Bringing the best of British to the world

Bringing the best of British to the world

first_imgBBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, and VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourism agency, have today announced a new partnership to launch a dedicated content portal, known as BBC Britain, that tells a compelling story of modern Britain. British Airways, one of the world’s leading global premium airlines, has been confirmed as the first company to join the partnership.Sitting within BBC.com, the international version of BBC.co.uk, BBC Britain (www.bbc.com/britain) will combine specially commissioned articles, videos and images with relevant content drawn from across BBC.com’s specialist feature sites, including BBC Culture, BBC Future, BBC Travel, BBC Autos, BBC Capital and BBC Earth.The site’s innovative approach brings to life the UK’s global appeal, taking a balanced and objective look at the story of modern Britain, from London Fashion Week to journeys through the Yorkshire Dales, from Shakespeare to iconic contemporary British businesses, brands and people.Joining forces for the first time, the three partners already have similar missions to bring the best of British to an international audience, via BBC Worldwide showcasing the best UK creative content, VisitBritain’s promotion of the UK’s attractions or British Airways bringing to life British design and customer service.BBC Worldwide will have full editorial control over the site. VisitBritain and British Airways will have all the advertising inventory around the BBC Britain content, which will be populated with joint collateral. There will be future opportunities for other great British brands to come on board as the partnership evolves.Sally Balcombe, CEO VisitBritain, said: “BBC Britain will host a body of content that tells a compelling story of Britain to visitors from across the world, striking a balance between highlighting traditional treasures as well as covering more modern parts of British culture across our nations and regions. We’re pleased to be involved in creating a long term content platform for Britain alongside British Airways, but this is just the start. We’re calling for more British brands to join this partnership as it grows over time.”Tim Davie, CEO BBC Worldwide and Director, Global said: “BBC Worldwide plays a key role in showcasing the UK’s creative industries around the globe and as an ambassador for ‘Brand Britain’ overseas, so I’m delighted to be launching a dedicated place on BBC.com to tell the world about modern Britain.”Sara Dunham, British Airways’ head of marketing, retail and direct, said: “As a proudly British brand with global reach, we’re delighted to be part of an initiative to bring the UK to life for overseas visitors or those wanting to know a little more about the island we call home. We know from experience how interesting people find the UK. It’s a creative, diverse country with great heritage juxtaposed with fantastic modernity. We fly millions of people every year to the UK, and what better way to tempt people to visit than a site that showcases the best of Britain?”BBC.com reaches a monthly average of 85.5 million unique browsers across mobile and desktop, including an average of 8.3 million unique browsers to the non-news feature sections.Source = VisitBritainlast_img read more

Australian Museums Jurassic Lounge returns for SciFi Vivid edi

Australian Museums Jurassic Lounge returns for SciFi Vivid edi

first_imgSource = Australian Museum Australian Museum’s Jurassic Lounge returns for Sci-Fi Vivid editionThe future is bright at the Australian Museum (AM) with the return of the Jurassic Lounge after-hours party for adults on Saturday 16 June, 2018.   Jurassic Lounge: 2099, will transform the AM into the ultimate space-age playground with an ultra-futuristic line-up of music, performances, interactive games and pop-up bars.   The special Saturday night program features DJ beats, virtual-reality experiences, sci-fi storytelling, a silent disco, giant dance lessons and an interactive wormhole installation through time and space.   Jurassic Lounge: 2099 is produced in conjunction with Vivid Sydney and the Supanova Comic Con & Gaming expo.  Sci-fi fans will also enjoy an exclusive after-hours performance among the priceless treasures in the AM’s permanent galleries, which showcase scientific specimens and cultural objects.   Jurassic Lounge brings the nation’s first museum to life after-hours for lovers of sci-fi, live music and good food and drinks.   Australian Museum Director and CEO Kim McKay AO said Jurassic Lounge: 2099 offers visitors a great opportunity to see the museum in a different and futuristic light.   “Jurassic Lounge will teleport the Australian Museum to the year 2099. As well as having great fun, it’s an opportunity to understand about the challenges facing our planet this century and to spend a Saturday night exploring Australia’s first museum in a futuristic way,” she said.  Jurassic Lounge: 2099 features:  * Mz Rizk DJ: Party like it’s 2099 with one of Australia’s most innovative tune spinners. * Travis De Vries – storytelling in the land of the nightfall: Be lured into the Shaman’s cave and hear stories from the great sci-fi writer Isaac Asimov, re-configured and retold by artist and theatre-maker, Travis De Vries. * Silent Disco: Light up the dance floor with wireless headsets and dance in complete silence while two DJs battle it out for your allegiance. * Upcycled Plastic Craft: The future is made of plastic that people today leave behind. Turn plastic junk into wearable funk with artist Jane Gillings. * Wormhole: Take a journey through time and space with this interactive wormhole installation. Where and when will you emerge? * Best-dressed competition: What will you be wearing at the dawn of the 22nd century?What: Jurassic Lounge: 2099; When: 7pm – 10.30pm, Saturday 16th June Where: Australian Museum – 1 William Street, Sydney  Tickets: Ages 18+ only – $25 pre-booked; $30 on the door (subject to availability)  Bookings:  https://australianmuseum.net.au/landing/jurassic-lounge/last_img read more

