest groups and incentives expo in the southern hemisphere. This year, Club Med is giving you the chance to win a snow trip to France and to experience Virtual Reality. The Club Med Meetings & Events team has a 60 experience in this field with 2000 events organized each year worldwide.Visit Club Med during the AIME conference and find the key to one of our premium resorts!center_img Experience the Maldives in Virtual realityThe Maldives is a very exclusive destination for groups and Club Med two resorts offers many possibilities to create unique events: from renting the exclusive Finolhu villas for a one of a kind luxurious incentive, or creating a teambuilding or special event in the lively Kani resort. To experience this yourself without leaving Australia, virtual tours of the resorts will be available at Club Med booth in AIME. If you want to get a taste of what kayaking on a crystal clear blue lagoon looks like, or how it would feel to stay in the beautiful overwater villas, come and meet Club Med on their stand! Club Meddiscover much more hereSource = Club Medlast_img read more

Chinese travellers can now use Alipay at Munich Airport

August 17, 2019

first_imgSource = Munich Airport An app for a non-cash shopping experience: Munich Airport’s retail arm eurotrade has signed a cooperative agreement with Wirecard AG and is launching the Asian payment system Alipay in all participating shops. Effective immediately, travelers from China can now use their phones to make purchases easily and conveniently with Alipay in the 69 eurotrade stores. All of eurotrade’s retail units, before and after security, have programmed their point of sale terminals to accept the Alipay bar code. The platform will be expanded in the future to offer other alternative payment methods as well.Payment with an Alipay bar code is very simple: Customers making purchases with their Alipay wallets just show the cashier their smartphone displaying a barcode. After the code is scanned, the payment process begins. Occasionally customers will have to confirm payment by entering their PIN.“Passengers from China are one of our most important, high-revenue target groups at Munich Airport,” says Sven Zahn, the managing director of eurotrade Flughafen München Handels-GmbH. “The ability to offer our Asian guests the same mobile payment option they use at home in all of our stores, without having to change currencies is just the latest example of the philosophy that earned us the title of Europe’s only five-star airport. With Wirecard we have found a local and reliable partner to support us in implementing the solution.”“With our ConnectedPOS platform, we can quickly and easily implement the acceptance of Alipay payments in the eurotrade point-of-sale systems. Alipay is a key strategic partner for us. Alternative POS payment processes are just getting started in Europe. But Alipay is an excellent example of how quickly these solutions can establish themselves as a standard,” adds Markus Eichinger, the Head of Mobile Services with Wirecard.last_img read more

Dubai brightens up the world with dazzling New Years Eve firewo

August 17, 2019

first_imgDubai brightens up the world with dazzling New Year’s Eve fireworksDubai brightens up the world with dazzling New Year’s Eve fireworks show by EmaarDubai has once again mesmerised the world with a magnificent New Year’s Eve fireworks spectacle by Emaar Properties, bidding farewell to 2016 and welcoming in 2017 in resplendent style. Thousands of spectators from all over the world joined the celebrations in Downtown Dubai , Emaar’s mega-development, centred around the iconic Burj Khalifa. The dazzling event reached billions through live television feeds and a real-time experience via Twitter Live Stream.Moments before the stroke of midnight, Downtown Dubai was enveloped in a blanket of darkness. Then to the sounds of a special musical composition by Dhabiwood Studios, played by more than 80 musicians and recorded in studios in Dubai and Cairo , the spectacle unfolded.A glittering falcon took flight in the night sky to announce the imminent arrival of the New Year, and the countdown commenced with a fascinating play of lights and laser, leading to the moment that the world waited for as Burj Khalifa glittered in the fireworks. New Year greetings in Arabic and English appeared on LED screens on Burj Khalifa.The celebrations that followed had no parallel. Across Downtown Dubai , fireworks, pyrotechnics, laser shows and LED displays in multiple hues created intricate motifs and patterns. Adding more magic was The Dubai Fountain, specially choreographed with water and fire.The best was yet to come. With all lights dimmed once again, the glittering falcon reappeared and took flight towards the newly opened Dubai Canal and from there, to the site of Dubai Creek Harbour. Fireworks and pyrotechnics followed, setting a brilliant continuum of lights from Burj Khalifa through the Dubai Canal to Dubai Creek Harbour, where the glorious architecture of The Tower, the city’s future icon being developed by Emaar, was simulated in lights and fireworks.Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said: ” Dubai has charmed the world once again. This celebration is our message of positivity to the world, and our welcome to everyone to come, visit and live in our city. This magnificent display is also our salute to our leadership, our mark of gratitude for making Dubai such a great place to be as a result of their futuristic vision.” Source = Emaar Properties – PRNewswirelast_img read more

