3 international destinations to visit in 2019 How men can have a healthy 2019 He says Belarus no longer wants to devote resources to protecting the EU from the migrants, some of whom he said carry drugs, explosives and other forbidden items.Lukashenko says Belarus is tired of the EU “kicking us and calling us names.”Belarus neighbors EU members Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. It says it has in the past prevented an average of some 10,000 illegal migrants a year from crossing into the EU.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) MINSK, Belarus (AP) – Belarus’ authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko has threatened to let illegal migrants flow into the European Union in retaliation for the bloc’s sanctions on his country.The EU has targeted Belarus with economic and travel sanctions over rights abuses by Lukashenko’s government.Lukashenko said Tuesday that the EU should pay Belarus for keeping the border sealed against illegal migrants. Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Comments Share Top Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Four benefits of having a wireless security system Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix
BERLIN (AP) — As the powerbrokers of European soccer celebrated their championship weekend and some jokingly congratulated themselves for staying out of jail, many said that the next FIFA president needs to do a better job of listening to the continent that pays most of the bills.While several FIFA executives are awaiting extradition to the United States, European leaders — so far untouched by the corruption case — held closed-door meetings in rooms that cost 2,000 Euros ($2,222) per night as they prepared for the Champions League final where Barcelona defeated Juventus for the richest prize in sports. They ate, drank and discussed the future of global soccer. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies And the 79-year-old Blatter has built a coalition of African and Asian nations, along with some tiny island territories and big outliers like Russia — the next World Cup host. Despite Blatter’s resignation, if another candidate grabs that same coalition, the Europeans won’t be able to change FIFA.A constant theme from Blatter to deflect Europe’s grasp for more control has been to depict the clubs there as leeching off the rest of the world by pilfering the best players.“The perception is there’s a neo-colonialism in world football,” said Jerome Champagne, a Frenchman who served under Blatter as deputy secretary general. “European football is using African and South American talent but doesn’t care about the leagues there losing their talent and losing their fan base. There is a lot of resentment from outside Europe.”Blatter proved that his collation was still strong enough by winning a fifth term as FIFA president on May 29, only to announce four days later that the scandal had cost him too much support and that he would resign after new elections held at some point from December to March.European chief Michel Platini, a former Blatter confidant turned adversary, is a favorite. But he’ll need help from outside of his European power base. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of ErrorOK ErrorOKMore than three quarters of the players at the 2014 World Cup were from European clubs. The 214-member European Club Association ensured a greater involvement in FIFA when it collectively secured $209 million for clubs releasing players to both the World Cup in 2018 and in 2022.“It benefits the game worldwide,” Gandini said.But Blatter has pushed the perception , has been that Europe is out to divide and conquer.“For more than 25 years Europe was divided politically by the Berlin Wall but football remained homogeneous and united,” said Champagne, who failed to gain the five nominations required to seek the FIFA presidency. “Now football worldwide is not united, it is completely fractured … football should be inclusive worldwide, not controlled by the elite in Europe.”Whether Platini confronts this during a potential presidential campaign could determine if he can win the votes to run world soccer.___Rob Harris can be followed at www.twitter.com/RobHarrisCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The former France captain and coach is president of UEFA, overseeing the Champions League and its $1.1 billion prize pool. Saturday’s game was the pinnacle of Platini’s year, a gathering of elite players and coaches, blue chip sponsors and club and federation leaders.The 59-year-old decided not to run against Blatter, but he led most of the continent to vote for change. The Europeans, along with most of North America and South America, weren’t enough to break Blatter’s coalition.In public, Platini has been silent on his FIFA ambitions, only beaming when a reporter addressed him as “Mr. FIFA President” and resisting the chance to gloat about Blatter’s demise.In Berlin, Platini held court with the leaders who can smooth his path to FIFA or prove to be rival candidates: including honorary FIFA Vice President Chung Mong-joon of South Korea to Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, who joined FIFA’s executive committee last week.Sheikh Ahmad was a Blatter loyalist. Now many in soccer are looking to whomever he backs. He played a key role in Thomas Bach gaining the IOC presidency in 2013.Even if someone other than Platini replaces Blatter, the new president will find it hard to ignore the European clubs. The top leaders didn’t want to speculate openly on the election, but many leaders feel the next president should show more respect to the billions of Euros coming out of this continent.