Botanicalinspired West Hotel Sydney opens near up

first_imgSource = Curio Collection by Hilton Botanical-inspired West Hotel Sydney opens near upBotanical-inspired West Hotel Sydney opens near upLocated in Sydney’s central business district and next to the new waterfront leisure and commercial Barangaroo precinct, West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection by Hilton resides in the ideal location for travellers. This property marks the first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in Australia. The 182-room new build hotel will be managed by Hilton (NYSE: HLT), under a management agreement with M&L Hospitality.“Opening the first Curio Collection hotel in Australia is a very exciting milestone for us,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “Being such a culturally rich city and the capital of New South Wales, Sydney is the perfect location to add to our growing global collection, which now boasts nearly 50 hotels. West Hotel will offer curious travellers seeking an authentic, memorable travel experience the ideal base to discover Sydney.”Designed by Australian Architecture firm Fitzpatrick and Partners, with interiors by Woods Bagot, the hotel has a modern classic design theme, featuring deep tones with marble and brass accents. A strong botanical theme runs throughout the hotel, most evident in the beautiful open-air garden atrium and white waratah motif in the lobby.The property features 182 stylish guest rooms, including four spacious suites. Each room is equipped with Bluetooth-enabled audio visual technology and an open work area, with suites offering a separate sleek living area. The hotel also features a fully equipped gym and a private meeting/dining room.Contributing to the lively Sydney dining scene is the on-property restaurant Solander Dining and Bar. Named after the first fleet botanist who arrived in Australia from England and helped discover several plant types, Daniel Solander, the restaurant and bar offer a modern Australian all-day dining experience with a focus on seasonal and botanical produce. Leading the Solander team is executive chef David Vandenabeele who joins the hotel after working as the head chef at a leading hotel in New York. David’s food philosophy is to select the highest quality ingredients to create dishes that are nourishing and mindful of food origins.Jane Lyons, general manager, West Hotel Sydney said, “Our motivated and engaged team members very much look forward to welcoming guests to West Hotel, providing them with exceptional experiences that exude the distinctive spirit of Sydney, and offering them all the hallmarks of Hilton hospitality as part of the Curio Collection.”West Hotel is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app and to unique events through the Hilton Honors auction platform, such as exclusive artist experiences and hotel concert events with Live Nation®, or race experiences with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team.last_img read more

Amazing Colours of the East come alive for Thailand Travel Mart 2018

first_imgA Nature Trail Boardwalk in Kung Krabaen Bay, Royal Development Study Centre, ChanthaburiAmazing ‘Colours of the East’ come alive for Thailand Travel Mart 2018Attractions in Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat showcase regional diversity and Thai local experiencesThe Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) Amazing Gateway to the Greater Mekong Subregion, scheduled for the first time at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Pattaya from 13 to 15 June 2018, invites participants to discover the region’s Amazing ‘Colours of the East’ in the coastal city and beyond.While Pattaya remains the gateway to Thailand’s Eastern Region, its continued popularity strengthens its reputation as the region’s pre-eminent travel hub, there is also much to explore in neighbouring provinces that opens visitors to exciting new Thai local experiences.There are many superb attractions in Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat provinces that are best viewed through the prism of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s latest marketing concept of Amazing Thailand’s ‘Open to the New Shades’ highlighting a kaleidoscope of colour through five distinct travel segments.These five main travel sectors include: Gastronomy, Arts and Crafts, Thai Culture, Nature and Thai Way of Life.RayongIn Rayong, visitors can spend time at one of the many orchards that dot the countryside, stopping to pick and taste various kinds of fresh tropical fruits including delicious treats; such as, durian, mango, mangosteen and rambutan. The hairy red fruit of rambutan looks more like something out of a fairytale than anything grown in real life. But while this fruit may seem exotic to some, they’re a common snack throughout Thailand and especially around the country’s Eastern Region. Durians, on the other hand, which hang improbably from the trees like fruity cannonballs, are sought after by connoisseurs all over Southeast Asia and China.In addition to fruit orchards, Rayong also offers numerous quaint seaside fishing villages, Mae Rumphueng Beach, Sunthon Phu Monument, Khao Laem Ya-Mu and Ko Samet National Park, Ko Kloi Floating Market and Thung Prong Thong to name just a few of the province’s many attractions.Tung Prong Thong mangrove field located at Paknam Prasae, RayongChanthaburiCulturally eclectic Chanthaburi remains home to large Chinese, Khmer and Vietnamese communities and was also influenced by the French, who ruled the area from 1893 to 1905. This mixed heritage is evident in both the food and architecture that line the city’s narrow streets, and an exploration of the labyrinth of lanes is perhaps the most fascinating way to get a sense for the diversity of Chanthaburi.A stroll through the Chanthaboon Riverside Community is a must for culture-oriented travellers. It’s also the literal home to some of Thailand’s most precious gems, as the city is the centre of Thailand’s lucrative precious stone trade. With its glittering jewels, French-influenced architecture, artsy riverside atmosphere, dazzling temples and churches, plus a delicious mix of local food, the area is truly a living time capsule offering a glimpse of a bygone era.Another non-Thai influence is found across from the Chanthaboon Riverside Community in the form of Thailand’s largest church: The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. First built by European missionaries way back in the early 1700s, the Cathedral was rebuilt in its current gothic style mainly by Vietnamese migrants in the early 20th century.On the coast, Kung Krabaen Bay Royal Development Study Centre is the region’s leading research facility dedicated to preserving Thailand’s marine biodiversity. Open daily from 08.00-18.00 Hrs., it allows visitors to view its important preservation work with sea turtles, sharks, giant grouper in addition to educating local fishing communities on crab breeding and oyster propagation.A few other gems of Chanthaburi include Chao Lao Beach, Phlio Waterfall, Oasis Sea World, Noen-Nang Phaya Viewpoint and the landless village of Rai Pandin.Chanthaboon Riverside-Community ChanthaburiTratTrat encompasses numerous islands with white sandy beaches and coral reefs, many of which lie within the Mu Ko Chang National Park. The largest is Ko Chang, known for its dense jungle, waterfalls and offshore coral reefs, while neighbouring Ko Kut is possibly Thailand’s most pristine eco-friendly island.The province also offers authentic Thai local experiences not easily found elsewhere.Ban Tha Ranae Community offers homestays and a glimpse of life in thriving mangrove wetlands. The Community is dedicated to preserving its natural resources and coastal heritage through sightseeing boat tours through the mangrove forests and mud clam breeding.Ban Huai Raeng Community offers homestay experiences rich in Thai food and local handmade products. Visitors are invited to learn how to make mangosteen soap, gel soap and skin masks. There are also cooking demonstrations on local desserts including khanom chak (Nipa palm leaf wrapped glutinous rice cake) and betel leaf wrapped rice packets that use all organic materials.A visit to the Trat Museum is a must. It highlights the province’s rich history including its confrontations with the French in the early and mid-20th century. The Museum occupies an attractive wooden replica of the old provincial hall, originally built in 1922. After the original building burned down in the mid-2000s, a new structure was rebuilt with gingerbread woodcarvings, ceramic shingles and slender pillars that makes visitors think it is an actual heritage building that was restored.Any visit to Trat also offers a chance to experience the narrowest part of Thailand at Khlong Yai sub-district, the mainland’s Sai Khao Beach (white sand beach), Bang Bao fishing village and Wat Buppharam, Trat’s oldest temple first built in 1652.Ban Huai-Raeng Community, TratAll told Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat are three of Thailand’s most underrated provinces. They all boast pleasant natural attractions, national parks and low-key beach towns, with the unsung provincial capitals hosting charming old towns and rich cultural heritage.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailandlast_img read more

