Darling Harbour Cool Yule is back in 2016

first_img Darling Harbour Darling Harbour Cool Yule www.darlingharbour.comDarling Harbour Cool Yule 2016Experience winter like never before as Cool Yule brings the magic of the northern hemisphere to Sydney. On July 2, Darling Harbour will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland where you can wander through an enchanted frozen forest, take a twirl on the ice rink, create snow angels, enjoy breathtaking ice-skating performances and watch the sky light up with spectacular fireworks. Following last year’s success, the festival has returned, bigger and better than ever, offering fun activities for all ages including new Learn to Skate lessons and a fun selfie station. Whether you’re looking to keep the little ones entertained over the school holidays or searching for a romantic place to take that someone special, Sydney’s most loved winter event is guaranteed to entertain, surprise and delight.This year’s Cool Yule festival highlights include:Ice-skatingStrap on your skates for a magical spin and get whirling, twirling and gliding on the largest Cool Yule Ice Rink presented by Nova 96.9. If you’re new to skating and want to learn how to master the ice, book in for a Learn to Skate lesson. Sessions run from 9am – 10am every day for both children and adults. Be sure to book tickets to maximise your time on the ice!Snow Pit You don’t have to travel to the snowfields to enjoy quintessential winter fun activities. Build a snowman or enjoy a playful snow fight in the very heart of Sydney. The ever-popular Cool Yule Snow Pit is back by demand and guaranteed to sell out, so be sure to get your mitts on tickets to enjoy the sensation of ice underfoot.Stars On Ice Admire the grace and skill of top figure skaters at the Stars On Ice show. The free ice skating show changes daily with talented performers showcasing their talent in mesmerising costumes and as magical characters, guaranteed to impress and excite audiences.Frozen ForestWander through the Frozen Forest and admire a breathtaking display of twinkling icy lights. This captivating installation, standing at 20 metres high and almost 20 metres long, will have you spell-bound.   The Frozen Forest also provides the perfect backdrop for interactive storytelling sessions and fun activities, hosting Frosty Fun and Fiction presented by Monkey Baa Theatre Company – guaranteed to entertain the little ones (for free!).Frosty Fireworks Gather the family together and brr-ace yourself for the icy blue glittering Frosty Fireworks that light up the night sky. Every Saturday, the awe-inspiring fireworks show is set to a soundtrack that adds a magical touch to Cool Yule. If you’re searching for the best vantage point, the best view is from  the promenade at Cockle Bay.Ride the Ferris Wheel Be whisked away on an enthralling ride up into the sky as you step aboard the Cool Yule Ferris Wheel. Covered in icicles and silver snowflakes, share a moment with your loved ones, as you admire sweeping views of the harbour. From these heights, see if you can also spot the Cool Iceberg floating on Cockle Bay!Cool Yule Selfie Station Capture memories of your winter adventure down at the Cool Yule Selfie Station and engage your creative side by designing your own frosty-themed selfie. Through augmented reality, interact with playful penguins and decorate your selfies with fresh snow. To frost all your photos with snow simply download the Cool Yule App (available free from the App Store or Google Play).Remember to wind down from all the frosty fun and indulge in a warming winter feast or comforting hot drink at one of the many cafes, restaurants and bars around the bay.The event runs from 2 July to 17 July for the duration of the winter school holidays. www.darlingharbour.com/whats-on/cool-yule/” target=”blank” background=”#094987″ size=”11″ center=”yes” text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Click Here for More Information[/su_button] Source = DarlingHarbour.comlast_img read more

Koro Sun Resort reopens Edgewater accommodation

first_imgKoro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa are excited to announce the re-opening of their Edgewater Bures following an extensive rebuilding process in the wake of cyclone Winston earlier this year.Each traditionally Fijian-styled bure boasts a master bedroom with expansive king-size bed adorned with luxury linens, indoor and tropical outdoor showers, a private porch elevated above the ocean with direct lagoon access via ‘climb down’ ladder and even a private beach area where guests can sink their toes into the sand and rest and relax on their very own private daybed.U.S. Owner Jack Young says “We are excited to welcome guests back once again to these beautiful bures that have been completely restored to their original glory. The Edgewater bures and villas are the first of their kind in the Fiji Islands, allowing guests to enjoy a private beach veranda, and the beauty of the ocean with easy access to and from the lagoon right at their doorstep.”In celebration of the reopening of the Edgewater accommodations, the Resort is offering a 30% discount on these rooms, prices starting from USD$543 per couple per night for travel until March 2017. Please note this is based on double occupancy with a three-night minimum stay required.Each bure stay comes complete with ground transportation pick up at Savusavu Airport, express check in service, a coconut oil foot rub/bath and leg massage upon arrival, continental breakfast daily, a bottle of wine upon arrival, afternoon tea, and a full range of non-motorized activities.As part of the package, guests can enjoy complimentary snorkeling, kayaking, rainforest trekking, stand up paddle boarding, hand line fishing, golf, cycling, traditional lovo feast, (traditional Fijian cuisine) meke (Fijian dance), croquet, bocce ball, tennis, cooking classes, weekly church service, a visit to a Fijian village school, and a visit the nearby pearl farm.Located on Fiji’s second largest island Vanua Levu, known as “Fiji’s Hidden Paradise,” Koro Sun Resort is situated on 160 lush tropical acres, that flows from the rainforest to the reef, providing guests with a unique rainforest retreat right on the waterfront. Koro Sun Resort Source = Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spalast_img read more

