Spanish ‘El Mundo’ Underlines ‘Massive Fraud’ in EU’s Aid to Tindouf…

Rabat – The European Union’s aid to populations in the Polisario-controlled Tindouf camps (southwestern Algeria) is “massively defrauded” by the Polisario leaders and Algeria, writes Spanish paper “El Mundo,” citing a report by the EU’s anti-fraud office (OLAF).Embezzlement was revealed by the EU’s office in a 250-page report, which shows how the humanitarian aid extended by the EU, between 2003 and 2007, ended in markets in Algeria, Mauritania and Mali, the paper notes on its website.The story, signed by Ignacio Cembrero, points that the EU’s office started investigating in 2003 after one of its experts who was travelling to Mali found dairy products, bearing the label of the European commission’s humanitarian aid agency, being sold in Malian markets. For OLAF, fraud is made possible by the overestimation of the Tindouf camps, says the paper which also recalls that the UNHCR does not have an updated census of this populations because of the “Polisario refusal for 39 years to allow a census”.Since 1975, the EU has been extending financial aid to the Camps populations on the basis of Algerian estimations of 155,000 persons, notes the Spanish mass-circulation daily, which also deplores the refusal of Polisario representative in Europe to take phone calls from El Mundo.The OLAF report, conducted in 2007 and disclosed recently, slams Algeria and the Polsario for embezzling humanitarian aid for decades to the detriment of the Saharawis living in the Tindouf camps.The report notes that systematic embezzlement starts in the Algerian port of Oran where a large part of humanitarian aid is diverted away from the intended beneficiaries in the camps.Among the factors that facilitate such embezzlement is the overestimation of the numbers of the refugees and consequently the aid, the OLAF explained in the report.MWN with MAP read more

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Saudi Arabia Gives Jamal Khashoggi’s Children Homes, Monthly Payments

Rabat – The children of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have each received “million-dollar houses” and thousands of dollars in monthly payments from Saudi Arabia as compensation for the killing of their father.Saudi Arabia is attempting through the move to come to a long-term understanding and discourage the Khashoggi children from speaking out for their father’s killing at the hands of Saudi agents, Saudi officials told the Washington Post.One Saudi official told the paper that the payments are part of Saudi Arabia’s “custom and culture” and are “not attached to anything else.” A number of Saudi officials who spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity declared that negotiations for further payments are expected to take place following the trials of the agents involved in the killing of Khashoggi, who was a Washington Post contributor.Read also: Jamal Khashoggi’s Fiancee Demands EU Sanction Saudi ArabiaThe newspaper quoted a former Saudi official saying that King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud approved the “delivery of homes and monthly payments of $10,000 or more to each sibling” in 2018 as an acknowledgment that “a big injustice has been done” and in a bid “to make a wrong, right.”The houses offered to the siblings are worth as much as $4 million apiece and are located in Jeddah, where Khashoggi’s eldest son, Salah, lives.The three other children, who live in the US, are expected to sell their new properties.Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he had gone to retrieve documents he needed for his impending wedding.Turkish police never found Khashoggi’s body. Turkish investigators believe that Khashoggi’s remains were dissolved in acid and poured down the drain of the Saudi consulate.Although Saudi Arabia has denied the royal family had anything to do with the assassination of Khashoggi, international intelligence agencies have implicated Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman as the main instigator of the murder.Saudi authorities arrested 11 suspects involved in the killing, five of whom could face the death penalty for “ordering and committing the crime.” read more

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Four Moroccan Terrorists on US State Department Blacklist

Rabat – Based on US Department of Treasury data, published on September 13, Four Moroccans are on the list of Washington’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.One of the Moroccan terrorists on the list is Anas El Abboubi who currently lives in Syria, having joined ISIS in 2013. Anas El Abboubi, believed to be dead following fighting in Syria, was an Italian citizen of Moroccan descent.  El Abboubi, known in Italy by his stage name Mc Khalifa, was previously arrested by Italian counter-terrorism police in June 2013 for jihadist propaganda. He had created a blog titled “Sharia4Italy,” and used it to incite to racial hatred.El Abboubi was taken into police custody in Italy in 2013 for plotting an attack in northern Italy and recruiting individuals for militant activity in Syria. He was released after two weeks in custody and later fled to Syria to join ISIS.In 2016, The Obama administration imposed sanctions on El Abboubi for joining ISIS. The State Department, then, included him in its list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons.The second Moroccan terrorist on the blacklist is Abdallah Hamch nicknamed “Abu Souleymane”. He is the commander of the Tarek Ibn Zyad battalion of 300 foreign fighters affiliated with ISIS.Abu Souleymane was often mentioned following the terrorist attacks perpetrated on November 13, 2015, in Paris killing 131 people. ISIS took responsibility for the attacks. US intelligence identified the veteran fighter as a potential mastermind behind the Paris terrorist attacks.The other two Moroccans on the US list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons are Salah Abdeslam and Mohamed Abrini. They were also involved in the attacks in Paris and the attack on Brussels airport. read more

