AP PHOTOS At Ramadan Cairo callers wake you up before dawn

first_img 0 Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home ___Follow Associated Press photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo .Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. CAIRO (AP) — Essam Sayed works in a time-honored profession — one that employs him for one month a year. He is a second-generation “mesaharati,” which loosely translates from Arabic as “dawn caller.”During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends this week, devout Muslims abstain from all forms of food or drink from dawn until sunset. Once the sun sets, they break the fast with the evening “iftar,” or breakfast, and hours later, before dawn they take the vital pre-dawn meal known as “suhour.” Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Each night, Sayed, 45, sets out after midnight on his donkey through the streets of the Arab Ghoneim district in Helwan province on the southern outskirts of Cairo.He bangs a small drum, chanting traditional religious phrases and calling out to residents by name to wake them in time for the pre-dawn meal.The job was passed down by his father and Sayed uses the same 50-year-old drum that his father used. The residents offer Sayed tips and donations in exchange for him calling out their family members and children.It’s a low-tech profession that continues to endure, mostly in Egypt’s more traditional districts.On one summer night, half the neighborhood already seemed to be awake and waiting for Sayed. Residents gathered on balconies as he passed. Local children crowded around his donkey.Sayed says that’s normal when Ramadan falls in the summer, when school is out and people stay up later. But the Islamic calendar is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, so Ramadan gradually moves through all four seasons.“It’s the opposite during winter when people sleep earlier,” Sayed says. “That’s when I feel the importance of my job.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories In this Friday, July 10, 2015 photo, a girl hold a traditional lantern as Essam Sayed, the 45-year-old “mesaharati,” or dawn caller, bangs his drum and chants to wake people up for a meal before sunrise, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in the Arab Ghoneim district of Helwan on the southern outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. Each night, Sayed, sets out after midnight on his donkey “Aziza” banging his small drum, chanting traditional religious phrases and calling out on residents by name to wake them in time for the vital pre-dawn meal known as “suhour.” (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) Check your body, save your life Four benefits of having a wireless security system 3 international destinations to visit in 2019last_img read more

Obama calls GOP criticism of Iran deal ridiculous sad

first_img Patients with chronic pain give advice ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — President Barack Obama unleashed a blistering and belittling rebuke of Republican White House hopefuls Monday, calling their attack on his landmark nuclear deal with Iran “ridiculous if it weren’t so sad.”Standing before television cameras during a trip to Africa, Obama suggested the bellicose rhetoric from some GOP candidates was an attempt to divert attention from Donald Trump, the wealthy businessman-turned presidential contender whose popularity is confounding the Republican field. ___Associated Press writers Josh Lederman in Washington, Catherine Lucey in Iowa and Sergio Bustos in Florida contributed to this report.___Follow Julie Pace on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jpaceDCCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Obama brought up on his own Trump’s suggestion that McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured. Praising McCain’s heroism, the president said Trump’s remarks grew out of a political culture where those types of comments are tolerated.“When outrageous statements are made about me, a lot of people outraged about McCain were pretty quiet,” he said.Obama has a long history with Trump, who was a driver of the “birther” movement that claimed the president wasn’t born in the U.S. Trump’s claims pushed Obama to release a copy of his birth certificate in 2011.For years, Trump has been a sought-after surrogate and fundraiser for GOP candidates. As a candidate himself, he’s unexpectedly emerged this summer as a leading contender for the GOP nomination, tapping into voters’ discontent with Washington.While some GOP candidates stepped up their criticism of Trump after his comments on McCain — South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham called him a jackass — the businessman’s standing with voters does not appear to have been significantly damaged. He is still expected to be among the 10 candidates who qualify for the first Republican debate on Aug. 6 based on their standing in national polls. Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Comments   Share   Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall “We have to campaign with joy in our hearts — not anger,” Bush said during an event outside Orlando. “We shouldn’t say outrageous things that turn people off to the conservative message. Our message is the one of hope and opportunity for everyone.”The White House is the midst of an intense lobbying campaign to prevent Congress from blocking implementation of the Iran deal. Lawmakers have until mid-September to review the accord, which aims to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from international economic sanctions.The Republican candidates are united in their opposition to the deal, saying Obama has left Iran on the brink of building a bomb and done nothing to address Tehran’s support for terrorism. Some, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have vowed to immediately scrap the agreement if elected.Obama’s unprompted analysis of Trump’s effect on the Republican field marks a shift for the president. He’s largely steered clear of opportunities to weigh in on controversial statements Trump has made in recent weeks about Mexican immigrants and the war record of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who was taken prisoner in Vietnam. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility President Barack Obama speaks during a joint news conference with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Monday, July 27, 2015, at the National Palace in Addis Ababa. Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Top Stories Obama said the comments from Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, were part of a broader pattern from Republicans. He also singled out Cruz, the Texas senator, for saying the nuclear deal makes Obama — not Iran — the leading state sponsor of terrorism.“These are leaders in the Republican Party,” Obama said, seeming incredulous. He suggested the GOP was breaking longstanding American tradition of not playing “fast and loose” with facts during serious foreign policy debates.Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, said she was “offended personally” by Huckabee’s comments. His remarks should be “repudiated by every person of good faith,” she said during a campaign stop in Iowa Monday.Huckabee dismissed the criticism, arguing that what was “ridiculous and sad” was that Obama wasn’t taking Iran’s threats to destroy Israel seriously.“I will stand with our ally Israel to prevent the terrorists in Tehran from achieving their own stated goal of another Holocaust,” Huckabee said in a statement.While Huckabee’s comments were aimed at Obama, some members of the GOP field — Trump most notably — haven’t held back in their criticism of each other as next week’s initial Republican debate draws near. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called on his colleagues Tuesday to tone it down. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “Maybe it gets attention and maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but it’s not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now,” Obama said during a news conference in Ethiopia.Obama’s comments marked his most direct engagement in the race to succeed him. Until now, he’s largely limited his commentary to policy differences with Republicans, often sidestepping the names of specific candidates.But the president’s unsparing criticism Monday — targeting candidates Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz, as well as Trump — underscored his sensitivity to efforts to scuttle the Iran accord, which he hopes will be his signature foreign policy initiative. It also raised the prospect of an aggressive role for Obama in the 2016 presidential campaign.“In 18 months, I’m turning over the keys,” Obama said. “I want to make sure I’m turning over the keys to somebody who is serious about the serious problems that the country faces and the world faces.”The president was asked specifically about Huckabee’s assertion that Obama had agreed to a nuclear deal that would “take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven,” a reference to crematoria in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust. The Israeli government staunchly opposes the agreement and views an Iranian nuclear program as a threat to its existence. 5 ways to recognize low testosteronelast_img read more

