first_img Image: Ivan Sekretarev AP/PA Images Image: Ivan Sekretarev AP/PA Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article RUSSIA’S SUPREME COURT issued a ruling today banning Jehovah’s Witnesses and seizing their property after the justice ministry called on it to dissolve the Christian group as an “extremist organisation”.Supreme Court judge Yury Ivanenko said Russia had decided to close down “the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the local organisations in its fold and turn their property over to Russia”.The decision comes after the ministry said it had found signs of “extremist activity” within the religious movement and requested that it be banned.“They represent a threat to the rights of the people, to public order and public safety,” Russian news agencies quoted justice ministry representative Svetlana Borisova as saying.The religious movement, which has 395 centres across Russia, has vowed to appeal the decision.“I’m shocked,” Yaroslav Sivulsky, who represents the group’s administrative centre, told reporters.I didn’t expect that this could be possible in modern Russia, where the constitution guarantees freedom of religious practice.Sivulsky added that the group would take its case to the European Court of Human Rights if its appeal was rejected.He said he feared that members of the group could face prosecution if they continued to gather and study the Bible.“We fear that people will end up in jail,” he said.‘Destructive sect’There are some 175,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, according to the group.The powerful Russian Orthodox Church has spoken out against the group, with one church official branding it a “destructive sect” last month.Members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – a Christian evangelical movement that was born in the United States in the 19th century – consider modern churches to have deviated from the Bible’s true teachings. They reject modern evolutionary theory and refuse blood transfusions.There are more than eight million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, with some countries classifying the group as a sect.Its members are known for preaching on doorsteps, where they offer religious literature and attempt to convert people.Russia’s Jehovah Witnesses have had several run-ins with law enforcement in recent years.In January, the leader of a congregation in the town of Dzerzhinsk in the central Nizhny Novgorod region was fined for distributing materials that authorities deemed extremist, local media reported.In 2004, Russia dissolved the Moscow branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2010 that the move had violated the right to freedom of religion and association.The Moscow branch at the time had been accused of breaking up families, inciting its members to suicide and endangering their lives and health by not allowing its members to have blood transfusions.© – AFP 2017Read: Two children who supposedly saw the Virgin Mary are to be made Saints by the PopeRead: ‘Free the weed’: Worldwide demos call for legalisation of cannabis Apr 20th 2017, 8:06 PM 16,058 Views Share Tweet Email2 By AFP 101 Comments Russia moves to ban ‘extremist’ Jehovah’s Witnesses by seizing group’s property The group said it would appeal the decision to the European Court of Human Rights. Short URL Thursday 20 Apr 2017, 8:06 PMlast_img read more

