Tompkins Park claims final title

first_imgThe 2009 Be Active Junior State Championships have drawn to a close at Lightning Park in Noranda, with Tompkins Park claiming the final title of the weekend – winning the 18s’ Boys Grand Final against Peel Districts.In what was the tournaments premier division, Tompkins Park came into the final on top of the 18s Boys ladder, with Peel Districts close behind and just edging Goldfields and Brothers out of the final. It was a tight tussle early on as Tompkins took a 3-1 advantage to the half time break. But in the second half they took control and ran out 7-2 winners.12 months is a long time in Touch Football with Tompkins Park and Peel Districts finishing last and second last in the same competition in 2008. In the 18’s Girls division, Fremantle took control early in the final against Southern, eventually taking the title 12-2.New affiliate Brighton have won their first ever State Championship, with victory in the 12’s Mixed division. Having started their competition in October and a successful junior program, the club enjoyed on-field success at Lightning Park, winning the 12s title 7-2 against Fremantle.Full results:18’s BoysTompkins Park (7) def. Peel Districts (2)MVP – Eric Pahura (Tompkins Park)Referees – Justin Parsons, Damien Capp, Ben Morton18’s GirlsFremantle (12) def. Southern Districts (2)MVP – Samantha Mitchell (Fremantle)Referees – Kelly Eggers, Will Trego, Peter Burke15’s MixedFremantle (7) def. Perth Brothers (3)Male MVP – Jarrod Toon-Poynton (Fremantle)Female MVP – Cheyenne Kereopa (Perth Brothers)Referees – Joe Jeffries, Brendan Antrobus, Kate Steinitz15’s BoysNorthern Districts (7) def. Tompkins Park (2)MVP – Jeremy Wallace (Northern)Referees – Russell McIntyre, Darren Walters, Tracey12’s MixedBrighton (7) def. Fremantle (2)Male MVP – Jayden Pohutuhutu (Brighton)Female MVP – Rheanna Quan (Fremantle)Referees – John Moore, Karon Aldon, Ross FrancisReferee of the Tournament – Will TregoFor full results visit the WA Junior State Championships website – read more

Ottawas changes to pipeline approval process not enough say some First Nations

first_imgAPTN National News OTTAWA—Three major First Nation organizations representing chiefs from British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec, said Friday the federal Liberal government’s announced changes to the pipeline review process doesn’t quite go far enough.The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs  (AMC) and the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) issued a statement Thursday saying they want deeper changers to consultation and the environmental assessments of proposed pipeline projects.Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna unveiled transitional changes to the review process of TransCanada’s Energy East and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline projects.The ministers said the federal government would be directly engaging First Nations in consultation on the projects beyond the regulatory review process led by the National Energy Board (NEB).The chiefs from the three organizations said the changes do little to improve the NEB, which they consider as simply a “rubber stamper that pays only lip services to the respect for the position for the positions and rights of First Nations.”Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the UBCIC, said he was particularly concerned about Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.Phillip acknowledged that the Liberal government has said it plans to engage in direct consultation with First Nations once the NEB wraps up its review in May of the pipeline project which will carry Alberta-mined bitumen to Burnaby, B.C.“Ultimately, how are we any better off today than yesterday as far as the Kinder Morgan project goes?” said Phillip. “What we need is the federal government’s willingness to take no for an answer from First Nations like Tsleil-Waututh Nation who are exercising their sovereign decision-making power.”AFNQL regional Chief Ghislain Picard said the Liberals should have first consulted with First Nations before unveiling their changes to the pipeline approval process.“We could have signaled ahead of time that such reforms did not go nearly far enough,” said Picard. “At a time when First Nations are already suffering major climate change related impacts to their ways of life, one of our main concerns is that the new climate test that these pipelines will be subjected to will not sufficiently reflect the urgency with which we need to reduce emissions and get off fossil fuels.”Carr said Wednesday that the Liberal government would be consulting with First Nations before introducing an overhaul of the regulatory approval process of pipelines and other large natural resource projects. He said the changes announced Wednesday will remain in place until the federal government unveils its permanent retooling of the approval process.AMC Grand Chief Derek Nepinak said some of his organization’s member First Nations were “shocked” the Liberals did not apply the additional consultation promised for the Energy East and Trans Mountain projects to Enbridge’s proposed Line 3 project.“The threat of climate change is such that the real issue is whether we will survive as a civilization and whether there will even be an economy left to speak of,” said Nepinak.The Iroquois Caucus, which represents the communities of Kanesatake, Kahnawake, Akwesasne, Oneida Nation of the Thames, Six Nations, Tyendinaga and the Wahta Mohawks, also issued a statement saying while they still oppose Energy East, the communities are still looking forward to consultation with Ottawa.“We are willing to meet with the senior Crown representatives to participate in the development of a meaningful process that is consistent with the historic Two-Row relationship with the Haudenosaunee and the legal obligations of the Crown to address and accommodate First Nation concerns including the shortcomings of the (NEB) process,” said the statement.In an interview with APTN during the last federal election campaign, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believed First Nations had the right to reject projects on their read more

Laurentian Bank says mortgage issues now resolved

first_imgMONTREAL – Laurentian Bank says it has successfully resolved issues related to mortgage loans sold to an unnamed lender.Laurentian said in December that an audit found that the mortgages in question did not meet documentation and eligibility requirements and would need to buy back as much as $304 million in mortgages.Laurentian revised that amount a month later to $392 million and said it had repurchased $180 million in loans, with another $88 million expected by the end of the fiscal second quarter.As part of an agreement with the lender, the bank will repurchase an additional $115 million of ineligible mortgages during the third quarter of 2018, slightly lower than the bank’s initial assessment.The bank says any future purchases by the lender will be subject to terms and conditions to be agreed upon at the time of each purchase, including a pre-funding audit of the mortgages.Laurentian’s chief executive Francois Desjardins said last December that the issues largely involved loans that were misflagged and it found no evidence of wilful wrongdoing.He said some problem mortgages involved a failure to obtain or properly store documentation such as proof of income needed to adjudicate the loan, and to a “lesser extent” Laurentian found “client misrepresentation” which involved embellishing assets or revenue.“We have made important headway in addressing this situation, which has no impact on our clients, and are confident that it will be completely resolved by the end of the fiscal year,” Desjardins said in a statement released late Tuesday.“This has been a learning experience and since November 2017, we have been implementing enhanced quality control and origination processes throughout the bank. We firmly believe that this significantly strengthens our mortgage origination and securitization activities.”Companies in this story: (TSX:LB)last_img read more

