first_imgSOTC Travel marked the 70th anniversary of its founding year in 1949. SOTC’s first office was opened in Mumbai with five employees. A major breakthrough came in 1976 when SOTC handled its first tour group visiting the US during the bicentennial celebrations. 1981 saw another breakthrough when SOTC Package Tours began active advertising, with the first creative in the newspapers.Today it has grown to a network of over 160 touch points in India and NRI markets. Over the years, the company has attained leadership position in various travel segments-Escorted Group Holidays, Customised Holidays, Domestic Holidays, Incentive Travel, Business Travel and Foreign Exchange.Speaking on the momentous occasion, Vishal Suri, Managing Director, SOTC Travel said, “It is indeed a celebratory moment for us at SOTC. We believe in constantly evolving and adapting to the changing needs and expectations of our customers to create and deliver magical moments and seamless travel solutions. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on Value Creation for all our stakeholders – customers, employees and partners, by further enhancing our processes, investing in technology and innovation to deliver delightful customer experiences.”The company aims to further strengthen its business with an array of innovations and launches across multiple travel categories. The plans include new product formats and extension of premium offerings.last_img read more

first_img After releasing a “”mortgage origination forecast””: of $349 billion for the third quarter earlier this week, “”FBR Capital Markets””: revised its estimate to between $400 billion and $420 billion for the quarter Wednesday.[IMAGE]FBR explains its revision is in part due to the $388.5 billion of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issued over the quarter. Traditionally, a good estimate of originations is 92 to 97 percent of MBS issuances in a quarter, according to FBR. FBR continues to stand behind its forecast of $1.4 trillion in originations for 2014, relying on a strong spring home buying season and an uptick in refinances as rate hikes stall. Despite the coming increase, FBR anticipates “”the next two quarters could be somewhat sluggish.”” [COLUMN_BREAK]FBR anticipates a rise in refinances under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) as small specialty servicing shops are “”still playing catch-up”” from the recent boom. “”While many will argue that refi activity will not resume as the market has already burned out, we believe there are still plenty of loans that are eligible for HARP refis,”” FBR stated Wednesday. FBR continues to anticipate strength among specialty servicers, partly because of “”their ability to effectually mine acquired portfolios for refinancing opportunities. FBR estimates Nationstar originated about $6.8 billion in loans in the third quarter, and bout $6.5 billion from Walter Investment Management Corp., Nationstar’s MBS issuance to the GSEs rose 80.3 percent over the third quarter of this year, and Walter Investment’s loan sales ticked up 93.2 percent. These specialty servicers are ramping up activity as larger banks are relinquishing some of their market share, according to FBR. Wells Fargo, for example sold the GSEs 19.5 percent of the MBS they purchased in the third quarter, down from 23.4 percent a year ago and 30 percent in early 2012. JPMorgan Chase scaled its MBS sales back 0.2 percent, while Bank of America scaled back 0.7 percent, according to FBR. Share Specialty Servicers Swoop in as Big Banks Relinquish Market Share October 9, 2013 451 Views center_img Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies HARP Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Nationstar Refinance Service Providers Wells Fargo 2013-10-09 Krista Franks Brock in Data, Origination, Servicinglast_img read more

first_img Federal Reserve FOMC GDP Jobs Mortgage-Backed Securities 2014-07-30 Tory Barringer Share July 30, 2014 512 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Marketcenter_img Leaders at the Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to move forward with the central bank’s plans to gradually cut monthly bond purchases, a sign of growing confidence that the economy is trending in a more favorable direction.In a statement released following its July meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced it has voted to bring its purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities and longer-term Treasury securities to a combined pace of $25 billion per month.Members voted almost unanimously for the committee’s monetary policy action and its public statement, with Philadelphia Fed President Charles I. Plosser casting the only dissenting vote. According to the FOMC statement, Plosser objected to the Fed’s commitment to stick to its target range for the federal funds rate for “a considerable time after the asset purchase program ends,” arguing that the language “is time dependent and does not reflect the considerable economic progress that has been made toward the Committee’s goals.”The rest of the FOMC statement was largely unchanged, though a few differences from previous releases indicate the committee members are feeling more optimistic. In describing the falling unemployment rate, the committee acknowledged that “there remains significant underutilization of labor resources,” a change from the usual note that unemployment “remains elevated.”At the same time, the committee said the likelihood of inflation running below its 2 percent goal “has diminished somewhat,” moving away from its more cautious usual wording.The FOMC announcement came on the same day as the latest report on gross domestic product, which showed economic growth rebounded to an annual rate of 4.0 percent in the second quarter. Coming up on Friday is the employment situation report for July, which analysts expect will show payroll growth of more than 200,000 for the sixth straight month.With three more committee meetings scheduled this year and economic indicators looking better, most analysts anticipate the Fed’s asset purchasing program will come to a close before winter, about two years after it was first announced. Fed to Cut Monthly Bond Purchases to $25Blast_img read more

