You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca. The Ontario government has made dozens of changes to government priorities in the province since it rose to power last June. Many of these changes have been met with protest, and the Tories have mostly held firm through the outrage. This time, though, they may have picked the worst possible fight.When Doug Ford’s government announced new plans for autism funding set to take effect in a matter of weeks, the backlash was loud, and immediate, and heartbreaking—with parents of autistic children in tears in the hallways at Queen’s Park, vowing to take every possible action to make the politicians behind this pay. And here’s the thing: These parents have spent their kids’ entire lives fighting for resources for them.They are organized and determined and they are very, very angry. What happens when an immovable government meets an unstoppable force?GUEST: Cynthia Mulligan, Queen’s Park reporter, CityNewsAudio Playerhttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_02262019.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.
TORONTO – Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government is cancelling 758 renewable energy contracts in what it says is an effort to reduce electricity bills in the province.Energy Minister Greg Rickford said the move will save provincial ratepayers $790 million — a figure industry officials dispute, saying the cancellations will just mean job losses for small business.In a statement Friday, Rickford said the government plans to introduce legislation during its summer sitting that would protect hydro consumers from any costs incurred from the contract cancellations.“For 15 years, Ontario families and businesses have been forced to pay inflated hydro prices so the government could spend on unnecessary and expensive energy schemes,” Rickford said. “Those days are over.”The government announcement does not indicate which specific projects are being cancelled.Rickford said the move is part of a campaign pledge the Progressive Conservatives made during the spring election to end the projects.“We clearly promised we would cancel these unnecessary and wasteful energy projects as part of our plan to cut hydro rates by 12 per cent for families, farmers and small businesses,” he said. “In the past few weeks, we have taken significant steps toward keeping that promise.”John Gorman, president of the Canadian Solar Industries Association, called the government decision to cancel the projects “rash.”“This is not about big business,” he said. “This is about small rooftop projects that are owned by farmers and school boards and municipalities and First Nations groups. The folks that will be hurt are the installers and contractors and the engineers: the local guys, the little guys who have built up experience in building solar over the last few years.”Gorman said the decision will likely lead to lawsuits, and said cancelling the contracts will not bring hydro prices down.“It’s preposterous to try to tie the cancellation of these small rooftop projects to any savings on people’s electricity bills,” he said. “It’s just a lose, lose, lose situation here, resulting from acting before thinking.”NDP Energy critic Peter Tabuns said the decision to cancel the renewable energy contracts will hurt thousands of jobs across the province. The party called on Ford to stop cancelling contracts until the impact can be determined.“Mr. Ford’s war on science and the environment may be pleasing his friends in back rooms and fulfilling promises he made to social conservatives that supported his election bid,” Tabuns said in a statement. “But for the rest of us, it’s going to means lost jobs, billions of dollars wasted, and tangible environmental damage.”Green Party Leader Mike Schreiner said the cancellation means the province is turning its back on the global renewable industry, which he said is worth billions and is a proven job creator. Schreiner added the decision also sends a number of negative signals about the province to business.“These types of contract cancellations expose Ontario to significant financial risk,” he said. “On top of that, they’re sending a message that Ontario’s not a safe place to do business. What company wants to invest in a province that just rips up contracts without any notice, without any due process?”Earlier this week, the Tory government said it would introduce legislation to cancel a wind project in eastern Ontario that is just weeks away from completion.WPD Canada, the company behind the green energy project that has been under development for nearly a decade, said the cancellation could cost more than $100 million and warned that the dispute could be headed to the courts.
“The attack against the legitimate institutions of the Afghan state and the Afghan people is unacceptable,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued in Bern, Switzerland, by his spokesperson.Reiterating the UN’s support for the rebuilding of Afghanistan through “legitimate state institutions, in a manner that addresses the needs of the most vulnerable and that provides both justice and security,” he urged the international community and the Government to continue their cooperation towards reaching these goals, “undeterred by vicious attacks as the one today.”The Secretary-General lauded the country’s security forces for their quick response to the attack which averted more deaths and for protecting Afghan officials and foreign diplomats at the event.He also sent his condolences to the families of those killed, wishes for a swift recovery to those injured and sympathies to President Karzai and his Government. 27 April 2008Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned today’s attack against Afghan President Hamid Karzai that occurred during a victory parade in the war-torn nation’s capital Kabul, claiming the lives of two Parliament members and injuring nine others, including two Afghan National Police.
