UN officer aims to scale Everest to help Nepalese children climb out

UN World Food Programme (WFP) security officer Mark Squirrell hopes to reach the summit of Everest on 21 May, the same day as ‘Walk the World,’ when hundreds of thousands of people around the world will walk in communities to call for an end to child hunger.“I’m very excited to finally be going,” the Australian national universally known as Squiz said of his unusual mission, which aims to raise sponsor money to help Nepal’s children. “To be able to combine a personal dream with the potential of helping children in this country while raising awareness about hunger is both rewarding and humbling.” Walk the World is organized each year by WFP and its partners to raise awareness and funds to fight the scourge of child hunger, which accounts for 18,000 deaths a day. In 2005, over 200,000 people participated in the event, raising $1.5 million. This year it is hoped that 750,000 will participate in over 100 countries.Squiz, who has been training for months, will be taking time off from his regular job to make the attempt, which is a personal effort, not a WFP initiative, although it is supported by WFP worldwide. He has already lined up sponsors that have provided funding, services and equipment, including Youngone and the Chaudhary Group.With the help of sponsors, expenses for the climb have been kept to a minimum, and all proceeds from donors will go to WFP’s school feeding programmes in Nepal covering 570,000 children.By giving children a nutritious hot mid-day meal, the programmes encourage school attendance and allow students to concentrate on their studies. In some schools, girls are given an additional take-home food ration as an added incentive for their families to send them to schools. “Whether we make the summit or not, this is an incredible opportunity,” Squiz said. “We have the ability to make people more aware of the ongoing problem of hunger in the region and with luck, help hundreds of children in the process. We’re ready.” read more

WHS At screening of new Sean Penn film Ban says movie industry

‹ › “I didn’t expect such a celebrity, a movie star of the world, would be around so many refugees and displaced people. I was so moved,” the UN chief shared with the audience, which burst into applause. “When I went [to Haiti] a second time, he was still there,” he added. Tomorrow, the Secretary-General will be alongside more celebrities at the opening of the Summit, including Forest Whitaker, a peacebuilding advocate for the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Academy Award-winning actor. Together, they will urge world leaders to commit to five core responsibilities featured in the UN’s Agenda for Humanity: Prevent and end conflict Respect rules of war Leave no one behind Working differently to end need Invest in humanity Starting tomorrow, the Summit will bring together all stakeholders who have a vested interest in improving the global humanitarian system. Of the more than 6,000 expected participants, there are those who have been recipients of humanitarian assistance, those who can hopefully make a difference such as entrepreneurs and celebrities like Sean Penn, as well as many others who are dedicated to helping alleviate the plight of millions of people in need of relief assistance around the world. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (4th left) and wife Yoo Soon-taek (5th left) at the film screening of “The Last Face”, ahead the World Humanitarian Summit, taking place in Istanbul. Also pictured are OCHA’s Stephen O’Brien (2nd left) and the film’s director Sean Penn (3rd left). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes introductory remarks at the film screening of “The Last Face”. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) arrives with actor, director and humanitarian activist Sean Penn for the film screening “The Last Face”. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe “When you have a global star, [the message] can go far and wide and there is no time limit,” Mr. Ban told viewers invited to the global premiere of Mr. Penn’s latest movie, The Last Face. Screened on the eve of the opening of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, Turkey, a two-day conference dedicated to finding more effective ways of alleviating and preventing the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable people, the movie features Academy Award-winning actors Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as relief workers faced with difficult situations during civil unrest in an African nation. “The main purpose of having the World Humanitarian Summit for the first time in the history of the United Nations is to raise [awareness on the] importance, seriousness, urgency and gravity of the situation,” said Mr. Ban, adding that world leaders must be committed to global action. He recalled a visit to Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010, when he met tens of thousands of people living under extremely difficult conditions in makeshift tents. Amid the chaos, he noticed a very busy man who was trying to help those around him recover. He didn’t immediately recognize him, but later realized it was Sean Penn. read more

