Zanzibar Tourism Promotion Center (ZTPC) recently organised an exclusive meet for the media with Mahmoud Kombo, Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism, Government of Zanzibar and his delegation to launch Zanzibar’s (Tanzania) 2019 promotional campaign in India.At the promotional campaign launch event, talking exclusively to Travel News Digest, Kombo said, “My main mission is to create awareness of the existence of Zanzibar and to increase the number of tourists. Historically, culturally and religiously Zanzibar and India are connected very well, but in the tourism front, we haven’t been doing very well.”Zanzibar received about 4,000 Indian arrivals in 2017 and about 2,800 in the first half of 2018, revealed Kombo. “A tourist spends approximately four and a half to five nights in Zanzibar and spends an amount of USD 150 per day on an average.”Oman Air, Emirates, FlyDubai, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines are the airlines that fly from India to Tanzania.It is visa on arrivals for all the Indians travelling to Tanzania with an amount of USD 50.Speaking about the promotional and marketing strategies to attract Indians to Zanzibar, Kombo explained that they are doing a multifaceted approach in the Indian market, one of them being the film industry. He explained, “We are doing a lot of discussions with the producers, filmmakers, actors etc. and will provide them special facilitation for filming in Zanzibar and the government is going to provide full support.”ZTPC is also collaborating with many travel agents in India and making the destination’s presence on social media by posting images and videos as you believe what you see, quipped Kombo.Kombo also expressed his desire to participate in at least six to eight travel fairs in India.ZTPC is targeting leisure, MICE and honeymoon travellers from India.
Consumer Spending Index Inches Up in May Share Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Consumer spending Deloitte Home Prices Investors Jobs Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2013-06-18 Tory Barringer Improvements in housing and labor lifted “”Deloitte’s””:http://www.deloitte.com/view/en_US/us/index.htm Consumer Spending Index for May, the company reported.[IMAGE]The index, which comprises four components–tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages, and real home prices–rose to a reading of 4.27 from April’s 4.12. The index tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future spending.[COLUMN_BREAK]””Three out of the four components of the Index contributed to an uptick in May and have stayed on a moderate and steady track of improvement over the past several months,”” said Daniel Bachman, senior U.S. economist for Deloitte. “”The labor market has stabilized, and initial unemployment claims fell nearly six percent since this time last year, while real home prices continued to climb and real wages crept up.””According to Deloitte’s report, real new home prices climbed to $117,329 in May, an increase of 8.5 percent from the same time last year.Meanwhile, initial unemployment claims moved down to 343,000, nearly a 6 percentage point decrease from last year. At the same time, hourly real wages moved up 0.4 percent from the same period in 2012, reaching $8.81.The only component not contributing to May’s increase was the tax burden, which remained flat compared to April but was up 2.26 percent over last year. in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing June 18, 2013 412 Views
ClosingCorp Names New Chief Innovation Officer in Headlines, News July 6, 2016 475 Views Pat CarneyClosingCorp has named Pat Carney the Chief Innovation Officer (CInO). He will be charged with exploring and driving innovative solutions that impact the business and industry segments to deliver new growth opportunities and cultivate and commercialize market breakthroughs, according to an announcement from the company.In this new position, Carney will be in charge of overseeing the strategy behind the company’s technology partnerships as well as looking holistically at the user experience. Additionally, he will work closely with the product development team and all players within the mortgage ecosystem to drive creativity and implement forward-thinking solutions.“ClosingCorp is focused on accelerating innovation to streamline the mortgage disclosure and closing processes,” said James Bolger, CFO and interim co-CEO. “The cross-functional nature of the role, and the broad skillsets required, necessitate someone with a balance of technical, managerial, and real world experience, and Pat is that person.”Earlier in his career, Carney founded four successful title companies, was a performance consultant for a large national underwriter, and served as CTO and director of marketing at large title companies. Before starting with ClosingCorp, he also served as COO and Chief Strategy Officer at reQuire, a web-based lien release tracking and reporting service. Prior to his new role as CInO, Carney was SVP of strategic partnerships at ClosingCorp.“Over the past two years, ClosingCorp has experienced significant double digit growth. I’m excited about the opportunity to build on this momentum and bring a stronger focus on innovation both within our company and for our clients,” said Carney. “I look forward to turning fresh ideas into great products.” ClosingCorp 2016-07-06 Seth Welborn Share
Affordability HOUSING mortgage Mortgage Payments Zillow 2017-06-12 Aly J. Yale Mortgage Payments Unaffordable in Most U.S. Markets June 12, 2017 535 Views Today’s ever-increasing home prices have made their mark: Buying a home is now unaffordable in more than half of the nation’s biggest markets. And in California? The straits are even more dire.According a new analysis from Zillow, the median price of homes for sale is historically higher than average in the majority of America’s largest metros, meaning buyers need to devote a larger-than-expected share of income toward mortgage payments and, more significantly, down payments.“One reason this home shopping season is so difficult for buyers is that the homes available for sale are generally more expensive than the median home value of all homes in the same market,” Zillow reported. “As home prices recovered and surpassed the peak values reached during the housing bubble, concerns about housing affordability also returned, despite low mortgage rates keeping monthly payments relatively affordable. The large down payments that come with high prices are a significant barrier to homeownership, and the monthly payments are taking up a larger share of income as well.”According to Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s Chief Economist, the market’s low inventory means affordability will only continue to drop.