Nomura, RBS First to Face FHFA in Trial March 13, 2015 486 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Servicing Share FHFA Nomura Holdings RBS 2015-03-13 Seth Welborn The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)’s case against two of the world’s largest banks, Nomura Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), over claims of misrepresenting the quality of mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is scheduled to go to trial next week, according to media reports.The non-jury trial in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan is scheduled to begin on Monday, March 16. If no last-minute settlement is reached, Nomura and RBS would be the first two financial institutions to go to trial out of the 18 lenders FHFA sued in 2011 to recoup U.S. taxpayer costs following the government’s $188 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2008, after which the government seized control of both Enterprises. The other 16 lenders have paid a combined total of about $24 billion to settle with FHFA, including $9.3 billion paid by Bank of America in March 2014.FHFA is said to be seeking $1 billion in damages over losses the Agency suffered when the sponsor of the mortgage-backed securities, Nomura, and the securities’ underwriter, RBS, did not follow underwriting guidelines on 68 percent of a sample of a bundle of securities backing more than $2 billion worth of mortgages sold to the GSEs prior to the financial crisis of 2008. FHFA alleges that the appraised values of the loans in question were inflated by an average of 11 percent, according to reports. Nomura and RBS have reportedly denied the allegations, claiming they made no misleading statements about the securities.The banks would receive the securities back should they have to pay damages in the case. According to reports, the securities were valued at $480 million earlier this week, which is less than half of the $1 billion in damages FHFA is said to be seeking.Reports surfaced in early January 2015 that FHFA might ask RBS to pay up to the equivalent of $7.7 billion in U.S. dollars to settle a separate mortgage-backed securities case being handled by the U.S. District Court in Connecticut. RBS had reportedly set aside the equivalent of $3 billion in U.S. dollars for a possible settlement to resolve claims that it sold $32 billion worth of faulty mortgage-backed securities to the two GSEs.In June 2014, RBS agreed to pay $99.5 million to settle a separate FHFA suit claiming that the bank sold more than $2 billion worth of faulty mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007, the years of the “housing bubble” in the United States.
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Colorado Construction Denver Home Prices homes HOUSING Wells Fargo 2018-08-09 Radhika Ojha August 9, 2018 656 Views Share Housing Remains a Challenge in Colorado’s Growth Higher housing costs, lagging construction, and the rise of high-end single-family homes has made affordable housing a big challenge for Colorado, a state that is otherwise outpacing the rest of the nation economically.According to a report from the Wells Fargo Securities Economics Group that outlined the factors in the rapidly accelerating economy of the Centennial State, the state received less of a lift from domestic net migration, with the state’s popularity slipping among those that chose to move there. It slid from the third largest gainer from domestic migration in 2015 to 11th in the last one year, the Wells Fargo report indicated.The slide, the report said, was likely due to the higher housing costs in Denver. Domestic migration accelerated in states with more affordable homes for sale, such as Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada in the West; as well as North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee in the South.The Mile High City, “served as a beacon for millennials in particular, as the metro area’s 20 to 34-year-old population grew by 83,162 from 2010 to 2016, which was the tenth largest gain in the nation,” the report revealed.However, that growth fueled a boom in the construction of luxury apartments that accounted for most of the price increases that the city has witnessed recently. Looking at the future, the report said that Denver’s attraction for millennials could be hampered by these skyrocketing costs in housing.”While job and income growth have also been strong, many younger persons are still struggling to save for a down payment, particularly with home prices rising so rapidly,” the report stated.'”Affordable housing is in extremely short supply. Housing remains an enormous challenge in Denver and much of the Front Range,” said Mark Vitner, Senior Economist for Wells Fargo Securities and the author of this report. “Construction has lagged population growth, and much of what has been built has been luxury apartments or high-end single-family homes.”Despite the challenges posed by the housing market, Colorado, the report found has the fifth fastest growing job market in the U.S. and is only behind Utah, Idaho, Nevada, and Texas. “The state has seen an influx of tech companies from California in recent years and is also home to many rapidly growing start-ups. The growth in the tech sector has helped draw in young college graduates, making the state a magnet for millennials,” the report indicated.
Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Ginnie Mae GSEs housing finance reforms loans Securitization Sen Mike Crapo 2019-02-01 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News After making housing finance reforms a key focus area for the Senate Banking Committee, its Chairman Sen. Mike Crapo, introduced an outline for housing finance reform legislation.The outline, according to a statement by Crapo, incorporates elements of the various “plans and principles for housing finance reform that have been previously discussed by legislators, analysts, stakeholders, and thought leaders.” It highlights five points that would help create a more sustainable housing finance system, which includes:Private companies as guarantors for the timely repayment of principal and interest to investors of eligible mortgages that are securitized through a platform operated by Ginnie Mae.Changing the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) structure to run it as a bipartisan board of directors instead of a single Director to charter, regulate, and supervise the guarantorsUtilizing Ginnie Mae to guarantee timely repayment of principal and interest on securities that receive credit enhancement from guarantors that are approved and regulated by the FHFAPutting a cap on the percentage of all outstanding guaranteed eligible mortgages that a guarantor is permitted within a stipulated timeline as well as ensuring a timeline within which all guarantors are required to be fully capitalized after the enactment of the legislationReplacing the current affordable housing goals and duty-to-serve requirements with a new Market Access Fund which will provide grants, loans, and credit enhancements to address the homeownership and rental housing needs of the underserved and low-income communities“We must expeditiously fix our flawed housing finance system,” Crapo said. “My priorities are to establish stronger levels of taxpayer protection, preserve the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, increase competition among mortgage guarantors, and promote access to affordable housing. I invite my Senate and House colleagues, the Administration and all interested stakeholders to work together to enact this critically needed reform.”Additionally, he said that this proposal would create a more sustainable housing finance system that would not only reduce the too-big-to-fail risk posed by the current duopoly of mortgage guarantors but would also significantly increase the role of private risk-bearing capital while preserving the existing infrastructure in the housing finance system that works well. According to Crapo, this plan would also ensure the establishment of “several new protection between mortgage credit risk and taxpayers” as well as a “level playing field for originators of all sizes and types.””Protecting American taxpayers by ensuring the safety and stability of the United States housing finance system is a priority for the Treasury Department,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in response to the outline released by Crapo. “The outline for housing reform legislation released by Chairman Crapo is a productive first step toward that goal, and I applaud him for his efforts.”Supporting this outline, Michael Bright, President and CEO of the Structured Finance Industry Group and former Acting President at Ginnie Mae said that while the current structure of conservatorship had helped America transition from the crisis to economic growth, “A future state for housing finance should have clearly defined roles for who is taking on risk, private capital, or the government. It must also ensure that our housing market works for all Americans.”Eric Kaplan, Director of the Milken Institute of Housing Finance Program also applauded the outline saying, “Upon initial review, this outline has the potential to achieve many of the housing finance reform principles and objectives we support.”Additionally, Kaplan said that the outline was important in that it built up last year’s active legislative debate and “reflects the importance of maintaining serious housing finance reform momentum.”This legislation outline comes close on the heels of the White House’s announcement that it would announce a framework for “the development of a policy for comprehensive housing finance reform shortly,” and that it had not yet made a decision on any housing finance reform plan. The announcement was made within weeks of FHFA Acting Director, Joseph Otting’s remarks to staffers that the agency would be announcing plans to remove the GSEs from conservatorship soon. February 1, 2019 1,104 Views Crapo: “Fix Our Flawed Housing Finance System” Share