Blanket Bay tops 2010 Gold List for Asia Australia and Pacific region

first_imgSource = Blanket Bay Hard on the heels of being named the world’s third greatest accommodation property by Readers’ Choice 2009 Top 100, New Zealand’s leading luxury resort has struck gold. Conde Naste Traveler’s 2010 Gold List ranks Glenorchy’s Blanket Bay as the second-highest scoring property in the world and the top-scoring hotel in Asia, Australia and Pacific nations.The January 2010 edition of the prestigious magazine features in depth ratings of the world’s best places to stay and Blanket Bay received perfect scores of 100 out of 100 in three categories; rooms, service and location.  Food and property design scored 95.8 and 95.7 respectively to achieve an overall score of 98.3 – the second highest score of any property in the world.  The magazine describes Blanket Bay as an “upscale lodge in a perfect-scoring location between the Southern Alps and Lake Wakatipu …with perfect-scoring rooms that have stone fireplaces, recycled timber, floor-to-ceiling arched windows, antler chandeliers, and very welcoming hot tubs. The menu at the restaurant… emphasizes local meats like Canterbury duck leg and Angus beef. Perfect-scoring staff never miss a thing.” Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager for North America Annie Dundas says the Blanket Bay achievement is phenomenal. “To be listed yet again as Gold Standard in this magazine shows a huge commitment to the highest possible standards.  It’s tantamount to saying this property is consistently one of the world’s best.”Blanket Bay was one of only two properties in New Zealand to have made the 2010 Gold List.  Huka Lodge also features with an overall score of 90.8. Ms Dundas says ratings are vitally important for promoting New Zealand to high end travellers, particularly as New Zealand doesn’t have the big brand hotel properties often favoured by high end American travellers.“Blanket Bay and Huka Lodge are demonstrating to the world that New Zealand does luxury very well, only the scale is smaller.  These ratings tell consumers that we have properties that are easily the equivalent of the big brand hotels such as Four Seasons.  To consistently see our properties listed alongside and above the best builds consumer confidence.  It certainly makes our job of promotion easier and more credible.”   In the 10 years since opening in December 1999, Blanket Bay has enjoyed a dramatic climb into the ranks the world’s best properties with an awards list that ranges from building honours through to Hotel Management Awards, several awards won by individuals of its culinary team and annual places on various lists of the world’s best accommodation properties.last_img read more

ATEC to strengthen Indigenous tourism experience

first_imgThe Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has announced the launch of a new strategy, which will encourage Indigenous people to make a career in tourism and facilitate the development and growth of ‘Indigenous tourism experiences.’ATEC Managing Director Matt Hingerty discussed the new strategy, which is being driven by the Indigenous Tourism Advisory Panel (ITAP) including Chairperson Jeff Sharp of Autopia Tours, members of Indigenous tourism and business bodies, Australian tourism operators and ATEC management.”Succeeding in tourism is all about making the most of your unique qualities, and there is nothing more uniquely Australian than our Indigenous culture.”For the Australian inbound tourism industry to grow, we need to innovate and develop new experiences to serve customer demand. “Previous studies have shown that many international tourists expect an Indigenous tourism experience, but may go home disappointed for lack of suitable product here in Australia,” Mr Hingerty said.”This ITAP strategy is a real bricks and mortar job-and-business-development program, not just a think-tank,” Mr Hingerty said. “The tourism industry has always been a strong supporter of Indigenous employment and opportunity, but now we are taking it to the next level.”  “The tourism industry and the Indigenous community are a wonderful fit for each other. Many tourism businesses are based in regional or remote regions and require employees with the special knowledge and skills from a lifetime of experience,” Mr Hingerty said.Mr Hingerty said ATEC had recently accepted 15 Indigenous-owned tourism businesses as new members and ITAP and ATEC had engaged with Indigenous Business Australia, Tourism Australia and Qantas to get the strategy underway. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/28338/” 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> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Rotorua heatsup Aussie campaign

