New Delhi: Senior journalist Ravish Kumar was on Friday awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award in Manila, for “harnessing journalism to give voice to the voiceless.” Ravish, who is a Managing Editor and news anchor with NDTV, in his speech during the ceremony, highlighted that the “soul of democracy is under relentless attack every day”. “We are living in testing times, as journalists and as common citizens,” Ravish told the gathering. Ravish who has been vocal about the growing degradation of journalistic norms and ethics said, “News channel debates take place within a vocabulary of exclusionary nationalism wherein they seek to replace the collective history and memory of the nation with that of the ruling party’s in their viewers’ minds.”
OTTAWA – The federal government plans to release this fall a new strategy to tackle veterans homelessness. Here are some figures from Employment and Social Development Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada to keep in mind:2,950: Number of veterans estimated to be shelter users in 20145: Percentage of the homeless population who are veterans according to various point-in-time counts750: Veterans identified as homeless in a Veterans Affairs database$37,769: Amount provided since April 1 from a federal fund to help veterans in financial need40: Veterans helped by that money8: Provinces where the money has been spent, with spending topping $10,000 in Ontario and Quebec$1 million: Amount per year for four years the Liberals are making available in a new emergency fund as of April 1, 201858: Percentage of veterans in a Veterans Affairs database who were over age 50 as of June 30, 201610: Delay in years, on average, between a military release and the onset of homelessness
MONTREAL – Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard is standing by his claim that $75 is enough for a family of three to feed itself for a week, saying it just requires a lot of work and an eye for bargains.When presented the grocery question out of the blue Thursday by a radio host, Couillard answered it would be possible to feed an adult and two teenagers on that amount, acknowledging later to reporters the menu would lack meat and variety.Asked again Friday on Montreal’s 98.5 FM, Couillard said he wished people didn’t have to live on such a tight budget, but he knows some who do.“You look through all the flyers, and you shop only for what is on sale,” Couillard said. “It’s almost a full-time job.”He gave the example of a roast pork bought on special that is used in macaroni the next day, shepherd’s pie the third day and sandwiches the day after.One of the authors of Canada’s Food Price Report said $75 would not suffice.Dalhousie University Prof. Sylvain Charlebois said that in 2017 the bare minimum grocery bill for a Quebec family of two adults and two children, including one teen, would have been $149 a week, double the amount in Couillard’s example for three people.“If you live on your own, maybe, but if you have children in your home who are growing, it’s absolutely impossible,” Charlebois said.The only way to make it work on $75 would be to resort to food banks, he said. Otherwise the family would “end up with a diet that has no variety, and the nutritional value would be severely compromised.”Accused by his political opponents of being out of touch, Couillard told reporters Friday he did not regret his answer, adding the debate has shed a light on the need to fight poverty.“No, I said the truth,” Couillard said. “The question was, ‘Is it feasible?’ Yes it’s feasible. I know people who do that. Is it good? No.”It is not the first time a question about groceries has tripped up a politician.In the United States, George H.W. Bush admitted in a 1992 presidential debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot he didn’t know how much a gallon of milk cost.In 2007, Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani was way off when quizzed on the cost of a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.Just last month, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed erroneously that photo identification is needed to buy groceries.Sam Watts, managing director of a Montreal food bank that provides groceries to 19,000 clients a month, said a family’s diet would be limited on $75 a week.“The issue is healthy food,” said Watts, who works at The Welcome Hall Mission.“Someone could eat macaroni seven days a week, but that’s not a good diet, and the result is it would create other problems the health system would have to resolve.”Wendy Gariepy of the West Island Mission, which serves Montreal’s western communities, called a $75 grocery budget “really tight” and put the mimimum closer to $125.A Quebec family of four last year spent on average $233 a week on groceries, Charlebois said, the third-most per capita after Saskatchewan and British Columbia.“But in Quebec, salaries are much lower, so the percentage of the food budget based on income is much higher than anywhere else,” Charlebois added.
APTN National NewsThe long awaited independent review of the Mount Polley tailings pond spill was released Friday.It details what went wrong when one of the walls burst sending millions of cubic metres of toxic sludge and waste water into the surrounding waterways in north central British Columbia.APTN’s Tina House has the story.
Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (16,353.45, up 51.54 points).Whitecap Resources Inc. (TSX:WCP). Energy. Down 12 cents, or 2.9 per cent, to $4.02 on 13.4 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up 22 cents, or 10.09 per cent, to $2.40 on 12.2 million shares.RNC Minerals. (TSX:RNX). Materials. Up five cents, or 10.9 per cent, to 51 cents on 7.6 million shares.Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Down 31 cents, or 0.67 per cent, to $45.94 on 7 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Financials. Down nine cents, or 0.39 per cent to $23.23 on 6.1 million shares.Trevali Mining Corp. (TSX:TV). Materials. Down 1.5 cents, or 5.56 per cent, to 25.5 cents on 5.5 million shares. Companies in the news:SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (TSX:SNC). Up 38 cents to $25.90. SNC-Lavalin says its Atkins business has won a contract to design track upgrades for Network Rail in the United Kingdom. The company says work that is worth up to about $500 million in revenue is expected to begin in August. Atkins will do the work as part of the Central Rail Systems Alliance, which includes Balfour Beatty and TSO. The group perform upgrades across London North West, London North East and East Midland routes for the next decade.Loblaw Co. (TSX:L). Up 62 cents to $70.04. The vice-president of business development at Shoppers Drug Mart says blockchain technology can provide assurance for doctors and pharmacists about the quality of medical cannabis. Ken Weisbrod says his company, part of Loblaw Companies Ltd. has signed a deal with TruTrace Technologies for a pilot program to provide the software to track medical cannabis from seed to final product. He said the source of medical cannabis must be traceable and accountable for patients and practitioners to feel confident about it as a treatment.Scotiabank (TSX:BNS). Up two cents to $70.61. We The North mania spread across Canada as the Toronto Raptors created history as the first Canadian team to win an NBA championship, and businesses attempted to capitalize on the frenzy. Some came out on top earning the goodwill of fans, while others garnered negative publicity. Scotiabank paid a whopping $800-million in 2017 for the naming rights to the arena where the Raptors play. The deal later expanded to include its subsidiary, Tangerine, becoming the official bank of the basketball team. On playoff game days and the day after, Tangerine experienced a 50 per cent spike in website traffic and saw a 20 per cent jump in the number of customers who signed up for an account, said Scotiabank spokesman Doug Johnson.The Canadian Press
Former Terrorist Investigations Department head, (DIG) Nalaka de Silva was arrested today by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).He was arrested after being questioned over an alleged conspiracy to assassinate President Maithripala Sirisena and other VVIPs. Namal Kumara released the audio recording of the telephone conversation and that led to an investigation being launched.Nalaka de Silva was removed as the head of the Terrorist Investigations Department and was later suspended from the Police till the investigations conclude. The former DIG was questioned several times last week and this week by the CID before his arrest today.The CID had also this week obtained permission from court to ask Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei to help recover data from the phone used by Namal Kumara. (Colombo Gazette) Activist Namal Kumara had made the revelation to the media over the plot to kill the President, following a telephone conversation he had with Nalaka de Silva. Nalaka de Silva was remanded till November 7th.