First ever drone footage of Uluru released

first_imgFirst ever drone footage of Uluru releasedFirst ever drone footage of Uluru releasedVoyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is excited to announce the release of exclusive drone footage of Uluru, offering a never before seen perspective of the 600 million year old monolith. These spectacular birds-eye views of Australia’s spiritual heart were captured by the first drone to ever operate under permit inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.The dramatic footage was captured in an area of great spiritual significance to the local Anangu people and approval was given by the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park Board and the Film and Photography Consultative Committee.“We are delighted to present this exclusive new perspective of one of the most astonishing landscapes on earth, and we thank the Traditional Owners for their support. We hope this video encourages travellers from both Australia and all over the globe to come and experience Uluru for themselves,” said Voyages Chief Executive Officer Andrew Williams.“While there is no replacement to enjoying firsthand the majestic beauty of Uluru, this footage gives a breathtaking insight into the majestic nature of the landscape,” he said.Geographically, Uluru is the tip of a huge rock that continues below the ground for possibly 5-6km. The monolith is 3.6km long and 348m at its tallest point: 43m higher than Sydney’s Centrepoint Tower, 24m higher than the Eiffel Tower and just 33m lower than the Empire State BuildingThe colour changes of Uluru result from the filtering effect of the earth’s atmosphere on the sun’s rays. About Ayers Rock ResortAyers Rock Resort provides a variety of accommodation from the premium Sails in the Desert Hotel, Award-winning Desert Gardens Hotel, self-contained Emu Walk Apartments, the authentic Outback Pioneer Hotel and Lodge and Ayers Rock Campground. Ayers Rock Resort is managed by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.About Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) and manages tourism and resorts on its behalf. Voyages offers unique experiences and cultural immersion in spectacular locations around Australia including Ayers Rock Resort in the Northern Territory, Home Valley Station in The Kimberley in Western Australia and the Mossman Gorge Centre, in Tropical North Queensland.One of the key responsibilities of Voyages is to promote and sustain eco tourism, protecting pristine sites for many years to come. Voyages works collaboratively with local communities to assist them to exercise sustainable environmental tourism practices, respecting and supporting the local Indigenous cultures and offering employment and training opportunities to the local and broader Australian and Torres-Strait Islander Indigenous communitiesProfits from all business activities are re-invested in the Indigenous and resort experiences and through the various training and development programs in place around Australia.Source = Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australialast_img read more

Sabres technology empowers Philippine Airlines

first_imgSource = Sabre – Philippine Airlines Sabre’s technology empowers Philippine AirlinesSabre’s technology empowers Philippine Airlines to drive new insights across all of its commercial planning departmentsSabre Corporation (NASDAQ: SABR), the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, announced today that Philippine Airlines (PAL) will use AirVision Commercial Analytics in order to see daily revenue performance more consistently and accurately. This new solution simplifies and enables consistent decision making across several commercial planning divisions by bringing all the data to one place and in real-time.When airlines collect data, they are challenged with deriving meaningful insights from the data. Commercial Analytics delivers unique and actionable insights that create a competitive advantage and allow airlines to make more informed decisions. In today’s extremely competitive environment, it is critical that all commercial departments draw from the same information. This drives consistent actions across the sales, revenue management, pricing and partnership departments to maximize revenue opportunities.“Sabre’s Commercial Analytics will allow Philippine Airlines to make more actionable decisions,” said Dasha Kuksenko, vice president and regional general manager – Airline Solutions, Asia Pacific. “This solution also enables the airline to maximize revenue, improve efficiency and productivity, while driving a competitive advantage. By using Commercial Analytics, the Philippines flag carrier will have the ability to look at customer segments instead of simply fare purchases. This gives the airline more insights into their customers’ purchase propensities and the ability to recommend actions to best suit the business needs of the airline.”Commercial Analytics will help PAL optimize revenue per passenger instead of the historically used revenue per seat model – a key component of achieving total revenue optimization. This ground-breaking, real-time solution analyzes historical and future revenue trends through integrated air fare, ancillary product, and partner revenue metrics with predictive intelligence. This is the only solution in the market that can measure the impact of passenger behavior, helping PAL become more customer-centric.“We are proud to partner with Sabre to help us identify new revenue streams and improve efficiencies,” said Dina May F. Flores, vice president – Revenue Management, Philippine Airlines. “This will provide us relevant insights to help us better understand our customers’ buying behavior. This will help us attain our goal of becoming a five-star airline and a source of pride for Filipinos everywhere.”Commercial Analytics solves business challenges through a combination of intuitive role based user experience, advanced analytics and integrated data through the rest of the Sabre portfolio. It can also integrate with multiple reservation systems making Commercial Analytics a key part of Sabre’s already industry-leading suite of data and analytic solutions – underscoring the company’s commitment to invest in solutions that address the real-time needs of the travel industry.Both companies are currently at AAPA in Manila where Sabre is sharing updates on its latest technologies; including four new strategic solutions announced in 2016.last_img read more