New Lows Visit 30Year and 15Year Mortgage Rates

New Lows Visit 30Year and 15Year Mortgage Rates

first_img in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing application,New Lows Visit 30-Year and 15-Year Mortgage Rates Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Capital Economics First-Time Homebuyers Fixed-Rate Mortgage Housing Affordability Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Applications Mortgage Bankers Association Processing Service Providers 2011-09-07 Ryan Schuette With refinancing activity continuing a backslide, the number of homebuyers filing mortgage applications waxed over last week, falling by 4.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a weekly survey by the “”Mortgage Bankers Association””:http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm (MBA). The trade group recorded new lows for 30-year and 15-year loan contract interest rates.[IMAGE]According to the MBA’s Market Composite Index, a yardstick for mortgage loan applications nationally, numbers declined by a seasonally unadjusted 5.3 percent. Refinancing activity dipped by 6.3 percent from the past week, even while the MBA indexed a 0.2-percent upshot in purchases. On an unadjusted basis, the Purchase Index recorded a 2.1-percent decline ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a contrast with 13.5 percent registered over the same period last year.Commenting on the figures, Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s VP of research and economics, said in a “”statement””:http://www.mbaa.org/NewsandMedia/PressCenter/ that rates for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages each approached new lows in their survey before Labor Day weekend.””Despite these rates,”” he added, “”refinance application volume fell for the third straight week, and is more than 35 percent below levels at this time last year. Purchase application volume remains relatively flat at extremely low levels, close to lows last seen in 1996.””[COLUMN_BREAK]Across the MBA’s other indices, the four-week moving average fell by a seasonally adjusted 3.2 percent and a seasonally unadjusted 3.7 percent. The Refinance Index also saw a 3.1-percent decline on average.Total applications bore witness to less refinancing activity overall, as the numbers declined from 77.8 percent to 77.1 percent. Rates for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) meanwhile lingered at 7.1 percent from last week.For 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, contract interest rates on average fell from 4.32 percent to 4.23 percent and from 3.49 percent to 3.41 percent, respectively. According to the MBA, these numbers reflect the second lowest rate for the 30-year and the absolute lowest for the 15-year since the launch of the survey in 1990.The MBA’s latest figures fail to buck trends from August.Writing in a widely distributed U.S. Housing Data Response that runs weekly, Paul Dales, a senior U.S. economist with “”Capital Economics””:http://www.capitaleconomics.com/, ascribed continuing lows for mortgage application volume over last month to a failure by “”ultra-loose monetary policy├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª to boost economic activity.””Despite the fall in 30-year mortgage rates to within a whisker of a record low,”” he wrote, “”mortgage applications for refinancing have risen only modestly and applications for home purchase have dropped to a 15-year low.””According to Dales, historically low mortgage rates likewise do nothing to encourage homebuyers. A rush by investors to scoop up U.S. Treasury debt last week forced a decline in 10-year Treasury yields, alongside rates for the 30-year loan.””All this confirms what we have been saying all along; that the price of credit is not the problem,”” he added. Instead, the sharp fall in house prices and the still high unemployment rate have significantly reduced the ability and willingness of households to borrow.””center_img September 7, 2011 420 Views Sharelast_img read more

CDO Lawsuit Against Goldman Gets Green Light

CDO Lawsuit Against Goldman Gets Green Light

first_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Goldman Sachs Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Fraud Processing Service Providers U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission 2012-03-26 Abby Gregory March 26, 2012 417 Views CDO Lawsuit Against Goldman Gets Green Lightcenter_img The “”Goldman Sachs Group Inc.””:http://www.goldmansachs.com/ has officially lost its bid to dismiss a securities class action lawsuit brought by “”Dodona I, LLC””:securities.stanford.edu/1045/…01/2010127_f02oc_10CV07497.pdf, over claims that the company misrepresented a $2 billion offering of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). [IMAGE]””U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero””:nysd.uscourts.gov/judge/Marrero rescinded Goldman’s move to have the case dismissed, and Dodona will now continue to pursue its legal proceedings against the company in federal court. Dodona’s allegations stem from a package of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) that Goldman offered to investors, and the suit claims that Goldman deceptively sold sub-prime mortgage assets within the securities that[COLUMN_BREAK]progressively failed. Specifically, Dodona filed its lawsuit over Hudson Mezzanine Funding 2006-I and 2006-2 CDOs.Additional legal issues attached to the case include Dodona’s accusation that Goldman provided materially misleading statements to investors related to the value of the instrument in question. The case, which was filed in New York’s federal court, notes that Dodona believes that Goldman had full knowledge regarding the likely failure of the RMBS included in the CDOs during the period when the company was advising participants as to the quality of the investments.Goldman is currently facing several lawsuits related to its RMBS offerings. Most recently, Goldman settled a case for $550 million over allegations that it failed to disclose the role of a participating hedge fund while compiling its CDOs; within that lawsuit, the company was also accused of taking a short position against its own securities offerings, later betting on their poor performance in the open market.According to “”Reuters””:www.reuters.com/ and multiple press outlets, the “”U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission””:www.sec.gov/ is continuing to enhance its investigation into various Wall Street firms who sold CDOs before and during the financial crisis. The “”Zacks Analyst Blog””:http://www.zacks.com/ stated earlier in the month that, in addition to Goldman’s legal problems, “”Citigroup Inc.””:www.citigroup.com/, “”JPMorgan Chase & Co.””:www.jpmorganchase.com/, “”HSBC Holdings Plc””:www.hsbc.com/, and “”M&T Bank Corp.””:www.mtb.com/ are also facing accusations of misrepresenting mortgage-backed and other types of securities. Sharelast_img read more