in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination Share The Impact of a Tightening Mortgage Market February 21, 2019 1,240 Views Online loan applications are rising with 38 percent of all unsecured personal loan balances being driven by fintech loans, according to the latest TransUnion Q4 2018 Industry Insights Report released on Thursday. Despite this overall rise in lending led by fintech, the report revealed that the mortgage market continued to soften as delinquencies declined. Despite the rise in overall consumer borrowing and the increased use of fintech, home mortgages have cooled slightly, the report noted. Data revealed that of the top 20 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), those with an average new account balance of over $300,000 saw a decline of 10 percent in year-over-year originations. On the other hand, those with an average new account balance of less than $300,000 saw growth of 2 percent in year-over-year originations.Average new mortgage account balances dropped to $227,376, from $228,563 in Q4 2017. “The decrease we’re seeing in new account balances could be due to a number of factors, the largest of which may be a change in the mix of mortgage originations from high priced MSAs to low priced MSAs. Of the top 20 MSAs, those with an average new account balance of over $270,000 had a decline of 17 percent in year-over-year originations, while those with an average new account balance of less than $270,000 saw only a 5 percent decline in year-over-year originations,” said Joe Mellman, SVP and mortgage business leader at TransUnion. Though mortgage originations continue to remain low relative to past years, the report indicated a slight increase in lending activity to subprime borrowers. An increase of 2 percent was recorded in originations to subprime borrowers on a year-over-year basis—a growth trend now observed since Q1 2018. The average debt per borrower was $206,922. However, Mellman pointed out that as the mortgage market tightens, “lenders are expressing only slight interest in subprime lending—originations to subprime consumers still represent less than 4 percent of total originations.”The report indicated that serious mortgage delinquencies continued to decline. The serious delinquency rate for Q4 2018 was 1.66 percent down from 1.86 percent during the same time last year. Additionally, 15 of the 20 largest MSAs experienced double-digit year-over-year percentage declines. “Only three MSAs, Houston, Miami, and Tampa, experienced an uptick in year-over-year delinquencies. This was expected, as the comparison point is Q4 2017, a quarter when those MSAs experienced an artificially low delinquency rate due to natural disaster forbearance programs,” Mellman said. Per the Q4 2018 IIR Mortgage Loan Summary, serious mortgage delinquency rates have continued to remain low. The serious delinquency rate for Q4 2018 was 1.66 percent, down from 1.86 percent at the same time last year. In addition, 15 of the 20 largest MSAs experienced double-digit year-over-year percentage declines. Borrowers Delinquencies Interest rates Lenders loans mortgage Mortgage Rates MSAs Originations Subprime TransUnion 2019-02-21 Radhika Ojha
Q&A: Reynolds executive development chef prov … From the pages of Produce Business UKTechnology and trends were two key topics from the recently completed 2019 London Produce Show’s (LPS) Foodservice Forum.Yet sometimes, understanding, anticipating and even creating the next big trend requires virtually no technology at all. Just ask Jason Danciger, who is the U.K.’s managing director of the Hana Group, a company that locates Asian and globally inspired food concepts in retail environments.Danciger took attendees with him on the ride as he engagingly navigated the Forum’s program, titled “Transforming Foodservice Through Technology & Trends,” with interactive seminars, panel discussions and taste demos. Featured speakers, who range from chefs to software developers, are all on the forefront of the U.K.’s flourishing foodservice industry, while at the same time deeply committed to simple fresh ingredients like produce. It’s this combination, says Danciger, that will deliver “pure, pure business relevance” for attendees in all sectors of the industry.Carol Bareuther, RD, contributing editor of the Pundit’s sister publication, Produce Business, talked with Danciger about the U.K.’s foodservice industry trends and technological advancements.Q: Let’s start at the beginning. What influenced your passion for produce and subsequent proficiency in so many sectors of the U.K.’s foodservice industry? Any fun stories?A: I fell into hospitality at the age 14, when I started work as a waiter. There was certainly a calling to this line of work, and I loved it, because it allowed me to interact with people, which I really enjoyed and still do today. However, quite simply, the job was there. It was a part-time bit and a good way to make pocket money. That job earned me the reputation as the ‘Milky Bar kid’. With my salary, 99-pence an hour (US$1.25), versus 6 pence (8 cents) apiece for a milky bar, I could buy all my friends’ chocolate at the school snack shop.I followed as barman at age 15 in true Tom Cruise-style by shaking cocktails in the evening and studying Latin the next morning. After reading about a Michelin-starred chef (former head chef of Le Gavroche) who was opening a new restaurant, I wrote to him. His English was as rusty as my French, but I started the next week and ended up as the first-ever English sous chef at the time after a few grueling years, of course.Twice a week we would receive trays of fruits and vegetables from the markets in Rungis. It was always a wonder! The amazing salads, fruits wrapped like presents, the variety of fresh wild mushrooms, the aromas of perfect Charentais melons. I remember the vibrant colors of different vegetables and fell in love with fresh produce at first sight.Q: A quick glance at your LinkedIn resume shows a traditional restaurant start, followed by an increasingly diverse foodservice career. How have you seen trends happening at the time that were transforming the U.K.’s foodservice industry and your own career? Could you describe that journey for us?A: I was at first deeply rooted in the Michelin-starred years as that flourished in the U.K. This was followed by a desire for the less formal restaurants that kicked off the ‘casual dining’ fashion. Then, I founded café society and European bistros before being at the forefront of gastro pubs and launching hundreds of award-winning Time Out pubs.What I saw was that while people still liked to get dressed up, to go to a Michelin-star restaurant, those were more of an occasion than every day. For every day, they liked being relaxed and loved the fact that they could eat simply. That was a really early element I learned. A good example is that it used to be you had to order all three courses or the waiter would look down his nose at you. Now, we know people graze and eat at different times of the day as they balance busy work and home lives. We know someone might come in for just a starter or main dish, and we created an offer that hit on that. We’d also welcome someone, particularly in café society, who came in for just a cup of tea with as much charm as if they were ordering a meal. That’s because we knew they’d feel we were the place that really looked after them and they’d ultimately come back to dine.Then, the large retailers awoke, and in-store cafes and restaurants took off. I was lucky with Marks & Spencer to also start a new bakery trend that grew significant market share. Drawing on that experience of ‘grocerant’, I wanted to continue to create theater in food halls with hand-crafted sushi made in front of customers.We went from 0 to 90 sites in 2.5 years as well as created several