Autonomous trucks moving quickly to commercial reality despite job threat

first_imgMONTREAL – Once thought of as a distant fantasy, autonomous trucks are moving towards commercial reality on Canadian highways as companies look to boost productivity amid a driver shortage and governments seek to reduce deadly crashes.They are not yet driving themselves out of warehouses and down the highways, but companies of all sizes —including General Motors, Google and Uber — are testing out the technology.Already a banner year in self-driving advancements — including the first on-street test of an autonomous vehicle in Canada — interest in the sector picked up in the closing months of 2017 after Tesla Inc. showcased a fully electric semi-trailer truck equipped with semi-autonomous technology including enhanced autopilot, automated braking and lane departure warnings.Toronto trucking firm Fortigo Freight joined Loblaws and Walmart Canada in each pre-ordering Tesla semis, the $232,000 electric truck set to be delivered in 2019 that holds the promise of eventually becoming autonomous.Despite his company’s investment, Fortigo president Elias Demangos isn’t holding his breath for widespread adoption in the next decade.While the vehicles are ideally suited for corridors, such as Canada’s busiest route between Montreal and Windsor, Demangos believes drivers will still be needed for short-haul services or to pick up and deliver goods.Estimates on how far away we are from a driverless future vary widely, but completely driverless trucks are already being used far from traffic, on remote resource properties.Suncor Energy is testing them at its oilsands operations in Alberta, while Rio Tinto is expanding their deployment at its iron ore mines in Australia.Rapid advances in technology are “revolutionizing” the way large-scale mining is undertaken around the globe, said Chris Salisbury, head of the mining giant’s iron ore division.Transport Minister Marc Garneau travelled in October to Tesla’s headquarters in Silicon Valley as part of his push to study safety and privacy issues associated with automated technologies to inform regulations his government plans to craft.He has asked a standing senate committee on transport and communications to study regulatory and technical issues related to the deployment of automated commercial vehicles, which have to potential to improve the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of Canada’s transportation system. The committee is expected to deliver a full report in January.“There are significant policy, technical, and operational issues that will need to be addressed in the coming years before fully automated trucks are common on Canadian roads,” said government spokeswoman Delphine Denis.The Canadian association representing the trucking industry — where autonomous technology could make the jobs of nearly 300,000 Canadians obsolete — recently urged the committee to avoid even referring to the technology as autonomous, much less driverless, preferring “advanced driver systems.”The group acknowledges there is a long-term threat to trucking jobs that the recent census said is the leading employer of Canadian men, but insists that is unlikely to happen during the careers of existing drivers and may even help to attract young people to the profession.“The majority of Canadians are skeptical and rightfully so, of having 80,000 pound commercial vehicles driving without human intervention alongside the highway beside them,” said Marco Beghetto, vice-president of communications for the Canadian Trucking Alliance.”The new modern high-tech truck will introduce many changes to our industry, but the constant will still be the driver, even if the role of the job evolves with the technology,” he told senators.The International Transport Forum, an intergovernmental think-tank, however, estimated that more than half of the 6.4 million driver jobs needed globally in 2030 could become redundant if driverless trucks are deployed quickly.Automating the trucking industry will be more efficient because it will cut labour costs by 40 per cent trucks can operate for longer hours, said Paul Godsmark, chief technology officer at the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence.Godsmark said a similar transport revolution occurred a century ago when cars replaced horse and carriage.“When something better comes along we adjust pretty quick and if it only took 13 years to adjust 100 years ago, how much quicker will be adapt this time around?”Automation advocates argue that removing human drivers from the road will increase safety.Currently, about 10 per cent of all crashes the Ontario Provincial Police get called to involve a commercial vehicle.While driver error is typically responsible for about one-third of incidents, a spike this year pushed that up to 65 per cent, Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the highway safety division said after a fiery crash killed three people on the Highway 400 north of Toronto in early November.However, confirming the efficacy of self-driving vehicles across many different driving conditions could be a challenge because autonomous systems don’t respond the same way as human drivers.They react to patterns they’ve seen in the past and can’t make the choice between avoiding a small child or wild animal crossing the road on their own.A group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is gathering human input into the type of ethical dilemma such machines will face.Participants are asked decide, for instance, whether a self-driving vehicle with brake failure should continue straight killing a woman, a baby, a criminal and a cat; or swerve, resulting in the death of a girl, a pregnant woman, a dog and a baby.While autonomous trucks will never be totally safe, such “live or die choices” are very rare, said Godsmark.Rapid advancements in self-driving technology will allow the system to react more quickly than the best human driver, he added.“The expectation is if we get all of that right there will be a lot fewer crashes.”last_img read more

ALLSTAR LINEUP OF PRESENTERS PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2018 CANADAS WALK OF FAME

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Toronto, ON – The greatest night of the year to be Canadian just got even better with the announcement of a blockbuster lineup of presenters and performers scheduled to appear at the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards on December 1 in Toronto.Catherine O’Hara, Russell Peters, Barenaked Ladies, Sarah McLachlan, Andrew Loog Oldham, Whitehorse, Marie-Mai, The Tenors, Dr. Roberta Bondar, Max Kerman, Ginette Reno and Wendy Crewson are set to appear on the show, where nine Canadians will be celebrated and inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame.Also confirmed to attend and walk the red carpet are Kurt Browning, Karen Kain, Rex Harrington, Veronica Tennant, Evelyn Hart, Sonia Rodriguez, Randy Bachman, Donovan Bailey and Team Canada ’72 members Paul Henderson, Pat Stapleton, Red Berenson, Frank Mahovlich and Pete Mahovlich. Watch for more names to be announced prior to the show.Tickets to see the 2018 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards show are on sale www.ticketmaster.ca.This year’s Inductees are:Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Arts and Entertainment)Andrea Martin (Arts and Entertainment)Col. Chris Hadfield (Science and Technology)Leonard Cohen (Legend Inductee)Andy Kim (Arts and EntertainmentTessa Virtue and Scott Moir (Sports and Athletics)Jimmy Pattison (Business and Entrepreneurship)CTV is the broadcast partner of Canada’s Walk of Fame. CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS will air on CTV and on the CTV app in December. John Brunton, Lindsay Cox, Jeffrey Latimer and Randy Lennox are Executive Producers of the CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS.For a complete list of Inductees and more information on Canada’s Walk of Fame visit:  www.canadaswalkoffame.com.Social Media links CWOF Website @cwofame @CWOFameAbout CTVCTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 17 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.About Canada’s Walk of FameNow celebrating its 20th anniversary, Canada’s Walk of Fame is a national platform that celebrates Canadian achievement at the highest level in many fields, fueling our sense of Canadian pride and inspiring the next generation to follow in their footsteps. Canada’s Walk of Fame is the foremost honour for cultural, entrepreneurial, athletic, philanthropic and science/technology excellence in Canada. Current programs include the RBC Emerging Musician Program, Canada’s Walk of Fame Hometown Stars, presented by Cineplex, and the nationally televised broadcast designated by the CRTC as a program of national interest. Canada’s Walk of Fame was established in 1998 by co-founders Bill Ballard, Dusty Cohl and Peter Soumalias, with Dianne Schwalm and in partnership with Gary Slaight. The organization has inducted 173 Canadians to date, with their stars having a permanent place of tribute on the streets of Toronto’s Entertainment District. For a complete list of Inductees along with more information on Canada’s Walk of Fame visit: www.canadaswalkoffame.com  Canada’s Walk of Fame gratefully acknowledges the support of its 2018 Partners: Bell Media, Cineplex Entertainment, Slaight Communications, RBC, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, WestJet, RYU, Trace Water, Molson Coors, Arterra Wines, and its first Friend of Canada’s Walk of Fame, MLSE.  Canada’s Walk of Fame is a registered charity. Charitable Registration Number 889896924RR0001. Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Libya UN team assesses safety and humanitarian access in Nafusa mountains