Rising Home Prices Creates Barriers for Buyers

Rising Home Prices Creates Barriers for Buyers

first_img With no sign of slowing down, home prices and scarce inventories in the U.S. are placing a hold on the homebuying process for many first-time buyers. However, despite the bleak financial picture, there may be a few hopeful signs in the housing market.The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index (HPI) released Tuesday found that home prices rose 5.4 percent year-over-year in January 2016.The index also showed that the 10-city composite rose 5.1 percent for the year. Meanwhile, the 20-city composite’s year-over-year gain was 5.7 percent. According to the report, after seasonal adjustment, the national index, 10-city composite, and 20-city composite rose 0.5 percent, 0.8 percent, and 0.7 percent, respectively, from the prior month.“Home prices continue to climb at more than twice the rate of inflation. The low inventory of homes for sale — currently about a five month supply–means that would-be sellers seeking to trade-up are having a hard time finding a new, larger home,” Blitzer stated. “The recovery of the sale and construction of new homes has lagged the gains seen in existing home sales. This may be starting to change: starts of single family homes in February were the highest since November 2007. The single-family-home share of total housing starts was 70 percent in February, up from a low of 57 percent in June 2015, and approaching the 75 percent to 80 percent range seen before the housing crisis.””The issue is availability of credit for people with substantial student or credit card debt. While rising home prices are certainly a factor deterring home purchases, individual financial positions are more important than local housing market conditions.” David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices noted that financing a home continues to be a hurdle for first-time homebuyers as low inventories and short supply cause home prices to rise.“While low inventories and short supply are boosting prices, financing continues to be a concern for some potential purchasers, particularly young adults and first time home buyers.,” Blitzer said. “The issue is availability of credit for people with substantial student or credit card debt. While rising home prices are certainly a factor deterring home purchases, individual financial positions are more important than local housing market conditions. One hopeful sign is that the home ownership rate, at 63.7 percent in the 2015 fourth quarter, may be turning around. It is up slightly from 63.5 percent in the 2015 second quarter but far below the 2004 high of 69.1 percent.”On a month-over-month basis, the national index, the 10-city composite, and the 20-city composite all remained unchanged in January before seasonal adjustment, while after seasonal adjustment, all three composites reported strong advances. According to S&P, 11 of 20 cities reported increases in January before seasonal adjustment and after seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities increased for the month.Click here to view the full report. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News March 29, 2016 501 Views Sharecenter_img First-Time Homebuyers Home Price Index Home Prices S&P/Case Shiller 2016-03-29 Staff Writer Rising Home Prices Creates Barriers for Buyerslast_img read more

California Expects Critical Housing Shortage Due to Wildfires

California Expects Critical Housing Shortage Due to Wildfires

first_img October 24, 2017 665 Views California Expects Critical Housing Shortage Due to Wildfires Clear Capital California Kevin Marshall LA Times Oscar Wei wildfire 2017-10-24 Dean Terrell in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, journalcenter_img Share According to a piece from the LA Times, 3,000 homes in Santa Rosa, California, or 5 percent of its housing stock, was destroyed by wildfires. “We had a housing problem three weeks ago; now we have a housing problem minus 3,000 more houses.” Santa Rosa’s Mayor Chris Coursey told the LA Times. Wildfires in Northern California have led to the destruction of 5,700 homes and businesses, based on Clear Capital’s monthly Home Data Index (HDI) August report released Tuesday. Most of these structures were in Sonoma County and many residents were already suffering from extremely low long-term rental options and a short-term rental market. “The fires in and around Sonoma County will drive more upward price movement and we’ll likely see near zero inventory,” said Clear Capital President and Co-Founder Kevin Marshall.Senior economist at the California Association of Realtors, Oscar Wei, said the the housing supply around Santa Rosa was already low before, but with a $600,000 median home price, it paled in comparison to San Francisco, where median home price is over a million dollars. In an interview with the LA Times, Wei discusses the appeal of moving to the less expensive city of Santa Rosa compared to San Francisco.“Because of that difference, in the last few years, a lot of people who could not afford to live in San Francisco or Santa Clara, they move farther north, out to counties like Sonoma,” Wei said. He predicts however, that once the city starts to rebuild, Santa Rosa will still be a desirable location to live in again. “In California, every area near the mountains, we could have fire,” he said. “I honestly don’t think that, as far as Santa Rosa and wine country are concerned, in the long term it will affect sales that much. People will go back.”According to Clear Capital, the decrease in housing supply will only add more stress to those already affected as access to housing becomes more expensive.  Still, the Western region as a whole continues to beat the South, Northeast, and Midwest in quarter-over-quarter price growth at 1.3 percent. The other regions measured at 0.8, 0.6, and 0.6 percent respectively.“The Western region’s growth is due, in part, to first time home buyers and those looking to re-enter the housing market post-foreclosure during the recession. Along with scarce home inventory and a strong tech economy, home price appreciation is being driven upwards,” said Marshall.last_img read more

