Rabat- Issa Hayatou, President of the African Football Confederation, said that CAF’s executive committee meeting in Algeria on Sunday will decide the fate of the 2015 Afcon after requests from planned hosts Morocco to postpone the tournament over fears of the Ebola epidemic.Speaking to Algerian Television, the Cameroonian said that it is the meeting of CAF’s executive committee that will come with an official decision of whether to postpone the competition to another date or seek new hosts if talks with Morocco collapse.African football body has denied reports by Moroccan newspapers suggesting that a midweek meeting involving Hayatou and senior Moroccan officials has led to struck a deal to delay the tournament, according to AFP. CAF has approached several countries in an attempt to secure a host for the most prestigious African competition if Morocco finally decides to back down. Algeria, Egypt, South Africa and Sudan all declined CAF’s requests to host the 2015 Afcon.
Abdelilah Benkirane Receives Blogger Who has Resentment Towards IslamistsAbdelilah Benkirane Receives Blogger Who has Resentment Towards Islamists
Rabat – Abdelilah Benkirane, the former Head of Government and Secretary General of Justice and Development Party (PJD), has met with leftist blogger Zineb Benmoussa, whom he criticized last August for her “incitement to explode the Islamists.” In August, the blogger stirred a controversy on social media after she wrote on Facebook that she is a “racist and extremist [that] fights Islam and hates Muslims – can carry out a terrorist attack against them by using a gas cylinder.”The PJD head received Benmoussa at his house in Rabat. In the presence of her friends as well as her lawyer, Abdessamad Idrissi, Benkirane reportedly questioned Benmoussa, asking her, “Where is the gas cylinder?” Benmoussa answered, “They cut it off. I was talking about the little gas cylinder not the big one – it is heaviest.” Benkirane then prayed for Benmoussa and that her “problems [would] be solved.”Speaking to media, Benmoussa said, “I hope the public opinion differentiates between Facebook and reality. I have no problem with Mr. Benkirane, and when I met him – I told him that I don’t agree with the social scheme of the Justice and Development Party (PJD).”“My disagreement is still ongoing and I will always call for counterattack [to] it – but I respect people regardless of their ideologies and affiliations,” she continued. “The story of the gas cylinder was a joke.”
WatchChinabased GeoJade Petroleum Corp offers 575 million cash to take over BankersWatchChinabased GeoJade Petroleum Corp offers 575 million cash to take over Bankers
CALGARY — Bankers Petroleum Ltd. has received a friendly takeover offer that values the Calgary-based company at $575 million, excluding debt obligations.The directors and management of Bankers are fully supporting the offer from Charter Power and a numbered Alberta company, which are affiliates of China-based Geo-Jade Petroleum Corp.Under the proposal, Bankers would maintain a corporate and technical headquarters in Calgary and operational offices in Albania, Hungary and Romania.The oil price crash is over — let the recovery of Alberta’s hard-hit economy beginOil producers seek to shore up crude rally with mid-April summit to discuss output freezeDavid French, the president and CEO of Bankers, says the deal would provide the company with resources to accelerate activity in Albania and provide its shareholders with a premium price compared with recent stock values.The offer is worth $2.20 per Bankers share cash, about double the Friday closing price of $1.11 per share. The stock hit a 52-week high of $3.83 last April but fell to as low as 60 cents in January.The deal requires approval of two-thirds of the votes cast by Bankers shareholders. Each side has agreed to pay US$20 million to the other in certain circumstances if the deal doesn’t go through.Bankers will reschedule its previously announced general meeting and hold a special meeting before the end of May.
Oxford Properties acquires portfolio of office properties in Australia for 33 billionOxford Properties acquires portfolio of office properties in Australia for 33 billion
TORONTO — Oxford Properties Group has acquired the Investa Office Fund, a portfolio of 19 properties in Australia, for $3.3 billion.The deal includes office buildings in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra.The companies say Oxford and Investa will jointly manage the portfolio.Blackstone concedes defeat to Canada’s Oxford Properties in battle for Australia’s InvestaOMERS’ Oxford unit sweetens bid for Australia’s Investa, topping Blackstone’s offerOMERS tops Blackstone with $3.1 billion bid for Australian property company InvestaOxford plans to sell a number of non-core properties and has initiated select sale processes to reposition the portfolio and fund future growth.It’s the real estate investment firm’s second major investment in Australia following the lease of the Port of Melbourne as part of a consortium in 2016.Oxford is the real estate arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension plans.
