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first_imgPascal Curran, Advice FirstIrish Banks have “rowed back” on a controversial move to cancel mortgage lending to house-hunters paid in sterling, says Donegal financial expert Pascal Curran.Lenders in the Republic had withdrawn mortgage services to people paid in non-euro currency following the introduction of a new EU directive in March.The banks’ axing of what are classed as ‘foreign currency mortgages’ left cross-border workers who receive sterling payment with no borrowing options to buy new homes in the Republic. Lenders refused to entertain applications from those seeking such mortgages in recent weeks, citing the introduction of the European Mortgage Credit Directive.However, several major lenders have now “loosened the restriction”, according to Pascal Curran from Advice First Financial in Letterkenny.He said: “The initial knee-jerk reaction by the banks was to shut down all mortgage lending to those earning foreign currency. This move effectively cut thousands of potential customers living in the border areas out of the loop.“Lenders were telling us a few weeks ago that they would also withdraw mortgages offered in principal should ‘letters of offer’ not be completed by a certain deadline,” he added. Mr Curran said some the banks are now “rowing back” on their initial blanket blackout of ‘foreign currency mortgages’.“Obviously some of the banks have now found an interpretation of the European Mortgage Credit Directive that works better for them and their customers.“It’s fantastic news for many house-hunters living in the south and working in the north that at least some lenders are offering what were classed as ‘foreign currency mortgages’ once again.”However, lending criteria is stricter than it was previously, he said.“Although the situation appears much less bleak than it did several weeks ago, these loans are still much harder to get as a result of the new directive.“Currently only four lenders are in a position to offer these loans and only in varying degrees. In some cases lenders will accept only one income when processing an application while in others they’ll accept only 80% of two combined incomes. “Many people living in the Republic and working in the North may still have problems when seeking finance for a new home.“The best first move is to seek professional advice on how to proceed. Getting a mortgage is one of the biggest decisions that people make in their lives so it’s important to get help at the beginning of the process in order to make the right decision.”BANKS EASE UP ON CROSS BORDER MORTGAGE BLACKOUT – DONEGAL FINANCIAL ADVISER was last modified: May 1st, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalFinancePascal Curranlast_img read more

first_imgzoomllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Oil tanker company Frontline reported a net income of USD 2.2 million for the third quarter of 2018, bouncing back from a loss of USD 22.9 million in the previous quarter and USD 34.3 million loss from last year.Frontline added that during the quarter net loss attributable to the company adjusted for certain non-cash items was USD 8.4 million.According to Robert Hvide Macleod, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS, tanker markets are beginning to rebalance following 18 months of extremely challenging conditions.“We are optimistic that the market has now exited the cycle trough. Oil inventory draws, fleet growth and production cuts have been against us, but these important factors are now turning in our favor. The most important factor, oil demand, remains strong,” he said.“We have a large fleet of modern and fuel-efficient vessels, with an average age of 4.1 years and our cash breakeven levels are among the most competitive in the industry. We expects that our positioning for IMO 2020, with our equity investment in FMSI and the planned installation of scrubbers on a number of our vessels, will result in a significant increase in cash generation should our market view unfold.”According to Frontline, although there is current talk of OPEC cutting back on production, volumes are expected to remain healthy heading in to 2019. Another factor positively impacting tankers are rising U.S. oil export volumes, which are generally long-haul trades, boosting ton-mile demand.“Sanctions on crude oil imports from Iran, notwithstanding any short-term waivers, have the potential to create significant dislocation in the crude oil markets, leading to periods of strong volatility as the market adapts to new trading patterns. We have already seen imports of Iranian crude oil into India and China decrease and replaced with crude from other markets,” Frontline said.With regard to supply-demand balance, the net effect is expected to be zero regarding the VLCC fleet growth in 2018.For the next year, the company expects vessel recycling to continue, despite the stronger spot market, but at a slower pace than seen in 2018.64 VLCCs are scheduled for delivery in 2019, and the current VLCC order book equals approximately 14.5% of the global VLCC fleet. The tanker company believes that the seemingly large figure is counter-balanced by approximately 20% of the existing global VLCC fleet which is in excess of 15 years of age, making them likely candidates for scrapping.last_img read more

Big Sports meeting announced

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Ministry throws Sports a big night in Turks and Caicos Related Items:judith robinson, sports awards, sports meeting Recommended for youcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 14 Oct 2015 – Sporting bodies around the country are being called to convene this Friday October 16 at 11am at the Gus Lightbourne gym. The meeting comes ahead of an anticipated Sports Awards program which is set for October 24th. Sports Hall of Fame gets first inductees; all womenlast_img read more

