• Putin urges all to fight IS group backs Syrias Assad

    first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility MOSCOW (AP) — In a surprise meeting with Syria’s foreign minister, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged his support Monday for Syrian President Bashar Assad and called on all Middle East nations to join forces to fight Islamic State militants.The war in Syria, which began with protests in March 2011, has killed more than 220,000 people. Russia, which has traditionally strong ties to Syria, has been seen as a key to a peaceful solution and has previously rebuffed suggestions that Assad’s resignation could help end the war. Top Stories Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Mualem, right, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow’s Kremlin, Russia on Monday, June 29, 2015. (Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday then was whisked to the Kremlin to meet with Putin.Putin told the Syrian envoy that Russia’s “policy to support Syria, the Syrian leadership and the Syrian people remains unchanged.”Speaking after the meeting, al-Moallem said he was assured that “Russia will continue to help Syria politically, economically and militarily.”Putin also urged other Middle East countries to help Syria fight the armed Islamic factions that now control parts of the Syrian capital and large parts of the city’s suburbs.Putin said Moscow’s contacts with the countries in the region, including with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, “show that everyone wants to contribute to fight this evil,” he said, referring to Islamic State militants.He exhorted all nations in the region, whatever their relations with Syria are, to “pool their efforts together” to fight Islamic militants.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist Parents, stop beating yourself up New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

  • On Africa trip Obama unveils more ivory sale restrictions

    first_img Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — President Barack Obama moved Saturday to tighten U.S. rules on sales of ivory from African elephants, aiming to show progress on conservation as he began a trip to the region.Obama, in a joint news conference with Kenya’s president in Nairobi, said the restrictions will eliminate the market for illegal ivory in the United States.“I can announce that we’re proposing a new rule that bans the sale of virtually all ivory across state lines,” Obama said. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Four benefits of having a wireless security system New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall The proposed U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulation would prohibit the sale across state lines of ivory from African elephants and further restrict commercial exports. But it provides limited exceptions for interstate sales, namely pre-existing musical instruments, furniture pieces and firearms that contain less than 200 grams of ivory.Widely anticipated, the rule follows other restrictions Obama put in place last year aimed at choking the marketplace for poachers who have decimated African elephant populations and threatened their extinction. An estimated 100,000 elephants were killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012.“We want to ensure our nation is not contributing to the scourge of poaching that is decimating elephant populations across Africa,” said Dan Ashe, director of the federal Fish and Wildlife Service.In Congress, some House lawmakers hope to prevent the proposed rule from being enacted. The National Rifle Association has warned the rule could ban the sale of many firearms with ivory inlays.___Freking reported from Washington.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. President Barack Obama participates in a bilateral meeting with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, on Saturday, July 25, 2015, in Nairobi, Kenya. Obama’s visit to Kenya is focused on trade and economic issues, as well as security and counterterrorism cooperation. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Patients with chronic pain give advice Sponsored Stories Top Stories last_img read more

  • Lieflat seats to be offered on lowcost AirAsia

    first_imgAirAsia has just announced that it will be introducing a brand new lie-flat bed to its long-haul planes, as it moves to aggressively improve its premium offering in an attempt to grab market-share of the re-emerging corporate market.The new flatbeds will be implemented in AirAsia’s long haul fleet under the AirAsia X brand, and offer standard business class specifications of 20” width and 60” pitch.“Both business and leisure travellers can now treat themselves to the luxury and comfort of our new premium seats and still enjoy great savings,” said Azran Osman-Rani, AirAsia X CEO.“We concede that the old seats were neither suitable nor comfortable for long-haul flights. But true to AirAsia tradition, we change and adapt.”To be rolled out progressively on its Airbus A330s and A340s, AirAsia X will lower the amount of seats on offer in its Premium class from 28 to 12 and 30 to 18 respectively.Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth, Taipei, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Chengdu, London, Mumbai and New Delhi will all receive the new product after the roll-out is completed. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: W.X AirAsiaX Lie Flat Seatslast_img read more