Better trained forces in Jamaica could stop extrajudicial killings UN expert saysBetter trained forces in Jamaica could stop extrajudicial killings UN expert says
“The Special Rapporteur recognizes the challenge faced by the security forces in controlling crime and violence, but underlines that a high crime rate is not an excuse for the excessive use of force on the part of State authorities,” Asma Jahangir says in her report to the upcoming session of the Geneva-based Commission.”The Government must take measures to streamline the criminal justice system, so that complainants have access to all legal remedies and that justice is fully served,” she adds.Ms. Jahangir conducted a mission to Jamaica from 17 to 27 February 2003 at the invitation of the Jamaican government. Among the people she interviewed were relatives of persons who allegedly had been executed extrajudicially, as well as witnesses.”Following her mission, it was the Special Rapporteur’s distinct impression that extrajudicial executions by the police and, possibly, in a very few cases, also Jamaican Defence Forces, had in fact taken place,” she says in her report.Ms. Jahangir adds that she could not judge the guilt or innocence of anyone – “this eventually has to be determined through a due process of law” – but the criminal justice system in Jamaica lacked the appropriate capacity to deal with such cases.People in poor urban areas saw two justice systems, meanwhile: “one for the privileged and affluent” and “rough justice for the socially and economically marginalized,” she says.The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions should be re-oriented “so that it is perceived to be serving the interests of the public” and there should be a procedure to review its decisions not to send complainant cases to trial, she says. The capacities of investigators should be enhanced and forensic experts should be independent of the police.Jamaican law enforcement officials must be trained to observe international standards, according to the Special Rapporteur, who stresses that training should include alternatives to the use of lethal force and contingency plans for armed encounters.
Food security and nutrition should top development agenda after 2015 – UNFood security and nutrition should top development agenda after 2015 – UN
“In line with the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge, and in close collaboration with our development partners, we agree that nothing less than the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition is what we should be striving for,” said José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).Opening the global consultation on hunger, food security and nutrition in the post-2015 development agenda, held in Rome on Monday, Mr. Graziano da Silva urged the international community to commit to the complete eradication of hunger in setting its development priorities beyond 2015. Halving the proportion of hungry people in the world by 2015 was among the targets within the eight MDGs. Some 50 countries are on track to achieve this target, the Director-General noted. Amir Abdulla, Deputy Executive-Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), urged countries to continue to work together to make hunger “the world’s number one solvable problem.” Meanwhile, Carlos Serè, Chief Development Strategist of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), emphasized that “investing in the sustainable development of rural areas and in inclusive rural growth,” with a focus on smallholder agriculture, is critical for global food security and to the whole post-2015 agenda.The one-day consultation called for including a focus on nutrition in the post-2015 development agenda, as well as for dealing with the different dimensions of under-nutrition and the fast-growing problems of obesity and related non-communicable diseases, according to a news release issued by FAO. It also stressed, among other things, that food security and nutrition represent the cornerstone for progress on other development fronts such as employment, education, the environment and health and in achieving a quality future for humankind, the agency reported. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Zero Hunger Challenge, first proposed at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil last June, aims for a future where every individual has adequate nutrition. Its five objectives are to make sure that everyone in the world has access to enough nutritious food all year long; to end childhood stunting; to build sustainable food systems; to double the productivity and income of smallholder farmers, especially women; and to prevent food from being lost or wasted.
Justin Verlander Needs The Astros As Much As They Need HimJustin Verlander Needs The Astros As Much As They Need Him
WAR in table is a meta-metric that averages together several different versions of the statistic. Numbers accurate as of Friday morning.Source: TheBaseballgauge.com 5Joey Votto1BCIN54.366.695 18Carlos CorreaSSHOU14.467.056 12Buster PoseyCSF36.557.878 7Mike TroutCFLAA50.970.393 1Albert Pujols1BLAA100.666.6100% 4Robinson Cano2BSEA65.169.098 15Nolan Arenado3BCOL23.566.464 RKPLAYERPOSTEAMCAREERPOSITION HOF AVGHOF PROB. 16Jose Altuve2BHOU25.069.060 19Mookie BettsRFBOS18.771.255 8Chris SaleSPBOS36.269.883 24Kenley JansenRPLAD17.237.445 20Anthony Rizzo1BCHC26.066.655 11Manny Machado3BBAL27.566.480 22Bryce HarperRFWAS25.071.247 13Kris Bryant3BCHC18.766.473 WAR Hall voters probably won’t be looking only at WAR, which does help Verlander’s case. According to the more conventional indicators included in James’s Black Ink and Hall of Fame Monitor tests (which give more weight to peak performance), Verlander clears the traditional marks necessary for HOF inclusion. But he falls short in the Gray Ink and Hall of Fame Standards tests, which give more weight to long, consistent careers — underscoring just how much Verlander’s Cooperstown case swings depending on which factors you look at.Verlander’s postseason stats complicate his legacy even further. He’s no stranger to late-October baseball. He led the Tigers on two World Series runs, in 2006 and 2012, but both trips ended abruptly. Verlander was on the losing end of three of the nine games in those series. Aside from dominating sprints through the AL playoffs in 2012 and 2013 (in which he posted a microscopic 0.57 ERA2Weighted by innings pitched in each series.), Verlander has a 6.00 ERA in the rest of the postseason.3Also weighted by innings. So he has run both extremely hot and extremely cold in his playoff career.But the good news for Verlander is that the Astros will provide him with an opportunity to redeem those up-and-down postseason numbers. Houston has a world-beating offense, and one of its only weaknesses was a rotation that had enjoyed little health and even less consistency throughout most of the season. All due respect to