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Sinopec vows to clean pellet spill from HK beaches

first_img Comments   Share   Top Stories Sponsored Stories Some 150 metric tons of the pellets spilled out of six shipping containers that were knocked off a freighter in waters south of Hong Kong on July 23 during Typhoon Vicente, the strongest storm to hit the southern Chinese city in 13 years.Five of the containers and at least half of the pellets have been recovered but that leaves plenty of the translucent particles, just millimeters in diameter, coating beaches. On some beaches there was so much it was piled up like snow.Also known as nurdles, they are the raw materials used by factories to make other plastic products like plastic bags and bubble wrap.Local environmental groups worry that the pellets could absorb toxins and pollutants before being eaten by fish, making their way up the food chain and posing a threat to humans and rare marine species such as the Chinese white dolphin. But the company said the risk was low because the pellets were chemically stable.Sinopec has sent 120 staff based in Hong Kong to help the hundreds of volunteers and government staff working on the cleanup, executives said. The company has rented generators and industrial vacuum cleaners to speed up the work and hired five divers to examine the situation underwater. And it would top up the cleanup fund if necessary. Top holiday drink recipes Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths “Our company has been very anxious about the issue,” said Lu Dapeng, a spokesman for Sinopec, also known as China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. Lu said the company would focus its efforts on finding the sixth container as well as “work to make sure the original appearance of the beaches can be restored.”The pellets were carried in sacks bearing Sinopec markings, which have also been washing up on beaches. They were being transported from one Sinopec location to another in southern China by a China Shipping Container Lines Co. vessel.Lu said the company would not “shirk” its responsibilities but added that it would be up to the courts to decide who was ultimately responsible.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements AP Business WriterHONG KONG (AP) – Chinese oil and chemical company Sinopec Corp. promised Thursday to clean up hundreds of millions of its tiny plastic pellets that washed up on beaches across Hong Kong after they fell off a ship during a strong typhoon.The company, one of China’s three major state-owned oil companies, said it is setting up a 10 million Hong Kong dollar ($1.3 million) cleanup fund, arranging industrial cleaning equipment and sending staff to help with the effort. How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debateslast_img read more

Venezuelas new VP to be key figure for Chavez

first_imgDuring Chavez’s nearly 14-year-old presidency, he hasn’t anointed any clear successors, and has rotated various allies through the vice president position. Maduro is his eighth vice president.“The interesting thing to watch now will be whether Maduro takes on more responsibility than his predecessors and gets involved in a more substantive way in government business, which would be a sign that Chavez is indeed grooming him as his successor,” said Nicholas Watson, a Bogota-based analyst for the consulting firm Control Risks, headquartered in London.It’s possible Chavez waited to announce his vice presidential choice until after winning re-election because doing so sooner “could have triggered internal divisions within the ruling party,” said Diego Moya-Ocampos, an analyst with the consulting firm IHS Global Insight in London.Moya-Ocampos said that within Chavez’s movement, where civilian and military-aligned wings coexist, Maduro may be a “more conciliatory figure” than Jaua. Coordination with regional party leaders will likely be important ahead of the December elections and as Chavez looks to encourage more community decision-making through “communal” councils and other local bodies, he said. Top Stories Maduro is an influential leader within Chavez’s United Socialist Party, and before becoming foreign minister was National Assembly president.David Smilde, a sociology professor at the University of Georgia who studies Venezuela, said Maduro’s appointment is significant and shows the type of leadership Chavez wants to emphasize.“He is among the true leftists in the Chavez government. He believes in state control of the economy, anti-imperialist foreign policy, and the predominance of the executive over other branches and levels of the government,” Smilde said.“My guess is that making Maduro VP has a lot to do with Chavez’s health,” Smilde said. “As a potential successor to Chavez, Maduro is someone who would continue with the leftist elements of Chavez’s project, keep the base happy, continue close relations with Cuba, but perhaps be more comfortable in political negotiations than other potential successors or Chavez himself.”Some observers consider Maduro to be the official within Chavez’s inner circle with the closest links to Cuban leader Raul Castro, his brother Fidel and the island’s government.Chavez’s close friendship with Maduro goes back to the 1980s, when the Venezuelan leader was an army officer and formed a clandestine movement that eventually carried out a failed 1992 coup attempt. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Maduro’s role also could vary significantly depending on Chavez’s health, and provided his illness doesn’t recur Maduro is likely to act mainly as the president’s “close aide and negotiator,” Moya-Ocampos said.Political analyst Ricardo Rios said he thinks Maduro, as the political chief of the civilian wing of Chavez’s party, was chosen in part to achieve a balance between different blocs and dole out allowances of power.He noted that Diosdado Cabello, the president of the National Assembly and a former military officer, is another prominent party leader who will remain in an important national role rather than being assigned to run for a state governor’s office.Maduro knows well how the government works and can help further Chavez’s larger goals as he plans to start a “new phase” in his Bolivarian Revolution movement, said Vladimir Villegas, a journalist and former Venezuelan diplomat. He said Maduro carries weight due to his political acumen, experience as a union leader and the international profile he built working with allied countries.With his re-election win in hand, Chavez says he will deepen his socialist policies in his new term. He first took office in 1999 and now has the ability to complete two decades in office _ as long as his health holds. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement In his youth, Maduro belonged to a small political group called the Socialist League and traveled to Cuba for training in union organizing. He became a union organizer when he was working as a bus driver in Caracas.“Look where Nicolas is going, the bus driver,” Chavez quipped as he announced the appointment as vice president. Maduro smiled in the audience as the president said: “Look how they’ve mocked him. The bourgeoisie makes fun.”Chavez regularly chides many of his government ministers during televised meeting, questioning them about perceived mistakes or unfinished projects. But Chavez always speaks affectionately of Maduro.Chavez sometimes jokes that Maduro eats excessively, saying he should cut back on the submarine sandwiches he likes to devour.Maduro has proven adept at speaking on Chavez’s behalf without getting ahead of his boss’ public statements. Still, like most of Chavez’s aides, Maduro doesn’t stand out as an orator and usually keeps his public statements short and to the point.As vice president, he replaces Elias Jaua, who is running for a state gubernatorial seat in Dec. 16 elections against Henrique Capriles, the opposition candidate Chavez defeated in the presidential race. Associated PressCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) – A burly former bus driver who rose through leftist political activism to become Venezuela’s top diplomat will be a key player as the vice presidential pick of President Hugo Chavez, who is heading into a new six-year term after a year of cancer treatment.Nicolas Maduro has shown unflagging loyalty and become a leading spokesman for the socialist Chavez as foreign minister. His appointment as vice president had been widely expected. Comments   Share   Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Chavez named Maduro as his choice Wednesday, three days after winning re-election, and the announcement renewed speculation about whether the 58-year-old president could finally be grooming a successor in case his health worsens.Since being named foreign minister in 2006, the mustachioed, 49-year-old Maduro has overseen many key international efforts, including consolidating the regional diplomatic blocs ALBA and Unasur, strengthening relations with countries including Russia, Iran and China, and achieving a rapprochement with U.S.-allied Colombia.“He has been Chavez’s best spokesperson. He appears strong, he’s charismatic to some, and he is loyal,” Eduardo Gamarra, a Latin American studies professor at Florida International University in Miami, said Thursday.The vice presidential job has assumed new importance because of Chavez’s recent struggle with cancer. After a year of treatment that included surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Chavez said in June that tests showed he was cancer-free. He has said tumors were removed from his pelvic area but hasn’t specified the exact location or type of cancer.During Chavez’s visits to Cuba for treatment, Maduro was among the few aides seen at his side, and that presence encouraged speculation he could fill in for Chavez if necessary. During one televised appearance in Cuba in April, Maduro was shown on television playing bocce ball with Chavez and the president’s elder brother, Adan. Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breacheslast_img read more