Vietjet flies high in France with fleet addition

first_imgVietjet management and staff welcomes the new aircraft at Tan Son Nhat International AirportVietjet flies high in France with fleet addition~Latest A321 featuring 45th-anniversary logo of Vietnam and France diplomatic ties unveiled, MoU signing with SafranVietjet is on a high note in France recently as it received its newest A321 which bears the official logo of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and France. The hand-over ceremony took place in the presence of His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong – General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, who is on an official State visit to France, and leaders from the two countries.Speaking at the ceremony, Vietjet Managing Director Luu Duc Khanh, said: “It is our great honor to have our aircraft emblazoned with the official logo for the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam – France diplomatic relations. This is a meaningful tribute that acknowledges Vietjet’s continual efforts to introduce a vivid image of an innovative and integrated Vietnam to the international community. Standing high from profoundly comprehensive collaborations among Vietjet and French partners, we would contribute more to the development of economic – cultural – trade cooperation between Vietnam and France.”The newly added A321 is the 43th of a total 121 aircraft that Vietjet has ordered from Airbus. This delivery is the fastest ever handover made between the two companies. The new aircraft boasts a wide cabin with a logical configuration that will givepassengers extra comfort so they can enjoy a superlative flying experience with Vietjet. The latest addition to Vietjet’s expanding fleet will allow the airline to pursue its strategy to improve its services and to expand operation to farther destinations in South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and other destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.The official logo for the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and France was unveiled by the French Embassy in Hanoi on January 24, 2018. The logo features the image of a Vietnamese woman wearing a non la (palm-leaf conical hat) and a red ao dai (a traditional silk dress) holding hands with a French woman wearing a beret and a white blue plaid dress. The logo highlights the friendship and deep understanding between the two countries.In another important event in France, Vietjet yesterday signed a comprehensive agreement with Safran – CFM worth US$6.5 billion for the supply of 321 engines to power the airline’s 148 aircraft as well as fleet management services, training, R&D programs (for example, in fuel efficiency), and technical management. Safran – CFM will also help the airline develop regional-level support maintenance capabilities.The Memorandum of Understanding about the comprehensive collaboration was signed under the witness of His Excellency Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and French President Emmanuel Macron.Speaking at the Signing Ceremony, Vietjet Vice President Dinh Viet Phuong said: “Today’s agreement marks a new milestone in strategic partnership between Vietjet and Safran – CFM. We are convinced that new engines will improve our operation capability, which enables us to fulfill our long-term development strategy to global market and better our services. We also believe that the new agreement will contribute positively to the economic and trade exchange between Vietnam and France, and create more jobs for the two peoples.”“We are very pleased to be an integral part of Vietjet Air’s long-term growth strategy,” added Philippe Couteaux, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing at Safran Aircraft Engines and CFM. “This MoU is in line with our recent commercial agreements with Vietjet Air and also reflects the relationship of mutual trust between the airline and Safran Aircraft Engines and CFM. Vietjet Air selected us because of our recognized expertise and experience in support services.”Also in France, Vietjet leaders also inked a finance agreement with GECAS France on purchasing and leasing six A321neo aircraft worth US$800 million.Source = Vietjetlast_img read more

Lebanon continues development in its tourism and travel industry

first_imgAmid continuing regional tension, the Levant or Eastern Mediterranean witnessed continuous development in its tourism and travel industry. Lebanon registered an incremental trend in figures of tourism spending, vat refunds and airport arrivals.Lebanon’s hotel occupancy had a year-on-year increase during the months of January and February 2016, although the average room rate was set to meet the market seasonal demand. Beirut welcomed a unique and live performance of the Disney award-winning movie, Frozen, on the main Biel exhibition centre stage that held thousands of parents who shared the beautiful experience with their children. Mostly Shakespeare was one of many scheduled performances within the Al-Bustan International Festival of Music & the Performing Arts.Several options are available for accommodation, that range from B&B homestays in Beirut and beyond, to luxurious, lavish properties ready to cater to all travellers. Positive experiences are the mottos in Lebanon, where one can travel to meditate, attend social events, practice active sports, and visit natural wonders.Lebanon tourism wants to be an ideal destination for leisure attractions with its varied landscape and mild climate, besides the extreme richness of its cultural and historic patrimony.last_img read more

Nijhawan Group to represent  iVenture Card International in India

first_imgiVenture Card International has announced the appointment of Nijhawan Group as their local representative in the Indian subcontinent.Commenting over the development, Ryan Rieveley, CEO and President, iVenture Card, said, “Having seen dramatic growth in the number of Indian guests enjoying our products worldwide and their propensity to purchase an iVenture Card as an integral part of their holiday before leaving home, we felt it was imperative to extend our reach in the Indian market and make our products available to more consumers through their preferred travel partner. In doing so, we’re delighted to have the Nijhawan Group represent and assist us in further developing and strengthening our partnerships with the Indian travel trade.”Currently operating in 16 of the world’s leading tourist destinations including London, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Madrid, Sydney and more, iVenture Card recognises India as a major upcoming source market. This representation tie up will be executed by iVenture Card Managing Director, Joost Timmer and General Manager– International Business, Joy Ghose overseeing the market from their Regional Head Office in Hong Kong.Announcing this partnership, Priyanka Nijhawan, Director- Representations, Nijhawan Group, said, “We will support the tour operators and travel agents in their sales and marketing efforts to maximise the numbers of Indians experiencing attractions worldwide through iVenture Card attraction pass. With the addition of iVenture Card International to our representation portfolio, we can now offer a new product to our travel partners to further enhance the experience of their clients.”last_img read more

Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain unveils new Presidential Villa

first_imgSix Senses Qing Cheng Mountain, located near the UNESCO World Heritage & Natural Cultural site of Dujiangyan has unveiled a Presidential Villa, surrounded by unobstructed views of the Qing Cheng Mountains.The Presidential Villa is in close proximity to the main dining and entertainment areas, while surrounded by unobstructed views of the mystical mountains. Featuring 845 square meters of peaceful comfort and responsible luxury, the two-story villa houses four individual suites ranging from 80 to 110 square metres, as well as one valet room to accommodate large groups or several groups travelling together.Leisure facilities include a private cinema and an 80 square metres heated outdoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi, while round the clock butler service is available to ensure a seamless and hassle-free stay. Guests can also enlist the help of their butler to explore the ancient region.Replete with personalised service and unique crafted experiences to inspire, energise and revitalise, the Presidential Villa at Six Senses Qing Cheng Mountain offers an  exceptional journey into one of China’s most secluded treasured troves.last_img read more