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J Rotorua is pitching for more Aussie tourists, launching a six figure online campaign to attract tourism from NSW.Teaming up, Destination Rotorua Tourism Marketing and Tourism New Zealand have organised pop ups to appear when Aussies use search engines to research specific keywords as well as organised banner ads on key Sydney media sites.”Research shows that 70 per cent of all travel and holiday internet searches are carried out on search engines like Google,” Rotorua Tourism Committee chairman Tony Marks said. “Our keywords trigger pop up adverts for people using these search engines to look for information on New Zealand holiday activities, skiing and adventure breaks.”Combined with the banner advertisements on high profile websites, Australians cannot miss Rotorua online over the duration of the campaign.””Running until the September this year, Rotorua tourism has also organised exclusive deals to support the campaign including tour packages for five interest groups from honeymooners, explorers, adventurers and luxury.last_img read more

Heidelberg Voted International Favourite

first_imgSource = German National Tourist Board Heidelberg Castle has been voted the top attraction among international visitors to Destination Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle and Cologne Cathedral came second and third in a survey conducted by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) to discover the 100 most popular tourist attractions. The online survey received over 18,000 clicks and has 5,500 respondents submitted their three favourite attractions. The results will be incorporated into a new app which will be available in summer 2012 to help people plan their trip to the country. The app will provide a brief description of each attraction, along with photos and information on opening times, admission prices and directions.“This successful GNTB initiative is sure to awaken many people’s interest in taking a holiday in Germany”, says Ernst Burgbacher, Member of the German Parliament, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology and Federal Government Commissioner for SMEs and Tourism.The UNESCO World Heritage sites were particularly popular, with 22 of the country’s 36 sites featuring on the list. “Destination Germany offers a wide selection of tourist attractions that are famous worldwide. The 36 UNESCO World Heritage sites are particularly popular,” said Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB.Significant growth in 2012Germany is enjoying significant growth in tourism this year with 11 per cent more overnight stays in January 2012 than was recorded in the same month of last year. Over 43,000 international visitors to Germany in January, 2012, were from Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. The country recorded 64 million overnight stays in 2011 and has begun 2012 with a total of over seven million to confirm its position as a favoured travel destination in Europe.last_img read more

One in five travellers miss their flight Skyscanner

first_imgTravellers are advised to triple check their flight details before travelling, listen out for announcements and don’t get too boozy before boarding to avoid being the one in five travellers that miss their flight.A recent survey of international travellers conducted by flight comparison site Skyscanner revealed the top excuse for missing a flight was being caught in a traffic jam.Not hearing the flight announcement and lack of time management were the next most common excuses while blaming the airline of a previous flight and missing the connection was also used.Travellers admitted to some other bizarre reasons for missing their flight such as oversleeping, spending too long in the shops and bars at the airport, turning up to the wrong place or even turning up on a different day. Men are the most likely candidates to miss their flight but get creative in arranging alternatives, with almost half admitting to turning on the charm, and one in four claiming success. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W One in five travellers miss their flight, but have an excuse for it.last_img read more

Air New Zealand commits to two more Boeing 7879 Dreamliners

first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman Air New Zealand has today announced plans to take delivery of two additional Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.These two additional aircraft are expected to be delivered in late 2017 and the latter half of 2018 respectively and will take the total number of Dreamliners in the fleet to 12.Air New Zealand chief executive officer Christopher Luxon announced the fleet investment at an event in Sydney this week.“This investment is possible as a result of our strong commercial results.  As the airline’s commercial performance continues to improve, we are focussed on reinvesting our profits directly back into the business on products, services and fleet to further enhance the customer experience and to ensure the business remains strong and competitive,” Mr Luxon said.“Air New Zealand is very committed to the Boeing 787-9.  The aircraft is a key component in our growth strategy.  These new aircraft will provide us with additional flexibility as we move forward with our growth plans.”Earlier this year Air New Zealand became the first airline in the world to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9 and the airline first operated the aircraft to Sydney followed by scheduled services to Perth, Shanghai and most recently Tokyo.“The entry into service programme has gone very smoothly and we’ve been incredibly pleased with the aircraft’s performance.  Feedback from customers has also been very positive with many commenting on the cabin fit out, our new inflight product and entertainment system,” Mr Luxon said.The aircraft is a game-changer for the airline with increased levels of fuel efficiency and passenger comfort through a raft of on board technologies.last_img read more

