GM Unifor expected to resume talks aimed at ending strike at CAMI

first_imgINGERSOLL, Ont. – General Motors and the union representing about 2,500 striking workers at the CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ont., are expected to resume talks today aimed at ending a strike.The members of Unifor Local 88 walked off the job Sept. 17 as negotiators worked to have GM designate the CAMI plant as the lead producer of the Equinox SUV, which is also produced in Mexico.The union said last Thursday that the two sides had “worked through a lot of the contract language” but remained far apart on job security and economic issues.Unifor also said it was awaiting a response from GM on the outstanding issues and thaty both sides agreed to pause the talks over the long holiday weekend and reconvene today.Ontario Economic Development Minister Brad Duguid said Friday that he had spoken with both sides and that neither had asked for government support to keep the Equinox lines in the province.Duguid said the dispute was “rippling through” Ontario’s supply chain economy and urged both parties to reach an agreement.Dias dismissed GM’s latest contract offer last week as “fluff,” saying it still allowed the company to shift resources away from the Ingersoll plant.last_img read more

NBCUniversal jumps into the streaming fray

first_imgNEW YORK — NBCUniversal will launch an ad-supported streaming service in 2020, free for anyone who pays for a cable service.The company joins an ever-growing list of streaming service players, including YouTube, AT&T, Hulu, Roku and Walmart’s Vudu, among others. On Thursday Amazon announced its own free ad-supported service called IMDB Freedive.NBCUniversal’s service will draw on the company’s content library, original programming and outside content partners, but it didn’t disclose what shows or movies will be included. The service will be available to non pay-TV customers for a to-be-disclosed fee. An ad-free version will also be available for a fee.Cable provider Comcast is NBCUniversal’s parent company. Content providers are hoping to capture ad dollars and data with streaming services, but as they proliferate many risk getting lost in the shuffle.The Associated Presslast_img read more

GBN officials demonstrate use of VVPAT machines

first_imgNoida: Aiming to conduct fair elections and bring a transparency, the Gautam Buddh Nagar District administration, on Thursday, conducted demonstrations on the the working of VVPAT machines ahead of upcoming 17th Lok sabha elections which have been scheduled on April 11 in the district.As per a senior officer of District administration, the machines will be attached to the ballot unit of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). Explaining the functioning of VVPAT machines, the official said that when a voter presses the button in the ballet unit for the candidate which he wants to vote, the serial number of the candidate in the ballot unit along with the candidate’s symbol will be printed on the paper roll kept inside the VVPAT machine. “After casting the vote on the electronic voting machine, a voter has to look at the VVPAT machine linked with the EVM machine which will display the printout containing the serial number, party symbol and the photo of the candidate who got the vote. The same will be visible to the voter for seven seconds on a small display in the machine. When the voter gets confirmed that the vote has been given to the right candidate, he needs to press a button and printed slip will fall inside the sealed compartment in the bottom of the machine and will be stored for counting,” the officer informed. The officer further said that the new system will bring transparency and will clear doubts and rumours regarding tampering of EVMs and VVPATs.last_img read more

Manchin tells Va company to remove his interview from film on Upper

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is demanding his name and interview be removed from a documentary funded by former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.Manchin also told Chesapeake, Va.-based Adroit Films in a letter sent Tuesday to remove the documentary about the Upper Big Branch mine explosion from all websites. Manchin calls the film an attempt to vindicate its creator.The explosion on April 5, 2010, killed 29 miners. Four investigations found the blast was sparked by worn and broken equipment, fueled by accumulations of methane gas and coal dust, and allowed to spread because of clogged and broken water sprayers.The documentary “Upper Big Branch – Never Again” released Monday and its credits clearly state it is “a film by Don Blankenship.” The film’s opening disclaimer, however, says people’s participation in the documentary via interviews “is not in association or affiliation with Don Blankenship.” The documentary blames the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion on a natural gas explosion and asserts the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the media have been disseminating misinformation.In the letter sent to Adriot Films Tuesday, Manchin states, “Your fraudulent behaviour in securing the interview and your misrepresentation of my interview are actionable offences.” He goes on to state the company’s failure to indicate the film was funded by Blankenship was a “gross misrepresentation of the true purpose of your film. Further, I would never have consented to the interview if I had known of your association with Mr. Blankenship. “Manchin claims he believed he was being interviewed for a documentary on mine safety to be dedicated to the miners who lost their lives. Of more than 30 minutes of interview, less than two minutes were dedicated to mine safety, he said. The film, which focuses heavily on generalizations about the mining industry and its history, claims the explosion was caused by natural gas, which mine safety measures do not currently prevent.Manchin demands the film no longer be distributed, be removed from all websites, and his name and likeness are removed.An email to Don Blankenship and call to Adroit Films were not immediately returned Tuesday. by Sarah Plummer, The Associated Press Posted Apr 1, 2014 12:27 pm MDT Manchin tells Va. company to remove his interview from film on Upper Big Branch mine explosion read more