Wallace has 31 in 2nd half EIU stops Arkansas State in OT

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Josiah Wallace had zero points in the first half but powered in 31 from that point on to lead Eastern Illinois to its third straight win, beating Arkansas State 90-86 in overtime in the Battle in the Blue Ridge on Saturday night.Wallace, who hit a jumper as regulation ended to tie it 77-77, scored 10 of Eastern Illinois’ 13 points in overtime, hitting a 3-pointer to go up 88-84 with 38 seconds remaining. Wallace split a pair of free throws in the last seconds for the final score.Arkansas State led 32-24 at the break and was up 53-42 midway of the second half.Wallace nailed 5 of 8 from deep, making 10 of 19 from the floor. Mack Smith added 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Rade Kukobat chipped in 13 points with nine rebounds for Eastern Illinois (3-2).Ty Cockfield had 24 points for Arkansas State (1-4). Malik Brevard added 13 points with 10 rebounds.The Associated Press read more

Teenager arrested following death of 15yearold girl thought to have taken ecstasy

Police investigating the death of a 15-year-old girl believed to have taken MDMA have arrested a teenage boy on suspicion of drugs offences.The girl, who has been named as Leah Heyes, died after she collapsed in a car park in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, at about 9.30pm on Saturday night.North Yorkshire Police issued a warning about MDMA to drug users and said they had not ruled out making further arrests.A force spokesman said: “Police are now in a position to name the 15-year-old girl who died in hospital after collapsing in the Applegarth car park, in Northallerton, on the night of Saturday 11 May.”Her name is Leah Heyes from Northallerton.”He continued: “We believe that Leah had taken the drug MDMA – also known as ecstasy or a ‘bomb’ – prior to collapsing and we reiterate our warning to anyone who uses drugs of the potential consequences.”At this stage, one teenage boy has been arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of class A drugs.”However, officers have not ruled out making further arrests as the investigation continues.”Police said the boy who is being questioned is 17-years-old.The force said officers are continuing to investigate to determine the circumstances surrounding Leah’s death on Saturday night. A post-mortem examination will be carried out to determine the cause of her death.On Sunday, Detective Inspector Jon Sygrove advised anyone who had bought MDMA recently to be cautious about taking it.He urged anyone who had taken the drug and was feeling unwell to seek medical help immediately.Police have asked anyone who was in the area at the time, or has any information about the events on Saturday night, to come forward if they have not already done so.Anyone with information is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option two and ask for Northallerton CID, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Windows 8 browser ballot screen arrives via Windows Update

first_imgWindows 8 is already in the hands of Microsoft’s manufacturing partners, and systems will soon be arriving on retail shelves in the EU. And to avoid any further grief from EU regulators over that whole browser ballot fiasco, Microsoft has pushed out a patch via Windows Update that will ensure Windows 8 systems in its jurisdiction are compliant.The update and accompanying Knowledge Base article (KB976002) have gone live, and there’s an explanatory page posted on the Windows site that breaks down what the Browser Choice update is all about. Several things occur once the update has been installed.On Windows 8 (and Windows 7) systems, Internet Explorer will be unpinned from the taskbar. All systems running Windows XP or later will have a new shortcut to open the Browser Choice screen dropped onto their desktops, and Windows 8 systems will also have a tile pinned to the Start Screen. After that’s done, the Browser Choice screen will appear and guide users through the process of selecting a web browser, just like the previous version did.Interestingly, Microsoft doesn’t mention whether the default browser tile will actually be removed from the Start Screen prior to the completion of the Browser Choice process. And right now, of course, there’s no other complete (dual-mode) alternative to Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8.Chrome’s Metro remix popped up on the Dev Channel back in June, and it should be on course for a move to Stable sometime before the late-October launch. Mozilla’s working away at a Firefox version, too, but we’ve only seen interface mockups so far.More at Microsoft, via Softpedialast_img read more

Miami Marlins and MLB bring new field to Jose Marti Park

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Major League Baseball and the Marlins joined together to help bring a new field in Jose Marti Park.The MLB and the Marlins came out to dedicate the field in Little Havana as part of All Star week. The field’s renovations include new dugouts, new bleachers and a new score board.Former Orioles player and hall-of-famer Cal Ripken Junior was also there for the event.The long term goal for the renovations could result in thousands of students taking part in baseball and softball programs. Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