Will AI give smallbusiness owners fintechs a leg up—or reinforce status quo

first_imgTwo months into the launch of her dance studio, Natalie Borch needed a loan.The 34-year-old first-time business owner had opened the doors to The Pink Studio in February after she and her brother invested $40,000 of their own cash and took out a $100,000 loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada.“We just needed a small amount of money to expand our services for new teachers and classes,” she said, from beginner Beyonce to Bollywood fusion.Finding no help from the main banks, she found Lendified Inc., a fintech startup that offers loans to small businesses based on artificial intelligence-powered screening assessments.After filling out a few online forms on cash flow and collateral, Borch received a $30,000 loan.Borch is one of the latest beneficiaries of an AI-driven overhaul in the financial sector as the big banks scramble to tap a vein that startups and credit unions have already started to mine.“I didn’t even go anywhere,” she said from the mirrored, hot pink walls of her studio on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue. “It was a life-saver.”Small-business loans have often been viewed as risky, with high interest rates due to a dearth of operating and credit history, collateral or consistent cash flow. Machine learning and big data can expand the pool of criteria that lenders can draw on, beyond the traditional factors such as payment history or current debt that produce a beacon score or bankruptcy risk rating.“In the past, underwriting has often relied on a fairly narrow set of data, in some cases just credit score,” said Andrew Graham, co-founder and chief executive of Borrowell.The four-year-old fintech, which offers unsecured loans and free credit scores, draws on millions of data points from thousands of debtors to assess credit risk. Factors from income and home ownership to interest in financial education feed into its algorithms.“The real promise of machine learning in loan underwriting is that it means more people who will be good borrowers will ultimately get loans,” Graham said.Large financial institutions have often shied away from small-business borrowers, said Arun Kumar, head of small-business banking at the Bank of Montreal. A $50,000 loan and a $5-million loan require a similar investment of time and labour, but the former might only yield $2,000 in interest — less than the cost of assessing the applicant.That prompted BMO to launch Business Xpress last month, an in-house lending platform that draws on oceans of data to assess a loan within minutes of the first click. Amounts range between $5,000 and $500,000.“It’s like moving from analogue to digital,” Kumar said.Other banks are also following suit. Toronto-Dominion Bank acquired Layer 6 AI in January and Scotiabank teamed up with Kabbage in 2016 to allow customers to apply for small business loans using the fintech startup’s platform.For credit unions, partnerships are a way leverage AI they could otherwise not afford.“It levels the playing field,” said Ed Michielsen, head of business banking at Prospera Credit Union in British Columbia. The 75-year-old financial institution partnered with fintech startup ASAPP Online Solutions Inc. to offer internet lending last April.ASAPP, like Lendified, licenses out its technology. Lendified does so for a monthly fee to credit unions including Vancity, on top of offering direct loans of up to $150,000.Lendified chief executive Troy Wright sees a deep well of untapped lending potential shimmering below the surface. Small and medium businesses applied for about $34 billion in debt financing in 2014, but received only $28 billion as 18 per cent of applications were denied, according to Statistics Canada.“The reality of it is that banks and financial institutions generally will not provide capital to a business that is under a year old,” said Wright, who ran Scotiabank’s retail distribution network for five years.In May, the Ontario government announced a pilot project with fintech startup Lending Loop, a peer-to-peer online platform for small-business loans, to provide $3 million in loans over the next two years. It also doled out a $1.75-million grant to encourage credit unions to buy into fintech software and increase loans to small businesses.However, a shortage of high-tech labour in Canada threatens to hamper progress in the field, as does the issue of bias, which can embed itself in any system, according to Graham.“If you have a data set that only includes male customers or only includes customers who fit a certain demographic, it may lead to a similar bias in the results that comes out of it,” Borrowell’s Graham said.“I think you have to be very careful and very deliberate about both what data you use and then how you set up the training.”Companies in this story: (TSX:BMO, TSX:TD, TSX:BNS)last_img read more

TimorLeste top UN envoy highlights progress towards stability and security

19 October 2010Timor-Leste is on an important transition path to overcome the political and institutional weaknesses that resulted in the bloody unrest of 2006, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the country said today. Ameerah Haq told the Security Council that she met with President Jose Ramos-Horta and other Government officials last month, agreeing to set up a joint mechanism to guide the transition planning of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the fledgling nation, known as UNMIT.That system, she said, seeks to ensure that the transition process is consistent with Government strategies and that there is a smooth transfer of the mission’s functions to Timor-Leste’s institutions.“I want to emphasize that transition is a reconfiguration of the mission’s activities within its mandated areas to ensure that, when UNMIT does withdraw, and it will, it has done everything possible to ensure that future success of State institutions,” Ms. Haq noted, adding that preparations will emphasize capacity-building, not only in policing, but in all aspects of its mandate.Security and political situation in the country continues to be stable, enabling Timor-Leste to focus on the longer-term challenges, said Ms. Haq said.“This is observable in political debate, which has generally moved beyond backward looking discussions on how to move past the events of 2006, to forward looking discussions on how to build on the gains made and ensure the future prosperity of Timor-Leste,” Ms. Haq said.She lauded the role the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) and the UNMIT police had played in ensuring stability in cooperation with the international security forces from Australia and New Zealand.Last May, the mission began handing over primary policing responsibilities of the country’s districts and departments in a bid to establish a professional and credible police force in Timor-Leste.So far, policing responsibilities for 10 districts, including Baucau, the second largest city, and six units have been handed over, with only three districts remaining under UN policing command. In addition, the PNTL has taken over the Immigration Department, Border Patrol Unit, Interpol Office and others.Ms. Haq said that process had gained momentum, but voiced concern that the number of uncertified PNTL officers remained high.The PNTL was established in March 2000 by the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), which was set up to assist the country during its transition to independence, attained in 2002.UN Police (UNPOL) took over law enforcement duties in 2006 after fighting – attributed to differences between eastern and western regions – erupted following the firing of 600 striking soldiers, or one-third of the armed forces. Ensuing violence claimed dozens of lives and drove 155,000 people, or about 15 per cent of the total population, from their homes.UNMIT was set up that year to replace several earlier missions, including UNTAET, in the country that the world body shepherded to independence in 2002.Ms. Haq said today that the national elections slated for mid-2012 will be the PNTL’s first significant test in effectively providing security for a complex event, recommending that more that nearly 1,300 UNMIT police be present through the “crucial” period.She also noted that there has been steady progress in strengthening the justice system in the country, noting that international legal experts have transitioned into advisers.However, the official warned that the country’s willingness to support the rule of law and human rights can be negatively impacted if the public believes that individuals involved in high-profile cases are given preferential treatment.She told the Council she had expressed that concern to the President following his decision to commute the sentences of those convicted for involvement in the February 2008 attacks against him and the Prime Minister.In his latest report on Timor-Leste to the Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon notes encouraging advances in all of UNMIT’s priority areas, including the PNTL’s resumption of responsibility and dialogue on critical issues.While these are examples of the country’s increasing focus on the more challenging long-term issues it confronts, “nevertheless, they are but initial steps on the country’s long road to sustainable peace and development,” he stresses.The report underlines the need for enhanced efforts to overcome the political, institutional and socio-economic weaknesses that contributed to the 2006 violence, urging continued support from the international community.Mr. Ban writes that he is heartened that all political parties, including the opposition, continue to demonstrate their commitment to channelling political expression through democratically-sanctioned arenas. read more

