US agency rejects military link to Vieques cancer

first_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Local residents and officials, who blame the military for health problems, vowed to keep pushing the U.S. government for more studies analyzing the impact of the now-ceased Navy activity on Vieques, which lies east of the U.S. territory’s main island. About 10,000 people live there.The Navy occupied the island’s eastern and western areas in 1941-2003, using it for warships and aircraft to practice firing live bullets, artillery rounds, rockets, missiles and bombs, according to the report.The Navy has said its forces accidentally fired 263 rounds of ammunition tipped with depleted uranium in 1999, violating federal law.That same year, a pilot dropped a bomb on an observation tower and killed a civilian, setting off years of angry protests that led President George W. Bush to end military activity on Vieques in 2003. The property once owned by the Navy is now a national wildlife refuge.The U.S. has since removed more than 16.5 million pounds of munitions in a cleanup expected to last through at least 2025.The U.S. agency’s latest report on Vieques angered many on the island, including community leader and activist Robert Rabin.“It’s a repetition of a long line of administrations in Washington that have sought to relieve themselves of any liability or responsibility for the horrific environmental, health and economic damages caused by a half century of military presence and activities here,” Rabin said in a phone interview. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – A U.S. agency has issued a long-awaited report saying it found no proof that decades of military practice bombing on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques sickened residents who blame it for high rates of cancer, asthma and other illnesses.The report was released this week and follows four previous assessments and several updates by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry that reached similar conclusions. 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes During 2001-2003, the U.S. government released four reports stating it found no health hazards in Vieques’ air, soil, seafood and drinking water. Several scientists from the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Georgia and Yale University disagreed, saying residual contaminants were affecting the health of local residents.In February 2012, a U.S. appeals court upheld a decision to dismiss a lawsuit in which 7,100 residents of Vieques accused the federal government of causing illnesses.Among residents who blame the contaminants for their illnesses is Hermogenes Marrero, a retired U.S. Marine sergeant in his early 60s who worked in Vieques in 1970-1972. He said he is moving from Puerto Rico to the U.S. next month to ensure his colon cancer is in remission and to get treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.He accused the U.S. government of burying evidence.“They don’t want to find the link,” he said in a phone interview. “They’re going to keep quiet about it.”Portier, the U.S. agency’s director, denied that and said he wants to form a coalition with the Puerto Rico Health Department and possibly other federal agencies to help carry out more studies. The agency’s director, Dr. Christopher Portier, said the 169-page report reached two conclusions: that there is credible evidence people in Vieques have poorer health than elsewhere in Puerto Rico and that scientists could not find a link between military operations and people’s health.“That doesn’t mean those linkages don’t exist,” he said. “It means we can’t find credible scientific evidence to support that.”The agency said that the public water supply was safe and that there were no air contaminants. However, it recommended additional soil testing in residential areas, stating there was still uncertainty about soil contamination because current data were inadequate.Officials said they found mercury in local seafood, but blamed it on the general presence of the metal worldwide. They also noted that there were no unusually high concentrations of mercury in a fish sampling.Officials said they did not analyze the possible effect of absorbing a mix of chemicals through food, air and water, saying they did not know the levels of chemicals that residents might have been exposed to.The agency “recognizes the possibility that this report cannot address accurately the effects of mixtures and cumulative exposures on the health of Viequenses,” the report stated. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Sponsored Stories “Sometimes we fail. Sometimes we can’t get enough interest and resources to a site,” he said. “At this point, all I can say is we will try and we will partner as best we can.”The agency’s report said a higher mortality rate especially from cancer could be partly blamed on a lack of access to adequate medical care.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Comments   Share   Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day Check your body, save your life Top Stories last_img read more

BA in brace position as Unite threatens lawsuit

first_img<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: G.A The decision of British Airways (BA) to cut the travel concessions of their striking staff will be challenged in court said the Unite trade union.“Unite believes that [BA] management’s action breaches European human rights legislation,” a Unite statement read.“It also believes that this sanction – which has impeded the resolution of the long-running dispute – was taken without proper disciplinary procedures being followed.”Under BA’s proposal, staff that went on strike would lose accrued benefits and be treated as fresh to the company, reported the UK’s Telegraph.BA has argued there are no grounds for a human rights violations case against them, telling the newspaper, “Staff travel is a non-contractual perk.” “Cabin crew knew if they took part in strike action they would lose their travel perks. “We will defend our position vigorously.”For Unite, the issue of staff travel has come as the last straw in the ongoing dispute between BA and their staff.”This is a dispute over £10 million.  Contrast that with the £164 million in losses this quarter alone and questions must be asked about the direction of BA’s management and the sense of them maintaining this dispute with cabin crew,” Unite joint general secretary Derek Simpson said.last_img read more