TAT promotes Thailand as a World Class Wedding Destination

August 17, 2019

first_imgSource = Tourism Authority of Thailand – TAT TAT promotes Thailand as a World Class Wedding DestinationTAT promotes Thailand as a World Class Wedding DestinationThe Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Sydney Office will promote Thailand as a world-class wedding destination through a number of campaigns and events throughout 2017, targeting the wedding and honeymoon market.TAT kicked off a year of campaigns by participating in ‘The Ultimate Bridal Event’ which was held in Sydney and Melbourne in January. TAT’s presentation at the expo generated a great deal of interest, with many visitors showing interest in Thailand as a wedding destination.One of the campaigns rolled out earlier this year called “Thailand Wedding Destiny”, which is aimed at promoting Thailand as a wedding destination, as well as promoting Thai wedding organizers in the global market, offered nine lucky couples from nine countries the chance to win a wedding in Thailand. Countries included in the campaign include Australia, The Republic of China, Hong Kong, Japan, England, France, Republic Czechoslovakia, USA and Brazil, and the prize includes the opportunity to have both Western and Thai-style weddings within four regions of Thailand. The venue chosen for wedding celebrations by the lucky Australian couple who won this year is the Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, a five-star luxury hotel in Surat Thani.TAT will also be hosting the 4th Annual Destination Wedding Planners Congress, in Phuket from 2nd May to 4th May, bringing together high end destination wedding planners under one roof to meet a lavish spread of organizations – extravagant hotels, resorts, chateaus, and venues along with leading wedding suppliers and creative partners. TAT is expected to attract 450 delegates from around the world.Ms.Rujiras Chatchalermkit, TAT Sydney Director said, “Thailand is well known for its cultural allure and natural beauty, scenic stretches of beaches, mountains, greenery, entertainment, and world renowned hospitality; so it is no surprise that many couples select Thailand as their wedding and honeymoon destinations.”TAT looks forward to collaborating with many partners and exhibitors throughout the year in its quest for continued growth in the wedding and honeymoon market and continued success promoting Thailand as the World Wedding Destination.About the Tourism Authority of Thailand Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is a Thai National Tourist Office responsible for promoting Thailand as a premier tourist destination.The Sydney office is responsible for the regional area of Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. We provide information and support to the public, as well as media, wholesalers, airlines, travel agents and other partners.Contact Us General enquiries contact: Authority of ThailandSuite 20.02, Level 20, 56 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000, AustraliaTel. (612) 9247 Facebook: @HugThailandTwitter: @HugThailandlast_img read more

