Mother of US reporter missing in Syria pleads for answers

first_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Tice said “we have every reason to believe Austin is alive. As recently as a few weeks ago and a number of times over the past 33 months credible sources have told us Austin is alive.”“We are grateful to his captors for keeping him well and safe. Can my son be allowed these days to communicate with me by phone while I am in Beirut?” Tice asked.According to the family, Austin is believed not to be held by the Islamic State group, which has beheaded two American journalists and an aid worker over the past year.Tice said that for more than two years “we have been urging our government to directly engage with the Syrian government to find our son and secure his release.”The family’s request is based on “the fact that Austin went missing in Syria and the sovereign government should have the resources to search for him and to persuade his captors to release him,” she added. She also said that the United States and Syria are “communicating directly but more is needed. Communication must be regular and consistent.”Last week, National Security Council Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the United States government will continue “to work tirelessly” to bring Austin to his parents. Meehan added that Washington greatly appreciate the efforts of the Czech government, which acts as the U.S. protecting power in Syria, “on behalf of our citizens, including Austin.” “Because Austin is an American and because he is alive in Syria, we implore both governments to act on this commitment until we have the only measure as success, Austin’s safe release,” she said.“I long to hold my son in my arms. I want my family to be whole again.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Top Stories The vital role family plays in society “I am here asking for information and for help to find my son and bring him safely home,” Debra Tice said at a news conference in Beirut marking more than 1,000 days since his disappearance. “We know Austin is not being held by any part of the opposition. Still, after all these 1,009 days, we do not know where he is nor who is holding him.”“Someone possibly near this place knows something about my son and his whereabouts,” she said. She delivered her statement south of Beirut, near a main stronghold of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. The armed Shiite group has sent thousands of fighters to Syria to battle alongside President Bashar Assad’s troops.“Are the holders of my son ready to meet face-to-face with one individual alone and let him meet with my son? A friend of the family and known by some Shiite leaders in Lebanon and beyond?” she said.Christophe Deloire, director-general of Reporters Without Borders, meanwhile urged the U.S. government to have more “periodic direct contacts” with Syrian authorities over Tice.“The Syrian government denies holding Austin, but we think it can help us bring him back safe and sound,” Deloire said.center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies BEIRUT (AP) — The mother of an American journalist missing in Syria for nearly three years pleaded on Tuesday for information about him, saying she believes that he is still alive.Austin Tice, of Houston, Texas, disappeared in August 2012 while covering Syria’s civil war. A video released a month later showed the journalist blindfolded and held by armed men, saying “Oh, Jesus.” He has not been heard from since. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

UK Methodist Church apologizes for past sexual abuse cases

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Methodist Church said Thursday it had found almost 2,000 reports of physical and sexual abuse within the institution over more than half a century, and has apologized for failing to protect the victims.Martyn Atkins, general secretary of the Methodist Conference, made an “unreserved apology” for the past abuse.He said the abuse “inflicted by some Methodists on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame to the church.” Sponsored Stories center_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Atkins said the church would “do all in its power to improve its systems to protect children, young people and adults from abuse within the life of the church and on church premises.”The report, published after three years of research, found 1,885 cases of sexual, physical, emotional and domestic abuse or neglect going back to 1950. In 26 percent of the cases, church ministers or lay employees were identified as the alleged perpetrators.The report said there were six ongoing police investigations stemming from the allegations.The Methodist Church is the latest religious group to face up to a past in which abuse by clergy and others in positions of power was ignored or covered up.There are about 200,000 Methodist Church members in Britain, where Anglicanism is the major Protestant denomination.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Comments   Share   5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Ramadan fast imposes difficult choice on diabetic Muslims

first_img 0 Comments   Share   AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — For years, diabetic Shawkat al-Khalili ignored his doctor’s orders not to fast during the holy month of Ramadan when most of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset.Islam exempts the sick from fasting, but the 70-year-old al-Khalili said he couldn’t bring himself to violate one of the five pillars of his religion, even after he lost a toe to diabetes. Sponsored Stories Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Despite the hardships, compliance with Ramadan rules is widespread. Those who don’t fast usually eat and drink in seclusion out of respect. Ramadan is also a time of increased religious observance and socializing, with families sharing rich meals after sunset, followed by gatherings with friends or neighbors.In this climate, devout Muslims with diabetes say it’s very difficult to be the odd one out.Al-Khalili said he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes 30 years ago and kept fasting. About 10 years ago, doctors told him he had to stop, but he wouldn’t.He kept ignoring his doctors even after his left toe was amputated four years ago. Finally, two years ago, he stopped fasting.“I don’t feel good because I’m not practicing a major pillar of Islam, but it’s … necessary for protecting my health and stop the deterioration,” al-Khalili said during his pre-Ramadan checkup Sunday at Jordan’s National Center for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Genetics. “I hope God will forgive me.”Dr. Nahla Khawaja, an endocrinologist, said it’s the busiest time of the year at the center, with most patients asking for Ramadan guidance. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Under the center’s rules, Type 1 diabetics — whose bodies don’t make the blood-sugar regulating hormone insulin — should not fast. For many Type 2 diabetics, or those whose bodies don’t make enough insulin, the no-fasting recommendation also applies.This includes those with uncontrolled blood sugar levels, those suffering from frequent sharp drops in blood sugar and those with advanced complications, such as damage to eyes, kidneys or limbs, Khawaja said.Those who ignore the advice can face a range of risks, from fainting and dizziness to a diabetic coma and stroke.“It’s a great struggle” to persuade patients to not fast, particularly the elderly who often become more devout with age, Khawaja said.However, other Type 2 diabetics can fast safely under supervision, and some, including recently diagnosed obese patients, might actually benefit from fasting, said Egypt-based Dr. Adel el-Sayed, the MENA chair of the International Diabetes Federation. He said diabetics who insist on fasting need to have their treatment adjusted and blood sugar closely monitored to mitigate the risks.Sawsan Abu Amireh, a patient at the Jordanian center and a Type 1 diabetic, said she stopped fasting in 2010 on her doctor’s orders. “I’m very upset when I see my children fasting and I’m not fasting,” said the 46-year-old. “I even take my medication out of sight of my children (during Ramadan).” Like the retired teacher in Amman, tens of millions of diabetic Muslims struggle each year with such stressful choices. Increasingly, physicians team up with preachers or look for new methods to educate and protect the faithful.The stakes are rising, particularly in the Arab world, where diabetes is spreading rapidly because of growing obesity caused by a more sedentary lifestyle and easy availability of processed food.The Middle East and North Africa, which are overwhelmingly Muslim, have the world’s highest comparative prevalence of diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation. In 2014, some 38 million people in the region, or one in 10, were diabetics, a figure expected to double in a generation, the federation says. Another 18 million suspected sufferers have yet to be diagnosed.In recent years, the fast has also become more challenging for diabetics and their physicians as Ramadan — a lunar month that moves through the seasons — now takes place in summer. In many parts of the Mideast, temperatures exceed 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) and daylight lasts for 15 hours, increasing risks of low blood sugar and dehydration.This year, Ramadan is to begin on Wednesday or Thursday, depending on the sighting of the crescent moon. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober In this Sunday, June 14, 2015, photo, a nurse takes blood from a patient at Jordan’s National Center for Diabetes in Amman, Jordan. The center is particularly busy ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when diabetics seek advice on whether they can observe the sunrise-to-sundown Ramadan fast. (AP Photo/Khaled Al Odat) In some areas outside the Middle East, physicians have teamed up with imams to get the message across.A leading diabetes charity, Diabetes UK, publishes information on fasting and Ramadan on its website, including talking points for Muslim preachers.Newham University Hospital, in a heavily Muslim neighborhood of London, offers pre-Ramadan programs where diabetics can hear the religious and medical views on safe fasting. They also are counseled to avoid the common excesses of Ramadan, such as consuming large amounts of fatty and sweet foods in the evening.The hospital’s imam, Yunus Dudhwala, said his job is to make sure doctors and nurses understand the religious importance of the fast.“If medics don’t understand that, the only advice they will usually give is that, ‘Oh, you’ve got diabetes, don’t fast,’” he said. “I think that’s the wrong message.” Still, he added: “Islam does not say you should fast and become a martyr.”El-Sayed is trying to persuade mobile phone companies to help him target diabetes patients and deliver information through text messages. He’s also working with international experts on detailed guidelines, to be published next year, on who can and cannot fast. Doctors said they don’t have detailed figures about the health damage suffered by diabetic patients because the most severe cases end up in emergency rooms, not in specialty clinics. But some patients won’t be deterred.Nayel Thnaibat, 65, has failed to manage his diabetes since being diagnosed in 1982. He has lost most of his sight and is bedridden, with one leg amputated above the knee.Still, he says he’ll fast again this year, despite the risks.“God will protect us,” said the retired civil servant who lives with his 60-year-old wife Nofeh, also diabetic, in the southern Jordanian town of Karak. “I will not violate the fast even if I die.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Dutch peacekeepers still suffer stigma after Srebrenica