Agencies Announce Partial Opening Of Recreation Areas and River

first_imgThe U.S Fish and Wildlife Service Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is opening the following areas to limited use: Jim’s Landing for day use of the boat launch, the overflow parking lot north of the Sterling Highway at the Visitor Contact Station, and Lower Skilak Boat Launch for boat launch access. The Kenai River remains closed beyond Jim’s Landing to Skilak Lake for public safety and in support of firefighting efforts. All boats must exit the river at Jim’s Landing. On the west side of SkilakWildlife Recreation Area, Lower Skilak campground and day use facility remains closed to public use. Skilak Lake Road from the west entrance at mp 75.2 of Sterling Highway will be opened to allow access to the Lower Skilak boat launch but all lands off the road, trailheads including Marsh Lake and Day Use facilities including Bottenintnin Lake remain closed. More information, detailed maps, and public safety information can be found online atkpboem.com or by visiting the official website for Chugach National Forest(https://www.fs.usda.gov/chugach/) and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (kenai.fws.gov). For statewide fire information, visit the AICC website at https://fire.ak.blm.gov/ or http://www.akfireinfo.com. The previous daytime limitation on this river use has also been removed, allowing for 24 hour publicuse. Additionally all refuge lands that have been burned are closed to public access. Consult the attached closure order for more details.center_img The U.S. Forest Service Chugach National Forest is opening the Russian River Campground, Russian Lake Trail, Russian River Falls, Barber Cabin, and the K’Beq Day Use Area for public use. This opening will occur at the same time as the Kenai River reopening. Although this area has not been directly affected by fire, stay aware of the firefighting personnel and equipment still active on roads and lands nearby. Visit the Chugach National Forest website https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/chugach/home fordetails. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Agencies open areas to the public for recreation access effective at 12:01am on Tuesday.  This reopening of some portions of the Kenai River, Chugach National Forest and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge includes some areas that were burned by the Swan Lake Fire. Hazards exist in these burned areas that can be hard to see.Alaska Department of Natural Resources Division of State Parks announces the reopening of a portion of the Upper Kenai River previously closed to support firefighting operations. The Kenai River between the state boat launch at the Cooper Landing bridge and Jim’s Landing will reopen to public use with the exception of the continued closure of a channel on the south side of the river from approximately River Mile 69.5 to River Mile 71.5 will also be closed to support firefighting activity.last_img read more