  • Demand strong for Airbus singleaisle aircraft

    first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: C.C Airbus is set to increase its monthly production rate of its A320 Family aircraft following continued strong demand, according to a report. Production of the A320 will be boosted to 38 aircraft per month in August 2011 and to 40 per month during the first quarter of 2012, Reliable Plant website reported. Airbus currently produces 34 A320 Family aircraft per month which will rise to 36 in December 2010.At the recent Farnborough International Airshow, the popularity of the single-aisle aircraft – noted for its eco-efficiency – prompted a commitment by Airbus to produce another 206 aircraft. Airbus is now faced with a record backlog in excess of 2,200 A320 Family aircraft. “The recent Farnborough International Airshow, where Airbus garnered orders worth US$28 billion in total and the leasing companies made a strong return to the market, was clear evidence of a strong and positive trend towards recovery,” Executive Vice President Programmes, Tom Williams said. “Increased demand for the aircraft and a healthy backlog lead us to decide to further ramp up our production rate to 40 aircraft per month by 2012.” A delivery record has recently been set by Airbus, with 420 A320 Family aircraft produced in 2009, and another record likely to be set in 2010 with 250 aircraft already delivered by the end of June.The Airbus A320 Family aircraft is the world’s best-selling commercial jetliner in history, with 6,500 having been sold to date. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/280c4/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>last_img read more

  • Gyeongjus renaissance sees cultural renovation

    first_imgOnce a tourist favourite, Korea’s Gyeongju is going through a tourism renaissance thanks to concerted efforts to promote the destination and an addition the region’s UNESCO-listed heritage.At a recent gala event in Gyeongju, international delegates of the Korea Tourism Supporter’s Network (KTSN), foreign ambassadors in Korea and Korean Tourism Office (KTO) representatives met to discuss the beauty and richness of Gyeongju culture, people and surrounds.Calling on the gala’s 1,000 guests to help put Gyeongju on the world’s tourism maps, KTO president Charm Lee said, “We want to make Gyeongju one of the places you have to see before you die”. “Gyeongju is a gemstone, but we have to set the jewel for everyone to see it properly.” Gyeongju mayor Yank Sik Choi opened the dinner, extending his “deepest gratitude” to those that had travelled from far and wide to support the region.“I hope you all take home memories that extend beyond our warm welcome to you,” Mr Choi said.“I believe that the many experts gathered here will lead us in the right direction and I believe Gyeongju will turn into a more beautiful place.”Home to the country’s most visited temples, stunning natural beauty and a rich living history, Mr Choi said that while Gyeongju “can only show what is seen and hear what is heard”, tourists to the region can journey both into the spiritual realms as well as the historic, seeing and hearing things beyond the evident.Stay tuned to for e-Travel Blackboard’s special Gyeongju Featured Destination Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.Alast_img read more

  • Travellers urged to explore Sydney like a local

    first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Destination NSW has kicked off a new tourism campaign, showcasing Sydney’s ‘hidden gems’ and encouraging travellers to explore the city “like a local”.Kicking off this week, the tourist bureau said the message of exploring like a local would raise awareness of experience beyond the obvious and into less known food, wine, fashion and shopping locations.Accompanying the Group’s Love Every Second in Sydney campaign launched in May this year, Destination NSW chief executive Sandra Chipchase explained it would showcase Sydney’s “inner precincts”.“From Newtown’s vintage boutiques, Paddington’s weekend markets to the chic bars and gastronomic delights in Surry Hills, visitors will ‘love every second in Sydney’ when they experience Sydney like a local,” Ms Chipchase said.  The campaign will include print and digital advertising and will showcase Surry Hills’ chic restaurants, Darlinghurst’s cool bars, Redfern’s galleries, Newtown’s shops, Glebe’s old homes and Potts Point’s waterside dining.last_img read more

  • Backlash on sexist airline policy

    first_imgVirgin Australia will review its policy barring men from sitting beside unaccompanied minors prompted by backlash after a man was asked to swap seats after being sat beside two unaccompanied boys. The incident involved 33 year old Johnny McGirr, who was asked to move seats after he was sat next to two boys estimated to be aged between eight and 10. Mr McGirr told the flight attendant that it was sexist and discriminatory to ask him to move, which she just apologised for and said that was the policy. According to a Virgin Australia spokeswoman, the policy is not intended to offend male passengers but is for the safety of children. The same policy is shared by other airlines including Qantas, Jetstar and Air New Zealand. Virgin Australia took to twitter after the incident to say “In light of recent feedback, we’re now reviewing this policy. Our intention is certainly not to discriminate in any way.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

