first_imgNEW DELHI: The Delhi government Thursday approved a proposal under which people will be able to avail free WiFi facility within the next three to four months.Announcing the Cabinet’s decision at a press conference, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said people will also be able to use up to 15GB free data every month. As per the plan, 11,000 hotspots will be set up across the city in the first phase, he said. All the 70 assembly constituencies will have 1,000 hotspots, he said, adding 4,000 hotspots will be set up at bus queue shelters. The Delhi cabinet also approved a proposal to install 1.4 lakh more CCTV cameras in the national capital. The CM said the process of installing 1.4 lakh CCTV cameras across all 70 assembly constituencies in Delhi is already underway. Two thousand cameras are being installed in each constituency, he told reporters.See P3last_img read more

first_imgTORONTO – Cases of seasonal influenza have already begun to show up in Canada, and public health officials say that means it’s time to get that jab in the arm — not only to prevent the flu for yourself but also to help avoid spreading the nasty respiratory bug to others.This year’s flu shot is expected to be much more effective than last season’s, which ended up being a poor match for the predominant circulating strain, known as A-H3N2, said Dr. Michelle Murti of Public Health Ontario.Murti said the 2018-2019 vaccine should be a better match, as the H3N2 component has been changed to reflect what’s predicted to be this season’s dominant type of that strain.The standard flu shot provides protection against H3N2, another A strain called H1N1, and two B strains — Victoria and Yamagata. The vaccine is intended for most adults, as well as children six months of age and older. For needle-adverse kids, parents can instead opt for immunization with FluMist, a nasal product that targets the same four strains.A high-dose shot is available for seniors aged 65-plus, who are often at higher risk for severe complications from influenza, which in some cases can be fatal.“Mostly what we’re concerned about is that H3N2 component. That’s the one that can be quite severe for seniors particularly,” said Murti.“The question is what kind of a season are we going to see this year? We’ve had two years in a row of H3N2 seasons. So I think some of the predictions around what we might be seeing this year is that we might be back to an H1N1 season.”That’s been the experience in Australia, as the Southern Hemisphere comes to the end of its influenza season.“They’ve had a predominantly H1N1 season — very, very mild,” she said, a massive change from the previous year, when Australia recorded more than 250,000 laboratory-confirmed cases and 1,255 deaths due to flu, up from about 90,000 cases and 464 fatalities in 2016, mostly driven by H3N2 infections.“We hope that we might follow them this year,” Murti said of this year’s experience Down Under. “We think that people do have a good amount of immunity against H3N2, which we’ve had for the last two seasons.”The 2017-18 season in Canada was a bit of an anomaly, surprising even some influenza experts. Not only was there a high number of cases of H3N2 starting in the fall, but there was a late winter-early spring surge of influenza B cases.Despite the hope that this country may duplicate Australia’s flu season, Murti said Canadians shouldn’t assume there’s no point in getting vaccinated.“We never know exactly what we’re going to get,” she said. “Was it milder in Australia because people also got vaccinated and they got vaccinated against H1N1?“So I think we can’t be complacent around trying to get the best protection we can. No matter what type of flu you get, it can be quite severe for many people and especially if you’re somebody who’s at risk for complications of influenza.”Complications include sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the heart or brain, which can land an infected person in the hospital and in some cases even result in death.Those most vulnerable to complications include very young children, the elderly, people with underlying heart and respiratory conditions, and those with weakened immune systems.But there are always those who choose not to get vaccinated out of fear.For kids — and even some adults — with an aversion to needles, one pharmacy chain has come up with a way to help take the sting out of the flu shot.Whole Health Pharmacy Partners, a national network of independent pharmacies, has introduced a virtual reality program to provide a distraction while baring one’s arm for the dreaded jab.Participating pharmacies offer a list of 10 YouTube videos that can be accessed via the patient’s cellphone and viewed through virtual reality goggles provided by the stores.“The patient chooses whether they want to be immersed in a room full of puppies or they want to go into a diving experience with dolphins or space exploration or a beach in the Maldives,” said Saleema Bhaidani, director of pharmacy innovation and professional affairs for Whole Health.