first_imgHe said that mothers of victims of the genocide still won’t shake his hand if they are invited to memorial events to mark the massacre.Zwaan has been back to Bosnia repeatedly and says he has made friends there.“They said to me, ‘Derk, you also have to continue your life. You can’t stay in 1995.’”___Cohadzic contributed from Srebrenica.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Dutch troops sent to serve in the international force in Afghanistan were sent with plenty of military hardware and a robust mandate.“They had big weapons, big armored personnel carriers, they had helicopters, they had close air support — F16s, Apache (helicopter gunships),” said Derk Zwaan, a former Srebrenica peacekeeper who has also suffered trauma.The lack of air power was key to the failure of the U.N. peacekeeping force in Srebrenica. The Dutch commander repeatedly called in vain for air backup as Serb troops bore down on the enclave. In the end, only one Serb tank was hit by a single air attack carried out by two American and two Dutch planes, said Joris Voorhoeve, the Dutch defense minister at the time.Voorhoeve said a contributing factor in the debacle was an agreement between major powers not to use air strikes against Serb forces because it could endanger peacekeepers being held by Mladic.“We could have bought time by earlier, stronger application of air force,” Voorhoeve told The Associated Press.He said it would not have saved the enclave, but could have given the United Nations a window to evacuate the population.Instead, Mladic summoned scores of buses and separated men and boys from women as they were loaded on board. THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Rob Zomer has heard the comments many times over: You’re cowards, killers. How could you stand there and do nothing?A stream of insults to add to the mental injuries they suffered 20 years ago when they were part of a vastly outgunned and outnumbered Dutch battalion of United Nations peacekeepers who failed to halt the slaughter by Bosnian Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, eastern Bosnia. “When you hear — for 20 years now — only bad things that you do,” said Zomer, “that makes you stressed, crazy.”Zomer is quick to acknowledge that the main victims of the worst massacre on European soil since World War II are the mothers, wives and daughters of Srebrenica who lost their men and boys in July 1995. But the lives of the small contingent of lightly armed Dutch troops who were powerless to intervene also changed forever. Many suffer post-traumatic stress disorder, and some have taken their own lives.The Srebrenica massacre also had a profound effect on the Dutch nation. The government resigned seven years later after a damning report criticized authorities for failing to adequately prepare, arm and support the troops, sending them to Bosnia with a vague mandate to protect lives but insufficient weaponry to shield civilians from Bosnian Serb forces led by Gen. Ratko Mladic.Now, as a result of what happened in Srebrenica, this nation that prides itself on a long history of contributing to international peacekeeping efforts makes sure its servicemen and women are ready to protect local populations but also themselves when they are sent overseas. Zomer recalls a young mother pressing a baby, more dead than alive, into his arms. He carried the infant to a Dutch field hospital, but medics there were unable to save the child. Zomer was forced to bury the baby himself.Years later, the mother found the remains of her child and buried them in a cemetery in Srebrenica reserved for victims of the genocide.He said he hopes the baby’s mother one day hears that, “I put her baby with a lot of respect in the ground,” Zomer said.It was the best he could do in Srebrenica.Now, he helps other veterans deal with their traumas.Dozens have dropped in since he moved to Srebrenica three years ago. They come to revisit places of horror etched into their memories by the events of July 1995 and Zomer hopes they leave with new memories. He takes his former brothers in arms to places where they served as peacekeepers. There, they build a fire, grill some meat and talk.“First you’re thinking of that place only (in terms of) stress,” he said. After a barbecue on a summer evening, “then you have another mindset.”Some local residents, however, don’t appreciate Zomer’s decision to move to Srebrenica, where survivors still blame Dutch troops for not doing enough to protect the enclave’s men. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Sponsored Stories In this photo taken on Monday, June 29, 2015, Rob Zomer Dutch UN veteran gesture as he sits in front of main gate of former UN Dutch bat base near Srebrenica, 150 kms northeast of Sarajevo, Bosnia. Zomer was a member of Dutch battalion of United Nations peacekeepers who failed to halt the slaughter by Bosnian Serb forces of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica. Today he lives in a house he built himself overlooking the undulating hills and forests of Srebrenica. (AP Photo/Amel Emric) Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility “The buses with the males went in a different direction and we know the horrible effects,” Voorhoeve said.Serb forces methodically gunned down thousands of men at killing fields around Srebrenica before plowing their bodies into mass graves.Both Zwaan and Zomer still struggle with the aftereffects of their roles in Srebrenica. Neither managed to hold down a job after leaving the military.Zwaan joined the police in the Netherlands but had to leave due to stress-related complaints; Zomer became a locksmith but wound up quitting the job and the country.Zwaan is now suing the Dutch government for compensation, alleging that it did not do enough to help veterans after they returned home.Zomer has chosen a radically different path.Instead of running from the Srebrenica phantoms haunting him, he went back and confronted them. Zomer now lives in a house he built himself overlooking the undulating hills and forests of Srebrenica. He spends his summer days tending his small herd of goats, cutting the grass with a scythe and making hay.He still has horrific memories of doing what little he could to help Srebrenica’s terrified population as Mladic’s Bosnian Serb forces bore down on the enclave. 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywalllast_img read more