Your very own private island

first_imgLiving the easy life on your very own private island is something that almost everyone dreams of. Now it just might be possible as two British property developers are living this dream.Source: CNNlast_img

goimomi announces GreenHajj2019 challenge to promote responsible tourism

first_imgIn a bid to make the holy journey a sustainable one,’s #GreenHajj2019 challenge is urging all pilgrims to practice eco-friendly methods of travel. Some of these include purchasing reusable products like water bottles, plates, spoons, etc. to reduce plastic usage; regulated usage of water for ablution and other activities to avoid wastage; maintaining cleanliness and avoiding public littering; preventing food wastage, choosing public transport over private and travelling in safe health., a premier Islamic travel portal from India has launched the #GreenHajj2019 challenge shortly before the iconic pilgrimage commences this year. The holy journeys of Hajj and Umrah are undertaken by over 1.2 lakh pilgrims from India every year, in addition to a large number of pilgrims from all over the world. The immense traffic of pilgrims often leads to the production of huge volumes of waste, misuse of ecological resources, etc. causing environmental damage. goimomi has invited the government authorities to support this initiative, spreading the word about #GreenHajj2019 Challenge among every group organiser around the world. The company has also urged every Hajj travel group as well as all individual travellers to take up this challenge and promote the eco-friendly practices among their customers and peers respectively.last_img read more

Debt Crises Send Mortgage Rates Plummeting Zillow

first_imgDebt Crises Send Mortgage Rates Plummeting: Zillow Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Agents & Brokers Debt Crisis Euro European Union Fixed-Rate Mortgage Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Service Providers Zillow 2012-01-31 Ryan Schuette in Data, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technology January 31, 2012 423 Views center_img Share Interest rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage plunged to 3.72 percent this week on new concerns about debt crises in Europe, according to real estate company “”Zillow””:[IMAGE]In releasing the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, the Web site found that interest rates for the 15-year loan also fell to 3.01 percent, alongside 2.63 percent for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).””The thirty-year fixed mortgage rate fell late in the day on Monday due to a renewed concern about Greece’s unfinished debt restructuring negotiations,”” “”Erin Lantz””:, director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, said in a statement.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Though strides have been made elsewhere in the EU to implement stricter budget discipline, as long as Greek uncertainty persists, mortgage rates will remain historically low as investors look to Treasury and U.S. mortgage bonds,”” she added.Mortgage rates remain low despite uplifting news from the continent, where 25 eurozone nations signed off on a new fiscal pact Monday, allowing stocks and shares in Europe to snag an updraft.Interest rates for mortgage loans accordingly plummeted by 10 to even 20 basis points in several states. Colorado led the way down with a 20 basis-point plunge, finding a decline in rates for the 30-year fixed-rate loan to 3.7 percent this week from 3.9 percent last week.Spiraling down by 19 basis points, Massachusetts followed with a dip from 3.86 percent last week to 3.67 percent this week.Florida and Illinois each saw their interest rates tick down by 18 basis points, with 30-year loans falling to 3.68 percent and 3.7 percent this week, down from 3.86 percent and 3.88 percent, respectively.Interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages in New York meanwhile fell from 3.84 percent to 3.69 percent, reflecting a decline by 15 basis points.last_img read more