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UNESCO chief condemns murder of Egyptian journalist

10 February 2011The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today condemned the recent murder of Egyptian journalist Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud, who was shot while covering the protests that began late last month in the capital, Cairo. Mr. Mahmoud, 36, was covering the demonstrations for the newspaper Al-Taawun, according to a news release issued by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).He was shot in the head on 29 January while taking photographs of the protesters from the balcony of his apartment, located near Tahrir Square, the centre of the demonstrations. He died from his wounds six days later.“Violence against journalists represents an attack on the basic right of freedom of expression and therefore a direct threat to democracy,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.“Media professionals must be able to work in safety in order to nurture free and independent debate. I count on the Egyptian authorities to do all they can to shed light on this murder and bring the culprits to justice,” she stated.UNESCO voiced concern about the situation of medial professionals who have been covering the protests in Egypt. They have reportedly been assaulted and their equipment confiscated, and some have been arrested. Ms. Bokova called on Egypt to respect the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of information as laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. read more

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Homecoming Café Crawl Thursday

Be a part of a homecoming tradition and get a caffeine fix at the annual Café Crawl. Brock students will be introduced to the culture and community of downtown St. Catharines while experiencing many stops along the way. Come downtown for a night of culture and drinks.This year’s Café Crawl is taking place on Thursday, Sept. 17 at various cafes downtown. Meet at the Schmon Tower grab the bus downtownTo RSVP please complete the Registration Form.If you have any questions, please contact studentlife@brocku.caFor more event information visit

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iPhone 4 as Low as 24 at Radioshack

first_imgA $24 iPhone 4 at Radioshack? Too good to be true? Sort of. It can happen, but it takes a tricky bit of legwork. Let’s start with the one week sale the electronics retailer is holding, which discounts all iPhone models by $50. New customers and those eligible for upgrades can nab a 16GB iPhone 4 for $150 and a 32GB model for $250. You with me so far? Good.Okay, next there’s the Trade & Save program–bring in a working iPhone 3G, and you’ll get a $75 credit for a new phone. Bring in an iPhone 3GS, and you’ll get a $125 credit. The $125 credit and the $50 discount bring the price of the 16GB iPhone 4 down to $24.99 (with the requisite contract, naturally).A tricky bit of legwork, sure, and the stars really have to align to take advantage of the deal, but still, a nice discount if you can get it. Radio Shack is also providing an Eligibility Checker, to see if you qualify for the updgrade pricing. Good Luck.last_img read more

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Barnes Noble Trade in your old ereader for a Nook get 30

first_imgThere are tons of electronics trade-in programs out there. Most of them give you a small percentage of what your device was originally worth in the form of a gift card or an in-store credit. Barnes & Noble, however, is offering a little something of its own to anyone trading in their old e-reader for a brand new Nook.If you’re still walking around with a first generation Kindle or a Sony Reader, it may be time to upgrade to something a little more modern. Barnes & Noble is sweetening the deal by offering 30 free e-books if you decide to make that upgrade a Nook.AdChoices广告A new e-reader doesn’t have to break the bank, though. The Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch Reader, for example, was released earlier this month to rave reviews. Not only is it smaller, more responsive, lighter, and longer-lasting than its predecessor, it’s also less expensive at only $139.Don’t get too excited just yet. The offer doesn’t just provide you with 30 free books of your choice. Instead, when you buy a Nook, Barnes & Noble will give you a free, 2GB microSD card pre-loaded with books. They range from cooking and lifestyle to classics and reference. Some of the free titles include The Good Housekeeping Cookbook, Glory in the Fall: The Greatest Moments in World Series History, 21st Century Crossword Puzzle Dictionary, My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me, and classics like the Secret Garden and Robinson Crusoe.Barnes & Noble say the collection of books is worth $315, but we’re not really sure how accurate that is. That value is most likely based on suggested retail price, and there’s a pretty good chance you could find these books for less if you did some searching. However, 30 free books will definitely set you on your way with your new e-reader. If you read two books a month, you’d be getting over a year’s worth of free books from this deal.Though clearly a marketing ploy, if you were already considering buying a Nook, now is the time to do so.The limited-time upgrade offer starts July 1 and is good “while supplies last.”via Gizmodolast_img read more

