Australian court says motel cant ban prostitute

first_imgThe owners of the Drovers Rest Motel declined to comment Wednesday.The prostitute stayed at the motel 17 times in two years before the owners discovered in 2010 that she was bringing clients to her room. She was then banned from staying there.She lost her original case last year, but appealed.“Not everyone would choose to do the job I do, but it’s not right that they can treat me like as second-class citizen,” she told The Australian.“They wanted me to go away, but I am a tenacious little terrier, and I would not give up,” she said.Richard Munro, chief executive of the Accommodation Association of Australia, a tourism industry lobby group, said the Queensland and Australian governments should consider changing laws to ensure that hotel and motel owners can decide what sort of businesses are being operated under their roofs.“It’s absolutely illogical,” Munro said. “If a hairdresser decided to set up shop in the motel and started inviting people in to get their hair cut, I think the motel owner would have the right to say, `Hang on, that’s a different business operating out of my business.’”“If a prostitute decided to start working out of a shopping mall, the owners would have something to say about it. There is some protection for the rights of the motel owner here,” he said. Munro said his group would seek legal advice after hearing the tribunal’s reasons.He questioned whether prostitution could be legally conducted in an environment such as a motel where there are minors.He said a prostitute could attract customers late at night who could knock on the wrong door and disturb other guests.“If the amenity of the guests is disturbed, owners should have the right to protect the overall guests’ experience by removing people who are disturbing the peace,” Munro said.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories Sponsored Stories Associated PressCANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Prostitutes have the right to work from motel rooms in an Australian state, a court said after finding the owner’s refusal to rent to a sex worker was discriminatory.The ruling in the northeastern state of Queensland has stunned hotel and motel owners, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises.The prostitute, identified as G.K., had taken her discrimination case against the Drovers Rest Motel in the coal mining town of Moranbah to the Queensland state Civil and Administrative Tribunal after management refused to rent her a room. The 3 1/2-star motel’s lawyer, David Edwards, said Wednesday that the court notified him this week that it had upheld the prostitute’s claim of discrimination. Edwards confirmed she is seeking damages, which The Australian newspaper reported to be 30,000 Australian dollars ($32,000).The tribunal’s reasons for its decision have not yet been made public. But prostitution is legal in Queensland, and discrimination based on lawful sexual activity is outlawed.Prostitutes are flocking to Outback mining towns such as Moranbah, where they base themselves for short periods to cash in on an Australian mining boom.Edwards said he was considering appealing the ruling.Janelle Fawkes, chief executive of the Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association, said the ruling was a major win for the prostitution industry throughout Australia.“Accommodation discrimination is a major issue for sex workers, but it is not by any means the only form of systemic discrimination that sex workers experience,” she said.“The anti-discrimination legislation in Queensland is very clear that it is illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of lawful sexual activity, including sex work, so we appreciate the finding and believe it is a big win for sex workers throughout Australia because it sends a very clear message that this kind of systemic discrimination will not be tolerated,” she said. Check your body, save your life Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   last_img

2 killed as police clash with Peru coca growers

first_img Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk 5 treatments for adult scoliosis Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories center_img LIMA, Peru (AP) – Two civilians in Peru have died of apparent gunshot wounds in a clash between police and coca growers trying to halt coca crop eradication in the Upper Huallaga valley regionThe men were killed Tuesday near Monzon. That’s a coca-growing area that authorities say is governed by drug gangs where authorities have never attempted eradication.A police statement Wednesday says officers fired tear gas and shots in the air after at least 800 coca growers from Monson confronted eradication workers. It doesn’t explain how the two men died but says four other civilians were wounded by bullet fragments. Sponsored Stories Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Peruvian drug czar Carmen Masias says Monzon is among the last major redoubts of cocaine- trafficking in Peru.U.S. officials say Peru surpassed Colombia this year in potential cocaine production.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion projectlast_img read more

Serbia govt faces criticism over gay pride ban

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments   Share   BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – European Union officials have criticized the Serbian government’s decision to ban a gay pride march for the third consecutive year because of threats from right-wing groups.EU’s Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule described the move Saturday as a “missed opportunity to show respect for fundamental rights” at a time when Serbia seeks to open entry talks with the bloc. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementcenter_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Sponsored Stories EU envoy for Serbia Jelko Kacin says it was the “wrong decision at a wrong time.”Serbia’s authorities have expressed fear that the event Saturday could lead to a repeat of violence from 2010, when a pride celebration erupted in daylong clashes between police and extremists.Serbia’s deputy prime minister Aleksandar Vucic says the ban was “in the interest of the citizens.” He insists that “hooligans have not defeated the state.”(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Men’s health affects baby’s health toolast_img read more