first_img Hubzu Online Real Estate Auctions 2016-08-16 Seth Welborn Real estate auction marketplace Hubzu has introduced new features to help traditional home buyers purchase REO properties as their next residence, according to an announcement from Hubzu.Using the new features, Hubzu users will be able to see upcoming listings pre-auction and also place bids on homes that are contingent on obtaining rehabilitation financing from HUD that allows the price of a single mortgage to include both the price of purchasing the home as well as the cost of renovation. Hubzu users who are purchasing distressed properties to use as their primary residence may find this feature helpful.With Hubzu’s new pre-auction listing feature, users will be able to preview, monitor, and research properties before they appear in a live Hubzu action, which will make it easier for buyers to discover properties of interest and prepare for bidding prior to the auction. Buyers can also see how many people are watching the same auction once the auction is underway, and they can set automatic bidding amounts to make adjustments to their high bid once they receive an email notification telling them they’ve been outbid.Using the FHA’s 203(K) financing feature, buyers can make their bids contingent on rehab financing which will allow them to finance both the purchase and renovation of the property with a single mortgage (on qualifying properties). This feature will open up substantial opportunity for qualified buyers to purchase distressed properties, according to Hubzu.“Traditional home buyers are a growing segment of Hubzu users and we are adding new features to help them plan which properties to bid on. By adding the 203(k) financing as a contingency option, Hubzu helps increase the housing stock of affordable homes by making it easier for traditional buyers to purchase bank-owned homes,” said Steve Udelson, President of Hubzu. “When traditional buyers purchase distressed properties with 203(k) financing, they’re not only making a smart investment, but are also strengthening communities.”Hubzu has facilitated the sale of more than 149,000 homes via a transparent online sales and auction process since 2009. Hubzu Launches New Features for REO Buyers August 16, 2016 648 Views center_img in Headlines, News, Technology Sharelast_img read more

first_img February 14, 2017 605 Views Appraisers and Homeowners Home Price Perception Index Home Value Quicken Loans 2017-02-14 Staff Writer Homeowners and Appraisers Go Head-to-Head in Data, Headlines, Newscenter_img Quicken Loan National Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) found that the gap between homeowner evaluations and appraiser opinions has expanded for the second month in a row. The HPPI revealed that the appraiser rate is at 1.47 percent below what homeowners were expecting last month. The decrease  follows a six-month trend in mending differences between homeowners and appraisers.The value of the homeowners at the beginning of the refinance process was calculated at 1.47 below the findings of the appraisers. Although the rate has decreased, fluctuation around the country continues to vary. For example, Denver has appraisal valued at 2.98 higher rate than homeowners estimated.Equally, some cities in the East are valued greater than appraisers first reported. Philadelphia appraisals were 2.94 lower than previous calculations. “Having a good understanding of the conditions in their local housing market can be a valuable tool for consumers as they prepare for the home buying or mortgage process,” said Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters.The Home Value Index (HVI) found that homes values tend to level out at the end of the year during the winter months. In fact, the average appraisal dropped to 0.34 percent between December to January. The index also found that the appraisal rate tends to drop the most in the Northeastern region, the West grows at a vigorous rate, and the Midwest is firmly behind.”This steady growth could very well lead to more availability, driving homeowners to consider cashing in on their growing equity by putting their home on the market. When this happens, it will open new opportunities for eager buyers”, said Walters.The Quicken Loans HPPI symbolizes the difference of opinion between appraisers’ and homeowners. The index evaluates the estimate the homeowner supplies on the refinance mortgage application and the appraisal performed at the end of the mortgage process.The Quicken Loans HVI is is based solely on the statistics from the home purchases and mortgage refinances. Sharelast_img read more

first_img Dodd-Frank Act Financial CHOICE Act 2017-06-08 Brianna Gilpin in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News, Secondary Market June 8, 2017 865 Views Sharecenter_img On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a landmark bill–233 to 186–that, in its current form would dramatically change the future of financial regulation. The Financial CHOICE Act, originally introduced by Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Financial Service Committee, on April 26, 2017, significantly amends the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.In mid-April, Republicans introduced the bill, arguing that Dodd-Frank and the subsequent regulation that ensued harms economic growth and ultimately, the American consumer. According to the proposal, Dodd-Frank’s particular brand of regulatory complexity and government micromanagement made basic financial services less accessible to small businesses and lower-income Americans.The CHOICE Act is the Republican response to reforms put in place after the 2008 economic collapse. Critics of Dodd-Frank have long argued that the law is too restrictive for financial institutions, driving up the cost of compliance, a cost that is ultimately born by the public. Republicans insist that the CHOICE Act offers financial institutions of all sizes a “Dodd-Frank off-ramp,” which, is an avenue to freedom from an overly burdensome and highly intrusive regulatory regime in exchange for the institutions maintaining significantly larger capital reserves than currently required.”Yes, there are a couple of particular things where we could tighten it up, but the assault on the major set of plans is