first_imgThe overall crime rate in Victoria has increased by 1.6 per cent in the last year, the second year resulting in an increase. Victoria police processed 12.2 percent more offenders in the 2012/13 year, with high increases in drug charges, family incident cases and deception cases. Leading the figures were family incident reports, with 60,829 submitted by police in the year, a 21.6 per cent increase. Chief Police Commissioner Ken Lay says the latest statistics showed the increase in crime against the person was still being primarily driven by a rise in family violence-related crime. “Offences arising from family violence incidents accounted for more than a third of all crime against the person offences over the past year,” he said. “We know that family violence related crime is significantly impacting on our crime statistics. Family violence related crime against the person has increased by nearly 400 per cent. This is mainly due to increase in assaults. “It’s alarming that such a high volume of crime is being committed in the home and that people are at risk in their own homes.” Also on the rise are drug charges, up by 12 per cent, and deception cases, including a 9.4 per cent increase in bicycle thefts and handling stolen goods up by 8 per cent. Senior Victorians are also being targeted, with people aged 60 and over seeing a 14.3 per cent rise in crime. Shadow Seniors Minister Jenny Mikakos attributed the rise to the Napthine government’s funding lapses. “He slashed $100 million from Victoria Police’s budget and sacked 400 staff members,” she said in a statement. Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said despite two consecutive years of crime rates increasing, the 2012/13 rate was still significantly lower than in past years. Over the last 10 years the crime rate has decreased by a total of 12 per cent (rates per 100,000 population). When looking at the raw numbers, the number of offences recorded has only increased by 1.9 per cent. Victoria police says its key concerns now remain on tackling drug cases, domestic violence and the continued use of knives during assaults. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Theoklitos Proestakis, a dentist from Greece, gave up his career to build a shelter for stray animals in Ierapetra, Crete and has single-handedly saved more than 200 dogs over the last three years. Theoklitos, 44, widely known as Takis, deeply saddened by the cruelty and atrocities against animals in Greece and especially his island, decided to launch Takis shelter and try to save as many strays as he could.Since the crisis began, many Greek families chose to abandon their dogs, after not being able to provide for them. “One day I went to the rubbish dump and I saw so many dogs lying there dead or helpless with broken legs, starving, so skinny and so sick and dying. It horrified me,” Takis explains.“I just wanted to help them, so I started looking after them, taking them food and water and I was so happy when I saw they started to get stronger.” Due to the lack of a neutering culture in the area, many puppies are being dumped in the wilderness and left to starve, if not killed or abused. Takis’ neighbours, however, started to get really angry with him and even threatened to kill the dogs as they were becoming a “nuisance”.He would often find dogs thrown out of cars, tied to fences and poles under extreme weather conditions. With the local authorities either unable or most of the times unwilling to help, Takis moved to the outskirts of the town and built the shelter with his life savings, paying from his own pocket to help neuter strays. “I am absolutely alone here at the shelter; I have no money, I had to sell my car, I had to sell my caravan, I have nothing. I had to borrow money.“I was ready to sell it a few months ago, because I couldn’t see how I could carry on,” he says.It wasn’t until Takis came across a dog named Fellnase that a turning point was signalled for Takis and his shelter. The animal had been brutally abused, skinned alive and left to die in the summer heat.“Since I uploaded the photos of the abused dog and the work that I had done to heal her, people all over the world have been offering to help,” he tells Neos Kosmos. “All the money comes from donations. Some 98 per cent of the donations come from outside Greece, mostly from Europe and the United States.”The dog shelter has expanded to cover an area of 5,200 square-metres and costs nearly €1,300 on a monthly basis just to feed the animals, not to mention an extra €700 for vet bills on top of that.Vets in Greece can’t afford to do anything for free, according to Takis, and even though he gets discounted rates it still costs €150 to neuter a female dog.“This is my life. It’s difficult but I love it,” Takis enthuses.“I work so hard here but when I see the dogs happy and enjoying themselves and learning to trust people again then it’s all worth it.’A fundraising site has recently been set up to save the shelter, feed and cater for the animals’ veterinary needs as well as pay for airport expenses for the dogs rehomed abroad.“My next move will be to finish the cat shelter I’m building and pay off everyone who has offered me their services in good faith.”last_img read more

first_imgYou’ve probably dealt with annoying airport security, and so has actor Michael Caine. His problems have gotten so bad that he’s changed his name… to Michael Caine. Most people (including airport security) are not aware that all this time Michael Caine was just a stage name. This is the most shocking twist since The Prestige.The 83 year-old legendary actor with such credits as The Dark Knight and Inception was born Maurice Micklewhite. Until recently, that’s what his passport said. He started using the name Michael Caine in 1954 as a London stage actor. It’s quite common for actors to use stage names. They might even go through a few of them before one sticks. Caine first acted as “Michael Scott” in Sussex, but upon moving to London he found there was another Michael Scott already acting. That’s when he became Michael Caine.Yup, that sure is Michael Caine.Like many actors, Caine never bothered to change his legal name to his stage name. However, recent tightening in airport security caused him to have a change of heart. You can’t just walk onto a plane anymore.As Caine tells it, airport security workers would almost always recognize him. They would naturally expect his passport to say Michael Caine, but instead it would say Maurice Micklewhite. That caused a lot of confusion and secondary screening. Rather than stand there for an hour each time while security got its ducks in a row, Caine opted to make his legal name Michael Caine to match the expectations of his adoring fans in airport security. All is now right in the universe.last_img read more

first_img Categories: Local San Diego News, Trending FacebookTwitter Sasha Foo, Court asks government to present plan for family reunification Updated: 2:56 PM Posted: July 13, 2018center_img Sasha Foo 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The federal judge in San Diego who set up deadlines for the reunification of immigrant families says he needs more details from the government about its next steps.On Friday, the Trump Administration was supposed to show the judge how it plans to reunify thousands of children who were separated from their families at the border.U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to reunite 103 children under the age of 5 with their parts by the deadline of July 10.On Thursday, the government said that 58 children had been reunited, but other children were still waiting to be reunited. The government said 22 were ruled out for reunifications, because their parents had serious criminal histories.At Friday’s status hearing, Judge Sabraw who imposed a series of deadlines for the Administration said he wanted to see the government’s plan for reuniting the other children between the ages of 5 and 17.In total, it’s estimated that the government has 3,000 children in federal custody. The attorney for the Department of Justice told the judge that the plan was not ready to be presented yet.Sabraw said he would wait for a written submission and review the plan with attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union in a court hearing on Monday. Last month, the ACLU had asked for a preliminary injunction that resulted in the judge’s order to reunify all the immigrant families who were separated under the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.To ensure that the government adheres to the court’s timetable, the ACLU asked Judge Sabraw to impose additional measures, including handing over detailed data about all the remaining children, keeping to a stricter schedule of progress reports for the court and reimbursing families for the costs of traveling to meet their children.On Monday, the judge also expects the government to deliver the names and locations of all the children and separated parents who are in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. July 13, 2018last_img read more

