Month: August 2019

SSudan asks govt officials to return stolen money

SSudan asks govt officials to return stolen money

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories According to the statement, Kiir has reached out to heads of state in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United States to ask for help fighting South Sudan’s corruption.Benjamin said that Kenya, South Sudan’s southern neighbor, is playing an active role in South Sudan’s fight against corruption. South Sudan has opened a bank account in Kenya where anyone who has taken government funds can return them.“If anybody again is found taking government funds in an inappropriate manner, there will be laws in place that will definitely punish such individuals,” he said.”Earlier this year Kiir issued a decree ordering all public officials to declare their assets to the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission. The call was supported by Vice President Riak Machar, who declared his assets to the commission in February. But the decree was initially ignored by many other officials.The office of the president now says around 5,000 former and current public officials have declared their assets to the commission.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 must play golf courses in Arizona More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home “We fought for freedom, justice and equality,” the president’s letter reads. “Yet, once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people.”The letter was dated May 3 and was obtained by The Associated Press over the weekend. Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin confirmed its authenticity on Monday.The president wrote that South Sudan’s citizens and the international community were “alarmed” by the levels of corruption and that “the credibility of our government is on the line.” He promised amnesty for officials who return stolen funds and to keep the identities of those officials confidential.Despite South Sudan’s peaceful vote last year to break away from Sudan, tensions between the two sides remain, especially over what was once their shared oil industry. South Sudan this year shut down its oil industry after accusing Sudan of stealing its oil.That decision has resulted in the loss of tens of millions of dollars for the government. Oil revenue last year accounted for about 98 percent of the government budget before the shutdown.Kiir has stepped up efforts to fight corruption this year, and his office on Friday released a statement detailing the country’s anti-corruption efforts since the beginning of the year. The release says South Sudan has already recovered an estimated $60 million in stolen government money. Associated PressJUBA, South Sudan (AP) – Dear government officials: South Sudan wants its stolen money back.In a letter that reveals a shocking level of government corruption, South Sudan President Salva Kiir is asking more than 75 former and current senior government officials to return an estimated $4 billion in stolen funds to the country.Corruption has plagued South Sudan’s government since the 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war with Sudan. In January, South Sudan’s Auditor General reported that nearly $1.5 billion in government funds were unaccounted for from the 2005-06 fiscal year. Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories last_img read more

Truck accident in northern Mexico kills 16 people

Truck accident in northern Mexico kills 16 people

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenixcenter_img Sisbeles says a preliminary investigation shows that the tractor-trailer crossed into the opposite lane and collided with the truck. The driver of the big rig fled the scene of the accident.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) MATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) – Authorities in Mexico say a tractor-trailer has collided with a truck carrying members of three families, killing at least 16 people in the nation’s north.Sergio Sisbeles, security spokesman for the northern state of Coahuila, said Sunday that the accident occurred Saturday evening on a non-toll highway between the community of Viesca and Matamoros.The spokesman says the people in the truck were from Matamoros and were traveling to a girl’s traditional 15th birthday celebration in the rural community of Congregacion Hidalgo. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments   Share   last_img read more

India premier inducts younger ministers in Cabinet

India premier inducts younger ministers in Cabinet

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy However, Rahul Gandhi, seen as a prime minister-in-waiting, was not part of the new Cabinet. Congress party leaders said he would concentrate on reviving the fortunes of the party before national elections in 2014.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Men’s health affects baby’s health too Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories NEW DELHI (AP) – India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has reshuffled his Cabinet in a bid to overhaul his government’s image ahead of state and national elections over the next 18 months.Seven new ministers and several junior ministers took the oath of office Sunday at a brief ceremony to mark the changes aimed at bringing in younger faces into the Cabinet.The long-awaited Cabinet changes gained urgency after the Congress Party-led coalition government was hit by a wave of corruption scandals. The revamp also filled several vacancies after a key ally opposed to recent economic reforms quit the coalition.center_img Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Watchdog blames IRS incompetence for lost tea party emails