1 July 2011Humanitarian needs in the Nafusa mountains in western Libya remain critical, United Nations agencies reported today at the end of their first mission to the area, where they made an assessment of safety and access to civilians who require emergency assistance. “The humanitarian situation in the Nafusa mountains remains a top concern,” Panos Moumtzis, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya. “It remains imperative for UN humanitarian organisations to have continued access to the Nafusa mountains to conduct in-depth assessment missions to accurately and impartially determine the needs of the affected population and respond accordingly,” he added.The UN team visited the towns of Wazin and Nalut yesterday and Jadu and Zintan today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a press release.The conflict in Libya has spread to several towns in the Nafusa mountains, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) reported that more than 100,000 people have fled the fighting in the area since Libya descended into conflict four months ago. They remain internally displaced, while more than 64,000 others have sought refuge in neighbouring Tunisia.The inter-agency mission, which was comprised of OCHA, UNHCR, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP), saw the widespread destruction of property in the border town of Wazin, from where the vast majority of the population had fled due to persistent shelling.In Nalut and other areas, the mission observed limited power and water supplies and heard accounts from the local community of dwindling food supplies, lack of cash, jobs and functioning markets.“Food needs for the Nafusa mountains remain serious,” said Ussama Osman of WFP. “The vast majority of the affected population now relies on food assistance,” he said, adding that WFP will continue to provide food aid to those who need it most in the area.UNICEF voiced concern over the humanitarian situation facing children in the Nafusa mountains, particularly health, access to clean water, protection and education. The agency said it will ensure that a vaccination campaign is carried out.UNHCR is drawing up future repatriation plans for the eventual voluntary return of the thousands of Libyan refugees when security conditions permit. read more

Petra Diamonds progressing the Finsch block cave mine acquisition

first_imgPetra Diamonds has received Ministerial consent in terms of Section 11 of South Africa’s Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, 2002 (MPRDA) has been granted for the cession and transfer of the new order mining right for the Finsch diamond mine from De Beers Consolidated Mines to Afropean Diamonds. Afropean represents Petra’s interests in Finsch; Afropean being owned as to Petra 74% and Petra’s Black Economic Empowerment partners 26%.As announced in January 2011, Petra (via Afropean) entered into an agreement with De Beers to acquire Finsch. A key condition of the acquisition was that Ministerial consent under Section 11 of the MPRDA for the cession of the Finsch new order mining right be granted. Following the granting of the Section 11 consent, the only remaining material condition is the registration of the transfer of the Finsch new order mining right in the South African Mineral and Petroleum Titles Registration Office; this is expected to happen in the near future.When this last condition has been met and the acquisition completes, Petra will publish a Finsch resource statement in accordance with the AIM Guidance for Mining Companies.Johan Dippenaar, CEO of Petra: “We are delighted to have received the Section 11 Ministerial consent. The acquisition process is now in the very final stages and we expect it to complete in the near future. Petra will then take over management of this major producing diamond mine which, after an initial three month bedding down period, is expected to add approximately 125,000 ct/month to Petra’s production.”last_img read more

Nokia launches a 20 phone with 35day battery life

first_imgMobile World Congress 2013 is sure to be full of smartphone tech and announcements, but Nokia has kicked off the conference by announcing two new handsets for the budget end of the market.The first is the Nokia 105, which is noteworthy because it will only cost around $20 and boasts a battery life of 35 days. Such a cheap and battery-friendly phone is obviously going to be light on features, but then this isn’t a handset attempting to compete with the latest smartphones.The 105 has a 1.4-inch 128 x 128 resolution display, measures 107 x 44.8 x 14.3mm, and weighs just 70 grams. It doesn’t have a camera, storage is limited to 8MB, and RAM is a mere 384KB. But you do get 35 days of standby time out of an 800mAh battery, 12.5 hours talk time, and a flashlight. If all you want is a phone for talking and no battery worries, this is probably as good as it gets.A little higher up the scale Nokia has introduced the 301. Costing $85, it offers a 2.4-inch 320 x 240 resolution display, measures 114 x 50 x 12.5mm, and weighs 100.5 grams. Battery life is even more impressive than the 105, managing 37 days standby time and 20 hours talk time using a 1200mAh battery. You also get a 3.2MP camera producing 2048 x 1536 images.Even though the display is relatively tiny you still get access to the web through Nokia’s Xpress Browser, which compresses data up to 90 percent to save on bandwidth.The Nokia 105 will be available before the end of Q1 and the 301 won’t appear until Q2. There doesn’t seem to be any plans to bring either handset to the US, but you will be able to pick one up just about everywhere else.last_img read more

Terrifying Crane collapse kills four people and injures four others in Seattle

first_img Apr 28th 2019, 8:27 AM 33,683 Views Sunday 28 Apr 2019, 8:27 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Emergency crews work at the scene of the construction crane collapse in Seattle Source: Joe Nicholson via PA ImagesFOUR PEOPLE HAVE died and four others have been injured after a crane collapsed in the US city of Seattle. The crane “fell from the roof of a building” and hit six vehicles below, near the southern shore of Lake Union in the centre of the city yesterday afternoon, the fire department said. Three men and one woman were killed – two of whom were operators in the crane. Of the four people injured, a 27-year-old man, a 25-year-old woman and a four-month-old baby girl were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The crane collapsed near the intersection of Mercer Street and Fairview Avenue Source: Joe Nicholson via PA Images“It’s a horrible day in Seattle when something like this happens. But it’s a time when we come together because Seattle is a city that rallies around each other,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said.The Seattle Times reported the crane was used as part of construction work to build a new Google campus in the city, a fast-growing tech hub famously home to e-commerce giant Amazon.Officials do not yet know the cause of the collapse. Two of the casualties were crane operators Source: Genna Martin via PA ImagesThe business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302, which represents heavy-equipment operators, told The Seattle Times he understood the crane was being dismantled when heavy winds moved through the area.“We don’t know, but that’s what seems to have happened here,” he said. “We are in the process of trying to get information.”Witness Esher Nelson, who was working in a building nearby, told the newspaper: “It was terrifying. The wind was blowing really strong.”A Google spokesperson said in a statement that the company was saddened to learn of the accident and that they were in communication with Vulcan, the firm that is managing the site and working with authorities.With reporting by Associated Press and – © AFP 2019 https://jrnl.ie/4609818 Share Tweet Email ‘Terrifying’: Crane collapse kills four people and injures four others in Seattle Officials do not yet know the cause of the collapse. By Hayley Halpin 19 Comments last_img read more

