MONTREAL — Court documents show that Quebec prosecutors are working with the RCMP on the possibility of new criminal charges against SNC-Lavalin tied to a contract to refurbish Montreal’s Jacques Cartier Bridge.In December, Quebec court approved a request by prosecutors to retain until June thousands of documents seized by the RCMP in connection with an investigation that drew on more than two dozen witnesses.If the provincial prosecution service pushes ahead with the four potential fraud charges outlined in court filings, the embattled engineering giant would face a legal battle on another front.In October, federal prosecutors told SNC-Lavalin they would not invite the company to negotiate a remediation agreement over fraud and corruption charges that stemmed from alleged dealings with the Libyan regime under Moammar Gadhafi between 2001 and 2011. SNC has filed for a judicial review of that decision.In court documents, the RCMP lays out a bribery scheme involving a $127-million Jacques Cartier Bridge contract in the early 2000s. Former federal official Michel Fournier pleaded guilty in 2017 to accepting more than $2.3 million in payments from SNC-Lavalin in connection with the project.SNC-Lavalin tells The Canadian Press it will continue to work with authorities, noting the court files involve employees and third parties no longer affiliated with the company. Allegations in the latest court documents have not been proven in court, and SNC-Lavalin has not been charged.The Canadian Press
Quincy Jones, Elvis Costello, Paul Shaffer and Jeffrey Wright are part of the lineup for the Jazz Foundation of America’s A Great Night In Harlem concert on May 17 at the Apollo Theater.Quincy Jones will pay homage to his mentor, legendary trumpeter Clark Terry who just turned 92 and introduce a memorial musical tribute for his dear friend Claude Nobs, the beloved Montreux Jazz Festival founder.For 24 years, the Jazz Foundation of America has been dedicated to saving the homes and lives of elder jazz and blues musicians in crisis. They now assist in nearly 6,000 cases a year, including hundreds of musicians and their families affected by Hurricane Sandy in the New York region as well as those still recovering from Katrina in New Orleans.Their Programs Include:•Preventing homelessness and evictions by paying rents and mortgages•Creating dignified work through our Agnes Varis Jazz in the Schools Program•Providing free medical care and operations through their partners at Englewood Hospital & Medical Center•Keeping the heat turned on and food on the table through their Musicians’ Emergency Fund“I cannot even imagine the world without jazz and the blues, and I cannot imagine turning our backs on the very people who gave their lives, their life experiences, and their music to us all these years, especially now when they need us most,” said Quincy Jones. “The Jazz Foundation is saving the music.”Find out more about the concert and foundation here.
Here is your chance to join Ringo Starr in celebrating his birthday in France.Video: Celebrate Peace & Love with Ringo Starr at his Birthday Celebration in FrancePrizeo is giving you this unique opportunity, and all you have to do to get in the draw is donate to the David Lynch Foundation.The more you donate, the more chances you have to win.“In 2008 a TV reporter asked what I would like for my birthday and I answered, ‘If on July 7, my birthday, people would say or post Peace & Love at Noon their local time that would be a great gift to me’,” says Ringo. “Every year since I have invited everyone everywhere to say or post Peace & Love, and I have joined fans wherever I am at Noon in a moment of Peace & Love. This year I am on tour with the All Starrs so we will celebrating at the Hard Rock Cafe in Nice, France and I’m inviting YOU to join us.“For just a $10 donation to the David Lynch Foundation, who promote world peace by teaching meditation to at-risk individuals all across the world, you will be entered for a chance to win a trip to Nice, France to join me at my Peace & Love Birthday Celebration.“But remember – it does not matter where you may be on July 7th, everyone everywhere is invited to join in on spreading Peace and Love by stopping what you’re doing at noon and thinking, posting or speaking those words into the universe with us. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday, or a better gift I could ask for.”To find out more, visit prizeo.com.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The North Peace Ride for the Disabled (NPRD) held its annual Country Dinner Fundraiser and was hailed a success.Elizabeth Calder, a board member for the NPRD, shares Fort St. John came through again with a significant turn out to the door, purchasing tickets for dinner.Saturday, September 28th, 2019, approximately 180 people attended the event raising around $8000 for the group. The community support and donations towards the silent auction and cash donations as well were outstanding, shared Calder.Monies raised from this fundraiser go towards the operational costs such as horse boarding, arena rental, horse feed and care (chiropractic, farrier, etc.), coordinator fees, insurance, and any other expenses that come up during the year.Calder continues to say, the entertainment was donated, and a big thank you to the new Colt “45, Tom Cole, Brian Salmond, Jay Stafford, and Darion Wray.