Watchdog blames IRS incompetence for lost tea party emails

first_imgFILE – This March 5, 2014 file photo shows former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner on Capitol Hill in Washington. IRS employees erased computer backup tapes a month after officials discovered that thousands of emails related to the tax agency’s tea party scandal had been lost, according to government investigators. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File) 5 treatments for adult scoliosis The difference between men and women when it comes to pain House Republicans were incredulous.“It just defies any sense of logic,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “It gets to the point where it truly gets to be unbelievable. Somebody has to be held accountable.”J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, testified before the committee and was joined by one of his deputies, Timothy Camus.Camus said two “lower-graded” employees at the IRS center in Martinsburg, West Virginia, erased 422 computer backup tapes that contained as many as 24,000 emails to and from former IRS official Lois Lerner. The tapes were erased in March 2014, months after congressional investigators requested all of Lerner’s emails.Lerner has emerged as a central figure in congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.Camus said the workers did not fully understand an IRS directive not to destroy email backup tapes. He did not name the workers.“When interviewed, those employees said, ‘Our job is to put these pieces of plastic into that machine and magnetically obliterate them. We had no idea that there was any type of preservation (order) from the chief technology officer,’” Camus told the committee. Sponsored Stories After George’s report, much of the IRS’s top leadership was forced to retire or resign, including Lerner. The Justice Department and several congressional committees launched investigations, which continue.Lerner used to head the IRS division that processes applications for tax-exempt status.Congressional investigators have shown that IRS officials in Washington knew that tea party applications were being singled out for delay. But they have not disclosed any evidence that anyone outside the IRS knew about the targeting or directed it.Investigators were hoping that Lerner’s lost emails would advance their probe. George said his office was able to uncover more than 1,000 new Lerner emails, but none was relevant to the investigation.“This investigation has squandered tens of millions of taxpayer dollars in a failed scavenger hunt for any possible evidence to support wild Republican accusations against Lois Lerner, the IRS, and the White House,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the committee’s top Democrat.___Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter: http://twitter.com/stephenatapCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators are blaming two IRS workers at a computer center in West Virginia for erasing thousands of emails related to the tax agency’s tea party scandal, impeding congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative political groups.The workers might be incompetent, a lead investigator said Thursday, but there is no evidence they were part of a criminal conspiracy to destroy evidence. Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Top Stories Camus said interviews, sworn statements and a review of the employees’ emails turned up no evidence that they were trying to destroy evidence.Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., asked Camus if incompetence was to blame for the tapes being erased.“One could come to that conclusion,” Camus said.In a statement, the IRS said it repeatedly alerted employees starting in May 2013 that they must save all emails, computer tapes and other records related to investigations by Congress and the Justice Department.“The IRS recognizes there was a clear breakdown of communication in one part of the organization regarding the need to preserve and retain the backup tapes and information, although (the inspector general) concluded this wasn’t intentional,” the statement said.George is an independent investigator who was nominated by former President George W. Bush. He has been investigating Lerner’s lost emails for about a year. He is expected to issue a report as early as next week. He and Camus summarized the report’s findings at Thursday’s hearing.George set off a firestorm in 2013 with an audit that said IRS agents based in a Cincinnati office were improperly singling out tea party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort Spa wins 2010 Travelers Ch

Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort Spa wins 2010 Travelers Ch

first_imgBan Sabai Sunset Beach Resort & Spa received an award in 2010 Traveler’s ‘choice Awards from Trip Advisor in the categories of “Best for Romance in Asia”. Trip Advisor announces winners of its 2010 Traveler’s Choice awards, the eighth annual competition – the largest ever.  Unlike any other hotel honors in the world, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on the millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions from travelers on TripAdvisor.com.”Inspired by millions of trusted traveler reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor.com, the Travelers’ Choice awards once again highlight the finest hotels in the world,” said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. Ban Sabai is a luxury boutique resort and spa located on Taling Kgam Beach, Koh Samui. This part of the island is very different to other beaches such as Chaweng and still retains its pristine island charm. The long soft sandy beach, spectacular views of Koh Samui coast, nearby islands and sunsets make it an ideal spot for a relaxing beach holiday.  Ban Sabai’s superbly appointed beachfront villas and sunset rooms sit amidst our private, tranquil spa and gardens where the only sound are the gentle rhythms of the sea. The resort offers 21 rooms and villas. Sunset Jacuzzi Rooms and Sunset Jacuzzi Deluxe Rooms offer a view of the stunning Samui Marine National Park and sunsets.  Garden villas are situated around the swimming pool, featuring a refreshing plunge pool and a private Sala in which to just relax or be pampered with a luxurious spa program.  Beachfront Pool Villas are located right by  the beach with a 2 bedrooms or 1 bedroom / living room unit.Related link:  http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoiceList-g2-cRomancewww.bansabaisunset.com Source = Ban Sabai Sunset Beach Resort & Spalast_img read more

Alaska closes Virgin America buy to create 5th largest US airline

Alaska closes Virgin America buy to create 5th largest US airline

first_imgAlaska Air Group Alaska closes Virgin America buy to create 5th largest US airlineAlaska closes Virgin America buy to create 5th largest US airlineSeattle-based Alaska Air Group has closed its $4 billion acquisition of San Francisco-based Virgin America, creating the fifth largest airline in the US.Alaska Air Group subsidiary Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will seek to secure a single operating certificate from FAA by early 2018. Regional subsidiary Horizon Air will retain its own operating certificate.Alaska reached an agreement April 4 to buy Virgin America for $2.6 billion and additionally take on $1.4 billion in debt and aircraft lease obligations, creating a $4 billion enterprise value for the transaction. The merger gained antitrust clearance from the US Department of Justice(DOJ) Dec. 6 after Alaska agreed to reduce its codesharing relationship with American Airlines.By combining Alaska’s strong presence in the US Pacific Northwest with Virgin America’s strong presence at major California airports, Alaska believes the combined carrier can become the leading domestic services airline on the US west coast. The combined company, which will be based in Seattle, will offer nearly 1,200 daily flights to 118 destinations while generating more than $7 billion in annual revenue. The combined fleet comprises 286 aircraft, including more than 150 mainline Alaska Boeing 737s and more than 60 Virgin America Airbus A320 family aircraft.“The combination expands service and provides more frequent connections to international airline partners in thriving technology markets in the [San Francisco] Bay Area, Los Angeles and Seattle,” Alaska said in a statement. “Together, the airlines offer 289 daily flights to 52 destinations from California, including 113 daily nonstop flights to 32 destinations from three Bay Area airports and 105 daily nonstop flights to 37 destinations from four Los Angeles area airports.”Alaska added that the combination also grows its access to important east coast airports such as Washington National, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia and New York Newark.The first signs of integration will become noticeable to the public Dec. 19, when Alaska and Virgin America passengers will be able to earn frequent flyer miles on the flights of either airline and Virgin America flight tickets will become available on Alaska’s website.Alaska executives have not decided on the future of the Virgin America brand. “Alaska plans to continue to operate the Virgin America fleet with its current name and product for a period of time while it conducts extensive customer research,” Alaska said in a statement. “Virgin America will continue to fly under its brand with no immediate changes to the onboard product or experience.”Alaska CEO Brad Tilden added, “We appreciate that there is great interest in the future of the Virgin America brand among customers and employees alike. This is a big decision and one that deserves months of thoughtful and thorough analysis. We plan to make a decision about the Virgin America brand early next year.”Alaska, a longtime Boeing customer, will also have to decide whether to operate a dual mainline fleet of 737s and A320s; Virgin America has ordered 40 A320neo family aircraft with deliveries scheduled to start next year.Alaska president and COO Ben Minicucci will take on the role of Virgin America CEO, effective immediately and lasting until Alaska Airlines-Virgin America gains a single operating certificate. Virgin America CFO Peter Hunt will serve as president of Virgin America, reporting to Minicucci.Aaron KarpSource = Aaron Karp – ATWlast_img read more

