Travel guide to the Redang Island in Malaysia

first_imgRedang Island is one of the largest islands off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which is famous for its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. It is one of nine islands that form a marine sanctuary park offering snorkeling and diving opportunities for tourist.Source: Expedialast_img

Turtle season in Oman has begun

first_imgThe period between June to September is the best time to watch turtles nesting in Oman. Ras Al Jinz in Sur which is a short three-hour drive from Muscat city and the temperature is cooler by 15 to 20 degrees and makes for one of the perfect settings for spotting turtles. The Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve in South Ash-Sharqiyah Governorate is popular for its green turtle habitat. It is significantly located within the region surrounded by the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Oman is the only place where visitors can closely witness the process of nesting sea turtles without disturbing their natural surroundings. The best time to witness this natural phenomenon is either late at night or early morning with guided tours of up to 25 people in a group by the seashore. To preserve conservation efforts, Oman’s policy restricts the use of artificial light like mobile phones or torch that could disturb the turtles’ natural environment. There are turtle rangers at the beach and only once the turtles have begun laying their eggs, 200-300 or more at a time, tourists are allowed to walk towards them. It is an out of the ordinary activity to witness the mother turtle creating a pit, laying eggs as well as baby turtles running around at the seashore.  Oman is home to four different types of turtles – green, olive ridley, hawksbill and loggerhead. The Museum of the Scientific Centre in Ras Al Jinz is equipped with the latest technology for information about various types of turtles and their life cycle. According to official statistics, 41,244 tourists visited the turtle nesting site at the Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve in Ras Al Hadd state in Wilayat of Sur in 2017, where the percentage of foreign tourists was 76%, equivalent to 31,412 tourists. The rate of growth in the number of visitors to Ras Al Jinz turtles reserve was 37% in the past seven years, with the total number increasing from 30,002 visitors in 2010 to 41,244 visitors in 2017.last_img read more

Raffles welcomes new hotels in China and the Maldives

first_imgRaffles Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of two important new landmark hotels, Raffles Shenzhen and Raffles Maldives Meradhoo. Both hotels opened in early May and are now accepting reservations at raffles.com.“The Raffles collection now includes 14 properties across 12 countries, with a carefully curated list of distinguished addresses in leading markets around the world,” said Chris Cahill, Deputy CEO, Accor. “With a storied history spanning more than 130 years, Raffles is currently experiencing a renaissance, with a robust project pipeline that will see the portfolio add 8-10 hotels over the next few years.”Raffles Shenzhen brings the height of luxury and bespoke service to the shining modern metropolis of Shenzhen. An extraordinary urban oasis discreetly perched on the top floors of a 72-storey tower in the prestigious One Shenzhen Bay complex, Raffles Shenzhen is the epitome of glamour and refinement. With 168 spacious guestrooms, as well as a selection of serviced residences, well-travelled guests will be enchanted by the exquisite dining venues, spectacular views of Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong.On the remote southern tip of the Maldives archipelago, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is as removed from the rhythm of everyday life as can be. Surrounded by crystalline waters of the Indian Ocean and unspoiled reefs, the resort is a rare haven of 21 island beach villas and 16 ocean overwater villas.“With the doors now officially open at Raffles Maldives Meradhoo and Raffles Shenzhen, we are delighted to invite guests to experience the impeccable service, intuitive charm and extraordinary adventures upon which the Raffles legend has been built,” said Jeannette Ho, Vice President, Raffles Brand & Strategic Partnerships. “The next few years will be very exciting for our guests and global ambassadors as we continue to expand our illustrious hotel collection, bringing Raffles to the most fascinating, attractive and culturally rich regions of the world.”last_img read more

HARP Refinances Stay on Pace in Q1

first_img June 13, 2013 426 Views Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Refinance Service Providers 2013-06-13 Esther Cho in Origination, Secondary Market Refinance volume under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) stayed strong in March even as mortgage rates rose, the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA) reported Wednesday. [IMAGE]In March, the GSEs refinanced close to 100,000 loans through HARP, bringing the program total since the 2009 inception to nearly 2.4 million, according to the FHFA. Out of the near 462,000 loans the GSEs refinanced in March, HARP represented about 21 percent of the total.In the first quarter of this year, about 300,000 loans, or 22 percent of all GSE refinances, were completed through HARP, essentially unchanged from the fourth quarter of last year. [COLUMN_BREAK]The program continued to provide relief to underwater borrowers, who accounted for nearly half of all HARP refinances. In the first quarter, 45 percent of HARP loans had loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent, the FHFA reported. Last year, 44 percent of loans refinanced under HARP were underwater. Meanwhile, deeply underwater borrowers, or those with LTV ratios greater than 125 percent, accounted for 22 percent of HARP refis in March.Among underwater borrowers who refinanced in the first quarter, 17 percent opted shorter-term 15- and 20-year mortgages. During the first quarter, HARP refinances in Nevada accounted for 63 percent of total refinances, which is three times the percentage nationwide. Other states with a high share of HARP refinances during the same time period included Florida (53 percent), Georgia (44 percent), Arizona (41 percent), and Michigan (40 percent).In Nevada, 76 of borrowers refinanced under HARP were underwater. In Florida and Arizona, 67 percent and 64 percent of HARP refinances were for upside down borrowers. The program, which was to expire at the end of this year, received a two-year “”extension””:https://themreport.com/articles/fhfa-to-extend-harp-through-2015-2013-04-11 to December 31, 2015.center_img HARP Refinances Stay on Pace in Q1 Sharelast_img read more