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Donald Trump has made March IrishAmerican Heritage Month

first_imgDonald Trump has made March ‘Irish-American Heritage Month’ The White House said that it was “no wonder that American art, business, and public life are marked by Irish names and symbols”. Feb 28th 2018, 8:42 PM House Speaker Paul Ryan, US President Donald Trump, and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny on St Patrick’s Day last year. It is, therefore, no wonder that American art, business, and public life are marked by Irish names and symbols.In January, Trump announced February as African-American History Month “to remember the challenges of our past, but also to honour countless African-American heroes who inspire us to shape our country’s future”.Read: Trump’s son-in-law ‘loses top-level security clearance’Read: In full: Here’s where our ministers are going for St Patrick’s Day 23,763 Views Short URL By Gráinne Ní Aodha House Speaker Paul Ryan, US President Donald Trump, and former Taoiseach Enda Kenny on St Patrick’s Day last year. US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump has announced March as the official Irish-American Heritage Month to honour “the tenacious Irish spirit” and contributions the Irish diaspora have made to the United States.In a statement on the White House website, it said that the month would celebrate ”the tremendous role Irish immigrants and their descendants have played in the development of our great nation”. Share652 Tweet Email9 This month, and every month, we appreciate their efforts in helping usher in a new era of American prosperity.On St Patrick’s Day, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will travel to the US where he will visit Donald Trump at the White House. This follows a long tradition of previous Taoisigh who have travelled to the US on 17 March and give the US President a bowl of shamrocks in a gesture of goodwill, and more importantly, to maintain business connections.It’s also expected that he will visit other States in the US with a focus on promoting trade and culture.Friends in high placesIn the announcement today, the statement emphasised the role Irish people played throughout the United States’ history.Nine of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were of Irish origin, and Presidents including Barack Obama, Andrew Jackson, John F Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan have traced their roots back to Ireland.Businessman Henry Ford, founder of one of America’s most iconic companies, was also the son of an Irish immigrant.The White House said that the Heritage Month would aim to “honour” Irish-Americans and “to further strengthen” its relationship with Ireland during the month when “the country will don the traditional green garb as we celebrate the patron saint of Ireland”. 109 Comments For centuries, the tenacious Irish spirit, paired with American self-reliance, has helped Irish immigrants and their descendants realise incredible dreams.“With religious devotion, strength rooted in the love of family, and confidence in the promise of America, Irish Americans have engaged in the American experience in robust and meaningful ways. Their neighbourhoods, schools, churches, and workplaces have affirmed the importance of faith, industry, and learning.” Irish-American Heritage Month is a great opportunity to celebrate the nearly 33 million Americans with Irish ancestry and their tremendous contributions to the betterment of our country. Wednesday 28 Feb 2018, 8:42 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

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Bahamas and China celebrate 20 Years of Diplomatic relations

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, August 15, 2017 – Nassau – The Bahamas-China relationship is here to stay says the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Darren Henfield after the two countries this weekend celebrated 20 years of diplomatic relations.   The Minister used the occasion at the British Colonial Hilton on Friday at the British Colonial Hilton cite some of the greater accomplishments including the construction of the Airport Corridor, the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium, The Pointe resort and the FNM Minister even touted the one of the region’s largest resort developments, Baha Mar on Cable Beach.Minister Henfield said buttress for local coastlines against the ravages of sea-level rise, and the port developments in Grand Bahama and Abaco, along with the renewable energy endeavours are also from the Sino-Bahamian link.The Minister pointed out that the international relationship has introduced The Bahamas to the appointments of eight Chinese Ambassadors to The Bahamas and three Bahamian Ambassadors to China, as “the immediate and official link between our two Governments… to facilitate the communication, planning and implementation needed to realize our common aims and goals.”‘’’Bahamians also enjoy the mutual support for international candidacies, visa-free travel to China, natural disaster relief assistance, as well as the dialogues engendered and arrangements agreed at the national, regional and hemispheric levels.    In the end, and despite whispering of concerns about the closeness of The Bahamas and China, the Minister flatly shared this,  “China has proven to be a good friend and development partner to the people of The Bahamas.    To this end, my Government will do its utmost to maintain and promote Sino-Bahamian relations through on-going dialogue between our capitals, and our business and cultural communities, for the benefit of both our nations and our peoples.” Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApplast_img read more

