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Expect Delays

first_img March 28, 2016 672 Views Disjointed Risk Measurement Stalls Finance Reform Before It Starts. Is It Time the Industry Found an Alternate Route?By Patrick SinksThough many experts have said housing finance reform is unlikely this year, the time is now to explore the fundamentals of how that reform could happen. Uniform and transparent measures of credit risks will play a key role—whether it’s in 2016, 2017, or beyond.The State of Risk MeasurementMost people involved in the mortgage industry don’t think about weights and measures, but ensuring these uniform standards is essential for commerce, and it’s a core function of government. Although the government has established weights and measures in some areas of housing finance—for example, APR—it unfortunately has not done so in the important area of credit risk. The term “credit risk” means different things to different policymakers, and it differs in the context of housing finance programs, too. This continuing lack of a uniform and clearly articulated definition of credit risk has produced unintended consequences, and it stalls prospects for housing finance reform.A little background: The mortgage insurance (MI) industry provides credit default protection on residential mortgages and intersects with federal housing policy in two important ways. The first point of intersection is with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), and occurs because the majority of insurance written by the MI industry since 2008 has been for loans purchased by the GSEs. MI is commonly used to satisfy the credit enhancement requirement for low down-payment (generally less than 20 percent) mortgages found in the GSEs’ corporate charters. In 2008, the federal government took control of the GSEs through a conservatorship process. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is now the conservator of the GSEs and has the authority to control and direct their operations. Although bank portfolio lending has revived a bit since 2008, private label securitization of mortgages remains stagnant. Because of this, GSE-purchased mortgages—or conventional conforming mortgages—constitute the main outlet for fixed-rate mortgage originations by lenders and the main source of insurance business for the MI industry. As such, any action taken by the GSEs or the FHFA—or any housing finance policy that affects the GSEs, for that matter—will have notable influence on the MI industry.The second point of intersection is with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The FHA has coexisted with the MI industry since the mid-1950s, and they overlap in significant respects. The FHA and the MI industry each seek to serve the entire prime mortgage market where mortgage insurance is needed, including the sub-markets related to first-time homebuyers and low down-payment borrowers. Unlike homeowners insurance and auto insurance, where government facilities generally provide insurance only for those unable to obtain private insurance, the government facility provided by the FHA insures loans the private MI industry is able to and seeks to insure.The Great Recession complicated matters even further. When the GSEs were put into conservatorship, the implicit guarantee supporting the GSEs was made explicit, with the U.S. Treasury as the backstop credit guarantor. At the same time, the FHA enjoys permanent and indefinite authority to draw on the U.S. Treasury for funds if needed—and it did in 2013. So, despite a market distinction between conventional conforming mortgages and government mortgages, the GSEs and the FHA actually share the same backstop credit guarantor—the U.S. Treasury itself.Additionally, the dire circumstances of the housing crisis in 2008 and 2009 forced dramatic actions, notwithstanding the Treasury guarantee. The GSEs increased their guarantee fees and loan-level price adjustments (LLPAs), imposed adverse market delivery charges, and generally tightened credit underwriting standards to stabilize operations. The MI industry also adjusted pricing and terms for similar reasons. As a result, capacity for new conventional conforming mortgages was dramatically curtailed, and pricing for such mortgages was materially increased. Because the FHA did not immediately adjust pricing or terms, government mortgages became more available and cheaper for many borrowers than conventional conforming mortgages—at least based on monthly payments. The resulting consequence of all these changes was a dramatic increase in the FHA’s volume and subsequent U.S. Treasury support.The Current ProblemIn 2009 and 2010, the US Treasury and HUD studied the housing finance market and issued their white paper titled “Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market” in February 2011. The paper largely promoted the use of private markets and capital—and that was understandable. As an example, the paper recommended returning the FHA to its traditional role as a targeted supporter of affordable mortgages and simultaneously called for the private sector to absorb more risk in front of the taxpayer.Unfortunately, the path to achieving those goals was not clearly defined, and unsurprisingly obstacles have arisen. The obstacles are not small and must be resolved before the publication’s aims can be met.In the case of the FHA, the biggest issue lies in the government’s failure to establish a uniform and transparent measure of credit risk. Although the credit risk of government mortgages and conventional conforming mortgages is ultimately backstopped by the same entity, private capital from the MI industry reduces the exposure to the U.S. Treasury on conventional loans. These loans should, therefore, be favored over government mortgages whenever possible.Regardless of the logic in favoring conventional mortgages, the credit risk associated with government mortgages is measured differently and less stringently than the credit risk associated with conventional ones, and this means more business moves toward the FHA and away from the GSEs and private capital.Hiccups and HurdlesRecall the overlap in service areas between the MI industry and the FHA. It should have been a relatively easy task for the MI industry to progressively return to its historical market share within the prime market while the FHA contracts—which actually occurred through the latter half of 2014.However, private expansion and public contraction—both goals outlined in the white paper—stalled and then reversed in 2015. Two events occurred to cause the reversal of this path. In January 2015, the FHA announced a 50-basis-point reduction in its annual mortgage insurance premium, and in April 2015, the GSEs and FHFA finalized the updated Private Mortgage Insurance Eligibility Requirements (PMIERs). These two events sent inconsistent messages regarding the credit risk of low down-payment mortgages for the prime market.The FHA’s premium rate reduction increased business volumes for the FHA, resulting in about a 5 percentage point shift in insured market share from the private MI industry to the FHA. Left unexplored and unexplained was the analytic rationale for the reduction in the FHA’s premium rates. Beyond noting that the FHA annual premium rates were at a historical high and that lower premiums would expand credit access, no further detail was given.In the meantime, the PMIERs approached the credit risk of low down-payment mortgages for the prime market in a dramatically different way. The PMIERs established risk-based asset requirements for MI companies that are based on borrower, loan, and collateral attributes of the insured mortgages, and that generate higher asset requirements for “riskier” mortgages. MI premiums for certain segments have increased as a result, but the higher risk-based LLPAs that were imposed by the GSEs in 2009 have remained the same.From an overall housing finance system perspective, the result was simple: The same person borrowing the same amount of money for the same term to purchase the same house would receive different prices from the two facilities, despite the fact that they are backed by the same backstop guarantor. Further, the different treatment may also increase the FHA’s market footprint—not reduce it in a manner consistent with the white paper’s goals.Moving ForwardTo solve this issue, the industry can’t simply adjust FHA and MI premium rates, but instead, it needs to highlight the nature of the problem and the opportunity. Having the U.S. Treasury as the backstop for most of the residential mortgage market is seen by many in the industry as a problem, but it also represents an opportunity for the government to resolve an unaddressed inconsistency.There is evidence of the additional risk associated with low down-payment lending. The question is how much additional risk is there, and how is that risk measured and paid for? The lack of clarity in the current system prevents policymakers from determining whether or how the private MI industry, the GSEs, and the FHA might work in a more complementary fashion. The overall housing finance system can be more effective if all parties work in concert, and beginning dialogue among industry leaders could help move this goal along.In addition to an open dialogue about the system, related issues such as credit access and efficient delivery of credit subsidies need to be considered as well, but only after the government adopts uniform measures of credit risk and makes those measures publicly available to all market participants. Otherwise, important foundational questions regarding appropriate roles for the private and public sectors will remain unanswered.Patrick Sinks has served as MGIC Investment Corporation’s CEO since March 2015. He began his career with the company at its primary subsidiary Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. (MGIC) in 1978 as a member of the accounting team. He earned several promotions culminating with the role of SVP – Controller and Chief Accounting Officer before being selected by the company’s CEO, Curt Culver, to eventually succeed him as MGIC’s leader. Sinks was then moved to the sales side of the business as SVP-Field Operations and was subsequently promoted to President and COO. Credit Risk GSE Reform Housing Market mortgage 2016-03-28 Staff Writer Expect Delays Editor’s note: This select print feature appears in the March 2016 edition of MReport magazine, available now. in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Print Features Sharelast_img read more