By Sana ElouaziRabat – A young Egyptian pop singer was arrested on Saturday, November 18, after she appeared in her first music video in lingerie. Egyptian authorities have charged her with “inciting debauchery.”Many complaints have been filed following the release of the video calling it “indecent.” The young singer, known as Shyma, appears in a mock classroom licking an apple and simulating fellatio on a banana, in front of a chalkboard scribbled with “Class # 69” and the letters “Vag.”After her detention, the video, which gained 150,000 on YouTube within 24 hours after its release, is no longer available on the streaming site, and all versions are blocked by the publisher.The Egyptian daily Youm7 has denounced the pop singer, saying that “Shyma presents a lesson of depravity to young people”.The music video has also sparked strong reactions on social media.pic.twitter.com/nDUDozcgKVOh! The banned song clip is a copy! And singer Shyma was graduated in Al Azhar university!!!— Candy Rukh Khan ?? (@Kemet2MkMert) November 16, 2017An Egyptian Song WTF ??? Shyma – Andy Zoroof https://t.co/BplFiFhDOL via— amr odtallah (@amr_3s) November 16, 2017On her Facebook account, the young woman apologized in a now-deleted post that reads. “I apologize to all those who were disturbed by the clip and considered it indecent,” wrote the 21-year-old singer.Shyma added that she did not expect to be “the target of such virulent attack from everyone, as a young singer […] who dreamed of becoming a singer from a young age.”According to Egyptian Independent, the prosecution accuses her of committing a “shameful act,” a crime punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a LE 300 fine.She was also accused of committing a “shameful act in public,” which could be punishable by three years in jail.Shyma’s arrest follows recent crackdowns on public displays of sexuality in Egypt.At least 50 people suspected of homosexuality were arrested after waving a rainbow flag at a recent concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila in Cairo.In 2015, the Egyptian court sentenced to one year in prison a dancer for actions considered indecent in a music video, while several others pleaded guilty and received jail sentences for what it called “debauchery” and “incitement to debauchery.”
Rabat – Construction work on the world’s largest seawater desalination plant is well on track. An employee at the National Office of Electricity and Potable Water (ONEE) has released a photo of the construction work on social media.Located in Morocco’s southern coastal city of Agadir, the Douira seawater desalination station project has a MAD 3 billion budget, and a treatment capacity of around 75 million cubic meters of desalinated water per year.The plant is expected to produce nearly 275.000 cubic meters of desalinated water daily before reaching its maximum capacity of 450.000 cubic meters per day. The station will supply the region’s population with drinking water and irrigate a perimeter of 15.000 hectares in the region of Chtouka Ait Baha.Farmers have also contributed MAD 10.000 to the financing of the station.The government has promised them desalinated water for irrigation at a low price of MAD 5 per cubic meters in exchange for the investment in construction.Spanish company, Abengoa, is in charge of construction which will be functional in 2021.
The people of Haut Uele, especially its main town of Isiro, are complaining of continued harassment by the army and police and the levying of unauthorized taxes by the administration, the mission says in a report released today.The area is governed by the former rebel Rassemblement congolais pour la démocratie-National (RCD-N) which is now part of the national transitional government. According to the report, the locals also say military recruitment continues, especially of children. The mission is urging humanitarian agencies to open offices in Isiro, where it says the reduced staff of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international non-governmental organization MEDAIR feel they are working alone to meet major humanitarian needs.The residents are suffering from a lack of clean water, the mission says, and the majority of households lack access to a balanced, protein-rich diet.More than 100,000 workers are unemployed due to a drastic strife-induced decline in the area’s agricultural industry, which used to comprise growing and processing cotton, coffee and palm oil, the report says.The joint mission, which visited Isiro from 26-28 November, included the UN Deputy Special Representative to the DRC, Lena Sundh, German Ambassador Loretta Loschelder, and representatives from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).With the advent of the dry season in January, many displaced people will be on the move and are likely to spread meningitis, which experts have confirmed to be spreading in the region, the mission says.A separate OCHA report raises concern over an estimated 6,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Watsa, northeast of Isiro. Further details are difficult to obtain because no mission has been able to visit the area.