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Rafa Bentiez revealed he is happy at Newcastle

first_imgNewcastle United boss has admitted he could remain in charge even after his contract with the Magpies runs out next summer although his team miserably struggle in the Premier LeagueWith a record of two draws and seven defeats in the opening nine league fixtures, the Tynesiders are nailed to the bottom of the table, as one of three teams that are yet to achieve a victory.Furthermore, with just six goals scored, Newcastle have the third-worst goalscoring record in the English top flight after Huddersfield and Crystal Palace.The lack of summer signings has so far proved costly to Rafael Benitez, who still believes his side can dodge relegation if they manage to strengthen the squad in January.“Hopefully, we can be in a much better position in January, then it will be easier.“You are asking me about my future, and I decided about my future when I signed for Newcastle United for three years.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“My idea when we were talking about that was the project to finish challenging the top eight, so not even the top 10. I said we could be easily in the top eight, that was my idea.“Do I still believe it’s a top eight team? What I said – if we do the right things, yes.”When asked about his plans for the next year, the 58-year-old Spaniard said: “Yeah, I am happy here.”“We can’t waste energy with my future but, in January, we have to find the right targets to improve things on the pitch – and do it,” Benitez told the Mirror.“Last year is an example — we finished 10th after we did it in January. We can do something similar.”last_img read more

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Florida Moves to Protect Orlandos Defense Simulation Cluster

first_imgLocal leaders in Central Florida believe a state-funded initiative to build an office park to house 3,000 defense workers involved in simulation, training and gaming should protect the region from losing the activity through a future realignment action. The military and civilian personnel, who primarily oversee contracts, currently are housed in 200,000 square feet of leased space adjacent to Naval Support Activity Orlando. Local concerns about a DOD effort to move the workers — through a BRAC or non-BRAC action — into underutilized space at military installations to save money spurred the Central Florida Partnership to secure funding to relocate the personnel within Orlando, reported National Defense magazine. Florida lawmakers ultimately approved $42 million for the office park.The initiative would “mitigate the risk that they could be realigned, with or without BRAC, as a cost saving measure,” said Thomas Baptiste, president of the Orlando-based National Center for Simulation.Loss of the defense workers involved in simulation almost certainly would result in an exodus of contractors who support the mission. The industry in Orlando generates $6 billion in economic activity and employs 75,000 workers, according to the story.Moving those offices into state-owned buildings would slash their leasing costs by 80 percent, Baptiste said.“We have to set the conditions to continue to grow this industry,” said Baptiste. “If the industry is in the research park, it’s because that’s where the contracts are. And if the contracting workers moved, the companies would relocate.” Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

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The Beatles Sgt Pepper Jukebox Commemorates Albums 50th Anniversary

first_img The Beatles: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Jukebox Commemorates Album’s 50th Anniversary Beatles Ready Special-Edition ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Jukebo beatles-sgt-pepper-jukebox-commemorates-albums-50th-anniversary Twitter Under exclusive license from Apple Corp, Jingle Games Ltd. is set produce a special Sgt. Pepper’s … limited-edition vinyl-playing jukebox. The jukebox, which will be branded by the album’s iconic album, will be equipped with 70 7-inch singles and will be capable of playing the A and B sides of the LP. Adding a modern touch, the collectible will incorporate a Bluetooth receiver to stream digital music wirelessly from compatible devices.Manufactured in the U.K. by Sound Leisure, the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band jukebox will retail for 8,995 pounds (approximately $12,000).The 50th-anniversary reissue of Sgt. Pepper’s … represented the latest posthumous milestone for the Beatles, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200.Joe Walsh, Nancy Wilson, Rick Nielsen Celebrate Sgt. Pepper’s … At 50 Email Album’s golden anniversary celebration topped off with limited-edition jukebox with Bluetooth capabilityTim McPhateGRAMMYs Oct 4, 2017 – 3:02 pm This past May, fans of the Beatles were satiated with a sprawling 50th-anniversary reissue campaign for the group’s iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album across various formats: streaming services, compact disc, 5.1 surround sound mix, and double LP. Now, Fab Four collectors desiring an even bigger fix will get by with a little help from a jukebox. Facebook NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO May 25, 2017 – 10:00 am How ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ inspired Jack Antonoff News last_img read more