greatly mistaken,” former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., said recently on Squawk Box Asia. “Any comprehensive legislation needs some changes. If the Republicans hadn’t taken over the House in 2011, with an avowed purpose to get rid of the whole thing, we would have made the changes.”The CHOICE Act purports to achieve three major policy goals:Convert the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) into a consumer law enforcement agency subjecting it to the congressional appropriations process;Eliminate CFPB’s supervisory authority over financial institutions and limit its power to take action against entities;Remove “Too Big to Fail,” or the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s authority to designate non-bank financial institutions and financial market utilities as “systematically important”The bill’s sponsors say the intent of the bill is to create hope and opportunity for investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs by holding Washington and Wall Street accountable, eliminating red tape to increase access to capital and credit.“Supporters of Dodd-Frank promised it would lift the economy, end bailouts, and protect consumers,” Hensarling said in April. “Yet Americans have suffered through the worst recovery in 70 years, Dodd-Frank guarantees future bailouts for Wall Street, and consumers are paying more and have fewer choices. Dodd-Frank failed to keep its promises to the American people, but we will work with President Trump to follow through on his promise to dismantle Dodd-Frank. That’s not what Wall Street wants, but it is what hardworking Americans need to have a healthier economy with more opportunities so they can achieve financial independence.”Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, quipped that she calls the act the “Wrong Choice Act” because it would be extremely harmful for hardworking Americans across the country.“Let’s first talk about why we passed Wall Street reform and created the Consumer Bureau in the first place,” Waters said. “Remember the financial crisis? At the core of it, there was an epidemic of irresponsible and malfeasant behavior by financial institutions. Under-regulated predatory lenders peddled and pushed toxic subprime loans to unsuspecting borrowers. Then Wall Street packaged those loans into securities, paid credit rating agencies to rate them AAA, and made bets that they would fail. When they imploded, it sent the economy tumbling into the Great Recession.”Waters went on to say the Democrats took action to ensure that this sort of abusive behavior could never happen again by passing Dodd-Frank and creating the CFPB and the passage of the CHOICE Act would lead the country down the road to another financial crisis.“Although financial services reform was necessary in the wake of the crisis, the passage of Dodd-Frank represented an overcorrection that ushered in an overly burdensome and unnecessarily complicated regulatory scheme for the mortgage industry,” said Five Star Institute President & CEO Ed Delgado. “Now nearly a decade later, the industry has partnered with government stakeholders and adapted to the new climate at great cost. I urge congress to be mindful of the business reality and enact any common sense financial reform in an incremental fashion to ensure continuity for the American Consumer.” House Passes Sweeping Regulatory Legislationlast_img read more

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News The latest information published by the U.S. Census Bureau pegs America’s migrant population at 14 percent or roughly 40 million people. These are people, who move for a variety of reasons including jobs, housing, and family. So which are the states that are attracting most of these people? According to a report by North American Moving Services, Arizona leads the states with 67 percent inbound moves, followed by Idaho at 63 percent. North and South Carolina are tied for the third and fourth place with 62 percent each with Tennessee at 58 percent rounding up the top 5 inbound states. The data for this report was based on state inbound and outbound consumer moves. The report indicated that this was the first time that Arizona was the leader in inbound moves after having come in second for the past three years. Florida, California and Texas remained the states reflecting the highest total moves—inbound and outbound combined. Idaho, which has consistently remained in the top two positions for inbound populations since 2015 is currently the country’s fastest growing state with its population increasing 2.2 percent between July 2016 and July 2017, the report said.Overall, the report said that the Southern region had more inbound moves than some of the other regions with North and South Carolina leading the way and Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Texas remaining in the top 10 inbound moves list from 2013-2017.In terms of outbound states, Illinois topped the chart with 68 percent outbound moves followed by Connecticut with 62 percent, New Jersey with 62 percent, California with 60 percent and Minnesota with 59 percent outbound population. The report indicated that the Midwestern states on the whole had a larger proportion of outbound moves, the exception among them being Iowa, which had more outbound moves than inbound until 2017, when more people moved in to the state than out. Among other Midwestern states, Illinois has consistently been in the top three positions of outbound moves since 2013 getting the top position thrice. inbound outbound population states U.S. Census Bureau US 2018-01-15 Staff Writer Sharecenter_img Where are Households Moving in 2018? January 15, 2018 542 Views last_img read more

