Fate of Peoples Fire members in the hands of Akwesasne court

first_imgAPTN National NewsSeven members of the Akwesane People’s Fire (APF)are currently facing trespassing charges for occupying a tract of land adjacent to an abandoned customs building.The Federal Bridge Corporation wants the customs and (APF) buildings torn down, and will drop the charges if they get their way.But the tract of land in question runs through Akwesasne territory, so last week a judge ruled that the fate of the buildings should be decided by the community.APTN’s Tom Fennario explains.last_img read more

Scotiabank buys doctors financial services company for 25 billion

first_imgTORONTO – The Bank of Nova Scotia made a big play to expand its customer base on Thursday with a deal to acquire financial adviser MD Financial Management for $2.5 billion.The company provides financial planning, insurance, banking, investment and estate and trust services to 45,000 Canadian doctors and 65,000 of their family members with more than $49 billion in assets under management and administration.The acquisition will give Scotiabank the largest private investment counsel business in Canada, said bank CEO Brian Porter, on a conference call Thursday.“We strongly believe there is room to grow as penetration of the physician community is currently only about 35 per cent,” he said.“We believe that there are significant opportunities to deepen MD client relationships through Scotiabank’s retail, private business and small business products and services.”Porter said the acquisition is part of a $7-billion spending spree the bank has been on in recent months.The bank purchased a 68 per cent stake in Chilean banking operation BBVA Chile for $2.9 billion and Citibank’s consumer and small and medium enterprise operations in January for an undisclosed amount.It also bought Canadian investment manager Jarislowsky Fraser for $950 million in February, and a controlling interest in Peru’s Banco Cencosud for about $130 million in May.Scotiabank’s MD acquisition will be partially funded by a $1.5-billion public offering of 19.7 million common shares at $76.15 per share that’s expected to close on or after June 8.The acquisition will also include a $115-million investment from the bank over the next 10 years to support the advancement of the medical profession and health care in Canada, and a 10-year collaboration that will see the Canadian Medical Association exclusively promote MD’s services as the preferred provider of financial products to physicians.The bank said MD will operate as a stand-alone brand within its wealth management branch.The deal is subject to regulatory approvals, but is expected to close in fall.last_img read more

The Latest France confident Renault to carry on smoothly

first_imgTOKYO — The Latest on the arrest of Carlos Ghosn, the Nissan chairman and Renault CEO (all times local):7:10 p.m.France’s finance minister says Renault’s new temporary leadership will ensure the carmaker functions efficiently after the arrest in Japan of its CEO, Carlos Ghosn, for alleged misuse of assets at Nissan, where is also chairman.Speaking Wednesday, Bruno Le Maire said: “this governance is strong and this governance guarantees the good functioning of the Renault company, which is a flagship we are deeply attached to.”Le Maire noted Philippe Lagayette took over the administrative council presidency and Thierry Bollore is the new deputy CEO.Le Maire said he asked Nissan to provide “all the elements” involved in the case against Ghosn, and that currently France doesn’t have “any evidence justifying the charges.”Le Maire added he would receive Japanese Economy Minister Hiroshige Seko Thursday.___1:00 p.m.France’s Renault says it has decided to keep its CEO Carlos Ghosn on despite his arrest in Japan on allegations that he misused assets of partner Nissan Motor Co. and misreported his income.Renault’s board of directors announced late Tuesday that the No. 2 at the company, Thierry Bollore, would temporarily fill in for Ghosn.The French automaker said it would further consolidate its alliance with Nissan. The two automakers have a partnership, also, with smaller automaker Mitsubishi Motor Corp.There was no update Wednesday in Tokyo from prosecutors on Ghosn’s case, and no public word from Ghosn himself. It was unclear where he was being held.The Japanese and French governments have confirmed their support for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, the industry leader with 10.6 million vehicles sold in 2017.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Ban appalled at latest attack targeting Iraqi pilgrims

13 February 2009Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the suicide bomb attack against Shi’a pilgrims near Baghdad today, and recent similar attacks targeting innocent civilians which have left dozens of people dead and wounded, including many women and children. A statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the United Nations chief is “appalled” by the attacks.“These acts cannot be justified by any political or religious cause and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.“The Secretary-General joins with the people of Iraq in rejecting these cruel and reprehensible attempts to reignite sectarian violence in the country,” the statement added.At least 32 pilgrims were reportedly killed and some 65 injured by a female suicide bomber in today’s attack, which occurred south of Baghdad.The incident comes just two days after two simultaneous explosions struck a bus terminal in south-west Baghdad, targeting pilgrims making the journey from Baghdad to Karbala. At least 16 people were reportedly killed and at least 40 wounded in that attack. Mr. Ban called on Iraqi leaders to work together in a spirit of national dialogue and mutual respect as demonstrated during the peaceful provincial elections held last month. read more

ICBs Cardinals begin playoffs Saturday

The Intercounty Baseball League’s regular season wrapped Wednesday night and the 1st round playoff schedules have been announced.The Hamilton Cardinals are the #6 seed and will face # 3 Barrie. The Cards open the best of seven series on the road Saturday. Game 2 comes back to Hamilton on Sunday; game time is 2:00 at Bernie Arbour Stadium.00:00:00 | 00:00:00::Projekktor V1.3.09

Senior UN envoy in Washington for talks on Middle East peace

The talks between the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East, Terje Roed Larsen, and Ms. Rice will focus on ways in which the international community can assist the parties on the issue, as well as the other aspects of the peace process, including the Syrian and the Lebanese tracks.Mr. Roed-Larsen is also representing the UN at a working-level meeting of the Quartet – also including the US, Russian Federation and European Union – intended to push forward the Middle East peace process. The meeting will discuss recent developments, including the withdrawal proposals on Gaza.On the instructions of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Mr. Roed-Larsen will travel tomorrow to London to have discussions on these issues with the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. read more

North American stock markets fall sharply Canadian dollar rises slightly

North American stock markets fall sharply, Canadian dollar rises slightly TORONTO – North American stock markets closed sharply lower Monday as investors south of the border mulled the increased odds of a Federal Reserve rate hike following last week’s strong U.S. jobs data.The Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX index gave back 70.68 points at 13,482.62, while the Canadian dollar was at 75.33 cents U.S., up 0.12 of a cent from Friday’s close.In New York, the Dow Jones average of 30 stocks was down 179.85 points at 17,730.48, the broader S&P 500 index declined 20.62 points to 2,078.58 and the Nasdaq lost 51.82 points to 5,095.30.That followed Friday’s better-than-expected employment report, which showed the U.S. economy added 271,000 jobs in October and left many investors expecting a December interest rate hike from the Fed.Norman Raschkowan, senior partner at Sage Road Advisor, said given the lack of economic news, investors may be acting on general concerns about lagging global economic growth.“In the U.S. people are taking some profits today after what’s been a pretty good few weeks, and that’s just setting a negative tone for the other major markets,” Raschkowan said.Meanwhile, earnings results from Canadian companies have been lacklustre thus far, Raschkowan said.“There haven’t been a lot of companies that you could really say, ‘Wow, those are great results,’” Raschkowan said. “They’ve either been OK or actually disappointing.”One bright spot on Monday was the gold sector of the TSX, which climbed nearly three per cent following a small increase in the price of the precious metal.After hitting a three-month low on Friday, the December gold contract rose $0.40 to US$1,088.10 an ounce on Monday, a move that Raschkowan said likely relates to the slight decline in the value of the U.S. dollar.“The price of gold is usually denominated in U.S. dollars, but people view it as a more stable store of value,” Raschkowan said.“So if the dollar has gone down in value, the gold should still be worth the same, so in terms of the number of dollars it should go up. They just tend to move inversely with each other over long periods of time — not usually on a day-to-day basis, but over longer periods there’s definitely a relationship there.”Meanwhile, the December crude contract fell by 42 cents at US$43.87 a barrel, the December contract for natural gas was down seven cents at US$2.30 per mmBtu and copper rose a penny to US$2.23 a pound.Shares of Quebec-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals International (TSX:VRX) climbed 3.7 per cent, or $4.05, to $113.24 as the embattled drugmaker announced it will provide an operational update Tuesday. Valeant has been entangled in a drug-pricing controversy, and company officials are scheduled to appear at a U.S. Senate committee hearing that is examining the issue.Follow @alexposadzki on Twitter. by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 9, 2015 8:00 am MDT Last Updated Nov 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