Temple trustees vote next week on naming NBC’s Tamron Hall to board seat vacated by Bill Cosby PHILADELPHIA – Temple University trustees are expected to vote next week on naming NBC correspondent Tamron Hall to fill a seat on the board vacated by Bill Cosby last year.The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/1j9uCwv ) reports that board chairman Patrick O’Connor said the 1992 Temple grad has the support she needs for approval. Trustees are to vote Tuesday.He called Hall a “vibrant, loyal alum” who will add “a new dimension” to the 36-member board.Hall grew up in Texas and joined NBC in 2007. She currently hosts an hour of the “Today” show.In a story in the school’s magazine, she says Temple “gave me my confidence.”Cosby resigned from the board in December following renewed allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women over many years. He’s never been charged with a crime.___Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com FILE – In this Dec. 6, 2014 file photo, Tamron Hall arrives at Selma And The Legends That Paved The Way Gala in Goleta, Calif. Temple University trustees are expected to vote next week on naming NBC correspondent Tamron Hall to fill a seat on the board vacated by Bill Cosby last year. Cosby resigned from the board in December following renewed allegations that he drugged and sexually assaulted women over many years. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) by The Associated Press Posted Oct 7, 2015 5:43 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 7, 2015 at 6:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
When Jacob Stickel walked through the doors of his new co-op workplace, he knew it was crunch time.The third-year international business dual-degree student was being handed significant responsibilities at the PepsiCo Frito-Lay manufacturing plant in Cambridge, Ont. and he was determined to succeed.In addition to assisting with daily taste tests to examine the quality of potato chips made at the factory, the 20-year old Kitchener native made use of skills learned during his studies at Brock to oversee a shift of 15 to 20 employees.“I used the lessons from my human resources course to better interact with people, and to examine their motivations and personalities,” he said. “Some of the employees were 50 years older than me, so it was important that I knew how to get them to listen and how to effectively lead the team.”As the manufacturing resource manager for one of the plant’s three daily shifts, Stickel was charged with ensuring everything on the production line, which included two fryers, four kettles and two seasoning lines, ran smoothly during his shift. And the significance of the task was not lost on him.“The responsibility and accountability is beyond anything I would have expected,” he said. “When I was running the first shift, I was completely accountable for meeting our potato chip processing targets. They trusted me with so much, and it says a lot about their screening process when they are hiring co-op students.”While finding a role that allowed him to increase his work experience was key, Stickel had also hoped to secure a job near his hometown. He was thankful that Brock’s co-op job board helped to make that happen.“The job board is fantastic,” he said. “There are lots of really cool opportunities to make an impact, to test yourself and to apply what you learned in school.”Stickel was proud to take on the huge responsibilities that came with being named a manufacturing resource manager.“I felt like I was making an impact,” he said.That impact included harnessing his organizational skills to conduct a special project concerning food safety.To help make the plant more efficient and safe, Stickel helped the plant transition into having colour-coded processing zones by creating a tool audit that ensured tools were in the right place. He also helped to improve the company’s compliance with food safety standards.It was the reputation of Brock’s diverse co-op education options, which include co-op employment opportunities in 40 programs and the participation of 15 per cent of the University’s students, that helped Stickel make his post-secondary decision.“When I went to the Ontario Universities’ Fair in Toronto, the Brock booth featured a business program with a co-op and that was important to me,” he said. “After reading more about the program, I decided to come here.”Stickel’s confidence in the program and its ability to impact his career development has remained strong ever since.“I was happy to apply my skills in the real world,” he said. “If I had worked a standard summer job, I would not have been doing such meaningful work that would advance my career.”The experience taught him about “taking risks to find out what works for you and those around you,” he said. “The four-month term gives you the ability to try new things. You meet new people and make connections. It’s all about capitalizing on those opportunities.”Now back at Brock for the Fall semester, Stickel brings with him a wealth of real-world experience and new networking contacts that he hopes will help to fast-track his career after graduation.He also brings with him new admiration for the work, such as sampling for quality control, that goes into each bag of the popular treats.“Initially, tasting the chips was fantastic,” he said. “But eventually you lose your taste for them and it just became another important part of the job.”