first_imgVietnam’s tax on gaming currently stands as high as 35%, meaning “not so many operators will come to Vietnam,” Professor Vinh said.The bill, intended to ease fiscal pressure on operators by creating a special regime linked to certain development zones, has been delayed since last year due to political opposition. Strong VIP growth sees Okada Manila GGR climb 72% in August Lack of premium mass strategy begs questions of SJM’s Grand Lisboa Palace launch: analysts RelatedPosts New Chief Executive vows to protect Macau’s gaming and tourism industry from harmcenter_img Silver Heritage Meanwhile, Professor Augustine made public on Thursday the fact that Silver Heritage Group’s Vietnam casino, Phoenix International Club, was shut down earlier this month because the Australian-listed company was running gaming tables under a license that only allowed it to operate electronic gaming machines.Silver Heritage conveyed similar information to Inside Asian Gaming in conversations at the time, stating that the company put its hand up to regional authorities as soon as it learned of the licensing issue.According to Professor Augustine, Silver Heritage could look for compensation in the Vietnam courts.Vietnam divides licenses into three tiers: hotels, sport betting and gaming lounges. The casino at Phoenix International Club was allegedly operating under the gaming lounge tier which allows only for electronic gaming such as slot machines. A bill to reform gaming taxes in Vietnam’s special economic zones remains on hold and is unlikely to be passed anytime soon, according to Professor Augustine Ha Ton Vinh.Speaking on a panel at iGaming Asia Congress at Macau’s Studio City on Thursday, Professor Augustine warned that the impasse could discourage new operators from entering the market. The legislation is seen as key to attracting foreign investment in large tourism and hospitality projects such as integrated resorts. Load Morelast_img read more

first_imgUPDATE: A 15-year-old male has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a biker on the Chester Creek Trail on Monday morning with a thick stick. An APD press release says was identified by school resource officers and police officers. The suspect had skipped school that day with his older brother and a friend. No charges have been brought against the other two teens. The victim will undergo surgery for his facial injuries.Original Post: A man biking to work along the Chester Creek trail near the Goose Lake overpass was assaulted by a group of three young men on Monday morning.APD reports that one of the youth was using a five-foot-long branch as a walking stick. As the biker passed him, he swung the branch and hit the biker in the face. The biker crashed, and the group of three men walked away toward East High School. The stick broke the victim’s nose and eye socket and fractured his skull.APD spokesperson Anita Shell says it was a completely random act of violence. The group did not speak to the victim nor try to steal anything. She says she does not know if this was linked to the stabbing of a young woman in late March because that victim never saw her attacker.Shell says they are seeking more information. The Monday morning attacker was described as about 15-years-old with short hair, medium build, and medium-brown skin tone. One of his companions was about 17 with short hair and curls on the top.last_img read more

first_imgFacebook has taken action against alt-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, suspending the Infowars founder for 30 days from the platform citing violations of its policies against hate speech and bullying.According to Facebook, the company received reports related to four different videos on the pages that Infowars and Alex Jones maintain on Facebook. On Thursday, it removed the videos after reviewing them.Facebook’s move comes after YouTube also pulled down four Infowars videos, citing similar violations. YouTube’s “strike” against Infowars means it is banned from live-streaming on the platform for 90 days. (Note that Facebook suspended Jones’ personal posting privileges but not the official Infowars account, which is followed by 915,000 users and continues to post material.)In two of the Infowars videos in question, Jones asserted Muslims were taking over control of European countries. Another video, titled “How To Prevent Liberalism,” depicted a man shoving a young boy to the ground, while in the fourth video Jones compared the creators of a show featuring animated drag queens to Satanists. “Our community standards make it clear that we prohibit content that encourages physical harm (bullying), or attacks someone based on their religious affiliation or gender identity (hate speech),” Facebook said in a statement.Facebook had previously notified Jones that he had violated the platform’s policies multiple times and warned him that another violation would result in a 30-day suspension.In responding to inquiries about Infowars previously, Facebook has maintained that the outlet did not run afoul of its community standards. On Wednesday, Facebook execs were grilled at the Television Critics Association event about why Infowars was included in the Facebook Watch section. In response, Facebook VP of product Fidji Simo said, “I find Infowars absolutely atrocious. That being said, we have the hard job of trying to find a sense of balance between freedom of expression and safety.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more