“The good thing about virtual reality is that you put this headset on them, they’re completely immersed, so they can’t see the needle,” she said.“So if you distract them from looking at (the needle), that can decrease the perception of pain quite dramatically.”Ontario, which began rolling out its publicly funded flu immunization program Oct. 22, is already receiving reports of influenza cases in some regions of the province and has recorded its first few outbreaks in long-term care facilities.In its latest FluWatch report ending the week of Oct. 20, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there was increasing influenza activity across the country, although the case numbers were at what’s called “interseasonal” levels, with H1N1 the most common circulating strain.But as the country moves closer to winter, Canadians can expect the sounds of sneezing and hacking to ratchet up as the annual flu fest gets fully underway, say public health physicians, who would like to see the number of Canadians laid low by the virus dramatically curtailed.And that means getting the flu shot, stressed Murti. “It’s the best protection you can have.”— Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.last_img read more

first_imgWRITTEN BY MATT F – HOT NEW HIP HOP Login/Register With: Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment J. Cole’s club of choice didn’t want to let him in.J. Cole had a rough go at the Toronto party scene for a little while this weekend.In a new video that’s been gaining steam on social media, the 4 Your Eyez Onlyrapper was denied entry into a Toronto nightclub Saturday night, much to the disbelief of the masses in line with him outside. Incredulous over the fact that they wouldn’t let him through, Cole is seen talking to one of the bouncers in a lower voice, after which he was ushered in the front door.Not sure what was said (or not said) by J. Cole, but he was supposedly out on the town with actor Michael B. Jordan when the incident occurred.Check out a video clip from outside that club below. Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Agency staff in Mashad in eastern Iran are today loading five trucks with 200 family tents and 2,000 plastic tarpaulins for delivery to Gorgan, the capital of Golestan province, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told reporters in Geneva. In that province, some 1.2 million persons have been affected by the rains and floods that have caused at estimated $62 million in damages, according to initial assessments. UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski said that, overall, the floods have reportedly killed more than 200 persons and destroyed infrastructure, agriculture and livestock, housing and personal property valued at more than $78 million in northeastern Iran. It was not yet known if any Afghan refugees have been affected, he added, noting that there were 2 million Afghans in Iran, including some 48,000 Afghans in Golestan province. “Five UNHCR staff will be travelling with the shelter material that is leaving tomorrow morning for Gorgon,” Mr. Janowski said. “The staff will assess the needs of any refugees living in the province, and discuss with the authorities regarding any further help UNHCR may be able to provide the affected communities,” he added, noting that the agency has additional stocks available in Mashad. A UN assessment mission is currently in the region, and will shortly report back regarding the extent of the damage caused by the record flooding, reportedly the worst the region has seen in 200 years, the spokesman said. In related news, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today in Geneva that in response to an appeal from the Tehran Government, $60 million had so far been made available for relief purposes in Iran. read more

first_imgAny stockpile within reason (not very large ones) can now be quantified by pointing your iPhone at it and walking around using the Stockpile Reports Lite iPhone app. This app allows anyone to measure piled material themselves, right away, for a small fraction of the typical cost, getting measurement results before the time it would take a measurement crew to even show up.“We’ve been serving the large enterprise construction materials industry around the world since 2012, with our inventory management platform,” says David Boardman, CEO of Stockpile Reports. “Now we’re making our patented measurement technology available to everyone.”After downloading the app (search ‘Stockpiles Lite’ in the app store), users point the iPhone camera at the surface of the pile and walk around its perimeter. The app captures high resolution imagery that is then uploaded to the cloud and processed to generate a report. Independent tests have shown the measurements to be within 1% to 2% of LiDAR (laser measurement) surveys.“We’ve rolled out the app out to the UK, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, and will be expanding it to a worldwide audience throughout the year,” said Tony Jacobson, VP of Product at Stockpile Reports. “The app was designed to work with free-standing stockpiles up to 3,000 m3.”It could be very useful, for example for assessing abandoned dumps (that are not too large) for reprocessing.last_img read more