The closed meeting, chaired by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno, brought together the “Group of Friends of the Secretary-General” – France, Germany, the Russian Federation the United Kingdom and the United States.Representatives of the Georgian Government are also participating in the talks.The conflict in Abkhazia – strategically located on the Black Sea in the northwestern part of Georgia – dates back to 1992 when social unrest escalated into armed confrontation. In August 1993, the Security Council established the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) to monitor a ceasefire agreement. Although the operation’s mandate was subsequently expanded after the parties signed another agreement in 1994, the peace process has remained largely stalled in recent years.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) looks to throw a pass in the fourth quarter of the game against Maryland on Nov. 17. Ohio State won 52-51. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorOhio State head coach Urban Meyer knows the pressures associated with the annual Michigan game. It’s the time of the year during which jobs are kept or lost and legacies are cemented. These are pressures he has felt before. “The amount of time and effort that you put into these games — and certainly there’s no bigger than this — you know, the word ‘pressure’ absolutely is there,” Meyer said. “For someone to say there’s no pressure, that’s not true.” These pressures were introduced to redshirt sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins last season. After former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett left the 2017 Michigan game in the third quarter with an injury, the spotlight was on Haskins, who had played in parts of eight previous games that season. “I’d say I was pretty calm in that situation,” Haskins said. “I didn’t have too many racing thoughts or thoughts of concern or of self-doubt.” With a 20-14 deficit in the third quarter, Haskins helped the Ohio State offense score 17 unanswered points, completing 6-of-7 passes for 94 yards in the come-from-behind, 31-20 Ohio State win. Haskins said going into the atmosphere and gaining the trust of his teammates through his play in the second half gave him confidence as he took the starting quarterback job in 2018, leading Ohio State to its No. 4 pass offense in the country. But he has had no lack of confidence through 11 games in the 2018 season. Now, as he leads Ohio State into the Michigan game as the starter, Haskins is developing not only confidence, but leadership and ownership of the offense. This is a requirement of any of his quarterbacks based on the necessity of the position, Meyer said. “The quarterback position is the most unique position, in my opinion, in really all of sport, where everybody’s relying on you. Everybody’s looking at you,” Meyer said. “You have a responsibility what the other 10 guys are doing. You have to make all kinds of decisions within 1.8 to 2.5 seconds. And you have to be a tough guy. You have to lead.” In the first possession of overtime against Maryland on Saturday, the redshirt sophomore quarterback led the Buckeyes downfield, extending the drive on a 4th-and-1 with an 11-yard completion to redshirt junior tight end Rashod Berry. But that was not the play Meyer remembers. It was the 5-yard zone read, scoring the touchdown that wound up winning the game. “Dwayne really took a step, really took a step,” Meyer said. “No more important than the last play of the game when he dropped his pads and had to get in there and he got in there.” This is something offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day has worked on with Haskins this season — to not just be the player who can play football, but be the player who can lead the team. “The two of them — everybody has big dreams and part of being a big dream is being that guy that can move a team, not just throw a pretty pass but do things you have to do to win a game,” Meyer said. That is going to be the difference between Haskins’ past Michigan game and Saturday. This year, Haskins is the starter, bringing an expectation of not only leading an offense to a second-half, comeback win, but to a four-quarter victory, a victory that places Ohio State back to where it expected to be at the beginning of the season. Haskins knows the stakes. He has known the stakes for the entire season. He said he has watched Michigan every week waiting for this game. As a first-year starting quarterback, Haskins has the unique opportunity to know what a Michigan game is like before he starts one himself. He knows what it takes. “Getting some experience first from last year helped out tremendously going into this week and everything goes into full throttle going into — it actually starts today,” Haskins said. “It starts today, so we are going to get ready for them right now.”