New research solidifies idea that sexual orientation is biological

Groundbreaking research led by a team from Brock University has further confirmed that sexual orientation for men is likely determined in the womb.In the first-ever laboratory study of mothers of gay men, the research was prompted by more than two decades of statistical data examining the ‘older brother effect’ which shows that biological older brothers — but not older sisters — increase the odds of homosexuality in later-born males.The study, “Male Homosexuality and Maternal Immune Responsivity to the Y-Linked Protein NLGN4Y,” was published Monday, Dec. 11 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Brock Health Sciences Professor Tony Bogaert, lead researcher on the project, said the new study has produced some of the most significant findings in men’s sexual orientation research in the past 10 or 15 years. The team included researchers from Harvard and the University of Toronto.“The implications of this study, especially if and when it is replicated by an independent team, are profound,” said Bogaert. “Along with more deeply understanding the exact origin of the older brother effect, it helps solidify the idea that, at least in men, there’s a strong biological basis to sexual orientation.“This is the culmination of more than 20 years of research where we started looking at the older brother, or fraternal birth order, effect. The current study adds to the growing scientific consensus that homosexuality is not a choice, but rather an innate predisposition.”Bogaert, an internationally recognized expert in human sexuality, said the study is groundbreaking for at least two major reasons:It supports the conclusion, suggested by previous studies, that genes alone do not completely account for homosexuality.It suggests that immunological factors should be considered along with genetic and hormonal factors as possible biological influences on sexual orientation.Joining Bogaert from Brock were Health Sciences Assistant Professor Adam MacNeil, Health Sciences PhD student José Gabrie, Psychology PhD students Malvina Skorska (now at University of Toronto) and Mark Hoffarth (now at New York University). The team also included Harvard’s Chao Wang and University of Toronto’s Doug VanderLaan, Ken Zucker and Ray Blanchard.Bogaert said that since the older brother effect was first discovered two decades ago, many studies have replicated it, including cross-cultural ones. But when a Bogaert research project 10 years ago strongly indicated that the older brother effect in men was likely biological in origin, he saw the need to look at prenatal factors, and set out to test the major biological theory explaining this effect through a lab study.The team of psychologists and immunologists tested 16 women with no sons, 72 mothers with heterosexual sons, 31 mothers of gay sons with no older brothers, 23 mothers of gay sons with older brothers, and a control group of 12 men.The women’s antibody reactivity was measured to two proteins (PCDH11Y and two forms of NLGN4Y) found only in males, both of which are expressed in the male fetal brain.The team found that mothers of gay sons, especially those with older brothers, had significantly higher antibody levels to both forms of NLGN4Y than did the control samples of women, including mothers of heterosexual sons.“It seems that some women during their first male pregnancy, or just after their first male birth, begin to detect this foreign substance (the NLGN4Y protein) and start to develop an immune response. And then later, with further male pregnancies, the high levels of antibodies directed toward this substance may change brain development in these later born males,” Bogaert said.This confirms that the older brother effect is very likely immunological in origin.“We think it’s very important to understanding male sexual orientation,” said Bogaert. “It speaks to the mechanisms of sexual orientation development.”However, the psychologist cautions that the effects are modest and the likelihood of a male child being born gay is still small — even if they have multiple male siblings.“The vast majority of men with older brothers are still heterosexual, but it says something very broad about sex and gender development.” read more