BOSTON — The governor of Massachusetts is declaring a public health emergency and ordering a four-month ban on the sale of vaping products in the state.Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s order Tuesday appears to be the first of its kind in the nation. The ban must be approved by a health council that is nearly certain to do so.His announcement comes amid growing concern about the health effects of vaping products, including deaths.The administration said that as of Tuesday, 61 cases of potential cases of lung disease related to the use of electronic cigarettes and vaping in Massachusetts have been reported to the state.Three confirmed cases and two probable Massachusetts cases of vaping-associated pulmonary disease have already been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The Associated Press
CSM BucurestiEHF Champions LeagueHe ← Previous Story EHF Three matches suspension for Veselin Vujovic Next Story → Filip Jicha will be assistant coach in THW Kiel The Danish coach had signed a 1+1 year contract, but she didn’t even complete the first season in charge of the Romanian champions. This is the second consecutive season in which the club will face 1/4 finals and fight for a spot in the EHF Final 4 with a new coach.Helle Thomsen confirmed tonight to Danish media TV 2 Sport that she was fired as coach of CSM Bucuresti. Despite today’s victory over Bistrita 30-23, the also coach of the Dutch national team was informed that she would no longer be in charge of the Romanian team.“Yes, that’s right enough. I already knew it before our game today that I was fired”, said Thomsen according to TV 2 Sport. And added: “I knew that paragraph when I got here, so the fire does not come as a shock. We have lost some matches in the Champions League and did not play well in all matches.The club wants to make a change here before the quarter-final in the Champions League, and I accept that”.The sack comes with less than a month left before the 1/4 finals clashes against French champions Metz Handball for a spot on the Final 4. Last season CSM experienced the same circumstances and after the departure of Aurelian Rosca, Per Johansson took over to drive the Romanian team to Budapest, in which they would finish third.On this season’s EHF Champions League, CSM Bucuresti finished on top of group A in group round and third on the main round behind Győri Audi ETO KC and Rostov Don.
Patrick Hoban’s celebrations would prove short-lived. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHOThe home supporters may have feared the worst after that, thinking back to the last meeting between these sides, a 0-7 reverse in Oriel Park in May.But those fears were allayed, almost instantly. Within a minute, Gary O’Neill had turned Sean Gannon in the box, too easily, and his shot flew past Cherrie and into the top corner.From that point, the name became all too niggly. Gartland went into the book, joined shortly afterwards by Gavin Brennan who appeared to be getting more wound up by the minute.In comparison to a first half full of decent fare, full blooded challenges and boundless endeavour, the second period was a damp squib. The challenges and endeavour remained but the quality football had long since desserted us at United Park.Cathal Brady saw his shot palmed away by Cherrie and Dundalk’s efforts on goal were limited to those of the half-chance variety. Darren Meenan and Dane Massey went close, relatively. DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan (John Mountney, 92), Patrick Hoban (David McMillan 84), Kurtis Byrne (Donal McDermott, 71), Dane Massey, Chris Shields, Richie Towell, Darren Meenan.Substitutes: Gabriel Sava, Ruaishri Higgins, Mark Griffin, Mark Rossiter.Referee: Neil Doyle.Cork City breathe new life into title challenge with narrow victory over St. Pat’sRovers return to winning ways under new boss Fenlon DROGHEDA UNITED: Micheal Schlingermann, Mick Daly (Peter McGlynn, 80), Shane Grimes, Alan McNally, Cathal Brady, Gavan Holohan, Gary O’Neill (Declan O’Brien, 92), Gavin Brennan, Ciaran McGuigan, Carl Walshe, Daire Doyle.Substitutes: Dylan Connolly, Paul Andrews, Sean O’Connor, Roy Kierans, Garreth Brady. Dundalk 1Drogheda United 1DUNDALK SAW THEIR lead at the top of the SSE Airtricity League cut to four points as they were made to work for a point against a rejuvenated Drogheda United in the Louth derby at United Park.Despite amassing 32 points from a possible 36, Stephen Kenny’s side could only take one from their Wee County rivals; Pat Hoban’s 19th minute striker was cancelled out almost instantly by the in-form Gary O’Neill.In front of a bumper crowd – to be expected for one of the countries’ most hard fought derby encounters – Drogheda had the first chance to hit the front in the very first minute.Gavan Holohan’s corner from the right made its way to the back post. There, Mick Daly steadied himself and shot but it was well saved by Peter Cherrie.Drogheda came into this in sterling form, with three wins in four, including last week’s four goal rout of UCD and the previous week’s win in Tallaght. Buoyed by their new management, spirts were evidently high around United Park.But Dundalk, league leaders by six clear points at the start of play and themselves unbeaten in 13 league games, would provide a real test of their credentials. Damien Richardson insists this squad has the quality to climb the division. A good showing against their high flying rivals would go some way to proving justifying that opinion.Stephen Kenny’s charges took control of the game however. First, Darren Meenan beat Micheal Schlingermann to a ball over the top but when he retrieved the ball and squared for Pat Hoban, the keeper recovered to save.Then Andy Boyle went close with a header and Hoban had an effort ruled out by the offside flag. Then, the goal. From Darren Meenan’s corner, one of the better deliveries on an erratic night for the winger, Hoban’s diving header steered the ball past Schlingermann for 1-0.