new concepts with the same feel. For example, El Luchador, Little India Kitchen and Wok Street. What we found is that when cooking from scratch with fresh produce right in front of customers, we didn’t need signposts and messages to tell customers that the food was fresh and healthful. They could see it for themselves. It built trust just by watching. That was useful and intuitive.In some places, you could say some of our products are ready meals. But, they are ready meals that are cooked fresh daily with the cleanest ingredients you can imagine with a very short shelf life. In essence, better than you could make at home.Q: If you were to distill all this hands-on experience, what skill would you say keeps you passionate about the foodservice industry?A: My favorite activity is walking. As you walk, you can watch the landscape change. It’s all very dynamic. You can see what happens on the high street and you can watch customers’ reactions. It’s a skill I’ve developed and it’s helped me to recognize and ‘ride the wave’, if you will, of the growth areas consumers will ultimately desire.Q: Now, what about the technology piece, a central element of this year’s Forum. I saw that you studied E-Commerce and Corporate Information Systems at the Harvard Business School. What sticks with you most from that education?A: I learned at Harvard that technology will double every five years and that it plays a significant part in strategy. Also, that planning ahead and the skills necessary to bring that technology to fruition are key to success along with sharing a vision. We use so many tools to manage production, our teams, retail partners, waste and so much more, and embracing technology plays a huge part in business success.We have double-digit LFL (like-for-like) growth and that comes from all of the above…not just luck!Q: Could you give us an example of some of the technological tools employed within the Hana Group?A: Absolutely. There’s an app we use called Planday. All of our teams have it on their mobile phones. They can check first thing to see if teams are at work. We are a factory. We produce fresh in store daily. If we don’t produce, we aren’t making sales. The program enables the managers to move people around, if needed, and make sure we have every site staffed.Then, there’s a system called GESCOM. Each of our team managers scan every box of food waste. The system intuitively learns itself. Any items where there is low waste, the system will tell the team to make more of it on a daily basis. If a box has very high waste, it will tell teams to make less. Consider you have 100 stores, each in different areas, with different types of customers like a lunch crowd in one or family dinner types in another. The system lets you put out just what those customers want in that store and waste really goes down.What this means is that our area managers can stay home, sit on the sofa, feet up, drinking tea in the morning rather than getting stuck in traffic. First, they check on the people and secondly on the production side. These two factors running smoothly means the customer is happy. Once the manager has checked these elements, they can get out, the traffic has died down by then, and spend the rest of the day mentoring people, talking to supervisors and whatever else they need to do because the really tough stuff is done. These are just a couple of examples.Technology done right is very effective. It plays a huge role, but in the end it’s still fresh produce that we’re working with. We don’t use that technology to change a strawberry. We want that strawberry to be organic and/or from a local area and full of taste and in its raw form. So, it’s not using technology to actually keep the strawberry, but to manage the strawberry as we turn it into deliciously fresh healthful food. June 17 , 2019 You might also be interested in
As for the Dolphins, the offense these days, more or less, runs through their 1,000 yard rusher from a year ago, Reggie Bush.The former star from USC did injure his knee in last week’s loss against the Jets, and was limited all week. He is currently being listed as a ‘true’ game-time decision.With or without Bush, the Dolphins are still in the process of developing their pass game with Tannehill. The problem, as illustrated on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer, Miami never really found him a No. 1 receiver. The Dolphins main two weapons are Brian Hartline and Devone Bess this season. Not exactly an awe-inspiring receiving corps.Defense:From ESPN to NBC’s ProFootballTalk to even this very site, the Cardinals’ defense has been getting plenty of publicity this week, and for good reason.Ray Horton’s group made Vick and Brady look pedestrian the past two weeks, and impressively never took their foot off the gas. Over the past 12 games, the defense has been as good as any in all of football statistically, but also when applying the eye test.The Cardinals are ninth in passing yards/game, sixth in takeaways and second in points/game through the first three weeks. Quarterbacks:Kevin Kolb put to rest any talk about a quarterback controversy, at least for the near future, with his play against the Eagles last week. The second-year Cardinals’ quarterback looked composed in the pocket against his former team, threw two touchdown passes and most importantly, didn’t try to force anything that wasn’t there.The big number for Kolb thus far isn’t the number of touchdowns or completion percentage or passing yards, it’s wins. And since John Skelton went down in the fourth quarter of the Cardinals’ Week 1 win over the Seahawks, Kolb has been flawless in that department.It’s been a busy week for Kolb, as his wife Whitney gave birth to their third daughter, Saylor, on Thursday night. While sleep may have been an issue for the six-year veteran all week, something tells me adrenaline will kick in when he hits the field at University of Phoenix Stadium.On the flip side, Dolphins’ rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill hasn’t had an easy go of it through the first three games of his career.While Miami’s offensive line has protected him better than any rookie quarterback this season — only four sacks — Tannehill’s accuracy and ability to put points together in the red zone has been a major issue. Comments Share Prediction: Cardinals 20, Dolphins 9 To his credit, the Dolphins have faced tough defenses in the Texans and Jets. But for a man who doesn’t even know who plays in his own conference, don’t expect him to have a career day on Sunday against the Cardinals’ stingy unit. Offense:The Cardinals are coming off their highest scoring output of the season (27), although some of that was aided by James Sanders’ 93-yard fumble return for a touchdown.But what didn’t show up in the box score, was a level of comfort Kevin Kolb — 17 of 24 for 222 yards — illustrated in the pocket. While he was sacked three times, the Cardinals’ quarterback looked like he believed he belonged on the field. Because of it, Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald was able to flourish with man-to-man coverage, torching Nnamdi Asomugha for nine catches, 114 receiving yards and a 37-yard touchdown.The Cardinals will be without the services of veteran running back Beanie Wells for the foreseeable future, after he was diagnosed this week with a turf toe injury. But second-year back Ryan Williams is coming off a career-day — 83 yards rushing — against the Eagles, so look for he and William Powell to be an integral part of the offense. Even without Adrian Wilson last week, and in all likelihood defensive end Darnell Dockett Sunday, the Cardinals have embraced the next man up philosophy. From Daryl Washington to Sam Acho to Kerry Rhodes and everyone in between, the Cardinals have made defense exciting again in the Valley of the Sun.The Dolphins aren’t too shabby either, especially against the run. Miami is second in the league in yards/run and third in yards/game. Their big issue is against the pass, especially after trading cornerback Vontae Davis to the Colts during training camp. While they try to employ an effective pass rush led by former Pro Bowler Cameron Wake, if opposing quarterbacks have time against the Fins, they are usually very successful. Miami is currently allowing over 300 yards passing per game. Outlook:If you’re looking for offense, this game probably won’t be for you. You’re better off watching a re-run of last night’s UA-Oregon State game. Ryan Williams will need to be effective in this game, but even if he’s not I think Kevin Kolb does just enough in the red zone to put some distance in this one. The Cardinals’ defense will continue doing what they’ve done through the first three weeks, dominate. The Arizona Cardinals enter unfamiliar territory Sunday.For the first time since 1974, the Redbirds are 3-0 to start a season. They sit atop the NFC West division and are starting to get noticed around the league.Sunday’s test at home against a 1-2 Dolphins team is just as difficult as the three that came before it, because while they won’t be facing a Tom Brady or Michael Vick, they will be facing something far greater — an expectation to win. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