Travelport partners with Indonesias Ministry of Tourism

August 17, 2019

first_imgSource = Travelport Travelport partners with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism on marketing campaignTravelport partners with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism on marketing campaignTravelport (NYSE:TVPT), the leading Travel Commerce Platform, and the Republic of Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism have announced a new global digital marketing campaign to increase tourism to the world’s largest archipelago and fourth most populous country.The campaign, which is part of the Ministry’s “Wonderful Indonesia” international tourism marketing strategy, will deliver tailored online messaging to targeted travel agents in 15 countries around the world using Travelport’s advanced Destination Marketing technology. The Ministry of Tourism believes the campaign will help increase tourism from the record setting 15-plus million tourists expected in 2017 by driving incremental tourist arrivals into Indonesia and also by stimulating awareness and interest among travel agents and consumers to explore the five wonders of Indonesia (Natural, Sensory, Cultural, Modern and Adventurous).“Indonesia is one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting countries, full of fascinating sights and tastes that we want to share with the world.” said I Gde Pitana, Deputy Minister for International Marketing and Communication, for the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism.Niklas Andreen, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Hospitality and Digital at Travelport, added: “It is a great honor to work with the Ministry of Tourism on this important campaign to increase tourism to this remarkable country. With access to more than 68,000 Travelport travel agents around the world, our Destination Marketing solution continues to deliver exceptional value to customers who need to target the right people with the right messages to help achieve their marketing objectives.”About Travelport ( (NYSE: TVPT) is the technology company which makes the experience of selling, buying and managing travel continually better.  It operates a travel commerce platform providing distribution, technology, payment and other solutions for the global travel and tourism industry.  The company facilitates travel commerce by connecting the world’s leading travel providers with online and offline travel buyers in a proprietary business-to-business (B2B) travel marketplace.Travelport has a leadership position in airline merchandising, hotel content and distribution, car rental, mobile commerce and B2B payment solutions.  The company also provides critical IT services to airlines, such as shopping, ticketing, departure control and other solutions.  With net revenue of over $2.3 billion in 2016, Travelport is headquartered in Langley, UK, has approximately 4,000 staff and is represented in 180 countries and territories.last_img read more

Mumbai is the fifth most budgetfriendly city in the world

August 16, 2019

first_imgAccording to 2015 TripIndex Cities, annual TripAdvisor cost comparison study, Mumbai is the fifth most budget friendly city after Hanoi, Warsaw, Sharm el Sheikh and Bangkok.The survey found the total cost of a three-night holiday in Mumbai comes to Rs 53,911, with the most notable expenses being accommodation at Rs 23,091. Mumbai is 39% more expensive than Hanoi, but with respect to taxi rides, it is cheaper than Bangkok, Sharm el Sheikh and Warsaw.“TripIndex Cities compares the cost of a three-night break during the summer travel months of June to August in 40 key tourist cities around the world, taking into account typical costs for two people. These include a four-star hotel for three nights, a visit to three attractions, lunch each day, a taxi to and from dinner each day, plus the cost of dinner itself,” said a release from the company.A three-night trip for two in Hanoi will cost you an average of Rs 46,645; excluding flights, which is three times less than the price of a holiday in the world’s most expensive destination, Cancun, Mexico, which cost an average of Rs 1,28,627.The survey also found that travellers can find the best value in Southeast Asia, since four of the top 10 cheapest destinations are located there – Hanoi, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila take first, fourth, seventh and ninth places, respectively.last_img read more

TAT promotes Phuket Express Campaign along with THAI airlines

August 16, 2019

first_imgThai Airways International (THAI) inaugurated its first four-weekly Beijing-Phuket flight route recently. On this occasion, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has committed to offer its full support to the airlines, by co-hosting a familiarisation (FAM) trip for travel agents and members of the media from the People’s Republic of China.The route is being promoted under a ‘Phuket Express’ campaign, leveraging the fact that tourists and travellers from China can now fly direct to the holiday island.Speaking on the occasion, Bangornrat Chinaprayoon, Director, TAT-Beijing Office, said, “This new THAI route is vital as Phuket becomes ever more popular with tourists and travellers from China who can now conveniently come here for weekends, knowing they will find the world’s best beaches, a warm welcome, and unique local experiences that will provide amazing memories.”The three day FAM trip would explore the natural and cultural attractions of Phuket. THAI is operating four flights per week on the new Beijing-Phuket route, using a 264-seat Dreamliner B787.last_img read more