With nearby jurisdictions legalizing recreational cannabis and receiving tax money, Clark County has begun re-examining its policy banning marijuana businesses in unincorporated places such as Hazel Dell and Salmon Creek.Clark County has prohibited recreational marijuana stores in unincorporated areas since sales were legalized. Meanwhile, recreational pot shops have sprung up in Vancouver and Battle Ground, which don’t have similar restrictions, and Oregon voters legalized the drug in 2014.Council Chair Marc Boldt said that the county is now considering if it’s worth losing out on cannabis tax revenue and if the county might be able to provide more effective regulations by lifting the ban.On Wednesday, Clark County took a step toward possibly re-evaluating its policies during a work session where councilors heard from law enforcement and county staff, who described the current regulatory framework as well as the effects of Washington voters legalizing cannabis in 2012.During the session, members of the council expressed varying degrees of reservation about the proposed change.“My wish is I wouldn’t be in this spot,” said Boldt, speaking after the meeting.Sticky’s situationAlthough the county council is considering a change to its cannabis policy, the decision might be made for it by the courts. The case involves Sticky’s Pot Shop, a store that operates in Hazel Dell in defiance of the ban.
Entertainment on the agenda in India as first details of SPiCE 2020 conference released Goa edging closer to shifting offshore casinos to land RelatedPosts However, Parriker also stated at the time that amending the Goa Gambling Act was necessary because the casino policy couldn’t enforce all aspects.Now he has changed his tune.“There is no need for amending the Gambling Act,” he told local reporters this week. “In the existing Act itself, there are enough provisions to impose restrictions on functioning of the casinos.”Goa is also looking to appoint a Gaming Commissioner under its new casino policy to regulate the industry. Six Indian casinos accused of owing a combined US$950 million in tax as bizarre GST on wagers debate rolls on Load More The Chief Minister of the Indian coastal state of Goa has back-flipped on an earlier call to amend the Goa Public Gambling Act in order to better control local casinos, claiming instead that current protocols are sufficient.Manohar Parrikar stated late last year his intention to amend the Goa Gambling Act to ensure no more licenses for floating casinos could be issued under the state’s casino policy. The casino policy, currently being drafted, will set the guidelines for Goa’s casino industry including the proposed relocation of all six floating casinos to a new “entertainment zone” along the northern border.
Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah ChashmahInstagramOne of the most loved and the longest-running comedy show, Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah (TMKOC), continues to make news for several reasons. Priya Ahuja, who plays the role of Rita reporter on the show, is expecting a baby. Priya took to her Instagram handle to announce the happy news. “Ten little fingers, ten little toes..With love and grace, our family grows.. Cudnt be a better day than today to announce this…Happy Janmashtami ,” she wrote.In the pictures, pregnant Priya looks radiant as she strikes poses with husband while holidaying in the Maldives. She is married to the chief director of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, Malav RajdaI, IWMBuzz reported.Meanwhile, the team of the comedy show welcomed Palak Sidhwani to play the role of Bhide’s daughter Sonu. The character was earlier played by Nidhi Bhanushali, who quit the show to pursue higher studies. Speaking to Times of India, Palak said, “I am so delighted to be a part of the world’s most loved TV serial. I am thankful to Neela Tele Films, especially Asit sir for believing in me and choosing me for playing the part of Sonu. It is such a great feeling to be a part of a show that I have watched growing up and has made me laugh through the years. To know that I too am going to contribute in making people laugh is just too overwhelming a feeling to put in words. I will do my best to adapt Sonu’s character and gel seamlessly with Tapu Sena along with the rest of Gokuldham Society.”Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah completed 11 years and 2800 episodes on August 20, 2019.On the other hand, Disha Vakani will not return on TMKOC. The actress’ absence from the show had led the makers to hunt for a new face for the iconic character of Dayaben. However, they are yet to finalise any actress to replace her.