OSU senior outside hitter Katie Mitchell (17) prepares to hit the ball during a match against Florida State on Sept. 6 at St. John Arena. Credit: Ashley Roudebush / For The LanternWith a demanding Big Ten schedule looming, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team has one more opportunity for a tune-up before it begins conference play.Coming off two straight tournament wins and riding an eight-match winning streak, No. 13 OSU is scheduled to head north this weekend to play in the Golden Grizzlies Invitational in Rochester, Michigan.On Friday, OSU is set to play Eastern Illinois (5-5) at noon and Western Michigan (2-9) at 7 p.m., followed by a match against host Oakland (3-7) on Saturday at 2 p.m.Although his squad is playing three teams with underwhelming records, coach Geoff Carlston said he is prepared to get the best shot of each one.“They’re not going to be as physical as Arizona, but they’re going to pass and play defense probably better than a lot of teams we’ve seen,” Carlston said. “So they’re going to make you earn it. If you’re making tons of mistakes, you’re going to lose.”Carlston said he is pleased with the start that his team has gotten off to this season, but is preaching balance to his players as they head into the weekend and look ahead to their conference schedule.“You can’t get bummed out when you lose because you can play really well and lose,” Carlston said. “And you sometimes you can grind out wins and you can’t feel like you’re the best team in the world, either. You just have to stay steady and confident.”Senior outside hitter Elizabeth Campbell said keeping the focus on playing together as a team and controlling the tempo of the game will be important if the Buckeyes want to extend their winning streak.“I know that these teams this weekend aren’t necessarily ranked like we had played the previous weekends, but everyone’s good at what they do,” Campbell said.Carlston has kept practice light during the short week to keep his players fresh as OSU gets into the grind of its schedule.“With our Big Ten schedule and how it shapes up, if we’re going to rest a little bit, this is the time to do it,” he said.Versatility at setterBoth OSU setters have seen plenty of playing time in the early going of the season. Freshman Taylor Hughes leads the Buckeyes with 198 assists, but senior Emily Ruetter is not far behind with 172.Carlston compared the situation to what’s going on at quarterback for the OSU football team with Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett.“We have two very good setters,” he said. “They are very different personalities. You’re going to get a different look. Emily is just steady, steady, steady, and Taylor Hughes is more physical … The two of them together is a really neat combination.”León wins Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the WeekAfter being named the most valuable player of the Blackbird Invitational last weekend, the awards didn’t stop there for Valeria León. The junior libero was also named the Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Week — alongside Michigan State middle blocker Megan Tompkins — for her efforts in Brooklyn, New York.León had a tournament-high 71 digs, including 35 against then-No. 13 Arizona, the second-best single-game total in OSU history. She has been named to the all-tournament team in all three of OSU’s non-conference competitions. León said she feels that she’s playing at the top of her game right now.“I feel like I worked really hard this summer and preseason,” she said. “I feel like my hard work is just finally paying off. We can only get better from here.”What’s next?The conference schedule is scheduled to begin for the Buckeyes on Sept. 23 when they host No. 23 Minnesota at St. John Arena, the first of four straight home matchups to kick off Big Ten play.
Defense Minister Nikos Dendias has ordered the armed forces to be on standby as a new wave of bad weather hits Greece.The Civil Protection Authority in central and northern Greece is also on standby for potential problems caused by the cold weather and strong winds expected in many parts of the country.The temperature is expected to reach as low as -11 in Florina, West Macedonia. Meteorologists believe it could snow overnight in Athens’s northern suburbs.Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Dan Cohen AUTHOR DOD last week issued a final rule removing a clause from the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) requiring contractors to give federal employees at closing installations the right of first refusal for certain jobs with contractors hired to prepare the installation for closure, or to maintain it after closure, as it is duplicative of an existing Federal Acquisition Regulation clause. … The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported last week that its shelters for housing migrant children are 95 percent full, but the agency has not yet asked to use any of the installations in Texas and Arkansas it recently evaluated for that purpose, Dana White, the Pentagon’s chief spokesperson, said Thursday. HHS officials last month visited Fort Bliss, Goodfellow AFB, Dyess AFB and Little Rock AFB to assess their suitability for housing minors who are apprehended at the nation’s southern border without an adult relative or after law enforcement officials have separated them from their parents.Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Big Market Research Market Reports has announced the addition of the “Global Digital Lending Platform Market: Industry Analysis, Opportunity Assessment; 2019 – 2023“report to their offering.In short, a digital lending platform like QCash leverages social, mobile, data analytics and the cloud to create a lending process that’s efficient for the financial institution and easy for the borrower. In the context of China-US trade war and global economic volatility and uncertainty, it will have a big influence on this market. Digital Lending Platform Report by Material, Application, and Geography – Global Forecast to 2023 is a professional and comprehensive research report on the world’s major regional market conditions, focusing on the main regions (North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific) and the main countries (United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea and China).In this report, the global Digital Lending Platform Market is valued at USD XX million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2023, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the period 2019 to 2023.A sample copy of this premium research report is available @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-sample/3247092#utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=shraddha_kThe report firstly introduced the Digital Lending Platform basics: definitions, classifications, applications and market overview; product specifications; manufacturing processes; cost structures, raw materials and so on. Then it analyzed the world’s main region market conditions, including the product price, profit, capacity, production, supply, demand and market growth rate and forecast etc. In the end, the report introduced new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, and investment return analysis.The major players profiled in this report include:Black KnightEllie MAEFinastraFIS GlobalFiservNucleus SoftwareTavant TechnologiesThe end users/applications and product categories analysis:On the basis of product, this report displays the sales volume, revenue (Million USD), product price, market share and growth rate of each type, primarily split into-SolutionServiceOn the basis on the end users/applications, this report focuses on the status and outlook for major applications/end users, sales volume, market share and growth rate of Digital Lending Platform for each application, including-BanksInsurance CompaniesInquire for Discount @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-for-discount/3247092#utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=shraddha_kAbout Us:Big Market Research has a range of research reports from various publishers across the world. Our database of reports of various market categories and sub-categories would help to find the exact report you may be looking for.Contact Us:Mr. Abhishek Paliwal Big Market Research5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland,OR 97220 United StatesDirect: +1-971-202-1575Toll Free: +1-800-910-6452E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Digital Lending Platform Market
Related posts:5 questions for a painter: ‘Art is the pursuit of the truth’ 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Dino Real – ‘Everything can be art’ 5 questions for Costa Rican artist Luciano Goizueta 5 questions for a Costa Rican graphic designer Facebook Comments How would you define Costa Rica in colors?C: I’d define Costa Rica as a very rich and ample chromatic range. There are tons of aesthetic possibilities. On a color usage level there’s certain affinity toward various specific colors, especially within the more urban zone. The colors turquoise and pink are always present. You’ve got the different shades of light blue, pink and the mixture of these. For example, half of the painting is one color and the other half is another color. Most of the time, the majority of the lettering is done with primary colors such as black, red, yellow and blue. I think it’s due to the idea of economizing the paint.J: Or maybe it’s about the opportunity of using the leftover paint they have at that moment.What captures your attention?J: In my case it’s the street. It’s the biggest existing museum because I like going out and looking at all the details that surround it.C: What Iden-Tica has awakened within me is the understanding that if a city is not used, it gets lost. This has awakened my desire to out walking a lot. That’s the only way to really get to know a city or a town.J: You’ve got to value the place where you are. Even if it’s small and it’s not modern, it’ll have its own flavor. It’s about getting out, discovering, and trying to offer that vision to people who impede themselves from looking at it that way.C: And not having that fear that people often have when they say they don’t go to certain places because it’s dangerous. There are people just like us there. Wherever there are people, there are also possibilities. Graphic designers Juan Manuel Betancourt, of Venezuela, and Claudio Corrales, of Costa Rica, have joined forces on a unique project that encourages Ticos to appreciate the imagery in their daily lives.Iden-tica gathers Costa Rican popular art from sources such as street murals and lettering, packing and advertisements; it has grown into a local brand featuring magazines, collectibles and pins, and been featured around the world at events such as the Paris Salon du Livre (2014), and the Iberoamerican Design Biennial in Madrid (2014).Betancourt has been living in Costa Rica since 2003. Between 2004 and 2009 he directed the Revista Colectiva, a collaborative project that gathered a collective of illustrators from all over the world; he founded Iden-tica in 2013. Corrales works as a full-time graphic design professor at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and joined Betancourt on the Iden-tica project in 2014.On a calm, beautiful evening at Betancourt’s apartment in Los Yoses, The Tico Times sat down and spoke with Betancourt and Corrales about the Costa Rican “look,” street lettering, and, of