Spectrum of the Seas arrives at the second Asian port Kochi

first_imgAfter her debut in Barcelona last month, Royal Caribbean International’s newest ship Spectrum of the Seas has finally arrived in Asia, with her second call at Kochi port on May 11 after Mumbai. She is on a 14-night cruise from Dubai to Singapore.The 16-deck, 168,666 gross registered ton ship is the largest ever to call in India. The first of the Quantum Ultra Class, Spectrum of the Seas has a total capacity of 5,622 guests and is 1,139 feet long, which overtakes sister ships Quantum and Ovation of the Seas, both currently Asia’s largest.To celebrate the maiden call, plaque exchanges were conducted between Spectrum of the Seas’ Captain Charles Teige and port officials.Commenting on the arrival of Spectrum of the Seas to the Kochi Port, Varun Chadha, CEO, Tirun said, “We are very excited that Spectrum of the Seas will be calling on India. She will be the largest and most innovative yet to touch Indian shores and give some of our guests a sampler of the Royal Caribbean experience. Her deployment in Singapore in May and then in Shanghai from June onwards will give Indians access to the best of cruising while visiting exciting destinations in Thailand, Malaysia and Japan.”This is the second time the global cruise line is deploying a brand new ship to Asia for homeporting, which underscores its ever-growing confidence in the region. The first ship in the fleet custom built for the Asian market, she features bold and unexpected experiences including the iconic Sky Pad, a virtual reality bungee trampoline. This is for guests of all ages and can also be enjoyed without virtual reality headsets, for those who prefer to look out over the expansive ocean as they leap toward the sky.last_img read more

Issa Countrywide Gave Lawmakers Discounted Loans

first_imgIssa: Countrywide Gave Lawmakers Discounted Loans in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share Agents & Brokers Bank of America Committee on Oversight Government Reform Fannie Mae Freddie Mac House Financial Services Committee Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2011-12-19 Ryan Schuettecenter_img December 19, 2011 433 Views A congressional investigation turned up evidence that Countrywide Financial Corp. lavished four members of Congress and an unknown number of GSE executives with discounted mortgages between 1996 and 2008, Rep. “”Darrell Issa””:http://issa.house.gov/ (R-California) said Friday.[IMAGE]Issa addressed members of the “”House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform””:http://oversight.house.gov/, which he chairs, by releasing an “”open letter””:http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/files/12-16-11-dei-to-bonner-re-countrywide.pdf to the public.[COLUMN_BREAK]He said that “”Bank of America””:https://www.bankofamerica.com/ ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô which acquired Countrywide during the financial crisis ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô assisted the investigation by producing “”approximately 100,000 pages of documents”” in line with subpoenas from the committee.””Testimony and documents show that Countrywide used the VIP program to build relationships with government officials and others positioned to advance Countrywide’s business interests,”” Issa wrote.He did not disclose the names of any members of Congress implicated by evidence in the investigation.He said that Countrywide also offered as many as 173 discounted mortgages to employees with “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/, “”including those in senior positions.””The congressman also alleged that his staff would continue to investigate the possibility that other colleagues may have received discounted mortgages from another servicing branch with Countrywide.It was unclear Monday what actions the House committee would take next.last_img read more

Mortgage Rates Bounce Up From Record Lows Freddie Mac

first_img Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Bankrate Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers Treasury Yields 2012-06-14 Tory Barringer Share June 14, 2012 450 Views Mortgage Rates Bounce Up From Record Lows: Freddie Maccenter_img in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Mortgage rates saw increases across the board after nearly two months in record-low territory, with “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ revealing in a weekly survey Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up to 3.71 percent.[IMAGE]The GSE found that the 30-year loan’s increase ended a six-week streak of falling rates. At the same time last year, the fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.50 percent.The 15-year FRM also slid up, averaging 2.98 percent (0.7 point). The average was 2.94 percent the previous week. At the same time in 2011, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.67 percent.””Fixed mortgage rates edged up slightly from record lows during a mild week of economic data releases. The Federal Reserve Board reported that household [COLUMN_BREAK]net worth rose by $2 trillion to $62.9 trillion over the first three months of 2012, primarily due to increases in stock markets,”” “”Frank Nothaft””:http://www.freddiemac.com/bios/exec/nothaft.html, VP and chief economist with Freddie Mac, said in a statement.””However, this is still well below the peak of $67.5 trillion set in the third quarter of 2007. Nonetheless, homeowners saw an aggregate $372 billion rise in property values over the first three months of this year,”” he added.The 5-year ARM averaged 2.80 percent (0.6 point), down from 2.84 percent the previous week and 3.27 percent last year.The 1-year ARM also fell, averaging 2.78 percent (0.5 point), a decrease from the previous week’s 2.79 percent. At the same time in 2011, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.97 percent.””Bankrate.com””:http://www.bankrate.com/ also released its weekly survey, which found that the 30-year FRM fell to its third consecutive record low of 3.91 percent, down from 3.92 percent the previous week. Meanwhile, the 15-year fixed continued to rise to 3.17 percent, up from 3.16 percent the week before.The 5-year ARM also increased, up to 3.00 percent from 2.99 percent the week before.””The uncertainty surrounding the European debt crisis will continue to keep a lid on mortgage rates and be a primary catalyst for further rate volatility in the weeks ahead,”” Bankrate.com said in its report.Bankrate.com’s survey uses data provided by the top 10 banks and thrifts in the nation’s top 10 markets each week.last_img read more