La Réunion prête à devenir “le laboratoire grandeur nature” de la voiture électrique, “propre, silencieuse et durable”Île de la Réunion, France – En visite dans les îles françaises afin de leur présenter ses traditionnels vœux présidentiels, Nicolas Sarkozy a annoncé que l’île de la Réunion serait “la première utilisatrice de masse des véhicules électriques” produits par Renault. Dans ce but, 50 véhicules seront expérimentés l’année prochaine.En 2011, La Réunion deviendra “le laboratoire grandeur nature de la mobilité du XXIe siècle, propre, silencieuse et durable” a déclaré Nicolas Sarkozy après avoir annoncé la signature d’une lettre d’intention sur l’expérimentation de 50 véhicules électriques produits par Renault. Cette lettre a été signée par six partenaires dont Renault, EDF, Total et l’américain GE.”Dès 2011, les premiers véhicules électriques sortiront des chaînes de Renault” a précisé le chef de l’État. Grâce à l’emprunt national mais aussi à la mobilisation des centres commerciaux, des collectivités, des distributeurs d’électricité et de carburant, l’île “sera la première utilisatrice de masse de ces véhicules électriques” a-t-il assuré. Dans ce but, la construction d’une infrastructure de rechargement performante doit commencer au plus vite et Nicolas Sarkozy a indiqué avoir demandé à la secrétaire d’État chargée de l’Écologie Chantal Jouanno et au préfet Pierre-Henry Maccioni “de coordonner activement les efforts et l’appui des financements nationaux”.Les voitures électriques testées seront reliées à des infrastructures de charge “principalement alimentées par des énergies renouvelables” ont souligné les six signataires de la lettre d’intention dans un communiqué commun. Et EDF de souligner que “ce projet devra démontrer que le bilan global d’émission de CO2 des véhicules électriques à la Réunion est meilleur que celui des véhicules thermiques ou hybrides actuels”.Le 21 janvier 2010 à 10:22 • Emmanuel Perrin
TUMWATER — Gillnetters took what may be their final shot Saturday at derailing a massive revamping of lower Columbia River sport and commercial fishing regulations, telling the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission the proposed overhaul is just an salmon grab by sportsmen.“It’s a big scam,” said Georgia Marincovich of Astoria. “There is no need for this plan. It’s allocation, allocation, allocation to the sports.”The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 last week to approve the shifting of gillnets out of the main lower Columbia River and into off-channel spots like Youngs Bay at Astoria by 2017.The plan makes sport fishing the priority in the lower Columbia, allocating up to 80 percent of the spring chinook and almost 100 percent of the summer chinook to anglers by 2017.It also calls for increasing hatchery production of coho, spring chinook and fall chinook in the off-channel areas to offset the loss of main stem fisheries and to transition to alternative commercial gear such as purse and beach seines.
Comments Now playing: Watch this: The comments come as Trump made good on his threat to increase tariffs from 10% to 25% on roughly $200 billion worth of imports from China, a move that many in the technology and telecom sectors have warned will hurt American consumers and businesses. The tariff hike went into effect Friday even as the administration continued trade talks with Chinese officials in Washington, DC.Rosenworcel expressed similar concerns in an op-ed for Politico in September after Trump initiated the 10% tariffs on Chinese imports. “The administration’s trade war with China threatens to increase the costs of wireless infrastructure by hundreds of millions of dollars at a critical moment in the race to 5G,” she said. Rosenworcel wasn’t alone in her criticism. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), which represents many of the manufacturers and suppliers of high-tech communications networks, issued a statement earlier this week stating that the tariffs “will adversely impact our technological competitiveness relative to other countries and hurt our economy and consumers.”The Consumer Technology Association, which runs the annual CES gadget show and represents the US consumer technology industry, called the move “disastrous” and said the tariffs are ultimately not paid by China but by Americans. “Tariffs are taxes, plain and simple,” CTA president and CEO Gary Shapiro said in a statement. “And they’re paid for by US consumers, workers and businesses — not by China.”The global race for 5G5G, which refers to the fifth generation of cellular technology, is the next big thing in wireless technology. It’s