first_imgThe wait for Half-Life 3 continues, but it’s made that much easier by the fact there’s quite a bit of high quality content appearing for the existing Half-Life games. The most high profile of those is the total conversion remake of Half-Life called Black Mesa, but today Valve is releasing a mod for Half-Life 2 called Minerva that you’ve probably never played even though it’s 6 years old.Minerva is a single-player mod for Half-Life 2 that is free to play as long as you have Episode One installed. It was originally released by Adam Foster back in 2007, and turned out to be so good Valve offered him a job.Six years later and Valve has decided to give the mod an official release through Steam. It will remain free, but has been updated to remove bugs and add a new layer of polish, including better visuals and puzzles to solve. Basically, if you want a new single-player experience for Half-Life 2, that’s what you’ll be getting for free later today.Foster created Minerva as a follow on to his Half-Life and then Half-Life 2 map Someplace Else. It’s a story-based mod with progression achieved through radio messages from a female character named Minerva. Foster put a lot of emphasis on environment design, wanting to create something natural that later had gameplay added to it. The result is relatively open environments and multiple routes through each area.The fact it’s free to download, grabbed Valve’s attention to the point of offering its creator a job, and now gets an official release through Steam, suggests this is well worth your time to play.last_img read more

first_imgLuxury Gold ramps up bespoke journeys with dedicated department TORONTO — Customized bookings are on the rise for The Travel Corporation’s Luxury Gold, prompting the upscale brand to add a new Group Travel and Bespoke Journeys team.The designated department will focus on customizing experiences for individuals, small groups or groups of 20 and more.The addition of the new team allows the brand to heighten its focus on offering exclusive itineraries for special groups and Bespoke Journeys to any guest, says Luxury Gold President Brad Ford.“We are very pleased to improve our premium offering for our loyal agents, allowing them to customize journeys and enhance the experiences offered to clients,” says Ford. “Our Group Travel and Bespoke Journeys Department will serve to allow agents and clients alike, to accommodate a variety of needs and interests. Our hope is to offer the most memorable experiences and ensure that guests leave their destinations feeling completely satisfied and accomplished.”Clients and travel agents can now create their own tailor-made Fully Independent Travel (FIT) holidays in Greece which is a new destination offered this year, as well as Ireland, Scotland and Africa, he adds.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North AmericaAgents can use the new department to develop customized journeys to attract groups of clients or vice versa – clients can approach agents requesting specialized itineraries.A sample itinerary of a Bespoke Journey to Greece put together this year, ‘Greek Delight including Athens, Mykonos and Santorini’, included leisure time in Athens with local knowledge and a private city tour from their Local Expert, and an overnight at hotels including the King George or Electra Metropoleos. There was also a dinner at a Michelin-listed restaurant located on a rooftop overlooking the Acropolis and the city below. Other highlights included Mykonos’ beaches, a grand feast with dishes following authentic family Greek recipes in a traditional Mykonian home, a trip to Santorini by high speed ferry in business class. Guests also had the option to visit Akrotiri, a Bronze Age settlement destroyed by a huge eruption during the 17th century BC, burying the city under volcanic ash and preserving the whole city in excellent condition – with their Local Expert and a private tour.More news:  War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upFor more information on Luxury Gold agents are asked to contact their local Sales Manager or see Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Luxury Goldcenter_img Posted by Wednesday, October 10, 2018 Travelweek Group last_img read more

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H Qantas is facing industrial action on two fronts Around 1,600 aircraft engineers at Qantas will put down their tools at 10am on Friday for exactly one minute as part of an ongoing industrial dispute about wages and conditions.Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association (ALAEA) federal secretary Steve Purvinas said the “small token stand” must occur in order to validate its original ballot for Protected Industrial Action before it expires on July 22 and would not inconvenience passengers.  “If we take action, the campaign can continue indefinitely until an outcome is achieved,” Mr Purvinas commented.“This may seem strange or a waste of time however it has been designed to head off one legal avenue that the company may have chosen to exercise.”Meanwhile, two Qantas engineers from Perth have received advice from the union to repair planes for one week from this Friday using their left hands only.”The use of screwdrivers and spanners will be accomplished using the left hand only,” the union advised Qantas in a letter to its industrial relations manager, the Age reported.According to the newspaper, a Qantas spokesperson labelled the tactics “bizarre” and said it had the “potential to be a safety issue”.“If all 1600 Qantas aircraft maintenance engineers only used their left hand to maintain our aircraft this would be a safety risk,” the airline said.  Calling Qantas’ response “ridiculous”, Mr Purvinas said the action by the two engineers would have “no impact on safety at all”.“Both engineers have been aircraft engineers for over 30 years, so I think they’re more than capable of carrying out their work with their left or right hand,” Mr Purvinas said.“Qantas is just being ridiculous over two engineers … carrying out their work like this – it might take them three seconds longer to do up a screw.” The latest news follows an announcement earlier in the week by the Qantas pilots’ union that 94 per cent of its members had voted in favour of taking industrial action against the airline.last_img read more