first_imgUn squelette vieux de 10.000 ans mis au jour dans une grotte sous-marine, découvrez les images Mexique – Des plongeurs viennent de remonter d’une caverne inondée un squelette humain âgé de 10.000 ans. Pour les chercheurs de l’université nationale du Mexique, cet aïeul confirme et renforce l’hypothèse de l’origine asiatique des premiers Américains. Des os des bras et des jambes, des vertèbres, des côtes, le crâne et plusieurs dents, le tout  extrêmement bien conservé : c’est 60% du squelette d’un garçon vieux de cent siècles que les plongeurs viennent de remonter d’une caverne inondée par la mer, dans l’État de Quintana Roo, à l’est du Mexique. Découvert par deux plongeurs spéléologues allemands à huit mètres de profondeur en 2006, les restes étaient depuis étudiés in situ par les anthropologues de l’université nationale autonome du Mexique, qui ont décidé de les faire transférer en surface pour une étude plus approfondie.À lire aussiOstéoporose : traitement, symptômes, causes, définition, de quoi s’agit-il ?La position du corps, une jambe repliée vers la gauche et les bras étendus de part et d’autre du tronc, suggère une sépulture datant du Pléistocène supérieur, époque où le bas niveau de la mer permettait l’accès à la grotte. Ces restes attesteraient de l’origine du sud-est asiatique pour certaines populations américaines, qui semblent être arrivées avant celles connues et regroupées sous le nom de “peuple de la culture Clovis” supposées, elles, avoir migré d’un continent à l’autre via le détroit de Béring, il y a 14.000 ans. Découvrir les images des fouilles dans la grotte sous-marine : https://www.maxisciences.com/squelette/un-squelette-vieux-de-10-000-ans-decouvert-au-mexique-dans-une-grotte-sous-marine_art8908.htmlLe 26 août 2010 à 12:16 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

first_imgThree Seattle-area residents died and another was in critical condition Wednesday night after a freight train struck a shuttle van headed from Longview to Vancouver.The van’s three passengers were railroad employees who had finished their shift and were heading to a motel in Vancouver for the night, said Gus Melonas, spokesman for Burlington Northern Santa Fe.Two BNSF employees and the driver, who worked for the shuttle company, were killed. The third BNSF crew member was taken by helicopter to a regional hospital.Authorities did not release the names of the injured or dead. The collision happened at 4:32 p.m. at a private crossing off Talley Way in south Kelso.There is an X-shaped warning sign at that point, but there is no automatic crossing barrier to keep vehicles off the tracks when a train is approaching, Melonas said.The shuttle van had left the Longview rail yard and was heading east across a set of three tracks when it was struck. The northbound grain train originated in Crookston, Minn.last_img read more

first_imgMIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – The Miami Dolphins said, Thursday, that New Miami Stadium will be ready in time for football season, despite a report saying otherwise.The statement comes after TV and radio sports personality Hank Goldberg reported, Wednesday, that sources with knowledge of the construction believed it was behind schedule.“The reports that the stadium won’t be ready for football until November are incorrect,” the Dolphins said in a statement. “While we will still be doing some ‘Non-football’ critical elements and final touches into the season similar to phase 1 last year, at this point the process, we still expect to be ready to play football September 1st.”Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

first_imgHyderabad: Disappointed over losing out in the run for getting the tag of Institution of Eminence (IoE), senior faculty members and administrators in the State universities in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh State are voicing disagreement with the criteria and selection process. According to the sources in the State Council of Higher Education of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh State, “Osmania University from Telangana State and Andhra University from Andhra Pradesh have got ‘A-plus’ grade in the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) award. This made both the universities qualified to apply for the IoE.” Also Read – JIH organises Eid Milap for sanitary workers Advertise With Us It may be mentioned here that the universities selected for IoE tag will get special funding of Rs 1,000 crore for five years. Or, up