The 6 Things Were Watching This NBA Season

Another NBA season gets underway tonight, and aside from the obvious question — can the Warriors piece together three consecutive championships? — there are several things worth watching. We took a crack at analyzing a handful of them, and how we think they might play out, just ahead of the games on opening night.Will the Timberwolves overcome the drama to reach the playoffs again?Minnesota coach and team president Tom Thibodeau has gone out of his way to paint the Timberwolves’ current situation as “not unusual.” But it’s hard to picture anything messier than what the past few weeks have brought this club.Jimmy Butler, a free agent after this season, requested a trade. The Timberwolves have seemed reluctant to make that happen, confusing and frustrating interested teams. It all bubbled over last week with Butler’s outburst during a scrimmage, raising the question of why on earth the two sides still hadn’t divorced yet. And now, it seems that Butler and Thibodeau will at least start the season together after this awkward tango.It’s painfully obvious why Thibs wouldn’t want to part ways with the player who was the team’s most valuable last year: His job(s) could be on the line if this season is a failure.Yet even if off-court chemistry weren’t a problem, other issues remain. Minnesota has looked awful, a concerning sign even if it is a symptom of Butler’s absence. The club owned the NBA’s worst defense by far in the preseason, and three different rotation players this past week said they think the defense likely needs to switch pick-and-rolls more than it has done in order to be successful.When I asked Thibodeau last week how the club could go about fixing its defense, he was quick to tell me that the Wolves ranked seventh in the NBA in defensive efficiency while the starting five1Among five-man groups who spent 400 minutes or more together. was on the floor last season yet 30th (dead last) when their bench was playing.2This would be the five-man bench lineup with Tyus Jones, Jamal Crawford, Shabazz Muhammad, Nemanja Bjelica and Gorgui Dieng, the league’s worst bench-only group (by net rating) to log at least 75 minutes last season. Knowing Thibodeau’s rotational tendencies, if that pattern repeats itself, it will likely result in his starters playing huge minutes — and not all of his starters seem to be on board with that.No one knows how it’ll all play out. But there figures to be even less room for error now than there was last season, when Minnesota reached the playoffs on the final day of the campaign. So the fact that not everyone is on the same page — and perhaps not even reading from the same book — is problematic heading into an incredibly important year for the franchise.Will the Lakers be able to run as much as they’d like?It seems like every NBA coach in recent memory has said that he’d like to get out in transition more than the previous season. But with the Lakers — who have a front office led by the person who ushered in the Showtime era — that strategy will almost certainly go beyond just words.Los Angeles finished the preseason second among NBA teams in pace, a trend that, should it hold, would allow the Lakers to rely less on their half-court offensive sets. This may take some time to iron out as Lonzo Ball and company adjust to playing alongside LeBron James — and vice versa.Last week, we analyzed some ways the team could ensure that its pace would be among the league’s fastest. But perhaps the most surefire way for the Lakers to accomplish this is to secure defensive rebounds. And that may be a problem. The Lakers — who lack depth at center and are likely to feature several small-ball lineups this season — wrapped preseason by finishing 23rd among NBA teams in defensive rebound percentage.L.A. will almost certainly be good in transition this year. It will run some drag screens or an occasional give-and-go, like this one that produced a LeBron-to-Lonzo alley-oop last week.The Lakers can be successful when they crank up the tempo. The question is whether they’ll force the turnovers and secure the rebounds that allow them to play that style.Have the Bucks really overhauled their offense?Last season was likely an exercise in frustration for fans of the Milwaukee Bucks.On the one hand, the franchise had Giannis Antetokounmpo, a player so multitalented that it’s difficult to put his skill set into words. On the other hand, Antetokounmpo played within an offensive system that didn’t do anywhere near enough to make the game easier for him, particularly with regards to spacing. In last season’s first-round playoff series with Boston, he’d sometimes drive to the basket only to find two extra defenders in the paint because a pair of his teammates didn’t keep their distance and dragged their men into the play by mistake.If things go right for the Bucks this year, though, those sorts of images will soon feel like a distant memory. And that’s because the team’s offense has shown brisk signs of overhaul.Milwaukee last year ranked just below league average in attempts that came from the most efficient parts of the floor, taking 64 percent of its shots from inside the restricted area or outside the 3-point line. But this preseason, the Bucks led the NBA in that capacity, taking a whopping 81 percent of their shot attempts from those regions. For context, the Houston Rockets, who avoid midrange shots like the plague, led the NBA last season by taking 82 percent of its shots from the restricted area and behind the 3-point line.This change comes just months after the team hired former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, who has long prioritized four- and five-out lineups3And it seems that literally everyone on this Bucks roster has the green light. Even 6-11 center John Henson, a career 57 percent free-throw shooter, managed to try five triples during the preseason. that not only spread the floor with great tempo but also seek to make the extra pass to keep defenses off balance.This Bucks’ roster — with rookie Donte DiVincenzo, Pat Connaughton, Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova — has far more perimeter threats than it did last season. And because Budenholzer’s teams have always been pick-and-roll heavy, with bigs who can stretch the defense by popping as opposed to just rolling, Antetokounmpo figures to be positioned in the middle of the floor, where opponents will be able to give him considerably less attention. If they do load the paint against him, he’ll have an abundance of sweet-shooting teammates open in the corners for a change. (For what it’s worth, the Bucks managed to connect on an impressive 47 of 92 corner 3-point tries that stemmed from Antetokounmpo’s kick-out passes last season, per Second Spectrum.)Giannis was already one of the scariest players in the league. Now, finally, he’s part of an offensive attack that may be more worthy of his vast, budding talent.Can the Spurs really make the playoffs again, despite their injuries and departures?Some are tip-toeing around this question out of respect for what San Antonio has done in the past, so fine: I’ll be the blunt one. I see almost no way the Spurs reach the playoffs for the 22nd straight time. I stopped just shy of that prediction last year, but I did feel pretty strongly that San Antonio would have a rougher-than-usual campaign, before we knew of the depths of the Kawhi Leonard situation.This suggestion isn’t exactly groundbreaking, given that Kawhi is now a Raptor, Tony Parker is a Hornet and Manu Ginobili is retired. Perhaps even more of a blow, the Spurs have now lost three guards — all-defensive second teamer Dejounte Murray, 2018 first-round pick Lonnie Walker and backup point guard Derrick White — to long-term injuries, leaving the club thin at the position. (Keep in mind that this is all happening mere months after the Spurs allowed forward Kyle Anderson, a capable ball-handler, to sign with Memphis in free agency.)The Spurs still have a number of key holdovers who are capable of giving opposing teams headaches, including LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, Patty Mills and Pau Gasol. And they’ll also have DeMar DeRozan, who came over in the Leonard deal. Coach Gregg Popovich has said that while he and his staff will work to get DeRozan up to speed on the team’s offensive concepts, he won’t try to change his game.“DeMar is already an All-Star. He’s played a certain way. There’ll be some things we try to add to his game if he’s willing,” Popovich told reporters. “I’m not going to jump on him the way I did [Aldridge]. I tried to turn [Aldridge] into John Havlicek. I think it confused him.” (Aldridge requested a trade two years after joining the Spurs, but the two sides worked the problem out.)Now, with a limited number of ball-handlers, the club will have to rely on DeRozan to create some looks. Aldridge can shoulder some of that responsibility from the post, too, as he drew more double-teams while posting up than any other player in the league.What remains worth watching here, given the team’s history, is whether Popovich can squeeze another elite defensive showing out of this unit, despite not having any elite stoppers or rim protectors for once. The Spurs have had an all-defensive team selection in 30 of the past 33 seasons, including each of the past six years.If San Antonio can cobble together a top-four defensive showing, which it’s done each of the past six seasons, perhaps the Spurs can prove me wrong. But that will be a tall task in light of all these injuries.How long will Hayward take to jell with the Celtics?I’m not all that big on analyzing an individual player’s preseason numbers, but I can admit that I was paying some attention to Gordon Hayward’s, given that he’s coming back from an injury.Those numbers weren’t pretty: 25 percent shooting (5-of-20) for just 21 points in his three games. He showed a little rust on the defensive end at times, too, nearly fouling out of a game against Charlotte. It may take awhile for him to assert himself consistently, but the beauty of his situation is that it’s really not a problem since he plays alongside Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum4Speaking of preseason struggles, Tatum shot just 33 percent — 14-of-42 for 38 points — over four games on even worse scoring efficiency than Hayward’s. and Al Horford.Hayward’s instincts and timing looked just fine, particularly in screen-roll action with Aron Baynes. Watching their chemistry this early on suggests that Hayward will at some point flourish in his minutes with Horford because of how solid a screener he is.Hayward has always moved well without the ball and can draw attention from the defense with his cutting ability, so he shouldn’t clash much in terms of role with Tatum or Brown. But if he or one of the other wings isn’t seeing enough shot opportunities, it won’t be difficult to find more time for that player with the second unit. All of that leads me to trust that Boston — even if it doesn’t find a rhythm right away to begin the season — will settle into place over time.The club had the worst effective field goal percentage among NBA teams this preseason. But given all the time that Irving and Hayward missed, and the time it could take for everyone to settle into the new roles they’ll have to adopt, it shouldn’t be a big deal if the Celtics aren’t hot out of the gate. (Toronto should adopt this philosophy, too, with Leonard.) As long as they’re clicking by midseason — and I don’t doubt that coach Brad Stevens will get them there — they’ll be right where they need to be.Which teams out West can truly push Golden State? While the Lakers have to be taken far more seriously now with LeBron, let’s be real here: There are only two or three teams in the West that could realistically make the Warriors uncomfortable in a seven-game series.We all know Houston should be one of those clubs, if only because of what the Rockets did last postseason, when they pushed Golden State to seven games in the conference finals. They might have won the series if not for Chris Paul’s injury or the biblical 3-point shooting drought they experienced at the worst possible time. Yet while that club almost knocked off Golden State, this one is a little different. Exit Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Enter Carmelo Anthony (who played well, and was used very well, in preseason), James Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams.I think Houston’s chances boil down to something relatively simple: If its defense slips past the top 10 as a result of those changes, or finds itself in far more compromising positions after switching this season, it’s hard to see how the Rockets will beat Golden State. The improvement on D was what made them such a tough matchup to begin with, and I fear they might have lost too much on that end to stay on even footing with the Warriors. We’ll see.The Jazz, on the strength of their stifling, league-best defense, are a compelling pick for many. But just like Houston had to get more consistent on D to make a real run at the West, Utah will likely have to do the same on offense. In particular, the Jazz have struggled to produce steady, consistent offense against such versatile defenses as those of Golden State and Houston, which switch pick-and-rolls repeatedly.That dovetails with the need for a leap from Donovan Mitchell, who figures to have a greater target on his back after a historically great rookie season at the rim for someone his height. Getting the more aggressive version of Ricky Rubio that we saw in the Oklahoma City series would help Utah’s cause as well.And while I’m not as high on Oklahoma City — primarily because of the seriousness of Andre Roberson’s injury from last year and his recent rehab setback — I can envision a best-case scenario where the Thunder make noise out West. If Roberson returns anywhere near close to form on defense, he and Paul George would immediately become the best defending wing duo in the league, much like last year. That’s exactly the sort of length you need to effectively defend the best offenses come playoff time. (Looking directly at you, Pelicans.) Also, Nerlens Noel quietly appears to be a great fit at center for OKC’s second-unit defense, while ex-Atlanta guard Dennis Schroder should get ample opportunity to help off the bench — if not start, depending on Russell Westbrook’s status after a recent knee scope.In a worst-case predicament, either Roberson comes back and isn’t anywhere near as effective or he doesn’t come back at all, limiting this club’s defensive potential — which would be a shame, given that the Thunder probably do have enough scoring to at least hold their own with the conference’s other top dogs. (And they perhaps have fewer questions about offensive fit than last year, when Anthony was on the team.)It will almost certainly take a Herculean effort to knock off Golden State as the Warriors bid for a three-peat. But there are plenty of other storylines to enjoy in the lead-up to all that.Check out our latest NBA predictions. read more