Japanese envoy says ties with Sri Lanka have strengthened

The Japanese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma says Japan’s relationship with Sri Lanka has become stronger.Suganuma was speaking at a floral fashion show organized by the Shi-en Ikebana Floral Art Society of Sri Lanka, held at the Galadari hotel in Colombo today. The Ambassador said President Maithripala Sirisena’s visit to Japan this week has helped further strengthen the relationship between both countries. Japan and Sri Lanka this week decided to establish a Joint Committee with a view to ensure the expeditious implementation of the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership between Japan and Sri Lanka and to promote concrete cooperation in such areas as economic development, maritime security, national reconciliation and peace building. (Colombo Gazette)

UN envoy discusses powersharing agreement on DR of Congo

The formula announced by Mustapha Niasse involves having one president and four vice presidents for the DRC.The envoy told journalists that he would be holding follow-up meetings with the MLC, as well as the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Goma and the DRC Government later this week.In the meantime, starting tomorrow, Mr. Niasse plans to meet in separate sessions with other Congolese groups, including the Maï- Maï, the RCD National, the RCD-Kisangani/Liberation Movement and representatives of civil society and the unarmed political opposition.

Bahamas NIB  Jobless claims up Workforce growth down

first_img Related Items:#BahamasNIB, #joblessclaimsup, #magneticmedianews, #workforcegrowthdown Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, March 30, 2017 – Nassau – Jobless claims are up and new contributor sign up are down says the National Insurance Board.   In a presentation to the Chartered Financial Analyists of The Bahamas forum, VP of the NIB, Pheadra Mackey-Knowles said they have seen more Bahamians qualify for jobless benefits, with less new people coming into the workforce.  “Those few indicators give me a read on how the economy is. Most recently, we transitioned to a new IT platform. There was a delay in some of the benefit payments, and the outcry it caused was indicative of how the economy is doing. I have had persons come up to me and tell me that that was their only source of revenue, and if we miss one payment it affects them tremendously.  That tells me that our economy is really, really bad.”It was also shared that the cut in interest rate by the Central Bank will have an adverse effect on the investment portfolio of the NIB, explained Mackey-Knowles.   “About 65 per cent of my portfolio is currently invested in government debt,” she said. “Whenever there is a reduction in interest rates it affects my portfolio and your future benefits because we are tied to Prime.”Photo credit: Nassau Gaurdian#MagneticMediaNews#BahamasNIB#joblessclaimsup#workforcegrowthdown Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

Fundraiser keeps boys Legocy alive

first_imgThe practice of donating boxed Lego sets in Luke Jensen’s name will continue.Luke, who had leukemia, died in May 2010 at age 9. Attendees at his memorial service brought boxed Lego sets to be donated to sick children.“Luke’s Lego-cy Carnival” will be 5 to 9 p.m. May 20 at King’s Way Christian Schools, 3300 N.E. 78th St. in Hazel Dell.The suggested admission is one Lego set per family, said Gretchen Kipp, a teacher at King’s Way.Luke attended King’s Way, where his father, Steve, serves as a principal.In March, Clark County commissioners approved naming a sports field complex next to the schools in memory of Luke. Construction has begun on the Luke Jensen Sports Park; fields are expected to be game-ready by spring 2012.The “Lego-cy Carnival” will include games, a dunk tank, raffle items, inflatable jump toys and concessions, Kipp said. Game tickets are three for $1 or 40 for $10. The donated Lego sets will be given to the Children’s Cancer Association and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland. Kipp said profits will be divided among Doernbecher’s, CCA, Children’s Healing Art Project and Lens of Hope, which offers free photography services to families with a member who has cancer. Kipp said the event will celebrate Luke’s positive outlook. A flier for the carnival quotes Luke: “I don’t have time to worry about the things that could happen. I am too busy thinking of all the happy things that have happened.”For more information, call Kipp, 360-609-7885.last_img read more

Man accused of killing mother denied bond

first_imgA man accused of murdering his own mother faced a judge, Wednesday.Thirty-two-year-old Joaquin Villagra was denied bond after, police said, he killed his 54-year-old mother.The victim’s body was found July 14 in her Sweetwater apartment.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img

In Praise of the Flat Fee

first_imgWith the explosion of devices and platforms for distributing content to, pricing and packaging has become a major strategy for most publishers. However, at Reed’s Variety, a flat fee for access to content on any platform has been the way to go. And not just for subscribers—advertisers pay one price for display across the brand’s various platforms as well.“We don’t mind how people consume our content, just so long as they do,” says Neil Stiles, Variety’s president. “One subscription price buys you access to everything.” New visitors to Variety’s website have gradually decreasing access to content. They get five free pages on the website before they hit the paywall. “We are currently experimenting with the kinds of content that we can put in front of the paywall that ultimately ends up in a subscription,” adds Stiles. “All of the experimentation is based around that metric, not how we can build traffic and so on. It’s simply how we can attract new subscribers.” That tactic has emerged from the limited audience numbers of Variety’s market, says Stiles, which is becoming increasingly fractured across different content platforms. “We’re not looking to pry another 150,000 music and film executives. It’s the same group, just consuming content on multiple devices.” A $329 annual subscription fee gives a customer full access across any device or platform. Users are asked to register first, giving up some demos for a bit more access. From there, Variety can turn up the marketing heat. “For every 100 new subscribers, 20 of them would have come through some kind of paywall registration process,” says Stiles. Advertisers are treated much the same way. A flat fee sends creative across Variety’s content models—print, digital, mobile, newsletters and so on. “You pay one price and we put the ad on all platforms simultaneously. If you take a cover slot with Variety, there is an equivalent online product,” says Stiles. According to publisher Brian Gott, pricing was arrived at by averaging the vagaries of CPMs. “Before we pursued this strategy, we were averaging a CPM rate in the $75-$85 range. Depending on the time of year, particularly during the awards season, our CPM was coming in at upwards of $200-$300. So, we changed our strategy at a moment when quite frankly we didn’t have to change our strategy.”last_img read more