En 2069 un message radio destiné aux ET arrivera à destination

first_imgEn 2069, un message radio destiné aux E.T. arrivera à destinationEn 1999, un message radio, destiné à d’éventuels extraterrestres, était envoyé du radiotélescope EPR, en Ukraine, en direction du système stellaire 16 Cygni, situé à quelque 69 années lumière de la Terre. Il devrait donc y parvenir en 2069. Le choix de la cible est bon, selon les indications récentes du télescope spatial Kepler.À 69,8 années-lumière de nous, dans la constellation du Cygne, deux étoiles naines jaunes, du même type que notre Soleil, 16 Cygni A et 16 Cygni B. Orbitant autour de cette dernière, 16 Cygni B b, une exoplanète de la masse de Jupiter, découverte en 1996. Autour de celle-ci, enfin, des exolunes, dont certaines pourraient être habitables.À lire aussiDes chercheurs auraient découvert l’origine de la mystérieuse lumière verte observée par la NASAC’est dans cette direction qu’en 1999, le radiotélescope EPR (Evpatoria planetary radar), situé en Ukraine, a émis un signal radio contenant un message : une démarche baptisée Active Seti ou CETI (Communication with Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), complémentaire du programme d’écoute des ondes radioélectriques cosmiques appelé SETI (Search for extraterrestrial intelligence). Bon choix, selon le satellite Kepler.Celui-ci permet d’étudier, depuis quelques années, l’astérosismologie de 16 Cygni A et de 16 Cygni B – c’est-à-dire les mouvements mécaniques internes des étoiles, révélés par les variations de la lumière qu’elles émettent. Grâce à ces données, les astrophysiciens viennent d’évaluer l’âge de ces étoiles, nées en même temps, à environ 6,8 milliards d’années.Autrement dit, 2 milliards d’années environ de plus que notre Soleil. En extrapolant les données concernant l’apparition de la Terre, de la vie terrestre et de son développement, on peut imaginer que les éventuels habitants de 16 Cygni auraient eu tout le temps de bâtir une civilisation capable de recevoir notre message, qui leur arrivera en 2069, et peut-être de venir nous rendre visite… Le 10 février 2012 à 17:08 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Mumbai Woman lover torture husband by pouring hot oil throw chilli powder

first_imgGetty ImagesIn a horrifying incident, a woman and her lover tortured the former’s husband while he was asleep in an attempt to murder him. The duo poured hot oil on the man’s chest, rubbed his eyes with chilli powder, gave him a series of electric shocks and ended up locking him in the toilet of their apartment. The incident took place on Tuesday evening in Mumbai.The man, identified as 38-year-old Bavishya Burhagohain, is married to Quincia since 2014. Bavishya is originally from Assam but he and his wife, 28, were settled in Mumbai. He works at a call centre while Quincia is a homemaker. She was invoved in a relationship with 24-year-old Satvir Nair, a Mehendi artist in a mall in Vasai.The affair had triggered many fights between the couple who had also moved from their apartment in Naigaon to a new apartment in Vasai so they would not be near Nair. However, Nair also moved to same apartment complex, Hindustan Times reports. This development lead to many fights between the already troubled couple.Nitin Falfale, the assistant police inspector at Manickpur police station, said that on Tuesday evening, Bavishya came home from work, had a fight with Quincy and went to sleep. When he was asleep, Quincy, who was furious, called Satvik and the two of them agreed to murder Bhavishya. They began by first stripping the sleeping Bavishya to his underwear. They then proceeded to pour hot oil on his bare chest, hit him with a hammer and also threw chilli powder in his eyes.Bhavishya has woken by now and his vision was severely compromised began throwing whatever he could find, including pots, pans and cookers, at his attackers and some of the vessels fell from the window attracting the neighbours’ attention. “As some items flew out of the window, the neighbours called us. When we reached the spot, Quincia and Nair were sitting calmly on the sofa, while the kids were crying. We handed the kids to the neighbours, who then sent them to Quincia’s relatives,” Falfale said.According to the report, The victim was admitted to JJ Hospital in the city and is in a critical condition. Quincy and Nair have been arrested and charged under section 307 (attempt to murder) of the indian Penal Code.Inspector Falfale said, “They have been remanded in police custody till August 20.”last_img read more