Zimbabwe takes aim at corruption

first_img Comments   Share   How high up the chain will President Robert Mugabe, who turns 90 this month, clean house? Skeptics think he seeks to blame scapegoats like Dube for the dire state of the Zimbabwean economy. Any attempt at wholesale scrutiny, they say, would undermine a shrewd leader who has been in power since independence in 1980, often cracking down on dissent and surviving economic chaos that led Zimbabwe to replace its currency with the U.S. dollar in 2009.But Jonathan Moyo, Zimbabwe’s minister of information, media and broadcasting services, said the campaign against corruption is for real. He recently suspended Happison Muchechetere, the CEO of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. who reportedly led an opulent lifestyle and has been implicated in scams while rank-and-file employees faced layoffs because of funding shortages.In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Moyo said politicians would face a backlash if they do not dismantle a “rampant” culture of corruption in which managers connived with board chairmen, as well as suppliers and other private partners.“The public is demanding very swift, strong action, including prosecutions,” Moyo said.Last year, Transparency International ranked Zimbabwe at 157 out of 175 countries and territories on a scale rating perceptions of public sector corruption. The government itself is leading calls for reform. Top aides to Mugabe promise audits and, if necessary, prosecutions of greedy managers, many of whom got where they are because of political connections. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories Sponsored Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Moyo said the problem originated partly in the era of hyperinflation. With the switch from the Zimbabwean dollar to the U.S. dollar, he said, state CEOs cooked the books.“It was a creative replacement of dollar signs,” Moyo said. “While the majority (of civil servants) was getting $100 a month, regardless of your rank … these CEOs were paying themselves $3,000 and $5,000. Nobody did anything to check on them.”(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) In the AP interview, Moyo said diamond-mining entities had sought to hide malfeasance by claiming they had to operate discreetly in order to avoid Western sanctions that were imposed on government figures in Zimbabwe because of human rights concerns.“They have the perfect excuse not to be under the spotlight,” he said.Moyo said an uneasy power-sharing deal that preceded last year’s election contributed to wrongdoing because boards of state firms became “arenas for political balancing” in which Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and its partner, the rival Movement for Democratic Change party, divvied up spots, regardless of a candidate’s skills.However, Douglas Mwonzora, spokesman for the Movement for Democratic Change, which has reverted to its role as the main opposition group, said most corrupt officials were appointed with Mugabe’s approval. He described the anti-corruption campaign as a public relations exercise.“Why are they not targeting the big fish? The ministers, the military and police chiefs involved with diamonds?” Mwonzora said.Dube, the chief target of public ire, has not commented publicly since his forced retirement. The Herald quoted Zimbabwe’s chief tax official, Gershom Pasi, as saying it was difficult to collect taxes from high earners such as Dube because their companies were running parallel payrolls, including one for official scrutiny that showed reasonable salaries and perks. State media published reports that even municipal directors in the capital, Harare, received monthly salaries of up to $40,000 in a city with potholed roads, poor street lighting, water shortages and uncollected garbage. Top managers at the troubled national carrier, Air Zimbabwe, are alleged to have swindled close to $11 million in an insurance scam, raising concerns that planes were flying without valid insurance. The airline’s acting managing director, Grace Pfumbidzayi, is a niece of the transport secretary in Mugabe’s government.“It is simply more than selfish,” Tapfuma K. Manzira wrote in a letter published in The Herald, referring to bosses’ high salaries at government-linked firms. “It borders on socio-economic sabotage.”On Tuesday, The Herald, citing unidentified “insider” sources, reported that top managers at the state-owned diamond mining company, Marange Resources, had looted millions of dollars by inflating prices on receipts for purchased equipment.Last year, Mugabe accused a top mining official and ruling party loyalist, Goodwills Masimirembwa, of accepting a $6 million bribe from Ghanaian investors to obtain diamond mining rights in Marange diamond field. Investigations stalled because authorities said no formal complaint was lodged against Masimirembwa, who denied wrongdoing. Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) – It is the talk of the town. Directors across Zimbabwe’s public sector are allegedly on the take, receiving huge salaries while most Zimbabweans struggle to get by. Each week brings scandalous revelations in the government-owned newspaper.Exhibit A is the case of Cuthbert Dube, the former chief executive of Premier Service Medical Aid Society, an insurance company that covers nearly 1 million civil servants and their families. According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Dube _ dubbed “Cashbert” by detractors _ was getting a monthly salary of $230,000 along with another $220,000 in allowances, even as the company failed to pay its bills. 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center The vital role family plays in society 5 treatments for adult scoliosislast_img read more