Home Sales Prices Continue to Decline in Connecticut

first_img September 30, 2014 434 Views Home Sales, Prices Continue to Decline in Connecticut Home Prices Home Sales The Warren Group 2014-09-30 Seth Welborn Sharecenter_img Single-family home sales declined in Connecticut by nearly 6 percent year-over-year in August, according to the Warren Group.The Warren Group reported Tuesday stating that 2,735 single-family homes were sold in Connecticut in August, a decline from 2,898 in August 2013. It was the third month in 2014 in which single-family home sales declined year-over-year in Connecticut, according to the Warren report.Year-to-date, the Warren Group reported single-family home sales of 16,805 in Connecticut for January through August 2014, a drop from 17,128 from the same period in 2013.”The real estate market in Connecticut is slumping a bit at the moment,” said Warren Group CEO Timothy M. Warren Jr. “Single-family home sales and prices have fallen in the first eight months of the year with each posting declines of 2 to 3 percent. Last year, we saw gains of 6 to 8 percent. The recovery in the real estate market has stalled, and prices remain 12 percent below their highest levels in 2007.”Home sales were not the only category where there was a year-over-year decline in Connecticut, however. The median price of single-family homes dropped by 5.3 percent from $285,000 in August 2013 to $269,000 to August 2014.Median home prices year-to-date were also down in Connecticut for January through August 2014, when a decrease of 3 percent down to $258,000 was reported. The median home price for January through August of 2013 was $265,000, according to the Warren Group.Condominium sales fell 4.2 percent year-over-year in August in Connecticut from 684 to 655, according to the Warren Group. Condo sales year-to-date increased by 1 percent from 4,442 for January through August 2013 to 4,487 for the same period in 2014. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Newslast_img read more

TRID is Chaos Right Not So Fast

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News, Origination Capital Economics mortgage TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule TRID 2016-01-12 Scott_Morgan Share TRID is Chaos, Right? Not So Fastcenter_img The introduction of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule, or TRID, in October has led to utter chaos in the mortgage industry—or so some would have you believe.Matthew Pointon, a property economist at Capital Economics, however, begs to differ. In fact, any disruption generated by TRID, he says, has been on the sales side, not the consumer side, and will be short-lived at best.TRID rules are meant to give homebuyers more information with which to vet lenders and compare the cost of mortgages more effectively. Borrowers are also given more time. The new rules require lenders to provide estimates of all the costs of a mortgage to customers three days prior to closing.“According to some lenders, the change has led to more market turmoil than the financial crisis,” Pointon says. “By contrast, the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has claimed the implementation of TRID is going smoothly.”So who’s right?Well, there was some disruption in the run-up to the launch of the new rules. Mortgage applications spiked the week before TRID became official and then crashed the week after. But the new rules, Pointon says, have no direct bearing on the cost of credit or its availability. Further, he says, applications for home purchase in December reached their highest level in almost six years.TRID has, however, disrupted the sales process a bit. “There are three main measures,” Pointn says. “Existing sales, new sales, and pending sales. Both new and pending sales have shown no significant movement since October.”Existing sales, on the other hand, plummeted in November, which, Poinotn says, “looks to reflect the timing of when sales under each measure are recorded.”New and pending sales are measured at contract signing, after the mortgage has been applied for, but before it has closed. But existing home sales are recorded at contract closing, after the mortgage has been completed. Given how new and pending sales are measured, then, it’s no surprise that those sectors are unaffected by TRID, Pointon says. The dip in existing sales, however, “is likely to be due, in part, to an increase in the time it takes to close a mortgage and will have pushed some existing sales from November into December.”Delays, however, have been rather brief. Ellie Mae data from November showed the time it takes to close a mortgage has risen from 46 to 49 days.“Overall, the evidence suggests that the TRID regulations have had only a modest impact on home sales,” Pointon says. “There is no evidence that mortgage applications have decreased, and the share of applications that close has increased since October. That suggests existing home sales will bounce back in December.” January 12, 2016 715 Views last_img read more

Are Stress Tests Still Important To the OCC They Are

first_img in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News May 17, 2016 457 Views Banks OCC Stress Tests 2016-05-17 Seth Welborn Are Stress Tests Still Important? To the OCC, They Arecenter_img Share Stress tests have come under some scrutiny lately as to whether or not they are providing any new, relevant information seven years after the Federal Reserve disclosed the results of the first stress tests.To the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), however, stress tests are still relevant and remain high on the OCC’s list of supervisory priorities for the rest of Fiscal Year 2016, according to the OCC’s mid-cycle report on its Committee on Bank Supervision’s operating plan.The Federal Reserve has said it will announce the results of the stress tests before June 30, 2016. Stress testing, or testing the banks’ ability to remain well-capitalized during severely adverse economic situations, is one of several initiatives the OCC will emphasize for the remainder of FY2016, which began on October 1, 2015, and will conclude on September 30, 2016. The Fed has been disclosing stress test results since 2009, right after several large financial institutions required government bailouts to stay afloat.In January, the Fed released a new set of supervisory scenarios for both the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) and Dodd-Frank stress test exercises. The CCAR’s purpose is to determine the adequacy of banks’ capital planning processes, while the Dodd-Frank tests assess the firms to determine if their capital levels are sufficient to absorb losses and still lend to households and businesses during economic shocks.“In adjusting the scenarios for our yearly stress testing program, we strive to assess the resilience of the nation’s largest banks in a variety of potential adverse environments,” Fed Governor Daniel K. Tarullo said. “It is important that the tests not to be too predictable from year to year.”Other areas of emphasis on the list included compliance, operational resiliency, interest rate risk, and credit risk management.“The OCC’s operating plan creates the foundation for developing individual bank supervisory strategies and policy initiatives.Grace Dailey, OCCThe report includes a list of key actions the OCC has completed through the first half of FY2016, such as balancing prudent credit risk management with the ability to reduce barriers to financing homes in communities that have been targeted for revitalization; issuing the OCC’s 21st annual Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices report, highlighting continued easing underwriting standards and increasing credit risk; issuing the eighth OCC Semiannual Risk Perspective report, discussing emerging risk that OCC-supervised banks face and what the OCC’s supervisory priorities will be; and implementing the Dodd-Frank Act and developing enhanced capital and liquidity rules.According to the announcement, the OCC uses the supervisory plan to guide supervisory priorities, planning, and resource allocations.“The OCC’s operating plan creates the foundation for developing individual bank supervisory strategies and policy initiatives,” said Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy and Chief National Bank Examiner Grace Dailey. “Publishing those results promotes transparency and frames our expectations of national banks and federal savings associations going forward.”The OCC will release the supervisory priorities that form the basis for developing FY2017’s supervisory strategies sometime this summer.“The OCC will continue to adjust supervisory strategies as appropriate, given meaningful changes in emerging risks and supervisory priorities,” the report stated.Click here to view the complete status report.last_img read more

Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative Program Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

first_img December 15, 2016 612 Views The expanded Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative (NSI) program recently marked its one-year anniversary, according to an announcement from the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST). The program, through NCST, provides organizations working to stabilize neighborhoods with access to REO properties from Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac.“The NSI program assists those communities in our nation whose housing markets continue to struggle,” said Rob Grossinger, President, NCST. “By providing this “first look” to organizations supporting neighborhoods, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac strengthen local housing markets and provide new opportunities for homeownership and affordable rental.”The announcement said that as a result of the initial program’s success, on December 1, 2015, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expanded NSI from the two pilot areas to a total of 18 strategic markets with large concentrations of distressed and low-value inventory.Further, according to NCST, during the past year, buyers have purchased 1,372 NSI properties for approximately $92 million.“In these markets, acquisition plus renovation costs often exceed the post-renovation value,” said Julia Gordon, EVP, NCST. “By helping our local partners save on acquisition costs, NSI has enabled them to return distressed properties to the housing stock in rehabilitated condition and to help build wealth in communities that have been left behind by the housing recovery.”Additionally, the announcement states that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made additional improvements that will make NSI more effective for low-value properties and for properties in higher-cost areas.“As we work to lift home values in metro Atlanta‘s distressed neighborhoods, it is important that REO holdings be part of the solution. The NSI program is providing our organization with a great opportunity to boost our acquisition of single-family homes, accounting for more than 30 percent of our production in the last 12 months,” said John O’Callaghan, President and CEO of Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative Program Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary in Daily Dose, Headlines, Newscenter_img 2016-12-15 Staff Writer Sharelast_img read more

Carson Addresses HUD Employees

first_img March 6, 2017 570 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News Carson Civi Rights Act Equal Housing HUD 2017-03-06 Staff Writer Carson Addresses HUD Employeescenter_img U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Dr. Ben Carson addressed the HUD’s employees for the first time publicly on Monday.Carson’s speech was more motivational, and he opted not to speak on housing as much.  He started off the address by reflecting on some of his encounters as a surgeon and his vision for America moving forward. He spoke about how Americans need to work together to reach their full potential of prosperity.“This is America. This used to be known as the can-do society, not the what-can-you-do-for-me society,” he said. “And there is a lot that we can do if we are simply willing to reach outside of ourselves and recognize that each person, all our fellow Americans, we are one.”At one point during Carson’s speech come up with an acronym “THINK BIG.” “T is for talent, which God gave to every person,” he began, assigning word phrases H for honest, I for Insight, N for Nice, K for Knowledge, B for Book, I for Indepth Learning, and G for God. Carson then asked those in attendance to raise their hands to “take the niceness pledge.”“Just raise your hand, everybody raise your hand,” he said, as the staff obeyed. “Now what did you just pledge to do? Be nice to every single person you encounter for one week, including your spouse!”An audience member asked Dr. Carson: “ What are your plans for the division of housing and equal opportunity overall, and how do you plan on furthering civil rights while you are here at HUD?”Dr. Carson’s answer was not direct, though he used the opportunity to address inequality and fairness for all.“I am going to do be doing what you are and that is watching to see what people are doing and more importantly listen to what people have to say,” Dr. Carson said. “There’s always a lot of different perspectives and one of the things that I have found is when you have divergent perspectives, if you can get those people to sit down and talk to each other, they will frequently be able to come up with extremely good solutions,” he said. “I believe in always giving the first pass to the people who are actually involved as opposed to imposing upon them from above.”“One of the things you will notice in this department under my leadership is that there will be a very big emphasis on fairness for everybody,” Carson told the staff. “Everything that we do, every policy; no favorites for anybody, no extra for anybody, but complete fairness for everybody. Because that is what the founders of this nation had in mind, and if you read the Constitution, it becomes very clear that that was the goal.”He would later briefly talk about find alternative ways to work with the private sector to find solutions homelessness and affordable housing availability.“We don’t necessarily have to always depend on the government and government financing,” he said when asked about such partnerships by a staffer during the question-and-answer session. “There’s a lot more money outside of government than there is inside of government, although there’s some people who would like to change that, but anyway, I won’t get into that.”At the end of the town hall meeting, one staffer stood up and thanked Carson for his speech, telling him that her and follow employees had been afraid about how the Trump administration would select HUD programs. She said his speech had reassured her that he is invested in HUD’s mission. Sharelast_img read more