been hailed as the foundation for other big trends like self-driving cars and streaming virtual reality.US carriers have been pushing hard on 5G. Last year, Verizon started a limited 5G home broadband service. This year it launched its mobile 5G service. AT&T’s 5G network went live in select cities in December and the carrier has steadily rolled out additional deployments this year. Sprint and T-Mobile are also expected to begin rollouts this year. The race to 5G is also in full force outside the US. Early indications suggest the US may be lagging. In a study conducted by Analysys Mason and released last month, China had the best combination of wireless carriers committing to the technology, government backing for research, a clear rollout plan by 2020 and government commitment of wireless spectrum, or the radio airwaves critical to deliver wireless service.After China, South Korea, then the US and Japan make up global leaders in 5G, according to the firm.The Trump Administration has promised policies to help spur 5G development and network deployment. But it’s also taken aim at Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei, which is considered a leader in 5G technology. The administration has pushed to ban the gear from US wireless infrastructure due to security concerns. The major wireless providers have complied, promising not to use the gear. The White House has also been urging other countries, like the United Kingdom, to also ban Huawei gear and technology.How do tariffs affect US carriers?Even though the large US carriers aren’t using Chinese gear to build their networks, that doesn’t mean the tariffs won’t have impacts. Rosenworcel, Shapiro and others point out that many components like semiconductors or modems, which may be developed in the US and manufactured or assembled in China, will be subjected to the 25% tariff when they reenter the US.For this reason, Shapiro said Trump’s trade war is already helping China in the race to 5G, as the 10% tariffs imposed last year have already cost American businesses money. “In less than a year under these tariffs, the US tech industry has paid over $745 million extra for 5G-related products,” he said.Shapiro added that he agrees with the administration that the US needs a trade agreement with China to protect intellectual property, “But raising tariff rates or imposing new tariffs on American families is not a winning negotiating tactic.” 6 Share your voice Tags We tested Verizon’s new 5G network The tariffs that go into effect today are a 25% tax on the future of technology. All the building blocks of 5G wireless and the internet of things–from modems to antennas to semiconductors–are subject to this new tax. It’s not good–for consumers, innovation or US leadership.— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) May 10, 2019 FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel has been an outspoken critic of President Trump’s trade war with China. Bill Clark Democratic FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, along with some tech trade groups, say President Donald Trump’s tariff hike on Chinese goods entering the US will slow the stateside rollout of 5G. In a tweet on Friday, the lone Democrat on the commission said the tariffs, which more than doubled overnight, are “a 25% tax on the future of technology.”She added the tariff hike will have a negative effect on US wireless operators’ plans to build 5G wireless networks and the innovation that’s expected to come from these new networks. “All the building blocks of 5G wireless and the internet of things — from modems to antennas to semiconductors — are subject to this new tax,” she said. “It’s not good — for consumers, innovation or US leadership.” 8:24 Mobile Politics 5G FCC Donald Trump
Malkajgiri: A free health camp was conducted by the health department officials at Bala Saraswathi Nagar in 140th Malkajgiri division, near the Ambedkar statue on Thursday.Women and children were provided free medical check-up and medicines were distributed at the camp which was organised on the instructions of GHMC Commissioner Dana Kishore. As part of creating awareness on mosquitoes, the staff of Malkajgiri (GHMC circle) Entomology Department created awareness among people about the various illnesses caused due to mosquitoes, measures to be taken to prevent spread of mosquitoes and preventive measures to be taken to save from vector borne diseases such as malaria and chikungunya. Dr Kalyan, Vinoda, Nukeshwari, Chandrika, Madhavi, division in-charge of Entomology Department Satish Yadav, Shiv Kumar, Satyanarayana and others participated in the health camp.
