Traders look to slew of economic data wonder if Fed set to

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 2, 2013 6:00 am MDT TORONTO – Traders will be looking at a slew of top-drawer economic data this week from two standpoints: how the U.S. economic recovery is coming along and whether conditions warrant an easing of stimulus measures by the U.S. Federal Reserve.Traders will see the latest reading on the health of the U.S. manufacturing and service sectors, the latest regional economic survey from the Fed and the May employment data for both the U.S. and Canada.The TSX and New York indexes lost ground last week as investors weighed the chances that the U.S. central bank will start to let up on its bond purchases. The Toronto market fell 23 points while the Dow industrials gave back 188 points or 1.22 per cent as cracks started to show up in a rally that has gone on practically non-stop since late last year.Under its third round of quantitative easing, or QE3, the Fed currently spends US$85 billion a month on Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities to keep interest rates low and encourage lending.Speculation started growing after Fed chairman Ben Bernanke said May 22 that the Fed may decide to taper its purchase program within its next few policy meetings if the U.S. economy gains steam.So, on the one hand investors are relieved that economic conditions are improving, but not happy that a more positive environment means an end to stimulus measures that have given U.S. equity markets huge gains this year, with the Dow industrials up a good 15 per cent year-to-date. The TSX has risen only about 1.8 per cent.“There usually comes a time in a cycle when good economic news no longer is good news, or necessarily good news, for equities,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.“I personally don’t believe we are at that point yet. But the day will come and . . . it’s important to remember that the only question about the Fed ending QE is when, not if. There will definitely be a day when they end it. It’s just a matter of whether it’s nine weeks from now or nine months or nine years. We are sort of in the nine-month camp.”The week kicks off with the Institute for Supply Management’s read on the manufacturing sector.There have been worries that the index could slip below the 50-mark, signalling a contraction, but traders were encouraged Friday as an important regional reading on manufacturing blew past expectations.The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for May came in at 58.7, higher than the 49.9 reading that had been expected and a big improvement from the 3.5-year low of 49 posted in April. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion and economists have forecast the ISM index to come in at 50.5.The Fed’s regional economic survey, the so-called Beige Book, will be released Wednesday afternoon.“I think what the market will be watching for is any sign that the Fed is on the ground getting more upbeat about the economic outlook,” said Porter, “and they will just be watching for signs from the field that conditions are improving across the board and I suspect that the beige book could send that message.”Expectations are muted for the employment data.The U.S. economy has been unable to crank out a steady addition of at least 200,000 jobs a month and the consensus estimate for May is 165,000.But Porter said the total isn’t telling the whole story, because of government spending cuts. He says the public sector typically adds 10,000 or 20,000 jobs a month but, instead, there have been losses of that magnitude.“The thing that’s been different this cycle from other cycles is the public sector has consistently weighed on the job tally (and) that’s not normal in a cycle,” Porter said.“Private sector hiring has actually been not far away from a typical cycle.”Porter also isn’t looking for a great showing in Canadian job creation last month.“It’s been one and a half steps back for every step forward on the job market so far this year and we haven’t seen any real improvement in the unemployment rate either over the last year.”Porter noted that the resource sector hasn’t been a big job producer recently as some energy companies have cut back on plans to expand.“And of course the one great ace in the hole for the Canadian job market in recent years has been construction and that area is starting to move lower (reflecting a slowing housing sector).”Economists expect the Canadian economy created about 20,000 jobs during May, but BMO is forecasting 10,000 new jobs. Traders look to slew of economic data, wonder if Fed set to cut back on stimulus read more

The 5 at 5 Monday

first_imgEVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, brings you the five stories you need to know before you head out the door.1. #HIGH WATER: Heavy rain has led to extensive flooding in a number of counties with junior minister Brian Hayes saying additional funds will be needed to repair the damage.2. #BINGE DRINKING: The family of a 19-year-old who died taking part in the ‘neknomination’ drinking game has made a public appeal for young people to end the craze now.3. #JOBSWATCH: There were 40 new jobs announced in a pharmaceutical plant in Athlone, another 50 at a call centre in Cork and almost 140 at a new pharmaceutical production site in Connemara, according to RTÉ.4. #STINKY: Minister Joan Burton’s department spent almost €4,000 investigating smells in 2011. The foul odours were sniffed out in offices in Mayo and Cork.5. #MEOW: A man in France has appeared in court accused of throwing a four-month-old kitten into the air and uploading a video of it onto his Facebook page.last_img read more