American Hustle

first_img gig economy Mortgage Industry Non-QM 2019-02-04 Donna Joseph in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Print Features, Servicing American Hustle February 4, 2019 1,964 Views center_img        Editor’s note: This feature originally appeared in the February issue of MReport, out now. We all remember the housing crisis. We also all remember its aftermath. Legislators, regulators, and the lending community combined forces to create new rules that mitigated the risk of another mortgage industry meltdown. Tightened regulations and increased underwriting standards from banks and other large financial institutions have helped make mortgage lending far safer than it was a decade ago. However, what we (or anyone else) could not foresee was a huge structural change to the U.S. economy as a whole. Today, the concept of the “gig economy” is commonplace. Millions of workers work now as freelancers across any number of industries. Changing technologies and personal career pursuits have changed employment dynamics throughout the country. And these types of workers are almost always shut out from obtaining a mortgage from a traditional lender.Good Clients Get Rejected Let’s take a case study featuring a 30-year-old woman named Sarah. She spent her first few years after college working as a computer coder at a typical nine-to-five office, which she quickly grew to despise. She wanted flexibility in her schedule during the day to travel and, if need be, move. Sarah decided to use her skills as a computer coder to become an independent contractor. She worked for a variety of companies and firms for contract-length projects that never lasted more than a few months at a time. She could manage other pursuits like teaching a yoga class during the day. And she also made great money. Along the way, she started to date Jake. Jake also lived this sort of lifestyle. He worked primarily as a freelance copywriter, but also put in time at his friend’s new dog-sitting business and supplemented his income by driving for a rideshare company on weekends. He, too, made a very respectable income.Sarah and Jake got married. They wanted to have more room than an apartment allowed and also understood the benefits of owning a home. So they started looking for a house in their area. But along the way, the bank they used denied them a mortgage. Sarah and Jake’s decision to avoid working in a traditional office made them happier with their careers and future prospects. They loved the autonomy and freedom that gig economy work provided. With a combined income over six figures, Sarah and Jake should be ideal candidates to obtain a mortgage. Only their bank rejected them.The Rise of the Gig EconomySarah and Jake are not alone. Some 16 percent of Americans work in the gig economy, according to a study released by Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group. Roughly 44 percent of gig economy workers are between the ages of 18 and 34. Half of all gig workers make $50,000 per year or more. A majority of gig economy workers believe their financial situations are on the upswing. About two-thirds have obtained at least some form of college education. An examination of that data reveals that gig economy workers are ideal candidates to seek out a mortgage. They make good incomes. They are in the prime age range to get married, start a family, and buy a first home. They are optimistic about their futures. And there are at least hundreds of thousands of people in the gig economy.However, almost all of the income from these jobs comes via 1099 forms. Further, this income may also not be steady due to the fluctuating nature of this type of work. But as we all know, those improved underwriting standards mean that banks and other lenders require people seeking a mortgage to have at least a few years of steady W-2 income that shows the ability to repay a loan. This prevents people like Sarah, Jack, and hundreds of thousands of others like them from getting approval for a mortgage. And that’s not the only reason.The Challenges of Tax TimeSarah and Jake learned years ago, through their accountant, that they have to keep every last piece of paperwork come tax season. Sarah can deduct internet and phone bills since she works at home. Jake can deduct his costs from the coworking space he uses. They also can deduct their health insurance costs and any mileage they accrue while driving for business-related purposes. For teaching yoga, Sarah can deduct everything from the apparel she wears in class to seminars she takes to further her education in the field. Jake can deduct dog treats, leashes, and other expenses accrued when dog sitting. He can also deduct having his car detailed for his ridesharing side-job, as well as buying water and snacks for his passengers.Come tax season, all of these write-offs add up and significantly decrease their net income, commensurately reducing their tax liability. But filing the many deductions hurt Sarah and Jake when applying for a mortgage. Underwriters use net, not gross, income when determining the validity of a mortgage application. Further, underwriters and others involved in the steps needed to obtain a mortgage often require proof of employment, references, and a list of past employers and landlords. Freelancers may have a lengthy job history consisting of any number of employers and past contacts, so it takes a lot of organization and paperwork to have this information handy. It’s just another factor that prevents gig economy workers from having the chance to buy a house.The Growth of Non-QM The housing market is becoming tighter. Recent data releases show slowdowns in new and pending home sales. Home prices throughout the country seem to have plateaued in many major markets. We are starting to see the effects from the combination of rising interest rates and questions about home affordability. We have already seen refinancing essentially vanish. The non-qualified mortgage (non-QM) has become the best chance for growth in the origination industry. Non-QM originations currently total roughly $20 billion per year. Many insiders project that non-QM could soon surpass $100 billion per The growth in non-QM is happening because so many quality borrowers now fall into that classification due to regulation changes in general. The growing number of people who choose to make their income through the gig economy has skyrocketed. Along with that comes the chance for the mortgage industry to capitalize.Programs for the Gig EconomyThere are innovative programs out there that grant opportunities to borrowers who do not fit into the “credit box” that has limited so many. For example, “bank statement” mortgage programs have grown in popularity over the past few years. These are wonderful for self-employed workers, as well as those in the gig economy. Typically, a mortgage applicant must provide two years of tax returns, W-2s, and payroll checks to gain approval. But “bank statement” mortgages rely on a review of 12 months of deposits into a bank account. While the need for stricter analysis when issuing loans was certainly needed after the “Great Financial Crisis,” the new regulations and policies have boxed out many qualified candidates from the mortgage market. Bank statement programs provide for a much better and more accurate look at the financial health of couples like Sarah and Jack.How the Mortgage Industry Can Get Younger Here’s another quick case study. Let’s take a small mortgage brokerage company outside of Philadelphia. There are three partners in the company, all of whom are men in their mid-50s—the average age for loan officers. However, they have just taken on a new 28-year-old employee named Ryan. Like most other brokers, they have developed a client base largely based on referrals and local networking. Ryan, understandably, does not have hisbook ready. He is growing frustrated with his career path. But these brokers have seen firsthand the recent trend in the marketplace. When interest rates were at rock bottom, they constantly fielded calls about refinancing or buying a new house. But interest rates, while still historically low, have climbed and the brokers have seen a pretty quick drop in business. The older partners in the company likely do not understand the “gig economy.” For them and their peers, most people settle into one career and only change jobs when a better opportunity presents itself. The concept of freelancers isn’t something they are familiar with. But people who work contract jobs and have “side hustles” are commonplace to Ryan. Many of his friends have happily chosen this lifestyle.He understands their thought process and as one of the rare young faces in the mortgage business, stands to capitalize on this natural connection. The mortgage industry has gotten grayer and older. It needs to get younger to survive. The gig economy can make that happen. The gig economy certainly presents its challenges for the mortgage industry. It takes patience and understanding not just to find people with this kind of lifestyle but also work with them. The opportunity is knocking though. Non-QM is the growth market for the mortgage industry right now and the number of people in the gig economy is only going to grow with time. Sarah and Jake aren’t anomalies. They are the future. And the future is now. Sharelast_img read more

Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have rep

first_img Authorities on both sides of the Atlantic have reportedly broken up a criminal network that has been smuggling cocaine from Costa Rica into Europe in pineapple shipments.Local media La Region [in Spanish] reported that coordinated raids were carried out on Wednesday morning by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA), the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), and the Costa Rican Intelligence and Security Directorate (DIS) and the Drug Control Police (PCD).In Costa Rica, authorities raided five houses, an apartment, a factory and a packing plant, according to La Teja. Costa Rica: Protests block shipping port, lead to … Six people have been arrested, whose surnames are reported to be Pino Cortés, Jara González, Valerio Hidalgo, Gamboa Cordero, Boza Abarca and Huertas Cedeño.The group hid the narcotics inside the wood paneling of crates filled with pineapples, shipping out from the Caribbean port of Moín in Limón.Authorities have been following the group since March last year when the PCD received information from the FBI regarding a criminal network led by an Israeli-national whose surname was Orgad.Costa Rican authorities managed to identify other members of the organization in October. August 23 , 2018 Spanish police find cocaine haul in Costa Rican ba … center_img Mexican avocados: WTO to mediate after Costa Rican … You might also be interested in Costa Rica expects lower pineapple, banana exports …last_img read more

Study finds molecules in oranges grapes carrots

first_img Study finds molecules in oranges, grapes, carrots … November 06 , 2018 You might also be interested in India: Maharashtra grape growers to organize marke … In this ‘In Charts‘ series of mini-articles, Colin Fain of data visualization tool Agronometrics illustrates how the U.S. market is evolving. In each series, he will look at a different fruit commodity, focusing on a different origin or topic in each installment to see what factors are driving change.Nestled right between California and Chile, Peru occupies a strategic spot in the U.S. market, coming in right as prices begin to rise.US 2017-18 Grape Volumes by Origin(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)From July to November – when California’s fruit dominates – the market is characterized by high volumes and stable pricing. Over the last four years, the spread between the highest and the lowest price recorded has floated right around US$2 per box. However, as soon as Latin America shows up on the scene, things start getting much more interesting, with the spread increasing to US$4.50 in December and US$12.60 in January.US Monthly Grape Shipping Point Historical Prices(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)The reasons for this can be various, but one of the biggest things to keep in mind is that California mostly focuses on satisfying domestic demand, while Peru and Chile are constantly weighing their options between different markets to see where they can get the best returns. They are therefore much more susceptible to changes in global demand and variances in production from other origins. This means that if prices are high in Europe or China, volumes will most likely be taken from the U.S., raising the prices there and adding to the variability in the market. The U.S. is still expected to be the most important destination for Peru, but even so it is only set to receive around a third of its exports.Weather can also not be ignored. Last year was characterized by a very wet season brought on by El Niño, which affected both the quantity and the quality of the production.US Volumes and Prices of Peruvian Grapes (July 2016 – Present)(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)Comparing the 2016-17 season to the previous one, volumes from all origins from December and January saw a drop of 27% and 39%, respectively. The effect of this drop was a price hike for Peru, giving them a 9% gain in December, when they share the market with California, and a 19% gain in January, reflecting Peru’s own lower volumes and a shift in Chile’s season, which was pushed back by a month.With a 36% rise in Peruvian exports expected (see article here), and hopefully good fruit, I would look for an increase in volume arriving to the U.S., and maybe even a season that is reminiscent of 2016-17.U.S. Historic Grape Prices per box from Peru(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.Agronometrics is a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that you depend on. We strive to help farmers, shippers, buyers, sellers, movers and shakers get an objective point of view on the markets to help them make informed strategic decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at where you can easily recreate these same graphs, or explore the other 23 fruits we currently track, creating your own reports automatically updated with the latest data daily.To welcome Grapes professionals to the service we want to offer a 5% discount off your first month or year with the following coupon code: GRAPESThe code will only be good till the 20th of November 2018, so visit us today. The calm before the storm: Undersupplied U.S. tabl … Grapes in Charts: Mexico helps make America grape …last_img read more

Argentine apple campaign off to a positive start

first_img Argentine apple campaign off to a positive start … Applewood gears up for the 2019 harvest season as … July 12 , 2019 Could early sweet apple ‘Posy’ herald rosy future … The Argentine fruit industry has welcomed a 25% reduction in the country’s controversial export tax, saying the move will help them to be more competitive in overseas markets.The Argentine Government on Wednesday lowered the tax from 4 pesos to 3 pesos per dollar in value. The reduction applies to 207 products, including fresh fruit.”With this modification, we are aiming to develop the production regions and generate greater competitiveness to the growers so that they can continue to invest and create value and jobs,” said Minister of Agro-Industry Luis Miguel Etchevehere.The taxes were implemented in January 2018 by President Mauricio Macri in a bid to balance the budget of the crisis-ridden country’s economy. But the tax marked a step backward for the free-market advocate who slashed agricultural taxes upon taking office in 2015 to “normalize” the economy.The significant weakening of the peso over the last year for the agricultural industry meant that exporting goods has become increasingly expensive, impacting on companies’ competitiveness in international markets.Various important actors in the fruit industry have praised the government for the decision to cut the export tax.center_img U.S.: Fire at Washington warehouse causes US$8M in … You might also be interested in Agustín Argibay, president of the Argentine Chamber of Integrated Fruit Growers (CAFI) told local media Diario de Rio Negro: “The measure is undoubtedly welcome for the whole industry.””It is an important step that the national government is taking, acknowledging the crisis that the sector is in,” he was quoted as saying.The publication reported that the move is expected to save the fruit industry 800 million pesos (US$19.1 million), including 500 million pesos (US$11.9 million) in the pome-fruit-growing region of Rio Negro alone. In 2018 the region exported around US$400 million of fresh apples and pears.The industry is reportedly going to push for the export tax to be completely eliminated, which could happen by the end of next year.Alejandro Zimmermann, president of the Argentine Chamber of Integrated Cherry Producers (CAPCI) commented that “while these measures do not resolve the complex issues affecting the fruit sector, they are without a doubt a favorable step which will have a positive impact on the fruit industry”.Meanwhile, Adolfo Storni, president of Extraberries and Frutos de los Lagos – two of the leading blueberry and cherry exporters – told El Once that “the measure was necessary for and expected by the sector, as it reduces the tax pressure for the whole fruit sector”.last_img read more