Wisla Plock goes without Nikcevic and Nenadic in War for Poland

← Previous Story Rasmus Lauge in THW Kiel until 2016 – Momir Ilic: I would like to stay! Next Story → Winterthur’s “street fighters” (VIDEO) Polish Orlen Wisla Plock will be forced to travel to Kielce at the most important match in domestic championship without two important players – Ivan Nikcevic and Petar Nenadic. Tough schedule making troubles to Wisla’s coach Lars Walther who can’t count on Serbian players on Saturday in match which got proper name “War for Poland”.Nikcevic has problem with knee ligaments (extension), while Nenadic has injury of calf muscle. Orlen Wisla Plock

TwitterFueled CrossCountry MercedesBenz Race Starts Today

first_imgFour two-person teams have left four cities: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Tampa Bay, and are all on their way to Dallas, Texas in custom-designed Mercedes-Benz cars today, using Twitter for fuel. Their cars aren’t physically running on tweets of course, but virtually they are: the reason Mercedes-Benz says the race is “Tweet-Fueled” is because each of the four cities have to get the support of their home cities to drum up enough support on Twitter to get them to the finish line in Dallas. The route is 1500 miles from each city, and they have three days to get there. Along the way, the teams will rely on Twitter activity to “fuel” their vehicles, meaning any retweeting, @-replies, or use of the cities’ team hashtags apply to keep their cars headed down the road. At the end of the day, any “unused fuel” will translate into points that the racing teams can use towards social media challenges they’ll get along the way, like tweeting photos of other Mercedes-Benz vehicles they see along the way or stopping by a local high-school or college to tweet a photo of themselves with supporters. The winning team (the one with the most points at the end of the race) will get a 2012 C-Class Mercedes-Benz coupe, and Twitter followers who support the winning team are entered into a drawing for a trip for two to a Mercedes-Benz sponsored event, or one of 20 “Most Valuable Tweeter” awards and prizes. You can follow the race live at Facebook (a little ironic) or by following the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Race account.AdChoices广告last_img read more

Douglas Adams celebrated in animated Google Doodle

first_imgThere are few geeks out there that won’t recognize the name Douglas Adams. Although he left this world far too early at the age of 49, he did manage to create the very popular trilogy of five books that ended up being The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.Today would have been Adams’ 61st birthday if it wasn’t for a heart attack back in May 2001. The Doodle Google has created aims to celebrate his work, and there are many both open and hidden references to his creations within it.Behind the lift door you’ll find Marvin the paranoid android, a character from Hitchhiker’s. The towel is Adams’ essential item for space travel, the cup of tea a reference to the Dirk Gently detective novels, or is it related to the Infinite Improbability Drive? Google has also apparently localized the “Don’t Panic” on the display so you should see it in the language of whatever country you’re browsing from.Although the scene is interactive, you’ll want to focus most of your efforts clicking the keys on the keypad. There lies images and animations representing Adams’ work. Such things as the Babel Fish, Earth’s entry in the guide listed as “Mostly Harmless,” the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, 42 being the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, and Man being the third most intelligent creature on Earth behind dolphins and mice.As usual, the Doodle will be available on the Google homepage for today only, after which time, it will be forever archived as part of the growing Doodles archive.last_img read more

Anchor Point Man Arrested Following Crash In Stolen Vehicle

first_imgAccording to the online Trooper dispatch, investigation revealed the driver was Colter Demers,33, of Anchor Point.  Demers had an outstanding warrant at the time of the crash. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Alaska State Troopers have arrested an Anchor Point man following a vehicle accident that occured in January with a stolen vehicle from Anchorage. On January 1, the vehicle that had been involved in the collision was reported stolen out of Anchorage. On January 19, AST received a report of a vehicle crash near 13 mi North Fork Rd. Troopers responded to the location however a driver was not located.center_img On February 2,  AST received a tip that Demers was in a truck parked at the Anchor Point Petro. Demers was contacted sleeping in his truck. Investigation revealed he was in possession of a controlled substance. Demers was arrested for his warrant, possession of a controlled substance and was also remanded on vehicle theft 2 and failure to give immediate notice of an accident. He was transported to and remanded at Homer Jaillast_img read more