Analysis 23 seconds that highlight how Ireland were beaten in Brisbane

first_imgAnalysis: 23 seconds that highlight how Ireland were beaten in Brisbane Michael Cheika’s team were better at the breakdown and their playmakers shone. Follow us: By Murray Kinsella Sunday 10 Jun 2018, 7:05 PM 44 Comments Jun 10th 2018, 3:01 PM Share23 Tweet Email1 center_img ‘We’ve just got to get better’: Long-term goals will keep Ireland’s plan in place despite defeat‘We know it’s going to get harder’ – Cheika expects Ireland to improve ODDLY ENOUGH, A disallowed try stands out as much as anything in highlighting how excellent the Wallabies were to go 1-0 up in their series against Ireland.Television match official Ben Skeen called in a tackle off the ball on Iain Henderson by Adam Coleman a few phases earlier and Israel Folau’s score was chalked off, but this 23-second passage neatly sums up several decisive aspects of Saturday’s clash in Brisbane.Just before we join the action, Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan and Sean Cronin have contributed excellent carries for Ireland as they work towards the halfway line after Rob Kearney fields one of 26 Wallabies kicks in play over the course of the game.Suddenly, opportunity beckons wide on the right for Ireland.Click here if you cannot view the clip aboveFirst receiver Johnny Sexton – on for Joey Carbery at out-half – finds Bundee Aki behind the front-door option of Robbie Henshaw, who does a good job of bumping Michael Hooper in the defensive line, as we have highlighted below.Samu Kerevi has also initially been drawn in by Henshaw’s well-timed decoy run and he has to readjust to get back out to Aki.Aki has Jacob Stockdale on his inside shoulder offering support and dummies a pass to the Ulster wing, looking to force a bit of hesitation in Kerevi as he drifts out.However, it’s Aki who is hesitant in his decision-making, opting to throw a second dummy pass inside to Stockdale, rather than looking to the space on his outside.As we can see above, Aki has Rob Kearney and Jordan Larmour on his outside, with Wallabies wing Marika Koroibete [circled] exposed on the edge of the defence.Dane Haylett-Petty is in the backfield and advancing up as he recognises the clear danger, but this is a chance for Ireland to make real gains.It’s the kind of potential one-on-one that Larmour dreams of and, even if Larmour isn’t to take on Haylett-Petty with ball in hand, a kick ahead into space could be very beneficial to Ireland.Aki appears not to identify the space – we don’t know what communication he was getting from outside – and his failure to release the ball sees him punished with a thumping hit from Kerevi.Typically, Sexton [circled towards the top of the shot above] has continued his run upfield ahead of the ball after his pass to Aki and we can see above his exasperation at Aki not finding the space on the outside.Larmour’s reaction [bottom of the shot above] is similar, clearly frustrated at not being given an opportunity to burst down the right.As Joe Schmidt insisted after the game, Ireland did create a number of opportunities in attack but this failure to exploit a chance was somewhat typical.In a rusty performance, it was a combination of handling errors, miscommunications, breakdown inaccuracies and excellent Wallabies scramble defence that prevented Ireland from scoring a try.The Wallabies brought superb physical impact in Brisbane and this firm hit, even as Kerevi is drifting, underlines that.Click here if you cannot view the clip aboveThe fact that Aki opts for a second dummy pass inside means he can’t get a powerful fend up at Kerevi, who slaps it down in any case.The quality of the hit suddenly opens up the possibility of a turnover for the Wallabies, with the breakdown being another area where they excelled on Saturday.It was more often through the efforts of jackaling players – mainly David Pocock -clamping over the ball to slow or steal it that the Aussies made an impact, but this turnover was one example of the damage they did post-tackle.The energetic Kerevi bounces immediately back up to his feet to deal with first arriving Irish player Kearney, driving into him, as highlighted above.Left wing Koroibete fails to make an impact as he simply rolls off the side of Kerevi, but the breakdown pest Pocock backs up his centre superbly, driving in behind Kerevi and then showing his ludicrous ability to balance himself. Short URL 41,079 Views As we can see above, Pocock’s left hand does go to ground very briefly but he almost immediately rights himself, using his exceptional core strength to stay up on his feet and ensure referee Marius van der Westhuizen doesn’t penalise the Wallabies for diving in.Koroibete, determined to help seal the turnover, gets involved again and drives in behind Pocock to ensure Robbie Henshaw’s efforts to get over the ball are in vain.Kearney has one last attempt at rescuing the situation, falling back in over the ball from the side, but he seems aware that he’s in danger of being penalised and moves back away and onto his feet, just as Taniela Tupou arrives in to finalise the turnover.Wallabies scrum-half Will Genia now has access to the ball and he instantly searches out Kurtley Beale.If we rewind to when the ball is still in Aki’s hands, Beale is all the way in the Wallabies’ backfield, off-screen.One of the reasons the Wallabies regularly position Beale in the backfield when they’re defending is because of his quality in counter-attacking situations and we get a fine example of that here.Click here if you cannot view the clip aboveBeale bursts up from the backfield as soon as he realises the Wallabies will win the turnover and it means he can take an excellent long pass from Genia behind a couple of his forwards.As that pass zips out to Beale, we can already see below that out-half Bernard Foley is waving his hand in the air, signalling the opportunity.Foley and Beale combined superbly as the Wallabies’ dual playmakers at 10 and 12 in Brisbane, constantly asking questions of Ireland with their sharp passing and kicking games.As Waratahs team-mates, they are very much on the same wavelength and their identification of the chance here is typical.Ireland’s entire front five is together out on that left edge of the defence.The fact that the three front row players, Furlong [18], Cronin [16] and Cian Healy [17], are bunched together makes it all the more attractive for the Wallabies’ turnover attack, even if that trio is relatively mobile.Players like Beale and Foley are constantly scanning the pitch looking for front-row defenders who they can expose with their footwork and passing.Beale does exactly that here, stepping on the accelerator and dancing across the pitch, getting outside James Ryan, Iain Henderson and Furlong, before straightening up to Cronin’s inside shoulder.Cronin suddenly has to bite in on Beale, who slips the ball to the waiting Foley, the out-half having done very well just to check his run after initially getting quite flat, seemingly expecting an earlier pass from Beale.Healy has dropped back from the frontline defence, covering a possible kick ahead from Beale, but with the Wallabies’ inside centre releasing Foley into space, the Ireland loosehead prop has to commit in on Foley.The Wallabies’ draw-and-pass skills were strong on Saturday and Foley, who was particularly good in this department, delivers the ball to Folau, allowing the fullback to stride clear and celebrate on his way over the tryline.While this score was ruled out due to Coleman’s off-the-ball tackle on Henderson, it sums up so much of why Ireland were beaten by the Wallabies in Brisbane.After a failure from the Irish attack to take advantage of an opportunity they had built towards, the Wallabies delivered an aggressive tackle, beat Ireland at the breakdown, intelligently picked out a weakness in the wide channel, allowed their playmaking pair of Foley and Beale to direct the show, and put Folau into a favourable situation.It’s a formula that Ireland must stop in Melbourne if they are to level this series.- This article was updated at 2.08am on 11 June to signify that Iain Henderson was tackled off the ball by Adam Coleman, rather than James Ryan.The42 is on Instagram! 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Earthquakes shake Southeast Alaska Yukon communities