  • Luxury traveller personalities revealed Europe remains popular

    first_imgParis, France topped the list for luxury romantic getaways and fine dining reservations. European destinations remain the most popular amongst affluent travellers, while cruise holidays continue to climb the ranks, according to network survey results.International luxury travel agency network, Virtuoso, has revealed findings from its annual ‘Travel Dreams’ survey, identifying unique travel personalities through respondents selections.There’s the classic traveller (26 percent of respondents) who re-visits destinations; the connoisseur (24 percent of respondents) who indulges in culture, arts and culinary delights; the trendsetter who’s all about what’s new and next; the go-getter who’s active and adventurous; and the relaxationist who prefers to rest, rejuvenate and restore while on vacation.Italy topped the list of dream destinations, while Paris was number one for dining and romance.Photographing the ‘big five’ while on safari in Africa ranks as the ‘trip of a lifetime.’Although European river cruising and Mediterranean sailing trips were the most popular forms of cruising, expedition trips to Antarctic and Alaska made the top five for luxury travellers.See below for complete survey results.Top Trips of a Lifetime1.      Photographing the “big five” on African safari2.      Renting a European villa3.      Galápagos Islands expedition4.      Antarctic cruise5.      World cruise6.      Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage7.      Staying in Europe’s top hotel suites8.      Renting a private island in the Caribbean9.      Chartering a private jet          10.  Paris with a personal shopperTop 10 Dream Destinations1.      Italy2.      Antarctica3.      France4.      England5.      Myanmar (Burma)6.      United States7.      Argentina8.      South Africa9.      Turkey10.  CubaFantasy Islands1.      Galápagos Islands      2.      Greek Islands 3.      Maldives4.      The Caribbean5.      HawaiiWhere to Make Dinner Reservations1.      Paris2.      New York City3.      Rome4.      Florence5.      BarcelonaCities That Excite   1.      New York2.      Paris3.      London4.      Rome5.      Istanbul    Best Trips For Two1.      Paris in April2.      New York for shopping, dining and shows3.      Mediterranean cruise4.      Roman holiday5.      Caribbean resort stayWhere to Set Sail          1.      European river/ canal2.      The Mediterranean3.      Alaska4.      Antarctica5.      The Caribbean    Favourite Family Holidays1.      African safari2.      Ski and snowboard adventure3.      Galápagos Islands4.      Ireland’s castles and countryside5.      Alaskan cruiseSource = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

  • Sabre reveals seven trends in Asia Pacific Corporate Travel Management

    first_imgSabre reveals seven trends in Asia Pacific Corporate Travel ManagementSabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR) a leading global technology provider to the travel and tourism industry, today revealed seven trends emerging within the Asia Pacific region’s corporate travel management sector.Over 100 respondents from 15 key markets participated in the Sabre Corporate Travel Practices Survey 2015, representing both dedicated corporate travel management companies and travel agencies, together with a sample of online travel brands servicing corporate accounts.“The evidence is that Asia Pacific agents are managing more travel for this region’s demanding corporate clients, while achieving tighter cost control and with technology playing the enabling role. It seems to be happening without compromising the comfort of travellers. In fact this year they are having more of their personal preferences met,” said Roshan Mendis, senior vice president,Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific.The seven core themes revealed this year are:1.      Premium Economy is attracting a loyal corporate following2.      Secondary expenses, including ancillary services, are under tighter control3.      Better pre-trip planning is reducing the risk of ‘off-policy’ booking4.      Mobile itinerary management apps are now mainstream5.      Data analytics will be key to more personalized services6.      With more reliance on agents, some see a ‘concierge’ model emerging7.      Technological integration (B2B2C client-servicing) is much more important nowMendis added, “We are committed to using these insights to continually strengthen our proposition for this region’s dynamic corporate segment and we thank all participants for sharing their commercial insights and personal views.”The Sabre Corporate Travel Practices Survey 2015 was conducted from April to May 2015, with respondents based in Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. View the report here!Source = Sabrelast_img read more