Houston Reacts To Trumps Order Banning Refugees And Citizens Of Seven Countries

first_imgNo ban, no wall #MuslimBan #hounews pic.twitter.com/XOawysqUPe— Evan 2017 (@evan7257) January 29, 2017 Spectators are gathered in front of the NFL shop, for a demonstration of at least 1000 pic.twitter.com/e7v0u73Xn7— Jasmine P. Davis (@JPDavis_TDC) January 29, 2017 Others were at Bush Intercontinental Airport witnessing the situation there and awaiting a demonstration scheduled to start at 5 pm CST. 5 detained at Bush Intercontinental, those coming in from latin american countries are also being targeted https://t.co/wnVgzw4PJj— hiba (@tangerineshock) January 29, 2017 Jasmine Davies, from the University of Houston’s Daily Cougar, Drew Karedes from KHOU, and writer Evan Mintz, from the Houston Chronicle,  among others, showed Houstonians demonstrating outside Super Bowl festivities: HPD says “well over 1,000” protesting outside Super Bowl festivities, demonstration remains passionate but peaceful #khou11 #hounews #trump pic.twitter.com/0rGzypLBHJ— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredesKHOU) January 29, 2017 Sharelast_img read more

MITs Huggable Robot Teddy Enhances Human Relationships

first_imgThe Huggable robot, designed by researchers at the MIT Media Lab, was designed to enrich long-distance communication between users. Image credit: MIT Media Lab. Put off by US, Chinese students eye other universities Explore further As the lab explains, the Huggable is designed to be more than a fun robotic companion. Its main purpose is to enhance human relationships by functioning as a visual tool for long-distance communication. Grandparents who want to talk to young grandchildren, teachers instructing students, or healthcare providers communicating with patients could all enrich their interactions using the robot.The Huggable features more than 1500 sensors on its skin, along with quiet actuators, video cameras in its eyes, microphones in its ears, a speaker in its mouth, and an embedded PC with 802.11g wireless networking. “The movements, gestures and expressions of the bear convey a personality-rich character, not a robotic artifact,” the MIT Media Lab’s Web site explains. “A soft silicone-based skin covers the entire bear to give it a more lifelike feel and heft, so you do not feel the technology underneath. Holding the Huggable feels more like holding a puppy, rather than a pillow-like plush doll.”The Huggable connects to a Web interface that enables the remote person to not only view the person on the other end through the bear’s eyes, but also view the robot’s behaviors through streaming audio and video. The remote person can also control the robot using several features. A grandparent, for instance, can enter text for the robot to speak via speech synthesis or command the robot to make various sounds, such as giggling. The grandparent can then watch the child’s facial reaction on the screen and listen to their response, as well as watch a 3D virtual model of the robot and an animated cartoon that indicates gestures, such as when the robot is being bounced or rocked. Overall, the robot enables the grandparent to see and hear the child through the eyes and ears of the Huggable. The robot can operate in either fully or semi autonomous mode. The Huggable can be programmed to remember the faces of specific people, and can then track the moving faces without external control. In semi-autonomous mode, a user can use a joystick to move the robot’s head vertically and horizontally. The Huggable was originally based on the concept of therapeutic companion animals, and has important touch-based features. The robot’s neural network can recognize nine different classes of touch, such as tickling, poking, and scratching, etc., and each class is further divided into six response types, such as teasing pleasant, punishment light, etc. Based on the response type, the robot interprets the intent of the touch and how to respond. Currently, the MIT Media Lab is working to create a series of Huggables for real-world trials. The Huggable was created using Microsoft Robotic Studio, and the project is supported in part by a Microsoft iCampus grant.More information: MIT Media Lab© 2008 PhysOrg.com Citation: MIT’s Huggable Robot Teddy Enhances Human Relationships (2008, December 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-12-mit-huggable-robot-teddy-human.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — It’s probably the most sophisticated teddy bear ever designed, but that doesn’t stop MIT’s companion robot called “the Huggable” from being pretty adorable, as well. The Huggable is the latest project to come from the MIT Media Lab, and could one day be used for healthcare, education, and social communication applications.last_img read more