“It’s undoubted that the weight of European football should be properly felt throughout the world,” European Club Association vice chairman Umberto Gandini, an AC Milan director, told The Associated Press at the Berlin Ritz-Carlton. “It is fundamental for those who are risking investing their money in professional football in Europe have the opportunities to design the rules and regulations. We deserve to be there (at FIFA) because of what we represent.”The scandal so far has focused on bribes in the Americas and Africa. But behind the jokes and revelry, there was clearly a deep uncertainty about who could next be ensnared by the escalating corruption scandal. The other big question was who is best positioned to lead the world’s biggest game out of this mess, with Sepp Blatter preparing to vacate a FIFA headquarters that has already been raided by Swiss police.European soccer provides the most valuable viewing audience, the biggest clubs and the greatest players in the world — no matter where they were born. But FIFA gives each nation one vote, so tiny nations like the Cayman Islands have as much influence as world powers. Top Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy UEFA President Michel Platini prepares to hand over the trophy after the Champions League final soccer match between Juventus Turin and FC Barcelona at the Olympic stadium in Berlin Saturday, June 6, 2015. Barcelona won the match 3-1. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno) Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall It was after the prospect of UEFA boycotting FIFA tournaments gained momentum that Blatter stepped down.UEFA doesn’t like how Blatter sought to erode the continent’s influence since gaining the presidency in 1998 by defeating Lennart Johansson, the Swede who preceded Platini as European soccer leader.“It’s a chance for Europe to regain its power,” Johansson, 85, said of the upcoming election.Blatter has built loyalty in less wealthy nations. When there was crowd violence at the African Cup of Nations in January, rather than condemning the incident, Blatter blamed the Western media.Platini needs to win over some smaller nations to have a chance.“In the past 20 years, UEFA has increased its relevance because of the money coming from the Champions League but because of that some people there believe they have a divine right to run world football,” Champagne told the AP. “The Champions League is the best club competition in the world but it lives at the expense of the rest of the world … look at the final, where would European football be without players from Africa and South America?”The “Trident” that led Barcelona through a championship season features Luis Suarez of Uruguay, Lionel Messi of Argentina and Neymar of Brazil. Comments Share
Top Stories In a statement submitted into the Congressional Record, Wyden said the Senate had been asked on Tuesday to approve the intelligence authorization bill by unanimous consent. Doing so would bypass any debate. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., confirmed that leadership had hoped to pass the bill before the August recess, but that not all senators were on board.Wyden said he would insist on a debate because of “very valid concerns” made by the technology industry.“Internet companies should not be subject to broad requirements to police the speech of their users,” Wyden said in the statement.Feinstein argued that the requirement was nearly identical to one related to child pornography. But tech companies said the bill was so vague it would be almost impossible to determine whether they were meeting their legal obligation, or if they were on the hook if they miss a tweet, video or blog that hints of an attack. They said the result would probably be a deluge of tips to law enforcement, making it tougher for the government to find more valuable information.“The FBI and the intelligence community have made it abundantly clear that the terrorist threat is severe and increasing, and that those directing, inspiring and carrying out attacks make heavy use of social media sites,” Feinstein told The Associated Press in an emailed statement provided last week. “This provision will help get potentially actionable information to the agencies responsible for preventing attacks, without requiring companies to take any steps to monitor their sites they aren’t already taking.” Comments Share ___AP Writer Donna Cassata contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Patients with chronic pain give advice Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Wyden said the FBI director told Congress that technology companies are cooperative and helpful about alerting law enforcement to serious incidents.“But I haven’t yet heard any law enforcement or intelligence agencies suggest that this provision will actually help catch terrorists, and I take the concerns that have been raised about its breadth and vagueness seriously,” Wyden wrote.Since the 2013 disclosure of government surveillance by former contractor Edward Snowden, the tech industry has led an aggressive public push to limit surveillance requests and increase transparency, adopting more sophisticated encryption techniques despite opposition from the Justice Department. Their primary argument has been that consumers won’t use technology they don’t trust, and that unnecessary surveillance would hurt the industry.At the same time, popular social media sites have become instrumental in helping terrorist groups expand their influence, despite widespread industry policies against posting or promoting terrorist-related content.The Islamic State group and similar organizations have relied heavily on Twitter and Facebook to recruit followers, while militants post beheading videos on sites like Google’s YouTube, giving an image the chance to go viral before being shut down. In 2013, al-Shabab live tweeted its Westgate shopping mall massacre, opening up new feeds even after Twitter shut others down. Parents, stop beating yourself up Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and skeptic of broad government surveillance, objected Tuesday to a bill that would have required social media and online sites like Google, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook to alert federal authorities of any terrorist activity.The proposal, by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., had been tucked into a broader bill authorizing intelligence programs throughout the 2016 budget year and became the subject of several private meetings on Capitol Hill between congressional staff and industry officials.