School college teachers cant run coaching centres

first_imgThe court granted the writ petition filed the Viqarunnisa teacher and declared the departmental action illegal. The court also said governments in developed countries can issue circulars, notifications, directives and policies time and time for implementing laws and it is their constitutional right. “The government neither violated the constitutional nor legal right of the writ petitioners issuing the policy banning the coaching business. So, the policy is valid.” Besides, several teachers of Dhanmondi Govt High School lodged a writ challenging their transfer and show-cause notices. In 2011, president of Ideal School Guardians’ Forum M Ziaul Kabir Dulu filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking its directives to stop the coaching business whereby the court directed the government to formulate guidelines in this regard. Later, Viqarunnisa Noon School and College teacher Farhana Khanam filed a writ petition with the HC challenging the policy and actions of the DSHE. Motijheel Govt Boys’ High School teacher M Kabir Chowdhury filed another writ challenging the policy and the DSHE letter taking action against 25 government teachers. The court rejected the writs filed by the teachers of Motijheel Govt Boys’ High School and Dhanmondi Govt High School, saying the activities of the DSHE notice will continue against them. High CourtThe High Court on Thursday declared the government guideline, barring teachers of both government and non-government educational institutions from running coaching classes, valid, reports UNB. The HC bench of justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the verdict following separate writ petitions.Earlier on 27 January, the court fixed 7 February for passing its judgment after hearing the writ petitions and rule issued earlier in this regard.Following the court order, no teacher can directly be involved with any coaching centre operating commercially, said deputy attorney general Md Mokhlesur Rahman.He, however, said institution heads can arrange additional classes either before or after the regular classes for interested students following requests made by their guardians. “And the policy mentions how much fee will be charged for it.”The government announced a guideline titled ‘Policy-2012 to stop teachers from doing coaching business in educational institutes’ on 20 June, 2012.As per the guideline, teachers of schools, colleges and madrasas can tutor a maximum of 10 students of other institutions a day with prior permission from the head of their institutions.For doing so, a teacher will have to notify his/her institution head of the students.The policy also prevented teachers from doing private tutoring during school hours.In its observations, the court said there is no scope for teachers of government and private schools and colleges to get involved in coaching business as per the 2012 policy. They can also not do coaching business as per the service rules and they enter their jobs accepting the service rules.The court also said governments in developed countries can issue circulars, notifications, directives and policies time and time for implementing laws and it is their constitutional right. “The government neither violated the constitutional nor legal right of the writ petitioners issuing the policy banning the coaching business. So, the policy is valid.”In 2011, president of Ideal School Guardians’ Forum M Ziaul Kabir Dulu filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking its directives to stop the coaching business whereby the court directed the government to formulate guidelines in this regard.While the writ was pending, the court announced the policy-2012 on 20 June, 2012.Challenging the policy, a writ petition was filed in 2012 and a rule was issued in this regard.Following an investigative report published on a daily on 4 April, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Commission launched a probe on coaching business.On 2 December, 2017, it put forward a report to the authorities concerned with some recommendations, including taking actions against those involved in coaching business.Following the report, the Directorate of Secondary and High Education (DSHE) took departmental actions, including transfer of teachers of renowned teachers of the capital and issuing show-cause notices to them.Later, Viqarunnisa Noon School and College teacher Farhana Khanam filed a writ petition with the HC challenging the policy and actions of the DSHE. Motijheel Govt Boys’ High School teacher M Kabir Chowdhury filed another writ challenging the policy and the DSHE letter taking action against 25 government teachers.Besides, several teachers of Dhanmondi Govt High School lodged a writ challenging their transfer and show-cause notices.The court rejected the writs filed by the teachers of Motijheel Govt Boys’ High School and Dhanmondi Govt High School, saying the activities of the DSHE notice will continue against them.The court granted the writ petition filed the Viqarunnisa teacher and declared the departmental action illegal. On 2 December, 2017, it put forward a report to the authorities concerned with some recommendations, including taking actions against those involved in coaching business. In its observations, the court said there is no scope for teachers of government and private schools and colleges to get involved in coaching business as per the 2012 policy. They can also not do coaching business as per the service rules and they enter their jobs accepting the service rules. While the writ was pending, the court announced the policy-2012 on 20 June, 2012. Challenging the policy, a writ petition was filed in 2012 and a rule was issued in this regard. Following the report, the Directorate of Secondary and High Education (DSHE) took departmental actions, including transfer of teachers of renowned teachers of the capital and issuing show-cause notices to them. Following an investigative report published on a daily on 4 April, 2017, the Anti-Corruption Commission launched a probe on coaching business.last_img read more

Smart vs Dumb What Kind of Cell Phone Do You Own

first_imgAugust 15, 2013 As an entrepreneur, what would you do without your smartphone? The ability to check email, read and edit documents and even manage payroll from one’s mobile device has become an integral part of everyday business life.But, hold on. Maybe the better question is: Do you even own a smartphone?A new report from research firm Gartner says that smartphones have outsold more basic handsets worldwide for the first time. Ever. During the second quarter, smartphone sales reached 225 million units, Gartner said, up 46.5 percent from the second quarter of 2012. Sales of regular “dumb” phones totaled 210 million units, a decline of 21 percent year-over-year.For the smartphone wars aficionados: Samsung sold more than any other smartphone maker, moving more than 71 million units. Apple, meanwhile, came in second selling almost 32 million smartphones. LG came in third selling 11.4 million units.For some, it might be difficult to believe that smartphone adoption hadn’t overtaken dumb phone sales a long time ago. At this point, most grandparents have learned to use such marvels of the modern world as laptops, smartphones and even social media, right?According to Gartner, most of the smartphone market growth is happening outside the U.S. “Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions,” the report says. 2 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. We want to know: What type of mobile phone do you use?Apple iPhone. Duh.I’m Android all the way.I swear by my BlackBerry. Don’t judge me.I switched to Windows and love it.Smartphone? Not in my bag. I only text and make calls.I still have a rotary phone. It’s good exercise.VoteView ResultsCrowdsignal.comWe want to know: What type of mobile phone do you use?last_img read more