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Talking Housing with Industry Experts

first_img September 21, 2018 484 Views Share Talking Housing with Industry Experts in Daily Dose, Newscenter_img experts industry 2018-09-21 Seth Welborn On Wednesday, September 26, Altisource will host the Mortgage Insights Speaker Series in Plano, TX at Del Frisco’s. At the event, industry thought leaders will give insights into the topic “U.S. Housing Market: Where Do We Go From Here?”The expert panel includes Kevin Cooke, Jr., VP of Enterprise Solutions at Altisource, Ed Delgado, President and CEO of the Five Star Institute; Tim Rood, Chairman and Managing Director of The Collingwood Group; and Rick Sharga, EVP, Carrington Mortgage Holdings.“We are excited to host our Mortgage Insight Speaker Series lunch in Dallas on September 26, 2018.,” said Cooke. “ We believe these intimate events allow industry participants to spend time together in a casual setting while participating in a lively discussion about topics affecting the housing finance industry.”The panelists will discuss the U.S. macroeconomic environment and its state in the coming year, cover trends and predictions for the U.S. housing market in a rising rate environment, explore the loan servicing environment, its record low delinquency, and review emerging warning signs, and debate how this contentious political environment is affecting the industry.“We are honored to have three of the most respected voices in our space join us for this fun lunch,” Cooke said. “Ed, Rick, and Tim have all proven to be entertaining, thought-provoking panelists and we are confident our guests will walk away with good knowledge and a smile on their face.”“I’m privileged to have the opportunity to share the stage with a distinguished panel of subject matter experts,” said Delgado. “I look forward to discussing the future of housing and preserving homeownership for generations to come.””There are a lot of countervailing forces affecting the housing market today,” said Sharga. “On the one hand a robust economy is fueling household formation and driving demand, but on the other hand there’s a dramatic lack of inventory and increasing concerns about affordability. We’ll be discussing what the implications of these forces will be on the housing market for the balance of this year and for 2019.”For more information and to RSVP, click here.last_img read more

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Why Is Loan Application Defect Risk Rising