“Homes have gotten so expensive in many major cities that even with low mortgage rates, monthly costs for homes that are currently for sale are starting to be unaffordable,” Gudell said. “Down payments are a top concern for today’s homebuyers, but the reality is that monthly costs are becoming unaffordable as well. Low inventory is pushing sticker prices higher, and when mortgage rates start to rise, monthly payments will be driven further into unaffordable territory.”California has been hit particularly hard by rising home prices; buyers in its six largest markets currently have unaffordable mortgage payments. In Los Angeles, the average home requires 46.8 percent of the area’s median income. Before the crisis, it was 35 percent.Still, there are a few markets where homes are more affordable than in years past. In Cleveland, Ohio, for example, pre-crisis homes required 20 percent of the area’s median income; now, they require just 12.7 percent. Home prices are also more affordable in Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas; Pittsburgh; Baltimore; St. Louis; and Cincinnati.View the full analysis at Zillow.com. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination The mortgage rates, which are usually responsible for the rise or fall in mortgage applications, have remained stable for a few weeks now. Yet, mortgage apps decreased 1.1 percent from the week earlier according to MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.The data indicated that the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 38.5 percent of total applications from 40.1 percent last week, touching its lowest level since September 2008. The refinance index decreased 5 percent from the previous week. The Purchase index, however, increased 1 percent from the week earlier and on an unadjusted basis, it increased 2 percent from the prior week and 6 percent than the same week a year ago. Among purchase applications, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.3 percent from 10.4 percent in the prior week. The VA share of total applications increased slightly to 10.7 percent from 10.3 percent last week while the USDA share of total applications decreased slightly from 0.9 percent in the last week to 0.8 percent this week.The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity also saw a decrease this week, falling to 7 percent of total applications.Other highlights from the survey are as follows:The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances fell to 4.68 percent from 4.69 percent, with points increasing to 0.46 from 0.45 for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week. The effective rate for 30-year-fixed-rate-mortgages for jumbo loans increased from last week while its average contract interest rate remained unchanged at 4.55 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.33 for 80 percent LTV loans. While the effective rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased over last week, the contract interest rates for these loans reached 4.12 percent, its highest level since April 2011, from 4.07 percent, with points increasing to 0.51 from 0.46 for 80 percent LTV loans. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by FHA saw a decrease in their contract interest rates as well as effective rates, with points increasing to 0.81 from 0.76 for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week. The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.83 percent from 3.93 percent, with points increasing to 0.68 from 0.45 for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week. March 21, 2018 573 Views Mortgage Apps Decrease, Led by Refis applications FHA Fixed-Rate Mortgage LTV Loans MBA mortgage Refinance Applications Refinance Loans USDA VA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey 2018-03-21 Radhika Ojha Share
Examining Refi Performance November 16, 2018 681 Views in Daily Dose, Government, News, Servicing Share The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released its Q3 2018 Refinance Report. The report, which covers data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), found that the GSEs completed 253,135 refinances in Q3 2018, slightly down from Q2’s 299,460.Meanwhile, borrowers completed 1,865 refinances through HARP, down from 2,973 in Q2. Refinances through HARP have been on the decline, as they fell year over year by almost half between 2016 and 2017, dropping from 67,115 to 36,355 in that time frame.The report notes that the newest numbers bring the total number of HARP refinances since the program’s 2009 inception up to 3,493,005. HARP represents one percent of the total national refinance volume. Locally, HARP refinances represented 2 percent of total refinances in Florida, Michigan, Georgia, and Illinois, while nine states and one territory accounted for over 70 percent of the nation’s HARP-eligible loans with a refinance incentive as of June 30, 2018.HARP is scheduled to come to an end on December 31, but according to this new data, 38,818 borrowers may still be eligible for a HARP refinance. Borrowers with a remaining balance of $50,000 or more on their mortgage, a remaining term on their loan of greater than 10 years, and a mortgage interest rate that is at least 1.5 percent higher than current market rates still meet the basic HARP requirements. The FHFA states that “these borrowers could save an average of $2,290 annually by refinancing their mortgage through HARP.” Borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate compared with borrowers eligible for HARP who did not refinance through the program.According to the report, borrowers with loan‐to‐value ratios greater than 105 percent accounted for 16 percent of the volume of HARP loans. In September 2018 specifically, 6 percent of loans refinanced through HARP had a loan-to-value ratio greater than 125 percent. Additionally, 33 percent HARP refinances for underwater borrowers were for shorter‐term 15‐ and 20‐year mortgages, which, according to the FHFA, build equity faster than traditional 30‐year mortgages.Find the complete FHFA Refinance Report here. Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac HARP loans Refinance 2018-11-16 Seth Welborn
Malaysia Airlines Malaysia Airlines has this morning released the following statement regarding the incident last night aboard flight MH128 from Melbourne to KL:MH128, which had departed Melbourne Airport at 11.11 pm and was scheduled to arrive Kuala Lumpur at 5.28am on 1 June, made a turn back to Melbourne after the operating Captain was alerted by a cabin crew member of a passenger attempting to enter the cockpit.Malaysia Airlines would like to stress that at no point was the aircraft ‘hijacked’. MH128 safely landed in Melbourne airport at 11.41pm.Following the incident on MH128, the disruptive passenger has been apprehended by airport security. Malaysia Airlines together with the Australian authorities will be investigating the incident. Safety and security are of utmost priority to Malaysia Airlines. The airline wishes to apologise for the inconvenience caused. Passengers have safely disembarked the aircraft and will be screened by Australian authorities. Affected passengers will be accommodated at hotels. They will be offered travel on the next available flight or on other carriers.