FHFA Price Index Up 12 in Q4

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Market Home prices rose 7.7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter, while prices for other goods and services ticked up 0.7 percent, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index, which calculates home prices among mortgages held by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A total of 38 states reported rising prices in the fourth quarter of the year, a significant showing but fewer than the 48 from the previous quarter, according to the FHFA.On a quarterly basis, prices rose 1.2 percent, marking the tenth consecutive quarter of price increases, according to the FHFA. On a seasonally-adjusted monthly basis, prices rose 0.8 percent in December, according to the agency’s index.The price appreciation that took place in the fourth quarter was “considerable, but more modest than in recent periods,” according to Andrew Leventis, principal economist for the FHFA.”It is too early to know whether the lower quarterly growth rate represents the beginning of more normalized price appreciation patterns or a more significant slowdown,” Leventis added.Prices rose most over the year in Nevada (24.32 percent), California (19.50 percent), Arizona (15.22 percent), Oregon (12.87 percent), and Florida (12.63 percent), according to FHFA’s seasonally-adjusted, purchase-only index.The five states with the lowest home price appreciation over the year were West Virginia (-1.78 percent), Delaware (0.12 percent), Arkansas (0.50 percent), Connecticut (1.15 percent), and Rhode Island (1.16 percent).Among the 100 metros with the highest populations in the United States, those with the highest price appreciation over the year were largely based in the West, according to FHFA’s all-transaction index, which includes data from both purchases and refinances. In fact, 15 of top 20 are located in California, according to the FHFA. Modesto, California, topped the list with prices rising 28.50 percent over the year. Other states with metros on the top 20 list were Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, and Florida.Many of the metros ranking lowest for price appreciation over the year are located in the Midwest and the South. Rockford, Illinois experienced the greatest price depreciation over the year with a 6.46 percent drop, according to the FHFA.Based on the nine Census divisions, prices rose most over the year ending in December in the Pacific region, where they jumped 14.9 percent. The Mountain division posted the second-greatest increase with a 12.6 percent rise in prices, according to the FHFA purchase-only index. Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Home Prices 2014-02-26 Krista Franks Brock FHFA Price Index Up 1.2% in Q4center_img Share February 26, 2014 445 Views last_img read more

CFPB Director to Testify About Discrimination Allegations

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News CFPB Director to Testify About Discrimination Allegations As part of its continuing effort to address nagging allegations of discrimination and subsequent backlash against whistleblowers at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the House Financial Services’ Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will on Wednesday hear testimony from CFPB Director Richard Cordray.Wednesday’s hearing will be the third hearing on the matter. In April, the subcommittee heard testimony from two whistleblowers—CFPB senior enforcement attorney Angela Martin and Misty Raucci, former investigator at the Defense Investigators Group—who leveled accusations that CFPB had fostered “a culture of racial and gender discrimination and retaliation against its employees” who complained about discrimination matters.Raucci, in particular, painted an unflattering portrait of the bureau’s enforcement of EEO policies, calling the environment at CFPB “corrosive.”The subcommittee subpoenaed two witnesses who in May testified to poor investigations and slack enforcement of bias-related rules. Liza Strong, director of employee relations at CFPB, said that the bureau failed to meet even minimal standards during the investigation of Martin’s claims, though the bureau tried to accommodate Martin’s demands. The bureau gave Martin money and created two positions for her, one of which she declined and one she is now unhappy with.Ben Konop, EVP of Chapter 335 of the National Treasury Employees, testified that women and minority employees at the bureau are underpaid compared to white male colleagues in similar positions and said that CFPB has used “inconsistent reasoning” to deny grievances from female and minority workers.Cordray, for his part, has acknowledged disparities in performance ratings in 2012 and 2013, and several employees reportedly are being retroactively paid for being shortchanged by the bureau’s evaluation system.In a press statement, the subcommittee called the accusations of discrimination and whistleblower retaliation “matters of grave importance.” July 28, 2014 504 Views center_img Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Discrimination House Oversight Committee Richard Cordray 2014-07-28 Scott_Morgan Sharelast_img read more

We are delighted to announce the launch of this n

first_img“We are delighted to announce the launch of this new product for our Chinese visitors,” said Kevin Sumption PSM, Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum. “It is important for us as a cultural institution to deliver engaging programs and initiatives that cater to the growing demand from this market and allow our visitors to be fully immersed in the experiences on offer,” Tours are available for small groups (minimum of 15 and a maximum of 35 people) and will run for approximately an hour. Tickets are available for purchase at the museum and are priced at $79 (Family), $32 (Adult), $20 (Child) and $20 (Concession). Ticket price also allow visitors the chance to explore the museum’s other exhibitions and attractions at their leisure, either pre or post tour, and includes a 10% discount voucher to the museum’s gift shop.Tour times:11:00am, 12:30pm and 2:00pm dailyBooking enquiries: tourism@anmm.gov.auMake a booking The Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney is launching a new, specially-designed product to welcome its Chinese visitors – the Endeavour Highlights Tour – and from 1-28 February 2018 the museum will offer Chinese language (Mandarin) guided tours of the museum’s main galleries, exhibitions and attractions.Tours will run three times daily, seven days per week and will feature a visit to Captain Cook’s Endeavour replica, moored at the museum on iconic Darling Harbour. They will also include guided tours of a range of exhibitions including Passengers (Australia’s immigration story by sea), Navigators (a showcase of Australia’s relationship with Asia and Europe, featuring maritime navigation instruments, charts and maps) and Gapu-Monuk Saltwater (the museum’s recently opened Indigenous exhibition, exploring the landmark sea rights case of North-East Arnhem land). Visitors on these tours will also have a photo opportunity on board the Endeavour with a 18th Century Captain’s hat, ideal for sharing on WeChat. And, in keeping with this year’s Chinese zodiac Year of the Dog, they will also have the chance to meet the museum’s resident canine, Bailey Haggarty, famous for chasing the seagulls from the museum’s ships and wharves. attractionsChinesemuseumSydneylast_img read more

