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  • Morgan Stanley Makes Bid to Squash FHFA Suits

    first_img FHFA Freddie Mac Morgan Stanley 2015-02-12 Seth Welborn Morgan Stanley Makes Bid to Squash FHFA Suits Share Attorneys for investment firm Morgan Stanley made a motion in the New York Supreme Court Tuesday to throw out two lawsuits filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) accusing the firm of failing to buy back $2.5 billion worth of faulty residential mortgage-backed securities, according to media reports.FHFA, which is suing on behalf of the RMBS pools’ trustees, claims that Morgan Stanley committed a breach of contract by failing to buy back the poor performing loans, which were pooled into securities and sold to Freddie Mac in 2007, according to reports.A year later, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae required a government bailout of $188 billion and were taken under conservatorship of FHFA.According to reports, Morgan Stanley’s attorneys argued to Judge Marcy Friedman that the case should be dismissed because FHFA “had no standing” to file a complaint, since the statute of limitations had expired. The firm’s attorneys cited precedent set with a New York appeals court ruling in a similar case, ACE Securities Corp. et al. v. DB Structured Products, in which the complaint was dismissed because the plaintiff did not file the complaint until after the statute of limitations had expired.According to FHFA, Morgan Stanley knew the poor quality of the loans it sold to Freddie Mac but still failed to repurchase or cure them, which constituted a breach of contract. The FHFA’s attorneys argued that a clause exists in the contract that was not present in the ACE Securities case and that that statute of limitations had not expired, since the clock for a breach of contract suit doesn’t begin until the trustee is informed of the breach, according to reports.”We believe these cases were timely brought and investors should be allowed to pursue their claims for the extraordinary losses that were suffered,” said Steven Molo, an attorney for FHFA, in an email.Attorneys for Morgan Stanley could not immediately be reached for comment.The two cases are Federal Housing Finance Agency vs. Morgan Stanley ABS Capital and Federal Housing Finance Agency vs. Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Holdings, both in the New York Supreme Court.Friedman did not issue a decision on dismissing the two FHFA lawsuits against Morgan Stanley. She did, however, rule against dismissing a similar suit for $281 million in April 2014 brought about by Israel’s biggest bank, Bank Hapoalim BM, which accused Morgan Stanley of misrepresenting risky RMBS it sold to the Israeli bank.Morgan Stanley, a worldwide firm that is headquartered in New York, has had ongoing legal troubles in the last year with regards to its sales of RMBS prior to the financial crisis, resulting in a series of settlements totaling hundreds of millions. In February 2014, the firm settled a separate lawsuit filed by FHFA for $1.25 billion over the selling of faulty RMBS to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the run-up to the financial crisis. This suit was one of 18 that FHFA filed against financial institutions over packaging and selling of toxic RMBS; the only two institutions yet to settle with FHFA out of those 18 are Nomura Holding America and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The institutions that have settled have paid a combined total of about $24 billion.In July 2014, Morgan Stanley agreed to pay $275 million to investors for allegedly misrepresenting the delinquency status of subprime mortgage loans in 2007. Then, in September 2014, Morgan Stanley settled for $95 million with the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (MissPERS), to resolve claims that the firm misled investors as to the quality of RMBS it sold before the financial crisis.center_img February 12, 2015 486 Views in Daily Dose, Government, Headlines, News, Secondary Marketlast_img read more

  • A2Z Field Services Promotes New President and CEO

    first_img April 28, 2015 524 Views in Headlines, News Share A2Z Field Services Mortgage Field Services Providers Ohio 2015-04-28 Seth Welborncenter_img Plain City, Ohio-based A2Z Field Services has announced the retirement of its president, Bill McMullen, and the promotion of longtime SVP Amie Sparks-Beebe to the position of president and CEO with the company.In her previous role with A2Z, Sparks-Beebe’s responsibilities included core business operations such as resource and organizational planning, process improvement, sales and service development, and technology integration.The company expects a seamless transition as Sparks-Beebe expands her responsibilities to include growth strategies and initiatives as well as financial planning.”I take great pleasure and pride in promoting Amie Sparks-Beebe to CEO of A2Z,” McMullen said. “Amie’s accomplishments over the past eleven years have made her the obvious choice for this position. Her talents, energy and commitment to excellence have been a driving force within our organization, and I look forward to the continued growth of A2Z under her leadership.”Sparks-Beebe has a BA degree with a specialization in accounting from Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and she is a member of the Ohio State Accounting Association. She oversees three regional offices for A2Z located in Ohio, Texas, and North Carolina, and is based out of the company’s corporate headquarters outside of Columbus in Plain City, Ohio.Meanwhile, McMullen will maintain his ownership in A2Z but will not be involved in the management of the business.”It’s with mixed emotion that I leave my position at A2Z, but there is a time for everything, and I am truly confident as I pass the reins over to Amie that she will continue to move our business forward,” McMullen said. A2Z Field Services Promotes New President and CEOlast_img read more