Obamas pick to be US ambassador to Somalia withdraws

first_img Top Stories The U.S. Embassy closed in 1991 when Somalia’s government collapsed in civil war, prompting the deployment of a U.S.-led U.N. peacekeeping mission. American troops withdrew from Somalia in 1994, months after the humiliating “Black Hawk Down” debacle when Somali militiamen shot down two U.S. helicopters. Eighteen U.S. soldiers were killed in the battle, which marked the beginning of the end of that U.S. military mission to bring stability.Last week, John Kerry became the first secretary of state to visit Somalia. He cast the move toward restoring the ambassadorship as “recognition of the progress made and the promise to come.”“I look forward, as does the president, to the day when both the United States and Somalia have full-fledged missions in each other’s capital city,” Kerry said in a video message to the Somali people in connection with his historic, albeit brief, stopover in the country.Somalia has been without a truly functioning, nationwide government for two-and-a-half decades and has become infamous for its high rates of violence and the proliferation of pirates operating off its coasts. The current government continues to battle the al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabab militant group, which has staged attacks around east Africa and recently threatened shopping malls in the United States and other Western nations. WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s pick to be the first American ambassador to Somalia in nearly 25 years has withdrawn her nomination, the White House told lawmakers on Monday, an unexpected suspension in U.S. plans to deepen ties with the African nation plagued by violence and instability.An administration official said Katherine Simonds Dhanani, a career diplomat with experience serving across Africa, turned down the nomination for personal reasons and that Obama will have to find another candidate. The official spoke on a condition of anonymity without authorization to speak on the record. Security began improving earlier this decade as international efforts against al-Shabab gained ground, and the U.S. has been working to help Somalia move toward democracy and economic development. Still, al-Shabab continues to wage a deadly insurgency against Somalia’s government and remains a threat in Somalia and the East African region.The State Department had planned to post Dhanani, who was awaiting Senate confirmation after being nominated in February, in neighboring Kenya until security conditions would permit the embassy in the Somali capital of Mogadishu to reopen.___Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nedrapicklerCopyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Comments   Share   Parents, stop beating yourself up Sponsored Stories 5 greatest Kentucky Derby finishes Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitylast_img read more

Guatemala congress picks new VP in wake of customs scandal

first_img Top holiday drink recipes GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala’s congress selected a successor Thursday for the vice president who resigned over a widening customs corruption scandal that implicated her top aide.Lawmakers picked Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre, a constitutional judge who has also been a Cabinet minister, ambassador and political leader, from three nominees submitted by President Otto Perez Molina.Maldonado replaces Roxana Baldetti, whose private secretary has been singled out by authorities as the alleged ringleader of the multimillion-dollar corruption scheme. Baldetti denies any involvement but nonetheless stepped down last Friday after lawmakers began an investigation into whether to remove the immunity that comes with her office.Maldonado was a late addition to Perez Molina’s shortlist after two failed attempts this week to present congress with a full three-person slate.First, Labor Minister Carlos Contreras was scratched because of an apparent constitutional conflict that would have prevented him from assuming the office.Then there were objections to the replacement nominee, Congressman Oliverio Garcia Rodas. Lawmakers feared that if Garcia were selected, his seat and its immunity privileges would then go to former Baldetti adviser Daniela Beltranena before prosecutors had a chance to determine whether Beltranena had any involvement in the corruption scandal. Garcia withdrew his name from consideration.Several dozen people have been implicated in the scheme, in which officials allegedly took bribes to evade millions of dollars in customs duties.Wiretap recordings in the case include multiple mentions of “the No. 2,” ”the lady” and “the R,” and prosecutors are investigating whether those were references to the former vice president. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sobercenter_img Comments   Share   Lawmakers talk during the election of a new Vice President to replace Roxana Baldetti, who resigned on Friday, inside Congress in Guatemala City, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The discussion was suspended untill Wednesday. The Former Vice President Baldetti resigned Friday, May 8, and gave up her immunity from possible prosecution after her former private secretary, Juan Carlos Monzon Rojas, was accused of being the ringleader of a scheme to defraud the state of millions of dollars by taking bribes in exchange for lower customs duties. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement The scandal sparked large demonstrations and calls from various sectors of society demanding that Baldetti resign.Baldetti has been ordered not to leave the country.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Aussies likely to travel more by 2050 survey