The way some see it Fitzgerald would not come bac

first_imgThe way some see it, Fitzgerald would not come back if Palmer walks away, whereas the receiver’s decision may play a role into the quarterback’s. Arians said the two are “probably” intertwined, at least in part.But Fitzgerald, after a bit of a pause, said that’s not really the case, at least for him.“I have to make decisions based on how I feel, but I think as a friend, I think it’s best you just let him make his own decision, do what’s best for him and his family,” he said. “I know last year with the concussion and a new baby, a lot of things go into the decision-making process.“I don’t think it would be my place or anybody’s place to tell him what he should do or what he think he should do.”The way Arians sees it, his veterans have to decide if they want to put in the work that comes with continuing their careers, but that once they get around their teammates and realize what they would miss if they walked away, that triggers a desire to press on.Should both Fitzgerald and Palmer decide to retire, the general manager Steve Keim and the Cardinals would certainly have some considerable holes to fill. Palmer threw for 4,233 yards and 26 touchdowns as a 15-game starter, during a season in which Arians acknowledged the QB “got the hell beat out of him.” Photo by @timringTV 0 Comments   Share   Arians, who said it would be up to him to help protect Palmer better if he comes back, said the organization would like to know their intentions by the time free agency starts in March. Regardless of what they decide, there are plans in place for all scenarios.“You have to go ahead and make plans,” he said. “We have plans for both ways — them coming back and them both retiring.“All our options are out there. Steve and I — Steve does a great job of having a ‘ready list’ ready to go, so we have our options ready to go.”Follow Adam Green on Twitter Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Larry Fitzgerald said it would take until around Feb. 1 before he would have an idea of how his body was feeling and thus, it stood to reason that the calendar turning could offer a bit more clarity to his status going forward.Turns out, he may not even have needed that much time.Speaking at the Special Olympics putting event at the Waste Management Phoenix Open Tuesday, Fitzgerald said he was feeling good, feeling better. His body is coming back, he added. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling But is he?“Pretty soon,” he said of when he expects to come to a decision.In fact, Fitzgerald said he has pretty much made up his mind, but “I’m going to take a couple days, a couple weeks to figure it out and that’s going to be it.”The Cardinals are certainly hoping the veteran Pro Bowler returns, especially after a season in which he led the NFL with 107 receptions.Talking with the media as part of private reception to benefit the Arians Family Foundation, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he has talked to Fitzgerald as well as quarterback Carson Palmer, who has also reportedly been mulling retirement, every week.“Neither one has come to a decision; it’s up to them,” Arians said. “I feel very comfortable with where they’re at and what’s going to happen. Like everybody else, got my fingers crossed.“I think when the juices start flowing and the injuries go away they’ll both be back, but there’s nothing to confirm yet.”Fitzgerald will be 34 when Week 1 of the 2017 season rolls around, while Palmer will turn 38 in December. Both played well in 2016, and there has been a belief the two are somewhat tied together. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Ex-#Browns CB Tramon Williams is flying to Arizona for a visit with #AZCardinals, source said. They visited with Brandon Flowers yesterday.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 27, 2017Williams, 34, spent the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns after eight years in Green Bay. In 2016, Williams started seven games for the Browns and had 36 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception. The former Pro Bowler has 30 career interceptions, which ranks seventh among active players, tied with Richard Sherman, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brent Grimes.Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said earlier this week the Cardinals would continue to be aggressive in bringing in talent for visits and possible signings.“You’re going to see some guys coming in here real fast to build this roster just in case,” he said. “Either young guys haven’t performed well enough and there are so many good veterans on the street, that you want to have guys ready to go.”Justin Bethel and Brandon Williams are competing for the starting cornerback spot opposite perennial Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, but there are depth concerns. Those fears haven’t been helped by two corners — Elie Bouka and Jumal Rolle — both missing up to two weeks with injuries. The Arizona Cardinals are firmly entrenched in training camp as they prepare for next week’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.But the team’s front office isn’t completely satisfied.After the Cardinals met with free agent cornerback Brandon Flowers Wednesday, they’re bringing in another Thursday with the possibility of adding depth to the position. Cleveland Browns cornerback Tramon Williams stretches before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (Winslow Townson/AP Images for Panini) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 8 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