– / 26 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact How many points did the Cardinals leave on the field in the first half? How would that have changed the dynamic of the game? Who knows. But it was a factor and a big part of this disheartening loss.I’m not trying to take the focus off the historically bad protection; I am merely pointing out there were other reasons for this loss. A week ago Ron Jaworski told us that the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line play in that Monday Night game was the worst he’s ever seen. I wondered if he would care to revise that statement. I know the focus will be on the offensive line, Kolb getting bloodied and battered, the 17 sacks given up over the last five days (according to Mike Sando there are a handful of teams that have given up 17 or fewer sacks in an entire season). I’m sure some will look at the Cardinals and decide that they are, in fact, not for real. Not after that game. Not with that line. That’s where the debate will live for the next week and a half until the Bills hit town. But once you get past the obvious stuff, the fingerprints of this loss can be found in the first half. On all the missed opportunities. All the plays that, if even just a couple were made, might have changed the entire outcome of the game. A bad pass to Rob Housler, Kolb not looking to Larry Fitzgerald’s side of the field (had he, he would have seen a wide open Fitz), a Michael Floyd drop, a Jay Feely missed FG, a Janoris Jenkins breakup of a pass that didn’t quite get to Rob Housler in stride, Andre Roberts open deep but missed, penalties that negated potentially great field position on a Patrick Peterson punt return, and on and on and on. Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Many thoughts floated in and out of my head Thursday night: I wondered if the Philly fan – while snarfing down a cheesesteak – was thinking to himself, just how did his beloved Eagles lose to this team. I wondered if the Patriots’ fan (sub out the cheesesteak, sub in a lobster or something) was wondering the same thing about his team. I wondered if Kevin Kolb has a good dentist.I wondered if Gambo misses Levi Brown. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling
What does a GM think in the fourth quarter when you see that 14-point lead disappear?We were in a couple different situations where we didn’t convert if we had to kick a field goal. Fourteen points isn’t enough against a team like the Bengals. Watching them on tape, they’ve got a bunch of weapons with A.J. and Marvin and Giovani Bernard, some of the stuff that he can do out of the backfield. So they put a tremendous amount of stress on your defense and they can score quickly. Andy Dalton does a great job of getting the ball out quickly. I know James Bettcher did I nice job last night dialing up on pressure, but at the same time when you dial up that much pressure there’s going to be times where you leave yourself susceptible to some big plays. Obviously they got some mismatches with Bernard on Kevin Minter and they hit us with a nice screen game on an all-out blitz so that’s the NFL game, they get paid too.Does a general manager think of playoffs?No, I’m thinking about the San Francisco 49ers. It’s like somebody asked me on a radio show last week about the accomplishments of the organization so far and have we arrived…we haven’t arrived. We haven’t won any championships yet. Our focus and our mindset is on winning the NFC West and it starts next week against the San Francisco 49ers. I think last year was a great lesson for us when we started off 9-1 and saw things quickly crumble away due to injuries and those sort of things. So you’ve got to take each week, each day, every game one at a time and I know our guys will be focused on San Francisco next week. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling What stood out to you?When I went back and watched the tape this morning I think the story line that probably excited me the most was the contributions of our rookie draft class. When you look at J.J. Nelson, David Johnson with the touchdown, Rodney Gunter had a huge sack for us and of course Markus Golden with the sack and the strip—huge for us, on national TV and really made big contributions, which again for a bunch of young guys I think that that’s probably what stood out the most.What do you say about Carson Palmer and how he’s playing right now?He’s what makes everything go for us. There’s no doubt about that. For me it was a tale of two halves. I think early on Carson maybe tried to force a little bit and at the same time I don’t know that our offensive line matched their defensive line’s physicality, their level of intensity. Yet in the second half I felt like we did. We started to run the ball more effectively which obviously made our offense go. Early on, two times, we turned Geno Atkins loose, there were a couple guys who got beat physically in one-on-one situations, but again the level of intensity in the second half certainly was cranked up a notch.There wasn’t much mention of Tyrann Mathieu and Bobby Massie. Is that because they played so well that you didn’t need to talk about them? Your browser does not support the audio element. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald pumps his fist as he runs off the field after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the Bengals 34-31. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Well in Ty’s situation they didn’t test him a lot. As far as Bobby, I thought Bobby played solid. There was a couple times where it felt like he overset and gave up some inside penetration. But I said early last week that they have a talented team. Across the board up front they have some guys who can rush the pass or create pressure who are physical. There was no point in time during the week or even last night that I knew it was going to be a cakewalk. I certainly felt like we would have our hands full.What kind of season is Patrick Peterson having from your standpoint?I will say this. Last year some of the concerns with Patrick, and we all know Pat’s one of the most talented corners in the league, I think there were some issues with consistency last year. And I think a lot of it had to do, I think, because of his playing weight and that sort of thing. This year, he came back in phenomenal shape – probably the best shape he’s been in as a pro – and his level of consistency he’s taken to a whole different level. His mindset, his competitiveness…he’s been phenomenal this year. Some of the stuff that he does, for fans or for me, when you see a ball caught for eight yards on him and you know we get frustrated, we put him in some really tough positions. The type of man with no help over the top that we ask him to play, it’s really a testament to him and his work ethic and just the fact that he’s a true pro, what he’s done for us this year. Last night you know he had an ankle injury. I don’t have any news on that just yet. I’m assuming he’ll be sore today but I’ll know a little bit more after he gets his MRI and I talk it over with Tom Reed and our medical staff. Comments Share If Patrick Peterson’s ankle isn’t that great, do you need to go after some cornerback depth this week?We have Robert Nelson who we elevated from the practice squad and I think he’s the type of guy that if he gets an opportunity, he’ll do a nice job. He’s played some real football, not just practice squad football, he’s played some real football for Cleveland last year and the guy’s got a really good skillset athletically. I think he just needs an opportunity. We’ll obviously look at the waiver wire, we’ll go back and look at our short list and see if there’s any guys worth bringing in, but again that’s too early now, not knowing the significance of Pat’s injury.Did you see Matt Barkley come running out last night in the towels? I didn’t see it and I heard about it and I’m probably happy that I didn’t see it (laughs).That tells me that there is a chemistry that is forming. Can you talk about what is going on inside that locker room?No doubt. That’s the thing, the confidence and the trust and the loyalty that these guys have for each other has really become infectious and I don’t think you can put a value on that in the National Football League. It’s one thing to have a talented roster but when you have 53 guys walk out of the locker room at one time and they have that type of confidence and trust and loyalty and respect for each other, man that’s a powerful, powerful tool. Any time you’re looking at your roster and you may have some holes or areas that you feel like you need to improve, when you have that