China Southern Airlines announced this week that it will upgrade its Sydney services with a new aircraft next month.The existing Airbus A330-200 twinjet operating on the airline’s daily nonstop flights from Sydney to Guangzhou, China will be replaced by the larger and newer Airbus A330-300.The A330-300 will be able to carry 292 passengers in a three-class cabin, representing an almost 10 percent increase in seats.It will also feature the carrier’s new fully flat-bed “Apollo” seats in First Class and “Horizon” sleeper seats reclining to 165 degrees in Business Class.China Southern Airlines General Manager Australia and New Zealand James Liu said the new aircraft played an important role in the carrier’s international network development.He said the series 200 were being used to develop direct routes while the larger series 300 were being used to accommodate growth. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/24cfb/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>
A year after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Florida tourism bureau said it welcomed up to 82 million visitors as its beaches remained unaffected by the BP petroleum spill. Visit Florida reported that its tourism numbers rose over the year compared to 2009 despite the incident and the slow economy but is aiming for a successful summer season this year to reimburse its tourism business which suffered economic losses.“There is every reason to be hopeful that this increasing trend will continue so that the businesses and their employees who suffered losses last year will be able to rebound and new businesses will be encouraged to open,” a Visit Florida anniversary message read. The Group said concern for safety of the state’s beaches should be laid to rest because as a result of diligent clean-up crews and safety officials, not one of its beaches ever had to be closed. Florida’s Department of Agriculture had also increased its level of testing and continues to confirm that seafood is safe to catch and eat. As the US state continues to promote itself as a destination for tourism over the US summer season, Visit Florida said it would continue to use it Florida Live feed launched over the past year and would utilise the live feed in any future disaster situations.After Florida was awarded up to US12 million from the oil company, the tourism Group initiated Florida Live on its bureau website, encouraging visitors and operators to upload date-stamped photos and videos showcasing that Florida was unaffected.“Florida Live on Visitflorida.com will continue as it has been and during a hurricane or other emergency Visit Florida also activated a Travel Advisory feature sharing up-to-the minute alerts as they are released from the Florida Emergency Operations Center, NOAA and local destination marketing organisations in each affected county.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P This International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Germany as the number one meetings and conventions destination in Europe for the seventh time running.The German Convention Bureau managing director Mathias Schultze said Germany’s success as the number one meetings destination was attributed to its excellent value for money and broad range of high quality meeting hotels, convention centers and event venues.In addition, Berlin was ranked number four in the world wide city rankings behind Paris, Barcelona and Vienna. Munich, Hamburg, Dresden and Leipzig were also able to increase their position resulting in five German cities in the top 100 of the world-wide ICCA rankings.“One major prerequisite for the large number of meetings and conventions is that Germany is setting standards world wide as a science and high tech destination,” Mr Schultze said.“The high standards that Germany has to offer in this field, are a sound argument that will have even more weight in the future,” Mr Schultze concluded.