first_img The frequency of defects, fraudulence, and misrepresentation in the information submitted in mortgage loan applications increased by 4.4 percent in February compared with the previous month, according to First American’s latest Loan Application Defect Index. Year over year, the index rose 14.5 percent.An increase in purchase loans as refis dried up and a competitive housing market with increasing home prices and low inventory for the most part of 2018 were responsible for this rise as buyers faced pressure to seek qualification for larger loan amounts, according to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist First American.However, the index remained 6.8 percent lower than its October 2013 high. While the refinance index 24.6 percent in February compared with the same time last year, purchase defects rose 8.8 percent compared to February 2018, the report indicated.A shift towards purchase loans was another factor that led to a rise in defects, according to Fleming.”The shift in the mix of loan applications toward more purchase applications and pressure on borrowers likely fed the 2018 increase in income-specific defects,” said Fleming. “Purchase loan applications typically are more likely to have fraud than refinance transactions. Furthermore, in the strong seller’s market we experienced in 2018, borrowers had more motivation to misrepresent income on a loan application in order to qualify for the bigger mortgage necessary to win the bidding war for a home.”However, as mortgage rates began falling towards the end of 2018 and have remained in the low range since then, income-specific defects are also likely to plateau in 2019.”Two thousand and eighteen ended the year with a decline in the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in December, a trend that has persisted through the first quarter of the year. Additionally, nominal house price appreciation in January sank to the slowest pace of growth since February 2015, according to the DataTree by First American House Price Index,” Fleming said. “As affordability improves and demand increases going into the spring home-buying season, we expect the seller’s market conditions to return, potentially elevating income misrepresentation risk as well.” Share in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Affordability First American Home Prices Homebuyers loan application defect index mortgage Mortgage Rates 2019-04-01 Radhika Ojhacenter_img Why Is Loan Application Defect Risk Rising? April 1, 2019 818 Views last_img read more

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A Jumbo Movement in Mortgage Availability

first_img Mortgage credit availability increased in March led mostly by an increase in jumbo mortgage loan offerings. This, according to the latest data from the MBA’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI).The monthly index analyzes data from the Ellie AllRegs Market Clarity business information tool to provide standardized quantitative data on the availability of mortgage credit. A decline in MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening whereas an increase points to loosening lending standards.In March, the MCAI rose 1.1 percent to 182.1. However, the largest movement on the index was seen in Jumbo mortgage sub-index that rose 5.2 percent, the highest it has reached in the four months since November 2018.”Credit availability increased in March, primarily due to a spike in jumbo mortgage offerings. The jumbo sub-index increased 5 percent and reached its highest level since last November, as the recent decline in mortgage rates led to a jump in refinances from borrowers with larger loans,” said Joel Kan, AVP of Economic and Industry Forecasting at MBA.According to the data, conventional MCAI increased 3.6 percent, while the Government MCAI declined 1.2 percent. Apart from the Jumbo MCAI,   Conforming MCAI increased by 1.4 percent.On the other hand, the index saw a decline in government loans in March. The government MCAI dipped 1.2 percent during the month. “The credit supply for government loans decreased in March, as investors continue to reduce FHA and VA streamline refi offerings,” Kan explained.According to the data the conventional, government, conforming, and jumbo MCAIs are constructed using the same methodology as the Total MCAI and are designed to show relative credit risk/availability for their respective index. The primary difference between the total MCAI and the component indices are the population of loan programs which they examine. While the government MCAI examines FHA/VA/USDA loan programs,  the conventional MCAI examines non-government loan programs. in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination conforming mortgage conventional loans FHA Jumbo Loans loans MBA mortgage Mortgage Rates Refinance VA. USDA 2019-04-09 Radhika Ojha Sharecenter_img A Jumbo Movement in Mortgage Availability April 9, 2019 731 Views last_img read more

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Washington cherries from Rainier Fruit The taste