Tycoon plans Nigerias largest oil refinery

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Comments   Share   (Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) – A company run by Africa’s richest man received a loan toward a $9 billion project that will give Nigeria its largest oil refinery and petrochemical and fertilizer complex, reducing the country’s reliance on international markets.Aliko Dangote, president of Dangote Group, signed a loan worth $3.3 billion from 12 Nigerian and international banks toward the project which will be built in Nigeria’s southwest. “At the completion of these projects we expect Nigeria to become not only self-sufficient in fertilizer and refined petroleum products but indeed to become recognized as a leading exporter of these products,” Dangote said at Wednesday’s signing.Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer, and is a top supplier of crude to the U.S., but the West African country has to import most of its fuel because of decrepit refineries unable to meet the nation’s demand for gasoline due to years of mismanagement and sabotage.The 400,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery and complex will become operational by 2016, the company said. The plant will also produce 2.8 million tons of urea for fertilizing crops and to produce polypropylene, used to make plastics, a statement said.Dangote said the company is still seeking an additional $2.5 billion in development funds to augment the $3.5 billion of its own equity put into the project. The $3.3 billion loan deal was led by Standard Chartered and Nigeria’s Guaranty Trust Bank.Dangote’s estimated worth is $16.1 billion according to Forbes, which has also ranked him among Africa’s richest men for the past few years. The Nigerian has made his wealth in cement, flour and sugar. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Top Stories 5 ways to recognize low testosterone New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

UAE to explore Mars atmosphere with probe named Hope

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies “This mission to Mars is really for the hope of the Arab world and will send them a message to say you can be better, you can improve your country,” Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the Emirates’ vice president and prime minister, told reporters after the event.Emirati scientists said they hope the probe, which will not land on the surface of the red planet, will provide a deeper understanding of the Martian atmosphere. That includes charting changes that happen over time and gathering data on how features such as volcanoes, deserts and canyons affect it.The plan is to launch the probe in the summer of 2020 — the year Dubai hosts the World Expo — on a journey of seven to nine months. Engineers expect it to remain in orbit until at least 2023.Some 75 engineers are working on the project, a number that is expected to double by 2020. The project is fully staffed by Emiratis — a rarity in a country where guest workers and other foreigners outnumber locals more than four to one.“This is an important project because of the legacy that this project leaves … to develop the science and technology sector,” deputy project manager Sarah Amiri said. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 5 treatments for adult scoliosis DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates’ planned 2020 mission to Mars will study the planet’s atmosphere and be appropriately named “Hope,” members of the project team revealed Wednesday.Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced initial plans for the unmanned probe last year. It is the first Mars mission attempted anywhere in the Arab world.An invitation-only event Wednesday in Dubai was a chance for officials to unveil many of the finer details. And they did it with a good dose of Gulf flair — soaring music and computer animations projected onto a movie screen in a chandelier-filled beachside palace. One of the world’s largest yachts, Dubai, was berthed outside. Comments   Share   Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Sponsored Stories Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona Officials haven’t said how much it will cost.___Follow Adam Schreck on Twitter at www.twitter.com/adamschreck.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Cambodia deports fugitive Russian tycoon