min read January 29, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. There are hundreds of apps that let you search, write emails, take notes and set appointments with your smartphone. But, for some people, the small size of a phone’s keyboard or touch screen can be limiting and difficult to use.If you have trouble seeing the small type, have a lack of finger dexterity or just think better out loud, you might benefit from a tool that allows you to convert spoken words to written words. Here’s a look at three different speech-to-text apps that can help you get things done with a lot less hassle:1. Dragon Dictation. This app has only one button. Simply tap it and start talking. Dragon Dictation handles the rest. The text appears after you finish dictating, so it might take a little getting used to. But once you get the rhythm, you can process lengthy emails and other documents with a high degree of accuracy in one of 30 different languages or dialects.Once the app has transcribed your speech, you can send it out via email or copy and paste to another application. You can also post directly to Facebook and Twitter, or save your text to use later on. Best of all, the app is free for the iPhone and iPad but it does require a network connection to work.2. Evernote for Android. Evernote was designed to help you keep track of ideas and inspirations. You always could use the app to record audio notes such as lectures or meetings, but now it also allows you to turn those audiofiles into text.Unlike Dragon Dictation, Evernote saves both the audio and the text file together so you can use the app’s search ability to find a recorded note. The app can be a handy tool for recording all your thoughts at the end of each day. Say what’s on your mind, then sort through the data later.The app is free, but because Evernote uses Google Android’s text transcription service, you do need to be online to use it.3. Voice Assistant. This newly redesigned app has a fast access feature that makes it even easier to post to Twitter, Facebook or email. Switch on your preferred option and Voice Assistant converts your transcriptions to the proper format without additional clicks.Use the auto copy feature to send your transcriptions to other apps such as Google Search, YouTube, Evernoteor Pages. You can also send your transcription straight to a wireless printer.Voice Assistant uses intelligent speech recognition so it learns with every use. It also has grammar correction and on-screen editing with suggestions for corrections.The app costs 99 cents and is available for the iPhone and iPad. Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now
IBIZA — Palladium Hotels & Resorts is planning a slew of upgrades across several properties, proving that nothing is more important than delivering an elevated and luxurious guest experience.Between August and December 2016, the Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya will completely revamp its suites, one-bedroom suites and junior suites with new furniture and upgraded décor. The renovations will be completed in stages, and villas where the work is taking place will be closed to prevent disturbing guests. Also, the resort’s Mare Nostrum restaurant will complete renovations by Sept. 15, while the Japanese restaurant Sumptuori will undergo renos between Sept. 1 through Dec. 1.Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.Over at Grand Palladium Palace Resort & Spa in Punta Cana, upgrades continue to is accommodations, which began in May and are scheduled to be completed in October. In total, 140 rooms will receive new furniture and décor as well as renovated bathrooms and terraces, and 12 oceanview rooms on the ground floor will be turned into junior suites. Also, 42 suites will become loft suites, and 28 double deluxe suites will receive a new bathroom design and new décor.More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”In addition, the resort’s Behique buffet will be closed from September through October for roof maintenance, and Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre will be undergo upgrades through October that include new workout equipment.Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre.Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre.Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre.Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre.Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre.Zentropia Palladium Spa & Wellness centre.Lastly, the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort & Spa in Riviera Nayarit will be enhancing its zoo, which currently holds rescued animals. Over in Montego Bay, the Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa will also enjoy enhancements to its El Poseidon à la carte restaurant, set to be completed this fall.For more information go to palladiumhotelgroup.com. << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Palladium Hotels & Resorts Travelweek Group Palladium enhances several of its key resorts in the Caribbean Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Posted by