During a special Bastille Day (14 July) industry luncheon celebration in Sydney, the prestigious National Order of Merit Medal was presented by Mr Patrick Benhamou, Regional Manager ATOUT France to the Scenic Group in recognition of its longterm commitment to driving tourism to France. FranceRiver cruiseScenic Group “We are honoured to be presented this prestigious medal whilst celebrating a day of such national significance to the French people. In the years since we commenced operations we have brought tens of thousands of guests from around the world travel to France, to experience all of the cultural, historic, culinary delights and beauty this country has in abundance”, said Anthony Laver, Scenic Group General Manager of Marketing, Australasia.The Scenic Group, parent company of Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Evergreen Cruises and Tours and Scenic Eclipse, has invested in 3 Space-Ships and 1 Emerald Waterways Star-Ship to cruise the waterways of Southern of France, the Seine and the Bordeaux regions. Scenic was the river cruise line to create an exclusive on board cooking school – Scenic Cullinaire, giving its guests the opportunity to experiment and explore the unique culinary experiences that only France has to offer.
Top Stories 0 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Especially, you know, when you factor in a good running game, solid special teams play and the six turnovers Arizona came up with.Why were the Cardinals unable to produce on those drives? Well, you can probably start with the decision made by Ken Whisenhunt to bench starter John Skelton. Benching the inaccurate Skelton isn’t unwise in a vacuum, but consider the circumstances surrounding the benching. Arizona was coming off their bye week, giving them a two-week stretch where they chose to do nothing about Skelton’s middling play and continued to give the former Fordham quarterback the first-team reps in practice. Yet after a 2-for-7 start at the beginning of the game against Atlanta, Whisenhunt chose to bench Skelton — who had a 13-0 lead at the time — for rookie sixth-rounder Ryan Lindley, who proceeded to go for 9-for-20 for 64 yards while losing a fumble that was recovered for a (bizarre) touchdown. As the article notes, the cumulative stats of quarterbacks picked in the sixth or seventh rounds when playing as rookies are bad (434-for-819, 4,082 yards, 21 touchdowns, 40 interceptions), so it’s not as if it would have been fair to expect Lindley to perform at a high level. Add in the fact that he probably didn’t receive the starter’s share of reps in practice last week, and you have a recipe for anything but success. Ultimately the decision contributed to a loss, which was the Cardinals sixth in a row. The team’s record has plummeted from 4-0 to 4-6, and there is little hope on the horizon, even if Kevin Kolb returns to the lineup soon.Their hot streak roughly coincided with the time Kevin Kolb spent in the lineup before getting injured, but don’t get correlation and causation confused. Had Kolb stayed healthy, Whisenhunt would probably have found a reason to bench him, too. If this once-promising Arizona season continues to fall apart à la last year’s Buccaneers or Bills and Whisenhunt ends up paying for it with his job, his inability to handle the quarterback position will have been his downfall. Could be. – / 18 Barnwell says Whisenhunt’s move to bench Skelton was “short-sighted on both ends.”For one, benching Skelton after seven passes without an interception is absurd. If Whisenhunt is going to cycle through his quarterbacks on whims that quickly, he’s going to end up with three quarterbacks who have absolutely no confidence, something that has happened to him and his team in virtually every season that didn’t involve Kurt Warner holding the job all year. And if Skelton’s leash was really only seven bad passes long, Whisenhunt should have realized that before the bye and made the move to Lindley in advance, giving the rookie a week of practice (and two weeks of mental preparation) before unleashing him into a key game on the road against a playoff team. Those are all fair points, as the move to Lindley backfired and one could believe sticking with Skelton would have resulted in a win Sunday. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback issues have become a national punchline of sorts.Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com, which is the somewhat comical side of ESPN run by Bill Simmons, wrote a story on Week 11 in the NFL, with the headline “Arizona’s Revolving QB Door.”According to Barnwell, a ‘point probability estimator’ figured the Cardinals should have scored 24 against the Falcons, so the 19 they came up with was certainly a disappointment. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories 596The Cardinals allowed 596 yards on defense, most since 1958 (578). – / 17 The Cardinals opened the scoring with a field goal, but any euphoria of an early lead was immediately washed away with an 80-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Luke Willson. The Seahawks grabbed a 7-3 lead and never looked back — they never trailed again.Seattle owned the Cardinals in every aspect of the game, outgaining Arizona 596-216, including 305-64 in the first half. Wilson used his legs as much as his arm in a winning effort, as the Cardinals were unable to contain the shifty third-year quarterback.Arizona now needs help to win the NFC West and earn a home game to open the postseason. Unless the Cardinals defeat the San Francisco 49ers next week and the Seahawks lose the St. Louis Rams, Arizona will open the playoffs on the road against the winner of the Carolina Panthers-Atlanta Falcons Week 17 game.Before heading into the final week of the regular season, here’s how the Cardinals lost by the numbers:3Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka missed all three of his field goal attempts after coming into the game with just three misses