New marketing push to boost Queenslands tourism industry after TC Deb

first_imgNew marketing push to boost Queensland’s tourism industry after TC DebbieAll Australians are being urged to support Queensland’s tourism industry after Tropical Cyclone Debbie, with a new $2 million joint State and Federal Government marketing campaign launched today.Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Federal Tourism Minister Steve Ciobo and Queensland’s Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones announced the campaign in Airlie Beach today.“There’s no doubt Queensland’s tourism industry has felt the full force of Cyclone Debbie and the widespread flooding that followed,” Ms Palaszczuk said.“But the industry is already getting back on its feet and this new marketing campaign will provide an extra push just in time for the Easter long weekend, ANZAC Day public holiday and Labour Day long weekend.“We want all Australians to know that taking a holiday in Queensland is one of the best ways to help our state to recover.“Queensland’s $23 billion tourism industry is at the heart of our regional communities – driving local economies and supporting more than 220,000 jobs across the state.“That’s why we’re partnering with the Federal Government, through Tourism Events Queensland and Tourism Australia, to deliver this much-needed marketing campaign.”Minister Jones said the new advertising campaign would feature print, TV and digital ads in the domestic and international markets.“This new campaign builds on our already successful ‘I know just the place’ branding to encourage travellers to consider taking a Queensland holiday,” Ms Jones said.“The ads use beautiful real-life images taken since Cyclone Debbie passed from around the state, including Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Southern Great Barrier Reef, Townsville, Tropical North Queensland.“It shows that even though Cyclone Debbie left her mark on our state, our tourism operators are quickly getting back to business.“We all know Queenslanders are built tough and our tourism industry is well-known for its resilience.“Operators in the affected areas have already started to reopen their doors and are ready to welcome visitors, including in the Whitsundays, which copped the brunt of Cyclone Debbie’s force.“It’s important that we continue to build on this momentum and do all that we can to support the tourism industry in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.“That’s why we’re also encouraging travellers and tourism operators to share their favourite sunny Queensland images on social media to showcase our fantastic destinations and visitor experiences using #thisisqueensland.” Tourism and Events QueenslandSource = Tourism and Events Queenslandlast_img read more

Vietjet wins Best Ultra LowCost Airline Award for second consecutiv

first_imgVietjet wins “Best Ultra Low-Cost Airline” Award for second consecutive yearVietjet wins “Best Ultra Low-Cost Airline” Award for second consecutive yearNew-age airline Vietjet was once again named “Best Ultra Low-Cost Airline for 2019” by AirlineRatings.com, the world’s only safety and product rating website. This marks the second consecutive year Vietjet is honoured at the annual Airline Excellence Awards by AirlineRatings.com which recognises the best in the airline industry.According to AirlineRatings.com, Vietjet – with its wonderful cabin crew and ultra-low prices, has made significant headway in growing its fleet within a short period of time and subsequently its number of destinations, opening up travel to all including those that perhaps could not afford air travel before. The airline has created revolutionary trends in the aviation industry.“Vietjet has been very clever in its marketing but behind that fun is also a very smart and serious business plan that brings affordable travel to millions,” said Geoffrey Thomas, Editor-in-Chief of Airlineratings.com. “What a great operation and one that is turning heads,” he stressed.Judged by a panel of seven editors from AirlineRatings.com – who combined have over 200 years’ industry experience, the Airline Excellence Awards assesses important safety and government audits with 12 key criteria which include fleet age, passenger reviews, profitability, investment rating, product offerings, and staff relations. Other winners at the Airline Excellence Awards included Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Virgin Australia and Korean Air for varying categories.Vietjet was also recently awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7-stars from AirlineRatings.com. It was also listed in the world’s 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by Airfinance Journal in 2018.About VietjetVietjet is the first airline in Vietnam to operate as a new-age airline offering flexibly-saving ticket fares and diversified services to meet customers’ demands. It provides not only transport services but also uses the latest e-commerce technologies to offer various products and services for consumers. Vietjet is a fully-fledged member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) with the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) certificate. Vietjet was named “Best Ultra Low-Cost Airline 2018” and awarded the highest ranking for safety with 7-stars in 2018 by the world’s only safety and product rating website AirlineRatings.com. The airline has been also listed in the world’s 50 best airlines for healthy financing and operations by Airfinance Journal in 2018.Currently, Vietjet operates 60 A320, A321 aircraft with more than 385 flights daily, carrying more than 65 million passengers to date, with 103 routes covering destinations across Vietnam and international destinations such as Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, mainland China, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Cambodia.The airline has plans to expand its flight network across the Asia-Pacific region and has signed contracts to buy new-generation aircraft from prestigious global plane manufacturers.Like Vietjet on https://www.facebook.com/VietjetMalaysia or follow Vietjet on Twitter: https://twitter.com/vietjetvietnam, or Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/vietjetvietnam Source = Vietjetlast_img read more