  • Travel Agent reputation diminishes with every Travel Agency collapse

    first_imgTravelManagers AustraliaTravel Agent reputation diminishes with every Travel Agency collapseThe travel industry has unfortunately in the last two weeks received further negative consumer press with the Gold Coast based travel company Australian Escapes being placed into voluntary administration earlier this month as reported in Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph and the Gold Coast Bulletin on 16 March and the 22 March smartcompany.com.au e-newsletter, with “well in excess of 15,000 consumers affected.”TravelManagers’ Chairman Barry Mayo says the question must be asked – what are the views of the individual state governments to the increasing number of travel agency collapses and resulting consumer losses after having abandoned the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF)?“If nothing else, the significant number of Australian consumers that have incurred losses as a direct result of eight reported collapses since May 2015 prove consumer protection against a minority of travel agent insolvencies is clearly an issue.”TravelManagers is a true customer advocate and Mayo has consistently lobbied following the closure of the TCF for the industry to retain some form of industry-wide consumer protection.“The situation being experienced by Australian Escapes’ members and customers from previous travel agency collapses is precisely what TravelManagers was fearful of when it first voiced its concerns. I’m confident the now reportedly thousands of customers out of pocket due to recent travel agency collapses would wholeheartedly support a consumer protection component being a requirement for industry participation in an accreditation scheme,” says Mayo.Mayo strongly believes the state governments are guilty of disbanding the TCF without ensuring the travelling public was provided with an effective form of consumer protection against travel agent insolvency.“It can no longer be disputed that consumer losses now being experienced are as a direct result of state governments disbanding the TCF and replacing it with an industry accreditation scheme that fails to demand robust financial criteria or deliver consumer protection. Government and individual members of the industry must now acknowledge these consumer losses are not going to cease and recognise that an accreditation scheme without consumer compensation is questionable from both consumer and industry perspectives.”Mayo highlights that the travel industry as a whole needs to be concerned with the declining consumer confidence in travel agents that grows with each negative media report.“The real risk to the travel agent community is that more and more people will lose confidence in travel agents and may opt to book directly with suppliers both in Australia and overseas. How many customers and potential customers will now choose to book their travel arrangements direct with individual suppliers instead of obtaining the professional advice and multiple benefits a travel agent will provide? It will be future bookings that will be affected and when the impact of negative press in the consumer realm starts to really become apparent.”Mayo believes the question the state governments need to answer is simple.“Will the state governments take action to insist on an alternative form of consumer protection against travel intermediary insolvency that is consistent and universal before more consumers are out of pocket and the integrity of the Australian travel agent industry is further compromised?”“Why do the state governments find this so hard to answer?” asks Mayo.About TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.Other related links: Gold Coast Bulletin Daily Telegraph SmartCompany.com.auSource = TravelManagers Australialast_img read more

  • Indian Railways gets highest ever funding of Rs 15 lakh crore

    first_imgLife Insurance Corporation, the country’s biggest insurer, committed to invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore in Indian railways over the next five years. In this historic landmark achievement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Railways and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) in the presence of the Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley and the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu at a function here today. The signatories of MoU were Rajalakshmi Ravikumar, Financial Commissioner, Ministry of Railways and S K Roy, Chairman, LIC.Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister said that this is the first such step in its endeavour to make Indian Railways prosperous in the future. He said that with such encouraging initiatives, the Ministry of Railways will be able to augment its resources for speedier execution of projects. Suresh Prabhu said that the resultant enhanced throughput of traffic is likely to further increase the capacity to carry more to meet with a growing transportation demand leading to a robust economy. He thanked the officials of the Finance Ministry, LIC and the Railway Ministry for working together as a team to make this deal a big success.Under this MoU, LIC will make available to the Ministry of Railways/its entities a Financial Assistance with a limit of 1,50,000 crore over the next five years for implementing Railway projects. The Financial Assistance will be available from the Financial Year 2015-16. In his Budget Speech, Suresh Prabhu had announced his intention of meeting a part of the total Plan Budget of Rs 1, 00,011 crore for the financial year 2015-16, through extra budgetary resources, such as market borrowings by tapping low cost long term funds. The challenge has been successfully met in a substantial measure by the signing of this MoU for mobilising resources.The Minister of State for Finance, Jayant Sinha, the Minister of Railways, Manoj Sinha were also present on the occasion. Also present on the occasion, among others, were A K Mital, Chairman, Railway Board, Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary (FS), Railway Board Members and senior officials from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Railways and LIC.last_img read more