Dallas Keuchel, who has been shaky since returning from injury — but with Verlander, the Astros have picked up a bona fide ace who can anchor the team multiple times in a series and let the big bats go to work.What makes this trade particularly rare is that players of Verlander’s reputation don’t tend to change addresses midseason, especially not while still producing strong numbers. Out of 1,608 regular-season trades listed on The Baseball Gauge since 1988, only 107 involve a marquee player as accomplished (by wins above replacement4Once again, using The Baseball Gauge’s meta-metric for WAR.) as Verlander. Swaps involving pitchers are rarer still, and once you consider that the Tigers ace still figures to produce 0.7 WAR over the rest of the season, only 30 trades are comparable to this one.This isn’t the first time that the Astros have picked up Hall of Fame-caliber pitching talent for the stretch run. In 1998, Houston swapped a trio of young players with the Seattle Mariners for Randy Johnson. Johnson performed admirably as the Astros clinched the division, but Houston lost to the Padres in the NLDS. Johnson would finally get his first (and only) World Series appearance three years later with Arizona.But the Johnson trade happened at the deadline, while the Verlander deal happened in August, which made this transaction even more unusual. Only 23 players who have been traded as the main piece after the deadline had as much total career value as Verlander; only six were pitchers. Even within that already small pool, half of the players made only minimal contributions to their new teams after the trade.Given Verlander’s strong performance already this year and Houston’s need atop its rotation, it seems a good bet that Verlander will make much more than a “minimal contribution.” For the sake of both parties’ long-term legacies, they’d better hope so. 6Clayton KershawSPLAD57.769.894 14Evan Longoria3BTB50.366.472 It was the trade that almost wasn’t (but then was). Just as talks between the Houston Astros and Detroit Tigers over ace pitcher Justin Verlander looked like they were breaking down Thursday, news broke overnight that the two clubs had agreed to terms — Verlander would be headed to Houston after all, as part of a deal that also included cash and prospects.This is a huge move for the Astros, who needed rotation help ahead of the playoffs. But it might prove to be a big turning point in Verlander’s career, too. Although Verlander has built an impressive résumé in 13 big league seasons, he might not be on a Hall of Fame track quite yet. So what he ends up adding to Houston’s postseason push this season might have an outsize effect on his eventual case for Cooperstown.Verlander is one of the best pitchers of his generation, of course. He has the fourth-most wins of any active pitcher and the third-most strikeouts. He’s one of only 22 pitchers to win an MVP award, and when he took home the honor in 2011, he was the first in nearly two decades to do it. But according to the advanced metrics — which are taking on more importance in the Hall of Fame voting process with each passing year — Verlander probably still has some work to do before locking down his status as a future Hall member.According to The Baseball Gauge’s wins above replacement meta-metric,1Which averages aspects of the WAR versions found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com, in addition to Baseball Gauge’s own WAR metric. Verlander currently has 53.8 career WAR. The average starting pitcher in Cooperstown has 69.8, so the 34-year-old Verlander would need to tack 16 more WAR onto his lifetime total to reach the typical HOF level. Using a variant of Bill James’s “favorite toy” (which estimates a player’s chances of hitting a statistical milestone given his age and recent track record of production), The Baseball Gauge gives Verlander about a 47 percent chance of putting up the WAR necessary to hit the HOF average. That puts Verlander in a tie for 22nd-highest among active players (and trails fellow pitchers Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Chris Sale and Max Scherzer) in Hall of Fame probability: 3Miguel Cabrera1BDET66.466.6100 25Andrelton SimmonsSSLAA23.967.037 21Giancarlo StantonRFMIA34.471.253 2Adrian Beltre3BTEX80.966.4100 23Justin VerlanderSPDET53.869.847 10Paul Goldschmidt1BARI35.066.680 9Zack GreinkeSPARI55.669.881 Verlander’s Hall of Fame chances could use some helpFor active players, probability of matching the average career wins above replacement (WAR) for a Hall of Famer at the same position 17Max ScherzerSPWAS43.069.858
Teachers are leaving school in groups for fear of violent repercussions fromTeachers are leaving school in groups for fear of violent repercussions from
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Teachers are leaving school in groups because they are scared of vicious attacks from parents, a conference was told.The National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) has warned that both violent and physical attacks from parents and pupils are “increasing in both severity and regularity”.At their annual conference in Telford, the union passed a motion calling for better protection of teachers and special training for school staff to combat aggression.Michelle Sheehy executive headteacher of Millfield Primary School in Walsall, told delegates about two of her colleagues who suffered racist and homophobic abuse and were “subsequently threatened with an axe”.She went on to say: “Another school that I am working with, school teachers leave in groups because they are afraid of violent repercussions from parents. It stops them from disciplining students in the way they think they should.”Ms Sheehy added that banning orders have been issued to these parents in question, but they are “not really worth the paper they are written on because they are just ignored and then nothing is done about that”.The NAHT urged ministers to publish guidance for schools on how to deal with violence and aggression against school staff.Proposing the motion, Tim Gallagher said: “Do we need to have the death of a headteacher, or the death of a senior member of staff like Jo Cox, before we take this seriously?” Headteachers also complained about the threats and abuse they receive online, via social media, which can damage their reputation. Earlier this week, the Education Secretary said that teachers need protection from “vitriolic” online abuse.Damian Hinds said: “While attention is mainly focused on protecting young people from possible online danger, they are by no means the only victims. The internet is not selective and I know that teachers and leaders can be vulnerable too.”He said that he plans to update guidance on how teachers can protect themselves from cyberbullying and abuse.“No teacher should have to put up with sometimes vitriolic comments and we need to make sure they are protected for that,” Mr Hinds said.