Yas Islands fourth theme park SeaWorld to begin its operations from 2022

first_imgAbu Dhabi’s Yas Island is set to welcome another world-famous theme park by 2022. “We are very excited to announce Yas Island’s fourth theme park, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. What encouraged us more is the new direction of SeaWorld, focusing on education and preservation was the main driver of building SeaWorld destination. We believe the new strategy of SeaWorld will helps us build something exciting and new,” Mohammad Abdallah Al Zaabi, CEO-Developer Miral said.SeaWorld will be located near Yas Mall, adjacent to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and although the exact size of the park is not yet confirmed, plans show the park to have a significantly larger area than any of the other theme parks on the island, including Ferrari World. The new theme park will include rides, an aquarium, first of its kind in the country marine-life research, rehabilitation, rescue and return centre, which is planned to open ahead of the theme park.The park will be the first new SeaWorld to not have orcas and it aims to provide an environment for local and global researchers, scientists and marine conservationists to better understand and learn from the region’s marine life habitats and conditions.last_img read more

Tourism New Zealand rolls out its fouryear strategy

first_imgTourism New Zealand has released its new strategy for the next four years with greater focus on increasing international tourism in the regions and shoulder seasons and working with partners to improve experiences for visitors and Kiwis.Tourism New Zealand’s Acting Chief Executive, Brighid Kelly, said that tourist arrivals are now 3.5 million a year. They are spending $14.5 billion making the tourism industry the biggest export earner in the country.The strategy has a mission to boost New Zealand’s economy by growing the value of international visitors. It is supported by three priorities:Target near and long-term value including shoulder season and regional growth. Strategically manage our markets and sectors. Work with industry to improve experiences for visitors and Kiwis.“This new strategy is about taking a longer term approach to growing the value of international visitors. The main changes from the previous strategy are a focus on attracting visitors to new regions, encouraging them to arrive during off-peak seasons (that had initial success with shoulder season growing two percent more than peak season in the last financial year) and working with the industry and government to improve the tourism experience for visitors and New Zealanders,” informed Kelly.Over the next four years, Tourism New Zealand will pursue regional dispersal through region-specific campaigns as well as targeting special interest visitors such as cyclists, golfers and backpackers who visit more regions.Kelly also briefed that the most important part of tourism is the experience visitors have while visiting the destination. “We will work with industry and government partners and share insights and skills as the ‘Voice of the Visitor’ to make sure tourists keep having world-class experiences and become unofficial brand ambassadors at home,” he added.The strategy will be given shape by the annual business plans and a series of initiatives to be achieved over the next four years.last_img read more

BAC Under Extended Investigation by Hagens Berman

first_imgBAC Under Extended Investigation by Hagens Berman in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology September 28, 2011 436 Views “”Bank of America Corp.””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/ will continue to be under investigation, following a recent filing that alleges the big bank failed to properly inform investors as to risk factors associated with a pending lawsuit from “”American International Group””:http://www.aigcorporate.com/index.html. “”Hagens Berman””:http://www.hbsslaw.com/home/ announced that it will advance its look into BAC’s investor dealings surrounding the bank’s legal issues with AIG.[IMAGE]The original lawsuit that led to the current filing began in January, when AIG initiated a suit against the financial institution on claims that data analysis on $28 billion in mortgage-backed securities sold to AIG by BAC, Merrill Lynch & Co., and Countrywide Financial revealed misrepresentation of the risk included in the securities. Accordingly, AIG filed a $10 billion suit against BAC in August after heavy negotiations. BAC shares dropped significantly in the wake of the AIG filing, and it’s estimated that the full damages equate to around 20 percent per share. The new investigation by Hagens Berman is focused around BAC’s lack of disclosure to investors, who were not informed of the risks inherent in the case of a major suit from AIG.Reed R. Kathrein, a partner at Hagens Berman, elaborated on the basis of the BAC suit, saying, “”It appears clear that Bank of America knew for quite a while that negotiations with AIG were at an impasse. A potential $10 billion issue is material to most companies. How BofA failed to mention it in quarterly and earnings reports is baffling to investors.””Hagens Berman must meet a November 22 deadline to move the court for lead plaintiff. Recent developments on Capitol Hill could work to the advantage of Hagens Berman and related investors in BAC, since the “”Securities and Exchange Commission””:http://www.sec.gov/ has finalized its rules on whistleblower provisions contained in the Dodd-Frank Act as part of the implementation process. The regulations protect whistleblowers from employer retaliation and also allow the SEC to give a financial reward to the individuals providing information that leads to successful enforcement. The SEC can now supplement whistleblowers with as much as 30 percent of the recovered amount.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Disclosures Mortgage-Backed Securities Processing Service Providers U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission 2011-09-28 Abby Gregory Sharelast_img read more