Fantasea inducted into tourism awards hall of fame

first_imgFantasea Adventure Cruising has been inducted into the Whitsundays Tourism Awards Hall of Fame following a clean sweep at the prestigious awards night last weekend. On the Whitsundays night of nights, Fantasea was awarded The Festival or Event Award for its annual Cracker Night, the Major Tour and/or Transport Operator Award and Hall of Fame Awards for three consecutive wins in the categories of Unique Accommodation (Reefsleep) and Tourist Attraction (Reefworld). The Hall of Fame Award is a coveted award given only to those businesses that have consistently shown outstanding performance in their chosen categories. Fantasea Adventure Cruising’s General Manager Rob Addis proudly accepted the awards on behalf of his team. Hosted by Ben Southall and David Whitehill at Daydream Island Resort & Spa, the awards paid tribute to the enormous contribution made by the regions’ tourism operators and service providers who strive for excellence within the industry. More than 300 Whitsunday tourism operators and service providers gathered together to enjoy the evenings awards, honourees and celebrations. These most recent accolades for Fantasea follow three consecutive annual wins in 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the categories of Unique Accommodation (Reefsleep) and Tourist Attraction (Reefworld), the 2009 Award for Major Tour and/or Transport Operator, plus wins at the Queensland Tourism Awards. The Festival or Event Award for Cracker Night recognized the tens of thousands of dollars which have been raised within the community for local charities over the years including RACQ CQ Rescue Helicopter Service in 2010 and Whitsundays Police and Citizens Youth Centre in 2009. Peter O’Reilly, CEO of Whitsundays Tourism congratulated all winners and nominees, noting that the past year had not been easy for the Whitsundays tourism industry with some external factors significantly impacting on the success of the region’s business. Despite this, Fantasea Adventure Cruising still continues to perform strongly in the Whitsundays as one of the favourite tour and transport operators in the region. Left back – Jamie Ashton, Clive Robson, Pamela Stevenson, Robb Addis, Michael Moran – Front – Joeleen De Calvo and Chelsea Moore. Source = Fantasealast_img read more

Virgin Melbourne T3 makeover

first_imgIn an effort to further enhance the domestic passengers travel experience, Virgin Australia together with Melbourne airport has commenced significant refurbishments to Terminal 3 (T3).Virgin Australia chief operating officer Sean Donohue said the refurbishment is part of a series of initiatives which highlight the importance of the Victorian capital to the airlines operations.Some of the initiatives include the opening of a high quality new corporate lounge, new trans-continental A330 service and increased flight frequencies to Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart.“Melbourne is one of our busiest domestic airports and we serve over a million guests every year more than 19,000 every single day,” Mr Donohue said.Mr Donohue said that in addition to these upgrades they are also on track to introduce a Premium Valet service at Melbourne Airport later in the year.Melbourne Airport chief executive officer Chris Woodruff said the T3 refurbishment is part of the Airport’s investment of A$1 billion on infrastructure upgrades over the next five years.“We are pleased to be working closely with Virgin Australia on this project to deliver a better experience for our passengers,” Mr Woodruff said.“All flights will continue to operate normally from T3 during the refurbishment, and we’ll be working closely with Virgin Australia and our other airline customers to minimise inconvenience for passengers while the work is being carried out. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.Plast_img read more

Virgin redesigns Premium Economy class

first_imgVirgin redesigns Premium Economy classVirgin Australia today unveiled a major redesign of the Premium Economy cabin featured on board its Boeing 777 fleet, which will launch in late 2015.The new Premium Economy cabin will feature:An exclusive and intimate cabin size of 24 seats;A seat pitch of 41 inches, with more legroom than any other Australian airline;A plated meal service inspired by business class, tailored to the guest and accompanied by a selection of wines from our Business Class cellar;A Premium Larder for self-service food and beverages for the exclusive use of Premium Economy guests;Crew trained in Premium service; andDedicated check-in, Priority Boarding and Priority baggage (up to 64kg of baggage), enabling guests to speed through airport formalities.Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said: “We understand that Premium Economy guests want to arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and taken care of. We have therefore designed a more spacious and comfortable Premium Economy cabin and product, with a service that many other airlines reserve for their Business Class.“The Premium Economy cabin itself will be more spacious and comfortable, with more legroom than any other Australian airline and new cushioned seating to make the journey more restful.“We are confident that this will be the best Premium Economy experience flying from Australia across the Pacific,” Mr Hassell said.Guests will be able to choose different variations of their meals, with different garnishes, along with the time and speed of service.The new Premium Larder exclusively for Premium Economy guests will be replenished throughout the flight, stocked with an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, light meal options and snacks.The Premium Economy redesign will be rolled out with the airline’s revolutionary new Business Class suites launching on the Boeing 777 fleet later this year. Fly Virgin AustraliaSource = Virgin Australialast_img read more