Aggreko, the provider of temporary power and temperature control services to the mining industry, has officially opened a new service centre in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The new facility was formally inaugurated by Honorable Willem Isaak, Deputy Minister of Mines of Namibia and Martin Foster, Head of Local Business, Aggreko Southern and East Africa. Cleophas Mutjavikua, the Governor of the Erongo region, was also in attendance. The facility is the sixth service centre in Aggreko’s Southern and East African network and is the first operation to be based in Namibia.The new depot will service the country’s rapidly growing mining industry and other industrial users throughout the country. Aggreko provides turn-key temporary power and temperature control solutions to customers across a range of industries. Temporary power packages help companies deal with power outages and load shedding, guaranteeing their supplies and reducing the risk of business disruption when blackouts occur.Commenting on the new depot opening, James Shepherd, Aggreko’s Managing Director for Southern and East Africa, said: “Aggreko’s expansion into Namibia is a major step in our strategy to build local presence in the key industrial hubs of Southern and East Africa. As the region continues its strong growth, Aggreko is well placed to support this growth through the provision of the world leading temporary power and temperature control services.” “Namibia is a key strategic market for Aggreko,” commented Martin Foster. “Aggreko is highly committed to the development of the communities we operate in. We take very seriously the progression of our local Aggreko people and will hire and train a strong local workforce to support the new facility. The long-term success of our business is directly linked to a highly capable and well trained Namibian workforce.”
Groundbreaking safety PLC speeds and simplifies safety engineering for complex control projectsGroundbreaking safety PLC speeds and simplifies safety engineering for complex control projects
ABB has launched a new safety PLC offering exceptionally flexible and powerful programming facilities that speed and simplify the development of safe control solutions for the most complex control applications. The safety PLC – the AC500-S – is a new addition to ABB’s well-known AC500 PLC range and features a dual processor architecture that complies with SIL3/PL e functional safety levels. Prior to commercial release, the new controller has been extensively field tested over three years in some 10 pilot applications including different types of cranes, mining hoists, automatic guided vehicles, and robotics.Among many pioneering features for the safety PLC market segment, ABB’s new AC500-S includes support for Structured Text (ST) programming – in addition to conventional graphical function block diagram (FBD) and ladder diagram (LD) software. This provides users with a high level programming approach that can greatly simplify the development of solutions for sophisticated applications requiring complex algorithms and mathematics. The feature is complemented by the inclusion of a powerful suite of functions for trigonometric calculations, including COS, SIN, TAN, ASIN, ACOS and LOG. The mathematical capability is ideal for ensuring safe control of movement in applications involving complex kinematics – such as on cranes, hoists and manipulators. Existing AC500 PLC users can convert to safety PLC architectures, and start programming applications very easily using the new PLC. This is because ABB already includes support for the safety PLC programming in its CODESYS-based integrated development environments for control, motion, robotics and HMI. The new safety PLC hardware also shares the same look and feel as ABB’s standard AC500 PLC family for non-safety applications, as well as identical dimensions to standard ABB CPU and I/O modules, and the same mounting and wiring scheme. Both types of modules may be mixed in the same PLC, allowing it to perform both safety and non-safety functions. This can reduce the complexity and cost of many projects, and open up new options for applications such as direct variable mapping and data exchange between safety and non-safety elements of the control system.To support the development of safety related applications, ABB has developed its own safety code analyser tool, SCA, to verify the safety programming rules or guidelines according to IEC 61508-3 under FBD, LD and ST. This powerful tool – believed to be an industry first – has been certified by TÜV SÜD, who subjected the software to stringent tests. The results are documented in a technical report, which verifies the analyser’s features, compliance with standards, and performance in terms of syntax analysis of safety application source code. A valuable side effect is PLC code that is more reliable, better structured, and more easily readable, which contributes to lower certification effort and post-release maintenance costs. Lower costs and faster development are further aided by the AC500-S safety programming editor’s support for the well-known PLCopen Safety Library – which includes all the standardised function blocks used in safety applications such as E-Stop, Mode Selector, Two-Hand-Control, etc. AC500-S additionally supports the entire range of IEC data types, giving programmers much greater flexibility.Unlike some safety PLCs on the market, ABB’s AC500-S Safety PLC has a separate safety processor. The Safety CPU can be configured to work even if the non-safety processor is in STOP or maintenance mode, or during an online change. The dual processor architecture means that users can easily upgrade the performance of a safety PLC during its lifecycle by plugging in a faster non-safety CPU module. ABB offers a choice of SIL3/PL e certified safety I/O modules including digital input and outputs, and a dedicated analog current input module covering the 0-20 mA (or 4-20 mA) range. The latter module makes it possible to measure parameters such as pressure, temperature, position and torque on applications directly – without any need for A/D conversion or proprietary electronics. This can simplify the implementation of a wide range of safety-related machinery control applications such as braking systems in hoists and lifting equipment, to positioning systems and temperature control on cranes, and selective shutdown systems on wind power turbines. To simplify system design, safety-related control modules may be installed as part of the main PLC solution, or be sited in a remote I/O rack linked using the PROFINET/PROFIsafe protocol. Network-connected control systems like this save cabling and assembly costs, and avoid problems with interference. Moreover, ABB’s I/O modules include integral power supplies, reducing hardware costs and space requirements compared to some other PLC vendor approaches. One other valuable option for safety related control system designers, is the availability of safety PLC modules in ABB’s well known XC ‘extreme conditions’ variants. This option allows users to configure functional safety PLC solutions that are also ruggedised and suitable for operating in harsh conditions and extreme climates.