  • Mortgage Servicing Insight FHA

    first_imgMortgage Servicing Insight: FHA Compliance FHA 2017-09-04 Joey Pizzolato September 4, 2017 615 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Headlines, News, Servicingcenter_img MReport sat down with John Vella, Chief Revenue Officer at Altisource Portfolio Solutions, to talk about compliance with Federal Housing Administration loans, delinquency risks, and more in this exclusive interview. MReport: What are some of the risks of not complying with FHA guidelines, and how can mortgage companies avoid these risks?Vella: Noncompliance will result in missed milestones and elongated timelines, incurring additional holding costs, property preservation requirements, and penalties.To combat these risks, many servicers have developed teams trained as experts on FHA guidelines and requirements. Doing so ensures that both internal processes are running efficiently and effectively, and these teams are also well-equipped to manage third-party vendors responsible for servicing the FHA portfolio. Hiring vendors that are well-versed in the guidelines is a key component to risk avoidance. Vendors can help ensure timelines and requirements are met through the use of technology, integrated services, and operational expertise.MR: Can you talk a bit more about delinquency risks? How do you combat these in particular?Vella: Servicing requirements for delinquent FHA loans include prescriptive and detailed property preservation, conveyance, and claims processing guidelines. In order to mitigate risk, keeping an asset in conveyance condition is a priority. Maintaining property condition and proper title throughout the process is critical to avoiding unnecessary costs for servicers. The associated regulations and guidelines can be very tricky, so it’s important to have an experienced team dedicated to this type of loan servicing to avoid unnecessary risk.MR: Many mortgage companies are hiring vendors that can supply bundled FHA services in advance of the completion of a foreclosure sale. Do you agree with this method?Vella: Yes, bundled services can often streamline processes and make things run more smoothly while expediting timelines and ensuring compliance standards are met. It is important to choose the right vendor who can handle valuation, title, property preservation, marketing, and auction services prior to the foreclosure sale date to ensure timely compliance and disposition.MR: We saw FHA originations grow in 2017, causing an increased need for FHA loan servicing and greater focus on driving adherence this year. Do you expect this trend to continue into 2018, or is it more likely to stabilize in the coming months before we enter the new year?Vella: We expect this trend to continue as the overall percentage of new FHA originations continues to rise. Economic conditions will remain fluid, but servicers are preparing their staffs and systems for this increase in volume.MR: During the recruiting process, how important is it that prospective members of your team be well-trained and knowledgeable about FHA loan servicing? Is this something they should come into a job knowing, or do you think it’s more beneficial for them to learn on the job?Vella: Finding employees with deep FHA experience can be difficult. We have found that employees with an eye for detail, commitment to quality and comfort bring strong performance to our FHA processes. FHA servicing is a very prescriptive process, and the right personality can pick up the playbook and execute at a high level, provided the right tools, reports, and environment. We strive to give each individual on our FHA service team the necessary tools to succeed. The combination of hiring experienced staff and new staff with the proper background allows for the ultimate path to scale. Sharelast_img read more

  • President Selected from Within LRES Corporation

    first_img 2018-05-07 Staff Writer President Selected from Within LRES Corporation LRES Corporation, a residential and commercial real estate services company based in Orange, Calif. that provides nationwide valuations, REO asset management, and HOA solutions for the mortgage and real estate industry, announced the promotion of their chief strategy officer Mark R. Johnson to the role of the company’s President.“Since joining LRES just over a year ago, Mark has proven himself to be a forward-looking and visionary leader,” said Roger Beane, CEO of LRES. “In that year, he has greatly distinguished himself by propelling the company forward in both our strategy and direction. His passion to improve the valuation industry through efficient workflows and advanced data science will influence our corporate objectives and initiatives as we enter the next phase of our growth.”As chief strategy officer at LRES, Johnson implemented actionable strategic priorities based on changing market conditions, evolving technical advances, and his understanding of the industry’s competitive landscape. He spearheaded numerous core company initiatives that Beane describes as “transformative”, while also developing the company’s business partnerships in order to position LRES for continued growth.Johnson has more than 20 years of executive experience with Fortune 500 companies in the mortgage industry, and has earned a reputation for consistently meeting or exceeding annual strategic goals and budget forecasts. Prior to LRES, he served as division president of Nationstar Mortgage Holdings, and as division president and chief operating officer of Lender Processing Services, now known as Black Knight Financial Services.“I am thrilled to accept this expanded role with Roger and the team,” said Johnson. “LRES is a great company with strong leadership, and a desire to leverage all of the latest technology, data, and analytical tools that are available. It is an exciting time for LRES and the industry.” May 7, 2018 540 Views center_img in Featured, Headlines, journal, News, Servicing Sharelast_img read more