to 70 per cent funding of the total cost of the project submitted. Accordingly, the Osmania University had submitted a project proposal to the tune of Rs 1,447 and the Andhra University had submitted a proposal with an estimated cost of about Rs 1,200 crore. However, both the universities have missed the bus. Also Read – GHMC distributes saplings to KV students Advertise With Us Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official from the Osmania Univerity said as many as 104 higher educational institutions comprising Central universities, State universities, IIT and private universities have competed for the IoE ranking. But, “Jadavpur University from West Bengal is the only State university among the 10 universities ranked with IoE. All other institutions are either Central universities or IITs and the like,” he said. Advertise With Us Also, the Central universities, IITs, IIMs NITs and the like are unitary institutions. On the other, State universities are affiliated universities, each, having hundreds of colleges running several courses under their jurisdiction. Besides, there is no dearth of funds for either Central universities or IITs. So, both the Central institutes and the State universities differ on several yardsticks. Clubbing them would always place the majority of the State universities at the receiving end. It was against this backdrop that the Minister of HRD or UGC should give a hand-holding or adopt a certain number of State universities. This will empower the State universities to come up in terms of quality and standards, and to scale up and achieve global standards, which is the objective of the IoE, he said. Clarifying on the issue, Andhra University Vice-Chancellor, Prof P V G D Prasad Reddy said efforts are on to submit a letter with a revised plan of action to the Empowered Expert Committee with a request to reconsider the university’s application for IoE tag.last_img read more

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned the Central government’s rationale in selling its residual stake of 29% in Hindustan Zinc, and restrained it from going ahead with the stake sale.Stakes in Hindustan Zinc (HZL) and Bharat Aluminium Company (Balco), both public sector enterprises, were sold during the earlier NDA regime and the buyer was Vedanta Group. The sale left the Central government with residual stake of 29.54% in HZL and 49% in Balco, reported PTI.The government wants to offload its stake using the open auction route, in which prospective buyers are asked to bid and the highest bidder acquires the shares.The shares of HZL were trading at Rs 138.80 at around 2:10 pm on the BSE on Tuesday, up 0.07% after having touched a high of Rs 141.70 during intraday trading.The company has postponed its third-quarter result announcement to 21 January. It had initially decided to announce the results on 19 January.Vedanta shares were trading at Rs 69.70, up 1.23%. The Sensex was at 24,506.66, showing a gain of 314 points, or 1.30%.The Narendra Modi government had estimated it would collect Rs 69,500 crore by way of disinvestment during the current fiscal. However, it has managed to garner only Rs 12,700 crore till now, divesting its stakes in Rural Electrification, Power Finance Corporation, Dredging Corporation of India and Indian Oil Corporation.During 2014-15, the government’s disinvestment proceeds were Rs 24,439 crore.last_img read more

first_imgKhaleda Zia. File PhotoThe High Court on Monday granted six-month bail to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in a defamation case filed against her in Narail over her remarks about freedom fighters and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, reports UNB.The HC bench of justice Muhammad Abdul Hafiz and justice Kashefa Hussain passed the order after hearing on a petition filed by Khaleda’s counsel.Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Khaleda’s lawyer filed the petition on Thursday.Earlier on 5 August, a Narail court rejected her bail petition.On 21 December, 2015, Khaleda Zia at a discussion at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh raised questions about the actual number of 1971 liberation war martyrs saying, “There’re controversies over how many were martyred in the liberation war. There’re also many books and documents on the controversies.”Reacting to Khaleda’s remarks, Raihan Farooque Imam of Naragati in Narail, filed the case with the Cognisance Court on 24 December, 2015.last_img read more