Gold Coast accommodation provider scores gold with games discount

Gold Coast accommodation provider scores gold with games discount

first_imgGold Coast accommodation provider scores gold with games discountONE of the few Gold Coast accommodation providers to offer a discount during the 2018 Commonwealth Games period has been rewarded with a gold rush of bookings.Surfers Paradise-based Holiday Holiday has been inundated by Games goers keen to secure an accommodation base for the massive 12-day event next April.Holiday Holiday director Lee Lee Goh said more than half of the boutique luxury accommodation provider’s 100 self-contained apartments in Surfers had been snapped up since their Games availability went live on June 24.Ms Goh said Holiday Holiday timed the release of all its apartments to coincide with the recent launch of Commonwealth Games event ticket sales.“We offered a 10 per cent discount off our Games rate for those guests who booked before July 1, and that was received exceptionally well,” she said.“The response has most definitely exceeded our expectations and we only have about 40 apartments left during that period.”Ms Goh said most of the bookings had come from NSW-based visitors, with some from Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand.“We’ve also received a large group booking of 10 apartments from an ACT Government department,” she said.“Bookings are already particularly heavy for the week leading up to the athletics finals and the closing ceremony on April 15.”Ms Goh said Games goers had embraced Holiday Holiday’s seven-night minimum booking requirement, with most set to check in for up to 10 nights and planning to experience more than the Commonwealth Games during their stay.“We are really keen to promote the wider Gold Coast during this period and to be ambassadors for this region by encouraging our Games guests to explore the city’s natural and man-made attractions when they are not soaking up the action and excitement of GC2018,” she said.“Holiday Holiday is looking forward to welcoming our Games visitors and ensuring they have everything they need during this once-in-a-lifetime experience on the Gold Coast.”The apartment booking bonanza came as Queensland Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones implored local accommodation providers to release all their rooms when ticket sales kicked off.ABOUT HOLIDAY HOLIDAYHoliday Holiday manages more than 100 luxurious apartments in Surfers Paradise deluxe buildings including Chevron Renaissance, Circle on Cavill, Soul Surfers Paradise, and the H Residences above Hilton Surfers Paradise. It offers guests some of the most lavish accommodation options on the Gold Coast, for a fraction of the price.With a strong family and couple luxury holiday custom, Happy Holiday’s service level, facilities and convenient locations of its apartments also make an ideal accommodation option and base for corporate travellers.Holiday Holiday provides personalised grocery shopping, information and assistance on tours and sights, entertainment and attraction as well as car rental and airport transfers.For more information, to view apartments or to book, visit www.holidayholiday.com.auSource = Holiday Holidaylast_img read more

Wyndham boss takes on nations best

Wyndham boss takes on nations best

first_imgWyndham boss takes on nation’s best – Barry RobinsonWyndham boss takes on nation’s best in Executive of the Year AwardsGold Coast based hospitality heavyweight Barry Robinson has been named a finalist in the prestigious CEO Magazine Executive of the Year Awards, which will be held at Crown Melbourne on November 15.The President and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific (WVRAP) and Wyndham Hotel Group South East Asia and Pacific Rim (WHGSEAPR) will take on executives from Carnival Australia, The Grounds and BIG4 Holiday Parks Australia in the Hospitality and Tourism Executive of the Year category. Mr Robinson previously won this award in 2015.The Executive of the Year Awards is Australia’s most hotly contested event celebrating the exceptional contributions made by the CEOs and senior management who drive the country’s top organisations.“It is an honour and very humbling to be recognised in the Executive of the Year Awards alongside so many inspiring leaders,” Mr Robinson said. “After almost 40 years in the industry, it’s fair to say hospitality is my passion and I am especially dedicated to ensuring we deliver unmatched holiday experiences to all of our customers.”From his base on the Gold Coast, Mr Robinson leads WVRAP, the South Pacific’s largest timeshare company with 28 resorts in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Thailand, as well as WHGSEAPR, which comprises more than 115 hotels across 15 countries and nine hotel brands.Wyndham has experienced rapid growth under Mr Robinson’s leadership, with 28 new properties opened across the region in 2016 alone. In 2017, Mr Robinson has placed a focus on customers and has challenged all staff to create personalised and memorable experiences for their guests, colleagues and suppliers every day.With more than 630 staff based at the Wyndham Corporate Centre in Bundall and across three Gold Coast resorts, Wyndham is one of the city’s largest private employers. The company employs more than 4,000 people across the Asia Pacific region.Source = Wyndhamlast_img read more