Ethiopian retrofits all Boeing 777 Business class seats with 180° full

first_img Fly Ethiopian Airlines World Aviation Services Source = Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian retrofits all Boeing 777 Business class seats with 180° full flat bedEthiopian Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) has achieved another milestone with the successful completion of retro-fitting all Ethiopian Boeing 777 passenger aircraft with 180° business class full flat bed. The retro-fitting was completed and the aircraft have started operations with the new 180° business class full flat bed.The retro-fitted B777-200 & 300 with new 180° flat business class seats are expected to enhance passenger comfort and improve the Ethiopian product. These new 180° business class seats impact the overall Business class service to a higher level of customer satisfaction.Ato Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO Ethiopian Airlines said, “I would like to congratulate our MRO team for the outstanding performance and for the job well done. On the other hand we are very pleased to provide our passengers with the best on-board experience especially on our long-haul routes. Ethiopian Airlines has made the choice of purchasing the 180°flat business class seats because of the enhanced customer satisfaction they bring. Our business passengers will be able to sleep and arrive fresh to their destinations fully rested and ready to take on business after a good night’s sleep.VP MRO Ethiopian Airlines Group, Zemene Nega, remarked, “We are pleased to successfully complete the retrofitting project on our B777 fleet with our in-house capability which is a testament of Ethiopian self-sufficiency in trained aviation professionals. We have made huge investments to accomplish the retrofitting project which encompasses; modifying seats to full flat laying positions, rearranging passenger service, rework on IFE and software change.”Ethiopian is a Pan-African global carrier with the youngest fleet in the continent with an average age of less than 7 years and currently serves more than 91 international destinations across 5 continents with over 200 daily departures.last_img read more

Ethiopian wins AFRAA Airline of the year award

first_imgEthiopian wins AFRAA Airline of the year awardEthiopian wins AFRAA Airline of the year awardEthiopian Airlines, the largest Aviation Group and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline, is pleased to announce that it has won Airline of the Year Award, for the sixth consecutive year in a row, by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) during its 49th Annual General Assembly held on November 13, 2017, in Kigali.The AFRAA annual awards recognize excellence in service delivery, innovation and competitiveness in airlines, individuals and service providers in the African aviation industry.Mr. Busera Awel, CCO & Mr. Henok Teferra, VP Strategic Planning and Alliances while receiving the award Ethiopian Airlines has been chosen for its remarkable performance revealed through its exceptional profitability for the financial year ended June 2016, exemplary cooperation with other African carriers, cargo development in the continent, and significant expansion of its route network helping to connect Africa together and with the rest of the world.Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam said, “As a truly indigenous and home-grown PanAfrican airline owned, managed and operated by Africans, we are highly honored to receive this recognition by fellow sisterly airlines in the continent for the 6th consecutive year. I would like to thank AFRAA and sisterly airlines in the continent for recognizing our efforts in nurturing cooperation with other sisterly African Airlines and in availing efficient passenger and cargo networks within, to and from the continent, while registering sound financial performance and record profit in 2016.Africa is at the heart of our 15 year fast, profitable and sustainable growth strategic roadmap, Vision 2025. Already seven years into this strategy, we have surpassed all our goals in passenger number, cargo uplift, fleet size, revenue, profitability and customer service with our recent 4 Star airline recognition by SKYTRAX, the premier customer service rating organization in our industry. We currently serve 55 African cities, the largest network in the continent, connecting them with each other and to more than 100 international destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas using state of the art aircraft offering superior on-board aircraft such as the B787s and A350s.Air transport is an essential and critical public service and a key enabler for socio economic development and integration in our continent. African governments should create more conducive environment for the airline industry in the continent so that African carriers are enabled to play their rightful role in ensuring the flow of investments, trade and tourism to the continent.”Ethiopian is a multi-award winning airline. On November 8, 2017, SKYTRAX, the most prestigious international air transport standards and quality rating organization, has certified Ethiopian as Four Star Airline. SKYTRAX has also awarded Ethiopian as SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline Staff  in Africa, two times, and earlier in 2017 Ethiopian has received SKYTRAX World Airline Award for Best Airline in Africa.Source = Ethiopian Airlineslast_img read more