AppraiserLoft Closes Amid Rumors Departures

first_imgAppraiserLoft Closes Amid Rumors, Departures Mortgage appraisal company, “”AppraiserLoft””:www.appraiserloft.com/, has closed its doors following numerous executive departures, rumors of non-payment to appraisers, and an ongoing lawsuit brought against the company’s CEO regarding alleged activities unrelated to the company. According to numerous trade publications, AppraiserLoft made employees aware of the shutdown last week in advance of its official closure.[IMAGE]Calls to AppraiserLoft’s corporate offices were directed to a recording that clearly said, “”At this time, we are no longer accepting new orders.”” Current clients are instructed to contact the company via its help-desk e-mail account, and the full social media presence of AppraiserLoft appears to have been deactivated. Additionally, _Reverse Mortgage Daily_ reported that the San Diego, California-based company has been shuttered after being unable to locate a buyer for its platforms. In August, AppraiserLoft’s CEO Aman Makkar resigned, and Shane Copeland, formerly a sales executive with the organization, was named interim CEO. AppraiserLoft made headlines again during September when news broke that Copeland would move on to valuations company “”Kirchmeyer & Associates””:www.kirchmeyer.com/ as its VP of national sales; Michele Chochrek, previously AppraiserLoft’s VP of national sales, also announced her departure to join Kirchmeyer & Associates as a national account executive shortly after Copeland’s hiring was confirmed.As summer ended, more negative news surrounding AppraiserLoft surfaced after _National Mortgage News_ reported that the company was delaying payments for some of its appraisers. Patrick MacFarland, an Iowa-based appraiser, spoke[COLUMN_BREAK]to _National Mortgage News_ in August regarding the accounting issues with AppraiserLoft, stating that the entity currently owed him an estimated $1,500. He added that, during June, the company was behind in paying him nearly $6,500, a portion of which dated back to invoices filed over six months prior.””Their website says that they pay appraisers 30 days after an assignment is completed and in my experience, that never occurred. So they pay me, but it’s never been as prompt as they promised and it’s never been without me haggling considerably,”” MacFarland said of his recent experience with AppraiserLoft.Meanwhile, Makkar’s personal troubles continued as he worked to resolve a lawsuit brought against him by attorneys operating as the receivership for MAK 1 Enterprises Group, LLC. The plaintiff filed on claims that Makkar had knowingly participated as an investor and investment recruiter in alleged Ponzi scheme organization, MAK 1. Makkar was thusly required to pay back $1.4 to $1.5 million (the totals represent a $100,000 penalty that can be applied for late payment) to the receivership as part of the so-called “”clawback claim”” that targets the return of invested money to those who were defrauded. As of July 9, the “”U.S. District Court of Southern California’s””:www.casd.uscourts.gov/ latest report on the lawsuit indicated that Makkar was in default of the scheduled payback agreement, which was set into motion in February. Statements from the court indicated that, at that point, Makkar has only contributed $425,000 of the total amount; however, speaking to _National Mortgage News_, Makkar said during August that the matter had come to resolution under a private agreement. Elaborating, Makkar said, “”Certain things are filed as a matter of formality and there’s a lot of stuff, a lot of settlements that go on in the background that do not get posted because they’re called confidential settlements.”” Interestingly, on October 7, the receivership for MAK 1 initiated its first interim distribution to investors whose claims had been approved, and the amount paid to the related individuals was made from a total distribution of $1.5 million, which is the dollar amount Makkar was required to fulfill as a defendant. The compensation for investors will be paid out in equal pro rata shares of 10 percent on each claim. Mohit Khanna, MAK 1’s principal, is currently incarcerated for his fraudulent actions, along with MAK 1’s former attorney, Gus Bujkovsky. Share October 12, 2011 562 Views center_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Top Stories of 2011 Valuation 2011-10-12 Abby Gregorylast_img read more

CoreLogic Records Biggest HPI Gain Since 2006

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies CoreLogic Home Prices Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-01-15 Esther Cho Share January 15, 2013 465 Views The U.S. housing market gained ground in November, according to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index (HPI) report. The data provider says November saw the biggest annual gain in home prices since May 2006.[IMAGE]When including distressed sales, home prices in November rose 7.4 percent year-over-year and displayed a slight month-over-month increase, rising 0.3 percent from October. Excluding distressed sales, home prices nationwide increased 6.7 percent annually and were up 0.9 percent monthly. For the month of December, the data provider’s pending HPI shows prices continuing upward by an estimated 7.9 percent year-over-year, but seasonal challenges will likely lead to a month-over-month drop of 0.5 percent.[COLUMN_BREAK]””As we close out 2012 the pending index suggests prices will remain strong,”” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a release. “”Given the recently released QM rules issued by the CFPB are not expected to significantly restrict credit availability relative to today, the gains made in 2012 will likely be sustained into 2013.””Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic, added, “”We still have a long way to go to return to 2005-2006 levels, but all signals currently point to a progressive stabilization of the housing market and the positive trend in home price appreciation to continue into 2013.””CoreLogic’s HPI also revealed all but six states registered annual price gains. The six states were Delaware (-4.9 percent), Illinois (-2.2 percent), Connecticut (-0.5 percent), New Jersey (-0.5 percent), Rhode Island (-0.3 percent), and Pennsylvania (-0.1 percent).The states that experienced the biggest price gains were Arizona (+20.9 percent), Nevada (+14.2 percent), Idaho (+13.8 percent), North Dakota (+11.3 percent), California (+11.1 percent).Among the 100 largest metros, as measured by population, 13 saw prices fall over a one-year period ending in November.The metros that posted the biggest annual gains were Phoenix (+24.2 percent), Riverside (+9.7 percent), Los Angeles (+8.4 percent), Houston (+7.4 percent), New York (+6.5 percent).center_img CoreLogic Records Biggest HPI Gain Since 2006 in Data, Origination, Servicinglast_img read more