first_img Washington cherries from Rainier Fruit – The taste … Copefrut, one of Chile’s leading fruit exporters, on Friday launched a new commercial platform in China to give itself greater control of its produce along the supply chain and position itself for further growth in the rapidly evolving market.The company has employed a team of experts who will receive and inspect the imported fruit at sites with cold storage facilities in Guangzhou and Shanghai before passing it onto the client. Speaking to Fresh Fruit Portal, Copefrut’s general manager Andrés Fuenzalida said doing so will allow the company to verify that the fruit’s arrival quality meets the high standards required by the Chinese market. He added that it contrasts to the traditional approach taken by exporters, who usually have no way of reviewing the fruit’s quality and condition themselves in the destination.The commercial platform will also help Copepfrut to strengthen its relationships with retailers, staying ahead of the curve as the Chinese market evolves and the retail channel becomes increasingly important.Fuenzalida explained the decision to create the commercial platform came about following strategic planning carried out by the company’s management in 2018.”One of the pillars of that strategy is to reverse a little bit the way we saw our business, which was how exporters traditionally view it – ‘I receive the fruit and I decide which market I can send it to’,” he said.”Thinking about how the world is nowadays, we said ‘no, the most important thing is to be in the market and to develop products for our consumers’. And therefore our focus of attention must be the consumer, and from there we must work backward to our facilities and also to our farms to produce what the consumer wants.”Copefrut began in Chile in the 1940s as a farmer cooperative, growing over the decades in tandem with the evolution of the Chilean fruit industry. The company was one of the first in the industry to export fruit to the Asian country and its brand name is now well established. As well as being a major exporter of fruits including plums, blueberries, apples and kiwifruit, Copefrut is Chile’s second-largest cherry shipper, typically representing around 10% of the country’s total export volumes, of which around 85% goes to China annually.Fuenzalida said that Copefrut had therefore seen a “tremendous opportunity” for this new approach in China, a market where high fruit quality is rewarded with higher prices than most other markets.”We want to be closer and to be responsible for the fruit at the point of delivery in China. We don’t want to send the fruit from here on a ship and later lose our control over the fruit,” he said.”That is why we have created a commercial platform in China, where around seven or eight people will work, whose objective is to maintain the control and protect the quality of the product.” He added that the platform will help Copefrut stop any potential problem earlier, have a more consistent quality and improve the service to its customers. The new team is made up of Chinese experts in fruit quality control and uses the same tools as those in Chile for greater consistency. It is split between Guangzhou and Shanghai and will be responsible for the entire process from ensuring the documentation is in order for the incoming fruit, taking it to the cold storage facilities for revision, and either delivering it to the customer or letting them know that it is ready to be collectedPart of the Chilean staff will also be in the market during the season to provide support and to be able to give feedback to the growers.To begin with, the platform is mainly being used for cherries, but the longer-term plan is to use it year-round for all the fruits it sells in China. Copefrut will use it to strengthen connections to the main retail channels in China, which include supermarkets, specialized fruit stores, and e-commerce companies.He also emphasized the need to develop new products specifically suited to these channels, such as different sizes and types of packaging.”We are trying to boost our relationships with regional retail chains, and what we did in the strategy is to try to give our label to a store or chain in each region or group of regions and give them the representation for our label,” he said.He added that this kind of alliance would not only help to safeguard the fruit’s quality, but it would also allow Copefruit to better understand the rapidly evolving needs of the Chinese consumer.Expectations for this cherry season and beyondOverall, Fuenzalida had high expectations for the current Chilean cherry season, which is now into its peak weeks for harvesting. He said that while industry-wide volume estimates were still unclear, it seems as though production would end up around 20% lower than last season’s record of 184,000 metric tons (MT).”I think that last year, in spite of the large quality of fruit we still had good quality, and this year we also seeing good fruit, especially for the later varieties,” he said, explaining that those varieties, in particular, were of excellent size and color this year.”So I think that it’s going to be a very good season and that our Chinese consumers are going to be very happy because there will be good fruit and we have worked very hard to supply a consistent product.”Looking toward the future, Fuenzalida said that while Chinese consumers’ love of cherries meant that the market could absorb huge volumes of fruit, it was risky to have such a high dependence on one single market.”That is why we are also working to develop programs with supermarkets in the U.S., in Brazil, and in Europe, looking for the fruit that they want and that can fetch a good price,” he said.”We don’t want to cause any harm to our growers, but we believe that to be responsible, while China is the focus, we have to develop other markets. Nowadays we have good programs with supermarkets in Brazil and we also have programs in the U.S. that have been very successful.”Asked whether he expected Chile would eventually ship a lower proportion of cherries to China, he said that would all depend on how global markets evolve.”Currently it is very difficult to leave China, because they pay better prices than other markets, except for certain sizes and colors,” he said, but he believed that with time the percentage shipped to other markets would increase.”China is the main market and I believe that it is going to be the main consumer for a long time. But with the quantity of cherries that Chile is going to produce, and with the number of orchards that there will be, we are surely going to have to go to other markets.” Hazel Technologies launches new USDA-funded produc … China: Unique formats being used to appeal to ‘sop … U.S.: Half of California cherry crop devastated by … December 18 , 2018 You might also be interested inlast_img read more

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Mantra Group properties and team members from acro

first_imgMantra Group properties and team members from across Australia spent much of 2016 fundraising for the Luke Batty Foundation, the Group’s official charity partner, and on 26 May the Foundation’s CEO, 2015 Australian of the Year, and Luke’s mum, Rosie Batty, was presented with a donation of $100,000 at a fundraising event at Peppers Soul Surfers Paradise.The Foundation works to build awareness of family violence in our community.“Mantra Group has been fantastic in helping to ensure the work of the Foundation can continue,” said Rosie Batty.“Since we established the Luke Batty Foundation in 2014, we’ve already contributed to some big wins – but unfortunately we still have a lot more to do.“We are so grateful for this donation, as it will allow us to keep up the momentum for change and create a safer future for all women and children.”Mantra Group Executive Director Human Resources Cherie McGill said the group is focused more than ever on supporting the Luke Batty Foundation and community organisations.“Over the past year our team members have worked together to show their support through various fundraising initiatives and they are extremely proud of this donation.“Their work is a reflection of our long-standing commitment as a group to making a difference in the community.”Cherie McGill (L) and Rosie Batty charityLuke Batty FoundationMantra Grouplast_img read more

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According to new research todays business travel

first_imgAccording to new research, today’s business travellers want more choice, flexibility and customisation in where they rest their head for the night.This is possibly because the profile of business travellers is changing. By 2025, millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce.(1) And they are now the most frequent, and therefore among the most influential category of business travellers, with U.S. Millennial business travellers completing an average of 7.7 trips over the past 12 months.(2)Today’s travelling professional wants a new experience they can’t find at home, and a place to stay that fits with their lifestyle. Luckily for them, they now have access to a dizzying array of accommodation choices – only limited by their imagination – that can still fall within their corporate travel policies. This millennial agenda has ushered in a shift in accommodation offerings for business travellers as providers look to update the services they provide guests to build customer loyalty. Hotels are no longer just places to relax after a long day of meetings but a launch pad to explore the city, catering to convenience, enjoyment and lifestyle choices.So, how are accommodation providers rising to the challenge? Booking.com has taken a look at some key business travel trends shaping today’s business experience:Seamless Services over Fancy InteriorsMillennial business travellers expect a seamless experience, with a smooth welcome and fuss-free technology playing a major part – from pre-arrival emails confirming their breakfast preferences to smartphone check-in, strong Wi-Fi connectivity and keyless room entry. Hyatt recently launched a new brand of hotels focused specifically on attracting millennial guests through streamlined services. For example, Hyatt Centric offers incentives to create a stylised experience – with a “knock ‘n’ drop” service to replace formal room service, and the option to bring pets.Sociability over Penthouse SuitesFor millennials, communality is key. This generation of business traveller is driving the sharing economy across the business travel industry, citing convenience and sociability as the main motivating factors. Freehand, the first luxury hostel chain in the US, offers shared rooms for business travellers looking to meet new people on their trips.Infographic: businesstravellife.comPersonalisation over CommercialisationThe range of unique accommodation on the market now allows business travellers to align where they stay with their lifestyles and personal interests. Recent research has found that nearly half of millennials said a premium fitness centre with options for on-or off-site exercise classes helped determine their hotel choice, as opposed to more than a third of Generation Xers and fewer than a quarter of baby boomers.(3) Boutique hotels such as Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam have truly embraced the trend towards lifestyle amenities, even kitting out every room with a yoga mat.(1) https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/About-Deloitte/gx-dttl-2014-millennial-survey-report.pdf(2) and (3) Portrait of American Travelers study, MMGY Global business travelmilennialslast_img read more