Review Motorola Droid 2 Global

first_imgThe Droid 2 Global features a 3.7″ touchscreen sporting a 854 x 480 WVGA resolution capable of displaying up to 16 million colors. It includes a slide-out QWERTY keyboard which is a redesign from the original Droid smartphone. Users can expect a battery life of up to 500 minutes of usage time or up to 230 hours standby time. For memory and storage the phone offers 8GB of internal memory plus a further 8GB through a pre-installed microSD card which is expandable to 32GB.One of the biggest differences in specs between this phone and the Droid 2 is in the processor. While the Droid 2 offers a 1GHz processor with a dedicated GPU the Droid 2 Global features a 1.2GHz processor giving the business class phone more power under the hood.Like any business smartphone the Droid 2 Global is made for the business traveller as is represented in its name. Voice service is supported in more than 220 countries while data is supported in more than 200 countries. Bands and modes supported include:Global – CDMA 800/1900, CDMA EV-DO Rev. A 800/1900 , WCDMA 850/1900/2100,GSM 850/900/1800/1900Android 2.2 (Enhanced Security, Corporate Email Support, Mobile)Like the Droid 2, the Droid 2 Global is powered by the Android 2.2 mobile operating system which includes the Webkit5 HTML Browser with Flash Player 10. It also means improved security and better corporate email integration. The OS supports the ability for an Exchange administrator to perform a remote wipe as well as the ability to enforce a password policy now that a numeric pin or alpha-numeric password can be used to unlock the device. Exchange administrators will also appreciate auto-discovery which allows a user to setup an Exchange mailbox on the device with just their username and password. Improved Exchange integration includes support for Exchange Calendars within the Calendar app and the ability to look up Global Address Lists in the Email application.Another nice business feature for the Droid 2 Global thanks to its OS is its ability to become a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot capable of sharing a wireless data connection with up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices. There’s no such thing as a free lunch though. If you want to use the mobile hotspot capability you can expect to pay an additional $20 a month for an allotment of 2GB a month. This is in addition to any data plan you get for the smartphone.Music and Video SupportJust because the Droid 2 Global is designed for business that doesn’t mean the phone doesn’t have a recreational side. The smartphone includes the ability to playback music files including AMR, MIDI, MP3, WAV, AAC, AAC+, AAC+ Enhanced, WMA9 and WMA10. Video playback includes support for h.263, h.264, MPEG4, WMV9 and WMV10.Probably the coolest media feature provided by the Droid 2 Global is its support of DLNA. DLNA allows wireless sharing of photos, videos and music with other DLNA devices. That means you can playback video, music and photos from your phone on your television wirelessly as long as your television is connected to a DLNA-supported device.Voice QualityThe Droid 2 Global has its speaker located on the back of the device. The speaker is set into the phone a bit so that no sound is muffled when it is laid flat and used as a speakerphone. Call quality for the phone is good, but there is a noticeable soft quality to speech when having a conversation which is odd since the smartphone doesn’t come with noise cancellation which I consider a missed opportunity by Motorola. That quality doesn’t come across when the speakerphone is used though.GUI and Overall UseThe Droid 2 Global is made for those who prefer a physical keyboard rather than a virtual one. If you’re looking to move to a virtual keyboard the Droid 2 Global will be a nice bridge device for you especially, since the smartphone includes Swype which allows continuous finger motion across a virtual keyboard. As far as the physical keyboard goes, it’s a redesign from the original Droid keyboard.The physical keyboard has raised keys and a rubber-like feel to them making it really easy to type on which is helped thanks to the larger sizing of the most used letters. One thing that I still don’t like, which seems to be a carry over from the Droid, is the sliding mechanism to expose the physical keyboard. Like the Droid and Droid 2 I don’t like the resistance the phone gives to sliding out the keyboard. I think Motorola can improve the mechanics behind this to make it a more fluid motion.The Menu, Home, Back and Search buttons provide users with subtle feedback to let you know they were pressed. In my opinon, the feedback is a bit too subtle though I am probably biased due to the fact that my day-to-day phone provides a higher level of feedback.As for the GUI, it’s extremely responsive thanks to the combination of the 1.2GHz processor and Android 2.2. Menus and options pop on the screen with little effort and games as simple as Angry Birds and as graphically intense as Need For Speed Shift are no problem for the hardware.The Verdict If a corporate IT department has been apprehensive to allow anything other than a BlackBerry or Windows Mobile smartphone into their enterprise, the Droid 2 Global may be the Android phone to change their mind. It’s expanded security and support of Exhange environments make it hard for an IT department to come up with reasons why the smartphone can’t be supported. In addition to its enhanced Exchange support the phone’s ability to support voice and data in over 200 countries, it’s perfect for executives who must travel internationally.Personally, I couldn’t get over the speed and performance of the device thanks to its 1.2GHz processor and dedicated GPU. That’s sure to turn more than one business professional’s head in addition to the phone’s mobile hotspot ability.The Droid 2 Global is only $50 more than the Droid 2 and retails for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a 2-year contract.Read more at Verizon Wireless and Motorola Building upon the success of Verizon Wireless‘ first Droid phone, the company launched the Droid 2 on August 11th. Now the carrier has released an improved model of the Droid 2 designed for the business traveller. The Droid 2 Global includes enhanced security to protect confidential corporate data, quad-band GSM support and an improved processor.SpecsAdChoices广告Considering this smartphone is the business sequel to Verizon’s flagship Droid smartphone, as you would expect it is chock full of goodies. The first of which is a five megapixel camera which includes auto focus, dual-LED flash, face detection and panoramic modes. The camera also supports DVD quality video capture with the ability to capture slow-motion and fast-motion video. Considering the original Droid came with a five megapixel camera the sequel would have needed to have this at a minimum. Examples of photos taking with the phone are below.last_img read more

Hotelier in Athens takes action for loss of revenue

first_imgThe owner of a hotel in central Athens last week became the first businessman in the area to declare his intention to sue the Greek state and the City of Athens for loss of earnings due to rising crime and lawlessness in the centre of the capital.Alexandros Arapakis, the hotelier who plans to take legal action, is also vice president of the Athens Hoteliers Association and his lawyer Constantinos Kopanas said that at least one more hotel owner is also set to file a suit.“The businessman is resorting to this action because he has suffered major financial losses as a result of the situation in the city, both with regard to the immigrants and the drug addicts,” Kopanas said.Arapakis claims that he has suffered losses over the past two years that amount to almost 1 million euros as a result of cancellations by tour operators and visitors who are unhappy with the lack of safety in the area.It is not clear how Arapakis will distinguish these losses from those suffered by most hoteliers in Athens mainly as a result of the economic crisis.The Athens Hoteliers Association announced last month that total revenue per room was down 20.8 percent in the first five months of 2009 compared to the previous year. It added that average room rates had dropped by 5.1 percent in the same period, while hotel room occupancy fell by 16.6 percent.Business owners have complained for several months about the hygiene and safety levels in the city centre. Arapakis claims that he had asked the police to intervene many times to remove addicts, who he said often injected drugs on the doorstep of his hotel, but that authorities never responded.In recent months, police have removed dozens of undocumented migrants from the area and authorities hope that the imminent removal of the methadone centre run by the state-run Organization Against Drugs (OKANA) will also lead to fewer addicts frequenting the city centre.The president of the Athens Hoteliers Association, Yiannis Retsos, adopted a more conciliatory stance, saying that he is waiting to see the impact of the latest measures. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Our gift to the brave people of Crete

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram On Wednesday, hundreds gathered in the village of Tsikalaria in Crete to witness Mayor of Chania, Manolis Skoulakis receive the 42nd Street memorial plaque. Presented by Glenda Humes, eldest daughter of Captain Reg Saunders, the plaque will mark the location of a historic battle between Anzac and German forces on 27 May 1941. Known to the Allied troops as ’42nd Street’, the site near Tsikalaria has never previously been marked. And what an event it was, climaxing with a breathtaking haka performed by descendants of NZ 28 (Maori) Battalion to celebrate the handing over of the plaque. 28 (Maori) Battalion fought at 42nd Street, alongside two Australian battalions raised in Victoria The plaque, paid for by Australian Cretan and Greek community organisations and private donors, was conceived by Glenda Humes after visiting the site in 2010. Her father, who in 1941 was a 20-year-old Private in the Australian 2/7 Infantry Battalion, fought in the 42nd Street battle. During her speech, Ms Humes described the plaque as a way to “bring recognition to the Anzac soldiers who were here, to mark their sacrifice and memory for future generations”.“This is our gift to the brave people of Crete from the people of Australia and New Zealand.”Under a cloudless Cretan sky the Tsikalaria community turned out in force with hundreds of local schoolchildren given time off school to join the celebrations.Also attending the event was Australia’s Ambassador to Greece, Jenny Bloomfield, who has been a staunch supporter of the project.Speaking to the plaque’s organisers, Deputy Mayor of Chania Dimitris Leipsakis confirmed that the Municipality was committed to creating a memorial site on Odos Tsikalarion (42nd Street) to display the plaque. A technical plan is to be drawn up by the end of July.Chania Municipality Architect Engineer Aggelina Syrakouli has been tasked with the job of developing a suitable design.last_img read more

Police seek help finding locker room trespasser

first_imgInvestigators at the Vancouver Police Department are trying to find a male suspect who snuck into the women’s locker room at the Firstenburg Community Center and snatched a towel off a woman changing her clothes.The police said the young man entered the locker room, 700 N.E. 136th Ave., April 22, pulled off the woman’s towel, then fled on foot.The victim told police she saw him standing and holding a cellphone in the hallway earlier, and thought he had the phone in his hand inside the locker room.Surveillance cameras captured images of the young man, who fled through the back door of the community center.The police described him as Asian, about 18 to 20 years old, with orange-colored hair and long, swooping bangs. He was last seen wearing a black sweatshirt.The department asked anyone who can help identify the suspect to call the police tip line at 360-487-7399.The department asked anyone who may have experienced a similar incident and did not report what happened, to call 911 and make a police report.last_img read more