An aircraft of India’s largest airline IndiGo. Differences among the founders are threatening to affect the day-to-day operations of the airline while the dispute has reached market regulator Sebi.ReutersThe worsening differences between the two promoters of IndiGo, Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal, have reportedly begun affecting its day-to-day operations and threatening its market leadership.The promoters have made serious allegations against each other, forcing the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to intervene, according to a Business Standard report. The two promoters and their families control about 75 per cent stake in the country’s largest budget airline by market share, revenue and fleet size.The company’s internal problems have hit its share value with the scrip shedding almost 16 per cent in three days. The share was trading at 1,389 by noon on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), down 11 per cent from the previous day’s closing, having slipped 17 per cent in the morning session. The 50-share benchmark Nifty was trading 0.44 per cent down while the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) index Senex was down 0.4 per cent. IndiGo’s main rival in the budget carrier segment, SpiceJet, gained nearly 2 per cent on NSE, trading at about Rs 119.Gangwal, who holds 36.68 per cent of Indigo’s shares, has sought permission to hold an extraordinary general (EGM) meeting, alleging that the company has participated in objectionable related-party transactions (RPTs) and has not complied with corporate governance standards, the report says. He said that Bhatia-owned InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE), which has greater control over the company, has misused its powers to enter into RPTs with IndiGo.Bhatia has denied the allegations, saying that the Companies Act gave powers to the board of the company to decide its functioning. In a 23-page letter to Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi, with a copy to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gangwal wrote that besides questionable RPTs, key governance norms were not being adhered to and this would lead to “unfortunate outcomes” unless corrected. Corporate governance regulations prescribed by Sebi as well as those of the company’s code of conduct for directors and the senior management have been violated, according to the allegations. An IndiGo aircraft on the landing approach. The differences between the low-cost airline’s promoters has reached market regulator Sebi.twitter”We are big believers in the long-term potential of IndiGo and its business and operational model. However, we also firmly believe that IndiGo can realise its true potential and be a world-class company only if it has a world-class business and operational model as well as world-class governance standards,” said Gangwal.The allegedly tainted RPTs relate to deals that IndiGo has entered into for the hotel accommodation of its crew, simulators for crew training, and the office space the airline uses. “It is startling to hear that such transactions between the company and IGE Group are administrative issues and not an airline issue … We sincerely hope that the CEO, who was nominated by the IGE Group but not classified as a ‘nominee CEO of the IGE Group’, is not in some way conflicted on this issue,” Gangwal said.Bhatia has said in a letter to Sebi that the allegations were nothing but an attempt by Gangwal to dilute the IGE Group’s control. “Related-party transactions issues have an underlying context. And, that is, the real motivation and intent of the RG (Rakesh Gangwal) Group,” said Bhatia.”It has now more clearly emerged that the real agenda of the RG Group is to dilute and diminish the controlling rights of the IGE Group and to relieve itself from its obligations under the Shareholders’ Agreement (SHA) and the Articles of Association (AoA) which ensure implementation and enforcement of the IGE Group’s controlling rights,” he added.Industry observers are worried that internal fighting could take IndiGo, which began operations in 2006, down the same painful path that Jet Airways, founded by Naresh Goyal in 1993, went after it ran into operational problems following a cash crunch. Jet Airways flew last on April 17 and is now undergoing insolvency proceedings.
Thanks to the Australian Senate, gamers in Australia can now play mature (18+ rated) video games without having them censored.The change comes after a bill has been passed in Australia which ends the ten year long ban and subsequent content cutting of many popular video games. The attorney-general’s department released a discussion paper on the introduction of an R 18+ certificate for games back in 2009. It received an incredible 58,437 responses, 98 per cent of those agreed there should be an R 18+ certificate and the wheels were set in motion.The new classification will be rated the same way R 18+ films are in Australia. It seems strange that Australia has always allowed 18 rated films but not video games. Perhaps the interactivity aspect made politicians fearful of the effects of playing violent video games?The minister for Home Affairs and Justice made it clear that the R 18+ rating will prevent minors from buying inappropriate games by offering parents a clear guide as to which games are unsuitable for their children. It also means Australian adults will now have a choice over what they play instead of facing heavy censorship or games just not getting released.Before, many games suffered having their content cut to give the game a MA15+ rating or just got banned completely. Recent titles such as Syndicate, Mortal Kombat and, Postal 2 were all banned in Australia. Hopefully, past releases will be re-rated, so gamers don’t miss out on playing older games, but this has not been confirmed by the Senate or indeed publisher’s willingness to revisit old games.The new legislation comes into effect on January 1st next year, just in time for all those Q1 releases.More at Jason Clare, via Edge