for the season (29-of-32).7Coming into the game, Arizona had won all seven of its home games this season. Before Sunday, the Cardinals’ last home loss came in the 2013 season finale, a 23-20 loss to the San Francisco 49ers. A golden opportunity sat in front of the Arizona Cardinals as they hosted the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football. However, it was also the most difficult task the Cardinals had to face this season.With the respite of the No. 1 overall seed within reach, the Cardinals were unable to keep their home record perfect, falling to the Seattle Seahawks 35-6 and putting their NFC West title hopes in jeopardy. Not many gave Arizona a chance to win with a third, or maybe fourth, string quarterback at the helm. That position was clearly an Achilles’ heel for the Cardinals, as Ryan Lindley went 18-for-44 for 216 yards and an interception in his first start of the season in place of the injured Drew Stanton. 0 Comments Share 11The Cardinals are stuck on 11 wins, tied for the most ever by a team hosting the Super Bowl. Arizona will have one final chance to hold the record with a win in the season’s final week in Santa Clara.11-1The wide penalty differential kept the Cardinals in the game early on. Seattle finished the game with 11 accepted penalties against them to Arizona’s one.15Seattle has now won 15 consecutive games when leading at halftime. The defending Super Bowl champions do not give up leads and their stellar defense shuts down opponents in the second half.16-5The Cardinals wore their all-red uniforms on Sunday night. In those unis, Arizona’s record is 16-5 all-time. Before Sunday’s loss, they had won 11 of their last 12 games in those uniforms. 29Arizona managed just 29 yards on the ground. Stepfan Taylor led the way with 19 yards on 11 carries.55, 80Russell Wilson set a new career-high with a 55-yard rush in the first quarter. He tied a career-high with an 80-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson in the second quarter. 79Marshawn Lynch had quite possibly the run of the season in the fourth quarter. His career-long 79-yard TD run will be played on highlight reels for days, as he went full beast mode on Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments Share Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians yells as he stands next to quarterback Carson Palmer during the first half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear) TEMPE, Ariz. — Bruce Arians delivered a pre-emptive strike at his weekly Monday press conference. It was aimed at those pondering the immense playoff possibilities after the Cardinals’ gut-check, 39-32 win on Sunday night in Seattle.“It was a great game. It sets up this one,” the Cardinals coach said, targeting this week’s matchup with the once-beaten Cincinnati Bengals. “No need to talk about stretches and all that bull(expletive). This is a big game here.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories With a 4-1 road record, the Cardinals also know they can win anywhere now. That’s a big step over each of the previous two seasons when the team went 4-4 away from University of Phoenix Stadium. Beating the two-time defending NFC champs in their own stadium helps fortify the belief system, and the manner in which the Cardinals accomplished it — by overcoming some late adversity — helped all the more.“If it had been a coaster all the way, who knows if we could handle adversity down the road,” Arians said. “Now that you’ve done it on the road, it proves to you that you can. I think there’s a lot of growth from that win — more so than had it been 19-0 the whole way.”Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter As Arians noted, the win in Seattle set this one up and that week-to-week progression is how the Cardinals will and must proceed from here on out. Arizona has one of the NFL’s most difficult second-half schedules, with the Bengals, St. Louis Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers still ahead, before a rematch with the Seahawks in the season finale at University of Phoenix Stadium.The weekly tests pose an enormous challenge for Arizona, but they also play right into Arians’ hands when trying to keep his team focused on short-term goals.“No chance of a letdown,” he said. “There might be a letdown today but there won’t be any for Sunday. Our guys know (what it means) when you get an undefeated team coming into your house.”By winning in Seattle, the Cardinals did more than ratchet up the buzz around this next game and put themselves in position for greater achievements. They added another layer of confidence to the coat of armor they began constructing with a 17-10 win in Seattle two seasons ago (Arians’ first season) against a team that went on to win the Super Bowl.“We don’t lack any confidence, for sure, but it reassures it when you go there and win,” Arians said. “It just helps to build it and a week like that can really lead to a good week of practice, which leads to better weeks.” Arians knows what is on Cardinals fans’ minds, and he knows which storylines will be weaving their way through the various media outlets. With the Green Bay Packers’ recent struggles, and with the NFC mostly mired in mediocrity, the Cardinals are in position once again to earn a first-round playoff bye and a second-round game at home, putting them within shouting distance of the NFC Championship.By grabbing the mic before any reporters could ask questions on Monday, Arians made it clear his own team is reciting a different message instead of playing out the next seven weeks in their heads to see if they can earn all those spoils.“Right now, it’s just add ’em up at the end,” Arians said. “Let’s stay in the moment to make sure that those kinds of things happen. If you start talking about them too much I think you start looking at the wrong goals. Right now, it’s to have the best Wednesday practice we can have.”The message had already been delivered to the players by the time Arians spoke.