MTA Members enjoy sojourn with Seabourn

first_imgMTA Members enjoy sojourn with SeabournMTA Members enjoy sojourn with SeabournPictured, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents’ Members Leanne McGovern (left) and Kyara Newport with Seabourn Sojourn Captain Tim Roberts.The two Members had an opportunity to meet Captain Roberts while experiencing a six-day Seabourn industry-focused cruise from Bali via Palopo in South Sulawesi to Darwin, part of an ongoing Seabourn educational program inclusive of professional training seminars.Source = Mike Parker-Brown, MTA – Mobile Travel Agents PRlast_img

Ethiopian Airlines introduces double daily flights from Delhi to Addis Ababa

first_imgEthiopian Airlines recently started double daily flights from New Delhi to Addis Ababa apart from double daily operations from Mumbai. Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia and a major hub for Ethiopian Airlines. Ethiopian Airlines services to 91 International destinations which cover Africa, Europe, America, Middle East and Asia and 20 domestic destinations.Ethiopian Airlines also commands the lion share of the pan-African passenger and cargo network operating the youngest and most modern fleet to more than 90 international destinations across five continents.Ethiopian Airlines also celebrated its 70 years of dedicated and highly successful air transport services to, from and within the continent of Africa recently. Parallely, the airline also crossed a milestone in India with 45 years of operations from Mumbai and 30 years from Delhi.Tewolde Gebremariam, Group Chief Executive Officer, said, “70 years is a long time, but Ethiopian is still young, strong, forward-looking and ready to contribute its own share of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena in line with the African Union agenda 2063.”Ethiopian Airlines, Regional Director India Sub Continent, Tadesse Tilahun said, “70 years is a long time for the airline that was conceptualised in the year 1946. However, 20 years later in 1966, it commenced operation into Delhi and India has always been one of its focused markets. The airline is operating into Mumbai from the year 1971 and we are highly excited as Ethiopian Airline’s 70th Anniversary has coincided with 30th and 45th years of Delhi and Mumbai operations respectively.”last_img read more

Peru looks at fresh representation for destination promotion in India

first_imgPeru Export and Tourism Promotion Board have signed OM Tourism as its PR representative in India, with effect from May 2016.“We are pleased to officially begin new and focussed promotional efforts in India with OM Tourism,” said Magali Silva, Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism (Mincetur) and President of The Board of PROMPERU.Sanjay Sondhi, CEO, OM Tourism, remarked, “We are extremely happy to be assigned the task of handling marketing, sales and public relations activities for PROMPERÚ in India. The discerning Indian travellers looking for luxury experience can also explore and indulge in its rich gastronomy, rejuvenating spas and river cruises. As a result of its rich history, Peru today is packed with archaeological remains and colonial architecture.”From exotic jungles to coastal desert via the breathtaking peaks of the Andes, Peru’s stunning variety of places to visit promises a limitless potential for adventure. It has the second largest Amazon rainforest, claiming around 60% of the country. Combined with the mighty Andean Mountain range and Pacific Ocean, it offers a unique and diverse ecosystem. Stunning scenery and places to experience pleasure and tranquillity, unique flora and fauna with its many natural resources truly underscores the tag line, ‘Peru, Land of Hidden Treasures’.last_img read more

Beverly Hills experiences growth in tourism visitor revenue

first_imgBeverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau (BHCVB) has announced that The City of Beverly Hills has continued to grow in tourism and visitor revenue since its record results from Fiscal Year 2014-2015. The city’s hotels’ Average Daily Rate (ADR) is up 5.3% and Revenue Per Available Room (REVPAR) is up two percent from the year prior.Julie Wagner, CEO, BHCVB, said, “Fiscal Year 2015-16 was filled with activities ensuring Beverly Hills remains a coveted luxury destination and leader in the tourism industry. I look forward to this next year and expanding our efforts in established domestic and international locations as well as continuing to grow Beverly Hills’ recognition and activation from emerging markets around the globe.”Looking ahead, BHCVB has increased its travel trade and public relations representation to produce strategic opportunities for Beverly Hills in key feeder markets, including expanded representation in the U.S. and in Europe. BHCVB will also continue its current trade and PR efforts in Australia, China and India, driving even more interest, tourism and revenue to Beverly Hills in Fiscal Year 2016-2017.last_img read more