first_imgAustralians will be flying 70 per cent more often by 2050, according to the opinions of more than three-quarters of participants in an Airbus study. Disregarding the current moves toward more budget-friendly air travel, respondents predicted that passengers would also be flying in more comfortable and more private cabins, the Australian reported. The Airbus survey has also revealed that travellers want full in-flight internet access, including the ability to use personal MP3 players and to download on-line entertainment. The main motivation for travelling for those aged between 16 and 24 years of age was to see the world, while 24 to 35-year-olds emphasised greater work/life flexibility. According to the newspaper, 35 to 44-year-olds cited as their primary motivation the need to keep in touch with increasingly distant family and friends.  More than 1,000 people took part in the surveys, which are being used by engineers to help guide future Airbus aircraft designs. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.Hlast_img read more

Perth Brisbane axed by Royal Brunei

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H In an effort to ‘improve its operations, financial performance and customer service experience’, Royal Brunei Airlines has announced that it will be axing its Perth and Brisbane services, with Auckland also on the chopping block.As part of its ‘Stabilisation Plan’, the cuts will take effect from the end of October.“It was not an easy decision to reduce RBA’s route network,” Royal Brunei Airlines deputy chairman Dermot Mannion said.“However, it is the first step towards creating a stronger foundation that will allow the airline to enhance our value to customers, employees, and society.”Affected passengers should contact their travel agents or local Royal Brunei Airlines ticketing office. The carrier will continue its four weekly flights to Melbourne.Meanwhile, flights to Kuching and Ho Chi Minh City have also been axed, with operations to the South East Asian hubs to cease from July and October respectively.  last_img read more

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai named 7th best hotel worldwi

first_imgOnly hotel in Southeast Asia to appear in Top 10 of Travel + Leisure awards. Help celebrate the achievement with the Sheer Indulgence special!Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai has added yet another accolade to its already impressive list of awards, this time being named 7th best hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine. In an annual survey, Travel + Leisure readers vote on thousands of hotels based on rooms, location, service, food and value. In the World’s Best Hotels 2011 vote, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai scored a 97.00, a remarkable surge from 45th position in 2010.The resort’s impressive placing in the awards is further testament to the luxurious experience and top-notch service on offer to guests. With its stunning Lanna-inspired architecture, beautiful villas and suites, fine dining restaurants and award-winning spa spread over 60 acres of lush northern Thailand countryside, Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai was the only property in Southeast Asia to place in the Top 10 of the awards.“This is a spectacular result and a truly well-deserved achievement for all resort staff. There is no better accolade to earn than that given by the very people who have experienced and so obviously enjoyed a stay at your property. All of us at Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai are understandably delighted” said the resort’s general manager Greg Liddell.The resort is extending an invitation to all to help celebrate its latest achievement, with the Sheer Indulgence offer. Valid until 31 October, 2011 the Sheer Indulgence rates start at THB 17,599 + + + per night for a minimum two night stay and include a complimentary 60 minute Thai Massage for two persons at The Dheva Spa and Wellness Centre.Guests can choose from a variety of luxurious villa-style accommodation and enjoy a room upgrade. Source = Mandarin Oriental Hotel Grouplast_img read more

United Guam Okinawa flights help Oz tourism

first_imgUnited Airlines is aiming to increase the flow of travellers between Micronesia, Japan and Australia after releasing plans to launch direct flights between Guam and Okinawa later this year.Commencing from 28 September, the four times weekly service is aimed at attracting US military stationed in the Japanese city into Micronesia, who can then use United’s direct service between Guam and Cairns to visit down under, Continental Airlines sales and marketing manager in Guam and Micronesia Lourdes Sanchez explained.Ms Sanchez added that other cities in Australia including Sydney and Melbourne would also benefit from the flow of military travellers “who love to travel out once they reach a destination”.Utilising its Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft, the new service will mark the carrier’s tenth non-stop service between Japan and Guam and is likely to assist bounce back the island’s arrivals from Japan which according to Guam Visitors Bureau Felix Reyes fell slightly after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Mr Reyes explained to e-Travel Blackboard that Japanese and Korean are among largest travellers into Micronesia’s island, Guam, with Japan making up 800,000 of 1.2 million tourists.“It was a very painful drop but we are recovering,” Mr Reyes said.“But with the new flight and it being a major US military base, it will really help bring them and their families here to a place that is familiar but difference because we have US shops here and even have the largest 24 hour Kmart.”United and Micronesia representatives were in Sydney earlier this week unveiling the region’s hidden features to agents and consultants at the annual Explore Micronesia showcase.Agents told e-Travel Blackboard that the benefits of attending the yearly event was to learn and see how the industry continues to bloom and grow in the region.Click here for photos from the event and to see what rare and exclusive prizes four lucky agents walked away with. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