“We’ve got a tough game coming up with Cincinnati so just prepare for that one,” receiver Jaron Brown said, when asked about the significance of the win in Seattle. “Wednesday’s practice is right around the corner. We’re going to start looking at film and just prepare for them.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 2 Comments Share New Cardinals fullback Derrick Coleman has never shied from a challenge his whole life.As the first legally-deaf NFL offensive player, Coleman has cut out a nice career as a fullback and in special teams for the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons.“As the fullback you have to be a leading guy, you have to set the tone for the running back,” Coleman said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf. “You want to be strong, fast and you want to be physical. People feed off of that, you go out and lay a linebacker out of you just fit the right way running backs are confident enough to know they can run right behind him and go for 100 yards or a touchdown.” – / 9 The Cardinals are re-introducing the fullback position to their offense under first-year head coach Steve Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.Coleman won a Super Bowl during his time with the Seahawks, and has had success in special teams and in run-blocking.The Cardinals expect him to fill in these roles seamlessly.Related LinksCardinals WR Chad Williams is excited about OC McCoy’s new offenseDavid Johnson is the latest casualty in a cruel professionHis deafness hasn’t stopped him from being a productive player in the NFL as well as a succesful college career as a running back at UCLA.“It really hasn’t been a huge challenge, because that is what I do day in and day out in my life. Sometimes I do have to work twice as hard, sometimes I have to make accommodations,” Coleman said. “When the quarterback changes plays when everyone is already out, he just knows that I can read lips so just turn around one more time and tell me.”Coleman’s success in football has been a big inspiration to members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, and he’s proud to be a member of the community and offer encouragement.“I always tell the hard-of-hearing and deaf community just go there and live your life. Be the best you can possibly be. When I was growing up, I always thought I had to be a part of society and do what society told me to do, what I learned was that there’s only one Derrick Coleman Jr.,” Coleman said. “And I just need to go out there and do the best I can possibly do. There’s going to be times when I mess up, and there’s going to be times when I do something great.”
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “To an extent, yes, I could’ve made a choice to [stay in Seattle], but it wasn’t,” Sweezy said at his press conference when asked whether it was hard to leave the team he had spent the majority of his career with. “I feel like I’m supposed to be here. I got really good vibes about everything, and I’m just excited to get started.”Related LinksCardinals sign free agent OG J.R. Sweezy to 2-year dealFormer Eagles LB Jordan Hicks signs 4-year deal with CardinalsFormer Bears receiver Kevin White signs with CardinalsSweezy started 15 games for the Seahawks last season in his return to the team after spending two years with the Buccaneers. He was named a Pro Bowl alternate for his efforts, and was a big reason as to why Seattle had the league’s top ranked rushing attack in 2018.Sweezy is expected to play right guard, his primary position for every year of his career except last season, which will allow Justin Pugh to move back to his more natural position of left guard. According to Sweezy, he is comfortable with both, and will play wherever they need him to.“I’m here to win ballgames, so whatever they want me to do, I’ll do it,” Sweezy said. “It’s as simple as that.”Sweezy joins a revamped Cardinals offensive line, which features another new addition in Marcus Gilbert, whom they acquired from the Steelers earlier in the week. Last year’s injury-ravaged unit was tied for fifth in the league in sacks allowed with 52, which made upgrades a necessity this offseason. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories 5 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires When looking at the respective records of the Cardinals and the Seahawks in 2018, it would be fair to assume that the latter would be the more attractive destination for free agents this offseason.This was not the case for new Cardinals guard J.R. Sweezy, though. The 29-year-old was officially introduced after finalizing his contract with Arizona on Friday, and according to him, the decision to leave Seattle and join the Cardinals was not a tough one at all. One thing Sweezy will have to adjust to in his move to the Cardinals is Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense. Sweezy said that he has never played in that type of system before, but believes that he can pick up on it quickly.“I’ve ran pieces of it, but I haven’t been fully in it,” Sweezy said. “I’m pretty comfortable, and I truly feel like I can adapt to anything, so I’m excited to take on the challenge.”As for what Cardinals fans can expect from Sweezy, he gave a simple explanation as to what his playstyle is like and what they should look forward to.“I play through the whistle every play as hard as I possibly can,” Sweezy said. “That’s just me. I don’t mean to do it, it’s just me being me.” J.R. Sweezy of Seattle Seahawks reacts during the NFL International series match between Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders at Wembley Stadium on October 14, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)