Going Down Still

Going Down Still

first_img The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has conducted its monthly interest rate survey for October 2017 values based on 4,519 reported loans from 20 lenders.The interest rates from September to October for 30-year fixed rates for homes costing less than $424,100 decreased by 3 basis points from 4.14 percent to 4.11 percent.Factoring in other types of mortgages other than a 30-year fixed, the average interest rate on all mortgages showed a decrease of 2 basis points to 3.97 percent from a previous 3.99 percent.The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for Previously Occupied Homes Index, which calculates interest rates on homes with at least one previous owner, dropped to 3.98 percent for loans closed in late October, compared to 4 percent in September. Similarly, the average effective interest rate on all loans also declined—resulting in a 7 basis point drop from 4.08 percent to 4.01 percent, which is good news for homeowners but less fortunate for lenders.However, the average loan amount for all loans experienced an increase at $307,500 in October, which is up $8,000 from $299,500 in September.It’s worth noting that all reports, with the exception of the specified 30-year fixed, can include 15-year mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. The survey, however, does not include mortgages that were refinanced from another mortgage or balloon mortgages. Nor does it include mortgages that are insured or guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration or the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, multi-family loans, or loans on mobile homes.While the FHFA does not name the 20 lenders surveyed for the report specifically, it does specify that they include an array of commercial banks, mortgage companies, savings associations, and mutual savings banks.November’s index values will be released on Thursday, December 28. You can find previous month’s’ index reports here. November 30, 2017 539 Views Going Down, Still . . . Sharecenter_img Data FHFA HOUSING mortgage Mortgage Rates 2017-11-30 Nicole Casperson in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Market Studies, Newslast_img read more

Wells Fargo Responds to California Class Action Suit

Wells Fargo Responds to California Class Action Suit

first_img Share Wells Fargo is addressing the claims of a class-action suit alleging that the bank has violated California’s wage and vacation laws. “Wells Fargo’s compensation structure for its Home Mortgage Consultants (HMCs) complies with California’s wage and hour laws, including paying for all time worked, and allows our HMCs to earn competitive performance-based compensation,” the bank said in a statement shared with MReport.At the crux of the matter is a lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo by James C. Kang a loan officer who worked at Wells Fargo October 2000 through May 2015 with a short break in employment in 2011.  Kang alleged that while the bank paid advances on commissions at a rate of approximately $12 per hour, those advances were “clawed back” from commissions earned. He also alleged that Wells Fargo did not compensate HMCs for non-sales work, clawed back vacation pay from commissions with the result that HMCs did not actually receive their accrued vacation and that they did not pay HMCs overtime wages as required by law.According to Bloomberg Law, the suit was admitted in California courts as a class action suit since “these allegations were based on a common compensation plan applicable to all class members, making class certification appropriate,” Judge Beth Labson Freeman wrote for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.According to the suit 4,500 employees have been affected by these alleged practices and are liable for compensation. As part of his allegations and appeal to make this a class-action suit, Kang had submitted the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law issued in another class action involving Wells Fargo’s HMCs, Ibarra v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., which was litigated in the Central District of California. Lawsuit loan officer loans Wells Fargo 2019-02-08 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Originationcenter_img Wells Fargo Responds to California Class Action Suit February 8, 2019 1,352 Views last_img read more

CLIAsTravelManagers

CLIAsTravelManagers

first_imgCLIAsTravelManagers TravelManagers personal travel manager Derek Harwood (representative for Forest Hill, VIC) was thrilled to win the ‘Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year – Australia’ award at the recent CLIA Awards.Harwood – a self-confessed cruise-aholic – was surprised to be nominated as a finalist, and completely humbled by his award win.“I am grateful to have worked with some inspiring people in travel over the last 17 years and certainly my last nine years in the cruise industry has been my most rewarding.  My greatest reward is planning a great cruising holiday for my clients and being able to work in an industry that I love. It’s an absolute honour and privilege to be recognised by the CLIA members in this way. Winning this award really is the icing on the cake for me,” said Harwood.Executive general manager Michael Gazal applauded Harwood for his win.“Everyone at TravelManagers is absolutely thrilled that Derek has been recognised as CLIA Australia’s top-selling home-based agent of the year. It’s easy to see his genuine passion and commitment to the cruising industry and to his clients. Derek certainly delivers on the TravelManagers’ promise of providing expert advice with exceptional and consistent customer service. It is this attention to detail that sets him apart from the rest of the industry.”Derek Harwood with award sponsor Dianna Schinella (Rocky Mountaineer)Harwood paid tribute to the company and his colleagues, including personal travel manager Carl Retschlag (representative for West Perth) who was also a finalist in the Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year category.“TravelManagers has given me the freedom to run my business the way I want.  To be available for my clients, to attend functions and most importantly a great network of colleagues has allowed me take advantage of cruise holidays and famils as they become available. Congratulations to all the other finalists, in particular my colleague Carl who is as passionate about cruising as I am.”Gazal said Harwood’s win and Retschlag’s finalist nomination demonstrated TravelManagers growing dominance and commitment to cruise as a specialist travel market.“Our recent years’ excellent growth in cruise sales show the significant contribution our personal travel managers make to the cruise sector. We consistently look at ways to further promote the value of cruising and develop strategies and techniques in converting cruise enquiries,” said Gazal.“With our cruise awards continuing to grow, our decision to appoint a dedicated Cruise Strategy Executive in early 2016 to maximise sales and to enhance the current specialist cruise support for our personal travel manager network is the right one.”Harwood offers some advice for cruising enthusiasts.“Choose your target market, you don’t need to be everything to everyone, and cater all your education, experience and marketing into growing your market. Cruising is a great product to sell; ship inspections and training programs that the cruise lines provide give you invaluable information and allow you to provide accurate and up-to-date information to your clients. Take all opportunities to meet with cruise reps and attend industry functions. The CLIA training, in particular the Master Accredited course gave a strong direction for my business and of course cruising yourself is the best way to build your knowledge.”Image: L-R: Michael Gazal – NPO, Merran Wiggins – PTM, Graciela Craig – NPO, Kim Mason – PTM, Derek Harwood – PTM, Carl Retschlag – PTM, Diane Craig – PTM, Tanyu Cilek – NPO, Cathy Moir – PTM, and Aeron Loss – NPOlast_img read more