Selling One Ad Across Many Screens

first_imgAlmost immediately after Apple founder Steve Jobs introduced the iPad to much fanfare last January, publishers everywhere began trying to figure out how to create content and advertising for the new platform.Meanwhile, advertisers are telling publishers that they want to be able to create campaigns and execute them across the widest universe of devices, particularly mobile platforms. Yet despite all this great news, it’s not clear how much revenue publishers are actually earning from this advertising. The Financial Times announced recently it has generated about $2 million with advertising on its iPad app, but few other publishers are yet describing similar success.As The Knot-the wedding planning Web site and magazine-began work on the iPad app, they decided to focus exclusively on the user experience-and not include any advertising-for the first issue launched in October. The only advertisers involved in the iPad app are Magazine Directory advertisers already in The Knot’s interactive product guides. “We saw this an opportunity for the magazine to be displayed as it’s intended to look, with dramatic layouts-and at the same time, we can layer on the Internet experience,” says site director Miles Stiverson. “We wanted to develop the very best product we could and really figure out how we will reinvent our magazine for the iPad.” Yet those conversations ultimately led to greater clarity about what sorts of advertising would work best on an iPad, say Stiverson. “I’ve seen ads where you land on a page and press a button and it reveals content you wouldn’t have seen otherwise. The iPad makes you stop on a page and examine it closely to see if there is any interactivity to play around with.”In the next issue, The Knot will include simple sponsored sections and videos, plus some custom interactive tools. Editors and developers there had already launched two iPhone apps, both in 2009. The first was called “Wedding 411,” a mobile message board that allows brides-to-be to connect with each other on the go. The second app took the popular “Wedding Dress Look Book” from the Web site and turned it into a searchable and sortable wedding dress finder. Only Wedding 911 has had any advertiser involvement.Hearst sees the best results from selling tablet pages, which appear in apps for brands such as Esquire, Popular Mechanics and O, The Oprah Magazine. “They appear in a very similar fashion to print pages, but the end user will have a much richer user experience once they engage with the ad depending on the level of functionality incorporated within,” says Avi Zimak, advertising director of tablet media at Hearst.Mobile ad pricing for Hearst varies depending on whether the application is a utility-based app (stand-alone app) or a digitally enhanced version of the magazine. “Pricing can also vary by magazine brand,” says Zimak. “We do believe many of our apps warrant a premium, as we are limiting the number of advertisers that appear within these apps so the advertisers can showcase the richness of their brands via the individual functionality.” QR Codes for MobileNot everyone is caught up in the mobile app scramble, however. Developers at Budget Travel have taken a different-simpler-approach to mobile content and advertising. Instead of creating mobile and tablet versions of the magazine and Web site, they’re launching a QR code application for mobile phones. QR codes are matrix barcodes readable by QR scanners and mobile phones with cameras.The QR codes appear in the magazine next to travel tips. When readers point their phone at the QR code, they’re led to a mobile-enabled Web site consisting of more travel tips, plus the ability to share those tips in social networks and elsewhere online. “We wanted to do this because we’re really interested in how we can deliver our content across different platforms in ways readers and advertisers want,” says Lisa Dickens Schneider, general manager of digital products at Budget Travel.The launch sponsor is La Quinta Inns & Suites, which will have a full-page magazine ad facing the travel tip content, as well as branding within the QR code copy. When users land on the mobile site, they will also see La Quinta branding, essentially turning the experience into a custom mobile microsite.”If you’re working for a multimedia brand, you have to understand that advertisers are also moving toward more integration,” Schneider says. “And you have to understand how the brand behaves in each medium, and what are the benefits of each medium. The smart advertisers are starting to understand how to reach people in different ways. The content I want on my phone is not the same as what I want on my big screen computer.”One Ad, Many ScreensThat said, creating content and advertising campaigns across multiple devices with different screen resolutions is complicated-one reason why mobile and tablet advertising remains the Wild West right now, according to digital strategy and user experience according to consultant Jonathan Hills.”This is a much more fluid world than PCs,” he says. “Ad sales teams are struggling to understand how to sell and what the rates should be and even how to serve the ads from a tech standpoint.”Hills, who launched two iPhone apps for Reader’s Digest Association while he was general manager at readersdigest.com last year, ultimately decided to sell the campaigns on a fixed-price basis. The ad sales team offered advertisers 100 percent share of voice on its Life IQ app, launched last February, for, say, $20,000 per month-as opposed to guaranteeing a certain number of impressions or even downloads. The main selling point was being associated with something cutting-edge.The Life IQ app, a trivia quiz on everyday life, is free. So far, about 50,000 users have downloaded it, but there have been no ads to date. The second app, Word Power, launched in April for $2.99 per download. It did not include ad integration.”We were telling a compelling story, but it’s still difficult,” says Hills. Sponsors know how to measure visitors to a Web site-currently about 3 million per month to readersdigest.com. But they don’t know how to price downloads of an app that may or may not ever be used, since 70 percent of all apps aren’t used after their initial few weeks of residing on someone’s phone or tablet device.”Advertisers want to know what they’re measuring,” says Hills. “But there are no meaningful benchmarks.” For instance, Comscore is an imprecise Web site traffic measurement device but it’s the industry standard because it’s operated by a third party-neither publisher nor advertiser. Nothing like this yet exists for mobile devices.Hills believes that, ultimately, iPad apps will be more interesting to sponsors in large part because the screen is so much bigger. At the moment there are three types of advertising on the iPad: the desktop Web site ads displayed in the browser; the iPhone-style ads and banners on applications, and an advertising opportunity that is totally unique to it-interactive print. That allows for full-page ads, larger photos, video content and 360-degree product tours.”It’s a much more tactile device, too,” Hills says. “It does present a unique opportunity to get people to do things” such as sign up for a coupon or watch a video.He predicts there will be mobile advertising standards in place by the end of 2011. “The big players are making moves to establish coherent standards,” Hills says. “But before that happens there will be a period of experimenting. People are trying to figure out what sorts of campaigns they want to be running.”last_img read more