  • Philippines to conduct a fourcity road show in India following a surge

    first_imgA total of 22, 121 Indian tourists arrived at Philippines during January-March 2016, recording an increase of 23.7% over the same period last year. The Department of Tourism (DOT) Philippines has reported 6943 visitor arrivals in March 2016, that is, a growth of 8.23% over that of the same month in 2015.Such a growth, according to SanJeet, Tourism Attaché, Philippines Tourism Marketing Office India, has been the result of continuous effort on the part of DOT to promote the country’s attractions under the ongoing Visit the Philippines Again (VPA) 2016 campaign. The country hopes to end the year with a growth of 25% while maintaining a steady number throughout the year.Philippines will also be conducting yet another four-city road show in August. The show will commence from Taj Bengal, Kolkata, followed by Raintree Hotel Anna Salai, Chennai on August 9, Vivanta By Taj, Bengaluru on August 10 and conclude at The St Regis Mumbai on August 11. Representatives from DOT Philippines along with a 20-member delegation will interact with over 400 key travel agents and tour operators, MICE and up-market leisure operators.“The year 2016 is witnessing a strong start for Philippines Tourism, especially from the India market. We believe in putting our best efforts to make every road show more promising than the last one. The Indian travellers’ palate has become experimental and therefore, through our numerous trade initiatives, we envisage the influencers of the Indian travel market to sell the destination more effectively to the end consumers,” said SanJeet.last_img read more

  • Garuda Indonesia launches direct flights from Mumbai to Jakarta

    first_imgIndonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, has launched thrice-weekly direct flights from Mumbai to Jakarta, which began its operation on December 12, 2016.The Jakarta-bound service would run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and would be operated by Garuda’s 162-seater, Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a two-class cabin configuration featuring its Business Class service concept, and the Economy Class.This service departs from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 11:05 pm and arrives at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Jakarta at 10:05 am the next day. On the return leg, the service departs from the Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Jakarta at 12:55 pm and arrives at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai at 8:30 pm.To celebrate the launch of the new service, Garuda Indonesia is running a special return promotional fare valid for travel from February 01 until March 31, 2017.last_img read more