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FEEDBACK WANTED Wilmington Schools Want Feedback From Parents On New Bullying Prevention Plan

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — The Wilmington Behavioral Health Task Force has updated the School District’s Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan (BPIP) to ensure alignment with the most recent anti-bullying legislation.Please click HERE to view the draft plan and click HERE to access a form to provide feedback on the draft. Feedback will be collected until April 20, 2019.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Wilmington Public Schools.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSCHOOL COMMITTEE NOTEBOOK: 5 Things That Happened At Recent School Committee MeetingIn “Education”Wilmington’s Doreen Crowe Presents At International School Nurse Conference In SwedenIn “Education”BUSINESS BRIEF: Santander Bank Launches “Red Card Against Bullying” Campaign With New England Revolution & PlayworksIn “Business”last_img read more

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LinkedIn profit surpasses estimates hiring service ads revenue surges

first_imgLinkedIn Corp’s quarterly revenue and profit has handily beaten estimates by analysts, as the world’s biggest professional networking website operator earned more from its recruitment services business, advertisements and paid memberships.On Thursday, 29 October, shares of the company, which also raised its full-year profit and revenue forecasts, jumped 12% in extended trading.LinkedIn has been spending heavily on expansion by buying up companies, hiring sales personnel and increasing its presence in China and other markets outside the United States.Expanded offerings helped boost revenue from the company’s Talents Solutions business, which connects recruiters and job seekers, by 46% in the third quarter. The business accounted for nearly two-thirds of LinkedIn’s total revenue.Revenue from advertisements on its website rose 28%, while paid membership income increased 21%.LinkedIn, which operates in over 200 countries and territories, said the total number of members rose 20% to 396 million at the end of the third quarter.The company said the number of its subscribers in China had more than tripled since early 2014, when it launched a local language version, to over 13 million users currently.last_img read more

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Gray Case Prosecutors Seek to Compel 2nd Officer to Testify

first_imgOfficer William Porter, right, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Porter is one of two officers who prosecutors want to testify against their colleagues. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)Prosecutors in Baltimore want to compel a second police officer charged in the Freddie Gray case to testify against a fellow officer.Media outlets report that a motion seeks to compel Officer Garrett Miller to testify at Officer Edward Nero’s trial. Both were involved in Gray’s arrest and have pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct. Gray died in April 2015 after he was injured in police custody.The motion filed last week comes after a decision by the state’s highest court that Officer William Porter can be compelled to testify. The Court of Appeals issued the order March 8, but hasn’t delivered an opinion explaining its reasoning.If the motion is granted, both Porter and Miller could be witnesses at Nero’s trial.last_img read more

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Lawmakers Press Officials Over Mass Refinance Program