The 22nd annual Australian Cruise Association conf

first_imgThe 22nd annual Australian Cruise Association conference and AGM is officially underway in Broome, WA, kicking off on Wednesday night with a spectacular sunset event at the iconic at the Cable Beach Club Resort.Around 120 delegates were in attendance ahead of the conference – themed “Forging Stronger Relationships” – and the AGM, wrapping up today following a breakfast presentation by Jaime Jackett, warden from the Broome Bird Observatory. “The Conference is well-timed for discussion around the exciting year to come,” said Jill Abel, CEO of the Australian Cruise Association.“With 25 ships booked to visit Australia in 2018/19 including Ponant’s new expedition ship, Le Laperouse, Regent’s Seven Seas Mariner, Seabourn Sojourn and Holland America Line’s Maasdam, it is a perfect opportunity for representatives from the cruise lines and ACAs members to discuss how we can establish best practice for working together to achieve successful outcomes.” The importance of destination development will also be discussed as well as other topical issues such as sustainability and over-tourism.Hon. Paul Papalia Jill Abel and Grant GilfillanThe program was officially opened by the Hon. Paul Papalia, WA Minister for Tourism at the welcome event, held at the Broome Surf Lifesaving Club. The Minister spoke about the importance of the cruise sector to Western Australia and the critical role regional ports such as Broome have played in the growth of the industry. Broome welcomed 22 cruise ships in 2016-17 injecting approximately $10M into the State’s economy.Jill Abel said, “The business community in Broome has welcomed our delegates to the city with an amazing warmth and generosity. As such it has proved to be the perfect backdrop for our 2018 conference as it is embodies our theme and highlights the importance of working together.”The Gala Dinner last night, sponsored by Kimberley Ports Authority, was held at the Mangrove Hotel in Broome overlooking picturesque Roebuck Bay.TOP IMAGE: Jill Abel Sture Myrmell Susan Bonner ACAAustralian Cruise AssociationBroomeconferencecruiseWAWestern Australialast_img read more

Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely said it best on

first_imgArizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely said it best on Twitter, “Football is back!!!!”With the NFL lockout ending that means we are just a matter of days from putting away the rumors that have spread as if the media were a bunch of high school girls hanging out at lunch and finding out who will line up under center for the Cards in 2011.I’ve been a Cardinals fan since they moved to the Valley in 1988 when I was just a kid. For the most part, watching whoever they lined up at quarterback has been about as enjoyable as walking barefoot through an asphalt parking lot in Phoenix in July. With the exception of Kurt Warner and Jake Plummer — when he wasn’t throwing the football behind his back or into the hands of a waiting defender — they haven’t had one signal caller that could even be considered decent. Names like Tom Tupa (yep, the same guy who made his name as a punter and punch line for Cardinals fans), Cliff Stoudt, Timm Rosenbach (I mean really, who spells Tim with two m’s?), Gary Hogeboom, John Navarre, Stan Gelbaugh, Shaun King, Stoney Case (sounds more like the name of an investigation a detective in the Phoenix police department’s drug unit would be working on rather than an NFL player), Max Hall and yes, Derek Anderson have all started at least one game at quarterback for the Cards since 1988. With a list like that, it’s no wonder why fans are so excited for Kevin Kolb, Kyle Orton, Matt Hasselbeck or anyone who has ever shown any marginal talent in the NFL to be playing in Cardinal red this fall.You can count me amongst their ranks. The reasoning is simple. If Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt do what everyone has talked about since Richard Bartel took the final snap of last season and acquire either Kolb or Orton, they’ll be adding the third best quarterback in Arizona Cardinals history to the roster.Yeah, I said it. Kolb or Orton would be the third best quarterback to line up for the Cards since their arrival in the Valley over 22 years ago. Then again, that’s like saying someone’s girlfriend is the prettiest woman in Walmart at 1 a.m. It’s not exactly a badge of honor. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away 0 Comments   Share   Between Kolb’s potential and Orton’s track record, when the Cardinals head up the hill to Flagstaff — assuming they can actually make transactions prior to camp starting — they will be sitting in a much better situation at the quarterback position than in most years (just read the brief list above for proof).Both quarterbacks will generate a buzz that only Plummer and Warner have done at the position. Also, either move will place the NFL media spotlight — however briefly in this chaotic abbreviated offseason — on Cardinals training camp in a similar way being the defending NFC champions did a few years ago.No matter whether the Cardinals add a quarterback that is viewed around the league as one of the best young prospects at the position in Kolb or one who has proven it on the field in Orton, as a lifelong fan of the team, it’s just nice to see they’re willing to be proactive at the position. For the first time in forever, they may actually have a quarterback of the future. At worst they’ll have the third biggest name at the position in team history. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationlast_img read more