first_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, News Share How The Financial Crisis Changed the Housing Market September 7, 2018 702 Views center_img FHA Finanical Crisis Housing Boom 2018-09-07 Seth Welborn Ten years after the financial crisis, Brookings Center on Regulations and Markets looks back on the measures taken in the years since designed to prevent another crisis, both nationally and globally. Michael Calhoun, President of the Brooking Center for Responsible Lending, notes in his piece titled “Lessons From the Financial Crisis” that an important takeaway from the crisis was the role the housing market played.“The subsequent regulatory safeguards and consumer protections have made today’s housing market much safer and resilient,” said Calhoun. “However, 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.”Along with the response to the crisis, Calhoun highlights four key issues and how they may best be addressed. Home prices originally plunged due to delinquencies and foreclosures piling up. The response from regulators was successful, although the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) remains to be unpopular. Additionally, the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) program and the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) were put in place to aid homeowners with assistance for those needing repayment assistance and facing foreclosure. However, for many, this was not enough.The federal government now faces four key issues when dealing which will, according to Calhoun, determine the future of the housing market. The first issue is the ability to repay and fair lending rules. as home loans with unaffordable payments were the driving force of the crisis. Calhoun states that the most important reform to the housing market was the requirement that lenders determine and document a borrower’s ability to repay the loan, based on a fully amortizing payment.The second issue is housing supply. In addition to providing sustainable credit for home lending, an adequate housing supply is a key to a healthy housing market. Calhoun notes that there has been a major shortage of starter homes. Construction has recovered slowly since the recession, but builders are more focused on more profitable larger homes, meaning reform is necessary to increase affordable housing. Third, Calhoun states that the False Claims Act needs some work. The FHA needs to add additional resources and updated technology to keep up with errors. The last issue Calhoun discusses is the secondary market. Many fear the GSEs have expanded too far into areas of the secondary market that can be covered by private entities. This may require additional reform.Find Calhoun’s full report here.last_img read more

first_img Census Bureau Construction Danielle Hale First American HOUSING Mark Fleming Permits residential building Single-Family Starts 2018-12-18 Scott_Morgan in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News, Servicing Share A slowdown in housing completions could be a sign of a corresponding slowdown in immediate housing supply relief.At least that’s how First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming sees it from what the newest U.S. Census numbers say. November’s New Residential Construction Report finds completions down almost 4 percent from a year ago, even as the number of housing units under construction grew by that very amount. At the same time, the number of housing units authorized to be built jumped by 16.4 percent.Last month’s 1.256 million single residential starts nationally was an uptick of 3.2 percent from October, but 3.6 percent lower than a year ago. Family starts totaled 824,000, which is 4.6 percent lower than in October.Starts were down double digits in the Midwest and West, but way up in the Northeast. The Northeast saw 124,000 starts last month, the most since January. That’s 38 percent above October and 33 percent above November 2017. The South also saw a 15 percent increase in starts from October and was up 1.3 percent from last year.“Looking ahead to 2019,” Fleming said, “single-family homebuilding will need to increase to keep pace with rising demand from the largest generation, millennials, as they enter their prime home-buying years.” But Fleming is optimistic.“Despite underwhelming housing starts data in the past two months, there are nevertheless reasons to feel cheerful about homebuilding in 2018,” he said. “We saw particularly strong growth in multi-family starts.”In fact, there were 417,000 starts for properties of five or more units in November—a 25 percent uptick from October and a 20 percent bump from a year earlier.Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, is a little less rosy about what’s ahead, at least in the single-unit sector. Hale said the downswing in permits and completions stems from a spike in mortgage rates in early November that undermined buyer purchasing power and caused a dip in builder confidence.“As long as builders remain concerned about buyer demand, single-family starts are likely to decline as builders adjust production accordingly,” she said. “Rising home prices and mortgage rates have created high hurdles for homebuyers, while cost increases have made it difficult for builders to deliver homes at the most in-demand price points.”Hale added that recent easing in mortgage rates could help some buyers find homes to purchase.“But in most markets, we’ll continue to see stalemate between buyers and sellers, with fewer transactions than we saw a year ago,” she said.center_img December 18, 2018 690 Views Fits and Starts in Residential Homebuildinglast_img read more

first_imgLuxury tour operator Abercrombie & Kent has released its largest portfolio to date of Latin America tours in the new world.A&K trips see guests staying in designer hotels and eco-lodges, estancias, high-altitude lodgings, luxury trains and small ships.The new Latin America portfolio has been put together by A&K Product Manager Brett Lemish  who travelled extensively in the vast continent-and-a-half, working alongside A&K’s local experts in the company’s six Latin American offices, as well as with the team of Latin America travel specialists in the Australian office.Many A&K guests like to handcraft their own journeys, so the new portfolio provides suggestions of ways to travel and places to combine which may be the roads less travelled or the less obvious cultural attractions.The core feature in the portfolio is the private journey offering of which there are 18 presented in detail. New amongst these is the 15-day Chile & Argentina: Patagonian Wilderness which takes travellers to a ranch at the end of the world, on a glacier hike, and five days cruising through the Patagonian fjords aboard Ventus Australis. Prices start from $16,385 per person.Also new is the 