  • Super Committee May Axe Home Benefits Agency Debt

    first_img Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Processing The Cato Institute 2011-08-11 Ryan Schuette in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing On the heels of “”Standard & Poor’s””:http://www.standardandpoors.com/SPComIPResolver controversial downgrades for U.S. debt ratings, Congress passed the deficit reduction axe to a bipartisan, six-member “”super-committee”” for each chamber, with both parties finally naming lawmakers to the commission Thursday. Capitol watchers say important housing laws and provisions may await the congressional guillotine, with the mortgage tax rate deduction, mortgage debt, and other housing-related giveaways in line.[IMAGE]House minority leader “”Rep. Nancy Pelosi””:http://www.pelosi.house.gov/ (D-California) tied off her side of the lower chamber’s committee by tapping “”Rep. James Clyburn””:http://clyburn.house.gov/ (D-South Carolina), “”Rep. Chris Van Hollen””:http://vanhollen.house.gov/ (D-Maryland), and “”Rep. Xavier Becerra””:http://becerra.house.gov/ (D-California), who will take turns negotiating with Republican colleagues “”Rep. Dave Camp””:http://camp.house.gov/ (R-Michigan), “”Rep. Fred Upton””:http://upton.house.gov/ (R-Michigan), and “”Rep. Jeb Hensarling””:http://hensarling.house.gov/ (R-Texas), according to “”_Bloomberg News_””:http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-08-10/debt-panelists-draw-skepticism-on-partisanship-tax-stances.html. The Senate side will include “”Sen. Jon Kyl””:http://kyl.senate.gov/ (R-Arizona), “”Sen. Pat Toomey””:http://toomey.senate.gov/ (R-Pennsylvania), and “”Sen. Rob Portman””:http://portman.senate.gov/public/ (R-Ohio) as well as “”Sen. Patty Murray””:http://murray.senate.gov/public/ (D-Washington), “”Sen. John Kerry””:http://kerry.senate.gov/ (D-Massachusetts), and “”Sen. Max Baucus””:http://baucus.senate.gov/ (D-Montana).Pelosi offered encouraging remarks in a “”statement””:http://pelosi.house.gov/news/press-releases/2011/08/pelosi-joint-select-committee-must-put-prosperity-for-the-american-people-first.shtml, saying the “”Joint Select Committee has a golden opportunity to take its discussions to the higher ground of America’s greatness and its values. It must meet the aspirations of the American people for success and keep America number one.”” She outlined several areas that she said deserves the super committee’s focus, including deficit reductions helpful to job creation, economic growth, and wage productivity.The super committee appointments follow a recent Senate proposal that aims to progressively slash the mortgage tax rate deduction. Senators say that trimming the deduction could raise as much as $1 trillion in revenue and slash deficits by about $4 trillion over the next decade. The cost for homeowners: approximately $1.2 trillion in tax hikes over 10 years.And the $1.2 trillion question: Will the Senate super committee take an axe to the mortgage tax rate deduction?Edward Pinto, a resident fellow with the “”American Enterprise Institute””:http://www.aei.org/, seems to think so. He says that other tax laws known to benefit the housing industry ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô capital gains taxes, property taxes, home equity loan rates, among others ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô may also have their day in the bicameral hot seat.Lawmakers “”will probably have more hearings, discussions, and bills they introduce”” as Congress seeks to gouge over $14 trillion out of the national debt, he says.Not many Americans would agree with the reductions, according to a recent “”_New York Times_/CBS poll””:http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/06/30/business/poll-home-ownership.html. [COLUMN_BREAK]The poll, released last month, held some 90 percent of Americans opposed deductions in mortgage interest rates, alongside other numbers reflecting that most of the nation’s homebuyers value homeownership as an important asset.Neither, apparently, would the “”National Association of Home Builders””:http://www.nahb.org/ (NAHB), which lobbied House lawmakers back in March to co-sponsor a resolution favoring the mortgage tax rate deduction in response to the Senate proposal. Some 40 lawmakers agreed to co-sponsor the bill.Commenting on the proposed House resolution in a “”statement””:http://www.nahb.org/news_details.aspx?newsID=12232, NAHB chairman and home builder Bob Nielsen said it “”acknowledges the importance of homeownership to individual households, the economy and the nation,”” adding that “”[t]he mortgage interest deduction has been a cornerstone of the nation’s housing policy for almost a century, and it is vital to homeownership and healthy housing markets.””The tax rate deduction may not be the only benefit that goes, says Mark Calabria, director of financial regulation studies at the “”Cato Institute””:http://www.cato.org/. From his office in Washington, D.C., he says that he thinks other housing-related giveaways, such as the low-income housing tax credit and rental depreciation schedules, may also fall under the axe.Pinto says that super committee lawmakers may also set agency debt in their sights ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô something he says he agrees with. “”It is not good for the government to be taking 95 percent of all the credit risk in the country from mortgages,”” he says.He chalks up the problem to a system of competition between Treasury debt and government-backed mortgages, which, in turn, exacerbate the national debt ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the same crisis begetting S&P debt downgrades and action from Congress in the form of super committees.””We’ve now got to this problem where our own Treasury debt is so large and mortgage debt relative to it is so large that buyers are interested in both Treasury debt and mortgage debt with government guarantees,”” he says.With gridlock in the nation’s Capitol at all-time highs, analysts say the super committee may suffer from the same disputes that frustrated public officials ahead of the August 2 debt-ceiling raise. If the committee fails to come to a consensus, the law signed by President Barack Obama creating it will trigger instant cuts in debt, services, and tax deductions across the board.How important is the deficit to the housing industry and economy at large?Speaking to _MReport_, Mike Fratatoni, VP of research and economics for the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://mbaa.org/default.htm, says an unaddressed deficit will force the federal government to borrow more and erase gains from the recovery over the next several years.””Under the current trajectory, U.S. debt will pose a real threat to the economy in just a few years,”” he says. “”You’re going to have the federal government borrowing more, and that will impact borrowers and investors.””People can debate the fine points but the overall trend is troubling, and I think it’s important for policymakers to do something,”” he says. Super Committee May Axe Home Benefits, Agency Debtcenter_img Share August 11, 2011 417 Views last_img read more