THE GOOD After allowing the Colts 79 firstquarter

first_imgTHE GOODAfter allowing the Colts 79 first-quarter yards, seven first downs and 4-of-6 third downs converted, the Cardinals defense held its ground in the second quarter. The Colts had just 17 total yards on 12 plays with two first downs and one successful third down. In addition, both Josh Mauro and Chandler Jones recorded sacks, the latter ending the first half. Jones now has at least one sack in for straight games, tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history.All he does is score touchdowns. Nelson made it seven total touchdowns in his last seven games and nine (eight receiving and one rushing) in his last 11 games overall with a 45-yard catch to pull the Cardinals within 13-10 at the 7:38 mark of the fourth quarter. The seven-play drive twice saw the Cardinals convert on third down, first a 3rd-and-1 on a Palmer quarterback sneak and then on a 3rd-and-20 on a Brown’s 22-yard reception. THE BADThree third downs the Colts converted on their opening possession. This, after they failed on 10 third-down tries last week. But that wasn’t the most egregious mistake(s) by the Cardinals. This was: on a 29-yard field goal attempt, Rodney Gunter was flagged for leverage, giving the Colts an automatic first down. Two plays later, Frank Gore rushed up the middle for a five-yard touchdown and 7-0 lead at the 7:38 mark of the first quarter. History says NFL teams cannot start a season 0-2 and have confidence in making the postseason.The Arizona Cardinals don’t need to worry about such history.It was ugly, but as they say, a win is a win. The Cardinals escaped their first visit to Lucas Oil Stadium with a 16-13 overtime victory against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.Phil Dawson, who missed a 42-yard field goal attempt that would’ve won it at the end of regulation, made good on a 30-yard try in overtime and the Cardinals avoided their first 0-2 start since 2005. The Colts had the ball first in overtime. But on the very first snap, quarterback Jacoby Brissett was picked off by Tyrann Mathieu. Four plays later, Dawson kicked the ball through the uprights.Brissett, who got the nod over Scott Tolzien with the injury of Andrew Luck, went 20-of-37 for 216 yards.Arizona (1-1) looked out of sync from the get-go. The offense, missing five starters, had zero net yards in the first six plays, twice going 3-and-out. The defense, meanwhile, surrendered 10 first-quarter points. Keep in mind, the Colts (0-2) scored nine points total in a Week 1 loss at the L.A. Rams.The Colts led 10-3 at halftime.It stayed that way until the fourth quarter.After a second Adam Vinatieri field goal put the Colts ahead 13-3, the Cardinals scored 10 straight points, including a Carson Palmer to J.J. Nelson 45-yard touchdown, to tie the game.Palmer had 332 passing yards but completed only 19-of-36 attempts and was intercepted, his fourth in two games.Nelson led the Cardinals with five catches for 120 receiving yards. Jaron Brown caught four balls for 73 yards, while Larry Fitzgerald added three for 21 yards.And in the first game without David Johnson, it was Chris Johnson who had the most success running the football with 44 rushing yards on 11 carries. Top Stories – Among the Cardinals listed inactives were tight end Jermaine Gresham plus linemen D.J. Humphries and Mike Iupati.UP NEXTAfter back-to-back road games to open the season, the Cardinals will play a home game.They return to University of Phoenix Stadium for the first time since training camp for a Week 3 contest against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, Sept. 25. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning four hours earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.The Cardinals have won four straight in the series, including twice in overtime.The former NFC East foes last met in 2014 in Dallas. The Cardinals won that game, 28-17. They also were victorious in the Cowboys’ most recent visit to Phoenix in 2011, 19-13 in overtime.Overall, the Cowboys lead 55-32-1 in a series that dates back to 1960. – / 37 HE SAID IT, part II“We got in our way a lot today,” Arians said postgame, adding about how Palmer and the offense can get in more of a rhythm, “We have to block a lot better, and we got to run the ball better, too. This was a defensive win.”NOTED– Fitzgerald’s second-quarter catch gave him a reception in 197 straight games, the third-longest streak in NFL history.– Palmer’s second-quarter pass to rookie WR Chad Williams moved him into 13th place on NFL’s all-time passing yardage list.– Palmer’s 300-yard passing performance marked his 23rd in a Cardinals uniform, establishing a new franchise record.– Will Holden, the team’s fifth-round draft pick, made his NFL debut in the first quarter. He reported eligible as a tight end.– Arizona moved to 5-0 against teams from the AFC South under Arians, including 2-0 vs. the Colts.– The Cardinals earned their 19th road victory under Arians, tied for the most such wins in franchise history.– Arians earned his 42nd victory as the Cardinals head coach, tied for the second-most in franchise history.– With the win, Palmer earned his 36th victory as the Cardinals quarterback, tied for the third-most in franchise history. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 18 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals’ Phil Dawson celebrates after kicking a game-winning 30-yard field goal in overtime of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy) From bad to worse. Losing yards on back-to-back plays — Kerwynn Williams minus-two and Andre Ellington minus-six yards — the Cardinals went from 1st-and-goal at the 8 to 3rd-and-goal at the 16 early in the second quarter. J.J. Nelson caught a 15-yard pass to put the ball at the 1. The Cardinals went for it on fourth down, but a fade to Fitzgerald fell incomplete as the pass attempt by Palmer was not a good one. Fitzgerald tried to adjust his body to the football but to no avail.Two more third downs were converted by the Colts — at this point in the game, they were 8-of-15 in such situations — on a fourth-quarter scoring drive that put the home team ahead by 10, 13-3, with 11:42 remaining in the game. Vinatieri made good on a 29-yard field goal to cap a 16-play, 76-yard drive that took more than nine minutes off the clock. The Colts moved the chains on 3rd-and-1 as well as 3rd-and-7; the latter a 12-yard throw to Kamar Aiken.STAT OF THE GAME, part I120: Nelson recorded his third career 100-yard receiving game.STAT OF THE GAME, part II8-18: The Colts converted 8-of-18 on third down as compared to the Cardinals’ 6-of-15 mark.HE SAID IT, part I“Quarterback,” Arians told Paul Calvisi on the Arizona Cardinals Radio Network when asked why the offense wasn’t clicking in the first half.last_img read more