Freddie Mac Sees Room for Growth in Housing

first_img in Data, Origination Housing may not be where it used to be, but on the upside, “”Freddie Mac””: suggested this indicates there’s still plenty of room for the industry to grow.[IMAGE]””[T]he level of housing activity is still near historic lows. This means that there is still room for substantial growth in housing and housing-related industries before we return to a more normal environment,”” Freddie Mac stated in its latest “”economic and housing outlook””: optimistic viewpoint was reflected in the GSE’s forecast for housing in 2013, especially for housing starts.Freddie Mac is projecting housing starts in 2013 to increase to 950,000 units or to be about 22 percent higher than 2012 levels. For 2014, the GSE expects another 26 percent increase in annual starts, bringing the total to about 1.2 million.””Across the nation, most local housing markets have room for sustainable growth, particularly in home construction and sales. As the broader economy heals, expect to see [COLUMN_BREAK]more good news with house prices continuing their recent upward trend, and home sales and housing starts continuing to post strong growth rates,”” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac VP and chief economist.Freddie Mac is also expecting home prices to increase 3 percent in 2013 and 2014. The report gave particular attention to price trends in metros where there were substantial increases through 2006, followed by even more severe declines in home values. According to the report, it’s in many of these metros where there is much room for growth as the markets return to a more normal state.As home prices recovery, sales should also stand to benefit.””The effect on sales should be accelerated as house price recovery allows homeowners who have been forced on the sidelines by negative equity to get back into the market,”” the report stated.Home sales are projected to rise to an annual rate of 5.45 million in 2013 and 5.80 million in 2014.On the origination front, the GSE predicts loan volume will total about $940 billion in the first half of 2013 before slowing to $760 billion in the second half. Activity is expected to fall further in 2014 as refinance share drops to 45 percent; origination volume for the year is an estimated $1.25 trillion, with second-quarter activity outpacing the rest of the year.Overall, the housing market is also “”showing some love”” through its positive contributions to GDP growth, a first since 2005, Freddie Mac said. In 2012, residential fixed investment added 0.3 percent to GDP growth. Furthermore, Freddie Mac says housing may perhaps add close to 0.5 percentage points to GDP growth in 2013. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Freddie Mac Home Prices Home Sales Housing Starts Investors Refinance Residential Construction Service Providers 2013-02-15 Esther Cho Sharecenter_img Freddie Mac Sees Room for Growth in Housing February 15, 2013 472 Views last_img read more

Paper Details Hurdles to LowPrice Housing Policies

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing February 19, 2013 452 Views Share Inclusionary housing policies–those which either require or encourage developers to provide low-priced housing within market-rate developments–have largely survived the recent housing downturn. However, several obstacles now stand in their way, preventing them from reaching their full effectiveness, according to a recent “”report””: from the “”Center for Housing Policy””: [IMAGE]Major hindrances to these policies include shifts in development pattern, new restrictions regarding rental housing, and rising homeowner association fees, among others. Inclusionary housing policies are often enforced through zoning codes, although some are voluntary and offer incentives for participating developers. Proponents of these policies favor their “”ability to harness the energy of the private market to create affordable homes while enabling economic integration and social inclusion”” as well as their “”ability to produce affordable homes without the need for public subsidies,”” according to the Center for Housing Policy. About 400 mandatory inclusionary housing policies currently exist in 17 states and the District of Columbia. California claims almost half of these policies, according to the Center, which found only about eight policies eliminated during the housing crisis. [COLUMN_BREAK]However, “”[w]hile most policies survived the housing downturn nationwide, few saw much inclusionary housing production over the past five years,”” the Center for Housing Policy stated in its report. Shifting development patterns account for part of the lull. “”While suburbs remain the predominant location for new housing construction, development patterns are shifting toward compact, transit-served neighborhoods closer to the regional core,”” according to the report. This shift poses a challenge because land in these densely-populated areas tends to be much more costly, and there are several stipulations for buildings in these areas that can also increase the cost of construction. Additionally, a California appellate court determined in Palmer/Sixth Street Properties, L.P. vs. the City of Los Angeles in 2009 that inclusionary rental policies, when applied to rental housing, violate state laws against rent control. Much of California’s new development is taking place in the multifamily market; thus this decision is having a large impact on inclusionary policies. California has also eradicated its redevelopment agencies. Many inclusionary policies were connected to redevelopment, meaning inclusionary policies have been further stagnated in the state. While existing inclusionary policies have lost some of their effectiveness, the Center also finds it is becoming more difficult to pass new inclusionary policies. Rising homeowner and condo association fees also present challenges for inclusionary housing policies. While initial costs might be affordable to lower-income families, when associations raise their fees in later years, some homeowners find themselves with “”substantial fees that can sometimes rival mortgage payments,”” the Center stated. The Center sees some hope for inclusionary policies in the future as HUD has begun to draw increased attention to the issue of affordable housing across the nation.center_img Paper Details Hurdles to Low-Price Housing Policies Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Home Prices Home Values Housing Affordability HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2013-02-19 Krista Franks Brocklast_img read more