first_imgMercure Sydney International Airport rebrands to NovotelMercure Sydney International Airport rebrands to NovotelFrom today, 1 April 2019, Mercure Sydney International Airport will rebrand to Novotel Sydney International Airport, following the completion of a multi-million dollar refresh.Situated just 1km from Sydney’s Airport precinct, the popular hotel amongst frequent business flyers and leisure guests will continue to operate under the Accor banner of internationally recognised midscale brand Novotel.Novotel branded hotels around the globe are known for providing a multi-service offering for both business and leisure guests, with spacious, modular rooms, 24/7 catering, balanced meals, meeting rooms, attentive and proactive staff, child-friendly spaces, a multi-purpose lobby and fitness centres.General Manager Novotel Sydney International Airport, Zayne Boon, said: “We’re delighted to continue to operate this hotel under the Novotel brand. Novotel resonates so well across the globe and is an instantly recognisable name in the mid-scale hotel space, known for its multi-service offering with the versatility to cater to our loyal business and leisure guests.“In conjunction with an extensive renovation, we saw an opportunity to further leverage the Novotel brand’s presence around the Sydney Airport precinct, and we are excited to welcome guests and showcase the refreshed hotel from today.”Working closely with WMK Architects, the hotel’s recent multi-million dollar refresh has seen an upgrade to the lobby, guestrooms and grand ballroom. Guest rooms are enhanced with block out curtains and double-glazed windows to help provide a good night’s rest for travellers.The new design incorporates a botanical theme throughout with contemporary, vibrant elements utilising wooden accents, botanical wallpaper and pops of colour. The hotel’s restaurant and bar concept will be reimagined with a new menu to launch in coming weeks that will feature a paddock to plate philosophy with an emphasis on supporting local Australian producers.Meetings and events have not been forgotten with the grand ballroom, which accommodates up to 400 delegates, also receiving a makeover. Providing vehicular access, operable walls and flexible arrangements, the grand ballroom can accommodate all types of occasions from business conferences to social events. Meetings at Novotel will feature the InBalance theme, which aims to leave each guest with a calm and motivated attitude. InBalance offers a range of health benefits for delegates, created in conjunction with Novotel’s Wellness Ambassador, Sally Fitzgibbons.Ensuring the family market is well catered for, the hotel’s Family Suites are spacious in size and boast picturesque views of the airport and surrounding parklands. Comfortably sleeping five people, the family suites have been transformed and boast new furnishings and bedding packages.Located just minutes from the International Terminal, Novotel Sydney International Airport offers guests a full suite of activities designed to banish jetlag –  including bushwalking in the Wolli Creek Valley, Cooks River and parklands just opposite the hotel and Kogarah Golf Course. Now, with its new look and name the hotel provides an even more appealing layover for travellers in and out of Sydney.With ample car parking onsite, the hotel is the ideal base for travellers who need to drive a distance to reach the airport. With special stay, park and fly packages available, it makes travelling interstate or overseas even more convenient and affordable.Celebrating its new name and new look, Novotel Sydney International Airport is offering guests $25 off each night and $1 breakfast for stays from now through to January 31, 2020 when booked direct at before August 30, 2019*.To take full advantage of the offer, guests can join AccorHotels’ award-winning loyalty program Le Club AccorHotels. Membership is free, visit and start earning points towards future hotel stays and other great rewards including advance access to future sales.Loyalty members of Accor Plus will benefit from their extra 10 percent discount, saving even more on their next hotel and resort stay. Accor Plus is AccorHotels’ paid subscription lifestyle program which offers significant discounts on dining and accommodation, plus exclusive member events and offers throughout the year. To join this program visit*Reservations are subject to availability and conditions apply. For further information on Novotel Sydney International Airport, visit Source = AccorHotelslast_img read more