To carry out salmon habitat measure Alaska must decide what significant means

first_imgSockeye salmon migrate up a small stream in Southcentral Alaska. (Photo: Katrina Liebich/USFWS)Alaskans will soon vote on Ballot Measure 1, the controversial initiative aimed at protecting Alaska’s salmon habitat. Companies behind big proposed mines and oil developments have helped raise millions of dollars to campaign against it.Listen nowBut beyond big resource development projects, opponents say Ballot Measure 1 could hinder projects like road improvements. Supporters counter that it was specifically written to allow vital infrastructure projects to go forward.So how will the ballot measure affect mid-sized projects used by everyday Alaskans? The answer isn’t clear-cut.Part of the uncertainty on how the salmon habitat initiative could affect things like small-scale hydro projects or mom-and-pop placer mines hinges on a single phrase in the ballot measure: “significant adverse effects.”That’s because if it passes, projects that could cause “significant adverse effects” to salmon habitat will go through a much tougher and more public vetting process to get what’s called a major permit. Projects that impact salmon habitat in less significant ways could get a minor or a general permit, and that process would be less rigorous and time-intensive.So what counts as a “significant adverse effect” on salmon habitat? Where’s the line between a major and a minor permit?“We have not made an actual determination about that yet,” said Ron Benkert, a regional supervisor with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the agency that would carry out the ballot measure if it passes.Benkert said the measure does lay out criteria on what counts as “significant adverse effects.” For example, if a project blocks fish from passing through, that’s “significant.” Other criteria on what counts as “significant” are less clear, he said.“Some of them are kind of difficult to define and it would probably require us to develop some additional regulations to further clarify that,” Benkert said.So if the measure passes, that’s not the end of the story. Although it will go into effect 90 days after the election results are final, the state will likely write regulations that would try to nail down the distinction between projects in salmon habitat that have to clear a higher bar and projects that won’t. Benkert said that could take several months, if not longer, and would require significant input from the state’s Department of Law.An attorney who represents companies opposed to the ballot measure said if it passes, Fish and Game will suddenly be under intense scrutiny as it figures out what counts as “significant adverse effects.”“I’ve been involved in a lot of rulemakings over the years; this one is going to be as hard as anything I have ever seen, just because there’s so much interest in it,” said Eric Fjelstad, an attorney with Perkins Coie, a firm that also has worked for the Stand for Alaska campaign.The state can likely put little projects like boat ramps under the “minor” category. And a big proposed mine that will displace salmon streams? That will go through the tougher permitting process.“The clients I represent — everyone just assumes they will be major,” Fjelstad said.But Fjelstad said the gray area in the middle will be tricky for the state to navigate.“You have, say, a road that’s 75 yards long with a gravel pad where you want to build a cabin, and it’s through a swampy area that is deemed to be anadromous fish habitat — is that going to be under the minor scheme?” Fjelstad said. “I think those are the questions that are harder, that are right on the line.”Emily Anderson, an attorney with the Wild Salmon Center who helped write the initiative, pushed back on opponents who have said needed infrastructure projects will be hindered by the ballot measure.“I think Fish and Game will write regulations that reflect the intent of the law, which is not to overly burden everyday Alaskans or to stop vital infrastructure projects or anything like that,” Anderson said, stressing that the projects would only need permits if they “use, divert, obstruct, pollute, disturb or otherwise alter” habitat for salmon and other, similar fish species.“It’s really, really premature to say, ‘you’ll never be able to do this,’ or expand your airport in X, Y and Z community,” Anderson added. “That’s ridiculous to say at this point.”Anderson acknowledged it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what projects will get a minor permit, and what projects will go through the tougher vetting process, because Fish and Game will have discretion on that. She added the measure isn’t focused on how big or small a project is, or what kind of project it is. Instead, the bar is to what extent it could harm salmon habitat.“You can have a very large project that has very little impact to fish habitat, and therefore could be processed as a minor permit,” Anderson said. “You can have a very small project that the way it’s being proposed can have very high impacts to fish habitat, and that may be proposed as a major project.”So a project’s size may not be the best indicator of how much it could be impacted by Ballot Measure 1. And even then, when it comes to how the initiative could impact some projects used by everyday Alaskans, a lot rides on how the state writes regulations to implement it.But before all that, Alaskans will vote to decide whether the ballot measure should go forward at all.last_img read more

Roku Starts Selling Streaming Services Including New Epix Service via the Roku

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Streaming device maker Roku is officially getting into the subscription marketplace business: Later this month, Roku will begin to sell premium video subscription services like Showtime, and Starz and Epix via its Roku Channel, the company announced Wednesday.The offer is similar to Amazon’s existing Amazon Channels video subscription marketplace, and is going to provide Roku with another revenue stream for its growing services business. Variety was first to report last summer that Roku was planning to resell video subscription services.Roku first launched the Roku Channel as a free, ad-supported streaming service on its devices in September of 2017. The company continued to add new content, including live news and sports, over the past few months, turning it into one of the most popular channels on the Roku platform, while also launching it on the web and on Samsung smart TVs. Popular on Variety center_img ‘It’s been a great first year,” for the Roku Channel, said Roku programming vice president Rob Holmes in an interview with Variety.Now, the company is expanding the Roku Channel with paid subscriptions, with some of its 25 launch partners including Showtime, Starz, Epix, CuriosityStream, Hopster, the Smithsonian ChannelPlus, Tastemade and Viewster Anime. Each channel can be browsed in its entirety before subscribing.Signed-in Roku Channel users will be able to add new subscription services to their a la carte line-up with one click, thanks to a streamlined Roku Pay payment process. “We will consolidate it all under a single bill,” said Holmes.Notably absent from the list of paid services is HBO Now. Holmes declined to comment on specific channels, but said that the company was talking to “a wide range of parties.”Also notable: Roku’s announcement is the confirmed launch of a standalone Epix online video subscription service. The premium network has thus far only been available via pay TV providers, and is not yet part of Amazon Channels. Epix executive vice president and general manager Monty Sahran told Variety last February that the network had plans to go into this space, saying: “Direct-to-consumer is very important. It’s on our roadmap and we are working towards it.”Related to the announcement, Roku also revealed that it was launching the Roku Channel as part of its mobile app. This will also help subscribers with another shortcoming: At least at launch, consumers who sign up for a paid subscription service via the Roku Channel won’t be able to log into the standalone app of the service. Instead, they will have to watch every video directly through the Roku Channel, even on mobile devices.It’s no surprise that Roku is launching this marketplace: Amazon Channels has been wildly successful for the ecommerce giant, with The Diffusion Group estimating earlier this year that 55 percent of all a la carte direct-to-consumer video subscriptions were sold on Channels.Reselling paid services via the Roku Channel is also going to help Roku to further grow its platform business, as the company likes to call advertising, licensing and other non-hardware revenue streams. Roku’s platform revenue surpassed $100 million during the company’s most recent quarter for the first time in its corporate history, growing to the tune of 74% year-over-year.last_img read more