Kusko Liquor awarded Bethel liquor license

first_imgOn Monday, the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board awarded Cezary Maczynski’s Kusko Liquor the final package store liquor license available in Bethel. (Christine Trudeau / KYUK)The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board awarded Cezary Maczynski Bethel’s third and final package store liquor license on Monday, but the opening date for Kusko Liquor may be months away.Listen nowThe board decided between three applications for the license: Maczynski’s, Alaska Commercial Company and Tundra Liquor Cache.“We have a motion to approve 5533 package store license application. Anyone opposed? Seeing and hearing none… motion is granted,” Bob Klein, ABC Board Chair, said.With that, Klein wrapped up a quick vote of the board after considering all the evidence before them.During the meeting the board considered three applications and rejected those for Alaska Commercial Company’s second liquor store and Steve Chung’s Tundra Liquor Cache. The city protested both applications after Bethel residents and the City Planning Commission raised concerns that focused mainly on safety.Aaron Sperbeck, a legal representative with AC’s parent company, said that AC was prepared to add more safety protocols.“If that’s what the community needs, which we understand alcohol is a problem,” Sperbeck said. “But we’re in a position to be good stewards in the community.”Bethel City Attorney Patty Burly spoke on behalf of the City at the ABC meeting. She says that for the City of Bethel it was too little too late, and that the city had concerns about bringing those safety issues to another neighborhood.“So Bethel said, ‘You’re not it. You’re not the responsible steward,’ and they upheld their protest,” Burly said.Maczynski tentatively plans to open Kusko Liquor in either the spring or summer of 2018. The shop will be on the riverfront where Cezary’s Auto Body and Paint is located.last_img read more

Microsoft ties up with Justdial Snapdeal Paytm for cloud startup initiative

first_imgUS-based technology major Microsoft on 5 November, announced a string of partnerships, programmes and products claimed to help Indian organisations and governments to explore uncharted business areas and enrich customer and citizen experiences.The newly launched local “Microsoft Cloud” and new devices will also catalyse digital transformation, the company said.The California-based tech giant announced partnerships with three e-commerce players – Justdial, Paytm and Snapdeal. The special cloud initiative was launched for start-ups aligned to smart cities at its first of its kind technology conference, held in Mumbai.”At Microsoft, we strive to empower every Indian citizen and every business and government organization to achieve more,” Satya Nadella, the Indian-born chief executive of Microsoft, said at the conference.”With the newly launched Microsoft Cloud and with Surface Pro 4, our customers here in India have the digital technology they need to seize incredible new growth and opportunity on a global scale,” he added.According to the company, “Justdial” and “Microsoft” will explore the use of “Bing” and cloud-based analytics to provide and enhance customer experience.”Paytm and Microsoft are working on three core areas of partnership. The companies will integrate the Paytm app and Paytm Wallet into Cortana to enable consumers to pay for their utility bills and carry out mobile transactions easily. Paytm will use Office 365 for their merchants’ inventory and account management,” Microsoft said in a statement.”Lastly, Paytm will facilitate and support Microsoft service sales via their merchant network,” the statement added.Justifying the partnerships, Bhaskar Pramanik, chairman, Microsoft India, said: “Cloud and mobile technologies are already galvanising Indian industry. We will demonstrate that technology in the hands of brilliant people can create magic.””Snapdeal” will work with “Microsoft Cloud” platforms to create a digital automotive dealership that is expected to change the way customers make automotive buying decisions.In addition, Microsoft also said that start-ups can now apply for individual access up to $120,000 (Rs.80 lakh) worth of Azure computing in order to help India’s smart cities explore solutions and run smart city digital pilots.”Cities can also apply for access to these services and solutions on Azure through a new portal which connects start-ups with cities and their needs. This initiative is anticipated to impact over 50 smart cities in the next year through a catalogue of over 50 start-ups and ISV solutions,” the company added.last_img read more

Archaeoastronomers claim Alexandria was built to align with Alexander the Greats birth

first_img Alexandria, the original town plan superimposed on the reconstruction by Mahmoud-Bey (1866) (Courtesy of CEAlex Archives J-Y. Empereur). Journal information: Oxford Journal of Archaeology This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A photograph of the early 19th century showing the Canopic road, looking west (courtesy C. Pallini). Alexander III, known more commonly as Alexander the Great was King of Macedon, a state that existed in northern ancient Greece. By the age of thirty he had built one of the largest empires of the ancient world, running from Egypt in the west, to the Indus River in the east. At the time of his birth, the city of Alexandria had not yet been built; he founded the city in 331 BC realizing its future importance as a shipping hub. Since that time, the city has become famous as the site of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; it’s 400 foot lighthouse at the mouth of its harbor and as the home of Cleopatra and the Royal Library of Alexandria.The researchers write that aligning the city with Alexander’s birth date would have been a way to highlight the king’s power. They next plan to study other cities that were part of the ancient king’s empire to see if they can find other solar patterns. (Phys.org)—Giulio Magli and Luisa Ferro with the Politecnico of Milan claim in a paper published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology that new evidence they’ve uncovered shows that the ancient city of Alexandria in Egypt was built to align with the sun on the date that Alexander the Great was born. Instead of running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea, they say, the city’s main thoroughfare Canopic Road aligns nearly perfectly with the rising sun as it would have appeared July 20, 356 BC by the Julian calendar. Egypt announces find of ancient cat goddess templecenter_img © 2012 Phys.org Historians and archeologists have been studying Alexandria in an attempt to locate the Macedonian king’s tomb which is believed to be in the city in a gold casket inside of a glass sarcophagus. This new research, the authors write, may help with that search.Suspecting that Alexandria may have been built around a solar event occurring during Alexander’s lifetime, the researchers used simulation software to plot the rise of the sun for the day he was born. Doing so revealed that it rose less than half of a degree off the route of the city’s main course. They also found that the “King’s Star” Regulus, located in the head of the constellation Leo, rose in a similar alignment.The researchers note that it was a common practice in ancient times to base architectural designs on astronomical events, pointing out that the Great Pyramid at Giza has been found to be aligned along compass points. Explore further More information: THE ASTRONOMICAL ORIENTATION OF THE URBAN PLAN OF ALEXANDRIA, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0092.2012.00394.x (ArXiv PDF)AbstractAlexander the Great founded Alexandria in 331 BC. An examination of the topography of the city today allows the identification of the essential elements of the original urban system, and shows that the site was chosen mainly for religious and symbolic reasons. In fact, Alexandria was the prototype of a series of Hellenistic towns designed as ‘king’s towns’ that aimed to make explicit the divine power of their founder. We examine the orientation of the orthogonal grid, which was based on a main longitudinal axis, and show that this axis is orientated to the rising sun on the day of Alexander the Great’s birth. At the time of foundation, ‘King’s Star’ Regulus was also rising along the same direction.via DailyMail Citation: Archaeoastronomers claim Alexandria was built to align with Alexander the Great’s birth date (2012, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-archaeoastronomers-alexandria-built-align-alexander.htmllast_img read more

DelhiNCR has 80 residents suffering from obesity Survey

first_imgAround 80.7 per cent of people residing in Delhi-NCR region are suffering from obesity -though 78.5 per cent continue to consider themselves as having normal weight, according to a survey.The survey conducted by Max Super Speciality Hospital in Saket on at least 1,000 respondents about their knowledge on obesity and bariatric surgery found that only 18.5 per cent were aware that obesity can trigger diabetes.While 70 per cent of the people didn’t know that hypertension is associated with obesity, only 5 per cent were aware that obesity can cause sleep apnea. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study also suggested that while 93.5 per cent men and 76.8 per cent women did not know about kidney problems associated with obesity, 80.3 per cent men and 82.1 per cent women did’t know about obesity leading to diabetes.“Obesity is a worrying health issue that has been plaguing Indians for some time now. However, it continues to rise in epidemic proportions in the country even today. It is not restricted to certain class specifically. It is prevalent in both rural and urban folk”, Pradeep Chowbey, Executive Vice-Chairman Max Healthcare said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile 82.4 per cent of the respondents said that they would be concerned (30.8 per cent would be extremely concerned) if they were overweight or obese, 72.4 per cent said that they are somewhat aware of the concept of BMI (body mass index).According to the study, only 31.2 per cent do get annual health check-ups and 100 per cent respondents said that they opt for jogging, diet, gym regime to keep their weight in check.“Obesity not only affects one’s physical appearance but also mental and physical health. It can result in grave consequences like heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, kidney problems, sleep apnea,” Chowbey added.The survey result also stated that 28.8 per cent participants were unaware about the bariatric surgery an option for weight-loss while only 11.2 per cent were aware about bariatric surgery. Out of all only 10.2 per cent of the participants said that they will consider surgical procedures to fight obesity.last_img read more