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule (TRID) have been in effect since October 3, 2015, and despite the expected stumbles here and there, the rule has not caused any major catastrophes in the mortgage industry—just yet.A bill introduced to ease the pressure of the new regulation, known as the Homebuyers Assistance Act (H.R. 3192), provides the mortgage industry with a grace period through February 1, 2016, by protecting them from enforcement actions if they make a good faith effort to comply with the TRID regulation.Rep. French Hill (R-Arkansas), sponsor of the bill, noted that the legislation was brought about to allow for more clarity on the CFPB’s TRID rule.In addition, co-sponsor of the bill, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California) stated, “the bill would help ensure access to mortgage credit during the hold-harmless period because it would allow small lenders to work toward full compliance without penalty.”The bill passed in House of Representatives (303-121) just shortly after TRID took effect in October, but has yet to reach the Senate.The White House has already stated that is does not support the TRID grace period legislation and even threatened to veto the Homebuyers Assistance Act, according to a Statement of Administrative Policy”The CFPB has already clearly stated that initial examinations will evaluate good faith efforts by lenders. The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3192, as it would unnecessarily delay implementation of important consumer protections designed to eradicate opaque lending practices that contribute to risky mortgages, hurt homeowners by removing the private right of action for violations, and undercut the Nation’s financial stability,” the White House wrote.”If the President were presented with H.R. 3192, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”In an effort to move the bill along, a group of House members submitted a letter to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Roger to tack the bill onto any year-end legislation. This is expected to give the bill a better chance of passing.The letter stated: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Homebuyers Assistance Act TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures 2015-12-04 Staff Writer Lawmakers Urge TRID Grace Period Before New Year December 4, 2015 640 Views center_img Click here to read the full letter. “The provisions in H.R. 3192 no way delay the implementation of TRID or shield any wrongdoers from legal recourse or penalties—it simply provides a temporary safe harbor for those making a good-faith effort to comply with a very complex rule.””We respectfully request that the financial regulatory relief language, such as that included in the FY 2016 Senate Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, be modified to reflect the provisions of H.R. 3192 and included in any year-end legislation to provide certainty to the real estate industry and help prevent further costly market disruptions and delays for American homebuyers.” Sharelast_img read more

first_img CFPB Conservatorship Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac GSEs HOUSING Housing Finance System Milken Institute 2019-01-09 Radhika Ojha How can the housing finance system be reformed in the absence of legislation? A new report by The Milken Institute sets out to answer this question, by building upon the progress that has been made towards a safer housing finance system through the conservatorship of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) under the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).Titled, “A Blueprint for Administrative Reform of the Housing Finance System,” the report makes a case for why the government must avoid releasing the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from conservatorship without fixing some of the flaws in their charter. The report’s authors, Eric Kaplan, Michael Stegman, Phillip Swagel, and Theodore Tozer outline actions that can address some of the challenges related to legislative action to set the stage for further reform that “includes changes to the GSE charters.””Ending the conservatorship without further reforms would preserve flaws that allow the GSEs to privatize profits and socialize losses,” said co-author Eric Kaplan, Director of Housing Finance Policy at the Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets. “Implementing our recommendations would help strengthen the housing finance system and pave the way for bipartisan legislation putting in place the last piece of the housing finance reform puzzle.”The report argues that the GSEs’ post-crisis success has occurred under the protected “duopolistic status that impedes entry and competition, unparalleled access to capital with government backing,” and due to the strong economic environment that reflects historically low delinquencies.Some of the actions recommended by the report include greater transparency into and FHFA oversight of GSE activities, more risk-based pricing combined with explicit affordable housing subsidies, and finalizing a GSE capital rule that supports a housing finance system that is “driven by private capital that can survive future downturns and maintain liquidity for creditworthy borrowers throughout the economic cycle.”The report also made recommendations for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). They include actions for CFPB on the ability to repay/qualified mortgage rule and facilitating innovation while maintaining consumer protection.Click here to read the full report. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News January 9, 2019 1,176 Views center_img Reforming Flaws in the GSEs’ Charters Sharelast_img read more