Our ANZAC history of Gallipoli has provided many A

Our ANZAC history of Gallipoli has provided many A

first_imgOur ANZAC history of Gallipoli has provided many Australians with insight into other battles valiantly fought during The Great War (1914-1918), including Flanders Fields and Ypres in Belgium, so when TravelManagers’ personal travel manager (PTM) Cheryl John, representative for Modbury Heights in South Australia, was invited to join an exclusive tour of the region that coincided with the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Polygon Wood, she was thrilled to accept. “This trip has also shown me the aftermath of what was a devastating time in history, with very direct connections to Australia and many of my clients,” said John, who last visited Brussels, Bruges and Ghent 35 years ago, and had never visited the Flanders Fields area.Over the course of the seven-day famil, she also discovered that although the legacy of the First World War is evident throughout Belgium, this small country has a lot more to offer.The famil was co-ordinated by The Walshe Group for their client ‘2014-2018 Flanders Fields’, and was put together for specialist tour operators, as well as a representative of News Limited. John was one of just two retail representatives invited to join the famil. “This is a very unique famil, not usually offered to retail travel consultants,” TravelManagers Executive General Manager Michael Gazal said. “Cheryl was included because her business has been built around her expertise in creating tailor-made itineraries. This is made possible by our unique, personal travel manager business model, which allows individuals to focus on areas that best suit their interests and ambitions.”Among the highlights of John’s three days in and around the Flanders region were visits to Hill 60, where Australian miners tunnelled under the hill to lay explosives (the effects of which were felt as far afield as Paris and London) and to Toronto Avenue cemetery – the only all-Australian cemetery in Flanders. “You have to want to visit this spot as it’s not on the major roads and is reached via a walk through beautiful forest,” she said. “It is a peaceful and beautiful place, and I managed to find the grave of a soldier from Port Augusta on which to place my flag of remembrance.”The group also took in the nearby Christmas Truce Memorial, which marks the famous site where troops from both sides famously held their ceasefire for Christmas in 1914. John describes it as “a spark of light in an otherwise dismal history where humanity and faith was shared for one night.”The following day, the group attended the Australian Dawn Service, which was held to commemorate 100 years since The Battle of Polygon Wood. “It was worth the 1 am start to take part in the remembrance walk: a kilometre of information signs, recreations of dressing stations and cook tents, with battle lines demarcated by red and blue lights,” said John. “The service was very moving: for me, one of the most spine-tingling moments was to hear a didgeridoo filling the cemetery with evocative sounds of Australia, half a world away, symbolically bringing the soldiers home.”Visiting the Zonnebeke Church Dugout, an original Allied Dugout which was reopened for four months in 2017 to commemorate the centenary of Passchendaele.After the service, and a breakfast that was attended by Her Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium and Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife, the group went to Vladslo Cemetery, which is one of a few German cemeteries in the region. “As someone who used to teach a unit on World War I in my previous career as an English teacher, to see the place where the 1914 Christmas truce took place was amazing, and to see the German cemetery at Vladslo as well as all the Commonwealth countries cemeteries was a stark reminder war is hell for both sides.”The group also visited Essex Farm cemetery, a largely British cemetery which features the remains of the dressing station where John McRae, a Canadian doctor, worked and where he wrote the famous poem, “In Flanders Fields”, which has since become one of the most recognised poems of WWI. There are 600 cemeteries in Flanders, both Allied and German, and although these form an important part of any visit to the region, Belgium offers plenty of other highlights as well. John says foodies will find themselves well looked after, with a wide range of beers and the fabulous chocolates, waffles and pastries for which Belgium is renowned. One of her dining highlights was aboard a boat in Diksmuide, a pretty place with an interesting history, about a twenty-minute drive from Ypres.“The restaurant is called Water and Vuur (“Water and Fire”), and is a one-man operation,” John explains. “He waited table, took orders and did all the cooking. All the food came out at once, hot and freshly-prepared. An art exhibition at the restaurant provided me with the image that will remain most with me, of a child playing in a ploughed field with the shadow of a cross alongside him.”John says it was a wonderful experience to visit Belgium, which, for such a small country, has much to offer. “I would love to return to Belgium, as I’m eager to see Antwerp and other places in this compact and lovely country. The architecture has been preserved by recreating the towns as they once were before war destroyed them, and the local food was very enjoyable. “But what I will most remember was the time spent in the fields of Flanders, which are now peaceful and prosperous, green and beautiful: for me, ANZAC and Remembrance Days will never be the same again.” TOP IMAGE: Personal travel manager, Cheryl John (first left), and other famil participants after dawn service to commemorate 100th anniversary of Battle of Passchendaele at Polygon Wood. battlefieldsBelgiumFamilsTravelManagerslast_img read more

flight informationSingapore Airlines

flight informationSingapore Airlines

first_imgflight informationSingapore Airlines Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) has become the first South East Asia carrier to provide flight information via Google Home, a voice-enabled speaker powered by the Google Assistant. Users can simply give a voice-initiated instruction to obtain information on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights. Information includes the most up-to-date status on departures and arrivals, dates, times and airport terminals.SIA intends to progressively increase the amount of information available via Google Home to address more pre-flight queries. The information provided via Google Home is an extension of the Airline’s beta chatbot, Kris, which was first made available on the SIA global Facebook page in December last year. Kris, which was developed by an in-house team, will be launched on singaporeair.com by the second quarter of this year.“We are excited to have this opportunity to join the Google Home and the Google Assistant platforms. This is part of our drive to use digital capabilities to offer greater convenience to our customers and engage with them beyond traditional channels of contact,” said Singapore Airlines Senior Vice President Customer Services & Operations, Mr Marvin Tan.Google Home devices will also be available for purchase at KrisShop.com, commencing next week.last_img read more