What Trumps Cabinet Might Look Like

August 15, 2019

first_img Donald Trump HOUSING Trump Administration 2016-11-11 Kendall Baer Share (Editor’s note: This story is part three in a three-part series for MReport on the potential effect of Donald Trump’s presidency on the housing industry. Wednesday’s story discussed the possible effect of Trump on regulation  and Thursday’s story covered predictions for what certain corners of the housing market might look like under a Trump Administration)As the reactions to Republican Donald Trump’s election simmer down, attention has now been turned to who the new President-elect will appoint to the critical posts in the cabinet.Speculations are being thrown around for positions such as Chief of Staff (rumored to come down to Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus, according to a report from the New York Times) and Attorney General.However, for those in the mortgage and housing industry, positions such as HUD Secretary and Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury hold high importance for how the industry will be impacted over the course of Trump’s presidency.Busy day planned in New York. Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 11, 2016While it is unclear who will be selected for these positions, speculations revolve around industry and housing policy veterans.“What you get normally from Democrats are people that are more career politicians,” says Bill Dallas, Co-Founder and CEO of cloudvirga. “What you’ll get from Republicans are more people with domain expertise.”For the role of Treasury Secretary, names like Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs executive, have been tossed in to the ring, says the Times.“When Trump’s group moves to the Treasury Secretary, I think what you’re going to see is some pretty high-powered, very experienced financial people who have had experience in running banks and who have experience in the economy itself versus people that have worked only in government,” says Dallas.Speculations from Politico also circulate around the potential for Pam Patenaude, President of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, to be appointed as the next HUD Secretary.What will happen at the Federal Reserve is also subject to speculation because of Trump’s harsh criticism of the central bank throughout is campaign trail.“Trump’s been very unsupportive in his discussions of Janet Yellen,” says Dallas. “I think the first thing that he’s going to have to do is figure out what he wants to do with the Fed Secretary because they pretty much chart the course for the direction of interest rates. That’s important. It’s an appointed position, but I have a feeling what will happen is Yellen will basically say “I’ll tender my resignation and you can put in whomever you want, or I’ll continue on.”NPR reports that Trump has approximately 4,000 political appointments that need to be filled, with a quarter of these positions requiring Senate approval. They cite the Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition as saying, “best practice generally dictates having White House positions filled by Thanksgiving, and the most important Cabinet positions ready to announce between Thanksgiving and Christmas.”What we do know is the President-elect is currently hard at work to select these individuals. In a recent tweet, Trump said, “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government.” November 11, 2016 528 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News What Trump’s Cabinet Might Look Likelast_img read more

What Would a Government Shutdown do to Mortgages

August 15, 2019

first_imgWhat Would a Government Shutdown do to Mortgages? Government mortgage Shutdown Trump 2017-04-24 Seth Welborn April 24, 2017 764 Views Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News With the federal funding running out on Friday and a potential government shutdown looming, expect to see an impact on the mortgage industry. Access to tax documents and other government paperwork may prove difficult in the event of a shutdown.CNBC noted that “non-essential” employees, such as those that process paperwork through the Internal Revenue Service, would be furloughed during a shutdown, causing roadblocks for those applying for mortgages. Additionally, lenders would not be able to verify Social Security numbers during a shut down.”There’s no ‘Wink-wink, keep your laptops and we’ll call you,'” said Mortgage Bankers Association CEO David Stevens. “They’re barred from the building and barred from using the network for access. So, you have a real shutdown.”During the last government shutdown, in 2013, three in 10 homebuyers and sellers reported problems in the application process, most reporting a delay in closing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that in 2013, 17 percent of closings were delayed during the shutdown. However, CNBC notes that the housing market is stronger now than it was in 2013, and application volume is greater. This could mean that more buyers may be affected this time.During a shutdown, access to the FHA would be severely limited. NAR’s 2013 survey found that the closed FHA and USDA were the top negative impacts on the mortgage process during the shutdown. A few sellers even reported that they completely lost their bids during the shutdown and three percent said they got a weaker offer.If Congress and the Trump administration do not reach a decision by Friday, just a day before President Trump’s 100th day in office, a shutdown may be imminent. Government institutions from the Smithsonian to the IRS would be impacted, as their employees are furloughed.“Shutdown is not a desired end,” Mick Mulvaney, President Trump’s Budget Director, said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s not a tool. It’s not something that we want to have.”last_img read more