first_imgEarthquakes and aftershocks registered between the U.S./B.C. border and the Yukon on Monday, May 1. (University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska Earthquake Center)May kicked off to a shaky start in Northern Southeast Alaska. Two major earthquakes woke residents early Monday morning. They were some of the most powerful quakes Haines area residents have felt in years, but caused hardly any damage in Alaska.Listen nowThe first quake struck around 4:30 a.m. According to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Alaska Earthquake Center, it had a magnitude of 6.2.The quake was centered in a remote area between the U.S./British Columbia border and the Yukon. It was about 55 miles from Skagway and 60 miles from Haines.Jim Stanford lives about 26 miles up the Haines Highway.“We were shaken violently out of bed,“ Stanford said. “Our house shook real good. Probably in over 30 years that’s the most violent shake we’ve felt.”Stanford said the quake knocked pictures off the walls and glasses off shelves, but there wasn’t any structural damage to his home.Adrian Revenaugh lives about a mile from the border.“We’ve lived with earthquakes forever,” Revenaugh said. “Thirty-five years’ worth. This was probably the most dramatic in regards to actually being able to feel it.”A little after 6 a.m., Revenaugh felt the second quake, which was a little bigger than the first at an about 6.3 magnitude quake.“I mean you could just really feel the whole ground,” Revenaugh said. “You could feel simultaneous movement in different areas of the house.”According to the Earthquake Center, that one occurred in the same area as the first. The organization’s state seismologist Michael West said while the quakes caught area residents off guard, they are not surprising. He said they occurred around the Denali Fault System, one of the most prominent in the state.Alaska is earthquake country, the most seismically active region in the U.S.No significant damage has been reported in Haines or Skagway. The same goes for Juneau.But that wasn’t the case in Whitehorse, the Yukon’s largest city. According to the CBC, the city experienced power outages and buildings were damaged. CBC radio host Sandi Coleman was interviewing a seismologist live on the air when the second earthquake struck.More than 100 aftershocks were reported throughout the day Monday. Seismologist West said those are expected to continue in the days, maybe even weeks to come. But, he said the intensity will taper off.West said the quakes occurred close to the earth’s surface.“So these earthquakes were essentially right along the Haines Highway corridor,” West said. “They were very shallow in the earth which makes the shaking much stronger.”West said it is fortunate they occurred in a remote spot. The location in the unpopulated area off the Haines Highway helped limit the damage caused by the quakes.“These are the same size earthquakes that killed 250 people in Italy last summer. Killed 150 people in New Zealand just a couple of years ago. So these are very, very vigorous earthquakes,” West said. “We’re fortunate that Whitehorse, Haines, some of our other nearby communities were actually at some distance from this earthquake.”According to responses on the U.S. Geological Survey’s website, residents as far south as Petersburg reported feeling the earthquakes.In the event of a quake, experts recommend getting on the ground, finding cover from falling objects, and holding on. They use the catchphrase ‘drop, cover and hold.’The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said there was no tsunami risk from the earthquakes.The Haines and Klondike Highways remained open Monday, with no damage to the roads reported.last_img read more