The Gap in Housing is Growing Along Gender Lines

first_img Men and women are separated by a housing gap, according to a study by PropertyShark. Out of a list of the 50 largest American cities, there are nine cities that, on average, a single man can afford a starter home, while a single woman cannot. Affordability in this case is based on the average consumer spending at at most 30 percent of their income on housing.”With single women’s median income considerably lower than that of men in all the cities we looked at, and the trend of real estate prices out-pacing income gains in recent years, there are a host of cities that are now effectively out of the reach of potential female buyers and renters,” says Adela Muresan, real estate writer for PropertyShark.Out of these nine cities, Houston; Fort Worth, Texas and Seattle showed the biggest income discrepancy. Women on average in these cities make 70 to 73 cents on the dollar compared to men. With the average monthly mortgage payment being between 20 and 30 percent, unaffordability for women comes as no surprise.Most cities in Texas remain affordable for both genders, but Austin remains the only Texas city to be unaffordable for both genders by a large margin. In California, unaffordability is the norm, as nearly every city, except for Sacramento, is unaffordable on both sides. Monthly payments on a one-bedroom home in Manhattan, New York; Boston; Miami; and most of these California cities exceed 30 percent of the average income from both genders. In San Francisco, Boston, and Miami, monthly payments can exceed 80 percent of a single woman’s income.In total, there are 14 cities too expensive for either gender, and two cities, Manhattan, New York and Los Angeles, exceed the average single woman’s entire monthly income. In Manhattan, a single woman would need to pay 119 percent of their income to buy a home. Behind these two cities are San Francisco, Boston, and Miami. Meanwhile, 26 cities are affordable to both genders and mortgage values in Wichita and Indianapolis can be as low as 10 percent of a single woman’s income.View the full study from PropertyShark here. Gender HOUSING Wage Gap 2017-03-02 Staff Writer Share March 2, 2017 785 Views center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News The Gap in Housing is Growing Along Gender Lineslast_img read more

Tariff increase on Chinese imports to raise input

first_img Tariff increase on Chinese imports to raise input … Turkish cherry industry eyes strong future in Chin … A proof-of-concept trial is also nearing completion in China, while production trials have begun in Oregon and California. New Zealand kiwifruit company Zespri is making strides in its strategy to supply global markets year-round, with its Northern Hemisphere harvest now well underway and delivering higher volumes. The company not only expects a lift to 19 million trays for the current campaign, but a greater proportion of the crop will be of the premium SunGold-branded variety with volumes set to be up by two-thirds at 10.5 million trays.In contrast, the volume of green Hayward kiwifruit is likely to be down by around one million trays, at a total of eight million. “This year’s Northern Hemisphere harvest is expected to exceed 19.1 million trays, which is almost 25 percent up on the 15.4 million trays recorded in 2017/18,” says Zespri chief international production officer Sheila McCann-Morrison.”Zespri is looking forward to completing the New Zealand season by the end of the year while transitioning to supply from our Northern Hemisphere locations.”McCann-Morrison said growth in Zespri’s offshore supply allowed it to meet increasing consumer demand while ensuring the brand remains top of mind during the three or four months of the year when New Zealand-grown kiwifruit is unavailable. “Ultimately, this is trying to meet the needs of our consumers and support sustainable long-term returns for our non-New Zealand and New Zealand-grown crop,” she says.Zespri has developed long-term partnerships with growers and suppliers outside New Zealand to provide Zespri kiwifruit that meets stringent quality standards in Italy, South Korea, Japan and France.Europe remains Zespri’s most significant source of non-New Zealand-grown kiwifruit, with Italy supplying more than 90% of our total volumes and more than nine million trays of SunGold.“In addition to expanding our production in current key European locations, particularly in Italy, we are running trials in new growing locations to determine whether we can successfully diversify our supply,” says McCann-Morrison.”We believe this will allow us to mitigate risks like pests and adverse weather events and also bring our supply closer to market.”Outside of Europe, Zespri expects to see continued growth in Asia and is focusing on increasing the supply of SunGold in Japan and South Korea to meet strong demand.Zespri also continues to explore the potential for a 12-month supply programme in China. A proof of concept trial in China is nearing completion, working with local partners to assess local Chinese varieties to determine whether we can sustainably grow Zespri-quality fruit.The group has also started production trials in Oregon and California in the U.S., which has become one of Zespri’s most significant new growth markets due to demand for SunGold. China imports record banana volume … center_img October 28 , 2018 Russia bans some Chinese fruit imports … You might also be interested inlast_img read more