first_imgAung San Suu Kyi. Photo: AFPMyanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi will open a new round of talks with some of the country’s myriad ethnic groups on Wednesday, looking to revive a stuttering peace process after a tough first year in power that saw the worst fighting with rebels in years.The conference comes amid continued tensions between ethnic armed groups, the military and Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, and it is unlikely to see any new groups join a landmark ceasefire accord negotiated by the previous administration.Ending decades of near-perpetual civil war is Suu Kyi’s stated No. 1 priority – which she sees as key to unlocking the resource-rich country’s potential and guaranteeing basic development for its more than 50 million people.Among issues on the agenda are whether the states that make up Myanmar would be allowed to draft their own constitutions and the status of religion.In a last-minute boost to the conference, local media reported that several groups that have recently clashed with government troops, and whose attendance had been in question, would be joining the negotiations.”It’s unlikely that any new groups would sign the NCA, but they will discuss a set of potential consensus points,” said Yangon-based analyst and former United Nations diplomat Richard Horsey, referring to the National Ceasefire Agreement negotiated by a quasi-civilian transitional government that took office after the end of junta-rule in 2011.”The fact that there will be more of them in the room is a positive development.”Ethnic armed groups have complained that Suu Kyi has taken a top-down, approach to the process, unilaterally dictating the agenda, often ignoring or misunderstanding their grievances and siding too closely with the military.CONFLICTS REKINDLEDWhen Suu Kyi took charge of the peace process last year, she dismantled a peace centre set up by the previous government that was leading talks with the rebels. Some observers say the move undermined the trust built up over the years.”They should do more informal meetings. And the peace brokers between the groups, I think the government should recognise them and expand their role,” said Aung Thu Nyein, the director of training at the Institute for Strategy and Policy, referring to informal peace negotiators.Several conflicts have reignited since Suu Kyi took power, displacing an estimated 160,000 people, according to data from the United Nations.A coalition of four rebel groups comprising one of Myanmar’s most powerful militias, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), staged attacks on security forces in the north of the country in November.In the spring, fighting with Kokang rebels in the hills along the Chinese border sent about 20,000 refugees fleeing to China’s Yunnan province.The conflict in northwestern Rakhine state, where an army crackdown on Rohingya Muslim insurgents forced 75,000 people to flee to Bangladesh amid allegations of widespread atrocities, is separate from the peace process and will not be discussed at the five-day conference in the capital Naypyitaw.”I want to hope for the best. But this is not an easy process,” an ethnic Shan woman told Reuters in Yangon. “No side wants to change their current position and lose or reduce their power and opportunities.”last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Venezuela’s Maduro caught between pragmatism, ideology Maduro picks new scapegoat for Venezuela’s problems US arrests relatives of Venezuela first lady over drug-trafficking allegations Quick Venezuela facts on Election Day CÚCUTA, Colombia — Hundreds of Colombians fled Venezuela Tuesday, opting to leave the country with their belongings rather than be deported empty-handed like more than 1,000 people sent home in an escalating border crisis.Some carted refrigerators or mattresses on their backs as they made the trek from the Venezuelan state of Táchira back to their home country, wading through the waist-deep water of the river that forms the border.“We left at 3:00 am in the clothes we were wearing. We wanted to come back before they deported us,” said Rosana Morena, a 25-year-old Colombian who left with her two children.Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro ordered the border between Táchira and the Colombian department of Norte de Santander closed last week in response to an attack by unidentified assailants on a military patrol, which wounded a civilian and three soldiers on an anti-smuggling operation. Colombians deported from Venezuela who returned for some of their belongings and crossed them through the bordering Tachira river, stand on the banks of the river in Cúcuta, on the Colombian side, on Aug. 25, 2015. Luis Acosta/AFPHe initially ordered the closure for 72 hours, but later extended it indefinitely, accusing the neighboring country of waging “an attack on Venezuela’s economy.”That was a reference to the rampant smuggling of heavily subsidized food and other goods out of Venezuela.Venezuela has long used its oil wealth to fund price controls that keep goods like rice and toilet paper up to 10 times cheaper than in Colombia.But it is also in the grips of crippling shortages, now exacerbated by tumbling oil prices.After closing the border, the Venezuelan government launched mass deportations, unleashing what Colombian Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo decried as “a humanitarian tragedy.”Most of the deportees were sent home for alleged documentation problems, without families or their belongings.Some 600 of them are being housed in shelters, while 400 are staying with relatives, officials said.Colombian police said another 400 to 700 people had streamed across the border to avoid deportation. A Colombian who was deported from Venezuela waits in front of his now former house, marked with a “D” for demolition, in San Antonio de Tachira, Venezuela, where he returned for his belongings to carry them across the bordering Tachira River, on Aug. 25, 2015. Luis Acosta/AFPDozens of those fleeing accused Venezuelan soldiers of robbing their belongings and ordering them to leave their homes within a matter of hours — marking houses with a D for “deported” or an R for “relocated.”Authorities in the Colombian border town of Cúcuta have set up a center to deal with the influx.The two nations’ foreign ministers are scheduled to meet Wednesday in the Colombian resort city of Cartagena to discuss the crisis. Colombian police help Colombian citizens carry their belongings as they cross the Táchira border river from Brisas de Barinitas, Táchira state, Venezuela to Colombia on Aug. 25, 2015. Colombia complained Monday that Venezuela’s mass deportation of its citizens during a crackdown on smuggling has created a “humanitarian tragedy” on part of their border. George Castellanos/AFP Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_img The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)’s conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which will reach its eight-year anniversary in September, was only meant to be temporary.The Obama Administration does not believe that GSE reform is an urgent issue. Last year, key officials such as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Treasury Counselor Antonio Weiss publicly stated that the GSEs will not be recapitalized and released from conservatorship while Obama is president.The financial results for Q1 2016 released by both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae this week, particularly for Freddie Mac, have resulted in even more questions as to whether or not the current GSE model is sustainable—whether the GSEs can continue to be profitable under the conservatorship or whether taxpayers will be forced to fund another bailout. Freddie Mac reported a $354 million loss for Q1, its second quarterly loss in the last three quarters (a $475 million loss was reported for Q3 2015). Fannie Mae was profitable for Q1 at $1.1 billion but it was less than half of the previous quarter’s profit.“From a sustainability standpoint, it could be sustained as a conservative enterprise for quite some time, but I don’t think it’s sustainable because you’re going to eventually continue to have litigation from real shareholders saying, ‘What it the world is going on? It’s in conservatorship, not receivership,’” said Steve Williams, Principal with Cornerstone Advisors. “That’s occurring right now. Even the money moving to Treasury is still in litigation with shareholders. But more importantly, I think it’s not sustainable because having the two GSEs, essentially your mortgage market standard-bearers, in this kind of limbo could ultimately constrain the health of the economy in terms of the housing market and housing finance.”In response to Freddie Mac’s Q1 earnings release, noted Washington Post political columnist George Will wrote a piece titled “Treasury’s Fannie and Freddie Rip-Off” in which he described the “misadventures” of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and characterized the GSEs’ current situation as a “maddeningly complex story” that “illustrates the toll the administrative state takes on the rule of law.”“In September 2008, the government rescued them with $187.5 billion and placed them in conservatorship, which is supposed to be temporary and rehabilitative,” Will wrote. “A conserved entity should be returned to normal business in private ownership.”“A conserved entity should be returned to normal business in private ownership.”George Will, Political ColumnistSeveral industry trade groups have joined the chorus of calls this week for GSE reform. The Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) released the following statement following the news of the Freddie Mac Q1 loss: “The Community Home Lenders Association is renewing its call, made in a February letter to Director Watt, to have FHFA let the GSEs build a capital buffer, in order to avert a Treasury advance.  