Kamal Haasans Indian is not shelved Here comes an official confirmation

first_imgHere is the first look poster of Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2.PR HandoutThere have been lots of rumours about Kamal Haasan’s much-hyped Indian 2 being dropped over budget related issues and Shankar struggling to find new producers. But now it has been denied by an important member from the team.Well, Kajal Aggarwal, who plays the female lead in Indian 2, has stated that the movie has not been dropped and she would be joining the shooting in June.”The film is not shelved. I will start shooting for my part on June 1. The team is determined to make Indian 2 on a grand scale. I’m excited to be a part of the project and am eagerly waiting to work with Kamal sir,” Cinema Expess quotes her as saying.In the last two months, rumours have been doing rounds that Lyca Productions had backed out of the project fearing whether the large-scale investment would be recovered after their ambitious 2.0 failed to live up to the expectations at the box office.Further, speculations were rife that Shankar had met Reliance Entertainment and Sun Pictures after modifying the script which eventually would reduce the estimated budget of the Tamil film.With Kajal Aggarwal giving clarification about its status, the rumours have been put to rest. Kajal Aggarwal.PR HandoutThe upcoming movie is a sequel to 1996 blockbuster Indian. The latest flick, like its first instalment, is planned to be made in multiple languages.It is a vigilante film in which Kamal Haasan plays the role of patriot Senapathi.Coming to the technical team, it has Anirudh Ravichander’s music, Ravi Varman’s cinematography and A Sreekar Prasad’s editing.last_img read more

Clear Backpack Policy To Start At CypressFairbanks ISD

first_img Share www.cfisd.netA new “clear backpack” policy will begin at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD schools, this fall.According to the district website, district middle school and high school students will be required to have the clear backpacks.Elementary school students will be allowed to continue using traditional backpacks.The district says band and athletic bags are still allowed, but must be stored upon arrival at school.In a message to parents, Cy-Fair ISD Superintendent Mark Henry announced Thursday the move comes as a recommendation from the district safety and security committee.“In an effort to improve the safety measures currently in place, one of the decisions that came out of our meetings is to require all high school and middle school students to use clear backpacks beginning in the fall. Band and athletic bags, as well as drill and cheer team bags, will still be permitted,” said Henry.last_img read more

Now world of fitness at your fingertips

first_imgHave you been slogging to lose kilos but to no avail and are looking for a health expert? Welcome to the world of fitness apps, wristbands and online services that are helping people achieve health goals straight from the comfort of their homes.It is estimated that “consumers spent more than $200 billion globally in 2014 on health and fitness services”, according to Woody Scal, chief revenue officer of Fitbit Inc, the global leader in the health and fitness market. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’And the trend is fast catching up with fitness enthusiasts in India. “People aspire to improve their health and fitness. At the same time, high rates of health conditions such as obesity, diabetes and cancer are driving individuals to look for innovative ways to gain a fitter body in India,” Scal told this reporter in an email.But with more and more gyms and fitness centres being opened in cities across the country, do we really need fitness on the go? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“Unfortunately, not even 20 per cent of these gyms have certified trainers,” said Sri Lakshmi, a strength and conditioning coach at HealthifyMe, an online website and mobile app that gives access to personal trainers and customised plans.With Fitbit and Jawbone coming to India, most of the global players in fitness wearables are making a beeline to enter the wearable health segment. “A recent Accenture’s Digital Consumer Tech Survey found that Indian consumers were most interested in buying fitness monitors (80 per cent) and smartwatches (76 per cent); so we believe this will be a strong market,” noted Scal on India being a viable market in this category. “Though the Indian market is at a nascent stage as compared to the west, the entry of several brands blended with the advent of wearable technology is making this vertical very promising,” noted Anupam Mathur, head (sales and marketing), Timex Group India. The integration of digital technology with health devices have led to many Indian fitness apps and online startups cropping up. SmartRX, a startup which has established its presence in the US, facilitates remote monitoring and offers real-time audio video interaction with health specialists.“This convergence of digital and healthcare has resulted in wearables that track parameters such as heart rate and movement through built-in sensors that provide insights into the wearer’s health,” emphasised Mathur. Depending on the device, one can track movements, workouts, distance, speeds, calories burned, heart rate, blood pressure, skin temperature and the like.“The winning formula will be when the smartphone starts acting as your personal coach, your personal nutritionist and your personal doctor,” Lakshmi added.last_img read more

Dog missing after car crashDog missing after car crash

first_imgThey had 2 dogs with them. The one was found on the other side of the highway shortly after the accident, but Riley bolted and disappeared. Riley had a collar and a lead on at the time, and has a microchip.He is about 7 years old. If anybody finds Riley, please could they contact me by email on findriley2016@yahoo.comA reward is being offered.DID YOU KNOW?Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.If you are reading this on your cellphone and there are telephone numbers provided in the text, you can call these simply by clicking on them.To receive news links via WhatsApp.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there! Riley is a black, medium-sized crossbreed with a white patch on his chest. He went missing at around 3-4pm on Thursday, 27 October 2016, on the N3 highway.His owners were heading north from Pietermaritzburg towards the Bergville toll plaza in a silver-grey Suzuki Jimny when they were involved in a single vehicle motor accident about 10km before the Bergville Plaza.It is an open field area, but there are power lines very near to the site of the accident and a marker as attached (N3-6 12,2N)center_img WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