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first_imgFeature | March 01, 2013 CMS Explains Advances in Healthcare Reform Centers for Medicare and Medicaid outlines accomplishments and plans for reducing healthcare costs Videos | Radiology Business | August 02, 2019 VIDEO: Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019 Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) President … read more Promoting Better Care and Patient Safety:Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Adoption of electronic health records is making it easier for physicians, hospitals and others serving Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries to evaluate patients’ medical status, coordinate care, eliminate redundant procedures and provide high-quality care. Approximately 36 percent of health care professionals, and as many as 70 percent of hospitals, have already qualified for incentive payments for EHR systems that meet the standards and objectives established by the program. Electronic health records will help speed the adoption of many other delivery system reforms, by making it easier for hospitals and doctors to better coordinate care and achieve improvements in quality.Partnership for Patients. The nationwide Partnership for Patients initiative aims to save 60,000 lives by averting millions of hospital acquired conditions over three years, and save up to $35 billion in health care costs by reducing complications and readmissions, and improving the transition from one care setting to another. At the core of this initiative are 26 Hospital Engagement Networks, which work with 3,700 hospitals, working with healthcare providers and institutions, to identify best practices and solutions to reducing hospital acquired conditions and readmissions.  These Hospital Engagement Networks have been actively involved in the effort to reduce the rate of early elective deliveries, in conjunction with the Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative (described later).Healthy infants. The Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative aims to reduce early elective deliveries as well as test models to decrease preterm births among high-risk pregnant women in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Strong Start initiative builds on the work of the Partnership for Patients, testing test ways to support providers in reducing early elective deliveries.  It also offers funds to states to test models lowering the risk of preterm birth among pregnant women with Medicaid or CHIP.Hospital-acquired conditions. Along with other data available on Hospital Compare, beneficiaries can now find information on the incidence of serious hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) in individual hospitals. In FY 2015, hospitals with high rates of HACs will see their payments reduced.Community-Based Care. As part of the Partnership for Patients, the Community-Based Care Transition Program supports 82 community-based organizations, many of them partnered with multiple hospitals in 35 states to help patients make more successful transitions from hospital to home or to another post-hospital setting. $500 million in total funding has been appropriated for the program for 2011 through 2015.  News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | August 01, 2019 DrChrono Teams With DeepScribe to Automate Medical Note Taking in EHR DrChrono Inc. and DeepScribe announced a partnership so medical practices using DrChrono EHR can use artificial… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more Ensuring All Americans Get the Right to Care: Integrating care for patients enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid. Many of the 9 million Medicare-Medicaid enrollees suffer from multiple or severe chronic conditions. Total annual spending for their care exceeds $300 billion. Four states (Massachusetts, Ohio, Washington and Illinois) have received approval for demonstrations using managed care or health homes to coordinate care for Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries. Coordination strategies include more flexibility for home and community-based services and improving health IT systems.Greater independence for Americans with disabilities and long-term care needs.  The Affordable Care Act includes a number of policies to promote non-institutional long-term care programs that will help keep people at home and out of institutions:Twelve additional states have joined the Money Follows the Person Program to help rebalance their long-term care systems to transition Medicaid beneficiaries from institutions to the community. Forty-three states are now participating in Money Follows the Person.Nine states are participating in the Balancing Incentive Program, which gives states incentives to increase access to non-institutional long-term services and supports and provides new ways to serve more Medicaid beneficiaries in home and community-based settings.Ten states have approved Health Home State Plan Amendments to integrate and coordinate primary, acute, behavioral health and long term services and supports for Medicaid beneficiaries.Promoting care at home. A new Affordable Care Act demonstration, Independence at Home, tests whether providing chronically ill beneficiaries with primary care in the home will help them stay healthy and out of the hospital. Fifteen physician practices and three consortia of physician practices, including the Cleveland Clinic, are participating in the Independence at Home Demonstration. Continuos Quality Improvement:Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The Innovation Center is charged with testing innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce expenditures in Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, and at the same time, preserving and enhancing quality of care. Already the Innovation Center is engaged in projects with more than 50,000 healthcare providers to improve care.System-wide reforms going on now. Critical reforms already underway include reducing adverse drug events; improving cardiac care and outcomes; reducing health disparities; using health IT and data analytics to improve population health; and engaging patients in decisions about their care. Related Content Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:33Loaded: 2.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:33 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Reducing Health Costs:Lower cost healthcare equipment and supplies. In 100 metropolitan areas, a stronger Medicare Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) competitive bidding program is setting new, lower payment rates for medical equipment and supplies. Because of this program, CMS estimates that Medicare beneficiaries will save an average of 45 percent on certain equipment and supplies in the 91 MSAs launching this year. Overall, the initiative is expected to save the Medicare program an estimated $25.7 billion, and beneficiaries an estimated $17.1 billion, over the next 10 years.Fighting fraud. The Affordable Care Act’s landmark steps to improve and enhance the Administration’s ongoing efforts to prevent and detect fraud and crack down on individuals who attempt to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP has resulted in a record level of recoveries — $4.2 billion in fiscal year 2012 — and a record return on investment — $7.90 for every dollar invested.  Total recoveries over the past four years were $14.9 billion compared to $6.7 billion over the prior four years. Efforts include tough new rules and sentences for criminals; enhanced screening and enrollment requirements; increased coordination of fraud-fighting efforts; sharing data across federal agencies to fight fraud; and new tools to target high-risk providers and suppliers.For more information: www.cms.hhs.gov FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 March 1, 2013 — To address the rising costs of healthcare, we must improve the way that health care is delivered, including coordinating care better and improving the safety of care, stated the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in its assessment of healthcare reform, released Feb. 28.The Affordable Care Act includes steps to improve the quality of healthcare and, in so doing, lowers costs for taxpayers and patients, CMS states. This means avoiding costly mistakes and readmissions, keeping patients healthy, rewarding quality instead of quantity and creating the health information technology infrastructure that enables new payment and delivery models to work. According to CMS, these reforms and investments will build a healthcare system that will ensure quality care for generations to come.CMS outlined several areas of progress:Healthcare Spending is SlowingAccording to the annual Report of National Health Expenditures, total U.S. health spending grew 3.9 percent in 2011. That is the same rate of growth as in 2009 and 2010, and in all three years spending grew more slowly than in any other year in the 51-year history of the report. Medicare spending per beneficiary grew just 0.4 percent per capita in fiscal year 2012, continuing the pattern of very low growth in 2010 and 2011. Medicaid spending per beneficiary also decreased 0.9 percent in 2011, compared to 0.6 percent growth in 2010. Average annual increases in family premiums for employer-sponsored insurance was 6.2 percent from 2004-2008, 5.6 percent from 2009-2012 and 4.5 percent in 2012 alone. In 2011, the Affordable Care Act’s 80/20 rule (medical loss ratio policy) and strengthened rate review program resulted in an estimated $2.1 billion in savings to consumers of private health insurance.Health outcomes are improving and adverse events are fallingThis past year, CMS said it finalized several programs that tie Medicare reimbursement for hospitals to their readmission rates, when patients have to come back into the hospital within 30 days of being discharged. The 30-day, all-cause readmission rate is estimated to have dropped in the last half of 2012, to 17.8 percent, after averaging 19 percent for the past five years. CMS said this translates to about 70,000 fewer readmissions in 2012. Additionally, as part of a new Affordable Care Act initiative, clinicians at some hospitals have reduced their early elective deliveries to close to zero, meaning fewer at-risk newborns and fewer admissions to the NICU. Among 135 hospitals reporting common measures, early elective delivery rates have fallen (improved) by 48 percent.Providers are engagedIn 2012, CMS debuted the Medicare Shared Savings Program and the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Model. These programs encourage providers to invest in redesigning care for higher quality and more efficient service delivery, without restricting patients’ freedom to go to the Medicare provider of their choice.Over 250 organizations are participating in the Medicare Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), serving approximately 4 million (8 percent of) Medicare beneficiaries. As existing ACOs choose to add providers and more organizations join the program, participation in ACOs is expected to grow. ACOs are estimated to save up to $940 million in the first four years.Medicare Beneficiaries are Shopping for Coverage According to QualityThe Affordable Care Act tied payment to private Medicare Advantage plans to the quality of coverage they offer. Since those payment changes have been in effect, more seniors are able to choose from a broader range of higher quality Medicare Advantage plans, and more seniors have enrolled in these higher quality plans as well. Since the healthcare law passed, enrollment has increased by 30 percent and premiums have fallen by 10 percent in Medicare Advantage.Below are specific examples of the reforms and investments that we are making to build a healthcare delivery system that will better serve all Americans.Paying for Value:Hospitals. Two important programs that reward hospitals based on the quality of care they provide to patients began last fall. On Oct. 1, 2012, the Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Program began linking a portion of hospitals’ Medicare payments to performance on important quality measures. Examples of measures include whether a patient received an antibiotic before surgery, or how well doctors and nurses communicate with patients. The Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program reduces Medicare payments to hospitals with relatively high rates of potentially preventable readmissions to financially encourage them to focus on this key indicator of patient safety and care quality.Medicare Advantage Plans. CMS strengthened the quality bonus incentives provided by the Affordable Care Act by providing additional payments for plans that improve the quality of care. As a result, in 2013, the 14 million Medicare beneficiaries currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage have access to 127 five and four-star plans, which is 21 more high-quality plans than were available in the previous year.Dialysis Facilities. An End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Quality Incentive Program, started in 2012, ties CMS payments directly to facility performance on quality measures, resulting in better care at lower cost for nearly 500,000 Americans with kidney disease. In addition, a new comprehensive care model announced in January 2013 tests a new payment and service delivery approach to improve care for ESRD beneficiaries, by coordinating primary care with care for their special health needs. Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more News | Radiology Business | August 01, 2019 Philips Completes Acquisition of Carestream Health’s HCIS Business … read more News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read more Feature | Information Technology | July 31, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr How Smart Devices Can Improve Efficiency Innovation is trending toward improved efficiency — but not at the expense of patient safety, according to… read morelast_img read more