2013 in Review Major MSR Deals

first_img While 2013 wasn’t exactly a banner year for origination numbers–the fizzle of 2012’s refinance boom and the publishing of new regulatory guidelines were no small source of stress for lenders–it was a decidedly different story for mortgage servicing rights (MSR) deals. Here are some of the biggest wheelers and dealers in the last year.[IMAGE]*Nationstar:* The year had barely started when Nationstar and Bank of America “”announced””: a $1.3 billion deal involving $215 billion worth of MSRs. Nationstar entered the agreement with backing from Newcastle Investment Corp.; according to a release published at the time, each company retained one-third interest in the MSRs, with Nationstar servicing all the loans. The deal brought Nationstar’s customer base up to 1.5 million, and its servicing portfolio grew to an estimated $425 billion.*Walter Investment Management Corp.:* Nationstar wasn’t the only firm wanting a piece of BofA’s MSRs. At the same time, the bank struck an “”agreement””: with Walter Investment: $93 billion worth of Fannie Mae-backed residential servicing assets for $519 million. The portfolio included 650,000 loans.The firm also made moves in the “”reverse mortgage world””:, acquiring more than 76,000 reverse loans for its subsidiary (Reverse Mortgage Solutions) from Wells Fargo. With an unpaid principal balance of about $12.2 billion, the acquisition effectively doubled the size of Walter Investment’s serviced book.Walter Investment also announced another deal in January to acquire MetLife Bank’s mortgage servicing platform, though the assets didn’t involve servicing rights.*Ocwen Financial Corporation:* It was certainly a busy year for Ocwen, which spent the first half of 2013 continuing with its aggressive expansion in the field of MSRs. The firm was one of a few companies that made a grab for Ally’s “”servicing rights””: in March as the bank worked to move away from mortgages. In its own deal, Ocwen procured about $90 billion worth for around $585 million. (That announcement came on top of Ocwen’s acquisition of ResCap’s servicing assets in a “”sale that concluded in February””: few months later, “”Ocwen and OneWest Bank””: announced a $2.5 billion deal for a $78 billion portfolio.*Quicken Loans:* A fast-growing online lender, Quicken is also in the game for MSRs. Shortly after Ocwen’s transaction with Ally, “”Quicken moved in””: to take the last of the bank’s servicing rights–a portfolio worth about $34 billion. The purchase price came to about $280 million, Quicken announced.Commenting on the deal, Quicken CEO Bill Emerson made it clear the company was looking to grow in the servicing field: “”We have not been bashful in making the market aware of our interest in acquiring servicing rights. This transaction with Ally Bank allows us to purchase a well performing pool of loans, and will help us grow our servicing footprint.””*Two Harbors:* Just in time to make it on the 2013 list, “”Two Harbors””: announced in mid-December the acquisition of a $40.7 billion portfolio from Flagstar through the former’s subsidiary, Matrix Financial Services Corporation. The $500 million agreement covers loans originated mostly after 2010 and serviced for Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae, the companies said. Per the agreement, Flagstar will act as the sub-servicer on all of the loans underlying the MSRs. 2013 in Review: Major MSR Deals December 24, 2013 464 Views Sharecenter_img in Servicing Acquisitions Agents & Brokers Ally Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Servicing Rights Nationstar Ocwen Quicken Loans Service Providers Walter Investment Management Corp. 2013-12-24 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Firms Boost Originations Shrink Servicing in Q2

first_imgFirms Boost Originations, Shrink Servicing in Q2 The second quarter of 2014 saw a sizable jump in mortgage origination volumes, while servicing portfolios shrank at many of the biggest firms, according to a market report.Based on data collected from April through June, Mortgage Daily reported a 24 percent quarterly increase in mortgage originations to an estimated $296 billion among all lenders as of June 30.Production still fell short 51 percent on an annual basis as consumer demand for mortgages remained anemic and credit standards stayed tight.Mortgage Daily’s report comes a week after the latest market analysis from investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, which observed a 22 percent second-quarter improvement in originations among the lenders it tracks.Wells Fargo kept its top spot as the most active lender for the quarter, posting $47 billion in new loans. JPMorgan Chase followed in the second rank with a reported $18 billion.Underneath those spots, Bank of America ($14 billion) took third place, knocking Quicken Loans ($13 billion) down to fourth, followed by U.S. Bank ($12 billion).Together, the 10 biggest second-quarter lenders turned in 46 percent of industry originations.While most lenders also reported stronger application pipelines moving into Q3, statistics tracked by LoanSifter/Optimal Blue and Mortgage Daily indicate a 3 percent decline in loan volumes for July, August, and September.In the servicing arena, Wells Fargo also reigned, boasting a nearly $1.8 trillion portfolio.Following Wells were Chase ($953 billion), BofA ($760 billion), Ocwen ($381 billion), and Nationstar ($379 billion).With the exception of No. 10—Quicken—none of the top 10 servicers actually grew their portfolios last quarter. in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Origination, Servicing Bank of America JPMorgan Chase Mortgage Applications Originations Quicken Wells Fargo 2014-08-19 Tory Barringercenter_img August 19, 2014 523 Views Sharelast_img read more