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Sabre has appointed Brett Thorstad as vice preside

first_imgSabre has appointed Brett Thorstad as vice president sales management, South East Asia and APAC joint ventures. Thorstad will oversee sales performance and drive the retention and growth of agencies across the Southeast Asia region. He will also be responsible for the strategic development of distribution partners across Asia Pacific.“Brett knows the Asia Pacific business. In addition to having a comprehensive understanding of the region’s priorities, he has also developed important business relationships with our key partners across the various markets in which we operate. Brett is an instrumental member of the regional leadership team and is helping drive Sabre’s continued success across APAC,” said Todd Arthur, vice president of Sabre Travel Network, Asia Pacific.Having joined Sabre in 2013, Thorstad has held high-profile roles within the organization, previously serving as vice president & associate general counsel for Sabre. Before joining the team in Singapore, Thorstad was responsible for leading Sabre’s legal support of global M&A activity, corporate finance, and other corporate transactions. Prior to joining Sabre, Thorstad was a senior corporate associate at the Dallas office of Weil, Gotshal and Manges, a prestigious international law firm.Thorstad holds a law degree, earning his J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center, after having completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of Calgary.last_img read more

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Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute ri

first_img Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away 0 Comments   Share   D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ When it comes down to it, no one was likely more tired of the Arizona Cardinals quarterback controversy than receiver Larry Fitzgerald.Fitz projected a sense of relief when he sat down with the media following Monday’s practice.“I’m just happy it’s behind us and we don’t have to answer that question every day,” he said.Fitz said that he respects head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s decision and is ready to move forward with the season with Skelton at the helm. Top Stories What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationlast_img read more

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Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The one-time Pro Bowler has caught 14 passes for 224 yards and two scores this season, and combines with quarterback Drew Brees to form one of the most dynamic and dangerous duos in the NFL.So, how do you go about stopping a 6-foot-7, 260-pound player who runs like a wide receiver?“Don’t let him in the stadium,” Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said, with a chuckle. “You don’t slow him down. He’s a great player. “Try to play sound, fundamental defense, mix it up a little bit and hope for him to have a bad day.”Sounds about right.Truth is, Graham is exactly the type of player who figures to give the Cardinals fits, at least until Pro Bowl linebacker Daryl Washington returns from his four-game suspension. That will not happen for another couple of weeks, though, which means part of the responsibility for trying to contain Graham will fall on Karlos Dansby.“His ability to stretch the field, catch jump balls in the red zone, get open,” Dansby said of what Graham brings to the table. “He’s a solid tight end. His ability to catch the ball — his range. Drew can just throw it in certain areas, and with his range he’s able to get his hands on the ball and catch it.” The key to stopping Graham, Dansby said, lies largely with the pass rush. Get to Brees and take away his passing lanes, and you have a chance. It’s the same formula the team used last week against Detroit, when it limited Lions receiver Calvin Johnson to just two catches and 20 yards in the second half of Arizona’s 25-21 win.“We were able to play tighter coverage and give those guys an opportunity to get to the quarterback,” Dansby said. “That’s what we’ve got to do this week, also, is play with tighter coverage and give our D-line an opportunity to get to the quarterback.”The Cardinals have registered just one sack through two games this season, though Bowles said he was very pleased with the amount of pressure the Cardinals got on Detroit’s Matthew Stafford. Sacks are nice, but pressuring the QB into poor throws is a nice consolation prize. But with the Saints, that’s easier said than done, and failure to pressure Brees could result in some fireworks for the home team.“Drew’s been a proven quarterback for years in this league, he does a hell of a job,” Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers said. “He’s got a good supporting cast in Jimmy Graham and (Marques) Colston and all those guys are still doing what they’ve been doing, and that’s making plays. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “We’re just going to have to make sure we don’t have any mistakes against Drew because he’s the type of quarterback when you make a mistake, he’s going to spot it out and that’s going to result in big plays because their offense is so explosive.”center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. — Week 1 in St. Louis, the Arizona Cardinals’ defense seemed helpless as Rams tight end Jared Cook torched them for 141 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions.And had it not been for a great play by Tyrann Mathieu, it may have been three touchdowns. Sunday, when the Cardinals battle the New Orleans Saints, they’ll be squaring off against an even better tight end than Cook. The Saints’ Jimmy Graham has established himself as the premier pass catching threat at the position, hauling in a combined 184 catches for 2,292 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011 and 2012. 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