Feature Dealing with the Fine Print

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-12-27 Tory Barringer Share December 27, 2013 475 Views “”During the economic downturn precipitated by the housing market crash, the devil seemed to be everywhere economically, from loose (or worse) lending standards to the losing job market. Now, several years later as mortgage servicers prepare for the January 10, 2014 effective date for complying with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) new rules for servicers, rest assured that the Dark One inhabits his usual sticky spot.””So begins contributor Brian A. Lee’s probe into the challenges servicers are still dealing with so close to the January implementation date. How prepared are you for the big deadline? Check out this piece–first published in _MReport’s_ December issue–to find out.Read more in _MReport’s_ “”digital archives””:http://digital.themreport.com/i/222840.center_img Feature: Dealing with the Fine Print in Servicinglast_img read more

Dimon Voices FHA Frustrations

first_img FHA JPMorgan Chase Settlements 2014-07-17 Derek Templeton July 17, 2014 532 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News In a conference call with analysts following the release of its second quarter earnings report Tuesday,JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon took the time to single out Federal Housing Administration (FHA) backed lending as a source of risk for the megabank.In February, the bank announced that it would pay $614 million to settle claims that it had improperly approved thousands of government backed mortgages, including those approved by the bank as a participant in the FHA’s Direct Endorsement Lender program.Under the program, lenders who have direct endorsement power can consider single-family FHA mortgage applications without first submitting paperwork to HUD. Skipping that step allows FHA mortgages to be processed as rapidly as other mortgages.Dimon said that the bank’s FHA business has cost them money.”So the real question is should we be in the FHA business at all? We’re still struggling with that,” Dimon said. “Until they come up with some kind of safe harbors or something, we’re going to be very, very cautious in that line of business,” Dimon said.JPMorgan is not alone in its struggle with FHA compliance. In June, Suntrust Banks, Inc. announced that it would pay $418 million to resolve its potential liability for originating and underwriting FHA loans between January 2006 and March 2012 that did not meet agency requirements.FHA-backed lending is in place so that riskier borrowers have access to credit and—in theory at least—lenders make higher profits because the pool of qualified borrowers increases. The problem is that with that riskier clientele comes with a higher risk of default.After the fact, government auditors have the power to scrutinize loans and demand repayment from the bank if they determine that the bank has not underwritten the loans according to HUD standards.From the tone of his comments on Tuesday, it could be inferred that JPMorgan does not believe the process to be fair. Dimon said that his organization was “thoroughly confused” by the government treatment of the bank during the settlement process.Whether Dimon is serious about pulling out of the FHA business or not remains to be seen, but the consequences would likely be felt by consumers. JPMorgan is the nation’s second largest mortgage lender.center_img Share Dimon Voices FHA Frustrationslast_img read more

Ginnie Mae Updates Issuer Business Status Requirements

first_img“The housing finance industry is continuing to evolve in response to changes in the economic and regulatory environment, and Ginnie Mae must evolve with the industry,” said Michael Drayne, Ginnie Mae’s SVP of Issuer and Portfolio Management.The four updates will affect business operations for many of Ginnie Mae’s issuers and include changes to the requirements for notification and prior approval of changes in issuer business status.These changes are intended to increase efficiency within business practices for both issuers and Ginnie Mae.“Our rapid increase in volume, coupled with the growing complexity of the business operations of our Issuers, means that Ginnie Mae must be very responsive as it continues to support the industry,” Drayne said.The revised requirements are effective immediately.The Ginnie Mae MBS Guide updates:Changes in Relationship with Regulatory Agencies – Written notice must be provided to Ginnie Mae if an Issuer is the subject of a material adverse change in its business relationship with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or a state regulatory agency.Mergers – Notification deadlines for the submission of documents have changed pre- and post-merger.  Additionally, the number of legal and financial documents required during a merger has been reduced.Change in Ownership or Control of an Issuer or Guarantor – The definition of  a “change in ownership or control” will now be consistent with the Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 57 (FAS-57) issued by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. Additionally, the number of legal and financial documents required during a change in ownership or control has been reduced.Transfer of Assets – Issuers planning on executing a transfer of assets must provide Ginnie Mae written notice regarding the transfer at least thirty (30) days prior to the desired effective date.Click here to view more detailed information about the changes in Issuer business status can be found in Chapter 3 of the Mortgage-Backed Securities Guide 5500.3, Rev.1 (MBS Guide). Share September 8, 2015 499 Views Ginnie Mae Updates Issuer Business Status Requirements Ginnie Mae Issuers Mortgage-Backed Securities 2015-09-08 Staff Writer Ginnie Mae has released an update to its issuer business status requirements as part of their ongoing effort to update requirements and infrastructure for its mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) program.An announcement from the government corporation on Tuesday revealed new changes that will help issuers that are going through ownership and organizational changes as the result of changes within the housing finance industry and secondary mortgage market.   in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Marketlast_img read more