Download in .pdf format Hoping to win back the hearts of Aussie travellers, Qantas has launched a campaign offering passengers affected by the grounding of its entire fleet late last month to ‘fly with us, on us’.The Australian flag carrier said as a means “to make it up to customers”, it is offering free return flights on any of its Australian routes or flights between Australia and New Zealand to its Australian resident customers who experienced major flight disruptions with the carrier between 29 October to 31 October this year.As well as free services, the airline said it would also provide compensation packages with full refunds, flexible re-booking options with no fees and compensations out of the pock and other expenses incurred. “The last few weeks have been tough for everyone involved,” the advertisement read. “The grounding of our fleet was particularly stressful for our customers and staff, and although we arranged accommodation and are busy reimbursing passengers, we want to do more.”Meanwhile the carrier said it is also compiling a ‘thank you’ program for its travel agents, with details to be released shortly.“We deeply regret the impact of our fleet being grounded, but we’re pleased to say everything is now back to schedule,” a statement from the carrier read.Click here for more Customer Question and Answers on the free service.Meanwhile the carrier’s Transport Workers Union said it is looking at filing legal action after finding grounds to against Fair Work Australia’s decision to axe the union’s industrial action.However, Qantas dismissed the claims highlighting that it had fully complied with the law.Is a free flight enough to win your confidence and trust? Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
The opportunity for the travel industry to have their say on what really matters in the inaugural Australian Travel Agent Barometer (ATAB) has been extended until mid-October. Key themes already uncovered include travel agents confusion regarding what happens after the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF) disbands and difficulties sourcing quality staff, however, the outlook for the future of the retail travel industry remains positive. ETB News is a major supporter of the Australian Travel Agent Barometer. Source = ETB News: P.T. Industry sponsors Thai Airways, Helen Wong’s Tours and Amari Hua Hin have provided holiday package prizes for lucky entrants, while there are also ten Myer shopping vouchers up for grabs. The ATAB will finalise all entries on Saturday 12 October 2013, with responses being transformed into research that aims to assist in determining the future of Australia’s travel trade. “There has never been a survey of this magnitude conducted for Australian travel agents and the immense amount of information garnered will surely procure some fascinating insights.” “This is an incredible chance for Australian agents to voice their opinion on issues within our industry that concern or excite them,” ATAB creator Simon Bernardi said. Click here to complete the survey now!
China Southern Airlines says its codeshare agreement with Qantas Airways is encouraging more Chinese tourists to come to Australia and it wants to build on the agreement.According to China Southern, there are increasing numbers of tourists on all operations, especially on codeshare routes such as those between Sydney and Cairns.China Southern Airlines senior vice president, marketing, said that Australia is a very important part of the Canton route.China Southern is working to double the amount of routes it offers through Qantas and plans to increase its international capacity and it is also mooting buying a stake in Qantas.China Southern carried 220,000 Chinese passengers to Australia in 2013.Source = ETB News: Tom Neale
Princess Cruises Hosts Surprise Birthday for AgentPrincess Cruises helped Flight Centre National Product Manager – Cruise Deb Toohey celebrate her 50th birthday in style last week, hosting a surprise party at Brisbane’s Stokehouse.Princess Cruises Head of Sales Brett Wendorf said the cruise line was keen to recognise industry partners who were sharing their golden year with Princess, which marks its 50thanniversary this year.“Flight Centre and Deb are great supporters of ours and to have somebody so special to us both commercially and personally share our birthday made this such a wonderful occasion,” Mr Wendorf said.Pictured at Deb’s milestone celebration at Stokehouse are L to R: Princess Cruises Queensland Business Development Manager Helen Mezzen, Princess Cruises Head of Sales Brett Wendorf, Flight Centre National Product Manager – Cruise Deb Toohey, Princess Cruises National Account Manager Trevor Thwaites, Princess Cruises Queensland Business Development Manager Peter Darby and Flight Centre Cruise Contract and Marketing Manager Jan Harrington.Source = Princess Cruises – Flight Centre
Source = TravelManagers Like old times! Long term colleagues and new PTMs Jan Chappell and Micheal Puttner working together in Jan’s home officeIndustry Veterans Learn New TricksChange can be challenging; confronting even, but when done well, it can also be extremely rewarding and empowering, as two of TravelManagers’ newest recruits have recently discovered.Jan Chappell and Micheal Puttner are travel industry veterans, having worked for the same Adelaide-based travel company for 47 years and 16 years respectively. They worked side by side for many years, so when the time came to consider a change in direction, it was only natural that they would take a leap of faith and join TravelManagers together.“Jan and I get on well together,” Puttner explains. “We bounce ideas off each other, and our strengths complement each other, so when we both decided that we were ready for a change, it made sense to continue sharing the same office space.”Chappell agrees, adding that their new arrangement, which saw her convert a granny flat into office space, made the transition from large organisation to stand-alone operator more comfortable.