Australias iconic Sounds of Silence Experience celebrates 25 ye

Australias iconic Sounds of Silence Experience celebrates 25 ye

first_imgAustralia’s iconic Sounds of Silence Experience celebrates 25 yearsAustralia’s iconic Sounds of Silence Experience celebrates 25 yearsAustralia’s first under-the-stars dining experience, the iconic Sounds of Silence, is celebrating an incredible 25 years of operation this year, with a gala celebration being held on 21 March 2018. Upon opening its ‘doors’ in 1993, guests from all over the world immediately embraced the concept of dining in the middle of the Australian desert with magnificent views of Uluru and nothing but the vast expanse of the night sky above and the experience has wowed guests every night since.“Sounds of Silence has been a key element to the Uluru experience for hundreds of thousands of guests to Ayers Rock Resort over the last 25 years,” said Ray Stone, Voyages Executive GM Sales, Marketing and Distribution.With the magic of sunset over Uluru combined with the drama of being surrounded in red dunes and, as night falls, the majesty of the night sky with thousands of stars, many of which are not able to be viewed elsewhere in the world, it is an unforgettable evening.With such a winning formula, the experience has remained largely unchanged throughout the last 25 years – guests still arrive to the lyrical sound of the Didgeridoo and enjoy sparkling wine and canapes while viewing sunset over Uluru and Kata Tjuta, a star talk during dinner brings the night sky to life and telescopes are available for closer viewing. Australian ingredients have always featured on the menu and in celebration of the anniversary this year a new menu is being launched that will ensure Bush Tucker native Australian ingredients are featured throughout the many dishes on offer.The tempting menu includes canapés such as Smoked Kangaroo with Native Pepperberry Yoghurt and Poached Prawn, Sea Parsley and Finger Lime Aioli Bun; an entrée of Roasted Tomato and Native Thyme Soup, and mains such as Barramundi, Lemon Myrtle Cream, Caramelised Lemon, Glazed Green and Native Dukkah Crusted Kangaroo, Organic Quinoa, Roasted Capsicum Salsa. A range of salads are on offer, including Braised Crocodile, Shaved Vegetable and Fragrant Herb Salad and Pepperberry Roasted Cauliflower, Pickled Muntries, Spinach and Mint Yoghurt Dressing. Dinner concludes with a sumptuous range of desserts including Desert Lime Cheesecake, Warm Apple and Quandong Crumble Tart and Warm Chocolate and Wattleseed Slice.Other extensions of the famous Sounds of Silence experience include the Night at Field of Light dining experience which includes a walk-though of the phenomenal Field of Light installation following dinner and the premium Tali Wiru and Mayu Wiru dinners which are limited to just 20 people per night.“Sounds of Silence has always been a celebration of the true essence of the Australian Outback, which is no doubt why it has been successful for so many years,” said Ray.Sounds of Silence has long been recognised for its place as an important Australian Tourism experience and featured in Tourism Australia’s advertisements across the world from the early 1990s. It was also recognised for its unique offering and was inducted into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame in 1999.For further information visit: www.ayersrockresort.com.au/experiences/detail/sounds-of-silenceSource = Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australialast_img read more

Party time in Vegas with STUBA

Party time in Vegas with STUBA

first_imgParty time in Vegas with STUBA Source = STUBA We all know Las Vegas. Famous for the biggest hotels, the brightest signs and sometimes even the cause of strange memory loss. But aside from the fascinating history of this hot and sandy desert, and the amazing hotels, there is actually plenty to do and see both on and off The Strip.Day Trip to the Grand Canyon: Even if your clients have plenty of time, don’t take the bus…do yourself a favour and go by helicopter. You’ll see more, and its an easy 45 min trip by helicopter. Most providers will pick you up from your Stuba booked hotel (of course!) and take you back for orientation. Most of the helicopters used are super modern executive style machines. The cost varies, but its safe to say you will not get a cheaper, stylish ride back home in AUS or NZ; take advantage. The West Rim of the Grand Canyon, while not its most popular section, is still staggeringly beautiful and a sight to see. With views over Hoover Dam included, take the afternoon flight to ensure you get to see The Strip at dusk as you come into land. Perfect photo opportunities !Reality TV Tour: While not culturally engrossing, a bit of fun can be had here. Visit the pawn shop from the hit TV shows Pawn Stars,  the tank construction factory from Tanked, the retro store from Toy Shack, and the restoration plant from American Restoration. Its a half day tour, and  is a great opportunity to get away from the gambling and extravagance of The Strip.Shopping Tour: Vegas Outlet shopping is outstanding. Heavily discounted, new stock shoes, handbags and more. Most tour operators will also throw in some of The Strip highlights such as the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. Apart from the convenient hop on hop off buses, they will throw in discount vouchers. Don’t forget to tip the driver!Shows: Unbeatably priced, and the highest quality. See Cirque du Soleil, The Beatles ‘Love’, Michael Jackson ‘One’, Penn & Teller, the Elvis Presley tribute ‘All Shook Up’, Magic Mike Live, Barry Manilow live and dozens more. Pricing is unbeatable.For all your Las Vegas accommodation needs, you cant go past Stuba !last_img read more