Go back to the e-newsletterCelebrating 14 years work and heralding in a new era for chef Peter Gunn, his first restaurant Ides will open its doors mid March at 92 Smith Street, Collingwood, Melbourne.“I really like that danger zone, the risk of not planning a menu too much” explains Gunn, “and making dish decisions as last minute as possible so I can keep that energy in the menu. The success of the monthly dinners really gave me the confidence that I could run a permanent kitchen in this way. At Ides we want to deliver that same edge in our dishes, but this time not limited by the restrictions of a makeshift kitchen or dinning room.”Seating 36 guests Ides will open from Wednesday to Saturday dinner only. The single menu will offer six courses – four savoury and two sweet – with alternatives for dietary requirements. Working with acclaimed designer Grant Cheyne the restaurant interior has been created with a lot of imagination and a challenging limited budget. The result is a space whilst comfortable, remains connected to its urban location and energy from the kitchen. With a nod to its roots, Ides will also continue to challenge itself by introducing ‘One Day Sunday’– a selection of monthly dinners that will have no association with the restaurant, reinventing the whole venue and giving a totally different dining experience each month.Go back to the e-newsletter
Go back to the e-newsletterIn a natural extension of Anantara’s unique Balance wellness concept, the luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers announces the launch of a range of wellness retreats powered by Lifestyle Health Retreats (LHR). The transformational retreats, ranging from three to seven night programmes, promise to deliver long-term health benefits and a positive lifestyle impact, as well as the inspiration found in extraordinary destinations including Thailand and the Maldives.Designed around LHR’s philosophy that wellness retreats should be more than a ‘healthy holiday’ and effect long-term lifestyle change, the exclusive range of results-oriented programmes offer professional guidance by experienced fitness, nutrition and wellness experts and ‘mindset re-programming’, along with a realistic, motivational action plan and post-retreat coaching support.Fitness & Weight Loss Retreats enable guests to benefit from personalised coaching and workouts, to learn about fitness and weight loss myths, as well as scientifically proven methods. Participants develop a thorough understanding of food and nutrition, and receive the tools to establish healthy habits. Each guest receives detailed, personal information about their body and how to most efficiently maximize health, while burning fat and losing weight.Fitness & Weight Loss Retreats are available at Anantara Si Kao Resort along an untouched stretch of Andaman coastline in southern Thailand from 20 – 27 May 2016 and from 17 – 24 June 2016 with prices starting from THB 18,200 and at the tropical Thai island hideaway of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort from 22 – 29 April and 3 – 10 June 2016 with prices starting from THB 24,700, as well as in the Maldives from 20 – 27 May 2016 with prices starting from USD 1,329.Yoga Retreats strengthen and revitalise the body, refresh and empower the mind, while balancing and uplifting the spirit. Each day starts with a dynamic two-hour yoga flow practice to invigorate and cleanse the body. Afternoon seminars provide guidance on yoga poses, so that guests can develop a deeper and more beneficial routine to put into practice back home. In the evenings, yin yoga stretching or meditation sessions offer a wealth of holistic benefits.Yoga Retreats are available at Anantara Layan Phuket Resort on the Thai island of Phuket from 1 – 8 July 2016 with prices starting from THB 24,700, as well as at Anantara’s Maldivian paradise from 15 – 22 April 2016 with prices starting from USD 1,329.Each retreat includes return airport transfers, luxury Anantara accommodation and healthy meals on a full board basis, a complimentary Anantara Spa treatment, one-to-one coaching, at least four hours a day of workouts, seminars and classes, as well as 30 days of follow-up coaching.Go back to the e-newsletter
In light of Chile recently becoming a major hot spot for Australian travellers, andBeyond has released the details of its ‘Wild Side of Chile’ tour. Visiting the vibrant sights of Santiago and immersing themselves in the natural wonders of Chilean Patagonia, the eight-day journey gives travellers a unique opportunity to explore some of the highlights of this increasingly popular destination.The Wild Side of ChileEmbark on an amazing eight-day journey through the vast, pristine wilderness of Patagonia – one of Chile’s most beautiful landscapes. Your clients’ adventure kicks off in the capital city of Santiago, a modern, sprawling and vibrant metropolis that is flanked on each side by the Andes and coastal mountain ranges. It is here that they can enjoy a series of tours that range from historical and cultural explorations to specialised excursions focused on food, architecture and art. After exploring the vibrancy of Santiago, they will head to the awe-inspiring beauty of Patagonia. Over 500 years after the arrival of the first European seafarers in Patagonia, the words to describe it are the same: exotic, faraway, vast, infinitely beautiful, wild and indomitable.Situated in the heart of the National Park, the Torres del Paine Mountains are one of the main attractions of the region and an icon of Chilean Patagonia. The immensity of the ice floes, the majesty of the mountains and the expanse of the lakes are a constant source of wonderment – undeniably a photographer’s and nature lover’s dream destination. End the incredible tour with a fantastic wine tasting experience in Casablanca, which sits just outside of Santiago. Enjoy a guided tour around the Veramonte Vineyard, sample some of its finest wines and learn more about the estate’s wine-making process.HighlightsAn interpretive guided city tour of SantiagoPick and choose from a range of half or full-day Awasi adventures to scenic destinations within Patagonia such as the Grey Peninsula, the Blue Lagoon, Horns Viewpoint and