Ministry of Tourism focuses on strengthening of facilities at tourist destinations

first_imgThe Ministry of Tourism (MoT) is focusing on integrated development of tourist circuits and destinations in the country. Following two new schemes have been launched in 2014-15 for this purpose:1. Swadesh Darshan for Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits around Specific Themes.Under Swadesh Darshan, integrated development of theme based circuits is taken up in order to provide engaging and complete tourism experience to both domestic and foreign tourists.Twelve theme based circuits i.e. North-East India Circuit, Buddhist Circuit, Himalayan Circuit, Coastal Circuit, Krishna Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit, Eco Circuit, Wildlife Circuit, Rural Circuit, Spiritual Circuit and Ramayana Circuit have been identified for development under Swadesh Darshan.2. National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) to beautify and improve the amenities and infrastructure at pilgrimage centres of all faiths.The PRASAD Scheme integrated development of identified pilgrimage destinations is taken up in a planned, prioritised and sustainable manner to provide complete religious tourism experience to the tourists.Under PRASAD, initially 13 cities have been identified namely Ajmer, Amritsar, Amravati, Dwarka, Gaya, Kamakhaya, Kanchipuram, Kedarnath, Mathura, Patna, Puri, Varanasi and Velankanni.last_img read more

Hilton Worldwide named one of the 2016 Fortune 100 Best Companies to

first_imgHilton Worldwide announced that it was selected as one of the 2016 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, by global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune Magazine. This list recognises companies that have exceptional workplace cultures.The selection process includes an employee survey and an in-depth questionnaire about company practices and programmes. Great Place to Work then evaluates each application using its unique methodology based on five dimensions: credibility, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie.“Our Team Members are the heart and soul of our business,” said Christopher J Nassetta, President & CEO of Hilton Worldwide. “We succeed when they succeed. Respecting, recognising and rewarding them create an environment where – together – we have created the world’s best hospitality company.”Creators of the methodology behind the list, Great Place to Work, have found that employees believe they work for great organisations when they consistently trust the people they work for, have pride in what they do and enjoy the people they work with.Hilton Worldwide listens closely to its team members to help create the benefits and programmes that matter most to them. Examples include industry-leading parental leave policies that provide ten weeks of fully paid leave for mothers, as well as paid time off for fathers and adoptive parents. In 2015, the company introduced a new GED Assistance programme to help employees in the U.S. earn their high school equivalency diploma. In addition, the company provides 10-day advanced scheduling for hourly team members and continues to expand remote workforce opportunities. Read more about how Hilton Worldwide is creating exceptional careers for its team members.“Now more than ever, it is important for companies to prove they are great workplaces,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “Top talent expects as much as they seek new opportunities, and customers are demanding it as well as they decide where to spend their dollars. The 100 best workplaces are at the top of the heap in demonstrating they have a high-trust, high-performing culture.”last_img read more

IATA records a rise in demand for Air Cargo

first_imgThe International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight demand in June 2016 showing a rise in freight tonne km (FTK) of 4.3% year-on-year. This was the fastest pace of growth in 14 months. Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne km (AFTKs) increased by 4.9% year-on-year, keeping yields under downward pressure.Freight demand increased year-on-year in June across all regions with the exception of Latin America which recorded a 9.8% decrease, compared to the same period last year. Middle East and Europe posted the fastest demand growth in June with year-on-year increases of eight percent and 5.1% respectively.“June saw an improvement in demand for air freight. That’s good news. However, we cannot read too much into one month’s performance. Air cargo markets have been in the doldrums for several years during which there were several false starts on indications for improvement. We will continue watching developments closely, keeping in mind that the air freight business environment is fragile,” said Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO, IATA.last_img read more

DoddFrank Implementation Too Drawn out

first_img in Government Dodd-Frank Implementation Too Drawn out At the recent conference held by the “”Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago””:, implementation issues surrounding the Dodd-Frank Act were prominent, with Wayne Abernathy, executive vice president of the “”American Bankers Association””:American Bankers Association, telling attendees that numerous delays in deploying the provisions of the bill are likely to continue.[IMAGE]Citing a recent study by Davis Polk, Abernathy stated that regulators have already extended 30 out of 30 deadlines for implementation on items including quantitative risk management, risk-retention rules, government sponsored entity dissolution, and loan officer compensation. He also pointed out that, though “”U.S. Treasury Secretary””: Tim Geitner has indicated that prompt implementation is a key goal for the legislation, the additional objectives of the act ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rigorous cost-benefit analysis and an avoidance of repetitious regulations ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô could be jeopardized by pushing the bill along too quickly.Abernathy was clear about his take on implementation, saying, “”Speed is not the most important thing. If speed is the main focus, it could do more harm than good.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Bankers at the conference expressed concern over the pace of implementation, with many saying they feared that a lengthy timeline could stymie innovation as lenders adopt a wait-and-see approach to new products and services while they try to evaluate the literal impact Dodd-Frank might have on their business. However, the bankers also have concerns regarding a speedy implementation, since the proposed rules require many changes to their operating procedures.Legislators also stated a desire for more information on the potential effects of the bill, and during the first week of May, 19 Republican Senators asked the Inspectors General of the “”Federal Reserve Board””:, the “”FDIC””:, the Treasury Department, the “”Securities and Exchange Commission””: (SEC), and the “”Commodity Futures Trading Commission””: to “”initiate a review of the economic analysis”” of several regulations proposed under Dodd-Frank.””Our request arises from our concern that regulatory agencies are conducting rulemakings to implement Dodd-Frank without adequately considering the costs and benefits of their rules and the effects those rules could have on the economy,”” the Senators wrote in a letter, which asked for a response regarding 21 Dodd-Frank rules by June 13.The Senate Banking Committee scheduled a hearing this week to discuss systemic risk and financial stability provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, and of the items up for consideration, Abernathy said he has particular concern over the proposal to consolidate regulators in order to expedite implementation. He stated that the diverse types of financial institutions set to sustain changes due to Dodd-Frank makes it unreasonable to change the regulatory structure. Listing the various entities, including community and regional banks, money centers, wholesale banks, major retail and international banks, federal mutual savings organizations, state-chartered mutual savings banks, and many more, Abernathy made it clear that the ultimate impact on borrowers utilizing the institutions is far too important to consider limiting the regulators examining the act. Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2011-05-16 Phil_Brittcenter_img May 16, 2011 527 Views Sharelast_img read more