Today’s news that Freddie Mac is reporting a modest quarterly loss only serves to heighten the importance of FHFA taking this step as soon as possible.”Likewise, Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) stated after Freddie Mac’s Q1 financial results were reported, “This net loss will not trigger a draw from the U.S. Treasury as Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s capital buffer bleeds away. However, it is only a matter of time until one or both of them will need a draw, putting the housing market and taxpayers at risk. ICBA continues to call on Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to end this destructive sweep of the government-sponsored enterprises’ revenues. Further, they should follow the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and require both GSEs to develop and implement a plan to rebuild their capital buffers to prevent another bailout.”Watt first sounded the alarm in February when he expressed concern in a speech at the Bipartisan Policy Center over the GSEs’ lack of a capital buffer. That buffer, which is currently $1.2 billion, is required to be reduced to zero by January 1, 2018. The Watt speech immediately fueled speculation that GSE reform was imminent, but Treasury quickly put out the fire with a public statement that a recap and release was not going to happen. At that time, Treasury stated that, “Director Watt’s remarks underscore the Administration’s consistent position regarding the GSEs’ conservatorship: The best long-term solution is comprehensive housing finance reform.”“It’s pretty sad how long this has taken. It’s just another symptom of a very dysfunctional legislature.”Steve Williams, Principal, Cornerstone AdvisorsNot only is the capital buffer dwindling, but the GSEs are not even keeping their profits. The bailout agreement was amended in August 2012, and since then all GSE profits have been swept into Treasury—a move that has triggered several lawsuits from GSE shareholders. In the first full year after the bailout agreement was amended (and not coincidentally in the minds of GSE investors who have sued over the profit sweep), the GSEs enjoyed a historic year for profitability in 2013—a combined $133 billion, largely from non-recurring tax-related items and legal settlements. By comparison, the GSEs’ combined profitability for 2015 was $17.4 billion.Attempts have been made to reform the GSEs. Senators Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) proposed a bipartisan bill in 2013 to eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and replace them with a private insurance company system with a government backstop. The bill gained little traction, however. The Urban Institute has been publishing a series of essays written by economists and other housing experts about different GSE reform possibilities.Nearly everyone on both sides of the political aisle believe that GSE reform is necessary—it’s just that no one can agree on a sustainable solution.“The problem is that I don’t see a structured idea that is gaining momentum among the financial services industry or among Congressional staffers who inform Congressional leaders,” Williams said. “Usually by this time, there is an idea that is 80 percent bait, and as far as the question whether this will be resolved soon, I don’t see the crystallizing idea yet. Certainly a new president may say to folks around the beltway, ‘It’s time to crystallize. Give me your best option or two in the next six months.’ It’s pretty sad how long this has taken. It’s just another symptom of a very dysfunctional legislature.” in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Bailout Conservatorship Fannie Mae Freddie Mac GSE Reform 2016-05-06 Seth Welborn May 6, 2016 752 Views center_img Delving into Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Earnings Sharelast_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Cardinals Twitter account responded rather appropriately, given Seattle has only played two games since that loss. No. RT @nflnetwork: Are the Seahawks…Unbeatable at home? pic.twitter.com/tG24uzaj8M— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) January 12, 2014 Top Stories Every good team, in any sport, has a signature win — a moment it can hang its hat on. For the Arizona Cardinals, that win came on Dec. 22 in a 17-10 win at the Seattle Seahawks, handing second-year Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson the first home loss of his career. It’s no secret that Seattle is a daunting environment for visiting teams, thanks in large part to crowd noise. So the NFL Network posted a question on its Twitter account this morning, asking if the Seahawks are unbeatable at home. center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