Army to Close Community Theaters in Europe

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR In the latest move prompted by the strict cap on defense spending, the Army is planning to eliminate its community theater program in Europe starting in fiscal 2017.About nine theaters, including those in Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern and Baumholder in Germany; Vicenza in Italy; and Mons in Belgium are expected to close. The theater program cost $1.96 million last year.In response to budget cuts in FY 2017, Installation Management Command (IMCOM), like the rest of the Army, had “to make some tough — and potentially unpopular — decisions as we work to separate wants from needs,” agency spokesman Scott Malcom told Stars and Stripes.“Our intent is to use our limited funds to provide critical base operating services and sustain the infrastructure that makes the Army ready,” Malcom said. “Is quality of life a child development center or a community theater? Are we in the humanities business or are we in the warfighting business?” he said.One or two theaters could survive since individual garrisons can choose to fund the program in different ways, Dane Winters, IMCOM-Europe’s entertainment director, wrote on the Baumholder Hilltop Theater’s Facebook page.Supporters of the theater program say the performing arts are a vital part of military quality of life as they reduce isolation and stress, and foster close host-nation relations, according to the story.last_img read more

first_imgTwitter isn’t OK with moving Halloween.  Mike Kemp/Getty Images A Change.org petition to move Halloween from Oct. 31 to the last Saturday of the month has given Twitter quite a fright. The petition, started by the Halloween & Costume Association, has gotten over 77,000 signatures toward its 150,000 goal as of this writing Friday.”It’s time for a safer, longer, stress-free celebration! Let’s move Halloween to the last Saturday of October,” states the petition, which was started last year, but has become a big topic on Twitter now as we inch toward Halloween this year. Move Halloween?  mtvstyle.tumblr.com/Giphy Halloween 2019 lands on a Thursday this year, but if the petition succeeds, the holiday would take place on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Halloween & Costume Association cites safety reasons for wanting to move the holiday. Those who signed the petition agree, and also said it would be easier to not worry about school the next day. Wrote one signer: “I’ve been saying this for years!! It only makes sense to do something like this so the kids can celebrate Halloween and not have to worry about school the next day. Not only that but adults can enjoy a Halloween party without having to worry about work.”Either way, the petition has gotten a lot of attention of Twitter.In retweets of the petition, Halloween purists complained about the idea, suggesting we might as well make Halloween made the whole month of October,  or even a year around affair. Now playing: Watch this: Tags 5 Online Mobile Apps petition to move Halloween to the entire month of October and also the other eleven months— Max Booth III (@GiveMeYourTeeth) July 26, 2019 Commentscenter_img Share your voice 1:53 me reading the petition of people trying to ‘move halloween’ to a different day than october 31st pic.twitter.com/FUglQ9mi8K— 𝕭𝖚𝖓𝖓𝖞 𝕸𝖊𝖞𝖊𝖗 (@grav3yardgirl) July 26, 2019 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay details revealed Petitions to move the date of Halloween is irrelevant. We all know Halloween is the entire month of October. Problem solved.— Meagan Navarro (@HauntedMeg) July 25, 2019last_img read more

Local Choreographer Depicts Two Iconic Houston Landmarks Through Dance

first_img X – / 6 Listen 00:00 /01:20 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:center_img It started with a simple conversation.“I was talking to an astronaut by the name of Steve Bowen,” says Houston-based choreographer Karen Stokes. “I thought, ‘Wow, these are incredible stories. How can I share this with the public?’”That led to Stokes’ idea to tell the story of Houston’s Ship Channel and NASA program through dance. The exploration – which began four years ago – has involved interviewing Ship Channel pilots, visiting historical sites, and even getting a special tour of NASA. Some of the choreography is inspired by the way the astronauts move underwater at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab.Michigan-based Bill Ryan was enlisted to write the score.  “The space music is very ethereal,” Ryan says. “I really tried to capture the incredible vastness of space … the endless vastness.”Ryan incorporates electronic sounds in the section representing the Ship Channel, such as old recordings of radio transmissions from ships.Stokes says she wants the audience to leave the performance with a sense of hope.“This is a project about human ingenuity, human endeavor, what we can do when we work together,” she says.Karen Stokes Dance presents DEEP: Seaspace Thursday through Saturday at Houston’s Hobby Center. Sharelast_img read more