Planet Home Lending Names New COO

first_imgPlanet Home Lending, LLC (PHL), a national mortgage lender and servicer, has named Suzy Lindblom COO. Lindblom, who was previously EVP of National Operations, replaces the company’s retiring COO, Michael Kula.Lindblom has been with Planet Home Lending since 2017 and was the architect of an operations platform redesigned to support Planet Home Lending’s entry into distributed retail.Before joining Planet Home Lending, Lindblom helped grow some of the best-known brands in the mortgage industry, including Stearns Lending, where she was managing director, national fulfillment and operations, leading a multibillion, multichannel business. During her four decades in home lending, she also worked at MetLife Bank, Bank of America, CitiMortgage, GMAC Mortgage Corp. and Countrywide Home Loans.”Suzy has a great deal of experience in developing process efficiencies in an organization. She finds areas for potential cost savings while keeping customer service levels and loan quality high,” said Michael Dubeck, CEO and president of PHL parent Planet Financial Group. “She has perfected the role of being able to juggle those areas of business while maintaining her dedication to serving people.”Lindblom’s vast knowledge and experience has served her well at Planet Home Lending. “While her main responsibilities at Planet have included our retail and loan retention fulfillment channels, she also has been active in building and recruiting retail branches,” Dubeck added. “She kept loans moving through the pipeline efficiently even as our volume quadrupled from December 2017 to December 2018.”Planet Home Lending is a privately held, national residential mortgage lender with multiple business channels uniquely positioned to provide competitive products and services. The company is an approved originator and servicer for FHA, VA and USDA, as well as a Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae Seller/Servicer, a full Ginnie Mae Issuer and approved sub-servicer, and a Standard & Poor’s-and Fitch-rated special and prime residential servicer. Planet Home Lending Names New COO 21 days ago 327 Views Planet Home Lending 2019-07-12 Seth Welborncenter_img Share in Headlines, Newslast_img read more

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first_img You might also be interested in The Chilean clementine season is running slightly ahead of last year despite expectations for a year-on-year drop overall.Juan Enrique Ortúzar of the Chilean Citrus Committee told FreshFruitPortal the country had so far shipped around 10,000 metric tons (MT).Growers have harvested around 17% of the crop, compared to 15% by this time last year.But Ortúzar said that the increase “does not reflect the forecast decline of 8-10% estimated by the Committee”.According to Julio Cornejo, a citrus advisor, the increase to-date is due to greater supplies of early varieties.In addition, he said that the fruit sizing is coming along “quite well”. Growers have made an effort recently to achieve the best sizing possible, he explained.”There is a real consciousness that it is important to have good sizes, and that is being reflected in the fruit that is a little larger this year,” he said.A good number of degree days contributed to the good sizing this year, he said. This has also helped the fruit achieve good sugar levels.Chilean clementine season off to good startThe industry has also enjoyed favorable growing conditions, according to Ortúzar. “This season it’s hardly rained at all, so we’re able to harvest really easily,” he said.The industry is expecting to harvest around 58,000MT, slightly under last year’s number. However, Ortúzar said that he sees “quite strong growth” in the industry.”There’s varietal reconversion in some areas. For example, in the northern area, there’s a crisis with the Flame variety of table grape, which has led to an increase in citrus plantings,” he said. “There are some growers who instead of planting grapes are planting clementines and mandarins.”The varietal reconversion is largely taking place on older orchards that were planted in the 90s, he said.Market responseAs for the market response for Chilean clementines so far this season, Ortúzar said that everything has been going well.”I think that the season has started off strong. The markets are waiting and they have high expectations for Chilean clementines,” he said.However, he noted that Chile still focuses too heavily on the U.S. market and is seeking growth elsewhere.”I think that getting into China is important. It’s going to give a new boost to citrus and it’s possible that we develop new lines of products a bit different from what we have planted for the U.S. market,” he said.”We’re going to have to be aware of the preferences of the Chinese market that really values sweet fruit with low acidity.”One of the key issues in the Chilean soft citrus industry at the moment is finding a variety that fills the window after clementines finish and before mandarins start.”Although clementines and W. Murcott mandarins can supply the market during the citrus season, we’re missing a variety that can cover the gap between them,” he said. Experts analyze biggest challenges facing Chile at … Chilean blueberries fetched lower prices in 2018-1 … center_img Chile forecasts slight dip in citrus exports for 2 … May 28 , 2019 Chilean kiwifruit production to drop this season … last_img read more