Amazon sold tens of millions of Echo devices in 2018

first_img 30 Photos Post a comment Preview • A new Amazon Echo is here. Catch up on Alexa’s upgraded home 4:40 Smart Speakers & Displays See it News • Amazon Echo Dot deal: 3 for $70 Mentioned Above Amazon Echo (2017,Heather Gray Fabric) Amazon Echo CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 0 Review • Amazon’s new Echo improves upon the original, slashes the price Now playing: Watch this: New Amazon Echo Dot plays defense against Google How To • How to sell your old Amazon Echo 2018 was a good year for the Amazon Echo. Chris Monroe/CNET It seems like Alexa has had a busy 2018. On Wednesday, Amazon released some year-end stats about its Alexa smart assistant and Amazon Echo devices — and the numbers are pretty impressive.Amazon says that it sold tens of millions of Echo devices this year. While Amazon doesn’t give an exact sales number, it shows other ways in which Alexa is booming.According to Amazon, the number of people who use Alexa every day doubled in 2018. The number of people who own more than one Echo device has doubled too. The number of things Alexa can do for you has also skyrocketed — developers have made more than 70,000 skills for Alexa.Alexa is showing up in more places. There are now more than 28,000 Alexa-compatible smart home devices from 4,500 different brands. Alexa learned several new languages this year, and has new native experiences in Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Spain and Mexico.Another impressive statistic: Alexa told over 100 million jokes in 2018 alone.As more people buy Echo devices and more partners hop on board, the number of things you can do with Alexa grows. So that Echo smart speaker you bought years ago will continue to feel fresh. Share your voice Tags Echo Dot, Home Mini, and Simplisafe: The best smart home Christmas gifts for 2018 $99 Alexa Amazonlast_img read more

Ravi Shastris continuation as Team Indias head coach confirmed CAC not looking

first_imgVirat Kohli and Ravi Shastri together.BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty ImagesFormer Indian cricketer Ravi Shastri is, reportedly, almost confirmed to continue as the head coach of Team India. As reported by IANS, a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), appointed to pick the coaching unit has made it clear that Shastri is the biggest contender and they are not looking for foreign coaches. The member further added that under Shastri the Indian team have performed well so he probably will be handed a new contract.”We are not too keen to bring in a foreign coach. Yes, had someone of the stature of Gary Kirsten applied, we might have given it a thought. But even then, an Indian would have always been the priority. After all, the team has also done well under an Indian head coach, so why look for a change? As things stand now, Shastri does look to be the favourite to be handed a fresh contract,” the CAC member told IANS.The Kapil Dev led committee member also mentioned that if there is a joint-winner then Kapil’s vote will become the decider but as of now it is likely to be in favour of Shastri.”See, firstly, it is a three-member panel, so a split decision is highly unlikely. But yes, if at all a situation does arise where A goes for one candidate, B for another and C for another, the vote of the chairman will come in and the decision will stand. But as of now, we don’t see something like that happening,” the member said. File photo of MS Dhoni and Ravi Shastri.ReutersOn the other hand, a senior BCCI official stated that it is necessary for Shastri to stay as India is undergoing a transition phase. He further claimed that as Kohli has a good equation with Shastri it will be better if the latter stays as the coach.”Nothing permanent with a long term effect should happen at this stage of transition. Shastri and Kohli complement each other well and it would be unfair to change half of a team that has been successful. A change in coach may disturb the equation that exists and allows the players to have the mental space to excel,” the official told IANS.”If a change is made at this stage, it would be a change of strategy and planning for the next 5 years. It would be unfair to take such a decision at a stage when the stakeholders are not the ones deciding,” the official further added.The Men in Blue are currently in the Caribbean for the West Indies tour and they are already 2-0 up in the T20 international series. The coaching unit of the Indian team has been given an extension till the end of the Windies tour.last_img read more

Blast rocks Chinese port city dozens hurt

first_imgRescue workers look for survivors after an explosion in Ningbo, China’s eastern Zhejiang province. Photo: AFPA major explosion hit China’s eastern port city of Ningbo on Sunday, sending dozens to hospitals, destroying vehicles, and triggering the collapse of nearby buildings, state media said, citing local authorities.The morning blast occured in a factory, according to the official Xinhua news agency, but state television said it took place at a demolition site.Television images showed cars twisted and mangled by the force of the explosion, a plume of grey smoke rising in the sky, and debris scattered for dozens of metres around the site of the incident.Footage showed rescuers wearing helmets carrying injured people away from the area, while others stood over a person lying on the ground.According to CCTV, eyewitnesses said there were “a large number of injured people” in the city, one of China’s largest ports, which sits just south of Shanghai.At least 30 people were taken to the local hospital and rescue efforts were continuing, the report said.The Communist Party’s People’s Daily said on Twitter that no one lived at site of the explosion but garbage collectors might have been working there.An enquiry has been launched to determine the cause of the explosion, the local police in Jiangbei district, where the blast happened, said on social media.Industrial accidents are common in China, where safety standards are often lax.In 2015, giant blasts killed at least 165 people in the northern port city of Tianjin, causing over $1 billion in damage and sparking widespread anger over a perceived lack of transparency by officials about the accident’s causes and environmental impact.A government inquiry into the Tianjin accident released in February 2016 recommended 123 people be punished.The official who was mayor at the time of the accident was sentenced to 12 years in prison for graft in September.Huang Xingguo, 62, had also headed the disaster response committee.last_img read more