Liquid crystals controlled by magnetic fields may lead to new optical applications

first_img Play A cured pattern (black grid lines) is not affected by a changing magnetic field, while the uncured spaces in between can be still be optically switched. Credit: Wang, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society With its advantageous features such as the electrode-less remote control of its optical properties and ability to fixate the liquid crystal orientation to create polarization patterns, the magnetically actuated liquid crystals could provide a new platform for fabricating other novel optical devices, including displays, waveguides, actuators, and optical modulators.”Our magnetic liquid crystals show control of the transmittance of light so that they can have direct applications in displays such as signage, posters, writing tablets, and billboards, although their use as high-resolution displays (like computer monitors) might be limited due to the resolution in controlling the magnetic fields,” Yin said. “They may also find applications as optical modulators, which are optical communication devices for controlling the amplitude, phase, polarization, and propagation direction of light.”In the future, the researchers plan to further improve the optical properties of the nanorods.”The absorption of the iron oxide nanorods in the visible spectrum may limit some potential applications,” Yin said. “Our next step will be reducing the optical absorption of the iron oxide nanorods, either by modifying the iron oxide nanorods to reduce their absorption or replacing them with other transparent magnetic nanorods. Our future efforts will also be made to explore the use of our materials for specific applications. Although we have envisioned many potential applications, it still requires significant efforts to optimize the technology to fit the specific needs of various applications.” Play A liquid crystal being continuously optically switched by a rotating magnetic field. Credit: Wang, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society This method provides a way to control the liquid crystals’ optical properties because of the relationship between the nanorods’ orientations and the amount of light that is transmitted through them. When the nanorods are oriented parallel (0°) or perpendicular (90°) to the polarizer, light intensity is very low so the display is dark. When the nanorods are oriented at 45° relative to the polarizer, light intensity is high so the display is bright. By rotating the magnetic field continuously, the researchers could cause continuous optical switching of the liquid crystal.Another advantage of constructing liquid crystals out of inorganic nanostructures is that it opens up the possibility of permanently fixing the orientation of certain nanorods with lithography. To demonstrate, the researchers sandwiched a liquid crystal solution containing magnetic nanorods and resin between two pieces of glass. Then they placed a photomask on top, and used a UV light to cure the resin and fix the orientation of the nanorods in the uncovered regions of the photomask. Next, the researchers removed the photomask, rotated the magnetic field to change the orientation of the unfixed nanorods, and finally used the UV light again to fix these nanorods in the new orientation. Liquid crystals can also be controlled, or actuated, by switching a magnetic field. Magnetic actuation has the advantage that it doesn’t require direct contact, whereas electrical actuation requires contact with electrodes. However, so far all demonstrations of using magnetic fields to actuate liquid crystals have required extremely strong magnetic fields (~ 1 Tesla), limiting their practical use.Now in a new study published in Nano Letters, researchers Mingsheng Wang, et al., at the University of California, Riverside; and Whittier College in Whittier, California, have demonstrated that weak magnetic fields (1 milliTesla) can effectively actuate liquid crystals. The magnetically actuated liquid crystals exhibit a switching speed of less than 0.01 seconds (frequency above 100 Hz), which is comparable to the performance of commercial liquid crystals based on electrical switching.Key to the achievement was using magnetic iron oxide nanorods as building blocks to construct the liquid crystals. Due to their magnetic properties, the nanorods’ orientations can be controlled by weak magnetic fields. Upon the application of an external magnetic field, the magnetic nanorods align themselves along the field direction. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen ( —Liquid crystals are widely known for their use in LCD TVs, in which quickly changing electrical fields are used to control the molecular order of the liquid crystals. This in turn changes how light is transmitted through the liquid crystals to make the pictures change on the TV screen. The result was a patterned liquid crystal whose dark and bright areas can be reversed by shifting the axis of the polarizer. Because the pattern is polarization-dependent, it could have applications in anti-counterfeiting devices.”The liquid crystals can be made in a polymer thin film in which the orientation of magnetic nanorods can be fixed by combining magnetic alignment and lithography processes, thus creating patterns of different polarizations and control over the transmittance of light in particular areas,” coauthor Yadong Yin, Professor at University of California-Riverside, told “Such a thin film does not display visual information under normal light, but shows high contrast patterns under polarized light. The contrast of the patterns can also change with the direction of the polarized light, making them immediately very useful for anticounterfeiting or other information encryption applications.” Let there be light: Chemists develop magnetically responsive liquid crystals More information: Mingsheng Wang, et al. “Magnetically Actuated Liquid Crystals.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/nl501302s Explore further Citation: Liquid crystals controlled by magnetic fields may lead to new optical applications (2014, July 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Top: Scheme showing magnetic control over light transmittance in the novel liquid crystals. B is the alternating magnetic field. The polarized light is seen in yellow. The gray rods represent the polarizers. The magnetic field controls the orientation of the nanorods (seen in orange), which in turn affects the polarization of the light and, then, the amount of light that can pass through the polarizers. Bottom: Images show how a polarization-modulated pattern changes darkness/brightness by rotating the direction of the cross polarizers. The circles and background contain magnetic nanorods aligned at different orientations. By combining magnetic alignment and lithography processes, it is possible to create patterns of different polarizations in a thin composite film and control over the transmittance of light in particular areas. Credit: Wang, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society © 2014 PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Journal information: Nano Letters This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