Frenchman’s ValleyAn interpretive introductory talk about the dramatic wilderness of PatagoniaPrivate, expert guides throughout the journey through PatagoniaA close encounter with the wildlife of Patagonia – with the opportunity to encounter pumas, condors, southern deer, guanacos, foxes and rheas or ñandues (to name a few) during the journey.Embark on full-day photographic safaris in PatagoniaExclusive access to a restricted area of the Torres del Paine National Park to observe the wild horses of Baguales in their natural habitat, accompanied by an expert biologist and veterinarianWalking photographic safari designed to ensure that photographers capture the best of PatagoniaWine tour and tasting, accompanied by a local resident guide, in Santiago.InclusionsWelcome and assistance service at all airportsTwo nights’ accommodation in Santiago with breakfastFive nights’ accommodation in Torres del Paine Area on a full-board basisAll transport and excursions as mentioned in private luxury vehicleDomestic air tickets with airport taxesMuseum and national park entrance fee where applicableAdministration fees where applicableFull board in Patagonia and all meals where indicatedRatesFully inclusive rate per person sharing:1 August 2016 – 31 July 2017 US $8732
Germanwings will be launching a new direct flight from Sarajevo in Bosnia & Herzegovina to Cologne-Bonn, Germany in August.The new route will be launched as part of the airlines winter timetable for the 2008-09 season, beginning in mid-August.Another service from Stuttgart, Germany to Sarajevo has also been announced.However, this route will not begin service until October 27th.Germanwings recently unveiled a new baggage policy in a bid to reduce fuel consumption by reducing aircraft weight.Those checking in heavy luggage will now be landed with a surcharge of €5 for each item.However, as a counter measure, the airline has also increased the excess luggage allowance from 20kg to 23kg per passenger.These measures came into force on all flights booked after May 19th, although those travelling with hand luggage alone will not be affected by the new charging system. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedGermanwings adds three new routesGermanwings adds three new routesClickair’s Vigo flights takeoffClickair’s Vigo flights takeoffGermanwings and clickair in joint agreementGermanwings and clickair in joint agreement
San Francisco, CA – Signature Flight Support Corporation’s San Francisco (SFO) facility has been awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™) GOLD CI certification, according to a press release received by Elite Traveler.LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system developed by the United States Green Building Council. The council provides third-party verification that a building has been designed and built to save energy, reduce CO2 emissions, use water efficiently and improve indoor air quality thereby reducing the building’s impact on the environment. Its certification point system offers four types of certification, GOLD being the second highest level attainable.Eric Hietala, Regional Vice President for Signature Flight Support Corporation’s Western Region commented: “Signature Flight Support, as a global leader in business aviation flight support services, is delighted to have Signature San Francisco LEED Gold CI certified. This certification validates Signature Flight Support’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our facilities. It also provides a clear framework for identifying practical “greener” solutions for future locations.”SchenkelShultz Architecture designed the facility improvements and Kraus-Manning Inc. acted as the project manager to ensure compliance with LEED specifications. Facility improvements included an extensive renovation of the existing 9,800 sq. ft. executive terminal and the two existing 25,000 sq. ft. aircraft storage hangars. The renovation included new heating, ventilation and air conditioning as well as upgraded replacements of the mechanical and lighting systems for improved energy efficiency and performance. These efforts resulted in a 47% reduction in lighting power consumption relative to industry standards. Interior finishes, doors, and millwork were also replaced and low VOC binders and adhesives were used to improve the indoor air quality.The project also included new additions to the terminal which added 2,800 sq. ft. of new facility space. The improvements provided upgraded amenities for travelers including an expanded lobby, seating areas, restrooms, and security screening facilities. Employee facilities were also renovated including a new flight dispatch and operations area and a galley kitchen.Signature Flight Support Corporation’s San Francisco fixed-base operation is continuing to reduce its environmental impact through its daily operations. Alternative fuel ground handling equipment is being utilized and recycling bins are located throughout the facility encouraging both employees and travelers to recycle. Bike racks, showers and changing facilities have also been installed to encourage employees to commute by bicycle. Signature Flight Support Corporation, being a BBA Aviation plc company, is continuously working to reduce its impact on the environment as part of its corporate social responsibility mandate.
This month Chinese luxury label Shanghai Tang opens their first-ever Shanghai Tang Café in Xintiandi, one of Shanghai’s leading shopping, dining and entertainment districts and also the home of the brand’s flagship store.The décor celebrates Shanghai Tang’s signature brand of contemporary Chinese chic, with bold colors and vibrant accents. The restaurant/bar features a kitchen led by award-winning chef Jereme Leung, acclaimed for founding the Whampoa Club at Three on the Bund. In accordance with Leung’s innovative approach to cooking, the cuisine will be a mix of modern and traditional Chinese fare.Visit www.shanghaitangcafe.com.