Fed Rate Looking Forward

first_img Greg McBride, BankRate CFATo most, the Fed rate hike yesterday came as no surprise. What we have to look for now is what to expect moving forward, according to BankRate.com VP and CFA Greg McBride. MReport had the opportunity to speak with McBride on Wednesday shortly before the Federal Reserve announced the rate increase.McBride pointed to several things that should be considered moving forward. “I think what’s going to be interesting and really what everybody focuses on is going to be the Fed’s outlook going forward. What are their economic projections? What are their interest rate projections? Do they have a bias for more aggressive action as the year unfolds?” said McBride. “They come into the year saying three rate hikes. Markets were back kind of skeptical of that. Is the Fed still sticking to the script of gradual? Three rate hikes? Or does it get more aggressive than that?”Adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit are the most likely products to be affected by the rate increase, according to McBride.“Home equity lines of credit are going to feel it the quickest along with credit cards. Home equity lines of credit are pegged to the prime rate so it’s a direct path through any time the Fed hikes rates by a quarter point your home equity line of credit’s going to go up by a quarter point, said McBride.“Now, on the adjustable rate mortgages the nuance here is people that are facing a reset on their adjustable loan at some point this year or next year, they’re the most susceptible to these rate hikes and to cumulative effect of these rate hikes. In the past several years that those adjustable rates were resetting lower, McBride continued. “Starting last year you got a little bit of a taste of rates actually moving up and because many of those adjustable only change once per year a payment change can be real doozy. If the Fed has raised rates two or three times in that 12 month period since your last adjustment, your payment could go up in a significant way. It’s not one and done, right? You’re a sitting duck for this to happen again 12 months down the road.”Consumers can expect their adjustable-rate mortgage monthly payments to increase $150 year over year, McBride stated. “If you have $400,000 on your adjustable rate mortgage with 20 years left and your rate goes up three quarters of a percentage point in each of the next two years, you’re looking at your payments going up $150 per year. Each year going up $150 per month.”Fixed-mortgage rates, however, “have already seen a huge run up since the fourth quarter of last year, and going forward short term rates are likely to rise more than longer term rates.”Though the Fed had hinted at three total rate hikes this year, McBride told MReport that he only has the Fed raising rates twice. “If they do in fact do three rate hikes this year,” said McBride, “then that would put that Fed funds rate between 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent at year end.” in Daily Dose, Government, News March 20, 2017 502 Views Fed Rate: Looking Forwardcenter_img Bankrate Fed rate 2017-03-20 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

CFPB Outlines Diversity Inclusion Strategies

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News CFPB Diversity Inclusion 2017-04-27 Seth Welborn April 27, 2017 676 Views center_img On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a report outlining the Bureau’s strategies and efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within the mortgage industry. The report is a readout of an industry roundtable meeting held by the CFPB’s office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OWMI) with the Mortgage Bankers Association.“The Consumer Bureau’s mission is to protect all consumers across the diverse American marketplace, just as financial institutions seek to serve them with helpful products and services,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.  “The insights in this report from our roundtable with mortgage lenders help to show the advantages of integrating diversity and inclusion programs in workplaces throughout the financial services industry.”Participants in the meeting included representatives from the mortgage industry, including from larger and smaller banks, as well as some nonbank financial companies. In addition, staff from the OWMI of other federal agencies, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve, and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) were included.Items presented in the meeting included the business case for diversity and inclusion; the importance of leadership buy-in and accountability; recruiting, hiring, inclusion, retention, advancement, and engagement; broadening the customer base with new business products; and the importance of data. Roundtable participants noted that their businesses were being affected by the changing demographics of their customer base, and how a diverse and inclusive workforce would better prepare their businesses to tackle new and complex problems.“During the meeting I was pleasantly surprised by the frank and open discussion about the complexities involved in building diverse and inclusive organizations,” said CFPB OMWI Director Stuart Ishimaru. “The hard work of promoting diversity and inclusion is challenging, requiring continuous focus to engage employees, hold people accountable, and strike the right balance based on the size and resources of the organization. I was impressed by their commitment to creating diverse and inclusive workplaces and expanding services to a broader and more diverse pool of consumers.”During the 2017 Five Star Diversity Symposium on May 11, Ishimaru will speak to industry leaders and diversity on the CFPB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.The CFPB’s report can be found here. CFPB Outlines Diversity, Inclusion Strategieslast_img read more