Homebuilder Confidence Soars to FiveYear High in July

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Homebuilders Housing Permits Housing Starts Investors Lenders & Servicers National Association of Home Builders Service Providers 2012-07-17 Mark Lieberman Homebuilder Confidence Soars to Five-Year High in July July 17, 2012 386 Views in Data, Governmentcenter_img Share Builder confidence jumped six points in July to its highest level since March 2007, the “”National Association of Home Builders””: (NAHB) reported Tuesday. Economists had expected a modest one point increase in July.[IMAGE]The six-point gain to 35 was the largest month-over-month gain since September 2002 when the confidence gauge rose eight points.The Housing Market Index (HMI), considered a measure of builder confidence, could be reflected in permits and starts data reported for July. That report from the Census Bureau, will be issued in August. Census will report Wednesday on permits and starts for June when builder confidence, as reported by NAHB, rose one point to 29.The index was up 20 points from July 2011, the largest year-over-year gain since December 1992.The increase in the index was driven by a sharp gain in the outlook for sales six months out which rose 11 points in July to 44, the highest level since April 2007. The 11-point month-month increase in this component was the last largest since November 1988. The index is up 23 points since July 2011, the largest year-year bump since January 1992.The current sales index rose six points to 37, its highest level since March 2007. The six-point gain was the largest month-over-month improvement since May 2003. The current sales measure is up 22 points in the last year, the strongest year-over-year gain since December 1998.[COLUMN_BREAK]Buyer traffic as measured by the homebuilder survey also rose six points in July to 29, the highest level since February 2007. The month-over-month increase was the strongest since November 2001 ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the last month of the recession that year. The index is up 16 points in the last year, the largest year-over-year increase since June 1996.The NAHB was giddy over the improvement though the index remains below 50 for the 74th straight month ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the tipping point between good and bad housing markets.””Builder confidence increased by solid margins in every region of the country in July as views of current sales conditions, prospects for future sales and traffic of prospective buyers all improved,”” said NAHB chairman Barry Rutenberg.””This is greater evidence that the housing market has turned the corner as more buyers perceive the benefits of purchasing a newly built home while interest rates and prices are so favorable,”” he added.””Combined with the upward movement we’ve seen in other key housing indicators over the past six months, this report adds to the growing acknowledgement that housing ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô though still in a fragile stage of recovery ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô is returning to its more traditional role of leading the economy out of recession,”” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.The index, built based on surveys conducted jointly by the NAHB and Wells Fargo, gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “”good,”” “”fair”” or “”poor.”” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “”high to very high,”” “”average”” or “”low to very low.”” Regionally, the index improved in each of the four census regions: up 12 points to 44 in the West, eight points to 36 in the Northeast, five points to 32 in the South and three points to 34 in the Midwest. The index level in the West was its highest since June 2006. The HMI survey followed a disappointing payroll report for June which showed the nation added 80,000 jobs, far what the market had been expecting. However recent housing specific survey such as the Case-Shiller Home Price Index show improvements in home prices.last_img read more

FOMC to Continue Low Rates Efforts Reinvestment Program

first_img With a nod to the report the “”nation’s economy had contracted””: in the fourth quarter, the Federal Open Market Committee (“”FOMC””) voted Wednesday to continue its program of purchasing $40 million a month of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and to maintain the target Fed Funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent. The “”FOMC””: vote was 11-1 with only Kansas City Fed President Esther George (in her first meeting as a voting member of the Committee) voting “”no.””[IMAGE]The FOMC did not directly reference the report earlier in the day from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) that showed the nation’s gross domestic product contracted unexpectedly in the fourth quarter. The committee said, however, in its end-of-meeting statement, “”growth in economic activity paused in recent months, in large part because of weather-related disruptions and other transitory factors.”” In its report, the BEA attributed part of the drop in GDP to the drought in the Midwest and Superstorm Sandy, thought it could not put a precise value on the impact of the storm which ravaged the Northeast at the end of October.””Employment has continued to expand at a moderate pace,”” the FOMC said, “”but the unemployment rate remains elevated.├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ØThe committee reiterated its plan to hold the target federal funds rate at near zero “”at least as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent, inflation between one and two years ahead is projected to be no more than a half percentage point above the Committee’s 2 percent longer-run goal, and longer-term inflation expectations continue to be well anchored.”” The FOMC said, “”in determining how long to maintain a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy, the Committee will also consider other information, including additional measures of labor market conditions, indicators [COLUMN_BREAK]of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial developments. When the Committee decides to begin to remove policy accommodation, it will take a balanced approach consistent with its longer-run goals of maximum employment and inflation of 2 percent.””The FOMC said it “”expects that, with appropriate policy accommodation, economic growth will proceed at a moderate pace and the unemployment rate will gradually decline toward levels the Committee judges consistent with its dual mandate [price stability and maximum, sustainable economic growth usually measured by the unemployment rate] . Although strains in global financial markets have eased somewhat, the Committee continues to see downside risks to the economic outlook.””In addition to continuing its MBS purchase program, the committee said it would also continue to buy longer-term Treasury securities at a rate of $45 billion per month and reinvest principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and MBS in agency MBS and of rolling over maturing Treasury securities at auction “”to support a stronger economic recovery and to help ensure that inflation, over time, is at the rate most consistent with its dual mandate.””The actions, taken together, “”should maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.””The FOMC warned “”if the outlook for the labor market does not improve substantially, the Committee will continue its purchases of Treasury and agency mortgage-backed securities, and employ its other policy tools as appropriate, until such improvement is achieved in a context of price stability.””George, along with St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, replaced Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto, and San Francisco Fed President John C. Williams as voting members after the December meeting. Lacker had dissented consistently from the Committee’s policy position. George, the Committee statement said, “”was concerned that the continued high level of monetary accommodation increased the risks of future economic and financial imbalances and, over time, could cause an increase in long-term inflation expectations.””_Hear Mark Lieberman Thursday on P.O.T.U.S. radio, Sirius-XM 124, at 6:40 a.m. and at 9:40 a.m. and again Friday at 8:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Eastern time._ January 30, 2013 381 Views in Data, Government, Secondary Market Fed,FOMC to Continue Low Rates Efforts, Reinvestment Programcenter_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Federal Reserve GDP Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Mortgage-Backed Securities Payrolls Service Providers 2013-01-30 Mark Lieberman Sharelast_img read more