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first_img News | Proton Therapy | August 08, 2019 MD Anderson to Expand Proton Therapy Center The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center unveiled plans to expand its Proton Therapy Center during a… read more News | Radiation Oncology | July 31, 2019 Laura Dawson, M.D., FASTRO, Chosen as ASTRO President-elect The members of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) elected four new officers to ASTRO’s Board of… read more News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 07, 2019 Qfix kVue One Proton Couch Top Validated by Mevion Medical Systems Qfix and Mevion Medical Systems announced that a special version of the kVue One Proton couch top is now both validated… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 02, 2019 Varian Showcases Cancer Care Systems and Software at AAPM 2019 Varian showcased systems and software from its cancer care portfolio, including the Identify Guidance System, at the… read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 16, 2019 Drug Accelerates Blood System’s Recovery After Radiation, Chemotherapy A drug developed by UCLA physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem… read more News | March 01, 2009 ASTRO Applauds Obama Plan to Close Self-Referral Loopholes March 2, 2009 – The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) applauds President Obama’s healthcare reform plan to double funding for cancer research and close loopholes that are weakening the Medicare program.ASTRO believes that the integrity of the Medicare program and quality patient care is being compromised by loopholes in the physician self-referral law – or Stark Law. One particular loophole, called the in-office ancillary exception (IOAE), has become the “loophole that has swallowed the rule”.”There is evidence that some physicians are using the ancillary exception to drop ‘turn-key’ radiation therapy services into group practices to maximize profit. We are afraid these arrangements compromise the quality of care, limit access, constrain patient choice from the full range of treatment options and result in overutilization of certain treatments,” said Laura I. Thevenot, ASTRO’s CEO. “ASTRO is committed to working with President Obama and Congress to prevent profit-motivated self-referrals and preserve the independent judgment and choice that patients deserve in making life and death decisions.”ASTRO is asking President Obama and Congress to close the IOAE loophole and responsibly address abuses of the self-referral law. By taking these actions, it believes budgetary savings may result that help advance the President’s healthcare priorities. For instance, savings could help increase funding for cancer research or expand coverage, both of which are critical to keep people healthy, save lives and stimulate the economy.ASTRO strongly supports comprehensive healthcare reform and looks forward to working with the President and Congress to expand coverage of the uninsured, double funding for life-saving cancer research, and strengthen Medicare by fixing its physician payment system and protecting the program’s integrity.ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through education, clinical practice, advancement of science and advocacy. For more information: www.astro.org FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 Catalyst PT image courtesy of C-RAD The top piece of content in July was a video interview explaining how Princess Margaret Cancer Center is using machine learning to create automated treatment plans. This was a hot topic at the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2019 meeting in July.  The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center expansion is expected to be completed in 2023. Rendering courtesy of Stantec. News | Proton Therapy | August 06, 2019 IBA Signs Contract to Install Proton Therapy Center in Kansas IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) recently signed a contract and received the first payment for a Proteus One solution… read more Related Content News | Patient Positioning Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 Mevion and C-RAD Release Integration for Improved Proton Therapy Treatment Quality Mevion Medical Systems and C-RAD announced the integration between the C-RAD Catalyst PT and the Mevion S250i proton… read more Following radiation, the bone marrow shows nearly complete loss of blood cells in mice (left). Mice treated with the PTP-sigma inhibitor displayed rapid recovery of blood cells (purple, right). Credit: UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center/Nature Communications News | Brachytherapy Systems | August 14, 2019 Efficacy of Isoray’s Cesium Blu Showcased in Recent Studies August 14, 2019 — Isoray announced a trio of studies recently reported at scientific meetings and published in medica read more News | Radiation Therapy | August 15, 2019 First Patient Enrolled in World’s Largest Brain Cancer Clinical Trial Henry Ford Cancer Institute is first-in-the-world to enroll a glioblastoma patient in the GBM AGILE Trial (Adaptive… read more Feature | August 05, 2019 | Dave Fornell, Editor Most Popular Radiology and Radiotherapy Topics in July 2019 August 5, 2019 — Here is the list of the most popular content on the Imaging Technology New (ITN) magazine website fr read more last_img read more