NAR June ExistingHome Sales Saunter Back

NAR June ExistingHome Sales Saunter Back

first_img July 20, 2011 434 Views Despite a forward leap by prices, a surge in contract cancellations led to a sudden easing in existing-home sales over June, according to a “”National Association of Realtors””:http://www.realtor.org/ (NAR) report. Analysts at the trade association placed blame for the lax numbers at the feet of wary lenders and continuing economic uncertainties.[IMAGE]””With record high housing affordability conditions thus far in 2011, we’d normally expect to see stronger home sales,”” Ron Phipps, president of “”NAR””:http://www.realtor.org/ and broker-president of Rhode Island-based “”Phipps Realty””:http://www.phippsrealty.com/, said in a statement. “”Even with job creation below expectations, excessively tight loan standards are keeping many buyers from completing deals. Although proposals being considered in Washington could effectively put more restrictions on lending, some banking executives have hinted that credit may return to more normal, safe standards in the not-too-distant future, but the tardiness of this process is holding back the recovery.””According to the report, upward-bound sales across regions like the South and Midwest contrasted with dips in the Northwest and Northeast, alongside a steadily slacking condo sector and moderate stabilization in single-family home sales. Dropping 0.8 percent in June, totals for single-family town homes, condominiums, and coops crested at a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.77 million after plunging from 4.81 million in May. The totals linger at 8.8 percent below 5.23 million units since June ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the scheduled closing deadline for the home buyer tax credit.Across all housing sectors, the national median for existing-home prices emerged at $184,300 last month, striking upward at a rate of 8.0 percent. Selling at low discounts, foreclosures and short sales translated to signal a slight dip in sales to the tune of 30 percent, down from 31 percent in May and 32 percent in June.According to the statement, 3.77 million existing homes went up for sale at the end of June, reflecting a 3.3 percent increase for a 9.5-month supply, a few percentage points above a 9.1 percent month supply last May.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Home sales had been trending up without a tax stimulus, but a variety of issues are weighing on the market including an unusual spike in contract cancellations in the past month,”” said Lawrence Yun, “”NAR””:http://www.realtor.org/ chief economist. “”The underlying reason for elevated cancellations is unclear, but with problems including tight credit and low appraisals, 16 percent of “”NAR””:http://www.realtor.org/ members report a sales contract was canceled in June, up from 4 percent in May, which stands out in contrast with the pattern over the past year.””””Pending home sales were down in April but up in May, so we may be seeing some of that mix in closed sales for June,”” Yun added. “”However, economic uncertainty and the federal budget debacle may be causing hesitation among some consumers or lenders.””Walter Molony, a spokesperson for the “”NAR””:http://www.realtor.org/, offered up surprise over the pale trends for existing-home sales. “”We’re surprised to see recent data because the consensus was we’d see a low-point in May,”” he says.He attributes the bumpy road for contracts and existing-home sales to “”a lot of economic concerns,”” including sputtering job growth and fears over a default by the federal government on its debt. He tacks on low lending volume as another underlying reason.””The single biggest problem right now is tight credit,”” Molony says. “”We normally expect to see stronger sales and we project that underwriting standards from a decade ago would put existing-home sales at 15 to 20 percent.””He cites past lender behavior, such as due diligence, creditworthiness, and the willingness by lenders to consider more than credit scores. “”Lenders need to get back into the business of lending,”” he says.Phipps added that “”[s]ome lenders are placing lower loan limits on current contracts in anticipation they may not close before the end of September. As a result, some contracts may be getting canceled because certain buyers are unwilling or unable to obtain a more costly jumbo mortgage.””Adding to questions about home sales, on Monday “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ released its monthly Economic and Housing Market Outlook, forecasting an upward trend in home sales that would send them above the figures for last year by as much as 3 to 5 percent. The “”NAR””:http://www.realtor.org/ statement coupled this data with other figures released by the mortgage giant, which posted 4.51 percent for 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgages in June, a fall from 4.64 percent the month before.According to its Web site, the “”NAR””:http://www.realtor.org/ represents 1.1 million realtors involved in the commercial and residential real estate industries. in Data, Origination, Servicing NAR: June Existing-Home Sales Saunter Backcenter_img Agents & Brokers Freddie Mac Home Prices Home Sales Lenders & Servicers National Association of Realtors Processing Service Providers 2011-07-20 Ryan Schuette Sharelast_img read more

CoreLogic Appoints Managing Director of Information Solutions

CoreLogic Appoints Managing Director of Information Solutions

first_img September 30, 2013 435 Views New,CoreLogic Appoints Managing Director of Information Solutions Share “”CoreLogic””:http://www.corelogic.com/ has announced the appointment of Olumide Soroye as managing director of Information Solutions.[IMAGE]Soroye will lead the Information Solutions organization with responsibility for development and management of products and services within the Data and Analytics segment, which includes solutions supporting real estate,[COLUMN_BREAK]capital markets, mortgage analytics, perfecting loan quality, and due diligence. Soroye will focus on accelerating growth in data and analytics, which CoreLogic says is an important pillar of its business strategy. Soroye joined CoreLogic from QuinStreet, where he held dual roles as general manager of both business-to-business technology and home services. Earlier in his career, Soroye was a partner at the global strategy consulting firm McKinsey and Company.””I am extremely pleased to welcome Olumide to CoreLogic,”” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “”His experience and track record in driving product innovation and a client focused mindset, along with his proven leadership and global perspective, make him an excellent addition to our executive team.”” Soroye earned his undergraduate degree from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was recognized as a Baker Scholar.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies CoreLogic Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2013-09-30 Hugh Moore in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologylast_img read more