Stay on target iOS 13 Forces You to Make Eye Contact While FaceTimingScreenshots of iOS 13 ‘Dark Mode’ Leaked Ahead of WWDC Getting rid of the headphone jack isn’t really an innovation, and it doesn’t actually require courage to do it. But an iPhone that folds in half? Now you’re talking.Apple has just received a patent for exactly that. The actual title is “electronic devices with carbon nanotube printed circuits,” but that image at the top makes it pretty clear what Apple thinks those carbon nanotube PCBs might enable them to build.And yes, it does look an awful lot like the Microsoft Courier concept that you never had a chance to buy. It also looks like a scaled-down version of the recently-released Lenovo Yoga Book, which you can actually buy right now.Lenovo’s slick dual-touchscreen Yoga BookBased on the language in the patent, it doesn’t sound like Apple is specifically talking about a device that has a fully bendable display. It mentions one that can bend “along edges of touch sensors or displays.”The carbon nanotube PCBs provide flexibility for some of the phone’s internals, but not all of them. Those other parts will likely be covered by other patents if Apple is genuinely working on a seamless foldable device.The usual caveats apply here. For now, this is simply yet another patent padding Apple’s already massive portfolio. Could they be planning to release an iPhone that folds in half? Definitely.Will it be the iPhone 8, like Newsweek asks? That depends on whether or not carbon nanotube PCBs and reliable, flexible displays are a real, mass-produced thing in just two more releases. Right now it doesn’t seem like a strong possibility, especially not from a company that many believe is playing it safe right now.
Citation: Engineering students design a lock picking robot (2011, March 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-students-robot.html The first molecular keypad lock Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Crimes are usually committed by humans. As it turns out, we are not only making crime happen on our own, but we are designing robots to help us in our extra-legal endeavors. I don’t know what the students at the Olin College of Engineering are up to in their spare time, but they have taken the time to design a robot that picks locks for them. This robot can not only pick a lock, but it can find the combination to any Masterlock lock in under two hours, without resorting to a chisel and hammer. If you have one number things will go much quicker. You won’t get to class in time, but you can do a stealthy pilfering with it, if you have at least half an hour of uninterrupted time to work with. More information: students.olin.edu/2013/jnoglow … ker/The_Project.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com The robot is surprisingly simple in its design. It all starts with a clamp that is designed to hold the lock in its place. The combination of a thumb-screw, a puller, and a solenoid-controlled grabber then proceed to yank the loop of the lock and give a shot at opening the lock. If this first step is not successful a stepper-motor will engage, turning the knob and dials in various combination’s until it finds the correct one. This hardware, combined with companion software that is known as LockCracker, will keep an eye on what works and what does not. When it finds the correct combination it will actually display the code for future use.For now the device it too big to be used by home invaders, so you will not have to deal with it in the near future. No commercial applications have been given at this time, and the device is not expected to go on sale. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
2 min read The chief executive of Bitcoin exchange First Meta Exchange was found dead in her apartment in Singapore last week.Suicide could be a factor in the death of Autumn Radtke, 28, according to local media. However, authorities say they are awaiting results of a toxicology report before disclosing the exact cause of death.”The First Meta team is shocked and saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and CEO Autumn Radtke,” the company said in a statement on its website. “Our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends and loved ones. Autumn was an inspiration to all of us and she will be sorely missed.”Related: 6 Bitcoin Basics for BeginnersRadtke’s death comes amid a run of bad news for the Bitcoin virtual currency, largest of all the collapse of Japan’s Mt Gox exchange and disappearance of $400 million from its account. Regulators and law enforcement have become increasingly more aggressive in investigating Bitcoin and related exchanges.Radtke, an American, became CEO of First Meta in January 2012. Prior to that, she was head of business development for gaming company Xfire and was co-founder of Geodelic Systems, which has since shut down.Related: First U.S. Bitcoin ATMs Set to Debut in Austin, Seattle Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global March 5, 2014 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Surpass FHFA Credit Risk Transfer