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility The real estate tycoon was charged in Russia in June 2013 with embezzling more than 5.7 billion rubles ($175 million) from 80 property investors.Cambodian police had first arrested him in November 2013 after he was added to Interpol’s “red list” of top fugitives, but released him on bail a few months later based on a preliminary ruling against his extradition.In April 2014, Cambodia’s highest court ruled that Polonsky could not be sent back to Russia because the two countries had no extradition treaty. After that ruling, he told reporters that he was innocent of the embezzlement charges and that the case against him was an attempt to gain control of his holdings.Polonsky first came to public attention in Cambodia in 2012, when he allegedly attacked the crew of a boat after a dispute erupted during a New Year’s Eve outing. He was jailed for more than three months on assault charges before reaching an out-of-court settlement. He went to Israel and later returned to Cambodia.Ouk Hey Sela said Polonksy would not be allowed to return to Cambodia.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments   Share   Top Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories center_img PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia deported a fugitive Russian tycoon Sunday who was living illegally in the Southeast Asian country after he was accused of embezzling $175 million in his homeland.Accompanied by Russian authorities, Sergei Polonsky was put on a flight to Moscow via Vietnam early Sunday morning, said immigration official Ouk Hey Sela.Polonsky was arrested Friday in the southern Cambodian coastal town of Sihanoukville, where authorities said he had been living for two years with an expired visa. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Men’s health affects baby’s health too Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Check your body, save your lifelast_img read more

Slam gone Spieth gears up for the next major
Slam gone Spieth gears up for the next major

first_img Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Very few, actually.Ben Hogan did it in 1953, winning the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open. Tiger Woods missed in the Masters but won the last three majors of the year in 2000 on his way to what became known as the Tiger Slam.After his chances at winning his third straight major evaporated with a couple of missed opportunities on the last two holes Monday, Spieth was already looking ahead.It was hard not to after coming up one shot short of a three-man playoff that Zach Johnson won over Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in what otherwise might have been a British Open for the ages at the home of golf.Besides, the 21-year-old golfing sensation was not going to get too down after failing to add the claret jug to his Masters green jacket and U.S. Open trophy.“I made a lot of the right decisions down the stretch and certainly closed plenty of tournaments out, and this just wasn’t one of those,” Spieth said. “It’s hard to do that every single time. I won’t beat myself up too bad because I do understand that.”A missed 8-footer on the treacherous 17th hole helped seal Spieth’s fate on the Old Course. A misplaced drive on the final hole did the rest. He could also point to four putts from 120 feet on the eighth green where he tried to get greedy on his first putt. But Spieth followed that with back-to-back birdies, something he tends to do when things go bad.Something he also tends to do is pay respect to the game and its fans. He’s been described as a young man with an old man’s wisdom, and it showed in the way he took what had to be a most bitter defeat.When Spieth walked off the green, he applauded the fans who cheered him on. Later, he came out and watched Johnson win a playoff, then gave him a congratulatory hug.Johnson earned it.Starting the final round three shots behind, he shot 31 on the back nine and took the lead with his seventh birdie of the round on No. 12. It looked as though his hopes were slipping away when his right foot spun out on his second shot at the 17th that led to bogey. But with the most significant shot of the tournament, Johnson holed a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 18 for a 6-under 66 and was the first to post at 15-under 273.Leishman, who lost the lead with a bogey on the 16th hole, had a birdie putt on the 18th to win that stayed left. He shot 66. Oosthuizen saved par on the 17th with a 10-foot putt and made a 5-foot birdie on the final hole for a 69 to join the playoff. In other words, Spieth didn’t lose the tournament. Someone else simply came along to beat him.Spieth will take that attitude to Whistling Straits, the third straight links-style course among the year’s majors. He’ll be favored there again, with a chance to join some elite company as a winner of three majors in one year.No sense thinking too much about what might have happened. No need to think about how close he came to be playing in Wisconsin for golf immortality.“It’s a tough feeling to be that close in a major,” Spieth said. “I believe I’ll have plenty of opportunities like I did today but, still, when it doesn’t work out it’s tough to swallow a little bit.”Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home United States’ Zach Johnson poses with the trophy after winning a playoff after the final round at the British Open Golf Championship at the Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland, Monday, July 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)n Mesa family survives lightning strike to homecenter_img Top Stories Comments   Share   Johnson opened with two quick birdies, kept a one-shot lead in the playoff when Oosthuizen missed a 5-foot par putt on the 17th hole and won the Open when the South African — the last player to lift the jug at St. Andrews in 2010 — narrowly missed a 12-foot birdie attempt.“I’m grateful. I’m humbled. I’m honored,” Johnson said. “This is the birthplace of the game, and that jug means so much in sports.”He knew Oosthuizen or Leishman easily could have won. And he felt the same about Spieth.“I can’t describe the magnitude as to what he was going through because I’ve never been in that position,” Johnson said. “We haven’t really seen that with the exception of Tiger. Truthfully, he could be hitting here.“He’s a phenomenal talent,” Johnson said. “And I’m telling you right now, he’s a better person than a golfer.”Golf hasn’t seen such a player since the days of Tigermania. And there’s no reason to believe that Spieth can’t continue to contend — and win — major titles for a long time to come.“I’m very pleased with the way I played,” Spieth said. “I think the way that I played this week and especially today would have won the U.S. Open by more than just a shot. I didn’t play as well there. It’s just that’s the kind of golf that was played by the field this week, it just took some special golf. Whoever comes out the champion, that’s a hell of a major.” Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (AP) — Jordan Spieth headed home from a grueling week at the British Open with history on his mind and another major in his future.Next up is the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. And if the Grand Slam is no longer in play, there’s still plenty out there.“I don’t know how many guys have done three majors in a year,” Spieth said. “I’m sure there’s only been a few.” 4 must play golf courses in Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academieslast_img read more