  • What the Housing Market Learned from a Crisis

    first_img Banks Crisis Financial Institutions Foreclosures homes HOUSING Stanford 2018-10-08 Radhika Ojha What the Housing Market Learned from a Crisis in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Sharecenter_img October 8, 2018 784 Views How much has the market learned from the financial crisis a decade back? And are we prepared for the next crisis? Darrell Duffie and Amit Seru, both professors with Stanford’s Graduate School of Business spoke recently to Edmund L. Andrews for the institute’s Insights blog about their concerns with the current U.S. housing market. Both the professors of finance have spent considerable time studying the underlying causes of the Great Recession and believe the conditions that led to the last crisis could still very well be lurking in the market. Seru, whose chief focus has been assessing responsibility for the subprime mortgage crisis among banks and regulators, stressed that the causes of the next financial meltdown remained unpredictable. According to him, the large number of market variables made it difficult for anyone to be able to forecast clearly. He contended that the best method for preventing future shocks to the financial system would be by passing legislation that requires banks to keep bigger “equity capital buffers” to withstand unanticipated market turbulence. In an interview with DS News, Natalya Vinokurova, Assistant Professor, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania echoed this sentiment saying that not enough liquidity in the system was likely to cause the next housing bubble. “The liquidity comes in part from the quantitative easing of policies adopted to ease the aftermath of the 2008 crisis,” she said. Seru said that the creation of mortgage contracts with “semi-automatic relief mechanisms” that automatically index borrowers’ rates, so they vary according to local economic conditions, was yet another way to address the issue of liquidity as well as the fear that real income failures might lead to an increase in foreclosures once again.Duffie, who has advised the U.S. and foreign policymakers on the weaknesses in the financial system prior to the meltdown, agreed that the recovery after the Great Recession may only have averted the real repercussions of the crisis rather than resolving it, especially in that certain banks and institutions remained “too big to fail.” Recently,  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced a legislation aimed at breaking up the nation’s biggest banks and risky financial institutions. “No financial institution should be so large that its failure would cause catastrophic risk to millions of Americans or to our nation’s economic well being,” Sanders said in a statement after introducing the legislation. “We must end, once and for all, the scheme that is nothing more than a free insurance policy for Wall Street: the policy of ‘too big to fail.’”While Duffie considered the reforms in U.S. banking and restructuring of U.S. debt since the crisis a step in the right direction, he remained skeptical about the steps being taken to keep another threat at bay. He said that Washington regulators have, since the crash, been “easier on the banks” than they should have been.Looking specifically at the housing market, Michael Calhoun, President of the Brookings Center for Responsible Lending said in a recent paper that while regulatory safeguards that were put in place subsequent to the crisis have made today’s housing market much safer and resilient, “more could have been done to aid homeowners in the crisis and work remains to provide families with sufficient affordable, sustainable housing for today and in the coming years.”Seru pointed out that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) considered by many to be too heavily invested in the housing market—are now even more. Whereas, before the housing bust, GSEs accounted for 75 percent of mortgages bought and sold by private lenders, the share of GSEs in the market has since grown 20 percent, aremarkable 95 percent overall. Seru considers this a troubling trend.Additionally, Seru said that nonbank lenders were even more important in the mortgage market now than they were before the crisis. “No one knows what their balance sheet looks like, but they are selling all their mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It is worth remembering that two of the largest and most notorious non-bank lenders, New Century and Ameriquest, went belly up first and helped trigger the last crisis,” he told Andrews.Click here to read the complete interview with the Stanford professors.last_img read more

  • April 05 2019

    first_imgApril 05 , 2019 Discount supermarket chain ALDI has made a bold step forward in the fight against the global plastics crisis with a new policy set to minimize packaging waste.The policy outlines the supermarket giant’s plans to only use packaging that is completely reusable, recyclable, or compostable by 2025.Along with this initiative, ALDI says it will reduce all its packaging material by a minimum of 50% by the same year.A final commitment the company has voiced is to work with its supplier to enact more sustainable practices. Since most of its products (90%) are ALDI-exclusive, the chain is able to exert greater control over how they’re sourced, produced, and transported.Two of the changes it says it will make by 2020 are to provide a How2Recycle label on all ALDI-exclusive consumable packaging, and to make private-label products easier for customers to reuse. Germany: Cocaine worth €25M found in ALDI banana … You might also be interested in These are far from the brand’s first sustainability initiatives. Over four decades ago, ALDI U.S. stopped supplying single-use plastic grocery bags, asking shoppers to bring their own reusable bags instead.By company estimates, this practice has helped keep approximately 15 billion single-use plastic bags out of landfills and oceans.What’s more, according to ALDI, its stores recycled more than 250,000 metric tons (MT) of materials in 2018 alone, preventing the greenhouse gas equivalent of 8,094,533 gallons of gasoline.These goals were achievements of a larger ALDI Corporate Responsibility Program, which works to reduce food waste, support natural disaster relief efforts, and build stronger communities through its long-standing partnership with Feeding America, explains the company. “The commitments we’re making to reduce plastic packaging waste are an investment in our collective future that we are proud to make,” says Jason Hart, CEO of ALDI U.S.last_img read more