21m over 12 resorts Palladium announces major refresh in Mexico Caribbean

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, February 23, 2017 Posted by Travelweek Group IBIZA — Palladium Hotels & Resorts has announced a US$21 million investment to upgrade its Grand Palladium and The Royal Suites by Palladium properties in the D.R., Jamaica and Mexico.Of that $21 million, $5 million will go toward improving food and beverage offerings, which will include upgrades in steak quality, the presentation of food at buffets, higher-quality liquors at all bars and better minibar snacks.For staffing, the company is increasing the number of staff by 13% over 2016 for a total of 8,243 staff members at all 12 properties in the Caribbean and Mexico. Bernard Wyss, director of innovation and product development, will begin work this month to oversee services that will be implemented at each property.Furthermore, technology on property will be vastly improved. This means an upgrade of the Palladium Hotels & Resorts app, which allows guests to message the concierge directly, increasing the bandwidth of the Wi-Fi, installing better surround-sound systems at the pools, and updating the animation capabilities of performances. Also, additional trolleys to take guests from one property o another will be added to reduce wait times, while new pool bikes for exercising in the pool will also be installed.More news: Onex paying big to get WestJet and that will send airfares soaring, says CWTThe company also announced that it will convert the Grand Palladium Riviera Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya, Mexico into an extension of The Royal Suites Yucatán by Palladium to expand the resort’s boutique adult-exclusive offerings. This transformation will be completed in various phases starting June 1, 2017 and will carry through the fall.The newly renovated property will feature a total of 454 guestrooms, 108 of which will have swim-up pools, a new beach experience with an adults-only Beach club, four à la carte themed restaurants and a new infinity pool. Guests staying at other Palladium resorts at the Riviera Maya complex will not be affected by construction.Additional upgrades will be made at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, set to be completed by end of November 2017. Rodizio, the Brazilian steakhouse, will replace the current Hemingway Bar at Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort, while additional teppanyaki tables will be installed at Sumptuori Restaurant. A new area will also be added that will be dedicated to the popular ‘nikkei’ concept, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines.More news: Consolidation in the cruise industry as PONANT set to acquire Paul Gauguin CruisesPlus, at Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & Spa, the lobby and select guestrooms will be renovated with refreshed Caribbean designs, and a new beach club will be added to the adults-only area of The Royal suites Turquesa. $21m over 12 resorts: Palladium announces major refresh in Mexico & Caribbean Tags: Caribbean, Mexico, Palladium Hotels & Resortslast_img read more

Charged GTAs Libia Guerra Paez

first_img MISSISSAUGA — TICO has charged Libia Guerra Paez of the Greater Toronto Area with two separate counts contrary to the Travel Industry Act, 2002.Paez, the operator of Representaciones Neward Inc., is charged with one count of operating as a travel agent without being registered, and one count of failing to take reasonable care to prevent Representaciones Neward Inc. from committing the offence of selling travel under paragraph 31(2) of the Act.Separately, TICO has also charged Representaciones Neward Inc. with one count of selling travel services without being registered contrary to section 4(1)(a) of the Act.Paez will appear in court on April 4, 2019. Share Posted by Charged: GTA’s Libia Guerra Paez Tags: TICOcenter_img Wednesday, March 6, 2019 Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Highspeed rail encouraging Chinese to Hong Kong

first_imgConvenient high-speed connections between Hong Kong and several Chinese border cities assist the facilitation and drive the increase of mainland tourists. Transport is becoming more efficient and accessible for Chinese travellers to Hong Kong, the Hindu Business Line reported. Convenient transport links and shopping boost mainland arrivals. With an absence of sales taxes and strict regulations enforcing the sale of genuine brand-name products, Hong Kong has also become a popular shopping destination for many Chinese tourists. Increasingly fast rail connections between Hong Kong and Shenzhen run every 10 minutes, with similar connections from other major Chinese cities, such as Guangzhou.center_img Hong Kong Tourist Board spokesperson Alice Chu said the hi-speed train link with China will be operational by 2016, with travel time between Hong Kong and Shanghai significantly reduced. Ms Chu said some Chinese travellers make the journey to Hong Kong for their weekly groceries. Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

Credit Loosening Up

first_img Share Credit Loosening Up Mortgage Credit Availability 2017-07-14 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newscenter_img July 14, 2017 760 Views A report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, which analyzes information based on several factors related to borrower eligibility from Ellie Mae’s AllRegs Market Clarity tool, revealed that mortgage credit loosened slightly in June.The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012, when credit was especially tight. The Conforming and Jumbo indices were benchmarked as well. Meanwhile, the Conventional and Government indices have adjusted base levels to better represent where those indexes might have fallen in March 2012, relative to the benchmark.Compared to tightening mortgage credit in May, the overall credit availability showed improvement in June with an increase of 0.1 percent to reach 178.5, as three of the four components in the MCAI gained ground.A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while increases in the index are indicative of loosening credit, according to the report.“Credit availability slipped in May, primarily driven by investors consolidating their offerings for government insured loans,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s VP of Research and Economics. “These decreases were partially offset by the continued expansion of jumbo loan programs. The jumbo MCAI has increased in 13 of the last 15 months.”However, what implemented decreases in May did the opposite for June. The report indicated that the increases in June are due to, “an expansion of jumbo loan programs and additional availability of affordable conforming loan programs,” Fisher said.Of the four indices, the Conforming and Conventional components of the MCAI each increased by 0.9 percent and the Jumbo MCAI rose 0.8 percent. However, these gains were offset by the Government index, which showed a decrease of 0.4 percent.The methodology behind the data examines different factors that have 
been shown to influence a borrower’s ability or willingness to repay a loan. The main dimensions the Mortgage Credit Availability Index takes into consideration are credit scores, loan types, and loan-to-value ratio.last_img read more