12-day Chile & Ecuador: Nature’s Wonderland which introduces Santiago, its colonial neighbourhoods and museums, the landscapes and outdoor adventures of the Atacama Desert and the natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands aboard luxury mega-catamaran Endemic. Prices start from $19,235 per person.Wonders of Peru & Brazil is a 19-day journey which captures the must-see attractions in both countries from Lima, Machu Picchu and Cusco to Iguazú Falls, Rio and more. Important monuments and two of the continents most iconic rail journeys are highlights and accommodation and rail travel comes from the connoisseurs at Belmond with a two-night journey on Belmond Andean Explorer from Cusco to Arequipa a core feature. Prices from $18,995 per person.Uruguay is a new destination for 2019. On A&K’s ‘Undiscovered Uruguay’ guests will taste local wines and delicacies in neighbourhood eateries and encounter artisans and musicians in workshops and studios. Prices from $2,895 per person.Also new for 2019 are bite-size enhancements attached to each journey, which are little add-ons to enrich the experience in a destination. For example, it’s an invitation for travellers in the Argentinian capital to see the city through the eyes of a street artist. Or at Iguazú, to take to the air in a helicopter for a bird’s eye view of the thundering waterfalls.The portfolio also lists an extensive collection of A&K’s Latin America accommodation partners from Belmond, Relais & Châteaux, Tierra and Inkaterra to The Singular and Four Seasons plus a number of boutique affiliates such as Hotel Sazagua, Legado Mitico, Alto Atacama, Eolo and more. Abercrombie & KentLatin AmericaLatin America Abercrombie & Kent 2019South Americalast_img read more

first_imgsocial mediaTripAdvisors TripAdvisor has unveiled Social-Assisted Travel, enabling members to get relevant recommendations and inspiration by following friends and travel experts they trust, including publishers, brands and social media influencers.Over 500 Launch Partners are now in Beta, including National Geographic, the Travel Channel, Business Insider, GoPro, PopSugar, The Knot, Giada De Laurentiis, and Travel Babbo, plus local Australian influencers including Lauren Bath, Tyson Mayr, The Blonde Nomads and Ko Travellers. The new site and mobile experience, launching later this year, will become the most personalised and connected travel community, inspiring and empowering individuals with social assistive tools to plan and book better, with relevant advice and information from people and experts they trust. The new TripAdvisor expands its community beyond travellers to also include brands, social media influencers, publishers and friends. Travellers can follow and connect with individuals or content creators who share information that is relevant to their interests. TripAdvisor members will be able to create and view inspirational and helpful new forms of content including photos, videos and articles. Members will also have the ability to create “Trips,” which can be in-depth travel guides, itineraries or simple wish lists of things to do while travelling. Trips can be made private and saved for personal use or shared with the community to inspire and help others. When a member logs onto the TripAdvisor app or site, their homepage transforms into a personalised feed of information. When searching a particular destination, the feed automatically narrows the scope of the information displayed to that particular geographic location. For example, members planning a trip to Paris may see a food critic’s article on the best restaurant in the city, an influencer’s travel guide of “must-do’s,” and a friend’s review of a new hotel near the Eiffel Tower.Click here to learn more. “TripAdvisor is poised to disrupt the travel industry once again as we create a more personalised and connected community,” said Stephen Kaufer, CEO & co-founder of TripAdvisor. “The new TripAdvisor is the one travel site that brings together social-assistive tools, amazing content and our existing booking capabilities to merge the joy of planning and discovery together into a single experience. We are assisting our members at each step of their journey as we become a more personalised, inspirational and useful TripAdvisor.”The new TripAdvisor site and mobile experience is set to come out of beta and launch globally to the public later this year across all markets and languages where the company operates.last_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. Comments   Share   “I know he loves to win,” he began, rather tellingly of Snyder’s seeming intent to hold the name.But Snyder, Alexander said, shouldn’t be defined by this dispute.“Personally, he did a lot for me,” he went on. “Two years ago, my mother-in-law passed away. He put me and my wife on a jet to go out to the funeral and brought us back and did everything (he could) as far as supporting us. “I got nothing but love and respect for a man like that.”To Alexander, the Redskins name is unfortunately offensive, but Snyder lacks malice. Treatment of the owner hasn’t been the fairest, the linebacker seems to think.“Like anything, until you know somebody, it’s hard to really judge somebody,” he said.The Cardinals play the Redskins on Oct. 12 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Now in his second season with the Arizona Cardinals, Alexander has watched from as a distance as the anti-Redskins name debate accelerate in heat.On Wednesday, the linebacker gave his own perspective of the controversy while a guest of Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “It’s a hard, sticky situation,” he said at one point in the interview.But, to Alexander, there’s more complexity than people realize, in that he doesn’t see anything overt about the usage of the name.“The intent is not for it to be disrespectful at all or for it to be demeaning,” he went on. “The guys that put the uniform on out there aren’t trying to badmouth Native Americans or anything of that sort, nor are the fans, but at the same time, once you’re educated about what the word means, out of respect, I think it does need to be changed.“Obviously, it’s up to Mr. Snyder whether he wants to do that. He did pay a lot of money for that name and what all that brings to it — the culture and the heritage of it.”Speaking of the Redskins owner, the much-maligned Daniel Snyder, Alexander seemed to come to the defense of his character. Lorenzo Alexander spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Though going undrafted out of Cal in 2005, and spending a season and a half on practice squads, Alexander was given his first on-field break in 2007 and logged a start later that year. He jumped around from special teams to defensive tackle to offensive guard to tight end. Almost all of the maturation process — which included a Pro Bowl and an organizational player of the year award — happened there, with the Redskins in Washington. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires LISTEN: Lorenzo Alexander- Cardinals linebacker last_img read more