TIAA Bank Realigns Mortgage Ops

first_img Share in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination, Servicing As part of its initiative to serve an even wider audience of clients nationwide, on Wednesday, TIAA Bank announced the strategic realignment of its residential home lending business. The bank aims to transition out of the retail branch home lending business to concentrate on originating home mortgage loans directly, particularly through its existing digital capabilities that provide an exceptional client experience. TIAA Bank has reached an agreement with US Bank allowing it to extend offers of employment to a number of experienced TIAA Bank staff and assume certain leases on TIAA Bank’s retail home lending offices in key markets across the United States. As it shifts its focus on serving clients using its existing retail-direct and correspondent lending businesses, TIAA Bank stated that it will exit the remainder of its retail branch home lending offices. “This repositioning will allow us to serve a wider audience of clients nationwide, including millions of TIAA participants and their families, through our retail direct and correspondent lending channels,” said Blake Wilson, Chairman and CEO at TIAA Bank. Wilson pointed out that today’s borrowers need fast, convenient and cost-effective solutions. “The changes we’re making will enable us to deliver mortgage solutions to even more people, using digital technologies that enable clients to work with us efficiently and easily, anywhere and at any time,” he added.As the banking unit of TIAA, a provider of financial services to the not-for-profit sector, TIAA Bank also serves nearly five million TIAA participants and their families, and more than 15,000 non-profit institutions. Even as it gears for repositioning its strategies, the bank’s loan officers will continue to provide individual services to its clients with pending home mortgage loans or applications in process. TIAA Bank assured that clients with home mortgage loans serviced by the bank will not be impacted by the changes. TIAA Bank Realigns Mortgage Opscenter_img Blake Wilson Home Lending mortgage loans TIAA Bank US Bank 2019-02-21 Donna Joseph February 21, 2019 894 Views last_img read more

Measuring Mortgage Rates

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Origination April 9, 2019 1,578 Views Measuring Mortgage Rates Around 24 percent of borrowers received mortgage rate offers of 4.25 percent or lower, according to the latest Mortgage Rate Distribution data from LendingTree. LendingTree also released its latest Mortgage Rate Competition Index, the median spread of the lowest and highest APRs offered by lenders in the LendingTree marketplace, which was at 0.88, up from 0.85 the previous week.According to LendingTree, 24 percent of 30-year fixed-rate mortgage borrowers received offers of 4.25 percent or lower, down 37 percent week over week. The report notes that this time last year, just 0.3 percent of purchase offers were under 4.25 percent.Despite the higher percentage of borrowers to receive lower interest rates, the most common interest rate was 4.5 percent, offered to 17.9 percent of borrowers.For refinances, 35 percent of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage refinance borrowers received offers of 4.25 percent or less, down 51.5 percent week over week. The most common refinance interest rate was 4.25 percent, offered to 19.8 percent of borrowers.According to the most recent Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, these mortgage rates indicate stability. According to the survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 4, 2019, up from the previous week when it averaged 4.06 percent, while the -year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.56 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.57 percent.In a statement, Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said, “Purchase mortgage application demand saw the second highest weekly increase over the last year and thanks to a spike in refinancing activity, overall mortgage demand rose to the highest level since the fall of 2016.”Khater continued, “While the housing market has faced many headwinds the last few months, it sailed through the turbulence to calmer seas with demand buttressed by a strong labor market and low mortgage rates. The benefits of the decline in mortgage rates that we’ve seen this year will continue to unfold over the next few months due to the lag from changes in mortgage rates to market sentiment and ultimately home sales.”center_img Share Freddie Mac interest LendingTree Mortgage Rates Refinance sales 2019-04-09 Seth Welbornlast_img read more