Rep Cole commends MDOT involvement to reduce vehicle crashes

first_img State Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona today commended the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for taking part in the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) campaign to improve traffic safety and reduce crashes on Michigan highways.“Each year, more than 35,000 people lose their lives on U.S highways,” said Rep. Cole. “In 2016, there were 1,064 deaths on Michigan roadways. I will continue to work with my colleagues and MDOT to protect our Michigan drivers.”Cole, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, continues to work hard to improve safety on Michigan roadways. The committee had many accomplishments for the first six months of the current 2017-18 session.House Bills passed from the committee include:HB 4054, sponsored by state Rep. Holly Hughes, of Montague, to improve public safety by allowing school districts to install safety lighting on school buses. It is currently before the Senate Transportation Committee.HB 4466, sponsored by state Rep. Martin Howrylak, of Troy, to reduce distracted driving crashes by requiring drivers to operate mobile devices in a hands-free mode while driving.HB 4160, sponsored by state Rep. Shane Hernandez, of Port Huron, allows an individual to solicit contributions on behalf of a charitable or civic organization during daylights hours on a public street or roadway, under certain conditions. The individual collecting donations must be 18 years old and wear highly visible safety apparel. It is now Public Act 112 of 2017.HB 4306 sponsored by state Rep. Jim Tedder, of Clarkston, increases fees associated with obtaining and renewing motorcycle endorsements and motorcycle registration fees. Revenue from the endorsement fees will be used to increase motorcycle awareness to Michigan automobile drivers. It is now Public Act 115 of 2017.Many states have adopted the TZD campaign that brings together stakeholders and transportation partners to improve safety through education, engineering, enforcement and emergency responses.Rep. Cole’s office can be reached by calling (517) 373-0829 or emailing Categories: Cole News ###center_img 04Aug Rep. Cole commends MDOT involvement to reduce vehicle crasheslast_img read more

Rep Kahle welcomes student Rep for a Day

first_img Summer reading contest winner visits CapitolPHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Bronna Kahle today welcomed Isabelle Brooks, of Adrian, to the state Capitol. Isabelle was selected as the winner of Rep. Kahle’s summer reading contest and was ‘Rep. for a Day.’ Isabelle, a student at Lincoln Elementary School in Hudson, read over 130 books during the summer months. Rep. Kahle worked with several local libraries and organizations over the summer to provide a reading contest designed to encourage students to read throughout their summer break. 05Oct Rep. Kahle welcomes student ‘Rep for a Day’ Categories: Kahle News,Kahle Photoslast_img read more

COLUMN State budget will strengthen education infrastructure and workforce training

first_img25Jun COLUMN: State budget will strengthen education, infrastructure and workforce training Categories: Griffin News,News This year’s state budget will quickly bear fruit, but just as important is the effect the 2018-19 budget is going to have for years to come. Investments in education, workforce training, and infrastructure will keep Michigan on the path to success.As a teacher, my focus is on getting money directly to our students and into classrooms. More than a quarter of the overall budget proposal goes to public K-12 schools with $14.8 billion establishing a new record for education investment. That adds up to $120 to $240 more per student and is the largest single-year per-student increase in 15 years.While Michigan has seen significant economic recovery from 10 years ago, we must continue to sustain and strengthen our workforce. Our state is already seeing increased demand for skilled and specialized jobs with higher pay. That’s why we continue to invest in skilled trades training for our students and adults. Bright futures begin with a quality education and the training needed to get better jobs.Other investments are bringing more orange construction barrels to our roads. That’s what happens when we’re scheduled to spend $4 billion on road upgrades and repairs over the budget year. We’re spending this money wisely and effectively, not just throwing money at the problem, but making certain that these investments lead to long-lasting improvements. That said, our roads did not crumble overnight and we must remain committed to making these investments. This will continue to be a priority for me.Obviously, our state’s budget goes beyond these important areas. We’ve also invested in better family services such as mental health and public safety while looking for more efficient and effective ways to serve you. It’s through these investments that we are helping to make Michigan an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.Beth Griffin is the state representative for represents the 66th District, which includes all of Van Buren County, and Alamo Township, Cooper Township and the city of Parchment in Kalamazoo County.#####last_img read more