Unrealistic Rate Expectations Threaten Housing Recovery

first_img December 12, 2013 449 Views Despite a reported rise in homebuyer confidence in the third quarter–the first this year–unrealistic mortgage rate expectations could lead the housing recovery astray as the Federal Reserve looks to ease its stimulus program, according to recent reports from “”Redfin,””: a national real estate broker and technology provider. [IMAGE]Twenty-eight percent of homebuyers said now is a good time to buy a home, up 4 percentage points from last quarter, according to “”Redfin’s Real-Time Buyer Survey””: conducted in November. Another 58 percent of buyers said now is an “”ok”” time to purchase a home, down just 1 percentage point from last quarter’s 59 percent, according to Redfin. Low inventory remained a top concern with 60 percent of survey respondents citing this concern. Rising prices was also a popular concern, cited among 52 percent of survey respondents. Rising mortgage rates popped up as a concern among 53 percent of survey respondents in last quarter’s survey and then dropped to 41 percent this quarter. However, Redfin finds consumer attitudes toward interest rates quite troublesome. A majority–83 percent–of [COLUMN_BREAK]buyers believe a “”normal”” interest rate for a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage loan is less than 5 percent. Furthermore, a significant portion of homebuyers–42 percent–say they “”would be unable or unwilling to buy a home if rates rose further.”” In contrast to what today’s consumers view as “”normal,”” the average mortgage rate since 1990 is 6.7 percent, according to Redfin. In fact, rates did not fall below 5 percent until March 2009. However, only 5 percent of homebuyers view a mortgage rate above 6 percent as “”normal,”” according to Redfin’s survey results. “”Even more surprising, both seasoned and first-time buyers think a rate below 5 percent is normal,”” “”Redfin said.””: One in three first-time buyers view a rate below 4 percent as normal, while one in four seasoned buyers view a rate below 4 percent as normal. While the market awaits news on when the Fed will taper its stimulus program, thus allowing mortgage rates to rise, Redfin says this summer’s activity is a good preview of what may come. “”Two weeks after mortgage rates spiked about 1 percentage point in June, the number of Redfin customers taking tours and signing offers dropped 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively,”” Redfin said. Redfin argues the time to taper the stimulus and allow rates to begin to rise is now, during the slow homebuying season. Doing so would allow consumers to adjust to the new rates and prepare before the market enters the spring buying season. By the time spring comes, the hope is that buyers will have adjusted their expectations and may be ready to purchase. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Federal Reserve Home Sales Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Redfin Service Providers 2013-12-12 Krista Franks Brock Unrealistic Rate Expectations Threaten Housing Recoverycenter_img in Data Sharelast_img read more

ExistingHome Sales Solid But Expected to Slow Down

first_img Existing-Home Sales Real Estate Nowcast 2015-09-01 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, News September 1, 2015 487 Views Existing-Home Sales Solid, But Expected to Slow Downcenter_img While existing-home sales have seen solid gains in 2015, reaching levels not seen since before the crisis seven years ago, the rate of increase may be slowing down, according to data released by on’s August 2015 Real Estate Nowcast predicted that seasonally adjusted existing-home sales for August will fall between the rates of 5.46 and 5.86 million annual sales, with a targeted number of 5.64 million. Though that would be a 12.9 percent year-over year hike from August 2014 – the largest year-over-year gain for existing-home sales in two years – it would be an increase of only 1 percent from July.“We may be looking at the beginning of a shift in existing home sales activity,” EVP Rick Sharga said. “The volume of sales, while continuing to increase, appears to be slowing down. And home prices, which have consistently appreciated over the past few years, may finally be leveling off.”“We may be looking at the beginning of a shift in existing-home sales activity.”The National Association of Realtors (NAR) existing-home sales data for July released on August 20 indicated that existing homes were selling at an annual rate of 5.59 million units, which was a 10.3 percent increase year-over-year and was right in line with the Nowcast prediction for July, which was 5.57 million. The first-time buyer share was at its lowest point since January, however, due to low inventory and rising prices.“Limited inventory of homes for sale – especially entry level homes for first-time home buyers – will make it hard for the market to reach higher numbers in 2015,” Sharga said. “This is true for both existing home sales and new home sales, where inventory is improving, but still near a 40-year low.”’s Nowcast suggests that the median existing-home price for August will fall between $219,132 and $242,199 with a targeted price of $230,666. That number represents a year-over-year increase of 5.6 percent but a month-over-month decline of 1.4 percent. NAR reported that the median existing-home price rose by 5.6 percent year-over-year in July up to $234,000, which was only 5.1 percent lower than their peak and 36 percent higher than the trough. July’s median existing-home sales price of $234,000 was in line with the Nowcast predicted range of between $227,170 and $251,082 for the month.The Real Estate Nowcast predicts markets trends as they are occurring weeks ahead of the findings of other benchmark studies by combining industry data, proprietary company transactional data, and Google search activity.Click here to view’s 2015 Real Estate Nowcast.  Sharelast_img read more

Why are Mortgage Rates Still Falling PostRate Hike

first_img Federal Reserve Freddie Mac Mortgage Rates Rate Hike 2016-01-14 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News, Technology January 14, 2016 689 Views In December, during their final meeting of the year, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to raise the federal funds rate. Since then, the mortgage industry has been anticipating the effect this will have on the housing market, but so far, that effect has been little to none.Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) showed that mortgage rates again moved down, as the 30-year fixed-rate fell for the second week in a row.The survey results found that for the week ending January 14, 2016, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.92 percent with an average 0.6 point. Last week, the 30-year rate averaged 3.97 percent and a year ago, the rate was 3.66 percent.Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti blames Treasury yields and global markets crisis for the declining mortgage rates.”Long-term Treasury yields continue to drop, dragging mortgage rates down with them,” Becketti explained. “Turbulence in overseas financial markets is generating a flight-to-quality which benefits U.S. Treasury securities. In addition, sagging oil prices are capping inflation expectations. The net effect on the 30-year mortgage rate was a 5 basis point drop to 3.92 percent.”The 15-year FRM averaged 3.19 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down further from last week’s average of 3.26 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.98 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.01 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.09 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.90 percent.LERETA, LLC CEO John Walsh feels that the rise in interest rates will not completely shake up the mortgage industry right away, but the real concern will surface over the next year.”Our view is that a rate increase this week should have little impact on the mortgage market. An increase has been anticipated for some time and most recently the markets have been assuming that an increase is now imminent. An increase has already been built into mortgage prices so although there may be a short-term additional bump, our view is that mortgage rates should remain relatively flat for the next several months,” Walsh explained to MReport.”The real question is how fast the Fed will increase rates this year and what the Fed chooses to communicate about 2016 in this week’s announcement,” Walsh said. “Lenders are clearly concerned that rapidly increasing rates could curtail refinance volume, although there is a strong argument that cash-out refinances could become a more important part of origination volume as more of the country sees continued home appreciation. Regardless, almost all lenders believe that the purchase market will be the primary focus. The challenge will be the distribution of a slowly recovering purchase market as almost all lenders focus on the channel.”center_img Share Why are Mortgage Rates Still Falling Post-Rate Hike?last_img read more