Michael Adams DB Hamstring Full Full Full Probable

first_imgMichael AdamsDBHamstringFullFullFullProbable Top Stories San Francisco 49ersPlayerPosInjuryWedThuFriStatus Dave ZastudilPBicepLimitedLimitedLimitedProbable Beanie WellsRBKnee/Thumb/HamstringDNPLimitedLimitedProbable Tarell BrownCBAnkleLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Arizona CardinalsPlayerPosInjuryWedThuFriStatus The official injury report for the Arizona Cardinalsand San Francisco 49ers for their Week 14 game. Daily Practice DesignationsOut – Definitely will not playDNP – Did Not ParticipateLimited – Limited Participation (Less than 100% of normalrepetitions)Full – Full Participation (100% of normal repetitions) Carlos RogersCBKneeDNPLimitedLimitedQuestionable Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Sean ConsidineSAchillesLimitedLimitedFullProbable What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Patrick WillisLBHamstringDNPDNPDNPQuestionable Kerry RhodesSFootLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Joey PorterLBKneeLimitedLimitedFullQuestionable Friday Status DesignationsOut – Definitely will not playDoubtful – At least a 75% chance will not playQuestionable – A 50-50 chance will not playProbable – A virtual certainty of being available fornormal duty Comments   Share   Braylon EdwardsWRKneeLimitedLimitedLimitedQuestionable Darnell DockettDTQuadricepLimitedFullFullProbable D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Todd HeapTEHamstringLimitedLimitedFullQuestionablelast_img read more

Its a typical play we practice in individual dri

Its a typical play we practice in individual dri

first_img“It’s a typical play we practice in individual drills. I just try to take the things that we practice — try to take them to the field,” said Mathieu at the team’s practice facility.Reporters didn’t want to let him off the hook that easily and continued to prod him about the play, saying it was anything but typical to cover that much ground and not give up on it. “It was an effort play, man,” said the 21-year-old. “Obviously, it was a big play for those guys (St. Louis) and you just try to swing the game whenever you get a chance to, and that was my chance to.”The former LSU star was third on the team with seven tackles on the day. In comparison, his friend and mentor Patrick Peterson had just five tackles in his first NFL game in 2011 and didn’t force a fumble his entire rookie campaign. Despite the highlight reel play, Mathieu wasn’t going to brag about himself on Monday. “I didn’t make the plays I wanted to make after that. I think we can play better as a defense; we can create more pressure up front. On the back end, we definitely need to get our hands on a lot more balls,” said the young safety. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “Overall, as a defense, I think we played pretty good. I think we just need to get off the field on those third downs.”Mathieu was also asked about his experience in his first meaningful NFL game and how much it differed from his days at LSU. “It wasn’t that much different. I mean intensity was high and guys were flying around. I was just happy to be out there. The crowd was amazing in St. Louis,” he said.Speaking of the crowd and the noise, the rookie is looking forward to playing in front of the hometown fans at University of Phoenix Stadium this week against the Lions. “I’m excited. I hear that the Cardinals are pretty much sold out every year, so I’m definitely excited to play in front of our fans.” – / 27 Top Stories TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals rookie Tyrann Mathieu may have had the play of the game on Sunday when he prevented a St. Louis touchdown late in the first quarter. He showed his athleticism and speed as he tracked St. Louis tight end Jared Cook all the way back to the one-yard line where he knocked the ball out for a fumble on what would’ve been a touchdown and a 7-0 Rams’ lead. Those watching the game and tweeting about it seemed to think it was a pretty remarkable play, but on Monday, Mathieu shrugged it off. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “It’s pretty scary, guys,” Jaworski said pejoratively of some of the quarterbacks that NFL teams have on their roster.He pointed to Atlanta’s Dominique Davis, Pittsburgh’s Bruce Gradkowski, Denver’s Brock Osweiler and Cincinnati’s Josh Johnson as examples of how teams are struggling to find serviceable backups.“These are guys that have had literally no NFL experience, and they’re one snap away from having to carry a team’s fortunes,” the analyst said.He said he’s not even sure if the league boasts 32 “competent” starting quarterbacks — an average of one per team — at this time. He also said a rash of injuries has further diluted the overall quality of the position.“And I think the league is concerned,” said Jaworski, who played quarterback for 14 years for the Rams, Eagles, Dolphins and Chiefs. “There have been an inordinate number of injuries, by my count.”There are such slim pickings at the position that St. Louis, which lost starting QB Sam Bradford to a torn ACL last Sunday, reportedly contacted Brett Favre to see if he had any interest in joining the team. Favre, who last played in 2010, turned down the offer. 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Despite the perceived lack of talent at quarterback, Jaworski said things are looking up for the league in the near future.“I actually think the quality coming out of college is much better than it was a few years ago,” he said. “I think there’s better coaching right now. There are more passing (offenses) that have NFL concepts.“The feeder system is good.” The Arizona Cardinals had a disastrous time in the 2012 season trying to find stability at the quarterback position. The team acquired Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders in the offseason in hopes of remedying that situation, but the offense hasn’t shown great strides of improvement with Palmer under center so far.ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski said Thursday while on Arizona Sports 620’s Burns & Gambo show that what’s happening to the Cardinals at quarterback is part of a league-wide phenomenon. Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. LISTEN: Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL Analyst Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