LoanLogics Launches LoanHD AppQ Network

LoanLogics Launches LoanHD AppQ Network

first_imgLoanLogics Launches LoanHD AppQ Network Company News LoanLogics 2014-05-15 Tory Barringer in Headlines, News, Technology May 15, 2014 446 Views center_img In Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, LoanLogics introduced its newly launched LoanHD AppQ Network, a service designed to provide users with service ordering and delivery interfaces to third-party providers all through the company’s single-source LoanHD solution.“The LoanLogics LoanHD AppQ Network was developed to ensure that lenders and service providers can more easily leverage an ecosystem of services through the LoanHD platform,” explained Brian K. Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of LoanLogics. “We want to provide clients access to additional service applications that create efficiency, reduce error and enable them to enhance their loan quality management practices to drive to a zero defect rate.”With the industry facing new layers of regulatory scrutiny, the company says the need to improve quality management practices and analytics is greater than ever before—which is exactly what its products seek to address.As of now, current network members include TransUnion, Andrew Davidson & Co., Veros, Platinum Data Solutions, ComplianceEase, DataQuick, and IXI Services. LoanLogics says it is also working with Milliman, MasterServ, and other service providers to continue expanding.“We serve clients from small to large with varying degrees of complexity and needs. After surveying our clients, we designed a network to offer a variety of services that directly address the needs of our clients,” said Terese Campbell, LoanLogics’ SVP of product management. “Our goal is to continue to expand the network as our clients’ needs evolve, while maintaining streamlined vendor management.” Sharelast_img read more

Experts Discuss New Realities of Compliance

Experts Discuss New Realities of Compliance

first_imgExperts Discuss New Realities of Compliance Compliance Five Star Institute Regulation 2014-09-18 Seth Welborn September 18, 2014 891 Views Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing With the mortgage industry becoming more heavily regulated in the last four to five years, those who work within the industry have had to place an increased emphasis on compliance. But compliance does not come without a steep price—it takes a great deal of time, effort, and money.That was the issue at hand as several experts gathered on stage at the Compliance Lab in the Five Star Conference on September 15 to discuss “The Costs and Consequences of Compliance.”The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was formed after the passage of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act in 2010 to be a watchdog for the industry, has acted swiftly and some believe harshly to punish those servicers who are found to be in violation of lending regulations.Whether industry professionals believe CFPB’s punishments are harsh or not, they all agree on one thing—servicers are aware of CFPB’s presence and therefore on guard to make sure their businesses comply with regulations.”Everyone’s familiar with the Sherwin-Williams logo, a can of paint covering the earth,” Don Lampe of Morrison & Foerster told the audience. “I think of the CFPB as the Sherwin-Williams of regulators.”One of the things that has made compliance costly and difficult to execute is the sheer number of statutes that have either been passed or are in the works.”You’d be surprised out how complex some of the states are,” said Maria Moskver, chief compliance officer for the Walz Group, which prominently features on the home page of their website the slogan “Compliance is mandatory. The pain is not. “Moskver said states are constantly introducing new bills that complicate the issue, but many of them are simply revisions.”They’re not new requirements,” she said. “They’re just adjusting them any way they can.”One of the panelists, Michael Greenbaum of Safeguard Properties, said he needs to see proof of compliance in order to believe it. And in order for your business to be completely compliant, it needs to have the right controls in place, he said.”When it comes to compliance, you can say you do it, but I’m not going to believe you until you show me that you’ve done it,” Greenbaum said.Marc Hinkle of Mortgage Contracting Services, another panelist, said the process is “on steroids” compared to what it was even a couple of years ago.”We have to have a tremendous amount of documentation prepared to respond to all of the questions that we’re asked in the audits,” Hinkle told the audience. “There has to be input from many different groups in the organization. It’s a very rigid process. Without the documentation, you really can’t answer their questions.”Lampe provided an analogy to illustrate the enormous percentage of a business’s resources that are being used in compliance.”How many in the audience feel like you’re a compliance company that performs real estate on the side?” he asked the audience, to which they responded with a chuckle.Regulators such as CFPB require a single point of contact (SPoC) for every delinquent borrower, which in a perfect world would streamline compliance and make it easier – but instead, the SPoC was in reality “a brilliant idea that was completely unmarketable,” one of panelists, Barry Hays of Televoice, told the audience.”If a SPoC agent is on a 15 to 20 minute call with a borrower seeking a loan modification and two other borrowers assigned to that SPoC call in, they either have to wait on hold for a lengthy span of time, leave a voicemail, or be transferred to another agent, defeating the design of SPoC,” Hays said. “Consequently, SPoC implementations often do not accomplish the purpose for which SPoC was designed. To be in compliance with the SPoC requirements, many servicers have overstaffed to reduce the ratio of loans to SPoC agents.  That improves performance, but it’s not economically viable over the long haul.  The solution has to be in rethinking telephony and workflow systems to build in greater efficiency for SPoC agents. New call management solutions that are specifically designed for SPoC can greatly improve effective contact between borrowers and their assigned SPoCs.”Hays suggested technology to support the SPoC that would keep comprehensive data for each time the borrower contacted the SPoC, and it would include information such as the time the borrower spent on hold waiting for the SPoC, how many voicemails were left, and details on what was discussed during the interaction between the two. Such data would allow the servicers to defend themselves should the borrower complain to CFPB, Hays said.”As with other compliance issues, SPoC is a critical operational requirement that servicers must address,” Hays said. “The consequences of non-compliance can be pretty painful.”last_img read more