Slothy Sunday Bilbo the Sloth SuperDad

first_imgToday is a celebration of all fathers — young and old, short and tall, by blood or simply by love. It’s a special day.In the world of wildlife, this usually means showing praise to the animal kingdom’s most admirable fathers: the emperor penguin, who balances an egg on his feet in subzero temperatures to keep it warm, or the male seahorse, who can carry up to 1,000 eggs in his belly and then give birth to them. These dads, amongst others, help keep the circle of life spinning.Here at the Toucan Rescue Ranch, we want to honor our very own fatherly figure, Bilbo the two-fingered sloth. With a story that starts like those of many of our rescued sloths, Bilbo was found abandoned on a golf course in Jacó, Puntarenas, by a woman on her morning walk. He was lying motionless in a sand trap, covered in ants. The woman quickly called TRR and drove him to our headquarters in San Isidro, Heredia.Once in our clinic, our vets noticed his legs were struggling to function correctly, so they started physical therapy to get him back in motion. When they felt he was ready, he was brought out to exercise with the other sloths. Juveniles are put together to offer comfort and companionship as they grow up without a mother, although Bilbo was a much older orphan than his buddies on the jungle gym. Bilbo with his adopted family. Via Toucan Rescue Rach.Over time, our vets noticed that Bilbo was reaching out to the other baby sloths — and not just to get a share of their zygia leaves (a two-fingered sloth’s favorite)! He was actually cleaning their faces and licking them as if they were his own offspring. The baby sloths started to climb all over him, and Bilbo was patient with them, tolerating them even when they clumsily clambered onto his back. He became the “foster dad” of the juvenile sloths at TRR, holding them when they were near and offering them the nurturing love they were missing, which is really what being a good father is all about — giving and receiving love, even at times when it’s not necessarily your responsibility.Together with The Sloth Institute, Bilbo has been relocated from the TRR headquarters to the Release Site in Manuel Antonio as part of our Saving Sloths Together program. Bilbo is now at an adult weight and is practicing his wild skills in a pre-release enclosure!Although he is surely missed by his “children” back in San Isidro, Bilbo has served a great purpose by taking on one of the most difficult but rewarding jobs in the world … being a father.Happy Father’s Day! Thank you to Bilbo and all fathers around the world!— Ally Chamberlin is a Marketing Intern at Toucan Rescue Ranch. This article was produced by The Toucan Rescue Ranch. The Toucan Rescue Ranch specializes in helping wild animals recover so that they can be reintroduced into the wild. For more information or to donate, visit the Toucan Rescue Ranch website. Facebook Comments Related posts:Slothy Sunday: A lazy, sunny afternoon Slothy Sunday: A baby sloth is born Slothy Sunday: For the love of sloths Slothy Sunday: Charlie’s shocking storylast_img read more

French Travel Connection Paris announcement

first_imgThe team at French Travel Connection has many friends and family in Paris. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the people in this wonderful city.We would like to express our gratitude for the kind messages of support received from the Travel Industry following the Paris attacks.In response to this tragedy, on Saturday we contacted all of our travel agent partners who have clients in Paris.Today we are contacting all agents with clients scheduled to arrive between now and 31st December 2015 with an update as follows:FTC Cancellation PolicyThe below applies for bookings in Paris:For all bookings up to 31st December 2015 French Travel Connection will not apply any cancellation chargesAll cancellations are subject to our suppliers terms and conditions.  We are working with them to understand what cancellation policies may applyDue to the circumstances in Paris, we anticipate it will take time for us to understand the situation so we ask for your patience during this processFor all bookings up to 31st December 2015 French Travel Connection will not apply amendment fees to alternative arrangements in FrancePlease refer to http://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/france. Excluding Paris the advice levels for France overall is “exercise normal safety precautions”Our team is here to assist so please contact them on 1300 858 304 or info@frenchtravel.com.auFor all bookings from 1st January 2016 our standard terms and conditions applyShould you require any assistance please email info@frenchtravel.com.au French Travel ConnectionSource = French Travel Connectionlast_img read more