Goals In just three years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have transferred significant credit risk on loans totaling more than $667 billion in unpaid principal balance (UPB), exceeding the goals set by their conservator, according to the FHFA’s Overview of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Credit Risk Transfer Transactions for August 2015 released Friday.With the transfer of credit risk on loans totaling more than $667 billion in UPB, the GSEs have made substantial progress toward achieving the FHFA’s goal of transferring more credit risk to the private sector.”Credit risk transfer is now a regular part of the Enterprises’ business. The Enterprises are currently transferring a significant amount of the credit risk on almost 90 percent of the loans that account for the vast majority of their underlying credit risk,” FHFA said in the report. “These loans constitute about half of all Enterprise loan acquisitions.”FHFA said that going forward it will set specific goals in the annual conservatorship scorecard and work closely with staff members at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help the GSEs develop and evaluate their credit risk transfer structures. FHFA is encouraging the GSEs to continue engaging in large volumes of meaningful credit risk transfer.According to FHFA, there are three measures used to jointly consider in the amount of credit risk being transferred: 1) the proportion of loans on which at least some risk is transferred; 2) UPB of loans covered by the credit risk transfer; and 3) amount of risk transferred as a percent of the total estimated amount of credit risk for a group of loans.On the first measure, FHFA said it the GSEs are transferring about 90 percent of UPB for the largest category of loan acquisitions, which contain most of the new acquisition credit risk – that is, non-Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) refis that are fixed-rate 30-year loans with LTV ratios higher than 60 percent. On the second measure, Fannie Mae has transferred credit risk on $370.8 billion in UPB through eight Connecticut Avenue Series (CAS) transactions, while Freddie Mac has transferred credit risk on $235.5 billion in UPB through 14 Structured Agency Credit Risk (STACR) transactions. FHFA said both Enterprises have met their scorecard goals each year since 2013 as far as credit risk transfer amounts in terms of UPB. Also, while STACR/CAS issuances have been the accounted for the vast majority of credit risk transfer to date, the amount of credit risk transferred through insurance/reinsurance and other programs is growing.FHFA said the third measure of credit risk transfer, the amount of credit risk inherent in a loan pool, cannot be directly observable at the time the credit risk is transferred. In fact, this measure can only be assessed for a given pool of loans by using a credit model, according to FHFA.”The credit model should account for the fact that the amount of credit risk in the pool will vary according to the credit risk characteristics of the loans in the pool (e.g. credit score and LTV), the quality of underwriting at the time, and, importantly, the state of the housing market (whether or not there is a price bubble in play) at the time the loans are acquired,” FHFA said in the report. “This third measure is often translated into a measure of capital that should be sufficient to cover unexpected losses. The credit risk transfers are a means to reduce that amount of required capital.”More than 150 investors have participated in the STACR and CAS programs; any given transaction will typically feature anywhere from 50 to 70 investors, according to FHFA. Asset managers make up the largest share of participating investors with 53 percent; hedge funds have the next largest share with 31 percent.Even with the success of the Enterprises’ credit risk transfer programs in their first three years, much is yet to be determined.”Because the programs have not been implemented through an entire housing price cycle, it is too soon to say whether the credit risk transfer transactions currently ongoing will make economic sense in all stages of the cycle,” FHFA said. “Specifically, we cannot know the extent to which investors will continue to participate through a housing downturn. Additionally, the investor base and pricing for these transactions could be affected by a higher interest rate environment in which other fixed-income securities may be more attractive alternatives.”Click here to see the entire report. Credit Risk Sharing Fannie Mae Federal Housing Finance Agency Freddie Mac Unpaid Principal Balance 2015-08-21 Seth Welborn August 21, 2015 601 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Share