Argentina appeal revives coverup case against president

first_imgBUENOS AIRES,Argentina — Argentine prosecutors on Wednesday appealed a judge’s decision to dismiss their case against President Cristina Kirchner for allegedly protecting Iranian officials accused of orchestrating a deadly 1994 bombing.Prosecutors are seeking to relaunch the case that was being brought by their late colleague Alberto Nisman, who died mysteriously after accusing Kirchner of shielding Iranians suspected of ordering the bombing at a Buenos Aires Jewish center.Lead prosecutor Gerardo Pollicita argued in his 35-page appeal that Judge Daniel Rafecas was overly hasty in his decision last Thursday to throw out the case.“A criminal allegation of such unusual gravity and institutional impact as the one presented by Nisman demands every possible effort be made to reach the real truth of what happened,” he wrote. “Faced with a premature ruling, there must be a new analysis of the evidence in the case and a broad review of the decision.”The appeal will be considered by a higher court, the Federal Chamber, which must decide whether to appoint a judge and prosecutor to continue the investigation. If it rejects the appeal, the case will be closed unless new evidence emerges, said constitutional lawyers.Rafecas had assailed the prosecution’s case in his ruling, saying that “none of the alleged crimes presented by Pollicita in his petition to the court are demonstrated in the least.”The long-unsolved bombing at the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association killed 85 people and wounded 300.Nisman accused Iran of ordering the attack via Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.Four days before his death on January 18, he filed a report accusing Kirchner, Foreign Minister Hector Timerman and other figures close to the government of protecting high-ranking Iranian officials, including former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, in exchange for oil and other trade benefits.Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment of a gunshot wound to the head on the eve of congressional hearings where he was due to present his allegations about the president.Pollicita’s team then took over the file and formally renewed his accusations.Since Nisman’s death, initially labeled a suicide, suspicion has fallen on Kirchner’s government of orchestrating his murder.The president has suggested the prosecutor was manipulated by disgruntled former intelligence agents who killed him to smear her.Kirchner has clashed with Argentina’s intelligence establishment, sacking the top officials at the Intelligence Secretariat (SI) and introducing a bill to disband it that passed the legislature last week.Embassy bombing scrutinizedThe government took out ads in several local newspapers Wednesday accusing Nisman of trying to destabilize it.“With the case (against Kirchner) dismissed, we must ask ourselves what objectives Nisman was pursuing,” said the ad.“Is it possible to think of any other explanation than seeking to create political instability?”A separate controversy meanwhile swirled around another bombing, a 1992 attack outside the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people and wounded 200.On Tuesday the Supreme Court’s chief judge said the case had been closed since the court found in 1999 that members of Hezbollah carried out the attack.But no one was ever convicted and Kirchner has called for it to be reopened.“The case is not closed. There’s no sentence. It’s still open, we need to keep investigating,” a top Kirchner aide, Anibal Fernandez, said.“In criminal law, the case is closed when there’s at least one person charged, tried and convicted.”The two attacks devastated Argentina’s Jewish population, the largest in Latin America at about 300,000 people. Facebook Comments Related posts:Prosecutor who accused Argentine president is found dead Argentine judge dismisses cover-up case against Kirchner Argentina ex-leader on trial for obstructing bombing probe Argentina seeks extradition from Spain of Franco-era ministerslast_img read more

Raul Castro eyes new stage for USCuba as ties to resume

first_img 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Cuba’s President Raul Castro attends a National Assembly session, as he sits next to the chair that Fidel Castro always used, left empty, in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, July 15, 2015. The parliament is holding one of its twice-annual regular sessions with a new twist: It’s live-tweeting the proceedings for the first time. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Still, it was a highly unusual step into social media for a country that lags far behind much of the world in Internet use.Cubans are increasingly using the likes of Facebook and Twitter as authorities slowly expand connectivity options, but most islanders who are able to connect do so only sporadically and briefly, limited by cost, availability and scant bandwidth.State-run website Cubadebate confirmed the authenticity of the Twitter account and Facebook page, both of which apparently went live Saturday.Cuba and the United States broke off diplomatic relations in 1961 during tense Cold War times.The near-neighbors have danced a mutually hostile lockstep ever since, until Castro and Obama’s simultaneous statements Dec. 17 that they would negotiate restoration of ties. Earlier this month those talks culminated with the embassy announcement.On Wednesday, Cubadebate posted a photo of workers at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington removing a plaque identifying it as such, ahead of its ceremonial inauguration as an embassy on Monday.Also at parliament, officials reported that Cuba recorded an annualized economic growth of 4.7 percent in the first half of the year. That was up from a forecast of 4 percent offered last month; annual growth is expected to come in around 4 percent. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Sponsored Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall “A new stage will begin, long and complex, on the road toward normalization, which will require the will to find solutions to the problems that have accumulated over more than five decades and hurt ties between our nations and peoples,” Castro said in a speech that was broadcast later by state TV in the evening.“As we have said, it is about founding a new kind of tie between both states, that is different from all our shared history,” he added.Castro acknowledged President Barack Obama’s call for a debate on lifting the more than 50-year-old U.S. trade embargo, something that would require an act of Congress.But Cuba hopes he continues to use his executive powers “to dismantle aspects of this policy, which causes damage and hardship among our people,” Castro said.He said as far as Cuba is concerned, relations cannot be normalized as long as the embargo is in place. He also demanded the return of the U.S. military base at Guantanamo, compensation for economic damage from the embargo, an end to U.S. broadcasts beamed at the island and a halt to “programs that aim to promote subversion and destabilization.”Such grievances are not new, and it’s not clear how much Washington would be willing to consider any or all of them.center_img HAVANA (AP) — Raul Castro said Wednesday that Cuba and the United States are entering a new era as the countries prepare to restart diplomatic relations next week, though he insisted more changes in U.S. policy toward the communist-run island are necessary.In his first public comments since the two governments announced that their diplomatic missions currently known as “interests sections” will enjoy full embassy status beginning July 20, Castro’s remarks to Cuba’s parliament sounded both a welcoming and cautious tone. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility U.S. law says the embargo cannot be lifted unless Havana pays compensation for American properties nationalized following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, now worth an estimated $7 billion or more. And the United States is seeking its own concessions from Cuba on issues such as human rights and democracy.Cuban officials from Castro on down have said repeatedly that the island’s one-party political system will not change. And while they acknowledge Cuba needs to adjust things like economic policy, they make clear they will not tolerate intrusion into their affairs.“Changing whatever needs to be changed is a sovereign matter, and exclusive to the Cubans,” Castro said.His comments came during one of the National Assembly’s twice-annual regular sessions in a Havana convention center. Foreign journalists were not allowed access.But the one-day full gathering of parliament came with a twist: Through newly launched Twitter and Facebook profiles, the National Assembly provided regular updates throughout the day.There was little drama in the live-tweeting, with snippets such as an announcement that parliament president Esteban Lazo had called the body to order with homages to 19th century independence figure Mariana Grajales, known here as the “mother of Cuba.” “This is very good, taking into account that last year we only grew 1 percent,” Castro said.___Peter Orsi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Peter_OrsiCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Mesa family survives lightning strike to home How do cataracts affect your vision?last_img read more