Who Should Warn The Public Of Nuclear War

first_imgJennifer Sinco Kelleher/APHonolulu attorney Michael Green, right, sits with his client, the former Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who sent a false missile alert to residents and visitors in Hawaii, left, during an interview with reporters on Feb. 2, 2018 in Honolulu. The ex-state employee says he’s devastated about causing panic, but he believed it was a real attack at the time.Investigators are blaming human error for the panic-inducing false missile alert in Hawaii last month. They say it was sent out by a state emergency management worker who mistook an exercise for a real attack.At the same time, the incident has exposed what may be a more widespread problem: disagreement over whose job it should be to warn the public about missile attacks.Technically, the alerts could be sent by any federal, state or local agency that has access to IPAWS, the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, which sends emergency alerts to TV, radio and smart phones.But Federal officials say it’s not their role to warn the public about missiles. “FEMA will tell the states that there’s a missile inbound and where it’s going to land,” says Mark Lucero, chief of engineering for IPAWS. “And then the state will initiate any plans it has in place, one of which being issuing an alert to the public, telling them what to do.”FEMA’s national warning system manual echoes that localism: Once federal authorities have used the National Warning System (NAWAS) to alert state and local authorities of the missile threat, “Local authorities sound the Attack Warning signal on public warning devices.”This comes as a surprise to many of those local emergency management officials.Francisco Sanchez Jr., deputy emergency management coordinator for Harris County, Texas — which includes Houston — says he assumed the public message would come directly from the federal government.“Military events are not something that we envision or have within the scope of our responsiblities to alert for,” Sanchez says.Sanchez has been active in the recent updating of the national IPAWS system, and knows the system well. He says it’s good that local agencies are able to use it send out their own messages about floods and the like, but missile alerts are different. He says his agency would scramble to relay that warning to the public, but the extra step would slow things down.“Eighteen minutes before a missile gets here? Who am I going to call at the [Department of Defense] if I get that alert on my phone to verify this is real?” he asks. “Who can I get confirmation and double-confirmation from to make sure this is an authentic alert, this isn’t the result of a hack, this isn’t a mistake? By the time I’ve done that, something’s gone boom.”The false alarm in Hawaii happened in part because it was the unusual case of a state that had embraced its role in alerting the public to missile attacks, and was frequently practicing sending those messages out. It was during one such drill that a missile alert was sent out for real.Now other state and local emergency management agencies wonder if they should also be practicing more. In the last few weeks many have been in communication with each other, and with FEMA, about improving their readiness to send out a missile attack warning.Caleb Jones/APSmartphone screen capture shows a false incoming ballistic missile emergency alert sent from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency system.At the same time, many say they’d rather the federal government took the lead on this. Federal authorities have the technical capacity to send emergency alerts directly to the public, including access to a never-used “presidential message” system that’s so high-level, smart phone users have no way to block them (unlike other emergency alerts, which can be turned off.)At a House hearing on the Hawaii incident last week, Benjamin Krakauer of the New York City Office of Emergency Management said the federal government should formally take on the public alerting job.“The federal government really is in the best position to detect a threat from a state actor and issue warnings, initially, to the general public,” Krakauer said. “Time is of the essence, and state and local authorities are not really in the best position to make those notifications.”There are also concerns about widely varying alerting standards, at the local level. In Hawaii, the state’s system allowed alerts to be sent out by a single person — which is how one confused employee was able to trigger a state-wide alarm.Other agencies require two people to sign off on emergency alerts, although in some cases that’s just a procedural rule, not something enforced by the software.State agencies are also at a disadvantage when it comes to correcting mistakes. It took Hawaii 38 minutes to countermand its false alarm; Lisa Fowlkes, the Bureau Chief for the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission, told the House hearing that Hawaii’s correction was delayed by their unfamiliarity with the situation.“They had to figure out what code to issue, they talked to FEMA personnel on what was about a 45-second phone call,” Fowlkes said. “Then somebody had to go and log on and write a correction message, because they did not have a template for that.”Local agencies also vary widely in the kind of software they use to upload alerts into IPAWS. The actual messages are written and uploaded in software purchased from private sector vendors. Design and functionality vary, and some of the software products are very basic.Jared Spool, an expert in user interface engineering, says this makes it harder to fix dangerous design problems, on a national basis. For instance, he says, what do you do when it becomes clear that pull-down menus with pre-written emergency messages are laid out in a way that could lead to false missile alerts?“Because there are 23 vendors out there, how do you get them all to the same level of understanding,” Spool says. “And that’s the nature of the distributed way that our government works, and that these systems work.”FEMA considered supplying local emergency agencies with a free, standard message-sending system, but people inside the agency say software makers pressured FEMA not to compete with emergency messaging products sold by the private sector.The Hawaii incident has now focused new attention on what one local emergency management official calls “the planning gap,” when it comes to sending out public missile alerts. Some state and local agencies are now following Hawaii’s lead, thinking through what their procedures would be, and consulting with FEMA about what their emergency alerts should say.But the incident has also inspired those who want to get the states out of the missile-alert business altogether. Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz has introduced legislation making the public warnings the sole responsibility of the federal government.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more