Trump Asked His White House Staff To Sign Nondisclosure Agreements Heres What

first_img Share Official White House Photo by Shealah CraigheadPresident Donald Trump leads a video teleconference monitoring current tropical storm conditions and damage assessments in southeastern Texas on Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, from a conference room at Camp David near Thurmont, Maryland.Amid reports that President Donald Trump asked senior White House officials to sign nondisclosure agreements, The Texas Tribune received a copy of an NDA Trump asked a former Texas campaign staffer to sign in 2016. Here’s a look at the nondisclosure agreement:last_img

Lets call Earth Planet Ocean

first_imgThe future of humankind will depend to a great extent on the resources to be taken from the ocean volume and the seafloor says the book ‘Oceans and the Future of the Human Race’, by Sudipta Kumar De.Even with the technology available today humankind has better maps of the surface of Mars and dark side of the Moon than of the bottom of the oceans. While a dozen people have walked on the Moon 384,400 kms above the earth’s surface, only three have descended and come back from the deepest part in the sea, just 11 kms below, the book informs.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Today, we can go to Mars, but the deep ocean really is our final frontier. The unexplored oceans hold mysteries more compelling, environments more challenging and life-forms more bizarre than anything the vacuum of space has to offer, the book says. Ocean is also the cornerstone of the earth’s life support system. If it is in trouble, so are we, the author says. Possible solutions to the world’s energy, food, environmental and other problems are far more likely to be found in the nearby oceans than in distant space. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix The space is a distant, hostile and barren place, the study of which yields few major discoveries and an abundance of over hyped claims. By contrast the oceans are nearby and their study is a potential source of discoveries that could prove helpful for addressing a wide range of national concerns from climate change to disease; for reducing energy, mineral and potable water shortage and it is also cheaper, the author says. NASA is spending billions in search of extraterrestrial lives while there are at least 750, 000 new species still waiting to be discovered beneath the waves, the author says. When millions of poor people die from hunger, lack of medicine and water, it is an ocean scientist who can help them, not a space scientist, the book says.For the scientists who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of knowledge about the sea, it is a sad state of affairs.last_img read more

LEVELs first MontrealParis flight takes off

first_img PARIS — Low-cost carrier LEVEL’s first flight from Paris Orly to Montreal has taken wing.The inaugural flight on British Airways parent company International Airlines Group’s (IAG) long-haul low cost airline brand arrived into Montreal at 9:30 p.m. on July 2 with 300 passengers on board a new A330. Flights to Montreal operate three times a week. LEVEL has also inaugurated its four flights per week service to Guadeloupe.This year LEVEL will have two new A330-200s based at Orly, each with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats. A third A330-200 aircraft will be added next summer providing the opportunity to expand LEVEL’s network further. At Paris Orly airport, Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive said: “We’re delighted to start flying from our second European city. LEVEL is performing exceptionally well and ahead of our expectations in all markets.”Walsh added: “We will continue to invest in LEVEL and are committed to accelerate its growth. Last week we launched its new short-haul operation in Austria which will fly from Vienna to 14 European destinations from July 17. LEVEL is breaking the mould by providing consumers with more choice and amazing fares.”A third A330-200 will start operations in September out of Barcelona, and another one will be added next summer, totaling four aircraft in 2019. LEVEL currently operates from El Prat’s airport to Buenos Aires, San Francisco and Boston with a summer service to Los Angeles.LEVEL’s Paris flights are operated by IAG’s French airline OpenSkies which has transitioned into LEVEL. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Wednesday, July 4, 2018 center_img Share LEVEL’s first Montreal-Paris flight takes off Tags: LEVEL, OpenSkies, Parislast_img read more