In lab biokidney successfully transplanted into ratIn lab biokidney successfully transplanted into rat
RESEARCHERS IN THE United States said yesterday they had bio-engineered a kidney and transplanted it into rats, marking a step forward in a quest to help patients suffering from kidney failure.The prototype proves that a “bio-kidney” can work, emulating breakthroughs elsewhere to build replacement structures for livers, hearts and lungs, they said.Described in the journal Nature Medicine, the work entailed taking a rat kidney and stripping out its living cells using a detergent solution, leaving behind a shell made of collagen.The next step was to repopulate this empty structure with living cells, comprising human endothelial cells, which line the walls of blood vessels in the kidney, and kidney cells taken from newborn rats.The trick was then to “seed” these cells in the correct part of the kidney, using a muscle duct called the ureter as a tube.The team transplanted the organ into living rats from which a kidney had been removed.The new kidney started filtering blood and producing urine through the ureter as soon as the bloody supply was restored, and there was no evidence of bleeding or clots.Hope for kidney failure and dialysis sufferersFurther work is needed to fine-tune the cell types to improve organ function, and many hurdles must be overcome before any tests on humans can go ahead, the scientists cautioned.The researchers stripped cells from pig and human kidneys to test the first phase of the procedure on these organs, but have not taken this further for now.Harald Ott of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine said the goal was to help the millions of people with kidney failure whose lives are cripled by dialysis.“If this technology can be scaled to human-sized grafts, patients suffering from renal failure who are currently waiting for donor kidneys or who are not transplant candidates could theoretically receive new organs derived from their own cells” to prevent rejection by the immune system, he said.- © AFP 2013.Read: World’s first womb transplant woman is pregnant>Read: Heart transplant gives mother a new life>
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram There had been no official response by Tuesday night from the troika to the Greek government’s proposals for breaking a deadlock over the program review as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told an audience in Athens that he would not give in to “unreasonable” demands.Greece’s proposals included raising value-added tax on hotel services to 13 percent from 6.5 and phasing out early pensions. It is believed, though, that the International Monetary Fund is demanding more fiscal measures to close an estimated shortfall of 2.5 billion euros for next year.“We are ready for a final agreement and we can achieve it if everyone really wants to move on,” said Samaras at an American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce conference. “I cannot accept unreasonable demands. We are at the end of 2014 and nobody has the right to treat us like they did two-and-a-half or four years ago, when everything was collapsing.”The government sent its proposals, stretching to almost 50 pages, to the troika on Sunday. Sources said that since then Samaras has not made any attempt to contact members of the European Commission.“We have a duty to protect the country’s dignity,” said the prime minister, adding that Greece is prepared to take extra measures next year if its forecasts regarding the budget gap prove wrong and the troika is proved right.“To make changes to the settlement of tax debts in 100 installments, to raise VAT on medicines and to cut pensions would be a disaster,” said Samaras. “I will not allow anyone to torpedo the successes that have been achieved through the sacrifices of the Greek people. I say this to a domestic audience and abroad.”The premier reiterated his belief that the government would win the presidential election in February and accused SYRIZA of scaring investors.Addressing the same conference earlier on Tuesday, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said he would seek a debt writedown for Greece if his party comes to power in snap polls and underlined the need for a broader solution to the eurozone’s debt problem. Tsipras heralded “an immediate end to austerity, a shift to growth, a debt haircut and a significant lightening of the annual cost of servicing [the debt].” Noting that eurozone member states have a combined debt of 9 trillion euros, Tsipras said Germany could not insist on austerity for much longer. “Mrs Merkel and Mr Schaeuble are playing deaf but reality will soon take over,” he said, adding that SYRIZA could be “the midwife of progressive developments in Europe.”Source: Kathimerini
Fantasy film Willow could be headed to Disney Plus as TV seriesFantasy film Willow could be headed to Disney Plus as TV series