Related posts:As Nicaragua elections approach, banned opposition decries Ortega’s budding dictatorship La Prensa publishes blank front page to protest Nicaraguan government Nicaraguan government and opposition agree on road map for talks More than 60,000 people flee Nicaragua crisis: UN The government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega expelled two expert missions from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Wednesday, accusing them of meddling and bias in evaluating the crisis-hit country.A letter to Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro said the suspension of the Special Follow-up Mechanism for Nicaragua (MESENI) and the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) would remain “until conditions of respect for sovereignty and internal affairs are re-established.”Read to mission members by foreign minister Denis Moncada, it accused the two entities of demonstrating “an interfering, interventionist attitude, echoing United States government policies against Nicaragua.”The missions said they would leave the country on Thursday.The order came a day before GIEI —created to collaborate with authorities to assess Nicaragua’s human rights situation— was due to present findings on human rights during the first weeks of anti-government protests, which erupted in April.But the government accused it of acting outside agreed parameters by directly interviewing victims.GIEI coordinator Amerigo Incalcaterra denied the allegations, but said the mission had been advised not to present its report.MESENI representative Ana Maria Tello meanwhile told a press conference it would continue to monitor the situation in Nicaragua from Washington.Ortega’s government also accused the Organization of American States of promoting an “irresponsible” and “slanderous” campaign against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.In a statement, the General Secretariat of the OAS said the expulsion decision “further places Nicaragua into the terrain of authoritarianism.”It comes as the Ortega government revoked local human rights groups’ permits, raiding their headquarters along with those of independent media.In September, the government also expelled a UN human rights mission, branding a report it produced as biased.Rights groups say at least 320 people have been killed in Nicaragua in a brutal government crackdown launched in response to the escalation in April of street protests, initially against a now-ditched pension reform.Thanks for reading The Tico Times. We strive to keep you up to date about everything that’s been happening in Costa Rica. We work hard to keep our reporting independent and groundbreaking, but we need your help. The Tico Times is partly funded by you and every little bit helps. If all our readers chipped in a buck a month we’d be set for years. Support the Tico Times Facebook Comments
A recent report by Reuters has claimed that Jetstar Asia is up for sale, however according to Qantas Group the report is speculation.The report states that Lion Air of Indonesia wants a share of the Singapore based Jetstar Asia, which is owned by Qantas.Qantas’ response so far has been vague, without making any clear confirmations or denials of the statement.Qantas have said that the report is just speculation however in February this year they announced that Jetstar expansion will be suspended.Recently Jetstar International has experienced cutbacks across the board, despite taking delivery of a small new fleet of airplanes.Figures from last year have shown a decline in nearly every area of business for Jetstar, however the same situation can be seen in budget air travel competitor, Tigerair.Jetstar Asia flew 2 million passengers in the six months ending December 2013, up 14.5 per cent from the same period in 2012 and load factors eased from 78.8 per cent to 78.1 per cent.Source = ETB News: Lewis Wiseman
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Capital Economics Commercial Real Estate Confidence Fannie Mae Freddie Mac HUD Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Processing Service Providers Veterans Affairs 2013-10-01 Hugh Moore As the federal government ground to a halt Tuesday, the question of how the shutdown will affect the housing market remains at the front of everyone’s mind. How will the market react? The answer: It depends.[IMAGE]Mortgages will continue to proceed through the usual government channels, although some delays are expected.More than 90 percent of the residential housing market depends on the government and/or the GSEs for underwriting, insurance, and funding. Mortgages controlled by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not be affected because they are funded by fees from lenders rather than federal appropriations.Some concern has been raised about how the employment verification process would proceed in the event of an IRS shutdown. Freddie Mac issued the following clarification to lenders Tuesday: “”If a loan is made to a government employee and the closing date is during the shutdown period, you do not need to obtain employment verification or re-verification prior to closing if a government office providing the verification is not able to do so as a result of the temporary shutdown. You are also not required to obtain employment verification or re-verification for such loans after the shutdown ends. This exception does not apply to income verification or any other requirements … We only require IRS Form 4506-T to be signed by the borrower prior to closing. We do not require that 4506-T be processed by IRS prior to closing. However, we require that the actual 4506-T information is obtained as part of the Seller’s in-house QC program.””Most economists agreed that the broader effects of the shutdown should be minimal, assuming that the shutdown is short-lived.””The most significant immediate term impact of the government shutdown is whether it rattles households and businesses by impacting uncertainty and confidence. With the shutdown only several hours old, it is too early to tell.