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Ballard who won the Super Bowl with the Giants in

first_imgBallard, who won the Super Bowl with the Giants in 2011, was cut by the New England Patriots at the end of August. The Cardinals felt he could bring something to a tight end group that’s lacked in production this season.“Jake was in for a workout a couple of weeks ago, we really liked what we saw as far as a veteran player at that position,” head coach Bruce Arians said.The Cardinals are currently starting Rob Housler, with Jim Dray serving as his backup. The team released rookie tight end D.C. Jefferson in order to make room for Ballard. Though it was tough to wait, Ballard understood the process and that it sometimes takes a while for a need to pop up.“They didn’t have a spot for me at that time, [the Cardinals said] they’d let me know in a couple weeks or so,” Ballard added. “I know it’s part of the game, injuries, coming back, everything is a waiting game, so I just kind of took in stride.”Ballard suffered a torn ACL in that Super Bowl, and he has not played in an NFL regular season game since. It’s still unsure what Ballard’s role will be, but he’s ready to do whatever the team asks.“I think it’s looking at what they feel comfortable with letting me do and what I can do the best and what sets me apart I guess,” Ballard said. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments   Share   Ballard signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2010, and he has 604 receiving yards and four touchdowns in his career. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The newest member of the Arizona Cardinals is tight end Jake Ballard, and the former New York Giant is glad to have another chance.“It’s nice to have an opportunity to part of a team,” the former Ohio State Buckeye said. “I got right in the playbook and started looking over some stuff. It seems like there’s a lot of good guys, and I’m excited to learn the offense and do whatever I can do to help win some games.” Top Stories last_img read more

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Cardinals coach Bruce Arians talks with Chargers c

first_imgCardinals coach Bruce Arians talks with Chargers coach Mike McCoy during a training camp practice Aug. 17. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arians did not miss a game and, in reality, he said practices are entirely scripted so he would mostly be there observing anyway. While they missed him, it is not as if his absence threw a giant wrench into their plans.In fact, it may have even helped with the idea of needing to be comfortable and work through various situations, some of which will be less than ideal.“Yeah, it’s part of it. I did it on purpose,” Arians joked Wednesday morning. “But I was mad I missed the practice because it was a good one, and obviously we got a lot of good work done. Watch the tape and move on to today.”The Cardinals did move on, taking the practice field with the Chargers again, though this time at their training facility. Arians was on the field for the beginning of practice, but left shortly thereafter.It was not a surprise; he said while he’s feeling better, he was still planning on taking things easy. With Arians there and then with him not, the Cardinals continued to put in work.“We’ve been trying to be composed,” linebacker Chandler Jones said, noting he and the team want to send their best wishes to Arians, who they spoke to Wednesday morning. “We’re going to go out here and just try to do what we came to do, which is to get better.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact That’s what Arians would want and it’s what he would demand, tough circumstances or not. That, or at least some variation of that premise, is what he offered the team when he spoke to the players. Dollar linebacker Deone Bucannon said the coach’s message was that he was going to be fine, and that they needed to keep their intensity on the field.While an unconventional challenge, Arians would not let his players use his ailment as an excuse.“Just having to deal with that, because it kind of just fell on us, fell on our lap,” linebacker Kevin Minter said. “But it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t come out and continue to do what we do, because we don’t want Coach to come back and we took steps back.”Minter said for however long Arians was on the sideline Wednesday, the team knew he was there. The fourth-year pro, who has played for Arians his entire NFL career, said the coach has a presence.“It meant a lot,” he said of Arians being back on the field. “We need to step it up because we’ve got B.A. out here. You don’t want to be that guy when he comes back, the one that he yells at.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling It turns out, Arians is about as fine as he could be. He was diagnosed with diverticulitis which, while difficult both to pronounce and spell, appears to be manageable. Arians said it “was nothing serious,” which means the team can officially focus on getting ready for the 2016 season.So now, looking back with the knowledge that Arians is alright, is it possible the situation could ultimately benefit the team?“As much as it stinks and as hard as it is, it’s just another obstacle to get over,” QB Carson Palmer said. “It’s good in that aspect that you’ve got to deal with adversity.“You don’t know what’s going to happen — an injury happens to a player, an injury happens to a coach — you’ve got to block out and focus on the task at hand and each play by play. It’s good to have some opportunities where you lose a guy and somebody’s got to step up for them.”Palmer added that’s exactly what happened Tuesday night with the coaching staff, noting this was the first time the team had to deal with something like that.Whenever a player gets hurt, it’s all about the next man up. The same, apparently, applies for the coaches. Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires SAN DIEGO — Obviously no one wanted to see Bruce Arians fall ill and have to leave prior to Tuesday night’s joint practice with the San Diego Chargers.As defensive lineman Calais Campbell said later that night, it’s important to remember that people involved with the game of football are still real people, with all the good and bad that comes with that.So, when one someone goes through what Arians went through Tuesday night, there was naturally some concern.last_img read more

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Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Arizona Cardinals have released 2009 first-round pick Andre Smith, 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station’s John Gambadoro reported.The 10-year veteran offensive lineman signed a two-year, $8 million deal and $3 million guaranteed with Arizona in March as an unrestricted free agent.Smith played in only eight games with the Cardinals and missed three due to injury.The 31-year-old Smith was drafted No. 6 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals out of Alabama. He spent eight seasons with the Bengals and one with the Minnesota Vikings in 2016. 26 Comments   Share   Related LinksNFL Draft order: Cardinals in second slot after Week 12 loss to ChargersCardinals have looming decision over Steve Wilks after loss to ChargersArizona is ranked last in the NFL this season in net yards per game on offense. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen has been sacked 24 times in his first eight starts.The Cardinals release follows a 45-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. Arizona led Los Angeles 10-0  after the first quarter and did not score the rest of the game. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) blocks against Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle Andre Smith (71) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Top Stories