Chilean blueberries fetched lower prices in 20181

first_img Chilean blueberries fetched lower prices in 2018-1 … Dalian Yidu chief wins visionary award at Global C … September 26 , 2018 Chilean kiwifruit production to drop this season … Chilean Pink Lady apple exports have exceeded 70,000 metric tons (MT), putting them 10,000MT higher than last year’s total and above pre-season expectations.Viveros Requínoa, which administers the brand licenses in Chile, said the 2018 campaign has overall been a positive one.”We are happy with the results obtained so far with Pink Lady and we estimate that we will have good returns for our growers,” said Maria Jesus Lira, the company’s head of development.Chile’s main Pink Lady importers are in Europe, which receives around two-thirds of exports. The main importing countries are Germany, the U.K. and France.center_img Pink Lady’s brand manager for South America, Andrés Alamos, said that one challenge this season has been a higher proportion of medium and small-sized fruit. This has made marketing a little more difficult as the programs requiring those sizes are limited, he said.He added that the campaign began to slow down around mid-August – by which time 70% of the fruit had been sold – as heavy volumes in parts of the EU resulted in oversupply, he explained.There are now 48 apple exporters in Chile with Pink Lady in their offering, and Lira said that this season there were double the number of inspectors checking the fruit than in previous seasons.Marketing activities of Pink Lady apples have also been increased in the domestic Chilean market this year.”We are doing strong promotions, activities and marketing campaigns through social media and the press so that people get to know the variety and in order to position Pink Lady as Chileans’ preferred apple,” Lira said. You might also be interested in Chile scores access to Chinese pear market …last_img read more

Children in a lowincome neighbourhood of Santo Do

first_imgChildren in a low-income neighbourhood of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, carry containers for water as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean Photograph: Ricardo Rojas/Reuters via The Guardian Hurricane Irma has already devastated Saint Maarten in the Caribbean, and flattened 90% of the island including the world-famous Juliana International Airport. The islands of Barbuda and Anguilla have also suffered severe damage, with the Turks and Caicos Islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Bahamas forecast to be hit on Thursday [local time].With the Category 5 Hurricane predicted to reach Florida and the south-eastern US states on Friday 8 September [local time] DFAT has updated its Smartraveller advice for travellers to the US.“US authorities warn that Hurricane Irma could also impact Florida and the south-eastern United States from around 8 September. A State of Emergency has been declared in Florida to prepare emergency services. Expect high winds, heavy rain and storm surges. Monitor local media reports and follow the instructions of local emergency officials. Disruptions to essential services may occur. Contact your airline or tour operator to check if tourist services have been affected.”Stay up to date with Irma’s progress over the weekend with The Guardian’s live blog CaribbeandfatFloridaHurricane IrmaSmartravellerlast_img read more

The Arizona Cardinals Steve Breaston isnt just s

first_imgThe Arizona Cardinals’ Steve Breaston isn’t just someone who writes great poetry, he’s also one of the most underrated players in the NFL according to ESPN’s John Clayton.Over the weekend Clayton penned a piece in which he put together an entire starting NFL roster of players who weren’t pro bowlers or first round picks. The roster was quite impressive considering the restrictions. It was especially interesting that Breaston was the team’s top wide receiver. 0 Comments   Share   What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaycenter_img Top Stories Steve Breaston of the Cardinals played in the shadow of Larry Fitzgerald, but he’s had 179 catches over the past three seasons.Most impressive is he caught 77 passes for 1,006 yards in 2008 as the third receiver behind Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.When you look at those numbers and consider what Breaston has done for the Cardinals while garnering very little attention, you have to have a new found respect for the wideout. He’s been fairly dominant over the last three years and has offered Fitzgerald some protection playing along side him.We’ll find out just how underrated Breaston truly is when the NFL lockout ends. He is a restricted free agent and how much the Cardinals are willing to pay to keep him will show how much the organization truly values him. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationlast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo – / 30 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 0 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img