type of confidence in your locker room that can overcome a lot of limitations. The attention is going to keep coming. Do you embrace the new national spotlight or do you hate it?I think as a Cardinals fan or a Cardinals employee that you have to embrace it considering where we’ve come from. When I’ve talked about years and years of coming into Phoenix as a scout and seeing very little Cardinals paraphernalia around and to see this type of fan base grow the way they have and to see the stadium as energized as it was last night, seeing the club section completely full at least from my vantage point, it gives you a great sense of pride to be a Cardinal. That’s what I’ve always said, that the wins and losses are one thing but to see this fan base grow and to see the sense of pride in this community, to me is really what this is all about.You built this team. Where do you need to get better and where are you confident in your talent right now?It’s funny, I was talking about that this weekend. It’s one of those things where you hear someone like John Gruden, who I have a lot of respect for, and some other people come on national media and talk about how either we’re one of the most talented teams or the most talented team in the NFL yet at the same time I sit and I look at my board with the depth chart and I look at it and all I see is holes, areas where we need to improve, where we need to get better, where I need to do a better job. I think that goes back to being a perfectionist. I think there’s no question that you’d like to get to a point where you don’t have to manufacture that type of pressure consistently and you can have some guys who get off the edge and disrupt the quarterback. Last night it was nice to see Dwight do the inside spin and to do some of those other things, and he’s been a great pickup for us obviously but we have to find a way to be able to get more pressure off the edge, and we’ve got to do a little bit better job of putting ourselves in matchup situations, defensively and offensively just the consistency protecting the quarterback. There’s no doubt in my mind that we do have the weapons to be a force offensively, yet at the same time if we don’t have the right communication or we get beat up front everything falls apart. Sometimes, it’s best to go straight to the man in charge.And when it comes to the Arizona Cardinals’ roster, that man is Steve Keim.Arizona’s general manager since January 2013, Keim’s deft touch with the draft and free agency has led to the team becoming a contender in the NFC.Lucky for us, Keim happens to be a weekly guest on the Doug and Wolf Show, right here on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. And since what he has to say is important, we thought it would be a good idea to put his words into print, allowing you to read what the GM is thinking. So, without further ado, here’s this week’s edition: The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo – / 31 LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals general manager Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Top Stories 2.9 yards per carry.Of course, that’s not all him. Some blame surely is on the offensive line. Monday, Bruce Arians was clear he was not pleased with their work in Santa Clara.But last year the Cards rushed for 3.3 yards per carry for the whole season and made it to the playoffs. We all know the number 3.3 isn’t the reason they couldn’t get any further in the playoffs than they did.The injury would be much easier to accept if Andre Ellington were healthy, but he’s not. The tough-but-fragile Ellington is now dealing with a turf toe, one that may keep him out longer than Johnson according to one former NFL team doc on twitter.Can David Johnson, Stepfan Taylor and perhaps Kerwynn Williams keep defenses honest enough to allow Carson Palmer to do what he does? After watching how far they went last year with a suspect running game I certainly think the answer is yes. How the rookie out of Northern Iowa performs in blitz pickup may determine more than anything else. And then of course there is the fumbling issue that causes all involved to hold their collective breath.I can’t predict what will happen from here on out. But I know what a devastating late-season injury looks like. I saw it and so did you. And this ain’t it. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo When news first broke from Jay Glazer that Cardinals running back Chris Johnson suffered a fractured tibia in the win over the 49ers, my thoughts — in order — went something like this:How long is he out (answer: not sure yet but not necessarily the rest of the year)?Gratitude. Cornball as it sounds, it’s entirely appropriate given how important Johnson has been in providing the Cardinals something they’ve so rarely enjoyed; a steady productive running game.Is 2.9 irreplaceable?As important as Chris Johnson has been up until this point, it’s also fair to wonder if that needle was on “E”. Excluding the extremely productive game against Baltimore (18/122/TD), Johnson has rushed 99 times for 287 yards and no touchdowns in his last five games. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals running back Chris Johnson (23) runs for a touchdown as Baltimore Ravens defensive end Carl Davis (94) looks on during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 26, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling – / 21 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Brandon Williams (26) breaks up a pass intense for Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) TEMPE, Ariz. — The flip side to Marcus Cooper’s rise in last Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the fall of Brandon Williams.At least, that’s how some perceived it to be.After playing every one of the defensive snaps in the season opener against New England, Williams was in for just 34 percent of the plays against Tampa Bay.In the days following the game, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians made sure to say that they thought the rookie out of Texas A&M played well, but with what Cooper was doing, it made no sense to take him out. It’s difficult to imagine Cooper not being the guy, though until it is, Williams still has a chance. And whether he starts or not, the third-round pick sees his current situation as the perfect one for him.“That way I can see how the game is supposed to be played from those guys, because all those guys can play,” he said. “When I get my opportunity I can mimic the older guys and kind of elevate my game, because I’m seeing how it’s done, and it’s being done right.”Injury updateThe official injury report can be seen here, and since Arians was not available to the media Thursday, there is not much else to go off of. The only change from Wednesday is that Jared Veldheer and Larry Fitzgerald each got in a full practice (they were limited Wednesday).Bettcher doesn’t pass the buckMuch has been made of Arians taking responsibility for the team’s Week 1 loss to the Patriots, as he told Sirius XM Radio that he got too involved in the defensive gameplan and called for a lot more zone than the team would normally play.That would seem to vindicate Bettcher, who had come under fire a bit after his team struggled against a patchwork offense, but on Thursday, the defensive coordinator had little interest in giving away some of the blame. “But I don’t think it would change their gameplan significantly. Those guys still want to take their shots with 88 (Marquise Goodwin), try to get the ball to 14 (Watkins) — he’s more of the deep, over guy, stop, comebacks-type of guy. But I don’t think it’s going to change, dramatically, their gameplan at all.” Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Williams said he thought he played fine against the Bucs and is progressing at a good pace, though when asked what part about being an NFL cornerback has been the biggest surprise, he could not pinpoint any single thing.“Technique-wise, adjustments — just everything about the position, period,” he said.Williams, of course, has been playing cornerback for a little more than one year. The idea that he has plenty to learn is not foreign, nor is it all that outlandish. While confident in his abilities, Williams seems to understand that there is plenty he does not yet know, and it’s why he had no problem ceding snaps to Cooper on Sunday.While the newfound depth and competition may rub some players the wrong way, Williams sees it as a positive.“It helps me out a lot because all those guys have been in the league for four-plus years, so it helps me out a lot because I get to learn from all of them, that’s what I like about it,” he said.Both Arians and defensive coordinator James Bettcher have said that while Cooper stepped up last week, Williams could still start for the team against the Bills. The competition is ongoing, Bettcher said Thursday, and whoever plays the best in practice and shows they know the job and responsibilities that are involved in starting will get the nod. Comments Share “The first thing is we needed to tackle better in that game; we did not tackle well, we did not leverage well. Our communication wasn’t good enough,” he said. “I stood in front of you guys (the media) and I’ll say it again: That starts with us on the defensive side of the ball, coaches and players, and we have to get that done.