first_imgWithout going into too much detail (you know, spoilers and all), the players were part of a funny scene that, as is customary for the show, is not exactly what one would call “safe for work.” The two also made a brief appearance toward the end of the episode.Campbell said the experience was fun.“I think the best part was actually getting the paycheck, from the company,” he said. “It’s like oh, I’m an official actor, you get paid to do it, that’s when you’re official. So that’s kind of cool.”“It was good to see me get on camera and try to be funny,” Mathieu added, before adding it all took a couple hours to film.Both Mathieu and Campbell each had a good number of lines, though Campbell said he thinks his teammate got to say some of the stuff he would have liked to say. He complimented Mathieu’s acting chops, though.Asked to compare himself to a current actor, Mathieu went with Vin Diesel, while Campbell chose The Rock.And while neither is likely to quit their day jobs to pursue a career in Hollywood, the Honey Badger did express an interest in a post-football career in the entertainment industry. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “Hopefully be acting because they pay really well,” he said. “There’s nothing like living in Hollywood.”Campbell too said he wouldn’t mind a little more acting, but that’s not where his head is at right now.“The acting thing is cool, but my number one goal is to be a good football for a few good years,” he said. “I feel like I have a couple good years left in me, so I won’t rush to the acting world.” Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Sunday afternoon in Glendale, Arizona Cardinals fans will get a chance to see stars Tyrann Mathieu and Calais Campbell in regular season action for the first time in 2015.Those who cannot wait that long can turn to FXX’s “The League” to get a glimpse of the fan favorites.Mathieu and Campbell both appeared on the show’s season premiere –which aired Wednesday night — in cameo roles. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

first_img Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo As an analyst for the Pac-12 Network, Neuheisel covered many of Rosen’s games as quarterback at UCLA.Related LinksCoach Rick Neuheisel, AAF believe in Arizona market for more pro footballKnocks on QB Josh Rosen bothered his UCLA coach, Jim MoraNFL evaluator on Cardinals draft pick Josh Rosen: ‘Nobody likes him’Although Neuheisel never coached Rosen at UCLA, he mentioned that after spending some time with the quarterback, Rosen’s intelligence stood out.“He is built for for the NFL game in terms of pocket presence and the ability to see the mini-field, that area between the hashes to about 22 yards. He can throw people open in that area,” Neuheisel said.Neuheisel, who discussed his new position as coach of the upstart Alliance of American Football team, which will be based in Tempe, saved his highest praise of Rosen for last.“I think great things are going to ensue. It wouldn’t shock me if he wins Rookie of the Year,” he said. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 6 Comments   Share   The opinions on the Arizona Cardinals’ first round draft pick, Josh Rosen, have been both positive and negative from critics in the media.Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel falls into the former group.“I think he’s the steal of the draft. I think he’s the best guy of all the quarterbacks, at least at this point. Ready-made,” Neuheisel said while joining Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling UCLA’s Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass against Arizona State during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retireslast_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Cardinals went all out, sitting Erickson in their office to sign a real NFL deal as a graphic of Erickson on the television screen flashed behind him — he’d previously taken team photos alongside Fitzgerald and defensive end Chandler Jones. With his contract official, Erickson then hit the field, scoring a touchdown off a run play courtesy of a textbook Fitzgerald block.To remember the adventure to Arizona, Erickson went home with the pen he signed the contract with, a ton of gear and, of course, the memories of meeting a non-elk named Fitz. Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 6 Comments   Share   center_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Seven-year-old Tennyson Erickson grew up on a farm in South Dakota, but he didn’t feel far from the Arizona Cardinals.His room is filled with Cardinals memorabilia and his family’s elk was named after his favorite player, receiver Larry Fitzgerald. But Erickson, who is battling leukemia, got closer to the Cardinals than he ever imagined when his wish was granted by Fitzgerald and the team.SportsCenter’s “My Wish” segment featured on Tuesday followed Tennyson on a trip to the Cardinals’ training facility in Tempe, where he met Fitzgerald in person, signed a player’s contract with Arizona president Michael Bidwill and suited up to run with the team during mini-camp.last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >In 2016, Crystal Cruises‘ Crystal Serenity will sail seven voyages of 7 and 10 days, offering luxury travellers hundreds of opportunities to immerse themselves in the countless facets of Alaska’s culture, outdoor adventures and resident wildlife.