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first_img Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Let’s look back at the biggest storylines and narratives for the pro sports teams in the Valley.5. D-backs’ skid follows record startRelated LinksD-backs lineup construction is like numbers floating over Lovullo’s headESPN’s Elhassan leans toward Doncic, doubts Ayton is generational talentCBS Sports sets over/under at five starts for Cardinals’ Rosen in 2018Entering the month with a 20-8 record, the Diamondbacks floundered behind empty offensive performances for much of May.Arizona went 8-19 to sit a game above .500 for the season heading into June, and the frustrations have spanned more beyond the batter’s box.Injuries to outfielders A.J. Pollock (thumb) in the middle of the month and Steven Souza Jr. (pectoral) a week later hurt. Starting pitcher Robbie Ray was already placed on the 10-day disabled list on April 30, leaving Arizona down two starters after Taijuan Walker’s season ended with a UCL injury in mid-April, and finding Ray’s replacement, Clay Buchholz, hasn’t been easy.Paul Goldschmidt’s season-long slump might have been broken up lately, yet he’s still slashing just .209/.326/.393 for the year.The highlight of the month? Maybe Souza Jr. getting into it with the Dodgers in an 8-5, 12-inning victory.4. Cardinals finally acquire a No. 2 cornerback2017: Tramon Williams.2016: Marcus Cooper2015: Jerraud Powers2014: Antonio Cromartie Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton poses for a portrait before the NBA basketball draft lottery Tuesday, May 15, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) May doesn’t usually go like this around these parts.The Phoenix Suns have never had a super favorable NBA Draft Lottery result until 2018. Their MLB counterparts, the Arizona Diamondbacks, tumbled despite entering the month on a tear.The Arizona Cardinals haven’t drafted a franchise quarterback and let him run the first-team offense with such promise since … alright, you get it.A lot happened in May. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img Top Stories But he feels his long NBA resume makes him an NBA coach through and through, and his connections to Phoenix — Kokoskov was a Phoenix assistant from 2008-2013 — and progressive offensive philosophies went over well considering the circumstances.2. Josh Rosen’s perception in Arizona — and out of itWhile Josh Rosen was drafted 10th overall by the Cardinals in April, it took until May for the weird narratives to unfold.An NFL evaluator anonymously told ESPN that nobody likes Rosen after a Browns executive publicly expressed an odd evaluation of the UCLA quarterback based on a conversation that he had with the Bruins’ volleyball team.Coaches, however, couldn’t praise him much more. Former Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Rosen has a shot to win the starting job and believes he’s the most NFL-ready rookie signal-caller, and former UCLA coach Jim Mora also expressed heaps of confidence in Rosen’s future.To the people it matters within the Cardinals’ organization, things lean in the same direction. First-year coach Steve Wilks, who has allowed Rosen to play with the first team with expected starter Sam Bradford taking it easy, has said it wouldn’t be a long shot for Rosen to challenge for the starting quarterback job. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 1. Lottery lands Suns atop NBA Draft orderNothing hit Arizona sports fans in like the Suns’ luck going the way of the odds.After putting together the worst season in the NBA, Phoenix earned a top NBA Draft selection via the lottery process, and now it’s a matter of the Suns deciding what to do with the pick.The majority of fans want general manager Ryan McDonough to keep the pick and select Arizona Wildcats product Deandre Ayton, but the center isn’t the only option. Slovenian wing Luka Doncic is potentially the next-best option.On top of it, the always-circulating NBA rumor-mill planted the thought of Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns hitting the trading block, joining apparently dissatisfied San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard there. Could the Suns have a shot at trading for either with the top overall pick, plus other assets? Let’s just say that those were some of the main cornerbacks who have played alongside Patrick Peterson over the last four seasons for the Arizona Cardinals. Not all of them even held down the job the entire year.That’s a thing of the past, at least in the dead months of this summer. General manager Steve Keim swung a trade to acquire cornerback Jamar Taylor from the Cleveland Browns at the cost of a 2020 sixth-round draft pick in mid-May.While his performance and health must stand up through the preseason and season, Taylor is under contract for two more years, making him unique compared to what the Cardinals’ corner options have been in a long time.3. Suns hire Igor Kokoskov as next head coachAn interview process that spanned two weeks after the end of the NBA season felt long.That’s because the Suns vetted a double-digit number of head coaching candidates to replace interim Jay Triano and former head man Earl Watson. They excited fans by meeting with big-name coaches like Mike Budenholzer and David Fizdale before ultimately landing with Igor Kokoskov. Historically, it was unique considering he is the first coach born and raised in Europe to get an NBA head coaching gig.last_img read more