Boston Fed President Asks for a Delay in Interest Rate Increases

Boston Fed President Asks for a Delay in Interest Rate Increases

first_img June 1, 2015 483 Views Eric Rosengren, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, said in his speech called “One Policymaker’s Wait for Better Economic Data” at the Capital Workforce Partners “Workforce Stars” Event in Hartford, Connecticut that predictions concerning the economy have been much weaker than expected in the first half of this year. He also noted that policymakers should wait until the economy picks up before raising short-term interest rates.Rosengren mentions the severe winter we endured last year as one of the reasons that economic activity is dragging. He also says that although the weather deterred economic activity, the data was also down before the storms and has been weaker than expected ever since.The last three quarters of real GDP growth have been a disappointment, and forecasts a bit too optimistic, he says in his speech.“Despite a disappointing first half, most forecasters expect a stronger second half of the year,” Rosengren said. “Among the factors supporting this optimism are growth in personal income, the positive impact of lower gas prices, and household net worth that continues to grow. However, so far this improvement is only in the forecast, and not in the data. The data have disappointed before, and an appropriately data-dependent monetary policy requires confirmation in the numbers, not just in forecasts of better times.”Since the change in seasons, the economic numbers have not improved and retail sales do not show large variations by region, while only some regions had severe winter weather. In contrast, the personal saving rate has grown significantly from where it was before the Great Recession.“If consumer behavior is still being impacted by the experience of the financial crisis, the Great Recession, and the painfully slow recovery, then it is possible that the economy will not be as robust as many economic models would suggest, because the models do not take into account this behavioral change,” Rosengren said.The economic data is the reason as to why the monetary policy conditions have not yet been met, he mentions in his speech.Rosengren observed real GDP growth in the two years preceding the tightening cycles and it was above 3 percent. Today, that rate is at 2.3 percent, and will possibly be less than 2 percent in the first half of this year.“In my view, such a pace of GDP growth does not meet some of the economic preconditions we look for when we begin a tightening cycle,” Rosengren said.Making note of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate from Congress that is focused on stable prices and maximum sustainable employment, Rosengren said that measures of inflation are not yet showing much evidence of returning to the 2 percent level that the Fed is targeting.“If the economy continues to grow at the same pace as we witnessed on average in the current and the past two quarters, I do not expect to see timely improvements in the unemployment rate and sufficient progress towards the 2 percent inflation target,” Rosengren said. “This, in my view, makes a compelling argument for continued patience in monetary policy.” Share Boston Fed President Asks for a Delay in Interest Rate Increasescenter_img Capital Workforce Partners Federal Reserve Bank in Boston One Policymaker’s Wait for Better Economic Data Short-Term Interest Rates 2015-06-01 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Originationlast_img read more

Caliber Home Loans Appoints New CEO

Caliber Home Loans Appoints New CEO

first_img Sanjiv DasCaliber Home Loans, Inc., a full-service national mortgage lender and servicer, announced that Sanjiv Das has been appointed CEO of the company. Das succeeds Joe Anderson, who is retiring from the roles of CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors as of February 12, 2016.”It has been a privilege to lead this company and work alongside such a dedicated team over the last several years,” Anderson said. “Together, we have built one of the largest independent mortgage companies in the country with a solid financial and operational foundation. I am proud of the success the Caliber team has achieved, and I look forward to watching the Company extend its leadership position under Sanjiv.”Prior to joining Caliber, he served as EVP, Global Financial Solutions at First Data Corp., where he led the international business and played an instrumental role in taking the company public. Das also previously served as Chief of Staff at First Data Corp. Before Global Financial, he served as the CEO and President of CitiMortgage, Inc. Das also served as Head of Citi’s global mortgage product group. He also previously served as Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Institutional Securities (Equities) Division.”I am honored to be appointed CEO of Caliber, a market-leading residential mortgage originator and servicer with a talented team committed to promoting homeownership,” Das stated. “I look forward to building upon the strong foundation the team has put into place to drive continued growth and success at Caliber. Together, I am confident we can enhance value for all of our stakeholders as a leading provider of home financing.””On behalf of the Board, I am excited to welcome Sanjiv to the Caliber team,” said Caliber Director George Jones. “His industry and public company experience make him a perfect fit to lead Caliber going forward. We are confident that under Sanjiv’s stewardship, Caliber will be well positioned to continue its positive momentum. I want to thank Joe for his contributions to Caliber and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.” in Headlines, News, Origination, Servicing February 15, 2016 831 Views Caliber Home Loans CEO Mortgage Lender 2016-02-15 Staff Writercenter_img Caliber Home Loans Appoints New CEO Sharelast_img read more