The Arizona Cardinals in search of pass rushing h

The Arizona Cardinals in search of pass rushing h

first_img The Arizona Cardinals, in search of pass rushing help, made a push to sign linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul away from the New York Giants.Unfortunately for them, Pierre-Paul on Tuesday decided not to leave the Big Apple, as he agreed to a one-year contract that can be worth up to $10.5 million, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.It’s certainly a blow to the Cardinals’ free agency plans, as they were hoping to land the 27-year-old who tallied just one sack in eight games last season but has 43 in six years, 12.5 of which came in 2014. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling FILE – In this Dec. 6, 2015, file photo, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reacts during the Giants’ NFL football game against the New York Jets in East Rutherford, N.J. Pierre-Paul has filed a lawsuit seeking in more than $15,000 in damages against ESPN and reporter Adam Schefter for posting his medical records. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Miami Dade County in Florida, alleges that Pierre-Paul’s privacy was violated–as was Florida’s medical records statute–by the report last summer after the player severely injured his right hand in a fireworks accident on July 4. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) While not what they were hoping for, if it’s any consolation, Pierre-Paul was appreciative of the Cardinals’ interest.center_img Comments   Share   We’ll never know if Pierre-Paul was Arizona’s top target, and no doubt they will press on with their plans to land a pass rusher. Word came out Tuesday that Tamba Hali was staying with the Chiefs, though, so the options seem to be dwindling.But if nothing else, their pursuit of Pierre-Paul shows the Cardinals are very interested in upgrading their pass rush. The trick is, of course, actually being able to do it. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo (AP Photo/Ralph Freso) Top Stories At Auburn, Bynes said he took control of the field as middle linebacker.In high school, he was the only defender with a wristband on the team.Bynes could defer to Reed and Lewis in Baltimore, but over his three years in Detroit, he began to take a larger leadership role.Then, when Bynes came to Arizona last season, Karlos Dansby was the vocal leader of the linebacker crew.But after the Cardinals did not re-sign Dansby this offseason, Bynes is in position to take command of the unit.He said he’s ready.“That’s nothing new to me, being that guy who has to take control of the defense,” he said. “… (In) my eighth year, everything is clicking and everything is making sense. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img “Then you go in the meeting the next day and coach is like why did you do that? … Hey, Ed Reed told me.”Now a seven-year NFL veteran, Bynes looks back at his time in Baltimore as a place that helped mold him. Playing his first three seasons with Ray Lewis, a 2018 Hall of Fame inductee, and Reed, who will be eligible in 2019, Bynes learned the intricacies of the NFL.“Watching film with Ed Reed transformed everything for me,” Bynes said.Related LinksCardinals’ Wilks, Rosen discuss biggest takeaways of OTAs, patienceThe thrill of the Cardinals’ quarterback competition is about to beginCardinals’ Jermaine Gresham finding leadership role among young TEsThough they played different positions – Reed at defensive back and Bynes a linebacker – Reed asked him questions about video that Bynes wouldn’t even consider.Who was the primary receiver? What defense are you in? What coverage are you in?“He saw the game on a different level,” Bynes said.As for Lewis, Bynes shared another on-the-field story.“Ray Lewis barely said a word,” he said. “All he did was stick his fist out and you had 1,000 guys calling out close calls.”Bynes imitated himself as a rookie quietly giving a command on the field. At the time, Chuck Pagano was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens.“He snapped on me, oh my gosh, he got into me,” Bynes said. “He knew, coming out of college, what kind of guy I was, and I was that leader of the defense … he expected that same thing from me from day one.” On Thursday, Cardinals linebacker Josh Bynes said he told some teammates a story about his time as a young player in Baltimore.“I wasn’t supposed to go vertical on something, and Ed Reed literally said, ‘Josh, go vertical, go, just take it, I promise you, I got this, man.’ And then I just ran, and Ed Reed went and knocked it down.”Bynes relayed the story to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta on Thursday. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 3 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Secondyear pro Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44yard fie

Secondyear pro Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44yard fie

first_img Second-year pro Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:45 left, giving the Arizona Cardinals a go-ahead score over the Green Bay Packers.The game-winner led Arizona a 20-17 victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday.Packers kicker Mason Crosby missed a 49-yard attempt as time expired.Gonzalez also made a 44-yard field goal despite gusty and cold conditions and hit two extra point tries.“It’s amazing,” Gonzalez said, per AZCardinals.com. “Especially for this team and this organization. The way they let me come here, open arms. Top Stories 52 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez (5) and punter Andy Lee, right, celebrate the go-ahead field goal late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “In warm-ups and halftime, me and Mason were out there kicking balls, trying to figure out where the balls were going. It was swirling at different points. It was a tough one.”The performance came in Gonzalez’s first game appearance with the Cardinals after he was elevated from the practice squad on Monday as Arizona placed veteran Phil Dawson on the injured reserve list.Gonzalez played all four years of his college football for the Arizona State Sun Devils and hit a career 82.8 percent of his field goal tries, including 92.0 percent his senior year. He also was 97.6 percent on extra point attempts. He won the 2016 Lou Groza Award, given to the top placekicker in college football, and finished his career as the all-time FBS leader in field goals made and points by a kicker. – / 7 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Miami tackle Gerald Willis III isnt considered a