Modernizing Technology

first_img 2017-06-28 Pem Guerry Modernizing Technology Editors Note: This story was originally featured in the June edition of MReport.Thanks to countless advances in technology, society relies less on paper and more on digital processes than ever before. This shift has brought with it new methods for traditional processes, like sending an email instead of distributing a memo, accessing bank account information online instead of in person, or video-calling someone instead of waiting on a letter. These changes didn’t happen overnight, but they have become the new norm.Another change we’re seeing from technology is in notarization, the official process of verifying a document’s signer and the authenticity of the signing process. The paper-based method of having documents notarized can now be an electronic process that reduces paper usage and can even save time and money.There are two types of electronic notarization available: e-notarization and remote notarization. E-notarization is completed much like a traditional paper notarization, requiring the signer to physically appear before a notary public, but it is electronically notarized using a digital signature. Remote notarization takes it one step further by using audio-video technology to perform an online notarization remotely, giving the signer freedom from having to physically appear before a notary public.This technology was introduced several years ago, and its implementation is gaining momentum. To see how e-notarization and remote notarization are being used today, take a look at some of their many applications.Real EstateBuying property is rarely a quick process. From finding a real estate agent to viewing current listings, making an offer, going under contract, and securing the right property can take weeks, even months. And once you’ve secured the property, another lengthy process, the closing, begins.For every real estate transaction, there is a series of documents that must be signed by the appropriate parties and notarized. Because of demanding schedules, very few people ever show up to the closing table with every party present. Typically, the seller must go to his attorney’s office to sign the deed and other documents in advance and then have them overnighted or hand-delivered to the buyer’s attorney. The buyer then meets with his attorney to sign the forms, and a settlement agent notarizes the appropriate documents.The current real estate closing method is not only inefficient, it is also costly. All the fees associated with hand-delivering forms, manually updating paper documents, and physically traveling to an attorney or title agent’s office could be significantly reduced—even eliminated—with remote notarization of e-mortgages.Landlord Tenant Evictions To authorize an eviction, a landlord must complete an unlawful detainer document and have it signed and notarized. With remote notarization, this form and all other uniform court documents can be signed and notarized without traveling to physically meet with a notary public. And thanks to legislative efforts in Virginia, uniform court documents can even be submitted to the state’s court database electronically instead of in person.Powers of Attorney Because this type of document involves selecting someone to make decisions on another person’s behalf, it must be properly signed and notarized to be valid. Powers of attorney are often associated with wills or healthcare decisions, but they can also involve real estate transactions or finances. With remote notarization, designating a power of attorney is less complicated than with the traditional method, as it can be executed remotely, saving you time and money.Financial ServicesThere are certain bank documents, such as loan forms or the opening of a safe deposit box, that require a notarization to authorize the transaction. Bank officials are often licensed to perform notarial acts, and with e-notarization, they can execute them electronically, reducing paper usage and making transactions more convenient for the customer.With the rise of robo-advisors and digital wealth-management platforms, remote notarization is also a great solution for the investment and securities industry, as it allows users to obtain required notarizations without breaking the digital momentum.Consumer Use There are other types of documents, such as a waiver of liability, that often require notarization and can now be completed electronically. The greatest benefit associated with remote notarizations is being able to execute the notarial act from any location at any time of day, making the notarization process much more convenient for the consumer.Addressing Security ConcernsSince these transactions take place electronically, there are certain authentication measures that must be met to verify the signer’s identity. This is typically done through knowledge-based authentication, a process that presents questions to the signer about personal information found in up to 30 years of public records, such as credit reports, loans, and more. In order to prove his or her identity and gain access to the document, the signer must correctly answer a certain number of questions within a designated time frame.Once the signer’s identity is verified, he or she then enters a video call with a certified e-notary public. And because the notarization is performed remotely, participants of the video call may be located in different cities or even different states.To execute the remote notarization, both the notary public and the signer use digital signatures to sign necessary documents. Digital signatures, also known as Independent E-Signatures, are more secure than simple e-signatures because they permanently embed the legal evidence of each signature into the signed document.Tamper-evident technology found in digital signatures detects any unauthorized changes to a document. The document is also accompanied by a comprehensive audit trail that records each step of the signing process to defend against a legal contest. Each of these features provides immutable legal evidence to prove the validity of both the document and its signatures.The Leading Legislation Because individual states determine their notarization requirements, state legislatures play a key role in facilitating the technology’s widespread adoption. Many of them have already enacted or are currently considering bills that would allow the practice.It all started in 2011 when the state of Virginia introduced the Electronic Notaries Act. This law made e-notarizations and remote notarizations possible by enabling signers from anywhere in the world to appear live before a commissioned notary public on a screen—via Skype, Facetime, or another audio-video teleconference option—and get a document notarized.Virginia’s standards for the electronic notarization process include three specific things:There must be detailed identity authentication measures that confirm a signer is who he or she claims to be. This typically includes knowledge-based authentication, which gives personal and historical questions that the user must correctly answer and which may be one of two or more steps in a multifactor authentication process.The metadata and legal evidence of the signing process must be embedded within the signed document. That stipulation automatically rules out most e-signature vendors, since metadata is typically stored on the vendor’s server.The document must include tamper-evident technology to ensure that any compromise of integrity in the document would be made known to the parties involved.Adoption Spreads to Other StatesThe practice of e-notarization and remote notarization in Virginia has become a pilot program of sorts for the entire country. And as adoption grows, it makes sense that more and more states are enacting laws supporting electronic and online notarizations. The status of legislation has been fluid, but examples include the following:Montana became the second state to legalize online notarization in 2015. Signers must be residents of Montana and the transaction must meet specific criteria laid out in the law, which includes that the signer must be known personally to the notary or verified by a credible witness.Florida authorized certain law enforcement and correctional officers to administer oaths and affirmations remotely.Nebraska passed a law to regulate electronic notarization which is effective July 1, 2017.Washington enacted the Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts, including electronic notarization provisions, effective July 1, 2018.Texas has passed a bill authorizing notaries to perform electronic and online notarizations that is awaiting the Governor’s signature. If signed, it will go into effect July 1, 2018. Pennsylvania and several other states have also introduced online notarization bills in 2017.These state legislatures are supported in establishing rules for electronic and online notarizations by a number of industry associations.Looking AheadOnline notarizations are no doubt the way of the future. They take a process that has historically been cumbersome and inconvenient and make it easy, quick, and cost effective. Plus, remote notarizations are actually more secure and defensible than traditional notarizations since they incorporate strict identity authentication measures, an audio-video recording of the entire process, and tamper-evident notarized documents. As momentum for this technology continues to grow, we can expect to see its widespread adoption in the coming years. Sharecenter_img June 28, 2017 726 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Technologylast_img read more