“With all of our Crystal Adventures, it is our goal to bring the destinations to life for our guests by offering authentic, memorable experiences,” says Crystal’s president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez. “The spirit of adventure permeates every part of life in Alaska, naturally, we strive to showcase this culture to travellers in every possible way.”Crystal’s roster of Alaskan adventures in 2016 can be enjoyed from virtually any vantage point, by air, sea, land and glacier, with many adventures combining several of these. Highlights include:Heli-Hike and White Pass Railway: Takes guests high above the Sawtooth Mountains, through the wilderness via train, and on a 4- to 5-mile hike along the Skagway River to the magnificent Laughton Glacier. Bears, moose and mountain goat sightings are an added perk (from Skagway, Alaska).Glacier flightseeing and dog sledding: Another combo adventure that highlights two of Alaska’s most popular sports, taking travellers via helicopter to the top of Denver Glacier, where they’ll marvel at the endless sea of peaks and glaciers beyond before entering the world of mushing, guided by the professionals of the Iditarod Dog Races (from Skagway).Whale-watching eco-adventure: Combining a favourite activity in Alaska’s waters with the Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation’s efforts to preserve the wilderness shorelines; affording views of orcas and humpback whales, as well as Stellar sea lions, harbor seals and more.ATV adventure through the Tongass National Forest: Allowing travellers the opportunity to visit Alaskan Brown Bears and Sitka Black Tail Deer in their common habitat as they cruise along the rough terrain via 4×4, stopping for sea views of whale spouts and sea otters in the distance (from Sitka).Fly fishing by floatplane: Flying far into the Alaskan wilderness to a remote spot not accessible to road access, where the catch-and-release fishing expedition begins in pursuit of salmon, Dolly Varden, cutthroat trout or steelhead.Dozens of other Crystal Adventures offer numerous glacier treks, kayaking excursions, photography-focused expeditions, highlights of Alaska’s Russian and native heritage, zipline thrills, wildlife encounters and preservation education, and even crab feeds. Additionally, a 5-night Extended Land Programme through Denali National Park will be offered for guests sailing on the 16 August Northwest Passage voyage from Anchorage to New York.Crystal Serenity’s 2016 Alaska cruise season runs from 19 June through 16 August, with a spring Asia voyage and a late-August Northwest Passage route also featuring Alaskan calls and adventures. For bookings by 30 December 2015, travelers can enjoy additional Book Now savings, with all-inclusive cruise fares starting at US$2915 per person. Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterSwissôtel Sydney’s new Head Pastry Chef, French-born and trained Tracy Allesina, is creating sumptuous desserts and decadent pastries using fresh, seasonal produce as her inspiration to put a modern twist on beloved classics.A pastry chef, chocolatier and confectioner, Tracy worked in her native France before moving to Switzerland in 2008 to further her training and work in both Geneva and the exclusive Swiss ski resort town of Morgins. After arriving in Australia in 2012, Tracy has worked at some of Sydney’s most celebrated restaurants such as Quay, Regatta, Wildfire and Manta.Tracy is whipping up exquisite desserts and cakes for dinner in the hotels Jpb restaurant, as well as for High Teas being served at Crossroads Bar, Swissôtel Sydney’s all-day venue set beneath a glass atrium ceiling which allows views of the city skyline – with both part of the hotel’s recent refurbishment with stunning new interiors by leading design firm CHADA.Jpb is the signature restaurant featuring fresh, seasonal dishes, highlighting superb local produce all created under the guidance of executive chef, Joshua Askew. Diners may indulge in luscious desserts prepared by Tracy, such as mandarin panna cotta and triple chocolate cake with fresh berries and vanilla cream.A delectable High Tea is offered at Crossroads bar every day, with Tracy creating a selection of exquisite pastries and cakes such as hazlenut profiteroles, salted caramel panna cotta and popcorn, white chocolate and vanilla slice, chocolate chip scones complemented by a selection of fragrant T2 Teas. On weekends the high tea is served buffet-style and offers a magnificent selection of treats prepared by Tracy and her pastry team.Known for bringing an element of surprise to her desserts, Tracy enjoys a little subtle trickery when presenting her dishes.“I want people be surprised when they look at the plate. I like to play around with colours and textures so they think it might look simple and straightforward, but the flavours are amazing!” she says.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter Thomas Schoen, complex GM for Luxury Collection’s three hotels at Pine Cliffs Resort, eight kilometres east of Albufeira, is understandably happy that he is likely to close September 2017 at 90 percent occupancy. The whole of Portugal’s Algarve is extremely popular right now: Faro airport saw 2016 arrival up 18.5 percent over 2015, to 7.6 million, and this year, and next, should be even busier.Pine Cliffs remains supreme in the area’s offerings. It was lovingly conceived, master-designed and expanded by a Kuwaiti entrepreneur, Jassim Al-Bahar, who saw this 29-hectare, pine-studded site clifftop above the Atlantic, and bought it. Over the years it has, now led by his son Talal Al-Bahar, expanded to a total of 733 units ranging from single rooms to three-room apartments. The three Luxury Collection properties are the doyen, 217-room Pine Cliffs Hotel, and, slightly younger, 155-unit Pine Cliffs Residences and the 2016-vintage top-end 150-unit Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites. I stayed in suite 401 at the far end of the Suites and it was totally gorgeous, almost Beverly Hills with no need for opulence because of the all-wall windows over big terraces to pines below, and blue ocean beyond.Hugo, the charming head concierge, came in especially on a Sunday morning to drive me around the whole estate in a buggy, and we then went on to a tile tour. Yes, a TILE tour! Pine Cliffs Hotel is literally