NonDistressed Sales Prices Up 03 in December

first_imgNon-Distressed Sales Prices Up 0.3% in December Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Home prices nationally rose at a seasonally unadjusted rate of 0.3 percent in December, continuing the pace slow, steady monthly gains that started in September, FNC reported in its latest Residential Price Index (RPI).While slightly down from November’s 0.4 percent rate of growth, December’s price gains reflect greater stability in the non-distressed market, FNC says—especially when measured next to the larger price movement in the single-family housing market.“Unlike overall price measures that include distressed sales (which recently have shown signs of weakening), home prices of normal sales have been rising at steady and sustainable levels—about 0.3-0.5 percent per month,” FNC said.The narrower 30- and 10-city composites exhibited similar monthly changes at +0.4 percent and +0.5 percent, respectively.While monthly increases were moderate, yearly gains were more dramatic. As of December, the RPI was up 8.7 percent over the year prior, indicating the fastest yearly growth since the recovery began in 2012, FNC says.Breaking down the index of the nation’s top 30 markets, FNC recorded declines from November to December in more than a third, with Cincinnati leading the way at -1.5 percent. Topping the list in gains was Miami at +1.7 percent, followed by the usual high-ranking cities of Riverside and Phoenix at +1.6 percent and +1.5 percent, respectively.On a yearly basis, only one city—St. Louis—posted depreciation. Positive growth was led by Sacramento, where prices surged 30.4 percent compared to December 2012. California’s capital was just one of several cities to see home prices end the year with the largest growth since the recovery’s beginning, according to the company.center_img February 18, 2014 448 Views FNC Inc. Home Prices 2014-02-18 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

The Challenge Facing FirstTime Buyers

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News The Challenge Facing First-Time Buyers First-Time Homebuyers 2016-11-21 MirashaBrown The current supply of affordable housing inventory is not meeting the demand of first-time buyers. First American’s Potential Home Sales Model for October 2016 revealed that a lack of available housing for first-time homebuyers is preventing the market from reaching its true potential.First American’s potential homes sales model measures a healthy market of home sales based on economic, demographic and housing market environments. The model reported that there was a 4.5-month supply decrease in September, down from 4.6 in August. The shortage has caused prices to spike at 5.3 percent since last year, according to First American.The model reported a drop in home sales due to the decline in supply and increase in demand from homebuyers. Potential existing-home sales have increased to a 5.9 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate, which is a 97.4 percent growth from the market potential low in December 2008. The market potential for existing-home sales in October grew by 6.7 percent compared to 2015.Mark Fleming, chief economist for First American, mentioned the decline of starter home sales, which are homes listed for under $100,000. Starter home sales dropped 10.2 percent year-over-year in October.The unemployment rate has remained stable at 4.9 percent from September to October, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, hourly wages have increased by 2.8 percent since 2015 up to a post-crisis high point and continuing an upward trend for incomes.“When considering the right time to buy or sell a home, an important factor should be the market’s overall health, which is largely a function of supply and demand,” said Fleming. “Knowing how close the market is to a healthy level of activity can help consumers determine if it is a good time to buy or sell, and what might happen to the market in the future.”Potential home sales measures existing-homes sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate based on the historical relationship between existing-home sales and U.S. population demographic data, income and labor market conditions in the U.S. economy, price trends in the U.S. housing market, and conditions in the financial marketcenter_img Share November 21, 2016 470 Views last_img read more

Will FHA Further Cut MI Premiums

first_img Share It has been two years since the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lowered its mortgage insurance premiums by 50 basis points down to 0.85 percent.The move two years ago was designed to make homeownership more affordable for first-time homebuyers trying to enter the market. The FHA estimated at the time of the move that it would save homeowners approximately $900 annually.Reducing the MI premium two years ago drew praise from some, but at the same time was a highly controversial move—at the time, the Mutual Mortgage Insurance (MMI) fund’s capital ratio was at 0.41 percent, less than a quarter of the 2 percent threshold required by Congress. Critics of the move accused the FHA of cutting off a potential revenue stream when the capital ratio was so far below the Congressionally-mandated level.Since then, the MMI fund’s capital ratio has increased up to 2.32 percent to a value of $27.8 billion as of the end of FY2016. In fact, it was above 2 percent at the end of FY2015, which fueled speculation of future mortgage insurance premium cuts by the FHA. Some in the industry openly called for further reduction to the MI premium, such as the National Association of Realtors last April.Critics of the reduction say a further reduction would exposed taxpayers to more risk. FHA was forced to take a $1.7 billion taxpayer-funded bailout in 2013 to cover the losses it suffered in the aftermath of the financial crisis.Rumors of another reduction to the FHA’s MI premium have been further driven by the fact that the Obama Administration is nearing its conclusion. Would Obama make a move with only two weeks left in office?Tobias Peter and Stephen Oliner of the American Enterprise Institute for International Housing Risk recently said a further MI premium cut by the FHA would be a “serious mistake,” particularly with the substantial increase to mortgage interest rates over the last two months. Peter and Oliner maintain that a further reduction to the MI premium would not help affordability, but would have the opposite effect.“The higher mortgage rate, combined with house prices that have continued to rise briskly in many markets, will crimp affordability for first-time buyers,” Peter and Oliner wrote. “In addition, FHA announced in November that the capital position of its insurance fund stood above the congressionally mandated minimum level for the second year in a row, allowing the administration to argue that it has ample financial room to address a worsening affordability problem.”FHA estimated two years ago at the time of the MI premium reduction that the move would allow approximately 250,000 new homebuyers to enter the market over the next three years. AEI estimates that only approximately 35,000 first-time homebuyers entered the market in 2015 after the premium reduction who could not have afforded to buy a house without the MI premium cut, which is less than half of the 83,000 per year (one-third of 250,000) FHA predicted. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums 2017-01-05 Seth Welborncenter_img January 5, 2017 631 Views Will FHA Further Cut MI Premiums?last_img read more