Water outages to hit Acaciavale and other areas tonight

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Uthukela District Municipality have confirmed the water supply will be cut tonight (Tuesday) in the Acaciavale and Ezakheni area.The reason for water shortage is load shedding which took place in the morning.There will be no water from 6pm to 7pm.Better fill your buckets and containers now before your taps run dry!Follow breaking news on our website or our Facebook pagelast_img

uThukela workers apprehend thief

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A suspect was apprehended by uThukela workers after items to the value of about R80,000 were stolen from the Ladysmith waste water treatment plant during the December period. On a routine visit to the water treatment plant, uThukela workers noticed that the fence around the plant had been cut and that entry had been gained into the workshop. On further inspection, they found that a number of items such as pumps, motors and valves had been stolen. These items have a specific purpose and can only be used in the process of cleaning water.  As soon as the workers had taken an inventory of what was missing, they made their way to scrap yards in the area. This proved successful, as they located some of the stolen items at one particular scrap yard. On leaving the premises, a man was caught outside the scrap yard with some of the stolen items still in his possession. Police were immediately contacted, who responded quickly and arrested the suspect. A charge of theft and breaking and entering has been laid by uThukela.last_img read more

January Price Appreciation Climbs to 9

first_img Real estate tech firm FNC Inc.’s Residential Price Index (RPI) continued to accelerate in January—and it’s showing no signs of slowing down.According to the company, the index, which measures price movements with distressed sales excluded, jumped up 9.0 percent annually in January following an 8.7 percent boost in December. On a monthly basis, the index’s national composite increased 0.4 percent, beating December’s 0.3 percent gain and matching November’s improvement.On an annual basis, the smaller-scale 30- and 10-metro components rose 10.7 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively, each beating their previous increases; they also performed well on a month-to-month basis, gaining 0.6 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively.Looking ahead, FNC is already anticipating a similarly strong February index as signs continue to improvement in the market.“The for-sale market has strengthened in February and the average seller asking price discount dropped from 5.4 percent in January to 4.7 percent in February,” the company said in a release.At the local level, nearly half of the 30 markets tracked in the 30-city index recorded gains higher than or approaching 1 percent. Appreciation was led by Atlanta and Denver, which each saw monthly increases of 1.9 percent. Following them were Cincinnati (1.8 percent), San Francisco (1.7 percent), and Chicago and Portland (1.5 percent).Prices fell on a monthly basis in seven markets: Nashville (-1.8 percent), Baltimore (-1.7 percent), Sacramento (-1.6 percent), San Antonio (-1.3 percent), Minneapolis (-1.2 percent), Charlotte (-0.8 percent), and St. Louis (-0.3 percent).Much of those declines are “attributable to seasonal fluctuations,” FNC said.Year-over-year, every market except for St. Louis posted higher prices, ranging from an increase of 27.4 percent in Sacramento to 0.8 percent in Columbus. As for the “Gateway to the West”: Prices were down 1.3 percent, FNC reported. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News March 13, 2014 371 Views Sharecenter_img FNC Inc. Home Prices 2014-03-13 Tory Barringer January Price Appreciation Climbs to 9%last_img read more