a gallery of Portugal’s gorgeous tiles, which apparently were copied from pictures made up of smaller tiles, in Spain. The Portuguese tile industry, sadly, is in decline – here, every one of the hotel’s bedrooms has a tile bedhead and there are 40 tile pictures, on corridor walls, showing regional dress around Portugal. All the tilework here came from C. Constancia, which has now gone out of business. At least the pieces that are here will not go out of use: the colours are baked in, forever, and being fixed to walls means they are not likely to get broken.The facilities here are really outstanding, with a nine-hole golf course, an Annabel Croft tennis academy, a soccer field that sometimes hosts pop-up conference tents, lots of swimming pools, indoor and out, and masses of eating and drinking venues, plus a minimart for those who want to self-cater. My room – sorry, suite – had a Siemens kitchenette leading off the eight-seat dining end of the massive living room. Like all the units in this particular luxury hotel, and those in the Residences, it is owned, which means that the clever investor who bought suite 401 has 25 weeks a year of its use, for free. Go cruising for the other half of the year and you would not need a home anywhere else… and, when you are here, you have THE BEACH.There are over 150 beautiful beaches to choose from in the region and Jassim Al-Bahar fell in love with one of the most breathtaking of the lot. An elevator can take you between beach and cliff top, but it is still 112 boardwalk steps from elevator base to the actual sand – if you forgo the elevator, as I did, and you have another 80 steps up to clifftop level. Down on the beach it is lazing-or-activity, all day long. There is also a beach-set café, run by Olivier, from LisbonOther Pine Cliff habitués spend all day up at the top of the cliffs, enjoying everything from activities to hours of sunbathing. There is also an impressive Serenity, The Art Of Well Being Spa, where I had an 80-minute Senses of the Algarve experience. First, Catarina did a hearty scrub, using Fleur-de-Sel from Ria Formosa National Park blended, here at the spa, with Falésia Beach sand and orange oil. After a shower, I was wrapped in chocolate-smelling (and looking) carob, which apparently is rich in selenium, and good for antioxidisation and fighting bacteria. Another shower, and I was massaged with local orange oil, and I finished with lemongrass tea. Then it was time for lunch, outside under a Zest umbrella.I was really impressed by the eating opportunities throughout the entire complex. I particularly loved Zest, which is open from 9 am all day long, offering food for Mind, Body & Soul. I had a tray of dips and vegetables, with crudites set vertically in an ice-filled glass bowl (loved the eggplant spread!). My main course was superb, a bowl of toasted quinoa topped with harissa chicken, grilled halloumi and just-right avocado, all of which, according to the menu, offered 250 calories, 150mg sodium and nine grams of carb. Zest has a small to-go counter, too, which supplements what you can also buy at the resort’s minimart. Sadly, in my short stay there were many restaurants I never had time to visit.My evening started with cocktails at Mirador Champagne Bar, outside at the clifftop, which sensibly starts its sundowner offerings at four o’clock, extremely civilized for anyone still on, say, a Perth time zone. There was a gin-and-tonic promotion, which proved to be an introduction to a Portuguese gin, Big Boss, from the long-established Nato Costa distillery: Big Boss uses 11 botanicals and, certainly, it is a distinctly dry gin, which some say highlights angelica and cardamom. It was served in a big tulip glass, with lots of ice and that now-universal tonic, by Fever-Tree.As the light faded, we walked across to O Pescador, choosing our enormous seabass, to be shared, from a display outside, by the cooking station. Inside, the fish was later presented, grilled with marvellous local vegetables. Yes, I ate well, in fact very well, while staying at Pine Cliffs Ocean Suites – and in the morning, at the enormous buffet, Le Jardim displayed a marvellous array of best of local produce. With a big smile, a chef in pristine whites threw away my first plate of eggs because he was not 100 per cent happy with them – always a sign of a passionate culinarian. There are a lot of smiles at this lovely place.Mary Gostelow travels over 300 days a year, doing one-night stands in top hotels around the world. Read her daily travelogue, www.girlahead.comGo back to the e-newsletter Details 0003last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterCiting “unprecedented demand”, Viking has opened select 2020 river cruises for sale. For a limited time, these cruises will be available at 2018 prices and guests can secure a sailing with a deposit of $500 per person.The offer applies to the following itineraries in 2020:15-day Grand European Tour from Amsterdam to Budapest or vice versa, from $5,995pp8-day Rhine Getaway from Amsterdam to Basel or vice versa, from $3,495pp8-day Romantic Danube from Budapest to Nuremberg or vice versa, from $3,295pp8-day Danube Waltz from Passau to Budapest or vice versa, from $3,295pp8-day Paris & the Heart of Normandy from Paris to Paris, from $3,295pp10-day Tulips & Windmills from Amsterdam to Amsterdam, from $4,595pp10-day Holland & Belgium in Bloom from Amsterdam to Antwerp, from $4,595pp“Demand for Viking’s award-winning river cruise product is at an all-time high – we’ve never opened a season this early before,” said Viking Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, Michelle Black.“It’s also the first time we have had three seasons open at the same time – 2018, 2019 and 2020 – so we are catering for those who want to go now, plan a little further head (next year) and forward planners, who can plan now for 2020 and have their pick of staterooms and dates.“Considering we are holding our 2018 prices for these dates, it’s a fantastic time to lock in a cruise,” Black said.All of Viking’s river cruise itineraries include:All onboard mealsPremium wine and beer with lunch and dinnerA free shore excursion in every portUnlimited free Wi-FiTipping and gratuitiesVisit back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more