first_img Actress Jodie Whittaker poses for a photograph in Toronto on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. Whittaker became the first female to be featured as The Doctor in the 11th series of Doctor Who. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette Q&A: Jodie Whittaker, the newest Doctor Who, on joining the illustrious ‘family’ TORONTO – Jodie Whittaker says she’s breathing a sigh of relief now that viewers have warmly welcomed her as the latest Doctor Who.The British actress waited for premiere episode’s ratings to roll in earlier this month before she celebrated. At first, she wasn’t sure what to make of them.“It isn’t until everyone tells you, ‘Oh this is really good,’ that you’re like, ‘I can chill out now,’” Whittaker said in an interview.“There was a very big beam on a lot of people’s faces.”Perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise that many Doctor Who fans — affectionately known as Whovians — would be stoked to see an actress step into the shoes of the illustrious character. But in the U.K. the figures suggested far more than typical fans were on board.The show pulled in a staggering 8.2 million viewers on its first night — numbers it hasn’t seen in a decade for the debut of a new Doctor.“Doctor Who,” which airs in Canada on Space, saw its initial ratings rise 53 per cent over the previous season on Sunday. A total of 658,000 watched the show across various platforms, according to figures supplied by Bell Media.“It isn’t just the wonderful fandom that have got behind it,” Whittaker said, “but it suggests from the figures that there’s potentially new fans, which is the thing of dreams.”Whittaker spoke to The Canadian Press about the pressure of playing the iconic role and the thrill of joining a pop culture conversation about gender.CP: When you were announced as the first actress to play Doctor Who it led to heated debates in some circles over whether it was right to change the character’s gender. How did you feel about what was being said?Whittaker: It’s just not an argument to me. To suggest the thing that makes me unqualified to play an alien with two hearts is the fact that I’m a woman, I don’t really see the response. It’s just a bit daft. I understand the moment of gender, and I understand the moment of casting a woman is something to be talked about, something to be celebrated, but to suggest it ruins “Doctor Who” to me is a misunderstanding of what the show represents.CP: Now that you’re encountering “Doctor Who” fans in public, have you had any memorable experiences?Whittaker: There was recently a guy who spoke at New York Comic Con during the fan questions… he didn’t want to ask a question, he just wanted to share that, as a father, he felt it was a very important time that his kids had different people to look up to. That makes my eyes fill up and gets me very overwhelmed.CP: Did you know much about the world of Doctor Who before taking on the role? You played opposite David Tennant, a former Doctor himself, on the series “Broadchurch.”Whittaker: Obviously being British, even myself who didn’t grow up in a house where it was on, you’re aware of it and the terminology. Coming into contact with it happened later when I became an actor — and certainly when I was working with David Tennant on “Broadchurch.” He’d not been the Doctor for a few years then, but still wherever we went there were so many fans absolutely beside themselves seeing him. To know that once you’re a part of this family you’re never kicked out, that’s an absolute joy.CP: Did you spend a lot of time diving into the Whovian lore?Whittaker: I did a lot of reading rather than watching. I obviously had seen it. I’d never watched an entire season, so I just approached it in the sense (of) would I, if I was about to play Lady Macbeth, go watch the most recent production of Macbeth? I don’t think I would. From Chris Chibnall (the lead writer of the series) I was reading a heck of a lot of consolidated information. In a way, what he sent me was an encyclopedic dictionary of everything that is the folklore of it, the mythology of it. What I felt was important was to bring my perspective because the brilliant thing about Doctor Who is the celebration of change, of regeneration.CP: Is there something in particular that you want to achieve before you ultimately hand the reins over to the next Doctor in a few years?Whittaker: It’s a big question. I think what I want to achieve is the exploration of this extraordinary character in its fullest and its richest. What I don’t want to end with is a sense of caution and regret that I didn’t try something or didn’t throw myself wholeheartedly into it. I’ll know that I’m handing that baton on to someone else who’s going to have the time of their life.— This interview has been edited and condensed.Follow @dfriend on Twitter.center_img by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Oct 12, 2018 7:29 am PDT Last Updated Oct 12, 2018 at 8:01 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