Black Knights Paragon Ranks No 1 in Clareity MLS Customer Satisfaction Survey

Black Knights Paragon Ranks No 1 in Clareity MLS Customer Satisfaction Survey

first_img March 21, 2017 567 Views in News, Technology For the fifth year in a row, Paragon, Black Knight’s MLS software, ranked at the top in the Clareity MLS Customer Satisfaction Survey. Paragon received the highest rankings from both MLS staff and end users in the 16th annual survey and received ratings of at least 90 percent from most areas surveyed.”On behalf of the entire Black Knight Paragon team, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to our valued clients, who provided open and honest feedback on our systems, implementations and service,” said Black Knight Data & Analytics VP and Real Estate Market Leader Chip McAvoy.”This recognition inspires us to strive even harder to exceed our clients’ expectations and provide their real estate professional members with the innovation and exceptional service they need to better support their home buyers and sellers,” he added.Paragon received the rating of “excellent” or “good” for overall satisfaction from 96 percent of end users and 93 percent of MLS staff.Survey respondents also noted Paragon’s speed during peak times, system uptime, quality of software upgrades, and vendor customer service and technical support.When it comes to customer service and technical support, Paragon stands out with agents available 80 hours per week. More than 90 percent of issues are resolved on the first call.Black Knight recently added a Collaboration Center portal, mobile enhancements, and Paragon 4 Brokers, all of which the company says contributed to its high rankings in this year’s survey.Other factors contributing to customer satisfaction include “attention to detail and dedicated support managers for each account,” according to Black Knight.About 91percent of survey respondents said they would “definitely” or “likely” choose Black Knight for their MLS service in the future.”Clareity Consulting applauds Black Knight MLS Solutions’ Paragon team for earning top rankings in our survey for the fifth year in a row,” said Gregg Larson, Clareity Consulting CEO. “We hope this annual survey provides Black Knight with valuable insight about what respondents commend about their system and the enhancements they appreciate most.”Clareity Consulting gathered feedback from 223 MLS organizations representing more than 1 million subscribers across the country between January and February. The survey included systems used by 10 or more MLS organizations. Sharecenter_img Black Knight HOUSING mortgage technology 2017-03-21 Krista Franks Brock Black Knight’s Paragon Ranks No. 1 in Clareity MLS Customer Satisfaction Surveylast_img read more

Housing Market Primed for Sellers

Housing Market Primed for Sellers

first_img 2019 Housing Market Home Sellers 2019-06-24 Mike Albanese Share June 24, 2019 641 Views The number of Americans that believe now is a good to sell jumped in Q2 2019 to 46%, according to information by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Optimism in selling increased from 37% in Q1 2019, and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said moderate increases in home prices is a contributing factor.“With home price appreciation slowing, home sellers understand that the days of large price gains from holding an extra year are over,” Yun said. Also increasing was the amount of people who think now is a good time to buy with 65% agreeing, and 35% disagreeing, which is unchanged from Q1 2019. The NAR states that 55% of those polled said the economy is improving, which is a slight increase from last quarter’s 53%, with optimism greatest among those who earn $100,000 or more and reside in rural areas. The report added that 53% of Gen Xers said the economy is on the right track, which is up from Q2 2019’s 50%. “Many in the Generation X population find themselves needing to purchase multi-generational homes,” Yun said. “Also, they may be feeling financial stress from caring for aging parents and children of all ages. Nonetheless, they have an optimistic outlook about the future.”Sixty-three percent of those surveyed said they believe home prices have increased over the past year—an increase from last quarters 61%—and 43% said prices will remain the same over the next six months. The survey also found that 49% said they expect to see an increase in prices over the next six months. Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed who don’t own a home said they believe it would be difficult to qualify for a mortgage due to their financial state, and 30% said it would be “somewhat difficult” to qualify. “Lower mortgage rates, along with job and wage growth, will lead to an increase in sales and thereby contribute positively to economic growth in the upcoming quarters,” Yun said. center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination Housing Market Primed for Sellers?last_img read more

agentsfamilGFOBGobusSupertour

agentsfamilGFOBGobusSupertour

first_imgagentsfamilGFOBGobusSupertour You can follow their Supertour adventures on Facebook or #gfobsupertour2018 on Instagram. IMAGES: Agents enjoying Plitviče Lakes National Park, a forest reserve in central Croatia. In September 2017 Globus family of brands (GFOB) revealed Croatia as the destination for the latest Supertour – the reward for the 20 top-selling travel agents from Australia, and top 10 from New Zealand. Departing 4 May, 2018, the Supertour has kicked off in style, with the agents already having explored Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, and travelling to Slovenia to take in the sights of Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves.last_img

That being said the Cardinals offense is still ba

That being said the Cardinals offense is still ba

first_imgThat being said, the Cardinals offense is still bad and the defense is starting to spring a few leaks.I’d be lying if I said the bye week couldn’t be coming at a better time. The Cardinals could have used the time off three weeks ago. Unfortunately, the Atlanta Falcons — undefeated as of Sunday afternoon — await the Cardinals in two weeks. If the Cardinals have any hopes whatsoever of playing meaningful games in December, then pulling off what will be considered a major upset at the Georgia Dome is the only option.It’s on the players to quit missing tackles, making bad reads, dropping passes and whiffing on blocks. It’s on the coaches to make better calls when the offense actually has a chance to put points on the board. – / 13 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Sometimes one play is the difference between a win and a loss. During Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Packers, I believe it was one play call that proved costly. Late in the third quarter, the Cardinals trailed 24-14 and faced a 3rd-and-1 from the Packers’ 2-yard line. For some reason either Mike Miller or Ken Whisenhunt — or maybe both — felt that giving LaRod Stephens-Howling the ball on a run up the middle was a good call. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Three problems with that: The Packers stacked the line. The Cardinals offensive line still can’t run block. And, Stephens-Howling is hardly a power back. Needless to say he was stuffed for no gain, and Arizona settled for a short Jay Feely field goal to pull within 24-17.Two plays later, it was 31-17 after Aaron Rodgers connected with Tom Crabtree on a 72-yard touchdown pass. Neither team scored again.I’m not saying the Cardinals would have won had they scored a touchdown instead of a field goal on that possession, but this team has essentially no margin for error. So that if we’re going to get on players for making bad reads or dropping passes, coaches can’t afford to make calls that have very little chance of working — especially on third down.I do think the coaches did a much better job of getting Larry Fitzgerald more involved this week. He had six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown, after combining for just nine receptions the last two weeks. I also thought they put John Skelton in a much better position to succeed than they did last week ago against San Francisco. They didn’t give up on the run game, and in the second half, we saw a much more poised, confident and accurate Skelton than we’ve seen so far. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more