Miami tackle Gerald Willis III isnt considered a

first_img Miami tackle Gerald Willis III isn’t considered a top-five defensive lineman in the 2019 NFL Draft. It’s a position group with a great deal of depth in this year’s class, and because of that the Arizona Cardinals might believe his talent is undervalued.The Cardinals, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, are hosting Willis on Tuesday.A member of the Associated Press All-America Second Team in 2018, he made 59 tackles, 18 for loss, and 4.0 sacks. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling They already have hosted potential first-round pick Jeffery Simmons, a tackle out of Mississippi State. Like Willis, he also had past character issues.In both cases, it’s easy to guess that Arizona is using some of its allotted 30 prospect visits for longer sit downs with players devalued because of character issues. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img It was a breakout year for Willis, a high-profile high school recruit who signed with the Florida Gators in 2014. He was dismissed from the team his freshman year after multiple suspensions, and a transfer to Miami didn’t immediately remedy those character red flags.Willis sat out 2015 due to transfer rules and made 19 tackles, 5.5 for loss, as a reserve in 2016 before stepping away from the team in 2017 due to personal reasons. He returned as a redshirt senior to produce big numbers for the Hurricanes in 2018.Related LinksReport: Potential 1st-round pick Jeffery Simmons to visit CardinalsIs confidence in Cardinals taking Kyler Murray atop NFL Draft waning?Report: Cardinals take a look at late-round NFL Draft prospectsThe 6-foot-2, 302-pound Willis apparently got things right. A one-gap 3-technique, he’s an explosive athlete who pushed his way back into draft consideration.WalterFootball.com ranks him as the eighth-best defensive tackle in the draft, and he’s viewed by some as a second-round choice. Others, like NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, believes Willis is more of a third- or fourth-round option.For Arizona, interest in Willis makes sense. Though the Cardinals signed Darius Philon and re-signed Rodney Gunter to join veteran Corey Peters, depth is an issue at defensive line.And as the Cardinals keep other NFL teams in the dark about whether they’ll draft quarterback Kyler Murray or defensive linemen Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams with the No. 1 pick, hosting a few defensive linemen who are later-round options only makes their current intentions more unclear. Miami defensive tackle Gerald Willis, front, runs through the tackling dummies as defensive end Joe Jackson stretches at the NCAA college football team’s NFL Pro Day in Miami, Monday, March, 25, 2019. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald via AP) 11 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Accorhotels has won

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Accorhotels has won the Social Butterfly Award for a video campaign launched in Thailand to create local awareness of its brand.The WITovation Awards recognise excellence in digital marketing and customer experience, and were presented at the WIT Conference in Singapore which took place on 20 and 21 October. Approximately 550 participants from over 33 countries attended the annual conference.Judges said the accorhotels.com campaign was a “tear jerking sharable concept – neatly tied in to the benefits of a direct booking experience”.  It was also described as “unusual and refreshing”, and “a powerful concept, well executed and amplified across multiple social channels”. The clip tells the story of a sick girl whose dream is to travel, so her father realises her dream by “flying” to places of interest and making a promise to take her there when she recovers.Since 14 September 2015, the campaign has achieved tremendous feedback and engagement across all social media channels. On YouTube it amassed 1,123,649 views and more than 132,930 engagements. In the first week of the campaign launch there was a 60% increase in Thai traffic on the group’s website.“We are very pleased to win this award which recognises our efforts in building brand awareness on AccorHotels.com. Since its inception, the campaign has been viewed over a million times by many people around the world and we have received many positive feedbacks from our viewers which further encourages us to enhance and deliver our brand’s service experience online,” said Emilie Couton, Vice President, Digital Marketing Asia Pacific of AccorHotels.The winners were chosen by a panel of judges that evaluated factors such as the message, creativity, and connection with customers.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Luxury travel company

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterLuxury travel company, Abercrombie & Kent, has released the second in its new cruise tour collection taking travellers to the heart of northern Europe’s most breath-taking landscapes.From Oslo, guests discover the beauty of the Norwegian fjords on a eight-day luxury cruise aboard Ponant’s Le Soléal discovering extraordinary World Heritage sites, charming towns and villages, dramatic waterfalls, soaring mountain vistas and nature unspoiled.Combined with that is a seven-day land programme in Iceland delivering all the highlights in under a week. Guests travel from the charming and colourful capital Reykjavik to the remote south shore and the volcanoes, geysers and waterfalls of the Golden Circle region.Highlights include midnight sun cocktail celebrations, a super jeep adventure, paddock-to-plate cuisine, an organic farm visit, memorable meals and boutique accommodation.Group size is limited to 24 guests, with an accompanying A&K tour director throughout. International flights are included from Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane, upgraded balcony cabin types during cruise, all tipping except for A&K tour director and the tour is guaranteed for a minimum two guests.Tour details18-day Norwegian Fjords Cruise & Iceland, 12 – 29 June 2017.PricesTwin share per person: from $21,995. Single supplement: from $6,295.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more