first_imgMedicines in Cyprus are still among the most expensive in Europe, but though this has been known for some time no remedial action is being taken, MPs heard on Thursday.The House watchdog committee was being briefed on a report prepared by the auditor-general which found that for the 100 most commonly prescribed medicines in the private sector, Cyprus was the fourth most expensive country compared to Germany, England, France, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Italy, Norway, Denmark and Greece.What’s more, when adjusted for purchasing power parity, the pharmaceuticals in Cyprus cost more than in the 10 other countries.The same went for the 22 priciest medicines prescribed in the public sector.Health minister Giorgos Pamboridis briefly attended the watchdog committee, but then left to join the health committee that was discussing another matter.The minister later declined comment on the findings, saying he would issue an announcement in about 10 days’ time.The minister’s conduct irked Citizens Alliance MP Pavlos Mylonas, who walked out of the session in protest.“The minister was present for only 10 minutes and then left…these committee sessions have become a travesty, when the officials responsible cannot give us answers or engage in an in-depth discussion,” Mylonas told reporters.In his report, the auditor-general noted the lack of competition in tenders to procure medicines.Disy MP Annita Demetriou said there was considerable scope for cutting prices. One way would be to decrease the commission (currently 37 per cent) given to pharmacists.For the umpteenth time, lawmakers criticized the formula by which medicine prices are calculated in Cyprus.Akel deputy Irini Charalambidou lambasted authorities for failing to address the composition of the committee that monitors the prices of pharmaceuticals.An earlier report by an LSE professor found there was potential for conflict of interest on the committee, as some of its members are from the private sector.Charalambidou said that, acting on that report’s recommendations, former health minister Philippos Patsali had drafted a bill aimed at addressing this particular matter.But for some reason, she added, his successor Pamboridis withdrew the bill on December 8, 2015.A day earlier, Charalambidou claimed, Pamboridis had a meeting with the Association of Pharmaceutical Companies. You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Greggs is truly on top for the 2018 festive season – not only has the company stepped up its marketing and brought out the festive bakes earlier, How Family Therapy Makes Us Older and Wiser And also more or less the same Pop Chart For the Record Donald Trumps Confidence Game Has Been Years In the Making He has the con mans ability to embed nuggets of truth in a welter of lies Review: The Boss Demotes Melissa McCarthy Crude gags mingle with squishy underdeveloped messages in the new comedy Get Schooled on Veggie Prep Kerry Washington Makes Anita Hill Human in HBOs Confirmation Zaha Hadid Trailblazing architect Saudi Arabias Attempt to Break Its Addiction to Oil War and Rape The most shameful consequence of conflict comes out into the open Milestones Anita Hill on Confirmation What Joe Biden Did Wrong and the Clintons The professor who is played by Kerry Washington in a new HBO film talks about Clarence Thomas and the progression of women’s rights Contact us at editors@timecomSurviving cancer is a milestone every patient wants to reach but waiting to hear if the cancer has recurred is its own nightmare In 2010 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and even though my chemotherapy was a success my anxiety made me a mess I was approaching the two-year mark of being cancer-free (most recurrences happen within two years) and my anxiety was increasing Waiting to hit that two year anniversary was even more stressful than the chemotherapy had been I would lie awake at night overcome with dread When I feel anxious I overeat and this time was no different I was eating compulsively and gaining weight Thats when one of my doctors told me about a study at NYU: people with cancer-related anxiety and depression could receive a single dose of psilocybin the mind-altering drug that comes from psychedelic mushrooms Though I had experienced a bad trip in college with a synthetic version of mescaline I was assured that the clinical trial was closely monitored and safe This was about four years ago and I jumped at the chance On the morning of the trial I took the capsule of psilocybin and sat down on the sofa at NYU It was a peaceful room and I picked up an art book to browse through There was a fifty-fifty chance that the dose I’d been given was a placebo but it soon became clear that I’d taken the real thing When I felt the drug start to kick in I put a sleep mask over my eyes headphones on my ears and lay down At first it was terrifying as though I were tumbling through space or on a ship in a stormy sea But then I remembered that the researchers were right there next to me I stuck my hand out from under the blanket and said "Im so scared" One of the doctors took my hand and said "Just go with it" I let myself go and suddenly I saw my fear It was a black mass inside my body I felt a volcanic anger toward my fear and I screamed "Get the f-ck out I wont be eaten alive"As soon as I screamed at it the black mass of fear disappeared I began to feel like I was floating in the instrumental music playing from the headphones I had on and I started to feel love I felt like I was being bathed in love and it was overwhelming amazing wonderful I kept floating and floating Several hours later I became aware of people talking softly and the crinkling of paper One of the researchers was unwrapping a piece of chocolate for me I knew immediately that I had changed The feeling of immense love lingered for weeks and four years later I still feel it at times My fear and anxiety were completely removed and they haven’t come back Im an ice skating instructor and the day after getting the drug I had one of my best lessons ever A student who usually clings to my side let go of my hand and skated on her own as if my new confidence and peace of mind were communicated to her The experience changed how I wanted to live my life I used to get up grab a quick snack and eat it in the car But I no longer want to be in a hurry Now I get up an hour early make a real breakfast and read my paper I have made new friends and reestablished old contacts I used to imagine what it would be like if the cancer recurred but I dont think about it the same way any more When I don’t feel well and thoughts of a recurrence creep into my mind I lack fear and simply think "Lets just see what happens" Dinah Bazer is a former IT professional who has been teaching ice skating since 2002 She lives in Brooklyn NY with her husband and has two adult daughters Contact us at editors@timecom which enjoins separation of powers and independence of the legislature. and if they have a hot dog or a bun.

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