Behind the Curtain of Todays Top Credit Unions

first_img Share Behind the Curtain of Today’s Top Credit Unions By Xhevrije WestThough they may not be the household names the big banks are, credit unions are on the rise and much can be learned from their well-positioned growth.In the heavily-regulated mortgage industry we currently live in, it can be difficult to stay ahead of the competition and maintain compliance. Although it may seem like large lenders are the only ones that are on top of their game, there is another group of institutions that are making their mark in the industry.Credit unions have long been known to be silent movers in the mortgage industry—but that ends now. These member-owned, nonprofit cooperatives may seem mysterious in nature, but that is only because they have gone unexplored for so long, leaving industry professionals, as well as consumers, to create their own theories about them.  In reality, credit unions are dealing with the same issues as larger lenders such as new regulations, compliance matters, and competition. And the ways they are managing these issues could provide a path forward for other institutions, no matter their size.The MisconceptionThe misconception surrounding credit unions in the mortgage industry has long been that they are small in comparison to other traditional mortgage lenders. They are often overlooked and thought to serve some function other than their sole purpose—to serve their members.“The biggest misconception about credit unions is we’re the corner mom-and-pop, where you got your first savings account, your first checking account, but that’s all we offer. People think we’re small and don’t offer the same types of products as the big guys,” said Katie Miller, VP of Mortgage Lending at the nation’s largest credit union—Navy Federal.Part of Miller’s team is Kevin Parker, AVP of Field Mortgage Operations within the Real Estate Liaison Team, and Loan Officer Paul Garcia—who say that consumers are often unaware of the services that Navy Federal provides.“I always had a perception of credit unions as being super conservative, or they weren’t really focused on sales,” Parker noted. “We tend to find that members and Realtors just are not quite sure that credit unions offer mortgage products. Most people believe we only serve military members, but we also serve their families.”Jerry Harmon, Chief Lending Officer at States Employees Credit Union—the second largest credit union in the U.S., with $28.65 billion in assets—thinks that people often confuse credit unions with other financial institutions.“Even though from the surface we may look like other financial institutions, there is a vast difference in philosophy and purpose,” Harmon explained. “Credit unions themselves vary from each other even though we are all member-owned. It is difficult for some people to understand the member-owned cooperative concept and always see the benefits of being a member and developing the trust that their credit union is always going to have the member’s best interest in mind.”Another theory about credit unions is that they are a bit out of date in the mortgage lending world. Vince Nowicki, VP of Real Estate Originations at Mission Federal Credit Union sets that record straight noting that “we’re out there buying the same technology and using the same technology that some of the bigger organizations are using. So we’re able to have good Web presence.  You’re able to apply for mortgage loans over the Internet and you’re able to make your mortgage payments over the Internet. You can do all of the things at a credit union that you can do at Bank of America or Chase or anything like that. We’re not old school anymore. We’re all kind of doing the same thing.”The Big “T” Word Although assets and membership numbers may separate credit unions, there is one topic where the consensus was all the same—the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule.  No matter how much planning and preparation has been done, credit unions are still battling with the new regulation.Director of Regulatory Affairs for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions Alicia Nealon said, “The CFPB mortgage-related regulations, taken individually and more so in their cumulative effect, have significantly altered the lending market in unintended ways. In particular, the ability-to-repay, qualified mortgage, mortgage servicing, TRID and, most recently HMDA rules have required credit unions of various sizes and complexities to make major investments, and incur significant expenses.  Taken all together, these regulations have made credit unions rework nearly every aspect of their mortgage origination and servicing operations.”Northwest Federal Credit Union President and CEO Chris McDonald said that navigating the regulatory landscape is the biggest challenge facing credit unions today. “In order to succeed going forward, credit unions will need to invest more money and time towards resources such as training, system integrations, and staffing,” he said.TRID, which went into effect October 3, 2015, shook the mortgage industry, altering the way lenders originate loans. The rules, which are meant to give homebuyers more information with which to vet lenders and compare the cost of mortgages more effectively, require lenders to provide estimates of all the costs of a mortgage to customers three days prior to closing.A recent report from Moody’s Investors Service said that TRID compliance violations are a widespread epidemic in mortgage originations. According to Moody’s Analysts Yehudah Forster and Lima Ekram, a number of third-party firms reviewed recent residential mortgage loans for TRID compliance and found violations in over 90 percent of the loans. The report showed that many of the TRID violations were only technical, but still proves that lenders are struggling to comply with the new regulation.“TRID rocked everybody’s world. It was a big change; it was a big change to the forms; it was a big change to the process in the industry; and it was a big change to a lot of our partners in the industry,” Miller stated.First Technology Federal Credit Union CEO Greg Mitchell found that TRID has not only caused confusion for consumers, but a fair amount of confusion among the mortgage industry as a whole, including title companies, escrow companies, Realtors, and borrowers.“I think that part of the TRID journey is really about educating all of the people that are involved in the mortgage process about what’s required, what it’s going to require, and what is the standard,” Mitchell noted. “The way to fix that is to spend more time talking. While financial institutions are prepared, or many financial institutions are prepared, others in the mortgage industry are not.”Mitchell believes that the CFPB is really trying to create a process which provides more transparency and understanding on the part of the American consumer, but he is “not sure they understood the complexity of the [TRID] process and what that really meant.”“Until the system—and that’s broad from the Realtor all the way through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and investors—run through a few cycles with TRID, it’s going to be difficult and burdensome,” Mitchell stated. “Just like learning a new foreign language, it takes a fair amount of time to begin to speak that language and understand it properly. But once you process your point then you can become quite fluent. We need to learn to speak that foreign language and become fluent on accelerated doses, and TRID is that new language.”TRID is likely the largest regulatory change in the mortgage industry in several years, but credit unions are confident that they will overcome the new law—but not without paying a price.“We applaud and agree with any attempt to protect the consumer,” Harmon stated. “Consumer protection is what credit unions are all about. Unfortunately, to do this comes with a cost that will either be absorbed by the lender or passed on to the member. For some credit unions the cost may be so high that they decide to get out of the mortgage business altogether. I think this is unfortunate as it may result in fewer choices for members of those credit unions.”First Comes TRID, Then Comes Compliance With new regulations in the mix, compliance is becoming a larger priority at credit unions. Each institution may have its own approach to following the rules, but at the end of the day the goal is the same—stay out of the CFPB’s radar.“The way to maintain compliance and avoid penalties is to simply know the law and do what it takes to stay compliant with the law,” Harmon said.Nowicki agreed, “We’re under the gun. We absolutely must comply with these regulations. It just makes life a little bit more challenging from the origination side of the loan process.”Michael Popp, VP of Home Loans at Golden 1 Credit Union said that credit unions need to have a robust program to ensure regulatory compliance that starts with the member-facing staff and goes up to management. This includes “a knowledgeable team and procedures and policies that encompass quality control, ongoing monitoring, and accurate, timely reporting.”An Origination Dilemma Mortgage lending is something that both those in the industry and consumers have a hard time associating with credit unions, but these cooperatives are absolutely working within that realm. Just like larger lenders they are trying to get their products noticed, monitor origination costs, and reach the first-time, millennial homebuyer.States Employees’ Harmon finds that one of the biggest issues with mortgage lending facing credit unions is getting the opportunity to educate members about what mortgage products and services are available to them through credit unions.“More and more today, Realtors help guide the homebuyer through the entire process, even assisting them with a mortgage loan through an affiliated lender, often located right down the hall from the Realtor’s office,” Harmon said. “Credit unions may never get a chance to discuss the products that may better fit the member’s needs. One-stop shopping is very appealing to a lot of people and stops them from thinking of their credit union.”Costs associated with loan processing are also weighing heavy on the minds of credit union executives.“The biggest challenges we face today are the rising costs associated with originating and processing home loans,” Popp stated. “This includes attracting talent in a competitive marketplace, as well as the growing investments that are necessary to comply with evolving regulations in the mortgage industry. Although it’s improving currently, there are few investor options in the secondary market other than the GSEs.”Another challenge for credit unions is the elusive millennial generation and first-time homebuyers. According to Realtor.com, millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, occupy about 27 percent of the U.S. population and are the largest share of homebuyers at 32 percent. Millennials make up 68 percent of first-time homebuyers and outnumber baby boomers by 8 million. Still, only 40 percent of the cohort own homes while 60 percent rent.“It’s about giving millennials the tools—because that’s, in our research, you know the first thing you go out and do is research—and if I’m looking at anything new, I’ll Google it, and read about it, and maybe I’ll go out and call or visit, but the first thing you do is research. So we want to get information out there to be able to educate millennials,” Miller explained.Miller’s colleague, Garcia finds that many first-time homebuyers require some extra education. “We understand that there’s a lot of stress from their point of view, and we try relieve that stress as much as possible by being their confidante and holding their hands and making them feel like they have a partner throughout the whole process,” he added.Like everyone else in the mortgage industry, Mission Federal is also trying to understand what Millennials want from a mortgage lender.“I’m finding it’s really having a good Web presence, being very transparent with your fees and interest rates, and explaining what type of pitfalls you can fall into,” Nowicki noted. “Millennials have to have that transparency, they have to be able to open up an account online, have to be able to make their payments on the Internet, and try to do as much of their research as possible—down to even applying for a loan—from the comfort of their home.”Staying Ahead of Competition Competition among financial institutions, or in any industry for that matter, is a healthy way for businesses to maintain a competitive edge. It elevates business, increases bottom lines, and enriches membership.“As a direct lender, we pride ourselves on being able to stay in control throughout the entire loan process,” McDonald said. “Our members will always know us as the servicer of their loan—even if it’s sold. This level of contact allows us to partner with the member for years.”Harmon advises credit unions to build a better widget to stay ahead of the game. “Develop simple products based on what members need, instead of trying to place everyone into the same box. Make the application and approval process simple and easy.  Most of all, gain the member’s trust that you are always going to do the right thing for the member,” he noted.Golden 1 Credit Union’s Popp takes a different approach to competition. “We mainly compete with banks and mortgage companies, providing market pricing but our real edge is focusing and educating people on the credit union difference,” he said.“Credit unions maintain a community base. We’re also able to make changes more quickly if necessary. We can respond to market forces a little bit more quickly because we’re smaller and because we’re more centralized,” Nowicki explained. “To make wholesale changes at a Bank of America or Wells Fargo, you can imagine there is bureaucracy, politics, and red tape. Being agile, a little bit quicker, and being able to make those changes and keep in step with the changing market—that’s our competitive edge.”Nowicki continued, “We have all the same types of things that every bank and credit union can offer as far as products and our prices are typically a little bit better, rates a little lower, and our fees are a little bit lower than the bigger banks. We do have a lot of give backs because we’re not-for-profit organizations—we have to take any excess capital and the profitability that we make and give back to the members.”“It’s the service aspect among credit unions, so it’s the fact that you’re not just a number, not just an application, you’re a member,” Miller said. “It’s not just a one-time loan with us, it’s part of your relationship.”Editor’s note: This select print feature appears in the February 2016 edition of MReport magazine, available now. in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Origination, Print Features, Technologycenter_img February 15, 2016 648 Views Compliance Credit Unions Regulation TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule 2016-02-15 Staff Writerlast_img read more