3D Tomosynthesis Where Are We Now

first_img IBM collected a dataset of 52,936 images from 13,234 women who underwent at least one mammogram between 2013 and 2017, and who had health records for at least one year prior to the mammogram. The algorithm was trained on 9,611 mammograms. Image courtesy of Radiology. Feature | Artificial Intelligence | July 19, 2019 | Michal Chorev AI Models Predict Breast Cancer With Radiologist-level Accuracy Breast cancer is the global leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer… read more Qlarity Imaging’s software is used to assist radiologists in the assessment and characterization of breast lesions. Imaging features are synthesized by an artificial intelligence algorithm into a single value, the QI score, which is analyzed relative to a database of reference abnormalities with known ground truth. Image courtesy of Business Wire. News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more read more Technology | Breast Biopsy Systems | July 24, 2019 Fujifilm Releases Tomosynthesis Biopsy Option for Aspire Cristalle Mammography System Fujifilm Medical Systems U.S.A. Inc. recently expanded its breast imaging solutions with the launch of its… read more News | Breast Imaging | August 02, 2019 Volpara to Distribute Screenpoint Medical’s Transpara AI Solution Volpara Solutions and ScreenPoint Medical BV signed an agreement under which Volpara will sell ScreenPoint’s Transpara… read more Feature | Radiology Imaging | October 12, 2015 | By Rachael Bennett and Katie Regan 3-D Tomosynthesis: Where Are We Now? As the DBT market continues to grow, so does the demand for breakthrough technology Technology | Mammography Reporting Software | July 25, 2019 Hologic Partners With MagView to Develop Unifi EQUIP Solution Hologic announced a partnership with mammography information solutions provider MagView to develop Unifi EQUIP, an… read more PreviousNextcenter_img News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | Ultrasound Women’s Health | July 11, 2019 FDA Clears Koios DS Breast 2.0 AI-based Software Koios Medical announced its second 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) market has evolved rapidly within the past year, with new vendors entering the market and recent clinical data continuing to support its use. In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) created dedicated reimbursement codes for DBT procedures earlier this year. MD Buyline rarely sees purchases for mammography systems that are not at least upgradable to 3-D capabilities. With the market as a whole predicted to grow by 18.1 percent through 2019, we expect the demand for this breakthrough technology only to rise.1Evolution from 2-D to 3-DThe current gold standard in breast cancer screening is two-dimensional (2-D) mammography. Although 2-D full-field digital mammography (FFDM) is successful in identifying a large number of cancers, this method has its limitations. A traditional 2-D mammography study consists of two images per breast — craniocaudal (CC) and mediolateral-oblique (MLO). The flat nature of these images can make them hard to interpret. Overlapping tissues and calcifications can also mask cancerous lesions. DBT overcomes this challenge by creating a 3-D view of the breast similar to a computed tomography (CT) scan. Radiologists can scroll through the breast, slice by slice, allowing them to see abnormalities that would have been obscured otherwise in traditional 2-D images. This clearer view not only identifies areas that potentially would have gone undetected with 2-D mammography, but also provides greater clarity into suspicious areas that may have required a callback for additional imaging. These higher detection rates and decreased patient callbacks have made providers eager to adopt the technology.Market OverviewWhile Hologic has remained a pioneer in the DBT market, two new vendors, GE and Siemens, entered the market within the past year with add-on capabilities to their existing platforms. More recently, in July 2015, Fujifilm submitted the first module of its premarket approval application for an optional upgrade to its mammography system. (See Table 1.)Hologic. Although Hologic has always been a strong player in the digital mammography market, its presence was further elevated when it received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Selenia Dimensions Tomo system in 2011. At the time, it made Hologic the only vendor to offer DBT technology — a position Hologic would continue to hold for the next three years. U.S. facilities, having seen the success of DBT on an international level, were eager to begin using Hologic’s Genius 3-D technology and quickly started adding this to their portfolio of exam offerings. Although improvements in patient care played a factor in the decision to transition from 2-D to 3-D, providers also capitalized on DBT as a marketing tool to show patients that they offer the most cutting-edge technology. Since the introduction of the Selenia Dimensions Tomo, Hologic continues to make improvements to its technology. One of the most notable advancements is C-View, a synthesized 2-D image that eliminates the need to acquire both 2-D and 3-D images. C-View allows for a shorter exam, which reduces the time a patient is under compression, and lowers radiation dose. GE. GE received FDA approval for its digital breast tomosynthesis product, SenoClaire, in September 2014. Unlike Hologic’s tomosynthesis solution, which is only available on its newest Selenia Dimensions platform, GE designed SenoClaire as an option for its existing Senographe Essential and Senographe Care platforms.Since Hologic introduced its 3-D system, interest in GE’s mammography products has been low, but with the introduction of SenoClaire, MD Buyline has seen increased interest from providers.Siemens. Siemens submitted a PMA application for its DBT solution in June 2014. By April 2015, Siemens had received FDA approval for its True Breast Tomosynthesis. As with GE’s solution, Siemens also designed its offering as an upgrade to its existing Mammomat Inspiration and Mammomat Inspiration Prime platforms. As with any new introductions in the mammography market, interest has been gradual. However, we are beginning to see an increased interest in Siemens’ mammography solutions.Purchasing ConsiderationsImage Storage and Review. Image review capabilities and storage continue to be areas of caution when purchasing DBT solutions. Some facilities forget to consider the fact that DBT images require a significantly larger amount of storage than 2-D mammography. Because not all picture archiving and communication system (PACS) vendors are compatible with DBT, it is important to ensure that mammography and IT departments work together to create a plan for both the viewing and storage of DBT images.Radiation Dose. When Hologic first received FDA approval for its Selenia Dimensions Tomo system, patient dose was a huge topic of conversation. Acquiring a tomosynthesis study of approximately 10-20 