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first_img 3 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Cardinals began the draft at the top by selecting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. They were done on Thursday from there but started Friday with the pick of Washington cornerback Byron Murphy at No. 33. They picked again in the second round after trading quarterback Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins for the 62nd pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick. With that selection, Arizona took wide receiver Andy Isabella out of UMass.Related LinksCardinals pick CB Byron Murphy with No. 33 pick of NFL DraftSteve Smith bashes Cardinals QB Josh Rosen over social media scrubKyler Murray introduced as the Arizona Cardinals’ first overall pickHistory helped Cardinals GM Keim fall in love with Kyler Murray“Zach Allen … was one of the players that I may have been most fond of during the evaluation process,” GM Steve Keim said. “This guy plays like his hair’s on fire, he’s relentless, he does different things from a pass-rusher standpoint that a lot of defensive ends and five techniques don’t do. So he’s a guy that not only brings the character that we’re looking for, but he brings the toughness and intensity that we’re looking for.”NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein described Allen’s strengths as football IQ, good initial burst and NFL-caliber strength at the point of attack. One of the weaknesses was relying on effort over athleticism.“He’s also one of those guys that maybe the way he tested athletically doesn’t really tell you what he is on the field like when you watch him on tape. He’s so talented with his hands and is a much better athlete than I think most people anticipate,” Keim said. The Arizona Cardinals selected Boston College pass-rusher Zach Allen to lead off the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.The 6-foot-4, 281-pound Allen recorded 61 tackles, 6.5 sacks and an interception as a senior last season. He also added seven passes defensed, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries with 15 tackles for loss.“Every snap you turn on, he is chasing the football,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “He plays his tail off every snap, and it’s a credit to just how he approaches the game. And that’s how he came across in the interview and through the draft process as one of those guys you want on your team, that’s he’s going to will himself into being a really good football player.” “They’re just going to get a versatile and very strong, athletic player,” Allen said. “Playing on the inside I can guard with speed and power, and playing on the outside, kind of do the same thing. And just play across that line. I feel like I have some pretty good technique right now. Obviously stuff has to improve, but just really excited to continue to learn and improve.”The Cardinals are expected to go back to a 3-4 defense under new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, switching from the 4-3 that ousted head coach Steve Wilks ran last year.“They said that five-technique in that 3-4. So I’m very comfortable with that. I played a lot of it in college,” Allen said. “And I’m just very excited to hopefully help the team and contribute there. But in college I played a lot of positions, and whatever they need me to play, gain weight, lose weight, whatever it be, special teams, sell popcorn, I’m willing to do it.”Barring further trades, Arizona has seven picks left to make on Saturday, kicking off rounds four, five and six, with an extra selection in the sixth round and three total in the seventh.Arizona Cardinals2019 Draft BoardRoundPick #PlayerPos.11Kyler MurrayQB21Byron MurphyCB230Andy IsabellaWR31Zach AllenDE41Hakeem ButlerWR51Deionte ThompsonS61KeeSean JohnsonWR66Lamont GaillardC734*Joshua MilesT735*Michael DogbeDE740*Caleb WilsonTE* = Compensatory Selection© STATS – 20192019 NFL DraftRound 1#TeamPlayerPos1K. MurrayQB2N. BosaDE3Q. WilliamsDT4C. FerrellDE5D. WhiteLB6D. JonesQB7J. AllenDE8T.J. HockensonTE9E. OliverDT10D. BushLB11J. WilliamsG12R. GaryDE13C. WilkinsDT14C. LindstromG15D. HaskinsQB16B. BurnsDE17D. LawrenceDT18G. BradburyC19J. SimmonsDT20N. FantTE21D. Savage, Jr.S22A. DillardT23T. HowardT24J. JacobsRB25M. BrownWR26M. SweatDE27J. AbramS28J. TilleryDT29L.J. CollierDE30D. BakerCB31K. McGaryT32N. HarryWR © STATS – 2019 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Zach Allen #2 of the Boston College Eagles sacks quarterback Jordan Travis #6 of the Louisville Cardinals during the fourth quarter of the game at Alumni Stadium on October 13, 2018 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) – / 52 Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Starwood Hotels Re

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has revealed details about the company’s efforts to tackle the issue of water sustainability. As part of the company’s overall strategy on water issues, including scarcity, flooding and quality, Starwood has set a system-wide water reduction goal, introduced new technology and dedicated on-property actions, offered conservation-focused guest programmes and joined with community partners.“Some say water is the new oil and, as we execute a global growth strategy, water is not only an environmental consideration, but also a potential business risk that impacts guests, properties and the communities where we operate,” said Ken Siegel, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Head of Global Citizenship at Starwood. “Starwood has to look beyond conservation and leverage innovation and partnerships to limit its environmental impact, support and enhance its local economies, and protect people and the planet, all while delivering an unmatched guest experience.”In July, Starwood announced that it was nearing its 20% water reduction goal by achieving a 17.26% decline in water consumption since 2008. The reduction follows the launch of Starwood’s 30/20 by 20 environmental goals in 2009, aimed to cut energy use by 30% and water use by 20% by 2020 globally.Please click here to watch a video about Starwood’s water story and click here to view a related infographic.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Sofitel Rome Villa Borg

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterSofitel Rome Villa Borghese will reopen on 1 July, unveiling extensive renovations by contemporary architect and interior designer, Jean-Philippe Nuel.Situated on a quiet street in the centre of Rome, this former 19th century Roman palazzo lies within walking distance of some of the city’s best-known cultural landmarks and parks, including the Trevi Fountain, Villa Medici and the Spanish Steps.Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese | LobbyThe hotel will offer 78 rooms and suites, with new larger suites, fitness centre and wellbeing program, as well as three large event rooms. Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese will also be home to Settimo, an elegant rooftop lounge and restaurant, offering panoramic views overlooking the picturesque Villa Borghese gardens and St. Peter’s Basilica.Jean Philippe Nuel’s chic redesigns will combine the heritage and classicism of ‘La Dolce Vita’, with the modernism and design of French ‘art de vivre’. The hotel entrance will feature a display of chromatic counterpoints and vibrant colours, creating a modern lounge with a classical feel. Guest rooms will also feature an iridescent ceiling masterpiece, creating the illusion of the bright sky above.Sofitel Rome Villa BorgheseThe hotel will feature a dedicated candle ritual, inspired by the lighting of the streets of Paris during the reign of Louis XIV, which provided citizens with a sense of welcoming and safety. At sunset, the hotel will light giant candles outside the entrance to welcome guests back from their evenings out touring the city, accompanied by atmospheric music.Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese BarPersonalised wellness and fitness therapies as part of the SofitelFIT Wellness Programme, as well as the Sofitel MyBed Sleep Menu, a signature in-room service, transform the bathroom into a private sanctuary with numerous options for relaxation. Guests can choose between two complimentary baths – a therapeutic Soothing Bath that invites a lazy soak with calming essential oils, or a Bubble Bath that injects fun into the bath time experience. Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese also provides guests with personalised bathrobes to add to the experience.Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese is now accepting reservations for stays from 1 July. Rooms start from £300 per night (excluding breakfast). For more information, click here.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