French host reenactment of 1415 Battle of Agincourt
French host reenactment of 1415 Battle of Agincourt

first_imgFrench troops attack during a reenactment of the Battle of Agincourt, in Agincourt, northern France, Saturday, July 25, 2015. The French are hosting a reenactment of the clash with England this weekend. More than 800 people in Medieval garb are gathering at the site to commemorate the battle, which was a turning point in the Hundred Years’ War. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus) 4 ways to protect your company from cyber breaches The battle left the French crippled on their soil, but the weekend event didn’t dwell on that outcome.The event is to “celebrate the friendship between France and the English,” said Christophe Gilliot, director of the Center for Medieval History in Agincourt.“It’s great to see all these people laughing and having a good time together,” he said before the spectacle got underway.British, French and history enthusiasts from two dozen other nations were invited to take part.The Battle of Agincourt was the centerpiece of William Shakespeare’s play “Henry V,” about the young warrior king who led the charge “on the vasty fields of France.”___Maggy Donaldson and Elaine Ganley contributed to this report from Paris.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 0 Comments   Share   Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility AZINCOURT, France (AP) — France lost the Battle of Agincourt nearly 600 years ago, but they’re not sore losers.The French are hosting a reenactment of the clash with England this weekend. More than 800 people in Medieval garb gathered Saturday at the site to commemorate — and re-enact — the battle, which was a turning point in the Hundred Years’ War.The two-day event on a field in the northern town of Azincourt, called Agincourt in English, featured equestrian jousting, archery and reenactments of portions of the battle, fought on Oct. 25, 1415. Men’s health affects baby’s health too Sponsored Stories Top Stories Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizonalast_img read more

Air NZ naked campaign takes top award

first_imgAir New Zealand’s “Nothing to Hide” campaign has continued to turn heads, the campaign receiving a prestigious accolade in the Marketing Association’s RSVP and Nexus Awards last week.The campaign, which featured naked Air NZ staff with body-painted uniforms and was developed by ad agency .99, won the RSVP Grand Prix award for response-driven marketing.Judges pointed out that the carrier faced specific challenges during the time of the campaign such as swine flu, fluctuating fuel prices and low-cost carrier Jetstar entering the market.Such challenges made it ever more important that people understood the difference between Air NZ’s fully-inclusive fares and those of lower cost, non-inclusive carriers.However, the campaign’s personal and target message and use of traditional and non-traditional media saw it being viewed worldwide.”It was very brave, at a time of huge challenge for the airlines but they stayed true to their brand,” the Marketing Association’s Sue McCarty told TVNZ.”They had TV campaigns running, they had internet initiatives running, they had strong use of YouTube video. It was so much fun, it was very unexpected.” <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/283fd/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more

Tahiti strikes forces airlines to cancel flights

first_imgThousands of travellers have been left stranded at Tahiti’s Faa’a International airport as a direct result of a strike by custom officers and emergency fire crews.  The mass walkout prevented the operation of all wide-bodied jet aircraft to and from Papeete for the past few days, which left more than 3600 passengers stranded in Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and France.  Air Tahiti Nui has confirmed that its employees are not involved in the strike; however they were forced to cancel its Sunday service from Auckland to Papeete, which affected passengers including a number connecting to Australia. The Government of French Polynesia has now given the carrier approval to begin moving stranded passengers to and from Papeete, Los Angeles, Auckland and Tokyo, as well as from Los Angeles to Paris. Last night 1,600 passengers were carried into and from Papeete, however there is still a major backlog of passengers and Air Tahiti Nui is not yet able to return to full schedule services. Flight TN 101 is scheduled to depart Tahiti early on Wednesday  local time, arriving in Auckland at 10.55am on Thursday (8.55 am Sydney), with onward connections to Australian home ports.Flight TN 102 is scheduled to depart Auckland at 2.05pm on Thursday (12.05pm Sydney time) bound for Papeete.  Additional flights will be announced as approval is secured.Passengers in Australia who have been stranded by the strike are advised to continue checking the Air Tahiti Nui website www.airtahitinui.com.au or to contact their travel agents for the latest information. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/249ee/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> The strike by government employees at the airport is continuing, and the temporary flight schedules are subject to change.center_img Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