“We’ve been working side by side for 16 years – we’ve learned from each other and work well together: now we each have our own individual businesses so we’re free to do our own thing but can continue to support each other through this next phase in our careers.”Chappell says she was also initially concerned about having to learn new systems but overall found TravelManagers’ comprehensive induction process to be very helpful. The induction held over three days in the company’s National Partnership Office (NPO) in Sydney, covered all the systems the new PTMs would be using and gave them the opportunity to meet their key people in every department, including finance, marketing and technology.For Puttner despite some initial apprehension around the prospect of learning new systems and processes, the transition was a smooth one, helped greatly by the level of help and support that’s been readily available from the NPO and his fellow PTMs.“There’s an amazing feeling of being part of a ‘family’,” Chappell adds. “Everyone is so supportive and happy to answer my questions. We had a lot of information to absorb at the beginning, so it’s reassuring to know that help is just a phone call away, and there are refresher courses available if I need them.”Continuing to upskill is a key priority for both new PTMs, along with raising their profile with potential clients.“As well as completing some follow-up training on both Amadeus and Tramada, I’m looking forward to expanding my product knowledge by attending cluster meetings and participating in famils,” Puttner says, “and I’m planning to maintain and personalise the content on my TravelManagers website.TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, describes the successful transition of Puttner and Chappell to the TravelManagers family as “a powerful demonstration that it’s never too late to make a change.”“Making a significant career change when you’re so well established in your existing employment over an extensive period of time takes a certain amount of courage and determination,” he explains. “We work hard to ensure that new PTMs, regardless of how long they’ve been in the industry, have the best possible transition experience so that they feel supported and can hit the ground running. That support comes from all areas of the business, particularly their fellow PTMs, who share the challenges and celebrate the successes of their colleagues.”For both PTMs, one of the most meaningful benefits of starting their new businesses has been the ability to work their own hours and at their own pace, in the environment of their choosing.Chappell and Puttner both agree, “It can be difficult to turn off from the temptation of working all hours of the day and night, however we love having the flexibility to manage our own time, seeing clients when it suits us and giving them the level of service, they deserve.”For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.About TravelManagersTravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.8 billion for 2018. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 550 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are secure and only used for client purchases.
New Zealand will host some of the world’s top rugby league in 2017 when world cup matches are played across four regions of the North and South Island.Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) comes to New Zealand in October 2017 and promises to be another sporting festival which showcases the country’s unique form of welcome and hospitality. Auckland, Hamilton, and Wellington in the North Island as well as Christchurch in the South Island will host games as part of the RLWC2017 tournament played across New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea.The best players from world’s top 14 teams will battle it out over 28 games from October 27 to December 2, 2017 in the quest for the ultimate prize – The Paul Barriere Trophy.New Zealand will host seven matches including two quarter finals and a semi-final. The Kiwis will be joined on home soil by visiting teams from Samoa, Tonga and Scotland.With 11 teams already confirmed, the final three teams will come from the European Qualifying Tournament to be played in October and November this year. The teams who are still in the race include Wales, Ireland, Russia, Serbia, Italy and Spain.
The term Bollywood is synonymous with the city of Mumbai. Neeta Lulla, a costume and fashion designer for the Indian film industry, is almost as famous as the celebrities she dresses.Source: BBC
Norwegian Cruise Line announced recently that it will extend its offering of weekly roundtrip cruises from Miami to Cuba aboard Norwegian Sky, through December 2017. Together with the five previously announced cruises in May 2017, these 25 additional cruises, which start in June 2017, all feature an overnight stay in Cuba’s historical and culturally-rich capital of Havana.“We are thrilled to be the first cruise line able to offer weekly sailings from Miami to Cuba through the fall of 2017, all with overnights in the beautiful city of Havana. We have seen great demand from our guests for sailings to Cuba and we look forward to providing more opportunities for them to experience this incredibly culture-rich destination on a weekly basis,” said Andy Stuart, President and CEO, Norwegian Cruise Line.Norwegian Sky’s sailings to Cuba will also feature a call to Great Stirrup Cay, Norwegian’s private island destination in the Bahamas that was recently enhanced to offer guests exciting new ways to enjoy the island, with additional features to be added through summer 2017. Great Stirrup Cay is a private island paradise, with white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, water sports galore and lushly landscaped beachside cabanas available for daily rental for those who wish to have a more exclusive island experience.Along with the freedom and flexibility that the Cruise Line provides, guests sailing on Norwegian Sky will also enjoy unlimited complimentary beverages as a part of the ship’s all-inclusive program.