  • Australia Queensland govt boosts TR4 funding cal

    first_img Australia: Queensland govt boosts TR4 funding, cal … A Delaware federal magistrate judge has reportedly denied Chiquita’s request to be let out of litigation concerning Ecuadorian farmworkers’ claims that they were poisoned from exposure to pesticides used on bananas.U.S. Magistrate Judge Sherry R. Fallon of the District of Delaware denied Chiquita’s motion to dismiss it from the Ecuadoran portion of a mass tort lawsuit filed by workers from South and Central America against multiple companies, including Dole Foods Co. Inc. and Dow Chemical Co, according to Law.Fallon said in a report and recommendations issued July 16 that although the Ecuadoran plaintiffs currently have no specific claims against Chiquita, they do have the opportunity to conduct additional discovery that could develop into concrete allegations, pursuant to a scheduling order in the case that provides direction for such disputes. Pioneering Dutch substrate banana production proje … You might also be interested in “Chiquita argues that because the Ecuadorian plaintiffs have not asserted claims against Chiquita, there are no claims on which they can conduct discovery, and any discovery at this time would be fishing for facts to support a claim against Chiquita,” Fallon was quoted as saying.“Chiquita’s motion skirts the process established in paragraph 2 of the scheduling order, which provides plaintiffs the opportunity to conduct written discovery on the ‘nature and evidentiary bases of the claims of Ecuadorian Plaintiffs.’”The plaintiffs, who are from Ecuador, Panama and Costa Rica, claimed exposure to the pesticide dibromochloropropane (DBCP), which was sprayed in the soil and fields of banana plantations from the 1960s to the 1980s.The mass tort action was filed in 2012 and was originally dismissed. However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that the lower court’s finding that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case was erroneous, and sent it back for further proceedings.Read the full article here.center_img July 18 , 2019 Sigatoka risk greatly increased by climate change, … TR4 confirmed in Colombia as country declares “nat … last_img read more

  • The cases in the outbreak from Connecticut Florid

    first_imgThe cases in the outbreak from Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Wisconsin.Although the investigation is ongoing, CDC’s analysis of epidemiologic information indicates that contaminated fresh basil is the “likely” cause of the illnesses.The FDA’s traceback investigation indicates that the fresh basil available at points of sale where consumers became ill was exported to the U.S. by Siga Logistics. The FDA has requested a voluntary recall and the firm has agreed.It has also increased import screening on basil and will continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak as well as the distribution of products.  As this outbreak investigation continues, the FDA will work with its Mexican food safety regulatory counterparts to better define the cause and source of this outbreak.  U.S. labor hearing tackles produce industry challe … Chile: Fruit exports contract in H1 as leading com … You might also be interested in July 25 , 2019 center_img The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other authorities are investing a multistate outbreak of cyclospora illnesses potentially linked to fresh basil imported from Mexico.It has advised consumers not to eat basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico, and for restaurants, retailers, distributors, importers and suppliers not to sell or serve its basil.So far there have been 132 illnesses and four hospitalizations, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The FDA suspects the basil was served at restaurants in four states – Florida, Minnesota, New York, and Ohio. Mexico lifts tariffs on U.S. apples … BayWa, RWA announce robotics challenge to promote … last_img read more

  • Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

    first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Co-host Mike Golic asked if Cardinals’ receiver LarryFitzgerald would be on board with Manning heading toArizona should he be released by Indianapolis before nextmonth’s roster bonus deadline day.“I’m sure he would love that, and I’m sure the state ofArizona would love that,” Warner said. “They’ve struggledto fill that position and if you get an opportunity tohave a guy like Peyton Manning, assuming he’s back, hechanges the dynamic on your football team.”And Warner acknowledges that Manning could be the X-factorfor the Cardinals, a team that showed promise late in2011, winning seven of their last nine games.“We saw a team that down the stretch won a number a gamesand finished 8-8 with not a lot of pieces. If you add aPeyton Manning to that mix in the NFC West, all of asudden, you’re a big time contender.”The Cardinals aren’t the only team who will exploresigning the NFL’s best pitchman. Miami, Washington, SanFrancisco, Seattle and the New York Jets have already beenlinked through rumors, and there could be more.“It’s going to be that risk-reward. How much to you haveto pay? What’s the risk? Is it all worth it at thispoint in time of his career,” Warner said. “I thinkthat’s what’s going to be interesting is how many teamsjump into the mix saying ‘this is something we have totry’.” What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The only quarterback to ever lead the Arizona Cardinals toa Super Bowl appearance is making the rounds at radio rowin Indianapolis at this year’s Super Bowl, and he’s gotsome interesting thoughts on his former team’s quarterbackposition.Kurt Warner joined ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike (mornings 5to 9 a.m on Arizona Sports 620) and discussed the loomingpossibility that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning could bewearing Cardinal red in 2012. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationcenter_img Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