Enchantment Resort packages are a great way to enjoy the many experiences the Boynton Canyon, Sedona-based resort offers, with extra value added to your stay. Access to the Mii amo spa facilities and resort amenities such as mountain bikes, tennis courts, hiking trails fitness classes, steam rooms and saunas is included in all packages. All included meals and spa services have the gratuity added in the package price.“Spa Tranquility” Package (2 or more nights) Enjoy splendid accommodations and relaxing spa treatments at Mii amo during this perfect Sedona escape. • Two nights in a Casita Guest Room or Junior Suite • One 60-minute spa service per person per day • Complete access to Mii amo including indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, locker rooms, steam, sauna and movement studioPackage starts at $1,184“Suite Romance” Package (2 or 3 nights) Romance begins in the luxury of your intimate suite and includes spa treatments, an elegant dinner and a sumptuous gift basket. Two or three nights in a Junior Suite or Casita One-Bedroom Suite • Romance gift upon arrival (a $140 value) • One romantic candlelight dinner for two during your stay in the Yavapai Restaurant or from room service, with a bottle of Enchantment house champagne or wine during your stay • One 60-minute spa service per person or combine for the ultimate couple’s treatmentPackage starts at $1,384“Bed & Breakfast” Package (3 or more nights) Southwestern elegance and luxurious accommodations are enhanced by a delicious breakfast each morning of your stay. • Three nights in a Casita Guest Room or Junior Suite • One breakfast entrée or breakfast buffet per person per day at Yavapai Restaurant, Mii amo Café or from Room Service • Daily use of resort amenities, including Mii amo Spa, swimming pools, tennis courts, hiking trails and mountain bikesPackage starts at $1,086“Taste of Enchantment” Package (2 nights) Delight in the culinary opportunities at Enchantment Resort including three restaurants, wine tastings, and cooking demonstrations. • Two nights in a Casita Guest Room or Junior Suite • One breakfast entrée or breakfast buffet per person per day at Yavapai Restaurant, Mii amo Café or from Room Service • One dinner per person, one night of your stay, at any restaurant or from Room Service • Mii amo’s A Journey of Taste cookbook • Bottle of wine as a welcome amenity • Preferred reservations at wine tastingsPackage starts at $987“Journey at Enchantment” Package (2 nights) This package is designed for a shorter spa getaway with the same attractions of a longer spa vacation. • Two nights in a Junior Suite at Enchantment Resort • Two 60-minute spa services per person • One 90-minute spa service per person • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily at Mii amo Café, for each person • Complete access to Mii amo including indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center, locker rooms, steam, sauna and movement studioPackage starts at $1,494“Tennis at Enchantment” Package (2 nights) Spend time on Enchantment’s six courts, ideally situated in one of the most dramatic settings in the world. • Two nights in a Casita Guest Room or Junior Suite • One breakfast entrée or breakfast buffet per person per day at Yavapai Restaurant, Mii amo Café or from Room Service • One-hour tennis ball machine rental per day • One-hour private tennis lesson per person per day • Daily tennis clinic each morningPackage starts at $1,274“Family Getaway” Package (2 nights) Children and adults alike will enjoy how this package sets the stage for a Southwestern vacation the whole family will love. • Two nights in a Casita Guest Room or Casita One-Bedroom Suite • One breakfast entrée or breakfast buffet per person per day at Yavapai Restaurant, Mii amo Café or from Room Service • Camp Coyote daily for children age 4-12 • One group Pink Jeep tour with adventure choices including Diamondback Gulch, Ancient Ruins, Scenic Rim, Photography Tour or Coyote CanyonsPackage starts at $1,434“Outdoor Adventure” Package (4 nights) Get ready for an action-packed vacation in Sedona’s red-rock country as you embark on an unforgettable experience! • Four nights in a Casita Guest Room or Junior Suite • One group Pink Jeep tour with adventure choices including Diamondback Gulch, Ancient Ruins, Scenic Rim, Photography Tour or Coyote Canyons • One group red-rock hiking tour • One breakfast entrée or breakfast buffet per person per day at Yavapai Restaurant, Mii amo Café or from Room ServicePackage starts at $1,751“Girlfriends Getaway” Package (2 nights) Escape to Arizona’s high country and spend time together in Sedona, the perfect place to reconnect, relax, shop and explore. • Two nights in a Casita Guest Room or Junior Suite • One breakfast entrée or breakfast buffet per person per day at Yavapai Restaurant, Mii amo Café or from Room Service • One 60-minute private group session (your choice of yoga, tarot card reading, tennis clinic or red-rock hiking tour) during your stay • One 60-minute spa service per person during your stay • Welcome bottle of wine and fruit & cheese platePackage starts at $1,239www.enchantmentresort.com