0 No word yet on whether original cast members Kilmer and Whalley will join the cast. Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. MTV News correspondent Josh Horowitz broke the news on Twitter on Tuesday, saying Disney Plus is developing a Willow series based on a pitch by Jon Kasdan and featuring Warwick Davis.He added, “You in, @valkilmer?”Screenwriter Jon Kasdan — son of The Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan — recently wrote the screenplay for Solo: A Star Wars Story (also directed by Howard) and the upcoming, untitled Indiana Jones 5 movie. 50 Photos Share your voice TV and Movies Tags Actor Warwick Davis could be returning as the character Willow Ufgood in the Willow TV series reboot for Disney Plus. Lucasfilm The 1988 fantasy film Willow could get rebooted as a television series for the Disney Plus streaming service, according to reports on Wednesday. The original film was directed by Ron Howard and starred Joanne Whalley, Val Kilmer and Warwick Davis. Willow tells the story of a reluctant dwarf who must protect a special baby from an evil queen. 2019 TV shows you can’t miss Post a comment Game of Thrones Battle of Winterfell most tweeted episode in TV history Female Marvel superheroes who deserve Disney Plus shows Former MythBusters host Adam Savage back on TV with Savage Builds DISNEY+ is developing a WILLOW series based on a pitch by @JonKasdan. It’s a continuation and would feature @WarwickADavis. Straight from @RealRonHoward’s mouth to a greenlight please!!! You in, @valkilmer? pic.twitter.com/az4NZllEYf— Josh Horowitz (@joshuahorowitz) May 1, 2019 More TV Disney
FedEx ends contract with Amazon for Express shippingFedEx ends contract with Amazon for Express shipping
FedEx Express planes will no longer be an option for Amazon deliveries. Christian Van Grinsven/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images FedEx said Friday that it’s not renewing its express air-delivery contract with Amazon.The contract loss could hamper Amazon’s push to one-day delivery for Prime members, which already covers 10 million items.”FedEx has made the strategic decision to not renew our FedEx Express contract with Amazon as we focus on serving the broader market. We are excited about the future of e-commerce and our role as a leader in it,” it said.FedEx cited the “significant demand and opportunity” in e-commerce as its reason for ending the contract, saying online delivery is expected to grow from 50 million to 100 million parcels every day in the US by 2026.FedEx also pointed to its e-commerce contracts with Target, Walmart and Walgreens in an emailed statement Friday.”FedEx has already built out the network and capacity to serve thousands of retailers in the e-commerce space,” it said.In response, Amazon said it respects FedEx’s decision and thanked the company for its past role in serving Amazon’s customers, according to an emailed statement.Amazon still retains access to FedEx Ground and international delivery services, however. The e-commerce giant has been working on expanding its own delivery infrastructure, having leased its own planes and broken ground on a new air cargo hub. Earlier this week, Amazon also unveiled its new delivery drone at its re:MARS 2019 conference in Las Vegas.Commenting on the decision by FedEx, Jonathan Root, Moody’s SVP and lead FedEx analyst, said id “makes perfect sense” in light of the growth of retail e-commerce.”FedEx will achieve higher margins and better returns on its investments in its Express network by re-deploying capacity to customers other than Amazon,” Root said in an emailed statement.”We believe Amazon, representing less than 1.3% of FedEx’s nearly $70 billion of consolidated annual revenue, is one of FedEx’s least profitable customers on a margin basis and that the decision implies that Amazon would not agree to financial terms that would meet FedEx’s needs.”Amazon also has express delivery capabilities through its contracts with UPS and USPS, as well as its own services.Updated at 5:51 p.m. PT: Adds comments from Moody’s. Comments 2 Share your voice Mobile Culture Tags Amazon Prime E-commerce Amazon
Baltimore Police Say OffDuty DC Officer Fatally ShotBaltimore Police Say OffDuty DC Officer Fatally Shot
BALTIMORE (AP) — Authorities say an off-duty Washington, D.C., police sergeant was fatally shot while sitting in a parked car in Baltimore and a woman with him was injured.Baltimore police said in a statement that officers found 40-year-old Tony Anthony Mason Jr. with gunshot wounds early Saturday morning. He died of his injuries at a hospital.The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington said Mason, a sergeant, was a 17-year veteran of the force. Public information officer Sean Hickman referred all further inquiries to Baltimore police.The second victim, a 43-year-old woman, suffered a gunshot wound to her leg and was taken to a hospital.Investigators believe Mason and the woman were inside the car when an unknown suspect approached, began shooting and then fled.No information about a motive was immediately released.