  • Massie was a threeyear starter at Mississippi an

    first_imgMassie was a three-year starter at Mississippi, and mayvery well start at right tackle for the Cardinals thisseason. However, he fell to the fourth for a reason, and while theCardinals are certainly glad he did, there is no guaranteehe’ll be ready to go when the season begins September 9. Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals have agreed to terms with fourth-roundpick Bobby Massie, making him the first of their 2012Draftclass to sign.The news was broken by Massie himself.Just signed mycontractI am officially a Arizona Cardinal— Bobby massie(@MrBig434) May 15,2012 Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’center_img Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinkelast_img read more

  • Dbacks president Derrick Hall Franchise still f

    first_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ For his career, the former Colorado State product hastallied 495 tackles, 46.5 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, fivefumble recoveries, one interception and 25 passesdefensed. “I think that he brings a known quantity to the team, andhe’s a hard worker,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt saidof Haggans. “I think he sets a good example for the youngplayers. “He knows the defense; it’s good to have those kind ofguys back, competing.”Haggans figures to take on more of a leadership role thisseason, helping young linebackers like Sam Acho andO’Brien Schofield, both of whom the team is going to relyon heavily this season.“It’s a flattering thing, kind of makes you feel old in away, but there’s no rocking chair in front of my lockeryet,” Haggans said of his role. “So, just take it and rollwith it.”Haggans joined the Cardinals in 2008 following eightseasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team released linebacker Broderick Binns to make roomfor Haggans. Arizona Sports’ Craig Grialou contributed to thisreport Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke The Cardinals announced Tuesday they have re-signedveteranlinebacker Clark Haggans to a one-year contract, accordingto a release from the team.“I’m just excited to be back running around with the boys,and just sweating and getting sunburned,” Haggans joked.“I’m very fortunate, very happy, and back at work.”Haggans, 35, started all 16 games for the Cardinals lastseason, registering 54 tackles, three sacks, three passesdefensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

  • 0 Comments  

    first_img 0 Comments   Share   What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ That’s fair, though even with shaky QB play last seasonthe Cardinals seemed to do alright. While no one is sayingthey will make a Super Bowl run without improvement at theposition, to rank them among the league’s worst teamsstill seems a bit off.Silva notes that the Cardinals did not make a lot ofbig changes over the offseason, and instead are hoping“continuity throughout the coaching staff will expeditein-house improvement across the roster.”Sounds about right, and if the final games of last seasonare any indication, that may very well be what happens.Ultimately, Silva says the Cardinals’ season will comedown to getting consistent QB play. If it happens, henotes, the team will surpass his expectations. He justdoesn’t believe it will happen. The Arizona Cardinals finished the 2011 season with an 8-8record. However, that did not stop Evan Silva of Pro Football Talk, in hispreseason power rankings, from putting the Cardinals 25th. There are only 32 teams in the NFL.Silva notes that while the Cardinals are fairly strong atwide receiver and have playmakers on defense, theirweaknesses — mainly at running back (health), quarterback(inconsistency) and offensive line (overall poor play) —could ultimately be the team’s downfall. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories Behind perhaps only quarterback, offensive line play isthe biggest concern in Arizona. Kolb tends to get happyfeet in the pocket amid unsound protection, and passblocking was a major problem for the 2011 Cards. FootballOutsiders graded the Cardinals’ offensive line as 15thbest in run blocking, but a lowly 27th in pass protection.Arizona shook up its front five this offseason, but noneof the moves inspired much confidence.last_img read more

  • Were going to do what we think gives us the best

    first_img“We’re going to do what we think gives us the best chance to win going forward, and that’s not something that we have to make the decision right now.” – / 18 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Whisenhunt was particularly miffed at Skelton’s inability to hit a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald for what would have been a touchdown late in the first quarter. The Cardinals ended up settling for a field goal, and the four-point swing proved to be the difference in the game.The sixth-round pick out of San Diego State handled himself well Sunday, according to Whisenhunt, even though his stats (9-of-20 for 64 yards) were not exactly impressive.“He did a nice job I thought in a lot of areas,” he said, “managing the game, handling the noise, doing some of the things that you need to do with protection.“He looked comfortable in the pocket, made some good throws.”Good enough to keep the job? Not exactly.Whisenhunt said Kevin Kolb is expected to practice some this week, but how much he does depends “on how he handles it physically.” And with him nearing a return and Skelton still around, the coach said there is no need to proclaim anyone — including Lindley — the starter as his team prepares for the St. Louis Rams. “We’ve got to sit down as a staff and look at what we’re trying to get done and make that evaluation,” Whisenhunt said, adding that he just finished watching film from Sunday’s game. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said the move to replace John Skelton with Ryan Lindley Sunday should not have come as much of a surprise.After all, it was part of the idea that changes would be made if the coach deemed them necessary. “In looking at where we were, as a team, and we said this going into the bye week that we were going to play guys in spots that we thought gave us a chance to win, and that’s what we did,” Whisenhunt said at his Monday press conference in Tempe. “We wanted to see if [Lindley] would give us a chance to make some of those plays because we had missed some plays earlier in the game.” Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