Reilly legislation protecting students free speech rights receives House panel hearing

first_img Categories: Reilly News 18Apr Reilly legislation protecting students’ free speech rights receives House panel hearing Lawmaker authors plan holding MI’s public universities accountableState Rep. John Reilly today testified before the House Oversight Committee in support of his plan establishing – and some cases, restoring – free speech protections on Michigan’s public college campuses.The legislation is responding to numerous violations of students’ First Amendment rights across several of the state’s public colleges and universities.“The state’s public colleges and universities have the responsibility to uphold the constitutional rights of students and the community on campus grounds,” said Reilly, of Oakland Township. “Right now, students at multiple universities live under speech policies that infringe on their rights to free speech and assembly. Due to some schools’ ongoing unwillingness to ensure their rights, the Legislature must do so.”Reilly pointed to the 1989 federal lawsuit Doe v University of Michigan, where the University of Michigan lost the suit over its policy on discrimination and discriminatory harassment to John Doe, a graduate student concerned that his publishing his research into differences among genders would violate the policy. The court ruled that the university prohibiting language said to be “stigmatizing or victimizing’ of various protected groups was overly broad and “swept within its scope a significant of [speech] which is unquestionably protected speech under the First Amendment. Yet today, the University of Michigan is entangled in another federal lawsuit related to its Bias Response Team, which collects reports of “bias” on campus. Speech First, an organization of students, citizens and alumni advocating for free speech on college campuses is challenging the constitutionality of the university’s panel.House Bill 4435 prohibits public colleges from quarantining free speech to designated “free speech zones.” Reilly noted that in 2018, Kellogg Community College settled for an undisclosed amount after students were arrested, put in handcuffs and jailed for seven hours for distributing copies of the United States Constitution on campus. It was official university policy that infringed on students’ rights to free speech.“All public colleges—which are supposed to be ‘marketplaces of ideas’—have the duty to protect and promote the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech,” Reilly said. “Not to mention that it’s the taxpayers footing the bill for avoidable legal battles. The Legislature not only has the authority but the duty to protect free speech rights of its citizens and shield its taxpayers from unnecessary financial liability arising from lawsuits to resolve unconstitutional campus policies.”Reilly’s second measure, House Bill 4436, requires speech policies of Michigan’s public universities to be consistent with the First Amendment as determined by the courts.“Universities having failed to comply with the courts’ guidance, the duty falls upon the Legislature to establish a framework for speech policies that protect the civil liberties of students and student organizations at public colleges receiving taxpayer money,” Reilly said. “Our state’s universities are supposed to be incubators of diverse viewpoints and role models of public engagement. Anything short of that is shameful.”Typically, Michigan’s taxpayer-funded universities are able to operate autonomously of the Legislature under an operational autonomy agreement. However this agreement has certain limits. A Michigan 1999 Supreme Court ruling in Federated Publications v MSU Bd of Trustees found that the Legislature can exercise its police power over public universities in order to protect the public welfare.Following the hearing, Reilly disputed the testimony of Kellogg Community College, whose officials repeatedly stated that the individuals arrested on campus for distributing literature were not students.Reilly noted the sworn testimony of Alliance Defending Freedom in its case against the college, which noted that one of the individuals was an enrolled student before and after her arrest, was merely taking a semester off, and was treated as a student when they arrested her for violating the Code of Conduct for Students which obviously applies to students. Another party to the incident was an enrolled student taking courses at the time.“For KCC officials to claim that ‘none of the individuals arrested and put in handcuffs were students’ was a transparent attempt to mislead the Oversight Committee,” Reilly stated in a follow-up letter to committee colleagues submitted for the record. “They treated Mrs. Gregoire as a student and admitted Mr. Withers was one.”Both measures remain in the House Oversight Committee for further consideration.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. John Reilly testifies before the House Oversight Committee.last_img read more

Committee Approves Rep VanSingels Kindergarten Dental Screening Bill

first_img The Michigan House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee today approved a plan introduced by state Rep. Scott VanSingel to help improve the dental health of children entering kindergarten.Michigan schools already require vision and hearing screenings for new kindergarteners. VanSingel’s plan would add dental screenings to this list.“Oral hygiene is important to our overall health – especially for children,” said VanSingel, of Grant. “Oral health problems are nearly 100 percent preventable. Adding dental health screenings at an early age will help identify early signs of dental disease, and establish healthy habits early in life.”More than one in four children have decay in baby teeth before entering kindergarten, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The plan provides a clear and easy opt-out process for parents not interested in the screening.The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will work with local public health agencies to help manage the screenings.House Bill 4223 has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.#### 22May Committee Approves Rep. VanSingel’s Kindergarten Dental Screening Bill Categories: VanSingel Newslast_img read more