AUS Proposed Great Barrier Reef regulations igno

first_img AUS: Proposed Great Barrier Reef regulations ‘igno … Colombia denies rumored outbreak of TR4 in the cou … Making a differenceFrom a social and environmental perspective, One Banana believes it has value to add to the banana market in the U.K., considering its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives are closely aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promoted by the United Nations. One Banana is also a member of The World Banana Forum and The Sustainability Consortium.The firm operates a Living Wage programme across all of its production countries and claims to be the first company in Guatemala to research what workers actually need to earn in order to provide their families with food security and a healthy, active life.To help reduce child malnutrition and improve academic performance in the areas where it produces bananas in Guatemala, One Banana also runs a Happy Families programme and a Nutritious School Snacks scheme. In Guatemala, One Banana has built a community facility in partnership with the University of Colorado in the U.S.A — called the Human Development Centre — that features a private school, medical clinic and birthing centre for employees, their families and communities.Thanks to the success of these and other efforts, the company says it has helped more than 60,000 people in 60 different communities across Guatemala and Ecuador, as well as its 8,000 employees and their families.At a production level, One Banana also implements water efficiency and waste management schemes across its multiple growing regions, having adopted cutting-edge irrigation technology and environmentally friendly banana growing materials.“Our family farms are all certified to the highest and best-known third party certifications, such as Rainforest Alliance, GlobalGAP and SCS Sustainably Grown,” Adams adds.To ensure its high standards are maintained, One Banana provides an Ethics Hotline — a secure and confidential portal provided by external party Etictel — through which any concerns of unethical behaviour can be reported either by phone or through the website.Recognition from TescoOn the back of these efforts, last year Tesco in the U.K. awarded One Banana the prestigious accolade of ‘Grower of the Year 2018’ as part of the retailer’s annual recognition of its top suppliers and growers.The award credited One Banana for its best performance during 2018, in terms of product delivery, quality standards, food safety, certifications, and good manufacturing practices, which, in turn, helped Tesco to deliver on its promise to customers to supply and sell only the highest-quality bananas.“We are very proud of this recognition, and we remain committed to continue offering a product that meets high quality standards, while retaining competitiveness, promoting sustainable production and being a benchmark in the agro-industry,” says Adams. One Banana historyOne Banana originally started out as Agroamerica in 1958, only adopting its current name in 2014. At first, the firm grew a variety of crops in Guatemala, before dedicating to banana production and exports in 1976. Later, the firm entered Costa Rica and the pineapple trade in 2001. Having grown its banana business formore than 25 years, One Banana subsequently expanded to Ecuador, Peru and Panama, and now produces organic bananas in Ecuador and Peru too.To gain more visibility as it strives to secure more business in the U.K., One Banana is exhibiting at The London Produce Show and Conference for the first time on 5-7 June 2019. To attend the event, register here. You might also be interested in From the pages of Produce Business UKU.S.-headquartered tropical fruit grower-distributor One Banana is seeking to expand its share of the banana market in the U.K., where consumer appreciation for socially responsible and environmentally sustainable, high-quality fresh food resonates with the company’s year-round offer. Speaking from his New York office, the firm’s president, Robert Adams, enlightens PBUK. on why One Banana, an exhibitor at The London Produce Show and Conference in June, stands out in a crowded marketplace dominated by major multinational banana corporations.People first“The U.K. is a market where our story seems to resonate well,” Adams tells PBUK.. “We are a third-generation, family-owned, sustainable producer and distributor of bananas. The U.K. is a unique market that values a connection with the farm and where their food comes from. The U.K. also sets a high standard for quality, which coincides with our standards.”Committed to the environment, its workers, their families and communities, One Banana is on a mission to be a better banana company that puts people first and makes a positive difference in society, hence its full name: ‘One Banana, The Better Banana Company.’ In a market dominated by global banana corporations, Adams believes this is what makes family-run One Banana stand out from the crowd, as it seeks to create change for the better — one banana, one person at a time.“We have a deep commitment to the planet and the people in the communities where we do business,” explains Adams. “People are paramount to everything we do, say and believe. Generation after generation, we can honestly say that we are different in terms of how we grow our bananas, how we treat our people, and how we maintain, cultivate and protect the lands we own and harvest.”At One Banana, Adams says the belief is that ‘One Banana Makes a Difference’; thereby explaining the meaning behind the company’s name.“One banana can make a difference to consumers’ health, and we believe that by purchasing from One Banana, you also make a difference to the environment and to the communities where we grow our fruit,” he comments. “We truly believe that One Banana makes a difference.” Annually, the firm produces more than 22 million boxes of Rainforest Alliance-certified conventional and organic bananas. All of the fruit is grown on the company’s own farms located across 7,500 hectares in Guatemala, Ecuador and Peru; providing what Adams describes as “the highest quality and sustainably sourced bananas.” U.K. goal Over the past two decades, the business has developed by selling under its own brand (One Banana) as well as retailers’ private labels in the United States and around the world, including Germany, Japan, China and Poland. One Banana is eager to expand its presence in the U.K., where, at the moment, it sells fruit to Tesco, the country’s leading supermarket operator. “We do sell to the U.K., and we want to do more business there, as well,” Adams reveals. “We have identified the U.K. market as one that values high-quality, sustainably sourced fruit.”Currently, One Banana supplies the U.K. with its bananas grown in Guatemala and Ecuador. Adams also says the company can supply organic fruit from its farms in Peru. “We have the ability to expand in the U.K., and we are eager to do so,” he states.Setting its goals high, One Banana is seeking to grow its presence with U.K. retailers initially, but Adams says the company is open to other segments of the market as well, potentially the wholesale and/or foodservice sectors.And when it comes to successfully increasing its U.K.-bound supply, Adams says One Banana is already well-prepared following years of experience.“We have done business in the U.K. for many years, and we have a very strong and well-tested supply chain to deliver to the U.K.,” he explains, adding that the team is closely monitoring the situation surrounding Brexit too.center_img March 27 , 2019 Ecuador’s banana exports to EU fall in Q1 … China imports record banana volume … last_img read more

Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke With any luck Wilson will get his wish by the beginning of next week. It seems as if football is just around the corner and with it — if we’re all lucky — will come the end of the Kolb to the Cardinals rumors.When the dust settles everyone, including Wilson, will find out who is actually wearing Cardinal red. Comments   Share   Top Stories Everyone need to stop with the DRC for KOLB trade rumors… Ridiculous!!!! Can we get to football first. Just stop it already.less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet ReplyAdrian Wilsonadrian_wilson24 Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Commenting on the Kevin Kolb for Domnique Rodgers-Cromartie trade rumors isn’t reserved for media members anymore. One Arizona Cardinal Pro Bowler has decided to offer up his opinion on the subject as well.Adrian Wilson took to Twitter on Tuesday to share his thoughts on the speculation that has filled the Internet the last few days — and really the last few months. His take was reminiscent of his on field play, hard hitting.last_img read more