  • The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

    first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img “How do you describe somebody that’s smart, that’s fast, that’s strong, that’s big, that has fantastic hands, feet, he has tackling ability, he studies, says the right things, was brought up the right way by his parents?” Horton said. “He is the complete package.” The 22-year-old’s play speaks for itself this season. Peterson has emerged as one of the top cornerbacks in the league. The Cardinals’ 2011 first round pick has 47 tackles and is tied for second in the NFL with seven interceptions. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires There were literally no words for Arizona Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Ray Horton when it came to assessing Patrick Peterson.Horton was a guest on Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Show Thursday and when asked what his young corner needs to improve on, the Cardinals’ DC was rendered speechless.After a period of silence, Horton discussed why he believes Peterson is such a special and rare breed of talent.last_img read more

  • Tauck has announced plans to double its small ship

    first_imgTauck has announced plans to double its small ship cruising capacity within the next four years through strategic fleet expansion, deepened partnership programs and new itineraries.“We are destination explorers at Tauck and some destinations are best explored by both land and sea,” said Tauck President, Jennifer Tombaugh.“Tauck Small Ship Cruising is our first product line to sell out each year. By adding new destinations and expanding our capacity with Ponant, we are able to provide more choice and more availability in order to better serve the current and growing demand.”Ponant, the French-owned cruise line, will debut four new luxury expedition yachts in 2018 and 2019.As part of an expanded partnership, Tauck will leverage all four Ponant new builds starting with Le Lapérouse in summer 2018.The first Tauck sailing on Le Lapérouse departs on 3 July 2018 with the seven-night ‘Iceland: Land of Fire & Ice’ round trip from Reykjavik stopping at off-the-beaten-path towns, tiny villages and isolated islands and priced from AU$9990 per person twin share.“Today, Tauck utilises five Ponant ships for 10 itineraries. By 2020, we’ll be sailing on nine Ponant ships further supporting our investment in growing the category,” said Ms Tombaugh.New Cuba cruiseTauck Small Ship Cruising is adding a 10-day journey throughout Cuba departing 14, 23 and 28 December 2018 aboard the three-masted schooner, Le Ponant.The new people-to-people cultural sailing will be priced from AU$12,490 per person twin share calling on Cuba’s coastal gems between Havana and Santiago de Cuba and including a two-night stay in Havana, complete with guided Tauck sightseeing.BBC Earth JourneysTauck is further expanding its four-year partnership with BBC Earth, the award-winning filmmaker behind the 2017 acclaimed series, Planet Earth II. Starting in 2018, all Tauck Expedition small ship cruises become a part of the Tauck Earth Journeys portfolio featuring customised BBC Earth enhancements connecting travellers with wildlife and nature.The newest destination to be added to the Earth Journeys’ cruise collection is Iceland. Planned enhancements include BBC Earth experts on board select cruise departures and Tauck Director training and certification by BBC Earth filmmakers and historians.Currently, every land and sea Tauck Earth Journey features on-tour film vignettes custom-made by BBC Earth natural history experts, which Tauck guests view during their travels. Many Earth Journeys also incorporate BBC Earth-approved field equipment gadgets, such as sensitive long-range microphones, thermal imaging cameras, night-vision goggles, and self-activating camera traps. The vignettes provide exclusive insights and perspectives shared by BBC Earth experts, while the gadgets allow new and exhilarating ways for guests to interact with their surroundings, further enhancing and enriching the experience.Twenty-five years of small ship cruisesCelebrating 25 years in 2018, Tauck Small Ship Cruising offer a variety of intimate sailings to destinations across the globe. Leveraging its 90 plus years of land expertise to provide guests with more access and enrichment onshore, Tauck Small Ship Cruising itineraries include cultural journeys and expeditionary sailings. In the early 1990s, Tauck took its land model to the ocean in order to bring guests to destinations best explored by sea. By engaging various maritime partnerships, Tauck discovered that small ship cruises aligned most closely with the type of experiences their guests craved with an ability to reach locations big ships are unable to explore. Tauck’s first small ship cruise set sail in 1993 in the Mediterranean. Today, all Tauck small ship cruises offer flexible yacht-like cruising on vessels tailored to each destination and range from 40 to a maximum 300 guests. Each Tauck Small Ship Cruising itinerary is all-inclusive covering all shore excursions, gratuities, port charges and taxes, airport transfers, luggage handing, internet access, on-board meals and dining ashore opportunities. Most Tauck itineraries also include complimentary on-board beer, wine and cocktails, as well as pre and/or post-cruise hotel stays featuring guided Tauck-exclusive sightseeing.last_img read more

  • Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives the latest allvi

    first_imgGrand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives, the latest all-villa luxury resort, has opened.With 120 villas, of which 65 feature private pools, Grand Park Kodhipparu offers guests a variety of choices. Beach Pool, Ocean Water, Lagoon Water, Ocean Pool and Lagoon Pool Water villas offer direct access to white powdery sands or clear waters. All villas come with sunrise or sunset views, a sun terrace, indoor and outdoor shower facilities and more. Those looking for privacy can select one of the five Grand Residences featuring two bedrooms and bathrooms, an exclusive living space and large private pool.World-class dining amid scenic surroundingsThe restaurants and bars at Grand Park Kodhipparu are designed to maximise the natural beauty of Maldives. Situated next to the ocean, The Edge all-day dining restaurant will serve a changing selection of buffet dishes from breakfast through to dinner and guests can enjoy an unblocked view of the horizon from the indoor lounge seating or enjoy the stunning scenery while dining at the overwater private pods.Adjacent to the infinity pool, Breeze Poolside Dining and Bar is for light bites throughout the day. At sunset, it transforms into a resort bar offering an elevated experience with cocktails and cigars.Nestled in an intimate space away from the other resort facilities, Firedoor sets the stage for a special celebration, with a selection of prime grilled meats and fresh seafood prepared from the Josper Grill. An array of themed dining experiences is also available, including tropical beach barbecues, romantic champagne breakfasts on the sandbank, afternoon picnics and in-villa private dinners.Ultimate relaxation and recreation for the romantic, active and familyGuests looking to unwind can step into a peaceful sanctuary at The Spa featuring seven overwater treatment rooms, a beauty centre and relaxation room. Grand Park Kodhipparu has partnered with Comfort Zone to offer body and skincare treatments paired with the finest natural-origin products.For adventure enthusiasts looking to explore the dazzling underwater world, the resort’s dive and water sports centre, manned by a PADI-certified team, offers a host of activities including wreck diving, catamaran sailing, parasailing, banana boat riding, kayaking and wave surfing.last_img read more

  • Go back to the enewsletter When considering a tri

    first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterWhen considering a trip to India, it can be hard to look past the Taj Mahal, or Jaipur’s striking Palace of the Winds, but beyond the Golden Triangle lies a side to India that travellers rarely get to experience. Gujarat is one of the least visited, but also one of the most rewarding states in India, and APT’s 23-day Contrasts of India gives travellers the chance to get to the heart of this truly captivating region, from the vast salt flats of Kutch to the ancient fortified city of Patan. Aboard the deluxe Deccan Odyssey train, travellers will explore the most authentic parts of Gujarat, providing a window into a side of India that is far from the hustle and bustle of the Golden Triangle.The Deccan OdysseyInspired by the imperial carriages used by the Maharajahs, touches of royalty can be seen in the smallest of details aboard the Deccan Odyssey. Each cabin is outfitted with its own private ensuite and a cosy interior design, while private butlers service each cabin daily. Complemented by a choice of two restaurant cars, travelling aboard this deluxe rail service makes for a truly memorable experience. Unpack once and discover the convenience of rail travel in India, the perfect escape from its congested roads and bustling airports.Sasan Gir National ParkThe forested, hilly terrain, deep valleys and numerous rivers of Sasan Gir National Park make it the ideal habitat for a vast array of wildlife. A safari through its thick, undisturbed forests is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as Sasan Gir is the last remaining place where the Asiatic lion can be seen in the wild. Hunted near to extinction towards the end of the 19th century, only about a dozen Asiatic lions were left in India, causing them to be listed as critically endangered in early 2000. Thanks to the conservation efforts of the park, numbers have increased dramatically and it is now considered one of the most important protected areas in Asia. Its forests are also home to panther, jackal, sambar, crocodile, deer, wild pig, and over 300 species of resident birds.Little Rann of KutchThe vast Kutch region of Gujarat is often described as India’s “wild west” and its barren, salt-tinted land is a compelling example of nature at its harshest. A Jeep safari is the perfect way to explore its seemingly endless expanses of desolate landscape and the first drive into the terrain feels slightly surreal. Cracked earth unfolds in all directions as far as the eye can see and heat mirages dance along the horizon. Though it may appear to be uninhabited, the Little Rann is in fact home to extremely rare wildlife including the last remaining population of the chestnut-coloured Indian wild ass. Other species here include the desert fox, jackal, jungle cat and an array of birdlife.Rani Ki Vav Stepwell, PatanA masterpiece of subterranean architecture, Rani Ki Vav is the only stepwell in existence to be declared a World Heritage site. Located in Patan, it is one of the biggest stepwells in Gujarat and is renowned for its exquisite detail and 1,500 intricate sculptures, all of which hold important religious and mythological significance. Lost under layers of sand for hundreds of years after it was initially constructed in the 11th century; the stepwell was excavated by archaeologists in 1980, when it was discovered to be in near-pristine condition.APT’s 23-day Contrasts of India takes travellers to all of these fascinating destinations plus many more, with prices starting at $25,895 per person twin share.To find out more about joining APT in 2019 for an unforgettable discovery of India or to request a brochure, please call APT on 1300 196 420 or visit aptouring.com.auGo back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