course, fried chicken. Excerpts follow.How did the project come to be? J: I started the “chicken project” as a hobby… [depicting the fried chicken] you see every day on the streets. I had to do something with all the material I had. During that same time, I started documenting photographs graphic lettering, typography and characters. I reached a point where I had to find a way to pour it all out.C: It has been an educational process because it started out as a magazine, but it has developed into a brand. Iden-Tica is not only about the editorial side and products; it’s about the educational part.J: We feel we’ve opened many people’s eyes. This is what you see on your daily life, but don’t take a glance at it.C: The strongest message of our project is to look inward to the national or Latin American identity. This generates empathy towards it when we’re on our search for it. Latinos are very antipathetic toward the idea that we have an identity. With the project we’ve strengthened that idea of identity.How would you define the Costa Rican identity?J: What might seem day-to-day for you might not seem that way for someone who comes from another country. When you’re a foreigner and are eager to fall in love with a new place, that’s what defines it. Since I’m a lover of art, photography and design, everything caught my attention, even the streets and buses. It didn’t matter if I walked from the Caja to the Coca Cola, if there were lots of people or if it was raining: I was in love with the place. The first “mascot” that caught my attention was the chicken.C: I’d define the Costa Rican identity through color, noise, and saborrr (flavor).J: And fat and the fried chicken smell. I remember when I got here and traveled by bus. I’d go to Manuel Antonio, Jacó and other beaches. I was surprised when people would get on the bus with their fried chicken bag and leave the bus impregnated with the smell. The fried chicken edition is Iden-Tica’s last edition depicting the Costa Rican identity. (Courtesy of Juan Manuel Betancourt and Claudio Corrales)What is the most interesting mural or popular graphic lettering you’ve encountered?C: With the graphic lettering and typography there is a lot of interesting work [by street artists]. Mr. Masking [in San José] has a very developed typographic system. In Alajuela you’ve got El Pintor and El Pintor has a typography that has all of Alajuela lettered.J: San José is very typographic and Alajuela is very character-based.C: There are areas in which these two things are combined on a graphic level, but what other things do we discover? The people. Being able to speak with the people who make these works is the most interesting part.J: It often happens that you’re taking a photo, and suddenly, someone tells you to knock on someone’s door because the person who painted it is there. People also tell you the person’s name and you end up meeting someone who’s not a painter. We sometimes get to a place and are invited into this person’s house. We end up discovering the same lettering within the person’s house.C: Or you’re invited to come in and end up eating bread with natilla and drinking coffee.
Quick workouts for men Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories OSLO, Norway (AP) – An Iraqi-born Islamist cleric has been given a one-year prison sentence for making death threats against Norwegian politicians, influencing witnesses and inciting terror.The Oslo District Court convicted Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, on Wednesday of posting online threats during an earlier trial, including encouraging the killings or kidnappings of Norwegians.This sentence comes in addition to a five-year term he got in March for making death threats against Norwegian officials for a 2005 decision to deport him. He was also convicted of threatening three Kurdish immigrants he said had insulted Islam. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Comments Share Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home The 56-year-old cleric is the founder of Ansar al-Islam, a Kurdish group listed as a terrorist organization by the United States. He came to Norway as a refugee in 1991.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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 Share
Ballard, 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
Go 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-newsletter
In this selfie provided by Clark and Heather Engsminger, Clark Ensminger, left, poses with his wife Heather in Nashville, Tenn., marking the cross-country trip they are taking to see every U.S. Disney park in a single day. (Courtesy of Clark and Heather Engsminger via AP) Couple plans to visit 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day by Mike Schneider, The Associated Press Posted Oct 16, 2018 9:22 am PDT Last Updated Oct 16, 2018 at 10:41 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email ORLANDO, Fla. – A Tennessee couple plans to visit six Disney parks on two U.S. coasts in one day.Heather and Clark Ensminger on Wednesday plan to visit Disney World’s four theme parks in Florida, hop a cross-country plane and end the night at Disney’s two California parks.The couple from Kingsport, Tennessee, will be armed with a spreadsheet showing what time they need to be at each park.In Florida, they plan to have breakfast at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before walking over to Epcot. From there, they will go to the Magic Kingdom and have lunch at Animal Kingdom.They have a direct flight from Orlando to Los Angeles at 4:30 p.m.They plan to be at California Adventure by 8 p.m. local time and Disneyland before it closes at midnight.
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