first_imgLawmakers Press Officials Over Mass Refinance Program October 12, 2011 513 Views in Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Sixteen lawmakers from both parties inked their names to a “”widely circulated letter””: Wednesday that called for the implementation of a massive refinance program first proposed by “”President Barack Obama””:[IMAGE]Addressing several high-ranking officials, the bipartisan group pressed in the letter for the elimination loan-to-value ratio caps, risk-based loan fees, and barriers like second lien holders.””Time is of the essence and we urge you to act quickly and aggressively to ensure that responsible homeowners receive the full benefit of these lower rates,”” the senators wrote. “”All of these changes can be accomplished administratively and we urge that you take immediate steps to do so. “”We also support efforts to address other hurdles that have limited the success of current refinance programs, including representations and warranties, mortgage insurance, and high lender origination fees,”” the senators added.The 16 signators include “”Sen. Barbara Boxer””: (D-California), “”Sen. Johnny Isakson””: (R-Georgia), and “”Sen. Robert Menendez””: (D-New Jersey), among a host of others from states across the country.The officials to whom the senators addressed their public letter include “”Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner””:, “”HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan””:, “”National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling””:, and “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””: “”Director Edward DeMarco””: sources told _MReport_ that DeMarco remains a potential stumbling block for the administration and lawmakers in favor of Obama’s mass refi plan. News outlets allege that the Obama administration means to lift loan-to-value ratios for the “”Home Affordable Refinance Program””: (HARP), which the GSEs offer to eligible homeowners with the desire to refinance their government loans.For a “”past story””:, “”Mark Calabria””:, director of financial regulation studies with the conservative-leaning “”Cato Institute””:, described DeMarco as someone who isn’t above persuasion but whose bottom line is the conservation of GSEs “”Fannie Mae””: and “”Freddie Mac””: himself “”continues to push back on the proposal””:, saying at a recent conference, “”HARP is not a mass refinancing program; it was designed to address a particular segment of borrowers with loans guaranteed by the Enterprises.””The Enterprises control certain features of HARP, but they do not make loans to borrowers nor set the rates that borrowers pay,”” he added.Supporters remain fixed in opposition, saying an expanded refi program would allow for an unprecedented surge in refinancing activity across the country, allowing homeowners to save cash and reap benefits from historically low mortgage rates.Wrote the senators: “”It is equally important that in reducing these barriers, the benefits of today’s low rates are not lost to borrowers. With interest rates having hit an all-time low of 3.94 percent, there are nearly 19 million loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paying interest above 5.0 percent that could benefit from a refinance. “”Any changes to existing programs must enable as many of these borrowers as possible to refinance and to do so at rates comparable to those received by any other current borrower who has not suffered a drop in home value,”” their letter added.center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Fixed-Rate Mortgage Freddie Mac Housing Affordability HUD Investment Investors Lenders & Servicers Mortgage Rates Processing Refinance Service Providers Top Stories of 2011 Treasury Department 2011-10-12 Ryan Schuette Sharelast_img read more