Jetstar Asia QF Groups highest performer
Jetstar Asia QF Groups highest performer

first_imgJetstar Asia outperformed other Qantas businesses in January this year by almost doubling the number of passengers carried for the month compared to the corresponding period last year.A preliminary monthly report released by Qantas found that Jetstar Asia welcomed a 48 percent increase in passenger movements during the month, up from 219,000 to 324,000.The budget airline’s Australian domestic operations climbed by 4.3 percent from 962,000 to 1,003,000 while its international business escalated by 18.4 percent from 377,000 to 446,000 passengers.The Australian flag carrier’s domestic operations also picked up in January this year by 2.2 percent from 1,251,000 to 1,278,000.In total the Group including Qantas International and QantasLink saw a 8.3 percent increase in passengers for the month. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

787 fire no links to battery blazes
787 fire no links to battery blazes

first_imgInvestigation continues for Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner fire at Heathrow. Following the fire on a stationary Boeing 787 at Heathrow Airport last week, UK aviation authorities have found no evidence of a direct link with battery blazes that grounded the fleet earlier this year.The fire aboard Ethiopian Airlines 787 Dreamliner has renewed safety concerns for Being’s newest aircraft, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.While authorities have found no links to the battery fires that grounded All Nippon Airways’ and Japan Airlines’ 787 aircraft in January, aviation consultants believe this may cause greater problems for Boeing.“I’m not sure it’s good news at all,” aviation consultant Robert Mann from Port Washington, New York said.Mr Mann said customers will be following the investigation closely and this new issue adds to the list of concerns people and airlines have with the 787 Dreamliner.No-one was aboard the aircraft when the fire broke out and Ethiopian Airlines is still flying its three other 787’s while awaiting the results of the investigation.The Air Accidents Investigation Branch’s inquiry continues with the assistance of United States government agencies, Boeing and Ethiopian Airlines Enterprises.Source = ETB News: P.T.last_img read more

AirAsia flight QZ8501 update
AirAsia flight QZ8501 update

first_imgThe search and rescue efforts led by The National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) Republic of Indonesia have continued this morning as there was an ease in weather conditions.The AirAsia Airbus A320-200, carrying 155 passengers and seven crew members, which vanished off radars 40 minutes after takeoff on December 28 and then crashed into the Java Sea, has left the world in shock.Now entering the eighth day of the mission, the search operation area was expanded to the east part of the Java Sea following the underwater current forecast.In addition, more than 80 deep sea divers have been deployed in order to get a visual confirmation on two large objects which are suspected to be part of the aircraft’s fuselage, and the aircraft’s blackbox.BASARNAS recovered four more remains today as well as debris such as the emergency exit window, luggage, passenger seats and survival kits, which are believed to be from the aircraft.Meanwhile in Surabaya, The Disaster Victim Identification Police Department of Republic of Indonesia (DVI POLRI) have made steady progress in identifying some of the remains found.To date, BASARNAS confirmed to have recovered 34 remains, of which nine remains have been identified by the DVI POLRI with 25 remains awaiting identification.The priority of the search is now on deep sea diving in the area where the aircraft body is said to be located, the mission will be supported by China, who will be focusing on the blackbox search.AirAsia would like to urge the public seeking progress on the search and evacuation and identification process of QZ8501 passengers to refer solely to official information from BASARNAS and DVI POLRI.Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families and friends of our passengers and colleagues on board QZ 8501.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Amadeus continues growth track record with strong first half
Amadeus continues growth track record with strong first half