Lost Keys No Problem This Gadget Can Locate Virtually AnythingLost Keys No Problem This Gadget Can Locate Virtually Anything
July 30, 2013 2 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. “I’d lose my head if it weren’t attached to my shoulders.”You might have heard this saying before or even said it yourself. Busy entrepreneurs and others who are just a little forgetful can misplace keys, wallets, tablets, children — you name it. Lucky for us a new tech startup is aiming to make those moments of panic few and farther between.Enter Tile, a Bluetooth-enabled tag that users can attach to valuable items. With the Tile app, users can locate said items should they mysteriously go missing. Not only can the app show you when you’re getting closer to the object (within a 50- to 150-foot range), but each Tile comes with a built-in speaker and will make a sound when you get close.Each Tile comes with a double-sided adhesive, so you can stick a Tile on virtually anything. Maybe not your head, though. Or a child. But tablets, keys and pretty much anything else you can lose is fair game.Users can register as many as 10 Tiles per account. The app is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad Mini, third- and fourth-generation iPads and the newest version of the iPod Touch.Tile is a project that was first incubated in Silicon Valley-based accelerator Tandem Capital. It is gaining wider appeal as it recently raised $2.6 million from its Selfstarter crowdfunding campaign, TechCrunch reported.But for all of its very cool features, Tile does have some drawbacks. One, obviously, is that it isn’t compatible yet with Android or Windows devices. Another is that each Tile is only good for 12 months after being activated. After that, you have to order new ones. Bummer.You might also think that other Tile users could potentially help you find your lost items if, say, you misplaced them in a public place. You’d be wrong. Tile says only users who are registered to specific Tiles will have the ability to locate those Tiles. It’s a security thing. I guess that’s a positive as well as a negative.Another downfall: The price. A single Tile will set you back $18.95. You can purchase up to 12 Tiles for $170.55. Tile is taking pre-orders and expects to start shipping sometime this winter.Now if I can only find all my missing socks…
Study Shows Improving Projections for SingleFamily HousingStudy Shows Improving Projections for SingleFamily Housing
September 28, 2012 436 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology The “”Urban Land Institute (ULI)””:www.uli.org/ has released a new study that shows declining expectations for the U.S. economic picture, with one positive exception – single-family housing. In the organization’s semi-annual Real Estate Consensus Forecast, ULI found that most growth projections had been scaled back, while the residential market was marked by improving predictions versus data recorded six months prior.[IMAGE]Conducted by ULI’s Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, the group’s report examined growth expectations for the nation’s economy, real estate capital markets, and commercial real estate fundamentals. Polling 39 leading real estate economists and analysts from around the U.S., ULI’s statistics indicated “”more optimism”” in the single-family housing industry, and forecasts for starts and home prices demonstrated significant increases.Predictions for single-family housing starts rose by 30,000 over figures recorded by ULI in March, with respondents calling for an estimated 530,000 starts to end 2012. [COLUMN_BREAK]Looking at long-term data, those surveyed by ULI project that starts will reach 675,000 in 2013 and 800,000 by 2014. The nation’s home prices are also expected to head upward, and ULI’s findings showed that economists anticipate a 3.2 percent uptick in pricing by the end of the year. Projections for home prices over the next two years also bested ULI’s March statistics, and poll participants are calling for a 3.9 percent rise in pricing for 2013, with a 5 percent rise in 2014.””The forecast suggests that a housing recovery is underway, as consumers sense a tipping point, and, drawn by low mortgage rates, return to the market,”” ULI noted in an official statement.Meanwhile, the commercial sector didn’t fare as well in the report, with expectations for growth activity dropping by as much as 20 percent from numbers recorded in March. Transaction volume is estimated to slide to $223 billion, falling below last year’s $277 billion. However, ULI’s data did indicate a slight rise in commercial mortgage-backed securities, which are expected to reach $35 billion in 2012.Commenting on the institute’s study, Dean Schwanke, executive director of ULI’s Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate, said that “”continued uncertainty over Europe’s debt crisis, the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections in the U.S., and the complexities of tighter financial regulations”” appear to be keeping economic growth at a slow pace.””What this survey suggests is that, in general, the U.S. economy is making progress inch by inch. Nothing indicates a quick turnaround, but the economy and the real estate industry are moving toward a notable improvement by 2014,”” Schwanke concluded. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Company News Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-09-28 Jason Myers Study Shows Improving Projections for Single-Family Housing Share
Report Q1 Sees 15 MortgageRelated Company ClosingsReport Q1 Sees 15 MortgageRelated Company Closings
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank Failure Credit Unions FDIC Investors Lenders & Servicers National Credit Union Administration Processing Service Providers Wells Fargo 2013-04-16 Tory Barringer April 16, 2013 455 Views Report: Q1 Sees 15 Mortgage-Related Company Closings in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing “”_Mortgage Daily_””:http://www.mortgagedaily.com/ tracked a total of 15 mortgage-related business closings in the first quarter of 2013, putting the year on pace to see the fewest number of mortgage banking failures in seven years.[IMAGE]While Q1’s casualty rate was greater than Q4 2012 (when 13 businesses shut down or collapsed), it’s an improvement over Q1 2012, which saw 27 total closings.[COLUMN_BREAK]The first-quarter total included “”four bank failures””:https://themreport.com/articles/georgia-bank-shuts-down-2013-tally-inches-up-to-4-2013-03-11 as reported by FDIC–the lowest number since the second quarter of 2008, when only two FDIC-insured banks closed.Also included in the total were five credit union failures. The last time so many credit unions closed in a single quarter was a year ago, when seven credit unions fell. _Mortgage Daily_ attributes the relatively higher credit union casualty rate to the fact that they tend to operate on a smaller scale.Finally, the Q1 list of closings included six non-bank, non-credit union institutions, the most well-known of which was “”Edward Jones Mortgage LLC””:https://themreport.com/articles/edward-jones-mortgage-cites-regulatory-reform-as-reason-for-closure-2013-02-15. Edward Jones Mortgage, a joint venture between Edward Jones and Wells Fargo, closed as regulatory changes governing such ventures forced Wells Fargo to end the agreement.At the current pace, _Mortgage Daily_ forecasts around 60 mortgage-related closings this year, down from 83 last year and the lowest level since 2006, when 32 mortgage-related companies shuttered their doors. Share