Mortgage Housing Optimism Stays Strong … for Now

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, journal, Market Studies, News, Origination Home Prices HOME survey Housing Inventory Housing Optimism inventory shortages NAR Survey National Association of Realtors 2018-06-25 David Wharton When it comes to Americans’ optimism about buying homes, Q2’s numbers might as well be cribbed from the National Association of Realtors’ Q1 report. NAR’s second quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey found that 68 percent of people think it’s a good time to buy—statistically, pretty much the same as in the first quarter.That optimism has remained steady among homeowners in particular. As with last quarter, 39 percent strongly agree that now is a good time to buy, while 29 percent moderately agree. Among renters, however, those positive feelings dropped from 55 to 49 percent in Q2. Optimism is highest among older buyers (65 or over) and those living in the South and Midwest regions (73 and 71 percent, respectively).NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said affordability and low inventory are eroding buyer confidence. “Inventory remains the driving force in real estate, affecting everything for rising prices to household formation. Improving supply conditions is critical to improving buyer optimism and helping to remove some of the barriers holding back potential first-time buyers,” Yun said.Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed said they believe that home prices have gone up in their area within the last 12 months. That’s up from 63 percent last quarter. Meanwhile, 55 percent also believe that home prices will keep going up in their communities through year’s end. That’s about where it was last quarter, too.Those numbers also largely mirror optimism about the economy in general. According to the report, almost 60 percent said the economy will stay strong. Most of the optimists are in rural areas, where 63 percent said the economy is improving.The largest change in perception from Q1 regarded mortgages. Forty-six percent of those surveyed said they do not believe it would be difficult to obtain a mortgage. While still less than half, that number is up from 36 percent last quarter. “This is most likely a reflection of the current positive outlook on the direction of the economy,” Yun said. “Healthy job creation and faster wage growth mean that homeownership is viewed as a more attainable goal than it was a year ago.” But optimism for several years ahead was a little less bouncy. Asked if homeownership will be easier or harder to attain for future generations, 73 percent said it will be harder for future generations to purchase a home, compared to 11 percent who said it will be easier. On the other side of the table, 75 percent believe that now is a good time to sell. Twenty-nine percent overall said that now is not a good time to sell a home. Among homeowners, that number was 19 percent.“Hopefully, this strong seller optimism will lead to an increase in inventory later on in the year,” said Yun.center_img Mortgage, Housing Optimism Stays Strong … for Now June 25, 2018 545 Views last_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Chris Johnson: Was a bit of a surprise when he came back for another season in what was bound to be a decreased role. Uneven start to a year that was cut short due to an injury that landed him on injured reserve. Can he find more carries elsewhere?Kevin Minter: Played well, finishing second on the team in tackles while posting a career-best 3.5 sacks. Has value, but will the Cardinals want more speed and range at his middle linebacker position and another team might value him more.Earl Watford: Arizona’s “Swiss Army Knife” along the offensive line, he has filled in at multiple positions but has yet to truly establish himself as a starting lineman. Arizona’s newfound depth up front, along with Watford’s desire to start, may lead him elsewhere.Not coming backMike Jenkins: Was brought in during camp and seemed to have a shot at earning significant reps until a broken hand ended his season before it could even begin.Alex Okafor: A couple years ago he was one of the team’s rising young pass rushers, but uneven performances and shaky off-the-field issues led to his role being diminished. Played well on special teams, but will want more than he can get in Arizona. Whichever direction GM Steve Keim, Arians and the rest of the organization takes will be made more difficult by the fact that the team has a substantial number of free agents, many of whom played key roles for the team in 2016 or previous seasons.What will the Cardinals do? Well, much of their plan will likely be dictated to the kind of offers their own free agents receive.For some of them, there is probably a mutual understanding that it is best for both sides to move