Related Fall Fun Skyscanners guide to the best A

first_img RelatedFall Fun: Skyscanner’s guide to the best Autumn colour spotsFall Fun: Skyscanner’s guide to the best Autumn colour spotsBargains of the Week: Malaga | Ljubljana | AmsterdamBargains of the Week: Malaga | Ljubljana | AmsterdamTrick or Treat? Skyscanner’s Halloween Holiday IdeasEvery week, Skyscanner scours the net to find the cheapest flights to the best events and destinations in Europe Every week, Skyscanner scours the net to find the cheapest flights to the best events and destinations in Europe. This week, we look at shoulder season deals.For most of the UK, this summer has been yet another wet, dull and fairly miserable one. Flooding seems to be annual event; rain our national emblem. But as we move into the post-summer shoulder season, we have the chance to find fewer crowds, cheaper flights and bargain accommodation, plus there’s still plenty of sun going around if you know where to look.Autumn RomanceLjubljana, Slovenia – still pleasantly warm well into autumn, grab a coffee and watch the green Ljubljanica river drift past in this most beautiful of central European cities. The atmosphere is one of style and sophistication and this city is thankfully yet to be invaded by UK stag groups. With its medieval castles, leafy streets and cafe cultured locals, there’s a strong air of romance in Ljubljana which still feels like a secret city.Travel:• get cheap flights from London to Ljubljana, prices start from £46 (return, including taxes)Autumn RelaxationBudapest, Hungary – as the nights draw in and the temperatures fall, why not get yourself into hot water in one of Budapest’s thermal bath pools? Famed for having the world’s finest Turkish baths (the Turks may disagree), you can relax in the hot H2O of decadent bathing houses, enjoy all manner of medical spa treatments and get beaten up by expert masseurs. Travel:• get cheap flights from London to Budapest, prices start from £63 (return, including taxes)• get cheap flights from Manchester to Budapest, prices start from £49 (return, including taxes)• get cheap flights from Bristol to Budapest, prices start from £53 (return, including taxes)Autumn ActivityAustrian Alps – Austria’s Tyrol region offers spiky mountain landscapes, culinary specialities and great hiking and biking. The lovely city of Innsbruck is the gateway to the Tyrol region and worthy of a visit in itself, but it’s the surrounding mountains that most come to see. With mountains over 3700m tall, be sure to pack your warm clothes, as snow can come early in Alps.Travel: • get cheap flights from London to Innsbruck, prices start from £53 (return, including taxes)• get cheap flights from Glasgow to Innsbruck, prices start from £108 (return, including taxes)Autumn Night LifeOktoberfest, Munich, Germany – the beach bars of the Med may be emptying, but there’s always a party going on somewhere. Munich’s Oktoberfest, which actually starts on the 20th of September, is a great place to enjoy beer, bratwurst and Bavaria’s beautiful barmaids. See Skyscanner’s guide to Oktoberfest for more tips.Travel: • get cheap flights from London to Munich, prices start from £80 (return, including taxes)• get cheap flights from Edinburgh to Munich, prices start from £49 (return, including taxes)• get cheap flights from Belfast to Munich, prices start from £64 (return, including taxes)Autumn Beach Boys (and girls)Hvar, Croatia – get all the sun and sand, without having to fight for beach space. Many of Europe’s beaches are still hot and dry in autumn and they’re much quieter too. Croatia’s Hvar Island is one of the most beautiful and lively beaches on the Adriatic, with several types of seafront including azure waters, white sands, rocky cliffs and even a nudist zone; don’t forget to wax.Travel:• get cheap flights from London to Split, prices start from £57 (return, including taxes)• get cheap flights from Glasgow to Split, prices start from £131 (return, including taxes)• get cheap flights from Birmingham to Split, prices start from £242 (return, including taxes)To view the most up to date flight prices as well as other flight routes visit: Skyscanner Flight Search.About SkyscannerSkyscanner is the most powerful and flexible flight search engine in Europe, which provides instant online comparison on prices for over 5000 flights on 180 airlines. With Skyscanner, users can browse without having to enter specific dates or airports, so you can go looking for the best bargains or just for travel inspiration.To EditorsFull permission is granted for this release to be reproduced in full or in part on the condition that Skyscanner.net is credited. All prices correct at time of writing. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more