Our long local nightmare is about to end Kevin

first_imgOur long, local nightmare is about to end.Kevin Kolb will be an Arizona Cardinal, and he will join the team sooner rather than later. Comments   Share   There are some administrative deals that still have to be completed, but I’m told the Kolb to the Cardinals deal is essentially done.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet ReplyAdam Caplancaplannfl Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkecenter_img Breaking news. The Kevin Kolb trade is close to being completed. DR Cromatrie and a draft choice expected. Details coming as we get themless than a minute ago via yoono Favorite Retweet ReplyJohn ClaytonClaytonESPN At this point it appears all that is left is finalizing the deal, which seems to have been worked out.And, now that the hunt for the QB is finally over we can all move on to finding out if the Cardinals overpaid for an average signal caller or found themselves as franchise quarterback. Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

The coach praised Jefferson for his growth as a sa

first_imgThe coach praised Jefferson for his growth as a safety, and while it would be easy to look at the situation and say it’s only a matter of time before Bucannon takes over, Arians is not known to worry about anything more that production when it comes to playing time.And Jefferson, who finished last season with 16 total tackles with one tackle for loss and two QB hits last season, along with another six tackles on special teams, has already produced some at the NFL level.“Once you’re out there and you’re making plays, it definitely builds your confidence,” he said. “It gives you the more, I feel like I feel like I fit around here. It’s definitely done wonders for me in that aspect.”Jefferson said he’s improved in the mental part of the game as well, noting how he has stayed off the mental error sheet thus far in camp. If he continues to play like that, he believes the starting job can be his, regardless of what it took for him to reach this point.“It doesn’t matter how you got here, it’s what you do when you’re here,” he said. And in the NFL, training camp is when players fight for jobs yet look to help each other along the way. It’s an interesting dynamic, really, but not one that has affected the relationship between Jefferson and the rookie trying to take his job. Of course, Jefferson was not exactly your standard undrafted free agent. He started 34 games for the Oklahoma Sooners in college, finishing his career with 258 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, seven sacks, eight interceptions and 13 passes defensed. He led his team with 119 tackles his junior season, following which he declared for the NFL Draft. A hamstring injury suffered at the NFL Combine led to a sub-standard pro day, and no doubt his 40-yard dash time of 4.75 did nothing to help his cause. Even with all that, his draft profile said:“Though shorter than most top safety prospects, Jefferson’s leadership skills, physicality around the line of scrimmage and his coverage skills will entice teams to pick him early in the 2013 draft.”Yet no one took a flier on the 5-foot-11, 212-pound safety, early or late. Their loss appeared to be the Cardinals’ gain, though Jefferson’s role appeared to take a significant hit when the Cardinals took Bucannon 27th overall in May’s draft. But through the first week of training camp, it is Jefferson who is running with the first team.“He’s just got to beat him out,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said when asked what Jefferson needs to do to earn the spot, while noting that all Bucannon can handle right now is the Dollar Linebacker role. “[Jefferson] is doing really well at safety.” Top Stories Jefferosn said Bucannon is his boy, adding that the rookie is trying to be perfect and has to be reminded that it’s early in camp and picking everything up takes time. “He’s a real good dude and I hope the best for him,” he said. “He’s going to help this team out a lot.”That’s not to say having Bucannon around hasn’t changed the way Jefferson approaches the game. Besides still having a chip on his shoulder from not being drafted, he said the rookie’s presence pushes him to work even harder.“It’s day in and day out,” he said. “I’ve kind of had a little injury sometime, but I’m not sitting out. I don’t have time to sit out. I can’t afford to.” – / 16 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tony Jefferson was not drafted, yet he appeared in all 16 games for the Arizona Cardinals as a rookie, even starting two of them.Now entering his second season, Jefferson is trying to hold off first-round pick Deone Bucannon to stay on top of the depth chart.“And I didn’t get drafted,” he said. “The best players will play, and that’s what I’m trying to be, one of the best players out there.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

La Canfora also says that according to sources

first_imgLa Canfora also says that, according to sources, “Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is operating under the assumption that he’s going to have move forward with a new defensive coordinator next season.” The speculation has begun. It’s no surprise to anybody in Arizona that Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has been building a fair amount of interest from NFL teams that may be looking for a new head coach this offseason. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora says “of the various potential head coaching opportunities, the Jets and Bears could end up being particularly attractive to him,” citing Bowles’ resume as an interim head coach in Miami and experience as a player. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   Arizona needs a quarterback of the future, and this is a sneaky spot to grab one — if he’s still around. Carson Palmer, 37, showed his age last season, and backup Drew Stanton hasn’t proved he’s a starting-caliber QB. So now Bruce Arians, who’s a brilliant offensive mind, would get Palmer’s heir apparent in Watson, who flashes top-five-pick talent at times but was inconsistent in 2016. At 6-2, 221, Watson has the arm strength, toughness and athleticism to play for a long time. He could back up Palmer in the short term while he adjusts gradually to the NFL. Keep an eye on the secondary here, too; the Cardinals lost their two starting safeties plus a corner in free agency.Watson declared for the draft after capturing the National Championship with a 35-31 comeback victory over the University of Alabama to cap off his third year at Clemson.In 2016, he completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,593 yards and 41 touchdowns but also threw an ACC-high 17 interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback also accumulated 629 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, but his yards per carry dropped from 5.3 from his breakout sophomore season to 3.8 last year.He finished second in the 2016 Heisman voting behind Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. Top Stories Watson initially thrust himself onto the national scene as a sophomore, finishing third in the Heisman voting after completing 67.8 percent of his passes and throwing for 4,109 yards, 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He added 1,105 yards and 12 touchdowns with his legs.Watson’s 116 total touchdowns and 157.5 passing efficiency rating both rank second in ACC history, behind only Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and Florida State’s Jameis Winston, respectively.He also performed well at the NFL Scouting Combine, coming in the top-five for quarterback prospects in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and three cone drill.Kiper’s mock draft is one of five of the 154 mock drafts tracked by Arizona Sports that has the Cardinals choosing Watson with their first-round selection. Watson is the second quarterback off the board in Kiper’s mock, after the Cleveland Browns take North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky one pick before Arizona. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo While Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is returning for at least one more season, the fact remains that he is 37 years old, and both head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim have said that the team is looking for a potential replacement.ESPN football analysis Mel Kiper Jr. predicts the Cardinals will find one, as he has them taking Clemson University quarterback Deshaun Watson with the 13th pick of the first round in his newest mock draft. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson celebrates a last second touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow during the second half of the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more