Illinois Impasse Continues—and the Collateral Damage Grows

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesNagel Photography / Shutterstock.comAugust 14, 2015; KTVI-TV (Fox 2, St. Louis, MO) and Reboot IllinoisThe human cost of the inability of the state of Illinois to approve a budget grows higher as the impasse’s length grows. The deadline for having a budget was more than seven weeks ago, and there are few signs that the standoff, which pits a legislature controlled by Democrats against Republican governor Bruce Rauner, is any closer to ending. What is certain is that more and more people who rely on services whose funding is in limbo are paying a high price for governmental gridlock.With a new college year ready to begin, Reboot Illinois recently pointed out how the state’s budget impasse is starting to threaten many college students:For around 136,000 of the state’s most financially vulnerable students, the excitement of the start of a new school year comes with real uncertainty. Students who depend on the help of a Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant to attend college are caught up in the gears of a protracted state budget stalemate. No appropriation has been made to fund the MAP program. And that leaves students and families evaluating how they’ll pay for college and campuses across the state debating how best to help those students—with the clock ticking…Without MAP, the (other) loans, grants, work and institutional aid resources available to needy students would be severely diminished and potentially freeze out a group of students.At the other end of the age spectrum, senior adult services are also feeling the impact of uncertain state funding. WQAD in Illinois’ Quad Cities region reported, “The Illinois budget stalemate could force the Western Illinois Agency on Aging to close in September, at least temporarily, without legislation to restore funding. There’s simply no money to pay for the staff of three and its support programs in Aledo.”According to a Fox News report, “The lack of an Illinois state budget is forcing the Monroe Randolph Transit District to shut its doors indefinitely. The not-for-profit agency serves a predominantly rural population, ranging from schoolchildren who need transportation from day care to school to seniors who must get to medical appointments. […] The agency’s executive director, Jesica Gentry, worked to keep the service running as long as possible. She expected $147,000 in federal dollars and $650,000 in state funds to keep the service operating from July 1st through June of 2016. ‘We are the only provider of public transportation in Monroe and Randolph counties and this is a vital service to the people in our area and we want to be open,’ she said Thursday. On Friday, she and 19 other employees will be laid off.”Even when both sides seem to agree, they don’t agree and act. Progress Illinois described how the continued bickering affected a bill all sides agreed was necessary:Legislation to authorize the spending of $5 billion in federal funds cleared the Senate last week with bipartisan support, but it ran into trouble in the House. Republicans backed away from the measure Tuesday after House Speaker Michael Madigan added $1.5 billion in additional funding, including $585 million in state money, to the legislation. Rauner described the state funds in the bill as a “poison pill.”And those served by the programs that are supposed to be the beneficiaries of these federal funds still won’t receive their monies!The pain of the government’s inaction may be growing across the state, but it does not seem to have changed anyone’s position. Everyone seems to be waiting for the opposite side to blink. And while they wait, buses and vans stop rolling, meals stop being served, and students worry about their futures.—Marty LevineShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Public Education in Koch Networks Sights

first_imgShare124Tweet16Share3Email143 SharesBy Robert Maguire [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia CommonsJanuary 30, 2018; Washington PostAt a recently concluded gathering of wealthy, politically focused, conservative men and women, public education took a lead role in a strategy for long-term societal change. The annual gathering convened by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch focuses on galvanizing financial support for a political action agenda for upcoming election cycles. Beyond specific policy objectives, there is a desire to profoundly change our national ethos to more closely reflect their vision. This year, one of the platform’s key planks concerned the very nature of how we educate our children.Beyond educating individual students, public schools have for more than a century served a critical role of forging democratic citizens. Political scientist Benjamin Barber described public schools as “not merely schools for the public, but schools of publicness: institutions where we learn what it means to be a public and start down the road toward common national and civic identity.”According to the Washington Post, whose reporters were invited to cover portions of the three-day Koch Network gathering, “Charles Koch and his like-minded friends on the right are increasingly focused on melding the minds of the next generation by making massive, targeted investments in both K-12 and higher education. Changing the education system as we know it was a central focus of a three-day donor seminar.”“We’ve made more progress in the last five years than I had in the last 50,” Charles Koch told donors during a cocktail reception. “The capabilities we have now can take us to a whole new level. We want to increase the effectiveness of the network by an order of magnitude. If we do that, we can change the trajectory of the country.”The Koch Network’s new strategic focus appears to move beyond debates over school choice, common core curriculums, and testing; instead, they’re working toward longer-term changes in societal thinking. The Network’s vision is one of highly tailored individualized learning, which leaves little space for education to support core democratic values. As the Post explains:Leaders of the network dreamed of disrupting the status quo, customizing learning and breaking the teacher unions. One initial priority is expanding educational saving accounts and developing technologies that would let parents pick and choose private classes or tutors for their kids the same way people shop on Amazon. They envision making it easy for families to join to start their own “micro-schools” as a new alternative to the public system.With an estimated $400 million in its war chest for 2018, the Koch Network is poised to push its views at the state and local level. According to the Post, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, the 36-state grassroots network has more members in Wisconsin than the state’s teachers’ union.Those who believe public education is a shared responsibility entrusted to local governments will surely want to resist this. Replacing “public” with “individual” is a radical change that could further divide our nation along racial and economic lines as well as serve to undermine notions of equal opportunity. The Koch Network has passion and money to fuel its work. How public school and nonprofit civic advocates respond to these assaults could greatly affect our future.—Martin LevineShare124Tweet16Share3Email143 Shareslast_img read more

Swedish broadcaster TV4 has launched an iPad app f

first_imgSwedish broadcaster TV4 has launched an iPad app for its TV4 Play on-demand service, following earlier launches on the web, on Android devices including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and on the LG smart TVs.TV4 Play is based on a ‘freemium’ model, with viewers able to access catch-up content from the group’s linear channel free for seven days after its initial broadcast, with the option to subscribe to TV4 Play Premium, providing access to more content, exclusive previews and archive content.last_img read more