Mnuchin to Congress Tie Debt Ceiling to Harvey Relief

August 15, 2019

first_imgSecretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has called for legislation raising the debt ceiling to be tied to Hurricane Harvey relief, according to an interview with Fox News Sunday. The Secretary fears that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the Treasury Department will be unable to borrow the money it needs to aid areas in Texas and Louisiana affected by the storm.According to multiple news sources, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has estimated anywhere between $100 billion and $180 billion could be needed to rebuild after the storm.The White House asked Congress for $7.85 billion in immediate aid, with $6.7 billion in additional funds. According to Mnuchin, the United States had enough funding through September 30, 2017, but the requested funding for Harvey has moved that date forward.“Without raising the debt limit, I’m not comfortable that we will get the money that we need this month to Texas to rebuild,” Mnuchin said. “And that’s our priority. We need to help the people in Texas, and we need to get that done.”If Congress is unable to pass a budget by early October—maybe sooner when considering the cost of Harvey relief—the U.S. could be at risk of government shutdown as well as defaulting on its debt.While the U.S. has never defaulted on its debt, it has come close. In 2013, Congress was unable to pass a budget in time for the fiscal year start in October, which led to a government shutdown and the BBC to speculate on the implications of a U.S. default in the global marketplace.According to the article, the accepted notion is that a U.S. default would cause a spike in interest rates around the world and the value of bonds would decrease, resulting in higher yields. Because 30-year fixed mortgage rates are directly tied to Treasury bonds, interest rates could rise as well, although nothing is set in stone.“As President, [tax reform] is also one of his biggest priorities to create economic growth,” said Mnuchin. “We’ve been working since January with the leadership in the House and the Senate. We want to make sure we have one plan—not three plans. The objective is to get this passed and get it to the President’s desk this year.”Mnuchin also noted at the end of the interview that the current draft of the tax plan would keep the mortgage interest rate deduction intact. Share Mnuchin to Congress: Tie Debt Ceiling to Harvey Relief September 4, 2017 791 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Servicing Debt Ceiling Department of Treasury Hurricane harvey 2017-09-04 Joey Pizzolatolast_img read more

Mortgage Apps and Refis Under Pressure

August 15, 2019

first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Mortgage Apps and Refis Under Pressure A cooling in demand for mortgage thanks to the rise in interest rates last week, led mortgage loan applications to decrease this week. According to MBA’s weekly Mortgage Application Survey, mortgage applications decreased 2.7 percent from the earlier week on a seasonally adjusted basis.On an unadjusted basis, mortgage applications declined 0.3 percent the survey indicated. The refinance index saw a decline of 5 percent from the previous week while the seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased 2 percent from the earlier week. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 13 percent higher than the same week a year ago.Looking at the share of mortgage activity, the survey noted that refinance activity decreased to 44.5 percent of the total applications while the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share decreased to 8.3 percent of total applications.”Both purchase and refinance applications saw declines but remained at healthy levels, with the purchase index remaining close to a nine-year high, and the refinance index hovering near its highest level since last spring,” said Joel Kan, AVP of Economic and Industry Forecasting at MBA.Breaking down the share of loan applications for government loans, the survey found that the FHA share of total applications decreased slightly to 10.5 percent from 10.9 percent in the prior week. The VA share of applications decreased to 10.3 percent from 10.4 percent, while the USDA share of total applications also saw a slight dip from 0.5 percent to 0.4 percent.Here’s a break down of the average contract interest rates for various loan types:For 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances rates increased to 4.75 percent from 4.74 percent. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.The rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances increased to 4.59 percent from 4.53 percent. The effective rate decreased from last week.For FHA-backed 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the rate increased to 4.82 percent from 4.76 percent. The effective rate increased from last week.The interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.12 percent from 4.13 percent. The effective rate increased from last week.The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 4.12 percent from 4.08 percent. The effective rate increased from last week. Sharecenter_img January 23, 2019 942 Views ARMS FHA Loan Applications loans mortgage Mortgage Apps Purchase Loans Refinances USDA VA 2019-01-23 Radhika Ojhalast_img read more