  • Churchill Mortgage Recruits Compliance Trainer

    first_imgNew,Churchill Mortgage Recruits Compliance Trainer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share January 14, 2014 414 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Churchill Mortgage Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2014-01-14 Tory Barringer To address concerns related to January’s wave of regulations and ensure potential homebuyers still receive the service they’re looking for, “”Churchill Mortgage””:http://www.churchillmortgage.com/ has recruited a new full-time compliance trainer: Seth Trimble.[IMAGE][COLUMN_BREAK]A recruiting compliance veteran, Trimble is a licensed originator in five states. He comes to Churchill from his former post as a processor at Nationstar Mortgage.In his new role, Trimble will lead the implementation of a compliance-related, cross-functional communications platform focused on training and regulation. In addition to providing compliance training and developing presentations for staff, he will also conduct on-site branch visits to ensure compliance measures are enforced and maintained throughout the company.””Regulatory compliance continues to be a priority for our industry,”” said Mike Hardwick, president of the Tennessee-based company. “”By creating a new position dedicated to compliance, we’re taking the right steps towards streamlining communication. We look forward to having Seth–his industry experience will be a significant asset to our team.””last_img read more

  • FHFA Price Index Gains Momentum in May

    first_img FHFA Home Prices S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Indices 2014-07-23 Tory Barringer July 23, 2014 510 Views Share in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newscenter_img Home prices picked up steam in May, with growth accelerating slightly from month to month.The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI) increased 0.4 percent in May from April, the agency reported Tuesday.April’s HPI, originally thought to have shown no growth, was revised to reflect a 0.1 percent monthly price increase following March’s own 0.7 percent gain.On a yearly basis, prices were up 5.5 percent in May, slowing down once again. FHFA reported a 5.9 percent increase in April’s index last month.Seasonally adjusted price changes from April to May ranged widely across the nine census divisions, from a low of -0.7 percent in the East South Central area—encompassing Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama—to +1.1 percent in the West South Central division, including Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana.Twelve-month changes were positive in all divisions, ranging from +2.5 percent in the Middle Atlantic to +9.6 percent in the Pacific.FHFA’s index is the second May price metric to be released this month, with FNC, Inc’s Residential Price Index coming out a day before. That index, which excludes distressed property sales, showed monthly price gains rising to an even 1 percent, with annual growth dropping slightly to 8.2 percent.Next week will also see the release of the S&P/Case-Shiller monthly price indices, which measure changes in 20 of the nation’s top metros. FHFA Price Index Gains Momentum in Maylast_img read more

  • Attention All HELOC Issuers Please Report to CFPB

    first_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News The CFPB announced last week that the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), enacted in 1975 requiring financial institutions to maintain, report, and publicly disclose information about mortgages, has been temporarily changed for banks and credit unions that offer Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC).The change, which was originally proposed in July 2017, is in response to reporting thresholds that currently require financial institutions to report HELOCs if they made 100 of the loans in the last two years. In the final rule, this threshold will be increased to 500 through 2018 and 2019. The temporary modification allows the CFPB to decide whether it will make a permanent adjustment.”The Home Mortgage Disclosure Act is a vital source of information on the health and fairness of the mortgage market,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s amendments show that the Consumer Bureau is committed to ensuring that financial institutions are able to comply with the rule, and to promoting transparency across the largest consumer financial market in the world.”Key terms were also addressed in the final ruling, such as “temporary financing” and “automated underwriting system”. The CFPB also focused on establishing transition rules for reporting certain loans purchased by financial institutions and a change that will facilitate reporting the census tract of a property using geocoding.“The CFPB is committed to well-tailored and effective regulations and has sought to carefully calibrate its efforts to ensure consistency with respect to consumer financial protections across the financial services marketplace,” the report cited.The National Association of Federal Credit Unions submitted a letter on the CFPB’s proposal in early August to request further defining changes to the proposed rule. This included better defining a small credit union and urging the threshold change to not only be permanent, but raised higher. However, the NAFCU said they will be re-engaging with the bureau to ensure the recommendations they submitted are addressed.To see the final ruling, click here. Attention All HELOC Issuers: Please Report to CFPB August 25, 2017 585 Views center_img Share HELOC Home Mortgage Disclosure Act 2017-08-25 Brianna Gilpinlast_img read more