“I love Coach’s (Arians’) input. He is one of the smartest men I’ve ever worked around. Not only is he the best head coach in the National Football League, he is a smart, smart football coach and I’m fortunate to work for him and we’re fortunate to be here working for him.”Bettcher went on to say the defense needs to tackle well, leverage the ball and get their eyes right. That is the same for all defenses, he said, and added it has to happen every week.“It starts with us as coaches. Me, as a coordinator, I’ve got to make sure those things are emphasized and those things get done from a week-to-week basis, from a day-to-day basis,” he said. “But you know what? I think our guys are getting better. We’re improving on defense. We still have things that we need to improve, and we’re going to keep grinding and working, and the great thing about it is we’ve got the right character in the room, defensively, from the coaches and players standpoint, to get done what we need to get done.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Struggling Sammy?Last week, Patrick Peterson was readying to face a star in receiver Mike Evans. The same could be said for this week, too, except for the fact that Buffalo’s Sammy Watkins is struggling with a foot injury that has kept him out of practice.Watkins caught 60 passes for 1,047 yards and nine touchdowns last season, and if healthy, is a dynamic offensive threat for Peterson to match up with.“Yeah I saw that,” Peterson said of Watkins being hurt.Peterson said if Watkins does not play it will throw a wrinkle in the gameplan, but they’ll have to see what happens come Sunday morning.“I don’t play close attention to the injury reports,” he said. “I just want to go out there and make sure that I prepare myself the best way possible to make sure I’m in the best position possible.”If Watkins plays, the question will be at what level. If he does not play, people will wonder where Buffalo’s passing game turns.“You know, honestly it might not change it as much because, we all see it statistically, he only has six catches for 63 yards,” Peterson said. “So I don’t think it would change much because he’s been hurt pretty much all season — you can tell on film he’s playing on one leg; you can tell that foot is really, really bothering him, and from last year to this year, Tyrod (Taylor) is not really giving him the attention that he was getting last year. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo In fact, there’s a very real possibility we see a play or two on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks where Rosen (first-round pick) takes a snap from fellow rookie center Mason Cole (third round), fakes a handoff to rookie running back Chase Edmonds (fourth round) and fires a pass to rookie receiver Christian Kirk (second round).Related LinksCardinals rookie quarterback Josh Rosen’s takeover was inevitableJosh Rosen brings intrigue and new optimism to struggling CardinalsPreparation has Cardinals QB Josh Rosen confident heading into first startRookie Josh Rosen will be the ninth Cardinals starting QB since 2012Film study helping Cardinals rookie Edmonds; CB competition brewsThat’s not normal. Not in Week 4.“I think, number one, they’re learning,” Steve Wilks said. “They’re getting ahead of the curve, particularly in their rookie year. A lot of guys sit back and they come back their second year.“Mason is doing a tremendous job, unfortunately what happened early with A.Q. [Shipley]. The same thing with Chase, and all of a sudden you see Christian emerging and doing some great things. And all of a sudden now Josh has his opportunity to step in.”Regardless of how quickly any or all of the rookies learn the ins and outs of the NFL game, the future is now for Arizona. If these four gain valuable experience that helps them in 2019 and beyond, there’s suddenly some tangible value to the rest of this currently disappointing season after an 0-3 start.And if they can jump-start the offense and win a few more games right now, even better. TEMPE, Ariz. — This is what a youth movement looks like.Sure, the headlines this week are focused on quarterback Josh Rosen making his first NFL start. And rightfully so.In a season that hasn’t offered much in the way of optimism for Arizona Cardinals fans, there’s at least some hope when watching the guy touted as the franchise quarterback of the future.Thing is, there are always growing pains with a rookie signal caller. That’s to be expected. And in Rosen’s case, he’s stepping into an offense where he’s not the only player lacking experience. Far from it. Still, the attention will fall largely on Rosen. That’s the nature of the position and a byproduct of the hype that surrounded the UCLA product on draft night.While it’s not ideal to be relying on a rookie four games into his head coaching career, Wilks is intrigued by the upside.“I’m very excited,” he acknowledged. “That’s why I didn’t hesitate the other night as far as putting (Rosen) in. He’s shown the ability to be able to come in and command the huddle. Again, he’s smart. The accuracy, the arm strength is there. I can’t wait to see him play this week.”He won’t get an argument from the fans on that one. 12 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “It was one of those years where, as an offensive staff, you’re going ‘OK good, keep going. Let’s go, one more. We’ll keep going.’ Coaches, you know, we want as many players as we can get. So you always look at that draft. So it was good.”For his part, Rosen agrees that this could be an impressive group, and he’s not surprised so many of his first-year counterparts are already playing significant roles.“I think we’ve got a really good draft class,” he said. “I think that’s kind of where sports in general are heading. I think a lot of younger guys are playing, at the high school level, at the college level, in the NFL. So we’re taking our opportunity and running as far and as fast as we can with it.”Edmonds agreed, saying that’s simply life in the NFL now.“I don’t know man, I feel like in today’s league, nowadays, I feel like rookies are more and more expected to just perform right away,” the running back said.That’s especially true in Arizona’s case.Yes, this is still a team that will probably have to lean heavily on its defense in 2018. Obviously, the Cardinals have established star power with David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. But a huge chunk of the offense isn’t just new to the desert, it’s new to the league. “It’s really awesome,” Rosen said. “I’ve got special relationships with all of them. Mason and I are getting on the same page with protections. I’m going to lean on him, he’s a really smart guy. Christian’s an awesome receiver too, and I’m trying to get certain things down with him. And Chase is awesome in the backfield. I think he’s smarter than all of us, and he’s the one that’s fixing a lot of protections. He’s a great player as well.”Of course, the key here is general manager Steve Keim and his people making impactful draft picks. Everyone applauded the move to give up very little, jump to No. 10 in the draft and select Rosen. Whether it ultimately works out the way they hope or not, that was almost universally hailed as a savvy move. And there’s a chance Arizona really did get a franchise quarterback out of it.The Cardinals could desperately use an all-around great draft class though. At the moment, there’s noticeable optimism around the organization about the team’s first four 2018 draft picks, who all happened to play on the offensive side of the ball.“We were pretty excited coming out of that draft, seeing what we got,” offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said. “Steve Keim and the rest of the personnel department did a great job of evaluating not just those guys, but everybody in college. We were just fortunate. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen hands off to Chase Edmonds (29) during the first day of their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 28, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Go back to the e-newsletterLocated on the island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia, Nihiwatu continues to add new resort experiences, including the overnight Uma Izzie Spa Safari, the Coconut Cove Surf School and Nio Beach Bar and Infinity Pool for an exceptional getaway.Overnight Uma Izzie Spa Safari (Bale No. 4)Set in the nearby valley of Nihi Oka lies the Nihi Oka Spa Safari in which couples can enjoy an unlimited number of pre-selected treatments amidst uninterrupted views of the sea and next to abundant surrounding rice fields on the open air bales. For exclusive privacy, guests can also book the Uma Izzie Spa Safari (Nihi Oka Bale No. 4), a Sumbanese inspired one-bedroom villa for an overnight stay during their all-inclusive spa retreat.Coconut Cove Surf SchoolAn alternative to the iconic Boathouse with large swells from the popular surfer’s ‘Occy’s Left’ at Nihiwatu, Coconut Cove is home to a surf school with the calmest seas and pristine white beaches. The smaller waves at Coconut Cove are ideal for beginners and families for surfing, swimming, snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding, body boarding and wake boarding. All equipment will be provided by the resort and guests can reach Coconut Cove by Nihiwatu’s Safari jeep or by boat.Offering a reprieve from a full day of water activities, guests can recharge on a comfortable chaise lounge, enjoy drinks and snacks from the bar and refresh with a quick shower. Coconut Cove is also great for those wanting a day away to explore other and calmer bays at Rua, the name of the sleepy fishing village where it has planted its roots.Nio Beach Bar & Infinity PoolA welcome addition to the existing Nio Beach Club is the Nio Beach Bar and 20-metre infinity pool, perched on the ‘Edge of Wildness’, offering stunning views of the Indian Ocean, Occy’s Left and local village life during low tides. Lunch and snacks are served by the pool, allowing guests to fulfill their wish to stay poolside for the rest of their stay. For special occasions, the Nio Pool can also be transformed into a magical setting for romantic dinners at sunset.Go back to the e-newsletter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma_IILRiUes Scenic has announced three hosted river cruises in 2017: Getaway host Catriona Rowntree will cruise the Seine on 19 June; author and historian Peter FitzSimons will also cruise the Seine on 29 June; and Ray Martin will cruise the Mekong on 22 August.Catriona will host an 11-day Seine river cruise which sails a round trip from Paris, taking in some of the most celebrated sites in France including Honfleur, the moving Normandy beaches, Giverny and Monet’s Garden, and Auvers-sur-Oise to explore Vincent van Gogh’s room. Priced from $8190 per person including return flights to France.Peter will also host a Seine river cruise sharing his extensive knowledge of the war history this region of France is known for through regular lectures onboard. The journey through Northern France also includes visits to some of the country’s most renowned war history sites – the Somme Battlefields, Villers-Bretonneux and Normandy beaches. Priced from $7645 per person including return flights to France.Ray will host an eight-day Mekong river cruise from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh City which includes visits to the Cambodian capital – Phnom Penh, the historic town of Tan Chau and the Cao Dai temple, the floating market at Cai Be and the ancient capital of Oudong. Priced from $3595 per person plus a saving of $250 for bookings made by 30 April 2017.Michelle Back, General Manager Sales & Marketing, said: “We are delighted to announce a series of hosted river cruises for 2017. We have a great mix of hosts that will appeal to different people. Catriona is one of Australia’s most well-travelled women and we know our guests love sharing in her travel knowledge from 20 years spent travelling the world with Getaway. Peter’s extensive war history knowledge makes this cruise a must for history enthusiasts as it is a fantastic opportunity to visit this fascinating part of France with an expert host to enhance the experience. And Ray is a great storyteller with a wealth of interesting material from his years in journalism that he will be sharing with guests onboard.”
Go back to the enewsletterForbes Travel Guide this week announced the release of its 61st annual list of Star Rating winners, recognising the world’s finest properties and rewarding gracious, intuitive service.The 2019 award recipients include 21 new Five-Star hotels, 49 new Four-Star hotels and 62 new hotels in the Recommended category. Other first-time recipients include six Five-Star restaurants, eight Five-Star spas and 21 Four-Star spas.Two Australian properties were included in the Five-Star list: Crown Towers Melbourne retained its status as Victoria’s only Forbes Five Star hotel for the third year running, along with The Darling at The Star, Sydney.Crown Towers MelbourneCrown Hotels Melbourne Executive General Manager, Shaun D’Cruz commented: “Crown Towers prides itself on setting the benchmark in luxury standards in every market in which we operate. We set out to provide an unprecedented level of experience and we are both humbled and honoured by this endorsement from Forbes.”Dino Mezzatesta, CEO at The Star Sydney (home of The Darling at The Star) said: “To be ranked as one of the best hotels in the world for a third year running is a huge achievement for our team at The Star Sydney and The Darling. We are always working to ensure we find the perfect balance between offering the epitome of luxury coupled with a truly welcoming experience, where we exceed guests’ expectations each and every time.”The Darling at The Star, Sydney | LobbyForbes Travel Guide rates properties in 76 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Newly added destinations for 2019 include Anguilla, Bahrain, Belize, Danang, Doha, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Istanbul, Oman, Perth, the Swiss Alps, Tel Aviv and Uruguay.A standout was The Peninsula Hotels, which made Forbes Travel Guide history by becoming the world’s first all Five-Star hotel company. The Peninsula Manila earned its fifth star this year, which pushed the Hong Kong-based brand’s tally to 10 Five-Star hotels.Several countries captured their first Five-Star hotel: Malaysia (Crockfords at Resorts World Genting), Portugal (Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon), South Korea (The Shilla Seoul), Turkey (Raffles Istanbul) and Vietnam (Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An).London unseated Macau as the city with the most Five-Star hotels, thanks to four new additions: Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London; The Langham, London; Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park, London; Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, Londo. London finished with 13 top-ranking hotels, with Macau at a close 12.The US added two new Five-Star hotels: Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Lanai and the D.C. area’s Salamander Resort & Spa.These countries gained one new Five-Star hotel: Canada (Fairmont Pacific Rim), China (Bulgari Hotel Beijing), France (Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel), Indonesia (Bulgari Resort Bali), Mexico (Rosewood San Miguel de Allende), the Philippines (The Peninsula Manila) and United Arab Emirates (Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island).“At Forbes Travel Guide, we verify luxury. Our independent inspection process is the gold standard in the hospitality industry,” said Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide. “Discerning travellers can trust that each winner is the best of the best. We are pleased to honour the 2019 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants and spas dedicated to guest service.”The company will honour winners at Verified, The Forbes Travel Guide Luxury Summit at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on 26 and 27 February. The two-day lineup will include a celebratory dinner hosted by Brooke Shields.View the complete list of winners here.Lead image: The Darling at The Star, Sydney | PenthouseGo back to the enewsletter
RelatedFlybe goes from strength to strengthFlybe is continuing to strengthen its position as one of Scotland’s most successful carriers.Flybe announces 16 new routes for 2010Regional airline Flybe will introduce routes to four new destinations in FranceFlybe introduces new summer scheduleRegional airline Flybe has launched its 2010 summer schedule Flybe has announced a new route from Guernsey to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris.The flights start in July and will run four times a week from the Channel Island to the French capital. This latest Guernsey service follows a new service to Dublin which is due to start in June.Mike Rutter, chief commercial officer at Flybe, said: “With this brand new route to Paris we’re giving Guernsey travellers an unbeatable low cost offer for direct travel to the French capital. With the recent addition of the Guernsey to Dublin route we remain resolutely committed to giving our customers an exciting and convenient range of travel options.”Elsewhere, the airline’s three new routes from Inverness started service today. Daily flights to Exeter, Manchester and Southampton were launched from the Scottish city as part of Flybe’s summer schedule.Commenting on these new flights, Mr Rutter said: “People are advised to book now to ensure the best possible fares on what – according to ticket sales – are already proving to be highly popular routes.”ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map