Building The Millennial BuyIn

first_img Share in Headlines, News, Origination, Print Features These millennials aren’t buying… yet.Shamel Washington is a 32-year-old professional who currently lives with his parents in New York. He hasn’t always been there. After graduating from a Philadelphia college, Washington accepted a job not far from his alma mater. But living on his own for four years was expensive, and the financial burden became too stressful. Washington decided to move back to his parents’ home in New York. It wasn’t what he wanted to do, but living with his parents was the best available option.“With the amount of student debt I’ve accrued over the years,” Washington said, “it was impossible for me to comfortably pay my rent, student loan payment, car payment, and other bills. I’m thankful that my parents allowed me to move back in with them; I’m living rent-free, and I’m able to save money for a home. My fiancée and I are looking to move out of state in a few years, and renting is no longer an option for us anymore. Now that I have more of a handle on my finances, I’m ready to begin the homebuying process.”It’s not uncommon for adult millennials to spend years living with their parents. The Social and Demographic Trends study by Pew Research Center examined trends among millennials across multiple areas. According to the report, 31.6 percent of young adults were living with a spouse or partner in their own household, and 32.1 percent of millennials were living with parents in 2014. The report also revealed that 14 percent of millennials were either living alone, with one or more roommates, or were a single parent. The remaining respondents, 22 percent, were living with a grandparent, in-law, or a sibling; a non-relative; or were living in group settings like a college dormitory.Many millennials feel that they have not been presented with the same opportunities that previous generations enjoyed. Zillow’s Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends revealed that millennials have had the most difficulty entering the housing market due to rising interest rates and affordability. Millennials have also rented properties longer than previous generations, and 52 percent of buyers said they’ve considered renting for extended periods in order to save for a down payment and put it toward a house they like, according to the report.Generation GapMost millennials do want to own homes eventually, but some find the idea impractical or daunting given their current finances. They’re frustrated by comparing their parents’ prospects as young adults, decades ago, with their own meager ones in the present.MaKenna Woods, a 24-year-old graduate assistant who is pursuing a doctoral degree in social work, often finds herself comparing her financial situation to that of her parents. She is acutely aware of the pressure to exceed her parents’ achievements.“I am constantly comparing myself to my mother and where she was at my age,” Woods said. “At 24, she was already married with a child and one on the way. She and my dad owned a home and were making their way in life. Fast forward to my 24-yearold self, I’m still in graduate school renting a townhouse with a friend of mine. The idea of owning a home seems like a pipe dream—a goal that I will only be able to reach when I’m not inundated with student loans that are accruing interest.”The prevalence of student loans causes a chilling effect on millennials’ homeownership ambitions. With a national student loan debt of more than $1.3 trillion, many millennials are bogged down by payments, with their high interest rates and long-term repayment periods.Not every millennial is affected, but many members of this generation do harbor student debt or live in a home with family members who have accrued student debt. Harvard OIP revealed that more than 42 percent of millennials between the ages of 18 and 29 are currently living with student debt or know someone in their household who has student debt, while 48 percent of millennials say they do not have any student loan debt. Additionally, 57 percent of millennials in that age range believe that student debt is a major problem for young people in the United States.Ryan Williams, a 25-year old business professional living in Dallas, shared the same sentiments as MaKenna Woods, saying that the market is in a different place than it was for previous generations.“My parents were both 22 years old when they purchased their three-bedroom home in Garland, Texas,” Williams said. “Parents believe that kids should have an easier time purchasing a home because of all of the resources and opportunities available to us, but that’s not the case. They fail to factor in inflation and the big housing crisis, which make it harder for those in my age group to attain these goals. Millennials are barely making it due to other financial obligations, so purchasing a home gets put on the back burner.”A Different American DreamThere also seems to be a mismatch between where the jobs are and where real estate is affordable. Simultaneously, though most renters still want to become homeowner, the implicit social value of being a homeowner may not be as strong as it once was.Erin Smith, a 33-year-old business professional living in Los Angeles, sees herself moving back to her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky to purchase a home. Los Angeles homes, which include celebrity-populated suburbs like Beverly Hills and Malibu, hold the title as America’s most valuable housing market and have a combined total value of more than $2.5 trillion—more than double the combined wealth of America’s 50 richest citizens, according to the latest Real Estate Analytics report by Zillow.Smith is currently living in a rental property but is unsure if she wants to purchase a home. “I’m not sure I want to own a house,” Smith said. “The reality is that I may not marry or have children, and the upkeep of a home can be time consuming and expensive. Right now, I don’t see myself owning a home in L.A. My entire family is back in Kentucky. My roots are there, and that’s where I also see my forever home being.”The financial industry’s unapproachability—and dubious reputation—doesn’t help matters.For example, Smith thinks that mortgage lenders can do more to improve their efforts in targeting millennials. She noted that many in her generation feel skeptical of homeownership because of the housing crisis.“I actually don’t think I’m being targeted at all by mortgage lenders,” Smith said. “I, personally, am skeptical of the whole system because of the crisis back in 2007-2008. I remember working for a mortgage lender and learning about all the subprime loans and thought to myself, ‘Sooner or later this is going to get ugly,’ and it did. Because of that, people—especially millennials—are cautious about entering into a mortgage agreement.”Making the ConnectionDespite millennials’ sentiments toward homeownership, this generation is the future of the housing market. It is imperative that they are given the necessary tools and resources in order to succeed—otherwise many of us are out of a job.How can lenders entice millennials? This is the question: In a market that’s itching to attract the next generation of homeowners, what can lenders do to draw millennials to homeownership? How can they be convinced to take that next step toward purchasing?Joining the 21st century posthaste will help. Lenders and servicers are developing programs in the digital space to meet the needs of the average American homeowner, and as the industry becomes more inclusive, millennials are becoming part of the conversation and a consideration in organizations’ bottom lines. The importance of this demographic helps drive the development of web-based and mobile amenities.Nationstar Mortgage, a nonbank servicer located in Dallas, is focusing on “keeping the dream of homeownership alive.” In an effort to fulfill the company’s purpose, Nationstar has reinvented its website in order to broaden its reach and cater to millennials. The website has a feature called Street Smarts, which allows customers to become more in tune with their finances. Customers can understand their FICO score, determine the amount of equity in their home, and use tools to view other home prices in their area.The servicer also introduced a new mobile application that allows millennials to learn about their financial situation while on the go.Kelly Ann Doherty, SVP of Corporate Communications for Nationstar, said she wants to encourage servicers to embrace millennials through education and assistance.“Nationstar’s new website and mobile app speak to what needs to exist more broadly across the servicing industry,” Doherty said. “We need to focus on innovation and engagement. It’s not just about how quickly you can get a customer into a mortgage, but how you can form a lasting partnership with a customer and make them comfortable, educated, and empowered. This, in essence, is why we created these new tools. We want to put the service back in servicing. And for millennials, it’s about giving them the tools they need to feel confident in taking that next step in their homeownership journey and helping them become smarter homeowners.”Doherty, who is in the process of purchasing her first home, is all too familiar with the homeownership dialogue.