  • Differences Aside Homeownership is the American Dream

    first_img American Dream Homeownership HOUSING mortgage 2017-11-10 Nicole Casperson November 10, 2017 757 Views Differences Aside: Homeownership is the American Dream Amidst political division, there is one value that is shared across the nation—homeownership. According to Zillow’s recently released Housing Aspirations Report, 68.7 percent of Republicans and 65.1 percent of Democrats reported owning a home as a crucial part of living the American Dream. “In a time of political division, these survey results remind us of something most Americans share—the sense that owning a home is a big part of living the American Dream,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Homeownership—and its ability to create wealth, stability, and community—doesn’t depend on political affiliation.”Gudell continued, “As we debate the national and local politics surrounding affordability and tax reform, it’s worthwhile to pause and remember a value most of us can agree on.” Both Republicans and Democrats also agreed that homeownership is a financially sound decision, even in markets that are setting record-high prices and still recovering from the housing collapse, the report noted. In addition, both parties agree on the advantages of homeownership, including raising a family, making ties within a community, and overall quality of life. Additionally, National homeownership rates are returning from a historical low point following the housing crisis—proving that despite the recession, sentiment toward homeownership remains positive. Overall, 91 percent of Republicans and 89.6 percent of Democrats reported feeling confident that they will be able to afford to live in their current homes. Although about 40 percent of respondents in the West Coast markets don’t plan on buying a home for at least five years. The report highlighted two major metros—Los Angeles, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Despite Los Angeles being one of the least affordable markets in the nation, 72 percent of respondents agreed that owning a home is necessary to live the American Dream.In Las Vegas, 23.3 percent of home values still below peak values set during the housing crash and 15.9 percent of homeowners underwater on their mortgages—67 percent of respondents residing in this metro agreed that homeownership plays a major role to the American Dream. The Housing Aspirations Report is a semi-annual survey sponsored by Zillow and conducted by IPSOS, surveying 10,000 renters and homeowners in 20 metros across the country about their views on homeownership and their personal housing expectations for the future.To view the full report, click here. center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Headlines, News Sharelast_img read more

  • New President Announced for Financial Organization

    first_img in Headlines, News New President Announced for Financial Organization new hires 2019-07-11 Mike Albanese 22 days ago 169 Views center_img John CarterJohn Carter has been named as the President and COO-elect of Nationwide’s financial services business lines, effective immediately. Carter succeeds Kirt Walker, who will become Nationwide’s next CEO, in October. Reporting to Walker, Carter will oversee the company’s retirement plans, life insurance (individual, business and corporate-owned), annuities, and mutual funds business operations.”John brings more than 30 years of financial services industry experience to this role,” Walker said. “Throughout his career, he has demonstrated outstanding leadership, both in terms of results and people. John is a strong advocate for the retirement security of America’s workers—helping them prepare for and live in retirement. We look forward to achieving continued success under his guidance.”Carter joined the Ohio-based Nationwide Financial in 2005 as president of the Nationwide Financial Sales and Distribution organization, responsible for leading sales of private-sector retirement plans, life insurance, annuities and mutual funds. In 2013, he was named President of Nationwide’s retirement plans business.  In his current role, he and his team have introduced innovative retirement solutions, driven profitable growth and delivered a member and partner experience that has been recognized nationally by organizations including J.D. Power and Dalbar.”I’m confident in Nationwide’s future and the opportunity to build on our strength of promoting and protecting retirement for America’s workers,” Carter said. “As a leading provider of individual and workplace solutions, I see tremendous growth potential for this business by focusing on how our customers want to be served.”Prior to joining Nationwide, he held executive positions in financial services at Prudential Financial, UBS and the former Kidder Peabody.”Nationwide benefits from a strong bench of executive leaders,” said retiring CEO Steve Rasmussen. “Kirt and John will work together to facilitate a smooth transition and maintain the strong growth momentum we’ve built over the past several years. We look forward to achieving continued success under John’s leadership, building on Nationwide’s mutual heritage, financial strength and culture of caring.”Carter is a graduate of the University of Missouri where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Finance. Sharelast_img read more

  • As part of its trade strategy Viking Cruises has

    first_imgAs part of its trade strategy, Viking Cruises has entered into a new preferred partnership with Express Travel Group, a move Viking Cruises Australia and New Zealand MD Michelle Black said helps both companies reach a new customer base.Ari Magoutis, Express Travel Group executive general manager, said the partnership was led by Express Travel Group members who recognise the quality of Viking’s product service and support.“As Express Travel Group continues to grow, we want to ensure we are partnering with leading, award-winning operators like Viking Cruises … with this strong endorsement from our membership, we look forward to a mutually successful partnership.” Express Travel GroupVikinglast_img read more