first_img Top Stories In 2018, he played all 16 games for the Falcons and started half of them while recording 24 tackles and a sack.Related LinksArizona Cardinals hire Matt Harriss as director of football administrationCardinals DC Vance Joseph plans to play aggressive 3-4 defenseThree ESPN writers tab Cardinals as favorite for No. 1 pick in 2020’Cardinals Flight Plan’: Offseason moves, including Pugh’s dancingArizona Cardinals sign former Falcons CB Robert AlfordThe eight-year veteran has a career 276 tackles, 21.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception.His best statistical seasons are as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme rather than as a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.The Cardinals will be looking to improve at outside linebacker as the team is going from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4 scheme under new DC Vance Joseph and defensive end Markus Golden is expected to become a free agent in March.Reed, the former Sabino High School Sabercat, turns 32 later this month. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Arizona Cardinals have signed free agent linebacker Brooks Reed to a one-year contract, the team announced Saturday.Reed was recently cut by the Atlanta Falcons in order to free up cap space, much like his teammate Robert Alford, whom the Cardinals signed on Thursday.Reed, the Tucson native that played his college ball as an Arizona Wildcat, was selected 42nd overall by the Houston Texans in 2011 and had three tackles for the Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img 11 Comments   Share   (AP Photo/Chris Szagola) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Luxury river cruise

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Luxury river cruise operator APT is celebrating news that its US partner AmaWaterways has been awarded two accolades as part of the 8th Annual Cruise Critic US Editors’ Picks Awards. This year for the first time ever, Cruise Critic designated specific awards for its new River Cruise Line category, with AmaWaterways receiving the following:Best River Line for DiningBest River Line for Active CruisersCommenting on the awards APT’s Executive General Manager Global Sales and Marketing, Debra Fox said, “We are thrilled for AmaWaterways. These awards are reflective of the hard work and dedication of the teams in Europe who work tirelessly to deliver exceptional itineraries and menus onboard our ships. Our Australian guests who travel on APT and AmaWaterways itineraries share the same experience and exemplary service from our onboard teams and so we are delighted that their efforts have been recognised by Cruise Critic’s panel of experts.”AmaWaterways’ success in the Cruise Critic Editors’ Pick Awards follow APT’s receipt of three AFTA National Travel Industry Awards in July 2015, where APT won the newly introduced Best River Cruise Category, ‘Best Tour Operator Domestic’ (fourth year running), and ‘Best Tour Operator, International’ (second year running).Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Minor Hotel Group MHG

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterMinor Hotel Group (MHG) has announced the addition of two new properties to its pipeline in the United Arab Emirates. Anantara Jebel Dhanna and AVANI Jebel Dhanna in Abu Dhabi will soon begin development and both are scheduled to open in 2018.The Owner and Developer of these two new properties is Dhabi Contracting LLC and Aecom has been appointed as the lead architecture and interior design consultant for the project.Jebel Dhanna is located along the coastal area of the Al Gharbia region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, close to the ferry departure point for Sir Bani Yas Island, 240 kilometres from Abu Dhabi city and 360 kilometres from Doha. The Jebel Dhanna peninsula is relatively underdeveloped, with a royal palace bordering the new hotel developments and an industrial area close by. To the south east is Ruwais Industrial Zone and a neighbouring residential area, which will provide substantial demand for the two new properties.Anantara Jebel Dhanna Villas will have a total of 60 keys across three villa types: 20 One-Bedroom Villas, 38 Two-Bedroom Villas and two impressive Three-Bedroom Villas. The new Anantara will offer two restaurants and a pool bar, a gym, a swimming pool and an Anantara Spa.The neighbouring AVANI Jebel Dhanna Hotel will have 230 keys across two different room types: 170 Deluxe Rooms and 60 Superior Rooms including a kitchenette. Facilities at the AVANI will include multiple dining options, a gym and a swimming pool. Shared facilities will include flexible meeting and banqueting space, a kids’ club and outdoor recreation areas.Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in some of the world’s most exciting destinations. Currently with 35 hotels and resorts in 11 countries, Anantara has just celebrated its 15th birthday in March this year. Launched in 2011, AVANI is a vibrant upscale brand offering relaxed comfort and contemporary style in city and resort destinations to guests who value the details that matter.These new properties in Abu Dhabi will join the growing Anantara and AVANI portfolio in the UAE. There are currently six Anantara properties in operation in the country – five in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Anantara The Palm Dubai. In addition a new Anantara resort is under development in Ras Al Khaimah and a second Anantara resort will open in Dubai in 2018. The first AVANI announcement for the country was made in September last year for the development of a resort in Dubai to open in 2018.Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, commented, “Minor Hotel Group is already well established in Abu Dhabi through our existing Anantara portfolio in the city, desert and on Sir Bani Yas Island and we are excited to today announce the first AVANI in Abu Dhabi, to be developed alongside what will be our sixth Anantara. We are looking forward to partnering with Dhabi Contracting in this exciting new project.”Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Located in Hong Kongs