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Commentary People Will Die

first_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bureau of Economic Analysis Consumer spending Existing-Home Sales GDP Home Prices Home Sales Housing Starts Investors Lenders & Servicers Mark Lieberman Service Providers Unemployment 2013-03-01 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share The sad fact of the budget sequestration being played out in Washington is how avoidable it was. The sadder fact is that however temporary it might prove to be–and that appears from a distance to be more of a wish than a forecast–it will affect real people, and not well.[IMAGE] How we got here has been hashed and rehashed, and in the process has made Washington Post editor, columnist, and author Bob Woodward a new parlor game in Washington because he pointed the finger at President Obama as the “”author”” of the sequester concept. That President Obama proposed the sequester–setting a deadline for harsh budget cuts as part of a deal to wrest an unnecessary debt-ceiling increase from recalcitrant Republicans–kind of doesn’t matter since the very same Republicans who criticized the arrangement voted for it.The president has tried repeatedly to describe the impact of sequestration, a mandatory across-the-board cut in federal spending exempting only a small handful of social safety net programs. Despite those exemptions, a simple fact is that people will die as a result of these cuts, and lives could be changed irrevocably.If the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as a result of the cuts, takes even longer to test and approve potentially life-saving medication or medical treatments, people will die. If the FDA cuts corners to approve medication, people will die.If the U.S. Department of Agriculture can’t keep up its schedule of food safety inspections, people will die.If the U.S. Department of Education is forced to cut back on Head Start or other early childhood education programs, someone–or several someones –15 years from now may not graduate from high school, not to mention college.These effects are beyond the impact of jobs loss because defense or other contractors are not hired or because federal workers are furloughed, putting even more homeowners at risk of delinquency, or worse, foreclosure, just at a time when the housing sector is recovering. Indeed the last few weeks have produced some strong housing numbers (despite “”flattening confidence””: among builders), with an increase in “”housing permits””:, a modest “”increase in existing-home sales””:, and a strong increase in new home sales–even as prices for both categories of homes showed some month-over-month transactional declines. On the other hand, the “”Case-Shiller home price index””: continues to improve.[COLUMN_BREAK]The month-over-month price drops–despite weak inventories of both new and existing homes for sale–underscore the fragility of the housing recovery, a recovery put at risk if would-be homebuyers are unable to jump into a market fostered by lower prices and low interest rates.The tragedy in this is not what might happen–although that’s pretty severe long-term–or any of the other impacts; both sides know (or should know that). The tragedy is they have the means to fix it without resorting to face-saving techniques.First, they have to acknowledge a simple truth that while the federal deficit is a problem, it is not a problem that requires an immediate solution. Congressional Republicans have sucked the White House into believing immediate action is required. There is nothing the government should do that it can’t because we have a deficit. Nothing. It is not an immediate problem.Just look at the GDP report for the fourth quarter for evidence of what reduced federal spending does to the economy. Though the revised report Thursday showed the economy “”expanded”” by 0.1 percent in the quarter (reversing the original report, which showed a 0.1 percent contraction), any real growth was held back by a 6.9 percent quarterly drop in government spending, a 14.8 percent decline in federal spending.The “”0.1 percent””: “”growth”” was the weakest since the first quarter of 2011 when, guess what, all government spending fell 7.0 percent, led by a 10.3 percent drop in federal spending.So the first budgetary rule has to be to defer any harsh reductions in government spending until we can afford them, perhaps setting a target of a 6.0 percent unemployment rate sustained over a set number of months. Cuts to reduce the deficit could be programmed but more importantly planned for. While they would still hurt, the shock could more easily be absorbed at a 6.0 unemployment rate than 7.9 percent.And since the unemployment rate reduction would be achieved gradually, agencies would be able to adjust. Indeed, since so much of the federal budget goes to countercyclical spending–unemployment insurance and food stamps for example–some of the budget reductions would occur automatically as the unemployment rate falls.In the last fiscal year, unemployment insurance and the food stamp program cost a combined $194 billion and the year before $226 billion. While the programs won’t disappear even with unemployment at 6.0 percent, they would drop considerably (even more if the president’s higher minimum wage proposal were enacted). The sequester cuts which go into effect because of Washington inaction, are valued at $85 billion.People will die._Hear Mark Lieberman on P.O.T.U.S. Radio (SiriusXM 124) on Friday at 8:45 a.m. and again at 11:45 a.m. EST._*EDITOR’S NOTE:* _Every opinion merits a counter-opinion, and we’d like to hear yours. In the interest of presenting both sides to every story, we welcome rebuttals or response commentary. Want to write a counterpoint to this commentary for publication here on *Send your submission to*_ “”””:mailto:MReportEditor@TheMReport.comcenter_img March 1, 2013 445 Views Commentary: People Will Dielast_img read more

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Home Price Appreciation Continues to Lose Steam in August

first_img October 7, 2014 508 Views Share Home Price Appreciation Continues to Lose Steam in August Annual home price appreciation backed off a full percentage point in August compared to July, with further declines expected ahead.Including distressed sales, home prices nationwide rose 6.4 percent year-over-year in August, according to the latest report from CoreLogic. The increase marks 30 straight months of year-over-year price growth nationally.August’s increase came in below July’s rate of appreciation, which clocked in at 7.4 percent in CoreLogic’s initial report for the month. Price increases have steadily moved downward since last fall as some of the main factors boosting growth—low supply and increased investor activity—come back to more normal levels.”The pace of year-over-year appreciation continues to slow down as real estate markets find more balance. Home price appreciation reached a peak of almost 12 percent year-over-year in October 2013 and has since subsided to the current pace of 6 percent,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist Mark Fleming. “Continued moderation of home price appreciation is a welcomed sign of more balanced real estate markets and less pressure on affordability for potential home buyers in the near future.”All states on CoreLogic’s index reported annual price appreciation in August, pushing prices to new highs in nine states and the District of Columbia. Gains were led by Michigan (11.1 percent), California (9.2 percent), Nevada (9.2 percent), Maine (9 percent), and West Virginia (8.7 percent).Excluding distressed sales, CoreLogic reported home prices nationally were up 5.9 percent in August compared to a year prior, with Mississippi (-1.7 percent) the only state posting a decline.On a monthly basis, home prices at the national level ticked up 0.3 percent (both with and without distressed sales factored in) from July.Looking to September, CoreLogic’s predictive indicators point to another slowdown in price appreciation, with prices (including distressed sales) nudging up only 0.2 percent from August. For August 2015, the company forecasts annual growth of 5.2 percent.center_img Appreciation CoreLogic Home Prices 2014-10-07 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

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