World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage

August 12, 2019

first_imgWorld Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage The World Tourism Association for Culture and Heritage (WTACH) has been formed to protect local cultures, heritage and historical sites that are in peril from overtourism, promoting ethical practices and better management relating to culture and heritage destinations that are now buckling due to unrestricted visitor growth.WTACH will also encourage the implementation of sustainable practices at locations that are still in a honeymoon phase of tourism development.WTACH is the brainchild of its founder and CEO, Chris Flynn, a former director for the Pacific region at the Pacific Asia Travel Association, a role he held for 15 years.He says emerging tourism destinations need more help. While there are overtourism abuses in economically developed, highly regulated destinations, Flynn argues that it is in lesser economically developed destinations where overtourism has disproportionately greater negative impact.“WTACH works with destinations to provide development strategies and policy framework recommendations to avoid the kind of tourism meltdown we are seeing at Angkor Wat, Phi Phi Island and Mt Everest,” says Flynn.“It’s time for the tourism industry to take step back and look at the long term impact of its decision making.”To advance its agenda, WTACH has been launched with 15 specialist advisors from diverse backgrounds relating to the culture and heritage tourism sector. They will work with destinations that need help now or want to put plans in place before running into trouble.The creation of WTACH comes at a time when the UNWTO reports that international tourism arrivals hit 1.4 billion in 2018, two years ahead of its previous forecast of 2020. The global economy grew 3.7% in 2018, says UNWTO, propelling international tourism arrivals growth to 6% for the year.last_img read more