It’s now the third month straight that U.S. homebuilding has fell—considering the U.S. is currently in a housing shortage, this isn’t good news. According to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau, this is the lowest level housing starts have been at in eight months.Building permits dropped an additional 4.9 percent from the revised April rate of 1,228,000, which is 0.8 percent lower than last May’s rate of 1,178,000. Single-family authorizations were at a rate of 779,000 in May, 1.9 percent down from April’s 794,000.MarketWatch said in a recent report that homebuilders are working at a slower pace than last year and have especially pulled back on apartment buildings and other large multidwelling units, which were at a rate of 358,000 in May.“Part of the recent slowdown might reflect a bit of a pause after an unusually warm winter during which builders were much busier than usual,” said MarketWatch. “Some economists contend a higher level of construction that occurred earlier in the year would have normally taken place in the spring.”Housing starts for privately-owned housing were at 1,092,000 in May, which is 5.5 percent lower than revised April estimate of 1,156,000—2.4 percent lower than May 2016’s rate of 1,119,000. Single-family housing starts were 3.9 percent below revised April figure of 826,000 at 794,000. As for apartments—284,000.“In May, the biggest drop-off occurred in the South and Midwest. Construction rose slightly in the West and was flat in the Northeast,” MarketWatch said.Privately-owned housing completions were at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1,164,000 in May, which is 5.6 percent above April estimates of 1,102,000 and is 14.6 percent above May 2016’s rate of 1,016,000. Single-family housing completions in May were 4.9 percent above the revised April rate of 779,000 at 817,000. May’s rate for units in buildings with five or more units was 335,000.“For years the housing market has experienced a mini-renaissance of sorts as a steadily growing economy, rising employment and ultra-low interest rates enabled home people to buy homes,” MarketWatch said. “The outlook might not be as favorable now, though. Aside from widespread labor shortages, prices for wood and other raw materials have also risen. And the Federal Reserve has embarked on a series of increases in a key U.S. interest rate that helps determine the cost of borrowing, a potential brake on future sales.” in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Housing Starts U.S. Census 2017-06-16 Brianna Gilpin Share Falling Home Starts Could Be Because of Warm Winter June 16, 2017 532 Views
in 2017 TravelManagers has celebrated the 10th anniversary of 11 Personal Travel Managers (PTMs) and, alongside these frontline folk, a further three team members from TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office have also notched up a decade with the company this year.TravelManagers maintains that behind every good PTM there is a team of dedicated people in the National Partnership Office, whose job it is to provide finance, marketing, technology and business support so that PTMs can focus on delivering the best possible service to their clients. One of these is TravelManagers’ Operations Manager, Pru Gallagher, who joined the company as the main support person in the operations team: a role that included working with new PTMs to set up their businesses. She was also responsible for managing the company’s first seven national conferences, and has been in her current role, overseeing the operations and training teams, for almost two years.“When I started in 2007 there were just over 30 PTMs to look after, and now we have more than 500,” says Gallagher. “I work with an amazing network of people from different walks of life and what I love most is that if a PTM needs help, either for themselves or for a client, they’ll have dozens of offers from within the network within minutes.”For Tanyu Cilek, who, as TravelManagers’ Finance and Commercial Manager, is also celebrating ten years with the company, maintaining a balance between ever-improving technology and connecting with PTMs on a personal level is an important focus. “In a world where email and social media dominates, I like to pick up the phone for a good, old-fashioned conversation. Our PTMs prefer to spend more time building relationships with their clients and less time on the phone or looking at their computer screens, and the same philosophy applies for us here at the NPO too.”The third ten-year NPO veteran is Maria San Pascual, who has been part of the company’s finance team throughout her time with them, and now works as Accounts Manager. She says the focus of both her team and the overall company has always been on providing excellent service to stakeholders. “The improvements made during my time in systems and processes has kept things interesting, but working with such a service-focused, dedicated team has been one of the highlights of my ten years.”Every year, the personal travel managers also have the opportunity to formally recognise NPO team members whose support is considered to be outstanding. This year’s winners, who received their awards at TravelManagers’ annual National Conference in Darwin, were Marketing Executive, Tania Myles, and Gary Jensen, who is responsible for the Tramada NextGen Help Desk.TravelManagers’ NPO support staff recognised by the PTM network for their outstanding support throughout 2016/17: Tania Myles, Marketing Executive and Gary Jensen, Tramada NextGen Help Desk with the company’s Chairman, Barry MayoTravelManagers has been operating for over ten years, and TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal believes with 21 PTMs having reached a decade or more with the company, it’s a strong endorsement of the company’s culture that NPO support staff are also marking the significant milestone.“Our business model is sustainable and offers good job security, but there’s also an excitement factor that is driven by the growth and potential within the business. Our people have a strong belief in their fellow team members and they love working in an environment that encourages initiative.”Celebrating ten years of loyal service to TravelManagers are Pru Gallagher, Maria San Pascua and Tanyu Cilek, pictured with Executive General Manager Michael Gazal and CEO Joe Araullo
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