Etihad offers passengers more of Europe

first_imgLyon, France is one of the carriers new destinations Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P In an effort to increase its presence in Europe, Etihad Airways has expanded its codeshare agreement with Brussels Airlines to include services to three regional French cities.Etihad Airways has expanded its codeshare agreement with Brussels Airlines to now include Brussels Airlines services to Lyon, Marseille and Toulouse.The new services to the three French cities are in addition to the existing Etihad Airways Brussels Airlines codeshare services to Barcelona, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Madrid, Oslo and Stockholm.Etihad Airways president and chief executive officer James Hogan said the three new destinations add to the airlines network and offers more of Europe for its passengers.“This expansion is a natural next step in what has been a very successful partnership since 2006, and we look forward to continuing to work with Brussels Airlines.“It also enables passengers from various points on their network to travel to Abu Dhabi and further afield.”Etihad Airways operates eight weekly Abu Dhabi-Brussels services in a two-class aircraft configuration.last_img read more

London scoops award for Best City

first_imgLondon scoops award for Best CityLondon scoops award for Best City at the 2016 Times Travel AwardsLondon been named as the best city to visit in the prestigious Times, Sunday Times and Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards. It’s the fourth year in a row that London has scooped Best City, ranking ahead of New York, Venice, Paris, Sydney, Las Vegas and Dubai.Julie Chappell, Chief Digital Officer at London & Partners, who accepted the award during a ceremony at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, said: “To have won this reader nominated award for the fourth time shows that people really do love this multicultural city which offers a unique visitor experience few other places on earth can match.”Jane Knight, Times Travel Editor, said; “Despite stiff competition from the likes of Paris, Barcelona, Venice and New York, London came out on top. It just goes to show how much the capital has to offer and how it continues to regenerate itself and create a buzz – from the new Tate Modern to the bustling stalls selling artisan products at nearby Borough Market and the hip bars, restaurants and vintage cloth shops of Shoreditch. Cool new hotels mean there are more interesting places to stay, and room rates are kept competitive. With exciting new productions in the West End and art exhibitions, there’s always another reason to visit.”Although the summer season is now coming to an end, London continues to offer a jam packed autumn season of culture. Major exhibitions include the highly anticipated; You say you want a Revolution at the V&A, Rodin and Dance: The Essence of Movement, at the Courtauld Gallery and South Africa: The Art of a Nation at the British Museum.Record numbers of tourists continue to travel to London each year to sample the capital’s world-class attractions. The city received 31.5 million visits from all over the world in 2015 including 12.9 million tourists from Great Britain. A recent survey by London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company found that 90 per cent of American visitors (and 80 per cent of UK visitors), who’d travelled to the capital in the last two years, rated London’s cultural attractions as the best in the world. About The Times Travel AwardsThe Awards, now in their fourth year see The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sunday Times Travel Magazine come together to bring you the best destinations, hotels and travel companies as voted for by our globe-trotting readers.About London & PartnersLondon & Partners is the official promotional company for London, which owns and manages the official tourism site, VisitLondon.com. We promote London and attract businesses, events, congresses, students and visitors to the capital. Our aims are to build London’s international reputation and to attract investment and visitor spend, which create jobs and growth. London & Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and our network of commercial partners. Source = London & Partnerslast_img read more