June 10 2019

first_imgJune 10 , 2019 You might also be interested in Wonderful Halos quickly rising through the ranks to become the U.S.’s No. 1 mandarin brand in less than five years. The company says that lemon category growth and consumer consumption for lemons is second only to mandarins, and has nearly doubled in the last five years, with even more room to grow, according to IRI data.According to a third-party study commissioned by The Wonderful Company, 83% of lemon buyers state they are likely to purchase a seedless lemon, and 81% cite the inconvenience of seeds as a key reason. Ease and efficiency were two of the top benefits of purchasing aseedless lemon stated by lemon buyers who participated in the study.“We’re encouraged that lemon buyers have expressed their willingness to pay a premium price for seedless lemons,” added Cooper. “This is a game-changer for lemon buyers and will transform how they use and eat lemons in their everyday life. Wonderful has a history of bringing unique and healthy products to market by building trust and brand love with consumers through our $1 billion investment in brand building for Wonderful Pistachios, Wonderful Halos, and POM Wonderful.”The Wonderful Seedless Lemons’ marketing campaign will introduce new branded packaging creating a bigger marketplace for bagged lemons, as well as eye-catching in-store point-of-sale (POS) displays to capture consumer attention while shopping.The company says that retailers who have carried its POS have experienced more than two times lift in velocity growth versus those without. Additional marketing campaign initiatives will roll out during the brand’s debut this fall. Wonderful expects new seedless lemon brand to be a … U.S.-headquartered Wonderful Company is introducing a “game-changing” new produce brand, Wonderful Seedless Lemons for its naturally seedless variety of lemon that will debut this fall 2019.Wonderful, which is the largest citrus company in the U.S. and owner of other successful brands including  Halo seedless mandarins and POM Wonderful fruit juice – both category leaders – owns the exclusive rights to this new premium quality variety available in North America.“As the leading grower, shipper, packer, and distributor of citrus in North America, Wonderful is uniquely positioned to offer this new and innovative variety of seedless lemons,” said Adam Cooper, senior vice president of marketing at The Wonderful Company.“As consumers’ appetite for seedless varieties in produce continues to grow, Wonderful Seedless Lemons will disrupt the industry and become a top category driver for branded produce.”last_img read more

Following the successful opening of the first 25Ho

first_imgFollowing the successful opening of the first 25Hours Hotels in Switzerland, the hotel group will open the doors on its second property in Switzerland – 25Hours Hotel Langstrasse – on 1 April 2017.Targeted at trendy and creative urbanites, the 25Hours Hotel Langstrasse is currently offering introductory rates for the month of April from $280 per room per night on weekdays, and $207 for the weekends. MINI drivers receive a further 15% off. Regular prices start from $350 per room per night.Located just 700m from Zurich Central Station the hotel has been inspired, curiously, by an album title by YELLO, an electropop duo from Zurich, with a ‘pocket universe’ as its leitmotif, a rather fitting theme and a jocular reference to its lively central location, where street meets sophistication.The hotel features 170 rooms in five categories including M, L, XL, and two penthouses – the Plaza and Trainspotting Suites. All of the rooms have been designed and furnished with elements inspired by three different themes – the red light district (first three floors), Belle Époque (next two floors) and big city life (top two floors). Pets are allowed in all the rooms for an additional cleaning fee per animal, per day.25Hours HotelLangstrasseThe ground floor, comprising the lobby, kiosk, Neni restaurant and Chinchona Bar, is positioned to be the Langstrasse living room for casual gatherings, while events for up to 80 people can occupy the conference area on the first floor. Spa lovers will enjoy facilities on the top floor with views overlooking the tracks at Zurich Central Station and the mountains beyond.Extras include a fleet of MINI, available free of charge for trips and excursions, and Schindelhauer bicycles.Regular guests will be given one of the legendary Freitag bags made from recycled lorry tarpaulin to store things like running shoes and other items. These bags would then be hoisted high up onto a steel frame and locked until their next visit. The travel bags and steel structure make for an extraordinary art installation at the reception area that cannot be missed. 25Hours hotelspet friendlyswitzerlandZurichlast_img read more

JAL is introducing daily nonstop MelbourneTokyo

first_imgJAL is introducing daily nonstop Melbourne-Tokyo (Narita) flights, on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, from 2 September, 2017 and to celebrate the new route the airline is offering special fares, on sale until 31 July.Fly Economy Class from AUD$699, Premium Economy from AUD$1599 and Business Class (in the JAL Sky Suite) from AUD$3599 on flights between 2 September 2017 and 31 March 2018.“We are delighted to introduce a new service to Melbourne, our second destination in Australia,” said Yoshiharu Ueki, President of Japan Airlines. “Since 1969, JAL has been operating to Australia and contributing to the promotion of bilateral relations between Japan and Australia. This partnership has become even stronger since the EPA went into force, and so we are pleased to serve Melbourne and continue supporting both nations from every possible aspect including business and tourism.”Passengers flying on the new route between 1 September and 30 November 2017 are also eligible to receive double miles (when registered for the promotion prior to travel dates.) airlinesairportsJALMelbourneNaritaTokyolast_img read more