first_imgAmadeus strongly outperformed the industry during the first half, increasing global air travel agency bookings by 10.0% against an industry increase of 4.9%. This was mostly due to a market share gain of 1.9 p.p. in global air travel agency bookings. This in turn was due in large part to the migration of the travel agencies previously connected to Topas in South Korea, but also supported by continued market share gains in North America. To read more of the report click hereSource = Amadeus Amadeus continues growth track record with strong first halfAmadeus IT Holding, S.A., a leading technology partner for the global travel industry, reports year-on-year financial and operating results for the first half of 2015 (six months ended June 30, 2015). Adjusted profit for the period grew 10.3% to €419.6 million. This was driven by an increase in revenue of 14.2%, to €1,976.8 million, and EBITDA growth of 10.8%, to €778.8 million.Luis Maroto, President & CEO of Amadeus, commented:¨Amadeus has maintained its track record for growth in both revenues and profitability through a combination of market share expansion and growth in its businesses.¨Distribution delivered strong revenue growth of 11.3% through a 1.9p.p. increase in global market share of air travel agency bookings. IT Solutions continued its track record for double-digit growth with a revenue increase of 22.3%, with Asia-Pacific remaining the driving force.¨Our solid business model and our strong cash-flow generation have allowed us to make strategic acquisitions. Early in July we announced an agreement to acquire Navitaire, subject to approval by regulators, that once completed will give Amadeus a strong position in IT solutions for the low-cost carriers market. Following that, we also announced plans to acquire Netherlands-based Itesso BV, a provider of cloud-native property management systems (PMS) for hotels. Whilst earlier in the year we accelerated our growth in the Airport IT space with the acquisition of Air-Transport IT Services Inc. (AirIT), a leading company in the segment, with a portfolio of solutions used by 30 of the busiest 50 airports in the US. We look forward with confidence to the remainder of the year.¨Consolidated net financial debt stood at €1,645.5 million at June 30, 2015, representing 1.19x the ratio of covenant net debt to the last twelve months’ covenant EBITDA.An appreciation of the US dollar versus the Euro relative to 2014 contributed a positive foreign exchange impact on the revenue and EBITDA of Amadeus during the first half of 2015; conversely, the same impact reduced the EBITDA margin.On May 12 we completed our share buy-back programme announced in December 2014, in total investing €320m (including fees) and repurchasing 8,759,444 shares (representing 1.957% of share capital). Following this, at the General Shareholders Meeting on June 25, shareholders approved the reduction in share capital through the amortisation of the repurchased shares.Also at the General Shareholders Meeting on June 25, shareholders approved a gross dividend of €0.70 per share for the results from the 2014 financial year. This represented a 50% pay-out ratio and amounted to a total dividend of €313.3 million, which was 12% higher than the dividend for the 2013 financial year.last_img read more

Sydney ranks highest for Australian tourist attractions on social medi
Sydney ranks highest for Australian tourist attractions on social medi

first_imgSydney ranks highest for Australian tourist attractions on social mediaFresh data from iVenture Card states that you’re more likely to publish a photo of Bondi Beach on social media over any other attraction in Australia.Data boffins ran the numbers to find out which of the top 100 attractions and landmarks in Australia lived up to their hype in the sightseeing manuals by calculating how often people posted about them on social media. An examination into the total number of hashtags on Instagram by the public since the platform launched was carried out.The results shone alight on lots of juicy stats about tourist hotspots that performed well and those that didn’t. Here’s a summary of the results from the iVenture Card study:Regional Stats for Social Media LandmarksThere are over 800,000 tagged photos of Bondi Beach, making it the most talked about Australian attraction on social media. The Great Ocean Road was the second highest, which racked up just over 650,000 tags. A close third was the Blue Mountains.In fact, New South Wales dominates the list of most popular attractions by a landslide – seven of the top 10 attractions on social media can be found here, including the likes of Sydney Opera House (433k), Darling Harbour (370k), Sydney Harbour Bridge (302k), and Manly Beach (228k).In Victoria, Yarra River (124k), Melbourne Zoo (93k) and St Kilda Beach (87k) also made the top 20. Even when combined, they total less than half of the posts tagged for Great Ocean Road.Two major places of interest represent Queensland: Great Barrier Reef and Whitsundays which account for almost 800,000 social tags to date. Other notable landmarks on social media are Broadbeach (144k) and Burleigh Heads (128k).The west coast tourist attractions that featured in the top 20 are: Kings Park (157k), Rottnest Island (112k) and Swan Valley (77k). It comes as no surprise that Perth attractions make the list due to their high volume of annual tourism. Rottnest has made just as big an impact on social media despite claiming only 600,000k visitors per year.South Australia’s Barossa Valley (77k) and Adelaide Oval (60k) also made the list as did Cradle Mountain (62k) and Mount Wellington (27k) of Tasmania. Neither one of the above attractions made the top 20 list.It may be argued that the most surprising absentee within the top performers is Uluru, otherwise known to tourists as Ayers Rock. There are currently over 72,000 Instagram hashtags for this spiritual haven and monumental natural landmark. Visits have declined rapidly over the course of ten years although the jewel of the Red Centre remains one of the most iconic images in travel. iVenture CardSource = iVenture Cardlast_img read more

SWISS reports higher May 2017 passenger volumes
SWISS reports higher May 2017 passenger volumes

first_imgSwiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is serving over 100 destinations in 43 countries from Zurich and Geneva and carrying some 16.5 million passengers a year with its 91-aircraft fleet.SWISS transported 1,434,678 passengers in May 2017 which results in a 0.4% increase on the same month last year. A total of 12,201 flights were operated for the period, 4.7% fewer than in May 2016.Total May capacity, measured in available passenger-kilometres (APKs), was up 3.8% on its prior-year level. Total traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), was raised 5.0%. Systemwide seat load factor for the month improved accordingly, rising 0.8% points to 80.8%.last_img