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first_imgYour last chance to vote for your favourite California Super STAR, and sign up to become a California STAR. Visit California is asking the industry to vote for the winning entry in its “California STAR Search” video competition before 21 April.The finalists of Visit California’s “STAR Search” video competition have been revealed and voting is now open to decide which agents will become the faces of its new digital training platform, California STAR.Fifteen “STAR Search” competition candidates have been shortlisted across five different categories based on their top suggestion to sell California. Each category represents one of Visit California’s five experience pillars: Culinary, Luxury, Entertainment, Outdoor and Family.Five category winners will be decided by an industry vote, and the agent with the most votes in each category by April 21 will be crowned a California Super STAR, winning their place on a VIP FAM to California to record their tips for future incorporation into California STAR.Voting is open to all industry in Australia and New Zealand, who must first sign up to California STAR and then make their selection. Voting will run until 21 April with winners announced on 26 April.California STAR is a first-of-its-kind program in the Australian market, enabling mobile devices to become California sales and training portals which can be accessed online, offline, anytime, anywhere. Dynamic training modules will allow agents to tackle questions in the office, on their daily commute, while watching TV or sunning on the beach. California STARVisit Californialast_img read more

Above Mahu Whenua Lodge at dusk  New Zealands n

first_imgAbove: Mahu Whenua Lodge at dusk. New Zealand’s new South Island luxury lodge, Mahu Whenua Lodge, and the established Matakauri Lodge have partnered together to offer a Central Otago ‘Tried, True and Something New’ luxury escape package, valid until 30 September.The package includes four nights at the acclaimed ‘tried and true’ Matakauri Lodge and three nights experiencing ‘something new’ at the recently opened Mahu Whenua Lodge.Matakauri Lodge, lounge and diningMatakauri Lodge is just seven minutes from bustling Queenstown,  positioned on the edge of Lake Wakatipu. The retreat offers panoramic views of the lake, The Remarkables, and Cecil and Walter Peaks. Guests can visit nearby Queenstown town centre, Arrowtown or hit the ski slopes.Matakauri Lodge Deluxe SuiteThe new Mahu Whenua Lodge is a luxury alpine lodge, set amidst 136,000 acres of the largest private conservation project in New Zealand’s history — just 25 minutes from Wanaka. Mahu Whenua (meaning ‘healing of the land’) features four private luxury suites, common open fireplaces and a fully equipped farmhouse kitchen.Mahu Whenua LodgeThe property borders three favourite South Island ski fields (Coronet Peak, Treble Cone, and Cardrona). It also borders a cat skiing operation and heli-ski terrain, making it a very convenient base for snow sport enthusiasts in winter.Mahu Whenua living room The Tried, True and Something New package costs NZ$13,590  (about A$12,479) inclusive of GST for seven nights, based on double or twin occupancy, with the following inclusions:Matakauri Lodge:Four nights’ accommodation at Matakauri Lodge in a Deluxe Suite (double or twin share)Pre-dinner drinks, canapes, and gourmet dinner each eveningFull Breakfast each morningComplimentary non-alcoholic mini-bar and use of all complimentary lodge facilitiesPrivate half-day wine tour with driver and guide exploring Gibbston ValleyA luxurious 50-minute massage per person at Matakauri Lodge SpaMahu Whenua Lodge:Three nights’ accommodation at Mahu Whenua Lodge in a Cottage Suite (double or twin share)All meals prepared by in-house Chef (full breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning and afternoon teas, refreshments + picnics)Premium wine and beverages served with pre-dinner canapesWinter experience helicopter excursion to the scenic lookout at Deadhorse Lake, soaking in views of Lake Wanaka and the valleyComplimentary mini-bar and use of Lodge facilitiesA range of additional activities, which vary according to the season, can be priced and added separately. Available for visits between 1 May until 30 September 2018. Central OtagoMahu Whenua LodgeMatakauri LodgeNew ZealandSouth Islandlast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals signed wide receiver Charles Hawkins and waived-injured wide receiver Javone Lawson Tuesday.The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Hawkins played collegiately at Southern University under then-head coach Stump Mitchell, who is now the Cardinals’ running backs coach. In 2012, Hawkins caught 31 passes for 467 yards and seven touchdowns for a Jaguars team that finished 3-6.Lawson was an undrafted free agent signing out of Louisiana-Lafayette, but was waived with an Achilles injury. 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more