United Arab Emirates flag carrier Etihad has singed a new codeshare agreement with India’s Jet Airways.The partnership will see passengers offered more flights to India and several other international destinations.From the start of July, Etihad will use its designator code on Jet’s existing flights to Delhi and Mumbai from Abu Dhabi. Jet will do the same on Etihad flights from India to Abu Dhabi.The partnership is expected to open up connections for Etihad customers looking for flights to India from the international hubs of Damascus, Beirut and Jeddah, Geneva, Munich, Manchester, New York and Toronto, among others.James Hogan, chief executive of Etihad, said: “As well as providing air travellers with a greater choice of flights between the UAE capital and these two popular Indian cities, this new codeshare agreement will also provide customers of both our airlines with greater access to each other’s expanding global networks.”Jet Airways airline recently signed a codeshare agreement with United Airlines. The move will allow passengers access to 13 different cities in India from United’s five hubs at Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedEtihad adds flights to MinskGulf carrier Etihad has announced plans to introduce flights to Belarus from Abu Dhabi.Etihad Airways signs codeshare agreement with Aer ArannEtihad Airways has announced that it will offer its customers the opportunity to fly to more destinations in IrelandEtihad to launch new flight from Abu Dhabi to ChicagoEtihad Airways will launch a new flight to Chicago from Abu Dhabi
American cheap flights carrier AirTran Airways has announced plans to start flights between Columbus, Ohio and Fort Lauderdale from March 5th.It will be the only airline to offer a non-stop daily flight between Port Columbus International Airport and Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport once the service comes into effect.Commenting on the new flights, Kevin Healy, AirTran Airways’ senior vice president of marketing and planning, said: “AirTran Airways has seen a lot of success in Columbus since entering the market in November 2008 and we are dedicated to expanding our operations where additional flights are needed.”The carrier will now offer connecting flights to over 40 destinations across Atlanta in addition to its non-stop routes between Columbus and Atlanta, Orlando, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale.AirTran Airways was established in June 1993 and currently flies to 57 destinations in the US.It is based at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is the world’s biggest Boeing 717 operator. ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedAirTran Airways launches new flight to CancunAirTran Airways has launched a daily flight to Cancun International Airport from Baltimore.AirTran Airways to introduce flights to Fort LauderdaleThe non-stop service will come into effect on November 4th, the same date the airline reinstates flights to Fort Myers.AirTran to launch new flight between Atlanta and BransonAirTran to launch new flight between Atlanta and Branson
British air passengers have been voted the biggest in-flight drinkers, yet boozy Brits are warming to the idea of alcohol-free flights, according to our latest research.British holidaymakers were voted the biggest drinkers by international cabin crew, beating the Russians into second place.* Over half (54%) of Brits admit to kicking off their holiday with a stiff drink in either the airport or onboard their flight.However, while many enjoy a tipple at 35,000ft, flying dry is becoming a more popular option, with 41% of Brits surveyed saying they would rather book an alcohol-free flight if it were offered by airlines. For almost a quarter (24%) the main motivation for flying dry was to avoid drunken passengers ruining the experience.Unusually, the younger generations are most strongly in favour of banning alcohol on flights. Brits aged 18-24 were revealed as the ban’s biggest supporters, with only 18% claiming to enjoy in-flight drinking, compared with all older age groups. By contrast, holidaymakers from the North East are most strongly against ditching the drink.This comes after recent debate about the future of in-flight alcohol served by commercial airlines, with Russian officials calling for an alcohol ban on all flights to prevent drunken behaviour on board.Although British and Russian travellers might be the biggest on-board drinkers, these results are a clear sign that the popularity of alcohol-free flights is on the rise. It seems that travellers would prefer to forgo their favourite tipple rather than spend several hours sitting next to someone who has had one too many!*Survey conducted by Skyscanner of 700 cabin crew members polled via cabincrew.comReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedCredit crunch hit Brits still willing to book flights to the MedCredit crunch hit Brits still willing to book flights to the MedSwine flu does not affect Brits’ travel arrangementsBritish holidaymakers who have booked flights to Europe this summer are refusing to let the swine flu outbreak affect their plansHolidaying Brits more likely to sunbathe than visit cultural attractionsBrits spend more time sunbathing and drinking in bars than holidaymakers from other European countries.
FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2008 file photo, Juelz Santana arrives at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors in New York. Santana’s scheduled trial on charges he tried to get a gun onto a plane at Newark Liberty International Airport has been pushed back so the rapper can continue negotiations for a plea deal. A trial had been scheduled for early September 2018. But an order filed this month extends the trial date at least until September 30. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File) NEWARK, N.J. – Rapper Juelz Santana’s scheduled trial on charges he tried to get a gun onto a plane at an airport has been pushed back so he can continue negotiations for a plea deal.A trial had been scheduled for early September. But an order filed this month extended the trial date at least until Sept. 30 “to permit defence counsel the reasonable time necessary for effective preparation in this matter and to allow the parties to enter into plea negotiations.”Santana, whose real name is LaRon James, was arrested in March. Authorities said Newark Liberty International Airport security found a loaded .38-calibre handgun and unprescribed oxycodone pills in a carry-on bag containing his identification. Santana left the area, leaving two bags behind, and turned himself in three days later.A Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman said at the time that agents noticed the firearm in the bag passing through an X-ray at a security checkpoint.Santana pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and carrying a weapon on an aircraft.Santana has been free on bail while awaiting trial. In June a judge modified his bail so that he could perform concerts in New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Among the conditions were that Santana’s mother accompany him on the trips, that he drive instead of fly and that he not travel with other members of the tour.Since then, Santana was allowed by the court to tape an episode of the VH-1 show “Love and Hip Hop” in Hoboken and New York.Santana’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Friday. by The Associated Press Posted Aug 10, 2018 11:37 am PDT Last Updated Aug 10, 2018 at 12:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Trial delayed as rapper Juelz Santana negotiates for deal
Mexican director Cuaron’s ‘Roma’ wins top prize at Venice ROME – “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron’s intimate, black-and-white portrait of the women who raised him in Mexico City’s turbulent 1970s, has won the top prize at the 75th Venice Film Festival.Cuaron accepted the Leone d’Oro on Saturday, which he said was the birthday of the woman who inspired the lead character Cleo, a young domestic worker with her own troubles amid political strife in the city’s Roma neighbourhood.The jury prize went to “The Favorite” by Yorgos Lanthimos, about the women surrounding Queen Anne; Olivia Colman won best actress for her role as the queen.Best director went to Jacques Audiard for “The Sisters and Brothers.” Willem Dafoe picked up best actor for “At Eternity’s Gate,” Julian Schnabel’s homage to Vincent Van Gogh.Guillermo del Toro headed the jury. by The Associated Press Posted Sep 8, 2018 12:24 pm PDT Last Updated Sep 8, 2018 at 7:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email