The Kingdom of Tonga won the First Prize on Promotional Activities and

first_imgThe Kingdom of Tonga won the First Prize on Promotional Activities and Performance in the  “2018 China International Tourism Industry Expo (CITIE 2018)” that was held in Guangzhou City of Guangdong Province in the People’s Republic of China.This international Tourism Marketing Event was held last weekend from 6-9 September 2018 and attended by over 200 International Companies and 60 Countries throughout Asia and the Pacific region.The Tongan delegation, led by the Deputy CEO for Tourism, Mr. Sione Finau Moala-Mafi and comprising also of representatives from the Tourism Industry and the Ministry’s Masani Cultural Performers, returned to the Kingdom this morning with much pride and jubilation for their successful participation, and presented the trophy to the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism.According to the Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Tourism, Hon. Semisi Sika, wining this prize has certainly created awareness of Tonga as a Tourist destination amongst Asian Countries, but especially in the Guangdong Province and the People ‘s Republic of China.As part of the Ministry of Tourism’s Marketing Strategies, the Province of Guangdong has been identified as its partner for Tourism Development for the Kingdom. Although it is a Sister City for Ha’apai, they have provided grants for the development and upgrading of Roads to Tourism attractions and establishments.A Chinese delegation led by the Mayor of the Guangdong Province, had visited Tonga again in July to confirm their assistance towards the “Sidewalk” project for the Capital-Nuku’alofa.The reciprocal arrangement between the Tonga Government and the Chinese Government exempting Chinese nationals from having to apply for a visitor’s visa prior to arrival in Tonga and vice versa, has seen a growing number of Chinese visitors to the Country in the last two years.Another Chinese delegation to be led by Vice Chairman, Mr. Mei of the Tourism Administration of Guangdong Province will be in the Kingdom next weekend to continue dialogue on development Partnership between the Province and Tonga, through the Ministry of Tourism.The Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Semisi Sika has emphasized that these continuous series of Events have opened up an important chapter in our history and history of Tourism Development in Tonga; it will certainly strengthen and expedite the benefits of our relationship and intercultural dialogue and exchange with China.This whole exercise will certainly help to fast track the opportunities for Tourism, Trade and Investment developments in the Kingdom.The Guangdong Province and the CITIE 2018 Organising Committee jointly funded Tonga’s participation in CITIE 2018. The post The Kingdom of Tonga won the First Prize on Promotional Activities and Performance in the CITIE 2018 appeared first on Discover the South Pacific.Source: Bloglast_img read more

agentsBonnarooBrand USAContikiROCK 2019Tennessee

first_imgagentsBonnarooBrand USAContikiROCK 2019Tennessee In 2019 Contiki’s ROCK turns 21 and, in partnership with Brand USA, heads to destination Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee!Twenty-three lucky Australian agents will experience an epic adventure, rocking and munching their way through the deep south on this special ROCK trip that includes a VIP Contiki Trip from Nashville to New Orleans, 3-day festival access to Bonnaroo Festival, flights and accommodation; plus special foodie MUNCH highlights including a VIP tour and tasting at the Jack Daniels Distillery, a gumbo cooking demo in New Orleans and some of the best BBQ you’ve ever tasted in Memphis.To experience this once in a lifetime trip, all agents need to do is sell Contiki. Every booking counts, any trip length, any destination, departing in 2019.Partnering with Brand USA to deliver this great incentive ensures this trip will go down in history, with winners exploring many diverse experiences across multiple destinations. Matt Fletcher, Brand USA Director – Australia and New Zealand says: “We’re excited to be the sponsor of Rock 2019. No country does live music like the USA, and we look forward to hosting agents in some of the most iconic musical cities in the country. Agents will get to experience the birthplace of many genres including jazz, blues, soul and rock and rock.”TWO WAYS TO WIN• 20 agents from top selling stores will win a spot on Rock• Wildcard Winners – agents can also win a wildcard spot by selling a minimum of 10 x 2019 trips to go into the draw. The more bookings, the more chances to win! Selling period 1 December 2018 – 31 January 2019last_img read more

Hourican tells shareholders Bank of Cyprus still at war with circumstance Update

first_imgBy Stelios OrphanidesBank of Cyprus’s chief executive officer John Hourican said the lender is “at war with circumstance,” as its ratio of non-performing loans remains “still unacceptable” even after it stabilised.While addressing shareholders at a meeting in Nicosia today, the Bank of Cyprus CEO said that the lender, which uncovered plans to have its shares listed at the Cyprus Stock Exchange and Athens Exchange by the end of the year, “will continue to delicate extraordinary effort to tackling the very high level of arrears and non-performing loans.For full story You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoKelley Blue BookYou Won’t Believe How Affordable These Ford Car Models AreKelley Blue BookUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

Senior advocate Raj

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan,forward the future of co-prosperity and unification led by Koreans ie hold reunions of separated families on the occasion of Liberation Day on 15 August 2) Establish a joint liaison office in Kaesong to smoothly ensure civil-sector exchanges and cooperation 3) Bring forth the watershed? died at the scene of the wreck,爱上海Tajon, funds had been made available from the private sector through the issuance of bonds. earns around ? Posty posted: "My first collab with @crocs is SOLD OUT already! whomhe assertedhave no moral compass because they do not believe in God.” Write to Katy Steinmetz at katy. the Wall Street Journal reports.

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