Oilfield services leaders to set up regional base in Cyprus

first_imgBy Elias HazouHalliburton and Schlumberger, two of the world’s largest oilfield services companies, have chosen Cyprus as their base of operations for the eastern Mediterranean.The Mail has learned that the two multinational corporations will sign the relevant agreements with the government this month.The Halliburton agreement will likely be concluded the weekend after the next (May 10 or 11), with Schlumberger putting ink on paper one or two weeks later.Gas expert Charles Ellinas, former executive chairman of the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company, named the two companies when asked by the Mail about local press reports suggesting two multinationals were about to set up shop here.He said Halliburton in particular have been looking to rent land for their base of operations in the Aradippou/Larnaca area, close to the Larnaca harbour and the airport.Halliburton provides drilling services and gear for companies prospecting for hydrocarbons.Their base in Cyprus will cover the entire East Mediterranean, which is expected to become a hotbed of exploration activity in the years to come.“Halliburton estimates that over the next few years around 50 to 60 new wells are going to be drilled in the East Med. We’re talking about Israel, Cyprus, and Lebanon. Supposing that drilling costs are anywhere from $5bn to $7bn, should Halliburton get half those contracts, it’s well worth it for them,” Ellinas said.The island’s political stability is the chief reason why Schlumberger and Halliburton have picked Cyprus as the location for their regional base of operations.“It makes more sense to set up shop here rather than, say, Lebanon or Egypt,” said Ellinas. “This is a big deal for us.”Halliburton’s activities here would consist of storing their drilling gear and opening up offices.“Once they’re up and running, they’d start bringing in their equipment. In addition to storage space, the gear would have to be serviced, the company would need supplies etc. This is where local companies come in, providing support services.”And, according to Ellinas, Halliburton, which operate in more than 80 countries, tend to set up management teams but then hire locals to do the work.Over the course of their operation here, the US corporation could thus hire and train hundreds of locals, he said.Schlumberger, arguably the world’s largest oilfield services company, has its principal offices located in Houston, Paris, and the Hague. In the industry they are known as sub-surface specialists, and develop a lot of the software used to analyse seismic data.Ellinas sounded a note of caution, however: “We need to encourage oil and gas companies by cutting down on the red tape. These companies may be competing, but they’re also talking to one other. If one of them is unhappy operating in Cyprus, word spreads.”The Italian-Korean consortium ENI-KOGAS are expected to carry out exploratory drilling in one of their Cypriot offshore licenses in the second half of the year. Already at Larnaca harbour, space has been allotted to Malta-based Medserv, oil and gas logistics specialists, acting as subcontractors for ENI-KOGAS.Medserv’s facilities in Larnaca could conceivably be used by companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger in the future, said Ellinas.Noble Energy meanwhile, intend to carry out additional drilling in their Block 12 concession later this year and/or in 2015.In late 2011 theTexas-based outfit discovered gross mean resources of 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas offshore Cyprus.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoSenior Living | Search AdsCheap Senior Apartments in Rowland Heights Are Turning HeadsSenior Living | Search AdsUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Congress and the P

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Visitation: 5-7 pm,This particular Skarsgrd stood toe-to-toe with Nicole Kidman for some brutal scenes But TIME has finally come to its senses, " said Pieper. Bakari (the most senior consultant) on the flimsy excuse of abandoning his official duty without permission." Banerjee said at a public meeting in West Bengal’s Cooch Behar. read more