low-dose images in addition to the 2-D exam exposes the patient to a slightly higher radiation dose. Since then, Hologic has released its C-View option, which allows the tomosynthesis exam to be reconstructed into 2-D images, eliminating the need for additional exposures. GE’s SenoClaire 3-D MLO sequence consists of only nine exposures and delivers a dose equivalent to that of a standard 2-D MLO image. Siemens’ DBT solution is available on its Prime platform. This system features an antiscatter technology that can reduce dose up to 30 percent.System Upgrades. Workstations must be reviewed to ensure they contain the proper software to view tomosynthesis studies. Hardware upgrades are sometimes necessary to support the larger file size associated with DBT images.Maintaining the Competitive Edge. Although a Gallup poll from 2012 showed that most Americans are satisfied with their quality of care (82 percent), the information age is changing how patients seek this care.2 They are often better informed about their options and have a clearer understanding of the quality of care a provider can offer than ever before. Media stories and the Internet have made it exceptionally easy for patients to learn about advantages of DBT systems. As this trend continues and patients become increasingly adept at choosing their providers, hospitals will face the added challenge of competing for patients. This is a critical issue because volume is a key factor in the success of any service line.Furthermore, when referring physicians are aware DBT is available at a certain facility, it breeds confidence in sending patients to that location. Gaining more referrals, especially in an urban area where multiple hospitals compete for the same patients, is often a huge challenge.Customer Feedback. Although there are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing this technology, customers have reported that tomosynthesis is the best investment they have ever made. User feedback from MD Buyline’s database reports that DBT has increased business, increased cancer detection and decreased callbacks by 25-32 percent. Clinical EvidenceOf the many studies that have evaluated the benefits of DBT technology, none is as powerful as the Journal of American Medicine Association’s (JAMA) study released in June 2014.3 Due to the size and scope of research, which evaluated 454,850 examinations across 13 facilities, this study continues to be a major win for supporters of DBT. Results from the JAMA study showed tomosynthesis images increased the detection of invasive breast cancers by 41 percent and decreased recalls for additional imaging by 15 percent.Another notable study was presented at the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting in 2014.4 Conducted in Oslo, Norway, the study looked at the single screening session of 25,547 women ages 50-69 who received either traditional 2-D imaging or 2-D imaging with DBT. Women were graded with the American College of Radiology’s Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS), which classifies breast density from 1 to 4 with 4 being the densest. The study concluded that DBT not only was valuable for women with dense breast tissue (2-4 rating), but also increased the cancer detection rate in fatty breast tissue.More recently, results from the Malmö Breast Tomosynthesis Screening Trial were published in April 2015.5 This Swedish study compared two-view digital mammography with one-view DBT imaging in 7,500 women ages 40-74. This study concluded that one-view DBT has the potential to be a stand-alone screening modality for the detection of cancers. Currently, two-view 2-D digital mammography is the gold standard.ReimbursementEffective Jan. 1, 2015, CMS created dedicated reimbursement codes for DBT procedures. These new codes (77063 for DBT Screening and G0279 for DBT Diagnostic) are charged in addition to the 2-D mammography charges.Although not all insurance carriers are covering DBT exams, these new codes are the first step in insurance carrier adoption. (See Figure 1.)Future of the MarketAs more vendors enter the DBT market, hospitals will have the opportunity to make more thorough evaluations of the technology and price associated with its purchase. We have already seen GE offer customer loyalty incentives and Hologic offer promotional discounts on their DBT solutions. We anticipate this is just the beginning of a much more competitive mammography market. As facilities continue to replace older mammography equipment, we also expect to see a wider adoption of digital breast tomosynthesis. References1  Transparency Market Research. Breast Imaging Market (Mammography, Breast MRI, Breast Ultrasound, Tomosynthesis, Nuclear Imaging and Others Breast Thermography & Bioelectric Imaging) – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2013-2019. 2014. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.2 Mendes, Gallup. Americans’ Satisfaction with Health Coverage Slips Slightly. 2012…. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.3 Friedewald et al., JAMA. 2014; 24:24999. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.4 Skaane et al., Radiology Society of North America. 2014: VSBR31-16. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.5 Lang et al., Eur Radiol. 2015; preprint. Accessed Sept. 30, 2015.Rachael Bennett joined MD Buyline in 2008 with seven years of clinical experience in the medical field. She is the primary clinical analyst for linear accelerators, stereotactic radiosurgery, mammography systems, biopsy systems and other radiation oncology and women’s health capital equipment codes. She currently holds registries as both a radiographer and radiation therapist through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).Katie Regan joined MD Buyline in 2013, bringing with her seven years of clinical and laboratory research experience. She previously worked as a senior research associate for DAVA Oncology, a consulting group focused on the facilitation of successful oncology drug development. At MD Buyline, she is responsible for all clinical, financial and general healthcare publishing projects. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Related Content News | Mammography Reporting Software | July 26, 2019 Ikonopedia Releases Automated Combined Reporting Package at AHRA Ikonopedia showcased its recently released Automated Combined Reporting package and its entire suite of structured… read more Technology | Artificial Intelligence | July 18, 2019 Paragon Biosciences Launches Qlarity Imaging to Advance FDA-cleared AI Breast Cancer Diagnosis System Paragon Biosciences LLC announced the launch of its seventh portfolio company, Qlarity Imaging LLC, which was founded… read more Image courtesy of Imago Systems News | Mammography | August 14, 2019 Imago Systems Announces Collaboration With Mayo Clinic for Breast Imaging Image visualization company Imago Systems announced it has signed a know-how license with Mayo Clinic. The multi-year… read more last_img read more