CreditForecastcom Reveals Positive Predictions
CreditForecastcom Reveals Positive Predictions

first_img Consumer credit directly impacts the lending environment, and a recent report reveals that American borrowers are on the rebound. [IMAGE]The consumer survey from “”CreditForecast.com””:www.creditforecast.com/, a joint effort between “”Equifax””:www.equifax.com/ and “”Moody’s Analytics””:www.moodyskmv.com/, predicts the continuation of steady economic growth among all major sectors during the year ahead.Numbers from the mortgage lending portion of the study showed that outstanding balances on home mortgages have declined by $1 trillion since 2008. Additionally, the data demonstrated that a continued drop is likely. [COLUMN_BREAK]In less favorable news, however, originations are not improving as significantly as hoped as a result of the all-time low mortgage rates. While refinance shares are on the uptick, tighter lending guidelines are keeping new loan volume low, and CreditForecast.com notes that around 80 percent of all new mortgage originations are being made in the prime risks segment.General consumer lending totals are headed down, and the report displayed increasing reductions in overall debt. Consumer balances decreased by $187.8 billion off of 2009 numbers. The survey noted that credit “”more appropriately matches consumer wealth and income levels today,”” and the results also indicated a 41 percent rise in credit card inquiries since recession lows. According to CreditForecast.com, new bank credit card accounts hit 10 million during 2011, which marks the first time the benchmark has been reached since 2008.Commenting on the findings, Equifax’s chief economist, Amy Crews Cutts, said, “”After spending recent years in the financial doldrums, U.S. consumers are poised to make a comeback in 2012. The most promise we have seen has primarily been within the consumer spending and auto financing sector, while the housing market continues to see incremental progress towards gaining traction in the coming months.”” CreditForecast.com Reveals Positive Predictions Share March 7, 2012 426 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Moody’s Analytics Processing Service Providers 2012-03-07 Abby Gregory in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologylast_img read more

Hurricane Sandy StormSurge Risk Estimated at 88B
Hurricane Sandy StormSurge Risk Estimated at 88B

first_img October 29, 2012 433 Views in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share Data from “”CoreLogic””:http://www.corelogic.com/ shows nearly 284,000 properties (representing almost $88 billion) located in the coastal Mid-Atlantic states may be at risk of storm-surge damage from Hurricane Sandy.[IMAGE]Based on early projections of Sandy’s path, eight major metro areas in the Mid-Atlantic region–including New York, Philadelphia, and Boston–are at risk. More than 238,000 total properties valued at nearly $75 billion stand at risk in those cities alone, CoreLogic says.CoreLogic explained that storm surges occur when water gathers inside a cyclonic storm–a hurricane, for example–and is pushed along the front of the storm by high winds. Because storm-surge inundation is classified as a separate hazard from typical fresh-water flooding, many homeowners located outside of designated flood hazard zones don’t realize they’re at risk of storm-surge damage, CoreLogic says. Historically, these homeowners refrain from buying flood insurance.To make matters worse, there is little that can be done to prevent or lessen storm-surge damage.””Wind damage to structures from hurricanes can be greatly reduced through homeowner mitigation efforts, and enhancements can be made to building codes in hurricane wind-prone areas. But on the contrary, mitigation efforts can often be almost useless against the impact of storm surge,”” the company said in its “”2012 Storm Surge report””:http://www.corelogic.com/about-us/researchtrends/asset_upload_file227_15276.pdf.Going beyond Sandy’s impact, total storm surge risk in the United States stands at more than four million properties, with more than a quarter of that total classified in the “”Extreme”” risk category. Those properties most at risk are valued at more than $222 billion, according to CoreLogic’s estimated property values.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies CoreLogic Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers 2012-10-29 Tory Barringer Underwater,Hurricane Sandy Storm-Surge Risk Estimated at $88Blast_img read more

JPMorgan Feds Reach Record 13B Deal on RMBS Claims
JPMorgan Feds Reach Record 13B Deal on RMBS Claims