on from each other. But for others, they may have professed a desire to return, and it would be wrong to call that into question. But money and opportunity talk in the NFL, and if a player finds more with another team, it would not be a surprise to see them bolt.With that in mind, here is one man’s guess as to what will happen with the Cardinals whose contracts are up.Note: * indicates player is a restricted free agentThey’ll be backChandler Jones: Had 11.5 sacks in first season with Cardinals. Team did not acquire him with idea of being a one-year rental. Arians has said they would use franchise tag, if necessary, though hope has been that the sides could come to a long-term agreement.Tony Jefferson: Did not get the contract he wanted last year and turned that motivation into a career season. May have more value in Arizona than with another team and can’t see Cardinals parting with another key member of secondary, though money talks and that could make things interesting. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Marcus Cooper: Led the team with four interceptions and was named a Pro Bowl alternate. Struggled at times, but when you play opposite Patrick Peterson, the ball will come your way often.Taylor Boggs*: Coaches seemed impressed with his progression and are intrigued with his potential.Brian Dixon*: Added from the Saints’ practice squad late in the season and has been a productive special teams player in the past. Doesn’t hurt to keep him through the offseason and bring him to training camp.Darren Fells*: Has shown flashes of being an above-average tight end but injuries and inconsistency have held him back. Not a bad player, though, and seems unlikely he will receive a big offer from another team.Jeremy Ross: Caught four passes — including a touchdown — as he was pressed into action with the Cardinals struggling at receiver. Big bodied player who should make it to training camp, at least.Wouldn’t bet on itCalais Campbell: Can you imagine the Cardinals without Campbell, who followed up a pair of Pro Bowl seasons with an eight-sack campaign in 2016? Still an impact player, good chance he will find a more lucrative contract offer elsewhere.D.J. Swearinger: Played very well in first full season with Cardinals, showing solid coverage ability as well as the big-hitting style he was known for. Tough to imagine his best offer coming from Arizona, though if Jefferson does not return Swearinger would move into the “probable” category. Top Stories Andre Ellington: Once the centerpiece of Arizona’s offense, Ellington turned into a bit player who struggled in his primary role as a kick returner. Not seen as a lead back, and in Arizona, nowhere for him to play. Chandler Catanzaro*: Did not have a particularly good season, though did have some big moments. Arians has expressed confidence, though if nothing else, no reason not to bring him back as part of any camp competition.Sio Moore: A late-season pickup, Moore played well over the final few weeks as injuries pressed him into the lineup.Probably returningJermaine Gresham: Took less money to come back to the Cardinals on a one-year deal. Played especially well in season’s second half and was cited as an emotional leader for the team.Frostee Rucker: Solid veteran whose impact was more as a leader than statistical. Has dealt with injuries last couple of seasons that have impacted his on-field performance. At 33, does he want to continue his career?A.Q. Shipley: Finally got his chance to be a full-time starter and was only offensive lineman to get through season without injury. Solid player who can play guard, too. Would role be the same in 2017?Zaviar Gooden*: Contributed on special teams. Intriguing young player who the team has no reason to part with.Stepfan Taylor: Solid special teams player who never carved out a significant role with the offense. Has value, though, as he can help out in a pinch. With Super Bowl LI now a thing of the past, it is officially time to move on to the 2017 season.For the Arizona Cardinals, that means making a good many decisions this offseason.Coming off a campaign that began with Super Bowl expectations but finished with a 7-8-1 record, the goal may not necessarily be to rebuild the roster, but instead tweak it just enough to get it back into the postseason.“Really to sign our own guys,” head coach Bruce Arians said of what his team’s biggest offseason need is. “If we can get our own guys back and not have to teach a lot of new guys things.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals’ Chandler Jones watches the scoreboard during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Oakland Raiders Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. The Raiders defeated the Cardinals 31-10. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

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