  • Go back to the enewsletter Japans Ishikawa Prefec

    first_imgGo back to the enewsletterJapan’s Ishikawa Prefecture showcased its culture and cuisine to travel agents and trade partners at an event held in Sydney earlier this week.Located on a peninsula by the Sea of Japan on the western coast of Honshu, Ishikawa is home to the famous Samurai town of Kanazawa. The city is easily accessed from Tokyo and Osaka and with the upcoming Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, tourism to Japan is projected to reach record highs in the months leading up to these events.Kanazawa is readily accessible from Tokyo, with 10 daily 1-hour flights operating from/to Komatsu Airport and a daily 1.15-hour flight from Narita. The Hokuriku Shinkansen (Bullet Train) also operates between Tokyo and Kanazawa, with a journey time of 2 hours and 28 minutes. A number of international cruise lines are also now including stops at Kanazawa Port, which is just 20-minutes from Central Kanazawa. MSC Splendida, Diamond Princess and Caledonian Sky have visited the port in 2018.Ishikawa is regarded as one of Japan’s great hubs for traditional arts and culture, and it is also the birthplace of the finest food culture in Japan, with attendees at Monday night’s event at The Grace Hotel introduced to some of the culinary delights on offer.Ishikawa Prefecture’s “Kaga” cuisine is regarded as some of the most prestigious in Japan, drawing on products from internationally renowned sake brewers, seafood caught fresh from the Sea of Japan and produce grown on fertile Ishikawa land. The natural flavours of the high-quality ingredients are preserved through the artisanal craftsmanship of Ishikawa’s culinary masters, not unlike the detailed artistry of Ishikawa’s traditional ceramics and lacquerware, producing cuisine that is not only appetising but also visually wondrous—a treat for all the senses.The authentic “Kaga” Kaiseki banquet with Geisha entertainment featured creations by the head chef of one of Ishikawa’s most accomplished ryokans. The extensive menu includes dishes such as simmered abalone, miso-marinated beef, steamed crab dumplings in a soup, duck and Sudare-fu and Ishikawa-style steamed sea bream.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

  • ReturnOne wayMulticityFromAdd nearby airports ToA

    first_imgReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedInternational flights to Bristol Airport picking upPassenger numbers at Bristol Airport increased by 8.5 percentRyanair to launch new flights from Bristol and LiverpoolFrom March 28th, the airline will launch flights to Faro, Gdansk, Palma de Mallorca, Venice Treviso and ValenciaFlights to Skiathos to be launched from BristolFlights to Skiathos to be launched from Bristollast_img

  • Cheap flights carrier Ryanair has launched Italys

    first_imgCheap flights carrier Ryanair has launched Italy’s first in-flight mobile phone service on five of its aircraft based at Rome (Ciampino).The service, which was launched yesterday (April 21st), goes someway to securing the airline’s aim of establishing call and text facilities on its fleet of over 180 aircraft.Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said that the service will allow passengers flying to Rome “to keep in touch with the office, family or friends while travelling”.”We expect customer demand for this service to grow rapidly and hope that customers on all our flights will soon be able to call or text from 30,000 feet to tell loved ones of yet another on-time Ryanair flight” he commented.Passengers will be able to make and receive voice calls at non-EU international roaming rates, while users of mobile phones, BlackBerrys and other smartphones will be able to send and receive text messages and emails.Ryanair will temporarily divert flights to and from Pau to Lourdes between July 27th and August 9th to allow for upgrade work to be undertaken on Pau Airport’s landing systems. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedRyanair launches in-flight mobile phone serviceRyanair launches in-flight mobile phone serviceRyanair to offer flight tracking serviceRyanair has announced a new flight tracking service, which will offer customers text message updates.Two new Ryanair routes from Shannon AirportTwo new Ryanair routes from Shannon Airportlast_img read more