Delta Air Lines and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) have formally kicked off the Delta Sky Way at LAX project — the USD 1.86 billion plan to modernise, upgrade and connect Terminals 2, 3, and the Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B). Construction is expected to begin this fall. The project kick-off follows the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners’ (BOAC) recent approval of the largest tenant improvement award in its history, which cleared the way for the Delta Sky Way at LAX to begin.Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Delta CEO Ed Bastian, LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin, BOAC President Sean Burton and LAWA CEO Deborah Flint celebrated the milestone at a press conference where they also shared new renderings of the future facility.“Los Angeles is constantly reaching new heights, and the project launch creates jobs and forges global connections,” said Garcetti. “The modernisation of Terminals 2 and 3 is an investment in our economy and people, and Delta’s partnership is helping to accelerate an era of growth and innovation in Los Angeles.” “This is really a milestone for us, it means we are finally making more progress at LAX,” said Burton. “Our vision is a gold-standard airport, and one of our strategic plan goals is delivering exceptional facilities and experiences at the same time,” said LAWA CEO Deborah Flint. “And even though that is no easy feat, I am confident that with the team at Delta and the partnership we have, that we can achieve that vision.”Delta and LAWA also released new renderings of the facility, which show the interior and exterior of the shared “headhouse” of Terminals 2 and 3; the interior, secured side of Terminal 3; and the connector between Terminal 3 and Terminal B, among other perspectives.
July 25, 2011 398 Views in Data, Secondary Market, Servicing Fannie Forecasts Declines Over 2011, 2012 “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/kb/index?page=home released a July “”economic outlook””:http://www.fanniemae.com/media/pdf/economics/2011/Summary_072011.pdf Friday tying a slowdown in the economy at large to a sluggish pace in the housing sector ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a consequence of tight credit, a dearth in existing-home sales, and weak gains across important industries.[IMAGE]””Besides restrained credit expansion, the tepid housing recovery is another reason for the modest pace of economic growth seen in the current recovery,”” Fannie said in the report. “”During the two years of the current economic expansion, residential investment has yet to make a contribution to economic growth. This is quite an unusual phenomenon: at this point of an economic expansion, housing has generally added significantly to growth.””As a consequence, “”[t]he current state of the housing market remains downbeat,”” the report said.According to the outlook, the mortgage giant presages further declines, with the median price for new homes falling to $216,900 this year from $221,800 over the last. Meanwhile, it expects existing homes to go on the market for $165,600 over the course of 2011, several figures less than $173,000 it recorded last year.[COLUMN_BREAK]The mortgage giant predicted a dip in growth over the rest of the year, falling from 2.8 percent to 2.4 percent. Fannie projected that single-family housing starts will amount to some 440,000 overall in 2011, reflecting a 7 percent notch downward from a healthier 471,000 starts in the previous year. The GSE also revised projections for next year, anticipating that 646,000 housing starts would decline to 671,000. Mortgage rates received a slightly sunnier outlook, with the GSE forecasting a jump to 4.7 percent over the remainder of 2011, with the potential for a 5 percent rise that next year. Fannie projected that total mortgage originations would fall from $1.51 trillion, as reflected from figures last year, hitting $1.07 trillion over this year.Says Fannie: “”One positive for the existing home market is that pending home sales├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª rose 8.2 percent in May, suggesting that sales of existing homes, which are recorded at closing, should rebound in coming months.””The outlook also tied the health of the housing sector to the economy at large, and went on to elaborate on the relative strengths and weaknesses in the economy at large.””Clearly, the renewed slowdown in hiring underscores the uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook,”” Doug Duncan, chief economist at the GSE, said in a “”statement””:http://www.fanniemae.com/newsreleases/2011/5446.jhtml;jsessionid=IRKIQJXGS2YIZJ2FECISFGI?p=Media&s=News+Releases. “”The lack of sustained, robust job growth continues to push out into the future the time for the housing market to heal, which is crucial to a meaningful economic expansion.””According to its Web site, Fannie Mae serves low-income homebuyers, families, and communities by backing mortgages at the federal level. Fannie Mae Home Prices Home Sales Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers 2011-07-25 Ryan Schuette Share