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterLocated in Hong Kong’s Tin Hau district, boutique hotel TUVE is celebrating a year of tasteful elegance with two exclusive first anniversary packages valid from 1 September 2016 to 30 November 2016. Guests can not only relax and unwind at TUVE, where sensuous interior lighting transports guests to a timeless design sanctuary, but be treated to anniversary additions. Complimentary dining and a private walking tour are available in two TUVE Anniversary packages: TUVE Deluxe Anniversary Package for HKD 1800 + 10 per cent service charge and TUVE Premier Anniversary Package for HKD 2800 + 10 per cent service charge.As part of TUVE Deluxe Anniversary Package guests can enjoy a stay in a Deluxe room and a complimentary lunch set for two people in the SILVER ROOM, the hotel’s own contemporary Italian restaurant that plays on Asian influences. In honour of its anniversary, TUVE will also organise a complimentary curated walking tour of the neighbourhood and guaranteed 2pm late check-outs to ensure that guests make the most of their stay. Retiring to their quiet room after a day’s exploration of the city, guests can take full advantage of a free mini-bar with gourmet snacks and local specialties such as dripping coffee from CUPPA and Chubby Charlie Tea.TUVE Premier Anniversary Package offer all the perks of a Deluxe Anniversary Package with an upgrade to a spacious Premier room booking, the addition of two complimentary drinks at SILVER ROOM, a complimentary bottle of red wine for the room and an airport pick-up or drop-off service.“We’re honoured and humbled to see our beloved TUVE celebrate its one-year anniversary. Our successes have been dependent on the fantastic support that we’ve garnered from the community, inbound guests looking for a unique design and hospitality experience in Hong Kong, and the third-party awards bestowed upon TUVE from various countries. We really appreciate this and look forward to many more years of service to both our clients and our community,” said Managing Director, Pauline Tsang.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Lindblad Expeditions ha

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterLindblad Expeditions has signed an agreement with Norwegian shipbuilder and ship designer, Ulstein, to build a new polar vessel, expanding the line’s National Geographic polar fleet to four ships.This state-of-the-art vessel will be the next phase of Lindblad’s fleet expansion following the launches of new builds National Geographic Quest in July 2017, National Geographic Venture in December 2018 and the scheduled delivery of National Geographic Endurance in Q1 2020.The new ship is scheduled for delivery in late Q3 2021. Sister ship to National Geographic Endurance, the polar vessel will be fully stabilised with the highest ice class (PC5 Category A) of any purpose-built passenger vessel, and will feature Ulstein’s signature X-BOW®.“We are extremely excited to announce this next phase in our growth strategy. National Geographic Endurance, and the unique itineraries that it is able to facilitate given its superlative capabilities, has been met with considerable excitement from both our existing guest community and those new to Lindblad-National Geographic, and we are confident that its sister ship will garner the same level of enthusiasm in the market,” said Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad.“These two ships will represent a whole new level of capability in expedition cruising in terms of the level of comfort they provide guests, the regions and itineraries they are able to travel to and their ability to act as platforms for science in some of the most remote and pristine parts of the world.”Like its sister ship, the new vessel will accommodate 126 passengers in 69 spacious guest cabins and suites, and is being designed to connect guests to their environment and be the ultimate platform for exploration.With 75% of the cabins featuring balconies for private viewing, multiple observation decks inside and outside and “observation wings”, the surrounding environs will always be accessible. Off-ship exploring will be greatly enhanced with an innovative Zodiac loading system that will allow everyone to get ashore quickly and safely, ensuring quick access to every destination. The ship’s complement of expedition tools for exploration will include kayaks, cross-country skis, a remotely operated vehicle, hydrophones, a video microscope, underwater video cameras and more to be announced in the coming months.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

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Related Zoom adds new route from GatwickZoom adds

first_img RelatedZoom adds new route from GatwickZoom adds new route from GatwickZoom announces 2009 schedule expansionZoom Airlines has announced its new schedule of flights for summer 2009.Air Berlin adds new Florida flightsAir Berlin adds new Florida flights As part of expansion plans for the summer, Canada-based low-cost carrier Zoom will operate 27 flights a week from the UK.Daily flights will run to Toronto and Vancouver from the UK, with the popularity of Europe as a holiday destination for Canadians given as a reason for the increase.With the addition of new services, Zoom will operate flights to and from five UK airports; London Gatwick, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Belfast.Britons travelling to Canada will be able to take advantage of Zoom services to Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Halifax and Winnipeg, as well as Toronto and Vancouver.Zoom also announced additions to its European summer schedule with new flights to Rome from Toronto and Montreal. The flights started earlier this month and will connect the two Canadian cities to Fiumicino Airport.Flights to and from Paris have also been bolstered, with seven services a week set to operate to the French capital from Canada. Other new services include direct flights from London Gatwick to the Florida holiday destination of Fort Lauderdale which took off at the start of May.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

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British Airways BA has launched new flights to P

first_imgBritish Airways (BA) has launched new flights to Paphos in Cyprus from Gatwick, London.This is the first time the carrier has offered flights from the UK to the western part of the island nation.BA expects the route to prove popular with tourists, as well as British ex-pats living in Paphos.The inaugural flight was celebrated with a red carpet reception, and a free bottle of Cypriot wine was handed to every passenger.Thomas Cook Airlines revealed in May that it would add flights to Cyprus from its new base at Leeds Bradford Airport. The arrival of a new Airbus A320 will see 17 new routes added at the Yorkshire airport.In May, low-cost carrier Jet2 announced eight new routes planned for Leeds Bradford International Airport to Europe including a flight to Paphos.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedAir Berlin adds Cyprus flightsAir Berlin adds Cyprus flightsJet2 launches first flight in Leeds Bradford expansionJet2 launches first flight in Leeds Bradford expansionThomas Cook Airlines takes off at Leeds BradfordThomas Cook Airlines takes off at Leeds Bradfordlast_img read more

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