first_img November 19, 2013 561 Views in Secondary Market Share “”JPMorgan Chase””:http://www.jpmorganchase.com has struck a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve civil claims from both federal and state officials over residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) issued prior to January 1, 2009, by the bank and two financial institutions it acquired in 2008├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô-Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual.[IMAGE]The $13 billion settlement is the largest in American history between the U.S. government and a single entity.Under the agreement reached, JPMorgan will pay $9 billion in restitution and provide an additional $4 billion in relief for homeowners at risk of foreclosure and communities impacted by the housing crisis. Federal officials say the relief funding could benefit more than 100,000 borrowers. According to JPMorgan, the cash portion of the settlement payment consists of a $2 billion civil monetary penalty and $7 billion in compensatory payments, including a previously announced $4 billion payment to resolve litigation “”claims from the Federal Housing Finance Agency””:https://themreport.com/articles/jpmorgan-fhfa-settle-on-51b-deal-over-soured-loans-2013-10-28. Borrower relief will be in the form of principal reduction, forbearance, and other direct benefits from various relief programs, the bank explained. JPMorgan Chase has committed to complete delivery of the promised relief to borrowers before the end of 2017.The settlement was negotiated through the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a joint state and federal unit formed in 2012 by President Obama to investigate wrongdoing within the mortgage-backed securities market that helped to trigger, contribute to, or exacerbate the U.S. financial crisis.[COLUMN_BREAK]””New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman””:http://www.ag.ny.gov/ co-chairs the RMBS Working Group. Tuesday’s settlement comes 13 months after Schneiderman sued JPMorgan for fraudulent RMBS packaged and sold by Bear Stearns before it was acquired by JPMorgan at the behest of government officials at the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and U.S. Treasury. In announcing the unprecedented settlement, Schneiderman said, “”Since my first day in office, I have insisted that there must be accountability for the misconduct that led to the crash of the housing market and the collapse of the American economy. This historic deal … is exactly what our working group was created to do.””He continued, “”We refused to allow systemic frauds that harmed so many New York homeowners and investors to simply be forgotten, and as a result we’ve won a major victory today in the fight to hold those who caused the financial crisis accountable.””Separately, the “”FDIC””:http://www.fdic.gov announced Tuesday that it also reached a settlement with JPMorgan Chase and its affiliates in relation to the failure of six banks. The FDIC, acting as receiver for the failed institutions, says misrepresentations where made in the offering documents for 40 RMBS purchased by the now-defunct banks. JPMorgan agreed to pay $515.4 million, which will be distributed among the receiverships for the failed Citizens National Bank (failed May 22, 2009), Strategic Capital Bank (May 22, 2009), Colonial Bank (August 14, 2009), Guaranty Bank (August 21, 2009), Irwin Union Bank and Trust Company (September 18, 2009), and United Western Bank (January 21, 2011).From May 2012 to September 2012, the FDIC as receiver for five of the failed banks filed 10 lawsuits against JPMorgan, its affiliates, and other defendants for violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with the sale of RMBS.As part of the global settlement reached, JPMorgan acknowledged it made serious, material misrepresentations to the public–including the investing public–about numerous RMBS transactions, according to a statement on the New York attorney general’s website.JPMorgan Chase says it is fully reserved for this settlement.center_img JPMorgan, Feds Reach Record $13B Deal on RMBS Claims Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FDIC FHFA Freddie Mac Investors JPMorgan Chase Justice Department Lenders & Servicers Mortgage-Backed Securities RMBS Service Providers 2013-11-19 Carrie Baylast_img read more

Nearly ThreeQuarters of Homeowners Thinking of Selling in 2014
Nearly ThreeQuarters of Homeowners Thinking of Selling in 2014

first_img January 24, 2014 431 Views in Data Nearly Three-Quarters of Homeowners Thinking of Selling in 2014 Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Demand Home Prices Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers LendingTree Service Providers 2014-01-24 Tory Barringer A recent survey of current and potential homeowners shows the majority have a bright outlook on the nation’s housing market and economy for 2014–which may translate to a more active market.[IMAGE]””LendingTree””:https://www.lendingtree.com/#_blank released recently the results of an online survey conducted near the end of the last year. The survey collected responses from 609 individuals who either currently own a home or are considering purchasing in the next year.According to the findings, more than two-thirds–69 percent–of respondents have a positive outlook on housing this year, and 63 percent hold a similar view for the economy at large.With hopes this high, 71 percent of respondents said they are considering selling their home in 2014.””As home values continue to improve across the country, sellers who have been sidelined due to low property values will start to take action in the market,”” said Doug Lebda, founder and CEO of LendingTree. “”Although it’s unlikely that 70 percent of current homeowners will sell this year, it’s a positive sign for the housing market that more homeowners are considering the possibility of moving.””According to the survey, 72 percent of respondents said home prices in their area increased throughout 2013, while 20 percent said values were down, and 8 percent said they were flat.In areas where home values were said to have increased, prices rose an average of 10.2 percent; among those areas where respondents said values fell, the average decrease was believed to be 9.2 percent.The most recent “”Case-Shiller””:https://www.spice-indices.com/idpfiles/spice-assets/resources/public/documents/71337_cshomeprice-release-1231.pdf?force_download=true home price data shows prices in the nation’s 20 biggest markets were up an average 13.6 percent year-over-year as of October.While those kinds of gains may discourage potential homebuyers as affordability slips, they’ll be necessary to draw sellers in: Of the 71 percent of homeowners who are thinking about selling this year, 47 percent said they plan to sell if they see an increase in their home value. Only 24 percent said they would sell regardless. Share Sharelast_img read more

Caliber Hires Regional VP for DC Metro Area
Caliber Hires Regional VP for DC Metro Area

first_img February 13, 2014 420 Views Share “”Caliber Home Loans, Inc.””:https://www.caliberhomeloans.com/Default.aspx, named Jim Foley as regional VP for the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., territories.Foley has nearly three decades of experience in mortgage lending and has held leadership positions with several premier mortgage lenders in the D.C. metro area, according to Caliber’s announcement.””Mortgage lenders today are faced with a series of major concerns, including compressed margins, high commissions and the cost to comply with new regulations,”” Foley said. “”I chose to join Caliber Home Loans because I strongly believe Caliber’s retail model is the future of mortgage lending.””I am excited to join the Caliber team and I look forward to the opportunity to build upon Caliber Home Loans’ presence in the Washington Metropolitan area,”” he added.[COLUMN_BREAK][IMAGE] Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2014-02-13 Tory Barringercenter_img New,Caliber Hires Regional VP for D.C. Metro Area in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicinglast_img read more