[COLUMN_BREAK]So far the financial markets have not reacted wildly, which would get everyone’s attention,”” said Peter Muoio, chief economist with Auction.com Research. “”All that said, the primary potential transmission mechanism is through uncertainty. So far this year, the decreased levels of uncertainty have supported stronger economic growth and, therefore, demand for both residential and commercial real estate. We must gauge the shutdown’s impact on uncertainty and stress that a quick solution would clearly have less impact than a prolonged fight.””The securities division of Wells Fargo issued a report to investors predicting the broad economic effects of a shutdown would be “”minor.””””Our expectation is that our fourth quarter GDP call would be reduced by 0.0-0.5 percent … There would be negative effects on government spending and reduced consumption from the furloughed workers,”” the report said. “”Historically, following a government shutdown, the federal government boosts consumption and federal workers’ payroll is restored. The primary reason for the minimal economic impact during this shutdown stems from the fact that most of the negative effects and the subsequent positive bounce back effects are currently expected to be contained within the same quarter of growth.””Research firm Capital Economics predicted that the effect of a shutdown would be minimal provided that it doesn’t presage a fight over the upcoming debt ceiling increase.””Over a whole year, the cost would be equivalent to about 0.3% of GDP, which is manageable,”” Capital Economics said in an update. “”If the current shutdown drags on, however, then once the debt ceiling limit begins to bite in the second half of this month, the economic and market impact would become much greater. In all likelihood, the Treasury would not have enough cash on hand to make a scheduled Social Security payment of nearly $25 billion on November 1. It would also be unable to meet a debt interest payment of roughly $30 billion that will fall due on November 15, potentially triggering a technical default.””The communications department at HUD shut down Tuesday morning, issuing the following statement: “”Most HUD programs have been temporarily interrupted and most HUD employees have been told they cannot work. We will not be able to check this account or respond to questions during the shutdown.””The Department of Veterans Affairs will continue its loan guarantee program, although there could be some delays. The Department of Agriculture will cease its mortgage financing activity. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing October 1, 2013 474 Views Agencies, Analysts React to Government Shutdown Share
FHFA Credit Scoring and Competition Share in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Origination Homeownership—one of the core components of the American dream—is in trouble. Akin to speeding towards a cliff without brakes, America is facing some of the lowest rates of homeownership in 50 years. Meanwhile, the federal government continues to maintain the status quo regarding the credit scoring models that are permitted to usher consumers to the “doorstep” of underwriting approval. The homeowner demographics are changing significantly, but the credit scoring models have not, resulting in the disenfranchisement of potentially millions of Americans.The government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, own or guarantee more than half of the conventional mortgages in the United States. They are currently required to use only scoring models from a single credit scoring entity—FICO—when it comes to screening applicants for eligibility and pricing. Those credit scoring models have remained largely static for nearly 20 years, failing to incorporate modern credit scoring data that works to provide a fuller and more accurate picture of a consumer’s creditworthiness. This excludes millions of consumers from accessing homeownership. New entrants, such as VantageScore, have campaigned for years to compete, arguing that more modernized credit models are critical, but the GSEs’ policy continues to uphold a government-sanctioned monopoly for FICO.The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has taken a step in the right direction, recently concluding an RFI event on mortgage credit scoring standards to determine whether to use an updated FICO model (FICO 9), the VantageScore 3.0 model, or a combination of the two. One thing is for certain, however: one of the most effective ways to guarantee a rebound in American homeownership is to nurture credit scoring competition, a solution that is right at our fingertips.Providing lenders with the option of deciding which brand to use (with practical constraints to avoid “score shopping”) would give credit scoring companies a reason to continue innovating while ensuring scores accurately reflect the ever-changing needs and demographics of America’s future homebuying population. This is especially critical because the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies has forecast that approximately 75 percent of new household formations in the period 2015-2035 will be undertaken by minorities, who are often disadvantaged by current scoring models.America was constructed by those who were given the opportunity to reap the bounties of their hard work, building equity in a home and wealth for their families. Just as competition works as a positive force in nearly every other element of our economy, it should also work to remove the barriers that are holding back the next generation of prospective homeowners from achieving what is core to all Americans: the opportunity for sustainable homeownership. June 4, 2018 751 Views contributed pieces Credit Scoring FICO VantageScore 2018-06-04 David Wharton
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