“As part of the millennial generation, I know for me it was important to wait to buy. I wanted job security, an income to afford the neighborhood that I wanted to live in, and I was married,” she said. “You’re seeing millennials change careers more often. They’re getting married later in life. They’re starting families later in life. As a result, taking that step toward homeownership is happening later in their personal journeys as well. At Nationstar, we know this process is a journey and tools like our new site and app help ensure we can be with our customers every step of the way.”A Personal TouchMillennials are keen on education. Lenders should take the time to understand what millennials want and offer detailed solutions in order to help them attain their goals. Digital tools are important for day-to-day use. However, contrary to popular belief, most millennials prefer to consult with professionals in person, rather than using technology, when making huge purchasing decisions. Buying a car or a home is a big commitment, and face-to-face meetings engender trust on both sides.Dr. Svenja Gudell, Chief Economist at Zillow, said that as much as millennials enjoy technology, face-to-face interaction is best, especially when dealing with their financial future.“Don’t assume millennials don’t appreciate a personal touch,” Dr. Gudell said. “They are just as likely as other generations to say they would like to meet their lender in person, and only one in 10 said they prefer communicating with lenders by text.”Ed Robinson, President of the Cincinnati-based financial servicer Fifth Third Bancorp, said millennials are in need of guidance when going through the homebuying process, just like any other cohort of homeowners.“When we work with millennials, we find they want much of what all homebuyers want: A guide through the house-buying process and a loan product tailored for them,” Robinson said. “This means listening and understanding what their goals are to learn which type of loan works best. Many millennials, who grew up with customization, come to the bank with the notion that there is only one home loan product: the 30-year loan that their parents had. We help them learn that it’s not the default loan anymore. For each purchase, loan originators look at the buyer’s financial situation and goals, and might suggest a 15- or 20-year loan. It might be better for a millennial to get a 20-year loan now to build equity and then move into something bigger in a few years.”It’s All in the IncentivesOver the past few years, lenders and servicers have developed specific mortgage lending programs that cater to a millennial audience. Fifth Third has been offering the FHA loan to its millennial customers. The introduction of the company’s Down Payment Assistance Program has helped lenders better serve millennials by offering 3 percent of the purchase price in down payment assistance for low-income borrowers, or those purchasing in a designated low-income area and financed through Fifth Third.Similarly, JPMorgan Chase’s new program Agency and DreaMaker allow first-time homebuyers to utilize low-down payment products for only 3 percent down, making homeownership more attainable for millennials.Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage has combined a focus on technology with lending programs retooled to appeal to millennials. They recently burst onto the mortgage scene with advertising campaigns aimed at this demographic. By contrast to Dr. Gudell’s advice to preserve the personal touch, Rocket Mortgage is a technologydriven lender that enables millennials to forgo paperwork. Rocket’s seamless digital lending application process can be completed at any time via mobile device or online—an advantage that directly competes with the limited hours provided by banks and traditional lending institutions.Bill Banfield, VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans, is responsible for credit and margin management, product development, and other functions related to capital markets. He said Rocket Mortgage has a strong appeal with first-time homebuyers, and the company has seen an increase in online activity since the implementation of the mortgage program.“While millennials are more likely to use Rocket Mortgage, the product’s user base spans every age group,” Banfield said. “Since we launched Rocket Mortgage a year ago, we’ve seen a strong homebuyer population, with two-thirds of clients who use the product being homebuyers. Of those users, 72 percent are first-time home buyers. This is proof that a completely online and on-demand experience directly appeals to this demographic.”Wells Fargo’s is also getting into the millennial game with its yourFirst Mortgage program, which provides young homebuyers with an educational resource that also aims to make homeownership seem more attainable. In conjunction with Fannie Mae and Self Help, the program allows customers to lower down payments and out-of-pocket costs, work with Home Mortgage Consultants to assist with mortgage decisions, offer additional income and credit guidelines, and expand on their responsible lending history.Some resources are being devised to help mortgage lenders and servicers figure out how best to serve millennials. One such resource is Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker, which brings data about the homebuying millennial straight to mortgage lenders and servicers. The monthly tracking tool is designed to give lenders insight into the millennial generation, so they can better address their needs.Assuming AccountabilityThe housing industry remains uncharted territory for many millennials. Facing financial challenges, this generation of Americans is determined to better understand the market before diving in themselves. But they do intend to do that; according to a recent survey by the Demand Institute, 60 percent of respondents expect to become homeowners in the future. Perhaps the way forward is through personal agency. Millennials who resolve to steer their own fate will surely face more success when it comes to buying a home and managing a mortgage. A Harvard Joint Center for Housing Study on Homebuying Trends found that millennials are forced to succeed in an era of low incomes and high rent prices and are more attentive when it comes to credit scores and homeownership.Britney Miller, a 28-year-old sales representative living in Tucson, Arizona, feels that in order to succeed in today’s housing market, she has to take more responsibility for improving her financial situation.“I have to admit, I wasn’t the best when it came to my finances when I was younger,” Miller said. “I didn’t take anything my parents or financial professionals said seriously, and in turn, I saw my finances dwindle before my eyes. It’s taken years for me to rebuild my savings and improve my credit score, which are two factors that matter when applying for mortgages. As I got older, I began to understand the value of financial literacy, and there are so many resources out there to educate yourself about your personal finances and what it means in the long run.”The essential human desire for shelter and sovereignty, expressed as the American Dream, remains even as normal Americans struggle to attain it. Mortgage lenders and servicers who can tap into that desire, and help their customers fulfill it, will prosper.Millennials are certainly not bereft of the desire for Virginia Woolf’s “room of one’s own.”For example, newlyweds Ines and Bruce Lower have always dreamed of being homeowners. After renting two apartments, they’ve made the decision to step into homeownership and are on the search for their perfect home: a three- or four-bedroom property in either Lake Nona or Winter Park/ Maitland, all located in Central Florida. Ultimately, they want a place where they can raise a family.Since starting their journey toward homeownership, they’ve frequented Zillow, The Wall Street Journal, and local news publications like the Orlando Sentinel to stay abreast of market trends. They’ve also sought advice from friends and family who have gone through the homebuying process before.As it turns out, the Central Florida market has been booming recently, with multiple cities boasting higher median home prices and more closing sales, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. And according to Zillow, the median home value in Winter Park has increased more than 13 percent over the last year and is expected to rise another 4.6 percent this year.Though the Lowers have not yet chosen a mortgage lender, they are currently looking at multiple options and have met with various lenders and financial advisers throughout the past few months.They’re an example of millions of American millennials who aspire to become homeowners, falling right in line with the latest National Association of Realtors’ Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. You won’t be surprised: the main reason millennials purchase a home is simply the desire to own their own place. Building The Millennial Buy-Incenter_img February 20, 2017 899 Views Fifth Third Bancorp Millennial homeownership Nationstar Quicken Loans 2017-02-20 Mirasha Brownlast_img read more