– Red zone trouble continued for the Cardinals in

August 11, 2019

first_img– Red zone trouble continued for the Cardinals in the fourth quarter with a fourth trip inside the 15-yard line; they settled for a Catanzaro field goal. He connected from 29 yards out to make it 17-15 Rams with 11:52 to play in the game. Prior to the kick, Jermaine Gresham dropped a sure first down on 3rd-and-2 at the St. Louis 11.STAT OF THE GAME17: The number of Rams points scored off of three Cardinals turnovers.HE SAID IT“It sucks when you have a guy run like he did today,” Cory Redding said, referring to Gurley. “He’s in the NFL for a reason. We’ll be ready the next time. He had a good day.”NOTED– The Cardinals dropped to 5-5 when wearing their alternate black uniform tops.– Arizona’s defense held the Rams to nine rushing yards on nine attempts in the first half.– Rashad Johnson exited the game due to a back issue only to return early in the fourth quarter.– Among the Cardinals’ inactives were running back Andre Ellington and offensive lineman Ted Larsen.UP NEXTAfter two straight home games, the Cardinals hit the road in Week 5 — and they’ll be on the road for consecutive games. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Gurley led a ground attack that totaled 164 yards on 26 carries.The Rams improved to 2-2 and snapped a three-game losing streak to the Cardinals.Nick Foles passed for 171 yards and three touchdowns, two to Tavon Austin, who totaled six catches for 96 yards.Palmer, meanwhile, was 29-of-46 for 352 yards and a touchdown. He was also intercepted, one of three giveaways contributing to the Cardinals (3-1) first loss of the season.St. Louis scored 17 points off turnovers.At times, the Cardinals were their own worst enemy. In addition to turning the football over, the Cardinals failed to capitalize on five red zone trips, scoring just one touchdown with four Chandler Catanzaro field goals.THE GOOD– After the Rams scored on their first possession, the Cardinals defense held, forcing back-to-back-to-back three-and-outs. On the three drives, St. Louis gained a combined 11 yards on nine plays. Markus Golden and Calais Campbell combined on a sack of Bradford to halt the first possession. Campbell also recorded two tackles on the second possession, while two straight Foles incompletions ended the third possession.– The defense stepped up its game following a Palmer second-quarter interception. None more so than Tyrann Mathieu, the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week. On 3rd-and-4 at the Arizona 12, Mathieu broke up a likely touchdown pass intended for Jared Cook, forcing the Rams to settle for a 30-yard field goal and 10-6 lead at 3:16 of the first half. Mathieu had three first-half tackles, trailing only Campbell’s five for team-high honors. – With his 13-yard second-quarter catch, Larry Fitzgerald extended his team record of at least one catch to 167 straight games, which also happens to be the longest active streak in the NFL. Fitzgerald began the day with more catches (23), receiving yards (333) and touchdowns (5) through three games than in any season in his NFL career.– If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again; or in the case of the Cardinals, how about a fifth try. On their fifth trip inside the red zone, they scored on a David Johnson 23-yard catch and run to make the score 24-22 Rams at 4:38 of the fourth quarter. Two plays earlier, the Cardinals converted a 4th-and-4 at the St. Louis 33 with Palmer finding a wide open Fitzgerald for a 14-yard gain.THE BAD– Through the first three weeks of the season, the Cardinals were the only team that had not trailed at any point of any game. That changed just 90 seconds into Week 4 when Foles found Austin for a 12-yard touchdown, capitalizing on David Johnson’s fumble on the opening kickoff. Austin beat Jerraud Powers on the play.– Entering the game, Palmer had been sacked just once, but on the Cardinals first possession, No. 3 was dropped twice in six plays; first by Lamarcus Joyner and then Chris Long, the later coming on 3rd-and-16. Those were the 14th and 15th sacks of the season for the Rams, who began the day tied with the Patriots for the most in the NFL. – No team had been better at scoring touchdowns inside the red zone than the Cardinals, but on their first opportunity against the Rams, they settled for a Catanzaro 21-yard field goal. After Michael Floyd drew a pass interference call on Janoris Jenkins to make it 1st-and-goal at the 1-yard line, Chris Johnson rushed twice for minus three yards and then David Johnson dropped a sure touchdown pass on third down.– A second red-zone trip stalled on the Cardinals very next possession. Despite a pair of Floyd first-down catches, David Johnson was tackled for a two-yard loss on 3rd-and-3 at the St. Louis 7. Catanzaro kicked a 27-yard field goal, capping a 13-play, 51-yard drive and making the score 7-6 Rams with 10:45 to play in the second quarter.– Fitzgerald struggled, first with a drop and then a fumble, the latter coming in the third quarter. The Cards’ third turnover proved costly as Foles hit Stedman Bailey for an 18-yard touchdown and 17-9 lead at 5:44 of the third quarter. This marked the first time Fitzgerald dropped a ball and fumbled a ball in the same game since Week 3 against Baltimore in 2007, per ESPN Stats & Info.– Once again, a Cardinals red-zone trip resulted in a Catanzaro field goal, this one from 38 yards to make it 17-12 Rams with 1:13 to play in the third quarter. Facing a 3rd-and-2 at the St. Louis 14, Palmer was sacked by T.J. McDonald, losing six yards. Earlier on the drive, Chris Johnson had runs of 19 and 14 yards, giving him 83 yards on 16 carries. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   Top Stories St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins (21) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo GLENDALE, Ariz. — Through the season’s first three games, the Arizona Cardinals had made it look easy.But in the NFL, it’s never easy and as the saying goes, any given Sunday. And on this Sunday the St. Louis Rams were the better team.They forced three turnovers, sacked Carson Palmer four times, stood tall defending the red zone and watched rookie Todd Gurley run for 146 yards — his 30-yard rush on 3rd-and-12 with just over a minute remaining sealed the victory, 24-22, in front of a sold out University of Phoenix Stadium. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Up first, a trip to Detroit to tackle the Lions on Sunday, Oct. 11. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 with pregame coverage beginning four hours earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.The Cardinals have won six straight over the Lions, including their most recent visit to Ford Field in 2009, 31-24, a game in which Anquan Boldin’s fourth-quarter, five-yard touchdown run proved to be the difference.Overall, the Lions hold a 31-27-5 advantage in a series that dates back to 1930.Following the game, the Cardinals will stay out east to practice and prepare for their matchup at Pittsburgh on Oct. 18. – / 27last_img read more