November 22, 2011 421 Views Share Insured Banks Tallied $35.3B in Q3 Earnings: FDIC Balance sheets improved steadily for commercial and savings financial institutions over the third quarter, according to the FDIC, with those insured by the federal agency offering $35.3 billion in profit margins.[IMAGE]The “”FDIC””:http://www.fdic.gov/ released its findings as part of a _Quarterly Banking Profile_, which tracks asset quality, net income, and loan portfolios across the industry.””We continue to see income growth that reflects improving asset quality and lower loss provisions,”” “”Martin Gruenberg””:http://www.fdic.gov/about/learn/board/board.html, FDIC acting chairman, said in a “”statement””:http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2011/pr11182.html. “”U.S. banks have come a long way from the depths of the financial crisis. Bank balance sheets are stronger in a number of ways, and the industry is generally profitable, but the recovery is by no means complete.””The FDIC said that third-quarter profit marks a ninth consecutive quarter for year-over-year earnings increases.The spike in profit reflects an $11.5-billion boost from net income reported by banks last year, which wallowed at $23.8 billion over the third quarter in 2010.Loan portfolios snagged an updraft over the third quarter, posting an increase for the second consecutive quarter as loans and leases went up by $21.8 billion. Residential mortgage loan balances climbed by $23.7 billion.[COLUMN_BREAK]Notably, the FDIC’s “”Problems List”” contracted for the second consecutive quarter, with problem banks and financial institutions falling from 865 to 844. Total assets for these institutions also fell from $372 billion to $339 billion, with 26 insured institutions collapsing over the course of the third quarter ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô four more than the quarter before but 15 fewer than those seen over the same time frame last year.The Deposit Insurance Fund marked a corresponding increase, with balances on the rise to $7.8 billion by the end of September, up from $3.9 billion from the end of June. Estimates for insured deposits jumped by 3.6 percent over the third quarter.Alongside profit increases, third-quarter loss provisions underwent a 50-percent squeeze, with FDIC-insured banks earmarking only $18.6 billion, much less than $35.1 billion recorded over the same time frame last year.Sixty-three institutions reported upward-bound health for their quarterly net income, with those institutions offering only net losses sliding to 14.3 percent, a few percentage points down from 19.5 percent from 2010.Loans and leases 90 days past due and in nonaccrual status spiraled downward for the sixth consecutive quarter, with insured banks and thrifts discharging $26.7 billion in uncollectable loans over the same time frame, reflecting a 39.2-percent loss from the year before.Whither financial growth in the near future, according to the FDIC?””Ongoing distress in real estate markets and slow growth in jobs and incomes continue to pose risks to credit quality,”” Gruenberg added. “”The U.S. economic outlook is also clouded by uncertainties in the global economy and by volatility in financial markets. So even as the banking industry recovers, the FDIC remains vigilant for new economic challenges that could lie ahead.”” Agents & Brokers Bank Failure FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Profits Quarterly Earnings Service Providers 2011-11-22 Ryan Schuette in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing
May 16, 2012 443 Views Housing permits dipped in April for the first time in four months, the “”Census Bureau””:http://www.census.gov/ and “”HUD””:http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD reported jointly Wednesday but housing starts improved.[IMAGE]Both indicators remained far above year-earlier levels.The month-over-month increase in starts in April appeared still larger because of a downward revision to March’s report.Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected permits to drop month-over-month and starts to increase.According to the report, there were 715,000 permits issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in April ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô compared to an expected 725,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and 717,000 starts compared with an expected 690,000.The month-over-month percentage drop in permits ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 7.0 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô was the largest since January 2011 when permits fell 10.0 percent. Builders completed 651,000 homes in April, a 10 percent jump from the 592,000 completed in March and the highest level since [COLUMN_BREAK]June 2010.The increase in starts was evenly split between single- and multifamily activity while multifamily homes pulled permit activity down.Total starts in April were up nearly 30 percent from April 2011 and permits were up 23.7 percent from year earlier activity. Total completions were up 20.1 percent from last year.The census data covered the same month for which the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.com/ (NAHB) reported builder confidence ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô measured by the Housing Market Index ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô had fallen from 28 (out of 100) to 24. Any HMI reading below 50 is considered to signal a contraction. Builder confidence as reported Tuesday by NAHB rose to 29, its highest level in almost five years.Total housing completions increased for the third straight month and fourth time in the last five months. According to the report, builders completed 489,000 single-family homes ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô highest level since June 2010 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô again far surpassing the rate of new home sales. According to the Census Bureau, new single-family home sales fell to an annualized rate of 328,000 in March from 353,000 in February. With home being completed at a faster pace than sales, inventories are likely to increase placing downward pressure on price.Starts rose sharply in the South to 385,000 in April from 345,000 in March and modestly in the Midwest ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 127,000 from 119,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô but fell in both the Northeast ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 69,000 from 87,000 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and West ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 136,000 from 148,000.Permits in April fell in every region except the Northeast where filings were flat to March. Housing Permits Drop as Starts Increase in April in Data, Government, Origination Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Homebuilders Housing Affordability Housing Starts HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Private Construction Service Providers 2012-05-16 Mark Lieberman Share
Bradford Technologies Launches Appraisal Tool for Regression Analysis Agents & Brokers Appraisals Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers Valuation 2012-10-26 Tory Barringer “”Bradford Technologies””:http://www.bradfordsoftware.com/, the creator of the “”AppraisalWorld””:http://www.appraisalworld.com/i/ online community for appraisers, wants to add science to the art of collateral valuations.[IMAGE]The appraisal software provider announced the release of CompCruncher 2.0, a new technology that enables appraisers to interactively model and analyze entire markets using regression analysis.””By nature, a property’s value is determined by the value of neighboring properties, but the problem is that no two properties are alike, and there are virtually limitless numbers of variables that can make one property’s value different from another,”” explained Mark Linne, chief strategic and valuations officer for Bradford Technologies. With regression analysis, Linne said, appraisers aren’t forced to rely on subjective estimates to determine how one property’s value is affected when certain variables are different and others stay constant. [COLUMN_BREAK]Bradford Technologies’ new product makes analysis easier by examining up to 500 different properties over a one-year period to take out the guess work.CompCruncher 2.0’s wide launch follows a 51-city nationwide tour intended to introduce regression analysis to appraisers and teach them how to take advantage of the software. To date, more than 2,600 appraisers have taken the training and learned how to perform regression analysis in their local markets.””Using analytics in the appraisal process allows appraisers to provide lenders and their risk managers with valuations that have a statistically-accurate degree of confidence,”” said Jeff Bradford, CEO of Bradford Technologies. “”Lenders and investors need this level of analysis. That’s why we’re seeing such wide acceptance at this point.””In addition, Bradford Technologies has partnered with the Columbia Institute and the Georgia Appraisal School to continue offering on-site and online training classes. The company is also offering free, self-paced instruction for appraisers with a statistics background at AppraisalWorld.com.Based in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, Bradford Technologies hopes to combine its offerings and its AppraisalWorld community to create a more accurate, trustworthy appraisal process, Bradford said.””Our goal is build trust and reliability in the appraisal industry, and make a science out of the art of appraising,”” Bradford said. “”With CompCruncher 2.0, we are empowering appraisers with the ability to produce statistically accurate valuations for the first time.”” Share in Data, Technology October 26, 2012 448 Views
June 18, 2014 490 Views Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) announced the addition of two industry professionals to help advance the company’s business and product development efforts.Joining the firm as managing director for the Southeast Sales Region is William Todd Pittman, who brings with him more than 29 years of experience in sales and sales management. Pittman joins MGIC from Quarles, an Atlantic-based petroleum supplier, where he worked as sales director. He also spent 25 years with the PMI Group, where he was an account executive, area sales manager, managing director, and VP.Meanwhile, Geoffrey Cooper has returned to MGIC as director of customer solutions. Since 2008, Cooper has served as the director of single-family housing at the Wisconsin Housing and Development Authority. Before that, he was MGIC’s director of emerging markets and director of corporate communications and public policy.”As the housing market and overall economy continue to improve, MGIC is ready to help our customers achieve their mortgage lending goals,” said Cheryl Webb, SVP of field operations at MGIC. “Adding top talent like Todd and Geoff to our team allows us to provide a best in class customer experience.” Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. Movers & Shakers 2014-06-18 Tory Barringer in Headlines, News, Uncategorized MGIC Adds Two Industry Veterans to Staff Share