House Passes Qualified Mortgage Rule White House Threatens to VetoHouse Passes Qualified Mortgage Rule White House Threatens to Veto
Fed Transparency Qualified Mortgage Rule U.S. House of Representatives White House Veto 2015-11-18 Seth Welborn Share House Passes Qualified Mortgage Rule; White House Threatens to Veto Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is not the only one who disapproves of a bill that calls for more transparency from the Fed. Now the White House is threatening to veto that bill as well as another piece of legislation that would allow loans in portfolio to qualify for an exemption under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s qualified mortgage (QM) rule. Both bills passed in the House on Wednesday.Yellen wrote a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday exhorting them to reject H.R. 3189, known as the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization (FORM) Act, which passed in the House on Wednesday with bipartisan support with a vote of 241 to 185. The bill passed in the House Financial Services Committee by a 33-25 vote on July 29.The FORM Act requires the Fed to transparently communicate its monetary policy decisions to the American people by requiring the Fed to generate a monetary policy strategy of its own choosing, in order to provide the American people with more transparency about the factors that lead to the Fed’s monetary decisions. The Act would also eliminate the restrictions on the Government Accountability Office’s ability to audit the Fed, allowing the GAO to conduct an audit of the Fed anytime there is a policy change. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan), who is the House Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee Chairman.“Subjecting the Federal Reserve’s exercise of Monetary policy authority to audits based on political whims of members of the Congress—of either party—threatens one of the central pillars of the Nation’s financial system and economy, and would almost certainly have negative impacts on the Federal Reserve’s work to promote price stability and full employment,” the White House said in its Statement of Administration Policy released this week. “H.R. 3189 also would impose numerous, burdensome requirements for the Federal Reserve Board rulemaking authorities, including the imposition of a duplicative requirement that the Federal Reserve Board undertake a proscriptive cost-benefit analysis and a post-adoption impact assessment when promulgating rules.”The White House concluded the statement by saying, “If the President were presented with H.R. 3189, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”H.R. 1210, known as the Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Access Act, passed in the House on Wednesday with bipartisan support by a 255 to 174 vote. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Andy Barr (R-Kentucky) and will provide a common sense, flexible approach that allows residential mortgage loans held in portfolio to qualify for a safe harbor equivalent to that of the CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage rule. H.R. 1210 will allow community banks to meet the credit demands of consumers, while incentivizing that banks and credit unions ensure the borrower can meet the monthly obligations of a mortgage.“It should not be the job of Congress or unelected and unaccountable Washington regulators to decide who gets a mortgage and who does not, or to force community banks and credit unions to function like regulated utilities, issuing only plain-vanilla mortgages rubber-stamped in Washington,” House Financial Services Committee Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said. “This common sense legislation recognizes that the most effective way to ensure that a borrower has the ability to repay is not a one-size-fits-all, top-down regulation from Washington that mandates the terms of loans and underwriting practices.”The White House was critical of H.R. 1210, saying that it would “undermine critical consumer protections by exempting all depository financial institutions, large and small, from QM standards—including very basic standards like verifying a consumer’s income—as long as the mortgage loans in question are held in portfolio by the institution.” November 18, 2015 519 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News
Go back to the e-newsletter >Raffles Hotels & Resorts have partnered with Sipsmith, passionate pioneers of London’s artisanal gin renaissance, to create a new bespoke spirit, Raffles 1915 Gin.“We were looking for a partner who embodied the beliefs and standards that we hold true to our brand. Sipsmith has an integral authenticity; they are master craftsman at what they do in a business that is steeped in tradition,” said Peter French, president, Raffles Hotels & Resorts. “We are delighted to create such an evocative gin that simultaneously celebrates the past whilst inspiring future generations to explore and create.”The collaboration is rooted in both history and serendipity with Sipsmith’s co-founder Sam Galsworthy being the great, great, great nephew of Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore and for whom the Raffles flagship was named after.Raffles 1915 Gin will be available at Raffles Hotels & Resorts’ bars and lounges around the world. For cocktail enthusiasts in London, 300 limited-edition bottles (70cl) will be available to purchase exclusively at Selfridges from mid-October, whilst stocks last (RRP £44 (AUD93*)). Visitors can also stop by Harry Gordon’s bar at Selfridges for a cocktail specially created to showcase the gin’s flavours.Go back to the e-newsletter >