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first_img 3 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians works against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman) Bruce Arians was a master of the English language.Sometimes Usually, that included a few expletives dropped. The former Arizona Cardinals coach was also the master of the press-conference opening quip and handing out the fitting nickname.Here is a collection of a few of the best quotes from Arians’ time with the Cardinals.After a win over a Rams team favored because of their stout defense in 2014:“I love it when nobody says you have a chance to win. There’s an 11-and-3 team and a team that’s always 8-and-8. You figure it out. Everybody wanted to talk all that stuff about how great their defense is. I think they saw a good defense tonight, it was in red and white.” Your browser does not support the audio element. Top Stories LISTEN: The Best of Bruce Arians on Bickley+Marotta center_img “You don’t get rings for byes. You don’t even get t-shirts and hats.”On seeing the Cardinals fan base grow in the Valley while joining Bickley & Marotta in 2016:“Everywhere you go, I love seeing the kids in the jerseys. You know right now, if the kids are Cardinals fans, mom and pop got no choice.”Arians after his final game, a win at CenturyLink Field over the Seattle Seahawks:“Thank you for coming to my house. I hope you get home safe.”In his press conference announcing he will retire after the 2017 season (Jan. 2, 2018):“We built this program on three words: trust, loyalty and respect. I told our team last night I was done, that I’m retiring. And they lied to you. Because of that, there’s no greater feeling in the world to know your players have your back.” – / 9 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling On the struggles of rookie tackle D.J. Humphries in training camp before the 2015 season:“A knee in his (expletive) every day. A foot wasn’t going to do it. That’s why he’s nicknamed knee-deep.”After improving to 2-0 on the season in 2015:“They’re patting you on the back, they’re looking for a soft spot, where to stick the knife. Same guy patting us on the back saying we might lose 10 in a row and might still be right.”On rookie safety Budda Baker taking the bait on offense and nicknaming him:“He’s still learning. He’s still ‘Fish Bait’ a few times but as he continues to get better and better, that role could increase quickly.”While visiting Bickley & Marotta with a cold:“I need to start getting some whiskey lozenges.”Following a victory over the Baltimore Ravens in 2015:“We wanted to make sure there was a damn good traffic jam.”On taking the Cardinals’ job and being himself in the interview process:“The thing at the beginning was, ‘Hey, I’m not changing who I am and how I coach. I’ll probably get a lot of Bibles in the mail.’”After clinching a bye in the 2015 playoffs: Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter The Lodge at Kinloch

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >The Lodge at Kinloch, scheduled to open in October 2015, will offer new heights of golfing escape complementing an onsite 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.“Having just played Kinloch for the first time I can honestly say this is the number one golf course in New Zealand. For those unable to play the great links courses of Scotland, Kinloch compares with the best of them. A true Links experience with Jack Nicklaus at his best,” said professional golfer Sir Bob Charles.Created by Treetops Lodge & Estate, The Lodge at Kinloch will feature one-bedroom junior suites and luxurious one- and two- bedroom villas in an exclusive, landscaped setting with views over the course to Lake Taupo, the scenic hub of New Zealand’s North Island. The villas were designed by Andrew Patterson, while interiors are the work of NZ’s design doyenne, Virginia Fisher.“My brief for the main lodge was to emulate a version of the Kinloch region’s namesake Scottish castle, but with a truly modern 21st-century feel. My vision was a baronial feel of lush textures – velvet, fox fur, brass and copper but upon modern calm of whitewash, light and airy. The Bar which harks back to a time of leather and rock surfaces, cowhide, goat fur and burnt wood flooring is masculine and intense. For private dinners or meetings, The Den is regal – soft and warm with silver and golds, slate floors and lush New Zealand-designed wool rugs. In contrast, a short stroll from the lodge are the luxury villas which are ‘quiet’ in design and harmonise with the magnificent natural setting of this 18-hole lakeside links course,” said Virginia Fisher.A  restaurant using produce reared from the private 2000ha owners’ estate adheres to the ‘Estate to Plate’ organic philosophy where possible. An onsite spa specialising in sporting therapeutic and organic wellness treatments, featuring an infinity pool, a gym and tennis courts is also available to guests.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Qatar Airways new s

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Qatar Airways’ new safety video featuring FC Barcelona players Messi, Suarez, Neymar, Pique, Rakitic and Mascherano has landed as a hit across all social media channels, generating nearly 40 million views since its debut in December, a record among airline safety videos. In addition, Qatar Airways’ new brand campaign, Going Places Together, generated extraordinary attention online with 31 million views of the new television commercial over the same time period inspiring millions with its message of travel as a transformative experience.A change from the airline’s traditional in-flight safety content, Qatar Airways communicated the airline’s essential safety information in scenes which depicted Suarez taking to the pitch in a life vest, while Pique causes a stir with waiting fans. This safety video will be shown to all passengers on board every Qatar Airways flight, reaching tens of millions of people in addition to the community of fans online.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “We saw an opportunity to bring some of our signature creativity to something that had become just another part of the on-board experience. Safety is of course at the heart of our operations as a global airline and I am delighted that our successful partnership with FC Barcelona has been so warmly received in this way by our passengers and the online viewing public.”Total viewing time of the safety video as posted to YouTube equates to a remarkable 39 years and 94 days since its launch.Salam Al Shawa, Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Communications added: “Feedback from our passengers, our staff and the online community has been phenomenal. The safety video has been called ‘among the best of all time’ by mainstream media, a compliment that we take to heart. There is something for everyone in this video, and everyone likes to see their favourite football players having a little fun and showing off their acting skills. Our approach to the video was the same as our approach to our new brand campaign, Going Places Together – we want to take something that has become ordinary and give it a new twist, something that will inspire a fresh look and a new experience. I believe that is why we have seen such an incredible engagement with both social media campaigns.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS2CQQfQzEMGo back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more