first_imgReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Skyscanner has already seen an increase in interest for flights to Greece. As hotels, restaurants and tourist businesses reduce their prices to attract more visitors, there’s great value to be found all over the country this summer which is helping to compensate for the lower value of the pound against the euro.Many of the fifty-odd islands in Greece depend on domestic tourism, and it’s here that you will find the best bargains. These islands have kept their prices low, yet it’s the same sun that shines on them, and the same sea that hugs their coastlines. Greece travel expert John Malathronas reveals exactly where to head to get the very best value holidays right now.So, if you want to stretch your euros and get a real bargain break in Greece this summer, try one of these excellent value islands.Find cheap flights to Athens or flights to Greece here.1. SerifosThe small island of Serifos, only two hours by catamaran from Piraeus, should be at the top of everyone’s list. Boutique hotels on Mykonos would quote €100 for a double room, ask for only €60 on Serifos. At the same time, the quality of the beaches such as Livádi is dizzying. Nearby Psilí Ammos was crowned European Beach of the Year by the Sunday Times in 2003. Throw in some of the most beautiful and romantic Cycladic architecture and some excellent nightlife, and you have an unbeatable combination. As financial trouble hits Greece, with EU bailouts in the headlines, UK travellers are finding that the country is offering some excellent bargains for holidays right now. 3. MilosPackage tour operators are only now turning their eyes to the volcanic island of Milos, which is connected by air twice daily to Athens. No wonder; Milos boasts no less than seventy-two beaches – some only reachable by small excursion boats – and its western half has been designated a nature reserve. Its occasional lunar landscapes, such as the stunningly white rock shapes of Sarakíniko, have made Milos one of the best kept secrets in the Aegean with many good hotels offering €70 for a double.4. ThassosThis Macedonian jewel was too obvious to miss. Although some package tour operators have already discovered Thassos, the majority of their clients haven’t. With a hotel and flights starting from €300 a week, this verdant island with its combination of fine-sand beaches such as Makríammos and shady pine woods is still an inexpensive destination for families, as much as it is a haven for a variety of bird life.5. KytheraThis legendary home of the goddess Aphrodite has been the inspiration of artists for centuries. Although reached by daily flights from Athens, the island’s location at the tip of the Peloponnese peninsula has ensured that it has remained relatively unspoiled. This is the ultimate family destination: pine and myrtle woods for hiking, golden sand beaches for swimming and atmospheric castles of Venetian origina to explore. Whether you choose to laze about in the organised resort of Kapsáli or the splendid isolation of Chalkós, you’re sure to spend much less than what you budgeted for, especially when dining al fresco costs less than €15 per person..6. SymiTravel fifty minutes by ferry from Rhodes and you have left the hustle and bustle behind you, along with the high prices; everything seems to come at 30 percent discount from its neighbour. There are eight major beaches, some within walking distance of the port and others accessible by sea taxi. The sheer diversity of the coastline is breath taking; fine sand, soft shingle or large pebble beaches – Symi has them all. Whether you choose the popular and shady Aghios Nikolaos, sheltered and safe Aghia Marina, or the snorkeler’s heaven of Nanoú Bay, you will be sure to relax in a quiet cove full of beauty.7. IcariaThis is the island where, according to legend, Icarus crashed after flying too close to the sun. Maybe it is the long ferry rides of old that have put Icaria low on the tourist radar, but that’s all for the better. You are guaranteed affordable luxury in the island’s rented studios and apartments all within pebble-throwing distance of its crystalline waters for only about €40 per person. If you can’t afford to travel to the Indian Ocean, take a dip at Icaria’s Seychelles beach – the waters are as warm, as blue-green and as clear as on that faraway archipelago.Article by John Malathronascenter_img 2. AndrosOnly two hours from Rafina, a port with direct links to the Athens International airport, Andros offers the same low prices as found on Serifos. Andros is an island that has been discovered by many Europeans who have bought summer houses there – but not by mass tourism. The short stretch between the port of Gávrio and the main resort of Batsí is home to four beautiful sandy bays each one more enticing than the other. Ághios Petros is brash and youthful; Chryssí Ámmos is the star attraction; Kyprí is long and shaded; while Ághios Kyprianos is small, sheltered and family friendly. RelatedGreece offers bargains for savvy travellersIt’s official: Greek sun, Greek sea and Greek history – not in crisis.Go Greek: is Greece safe for tourists?Recently troubled by austerity measures, Greece remains peaceful and is crying out for tourists more than ever.10 pound-stretching reasons to visit GreeceGreece is back, and not just because Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie holidayed there this summer!last_img read more

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