Brazilian soccer star on trial for killing lover

first_img Top Stories The former captain of one of Rio’s premier clubs led his team to Brazilian soccer championship victory in 2009. That same year, Samudio made the first allegations to police that she was pregnant with Fernandes’ child, and that the soccer great and others kidnapped her and tried to force her to terminate the pregnancy.She refused. The child was born healthy, and named Bruno. But the model disappeared in June 2010 and has not been found.In December 2010, Fernandes was found guilty of Samudio’s initial accusations and is serving a prison sentence of four years and six months in that case. After a court dispute, Samudio’s mother was named the child’s guardian.The former soccer great is now being tried a second time, this time on charges he ordered his ex-girlfriend’s death.Investigators said the player was behind a scheme that lured the 25-year-old woman from Rio de Janeiro to a ranch in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais with the promise that Fernandes would recognize the child as his and give her an apartment. There she was allegedly held against her will by Fernandes’ accomplices, killed and quartered, and her remains fed to dogs who roamed the property. The first day of the murder trial in Minas Gerais was marked by high drama, with attorneys for two of Fernandes’ alleged accomplices, who are also facing murder charges, walking out after arguing with the judge over access to videos of witness testimony.“We would like to leave clear to the jury that it is impossible to carry out a fair trial,” said Ercio Quaresmo, the attorney for Santos, according to O Globo newspaper.The Associated Press could not reach the attorneys for comment.Besides Fernandes, those charged with Samudio’s kidnapping, murder and the hiding of her body include Dayanne Rodrigues, Fernandes’ wife, Fernanda Castro, a lover, Luiz Romao, the soccer player’s former right-hand man, and a former police officer. All those charged with the death have pleaded innocent, including Fernandes.The attorney for the former soccer player said he remained confident that his client would walk out a free man.“Bruno is tired of being in prison,” said attorney Rui Pimenta to O Globo newspaper outside court in the town of Contagem. “He is ready to walk out and go eat some rare barbecue.”The defense’s argument is that there can be no murder charges because Samudio is, in fact, alive. The attorney Pimenta says he will produce proof that Samudio is living in Eastern Europe. Comments   Share   4 must play golf courses in Arizona 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Samudio’s mother, Sonia Moura, told the news website G1 that she trusted justice would be made and dared the soccer player to look her in the eyes in court.“I believe in justice, and in the condemnation of all the accused,” she said. “I want my daughter’s mortal remains.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Associated PressRIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – A former Brazilian soccer star charged with orchestrating the murder of his ex-girlfriend went on trial Monday in a case that includes allegations the young model was lured to a ranch where she was held hostage, killed and her body dismembered.The case of former Flamengo goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes, known in Brazil just as Bruno, and Eliza Samudio has riveted Brazil, shocked the world of soccer and its twists and turns have reached the level of a macabre soap opera, including allegations that the model has never been found because her remains were fed to dogs.last_img read more

MAS unveils A380 plans to Sydney

first_imgThe Malaysian carrier has announced it will launch its new A380 aircraft on flights between Sydney and Kuala Lumpur from 26 November this year.With a capacity of up to 494 seats the airline said the aircraft will be utilised daily, departing from Sydney at 3.40pm and arriving into Kuala Lumpur at 8.50pm and flying inbound from Kuala Lumpur at 10.40pm and arriving into Sydney at 9.34am the next day.Malaysia Airlines regional senior vice president Australia, New Zealand and South West Pacific Yap Kiang Thiam said the carrier’s decision to fly the new aircraft to Australia signified its commitment to the local market.“Customers will enjoy more than 1000 extra seats per week with the introduction of the A380,” he added. The A380 will include a three-class configuration of eight first class seats, 350 economy seats in the main deck, 70 economy class seats on the upper deck and 66 business class seats. The aircraft is the carrier’s second A380 after unveiling its flagship aircraft in June this year. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Mercury Network Waives Report Fees for TornadoRavaged Areas

first_imgMercury Network Waives Report Fees for Tornado-Ravaged Areas In response to recent catastrophic weather conditions in Arkansas and other parts of the Midwest and South, a la mode’s Mercury Network will waive transaction fees for all disaster reports in impacted areas for 90 days, the technology vendor announced.“Our operations center is in Oklahoma City, so we know the destruction tornadoes bring,” said Jennifer Miller, president of a la mode’s Mortgage Solutions Division. “We’re happy to help impacted real estate appraisers, agents, mortgage pros, and other industry colleagues. We can provide supplies, direct financial relief, software, and more.”The company has also provided a website with details on how to place orders for Catastrophic Disaster Area Inspection Reports (CDAIRs), which are designed to help lenders proceed on closings for unaffected properties in disaster areas and get quick assessments of damaged properties, minimizing disruption to local real estate.John Farley, president of a la mode’s Appraisal Division, described the CDAIR as a “triage tool.”“In a disaster, we know appraisers are working under abnormal conditions, so turn times for traditional appraisals with the full URAR scope of work will stretch to several weeks or months,” Farley said. “The CDAIR lets a qualified appraiser deliver an initial ‘boots on the ground’ assessment of the damage.“Full appraisal or engineering reports should be ordered after reviewing the CDAIR’s conclusions,” he added. in Headlines, News, Uncategorized May 8, 2014 473 Views center_img a la mode Appraisals Company News 2014-05-08 Tory Barringer Sharelast_img read more

Freddie Weighs in on the Housing Market

first_img Cash Out Economy Forecast Freddie Mac GDP Home Home Equity Home Prices Home Sales HOUSING Inflation Jobs mortgage Refinance Sam Khater 2018-11-28 Radhika Ojha Will the current negative trends such as rising interest rates and the lack of housing supply persist in 2019? That, according to Freddie Mac’s November Forecast, is the biggest question facing the housing market today.The forecast projected a healthy 3 percent growth in GDP until the end of 2018 before it slowed to 2.4 percent in 2019 and 1.8 percent in 2020. For the third quarter, Freddie Mac said that the GDP growth had been stronger than expected at 3.5 percent due, in part, to a 4 percent increase in consumer spending, while the labor market continued to be “the strong point of the economy.”But despite the strong job growth, the forecast revealed that wage growth “has accelerated only modestly” with the average hourly earnings growing only 0.2 percent in October. The report projected unemployment dropping further to 3.6 percent in 2019 before it increased to “a more sustainable long-term rate of 4 percent in 2020.”While the report remained upbeat about the overall economy, it revealed that current housing market trends such as rising interest rates and the lack of supply of affordable housing remained concerns going into 2019.“Almost all the trends in the U.S. housing market have been negative in recent months as housing market activity continues to adjust to higher mortgage rates,” said Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “If new home sales are to resume growth in 2019, builders may have to shift their focus to more modestly priced homes and smaller sized homes to help offset housing affordability concerns. But with cost pressures pinching profitability, this will be a significant challenge.”The report indicated that home sales were expected to decrease 1.6 percent to 6.02 million in 2018 before “slowly regaining momentum” and increasing 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and by 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.Home prices were also projected to increase 5.1 percent in 2018 before they softened to 4.3 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent in 2020.The report found that adjusted for inflation, an estimated $14.2 billion in net home equity was cashed out during the refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages in the third quarter of 2018, down from $18.3 billion a year earlier and “substantially less than the peak cash-out refinance volume of $102 billion during the second quarter of 2006.”Mortgage originations were also expected to decline 9.9 percent year-over-year to $1.63 trillion in 2018, falling slightly to $1.62 trillion in 2019 before dropping further to $1.60 trillion in 2020 as a result of “the shrinking refinance activity.”Click here to read the full Freddie Mac forecast. November 28, 2018 1,347 Views Freddie Weighs in on the Housing Marketcenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Sharelast_img read more