first_img Comments   Share   Less than 48 hours away from kickoff against the New England Patriots, the Arizona Cardinals still don’t have a clear picture on their quarterback position.That’s because head coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t sharing too much information on it.After practice Friday, Whisenhunt still wouldn’t offer up a definitive decision, instead suggesting optimism on the John Skelton front.“I have hope that he can be available,” Whisenhunt said. “(Friday) he was out of the boot and did some work on the field and the rehab stuff. I know he’s into the plan mentally.” What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaycenter_img Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Skelton injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ 20-16 season-opening win over Seattle last Sunday. He was replaced by Kevin Kolb, who led the Cardinals on the go-ahead scoring drive. So does Whisenhunt’s optimism mean that a player who was carted off the field with his right leg in an air cast five days ago is going to play Sunday?“It’s doubtful that he would play, but I was encouraged by what I saw out of him today.”So it’s likely (although not official) that Kolb will make his first start of the season, 17th of his career and 10th as a Cardinal Sunday.Arizona Sports’ Adam Green contributed to this reportlast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals surprised many by winning 10 games in 2013, though they still fell painfully short of a playoff spot.So, entering the offseason the goal set out by GM Steve Keim and coach Bruce Arians was to improve, and by way of many free agent additions, the belief is they did just that.In fact,’s Gregg Rosenthal wrote that he thinks Arizona’s offensive line is the most improved group of any in the NFC West. That’s why our choice for the most improved position group in the division truly comes down to one player. The Arizona Cardinals’ left tackle situation has been among the very worst in football for five years running. Signing Jared Veldheer immediately gives the group an above average starter, and allows Cardinals fans to dream of the left side of the offensive line actually being a weapon. Last year’s No. 7 overall pick, guard Jonathan Cooper, will return from a broken leg to play alongside Veldheer. The team also signed guard Ted Larsen for depth; he’s started 31 career games.On paper, the Cardinals defense’s talent rivals any group in the league. Bruce Arians has proven he can coach up offense, and their talent is catching up to the defense. In Andre Ellington, Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and Ted Ginn, Arians has a lot of explosive playmakers to use. Now the Cardinals should have the protection necessary to test opposing defenses down the field. Top Stories center_img Of course, the Cardinals did lose some players too, most notably linebacker Karlos Dansby. But from the way it seems, the team went into free agency with a plan and executed it with precision.Left tackle and offensive line depth? Check. Speedy wide receiver and another tight end? Check. More help for the secondary? Check. The Cardinals were close last year but still needed a little more to challenge both the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. And while no one knows if every move they’ve made will work out, there’s no denying they appear to be exactly what the team needed. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

The Arizona Cardinals crowded tight end room just

first_imgThe Arizona Cardinals’ crowded tight end room just got a little roomier with veteran Jake Ballard announcing his retirement from the NFL Wednesday. Ballard, who appeared in eight games for the Cardinals last season, released the following statement via“Yesterday I made the difficult decision to retire from the game of football,” Ballard said. “I love this game and have put my heart and soul into it for as long as I can remember. After sustaining a serious knee injury while playing for the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, my body never felt the same. Having a quality of life after football is very important to me and I have witnessed it taken away from others. I will miss the game tremendously, but I am ready for this next chapter in my life. It was an honor and a privilege to play for the NY Giants, New England Patriots, and most recently the Arizona Cardinals. I met amazing people from all of my teammates, to opponents, to trainers, to coaches, to owners, and everyone in between. I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your fraternity and I wish you all nothing but success.” Thanks for all the support! The pain was just too much. I had to start thinking about my future! I’ve been blessed! #ontothenextone Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact — Jake ballard (@TheJakeBallard) August 6, 2014 The Cardinals placed Ballard on the reserve/retired list. Prior to this announcement he was listed as a first string tight end on the team’s initial depth chart.Ballard, 26, caught seven passes for 75 yards with two touchdowns last season. In his career, the former Ohio State Buckeye appeared in 22 games, tallying 45 receptions for 679 yards and six touchdowns.Ballard’s retirement leaves the Cardinals with tight ends John Carlson, Rob Housler, Troy Niklas, Darren Fells and Andre Hardy on the roster. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals scratched their way back to .500 with consecutive wins against the 49ers and Jets, but a taller task awaits them Sunday when the Seattle Seahawks visit University of Phoenix Stadium.Head coach Bruce Arians made his weekly Tuesday appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio’s Late Hits show to talk about the team’s win. The head honcho of the Cardinals offered his thoughts on the NFL’s Microsoft Surface Pro tablets that the Patriots’ Bill Belichick criticized and discussed the flag-happy referees who oversaw the 28-3 Monday victory against New York. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/George Bridges)center_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is evolving, and that’ll change how the Cardinals play him. “They look more like a Super Bowl team,” Arians said of the Seahawks. “They’re finding ways to win. Russell is playing so much better from years past from the pocket. There were times early in his career you try to stay in front of him, jump up and down, keep him in the pocket because he killed us just running around — he still does. He can really, really light you up in the pocket.” – / 33 ***Arians wasn’t so upset about the 19 combined penalties between the Cardinals and Jets on Monday. “I thought it was a well-officiated game,” he said. “There were a lot of fouls. Too many times they’re getting missed now. I know people get upset that there’s that many flags, but when there are that many penalties, they should be thrown. There could have been more.”In New England, Bill Belichick complained about the functionality of the Microsoft sideline tablets. It was arguably his longest response to a reporter’s question ever. The Cardinals’ head coach isn’t following Belichick on the anti-tablet train. “I don’t use mine as much as the assistants,” Arians said. “We have not had many problems. Some stadiums you do have a lot of problems. I think it depends on the stadium you’re in, as far as the network. We’ve been very pleased with them.What do the tablets bring to the table?“Just a clearer picture and you get to (the pictures) faster. You don’t have to thumb through them. You can just hit a button and boom there it is.”Michael Floyd’s touchdown catch on a fade route was a tactical play-call. It also was an example of Arians trying to rekindle his receiver’s confidence after he struggled with drops over several weeks. “We designed a play for Mike, talked to him Thursday, said,  ‘Look, you’re going to get this coverage and then we’re going to throw you the ball for the touchdown — just catch it.’ And he did a great job.” Top Stories last_img read more