Insolvency Service secures debt forgiveness for 76 applicants

first_imgThe head of the Insolvency Service Giorgos Karotsakis said that a total of 241 debt relief orders have been issued since it went into operation in May 2015, and courts ordered the protection of debtors in 25 cases, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Tuesday.So far, the Insolvency Service received 1,200 applications from debtors requesting the forgiveness of outstanding debt of up €25,000 and 76 applications have been submitted to the court seeking protection, Karotsakis said according to the CNA. He added that while the above figures are not satisfactory, as it does not reflect the dimension of the problem, even as the Insolvency Service is trying to inform the public with manuals and an upgraded webpage.Meanwhile, he continued, the Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, the Insolvency Service, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have set up a task force to evaluate the effectiveness of the body which had even less success in the case of helping cash-strapped companies avoid liquidation, he said. The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) financed the evaluation of the Insolvency Service’s effectiveness and staffing by accounting firm Ernst & Young.Courts received examinership applications from only four companies seeking to have their debt restructured, Karotsakis said according to the CNA. The courts rejected two of the applications and are still reviewing the rest. As a result, the Insolvency Service launched a campaign together with business groups to inform companies.“Although no statistical figures are available, there are indications of a large number of companies facing financial problems, which could become viable saving jobs,” Karotsakis was cited as saying.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppHow to Become Fully Anonymous Online in Less Than 3 Minutes? Better safe than sorryFigLeaf Beta AppUndoYahoo SearchResearch Compact SUVs. New SUVs May Make You Want To Trade Yours In Today – See For Yourself!Yahoo SearchUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more