Virtuoso offers frontrow seats to Royal Wedding

first_imgVirtuoso offers front-row seats to Royal WeddingIt’s a big year for all things royal and with the biggest wedding of the year just a few weeks away, Virtuoso’s insider connections have secured a lucky few one of the best views available without an actual invitation.On May 19, the town of Windsor will play host to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and a Virtuoso UK On-Site destination management company, NoteWorthy, was able to secure eight spots right outside Windsor Castle’s entrance, exclusively for clients of Virtuoso travel advisors.“Windsor is a delightful place, but it’s crazy busy on a summer’s day, parking is a nightmare and on a day like this it will be impossible to see anything without privileged access,” says Main Beach Travel’s Deborah Barley, an English expat and Virtuoso advisor.“This is a very small, old town and if you are a real royalist and want to see the couple arrive and leave through those gates, you need to be in the front row or you are not going to see a thing.“And no one is going to get through that gated entry and into the stunning traditional English stained glass chapel unless they are ticketed.”The Goring Hotel’s Jeremy Goring says Harry and Meghan’s wedding offers people a chance to engage with the English tradition and ceremony that fascinates so many.“Any excuse to shine a light on the fabulous, eccentric traditions of British life,” Goring says.“There are not many places left where you can see horse-drawn carriages and troupes of soldiers in ceremonial dress. Some say why? I say why not!“I loved that so many of our Australian friends were up in the middle of the night brewing tea during the last Royal Wedding – brilliant!”While the Goring in London, with its 69 rooms, is regularly full, there is always room for special – maybe royal – guests should they drop by. Indeed, the hotel hosted the Duchess of Cambridge the night before her wedding to Harry’s brother, Prince William.“Whilst we can never talk about any particular guest who may grace our front door, a good hotel is made up of amazing service, a beautiful stage and the imprint left by its past and present guests. It’s why, when we completed our renovation recently, I refused to get rid of the marble flooring that had been walked on by every reigning British monarch and Prime Minister since 1910,” stated Goring.Click here for more information on the vantage point Virtuoso clients will enjoy.Source = Virtuosolast_img read more

United Airlines becomes first carrier to receive Green Hospitality Awa

first_imgUnited Airlines Becomes First Carrier to Receive Audubon International’s Green Hospitality AwardUnited Airlines becomes first carrier to receive Green Hospitality AwardUnited Airlines reached yet another milestone in its role as the world’s most environmentally conscious airline by becoming the first carrier to achieve certification through the new Audubon International Green Hospitality Program for the airline’s United Club location in Terminal 7 of Los Angeles International Airport. Audubon International awarded United its gold-level certification in recognition of the airport lounge’s exemplary indoor air quality, innovative composting program and overall dedication to environmental stewardship.United and Audubon International, the not-for-profit environmental education organization dedicated to sustainable natural resource management, will continue to work together to further improve the sustainability of the airline’s airport lounges around the globe, including its new United Polaris lounge locations at several major U.S. hubs. United has already achieved separate “Green Business” certifications for United Club locations from the cities of Los Angeles, Denver and San Diego.United’s achievement at Los Angeles International Airport follows the airline’s historic launch of service in 2016 using commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation fuel at the Los Angeles hub for regularly scheduled departures.“As an industry-leading airline in green initiatives, we are constantly pursuing ways to reduce our footprint, whether through our use of low-carbon, sustainable aviation biofuel or our revaluation of onboard materials that resulted in keeping 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the air each year,” said Gavin Molloy, United’s vice president of corporate real estate and environmental affairs. “Teaming up with Audubon International enables us to further reduce our impact on the environment not just in the air but also at our facilities across our system.”“We’re very happy to welcome United Airlines into our Green Hospitality program,” said Christine Kane, Audubon International’s chief executive officer. “United’s focus on minimizing the environmental impact of its operation aligns perfectly with our mission to foster the sustainable use of natural resources in all the places people live, work and play. This partnership is a great example of how working together to improve individual aspects of one’s daily life or business operation will result in a larger, and more positive, cumulative impact.”“At Los Angeles International Airport, being at the forefront of environmental sustainability is a top priority not only for our airport, but for our airline partners as well,” said Samantha Bricker, Los Angeles World Airports’ deputy executive director for environmental programs. “We are pleased that United chose this Los Angeles United Club lounge to be the first to achieve certification through the new Audubon International Green Hospitality Program and we look forward to continuing to work with United on environmental stewardship efforts.”Last year, United teamed up with Audubon International to protect raptors – including hawks, kestrels and owls – in and around New York-area airports and resettle the birds of prey at suitable golf course habitats where the species are more likely to thrive. The Raptor Relocation Program helps minimize risk to wildlife, reduce damage to aircraft and enable the airline to operate more efficiently within some of the world’s busiest airspace.United’s award-winning Eco-Skies program represents the company’s commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to create a sustainable future. In 2017, Air Transport World (ATW) magazine named United the Eco-Airline of the Year for the second time since the airline launched the Eco-Skies program. This year, United Airlines ranked No. 1 among global carriers in Newsweek’s Global 500 Green Rankings, one of the most recognized environmental performance assessments of the world’s largest publicly traded companies.For more information on United’s commitment to environmental sustainability, visit united.com/ecoskies.About UnitedUnited Airlines and United Express operate approximately 4,600 flights a day to 354 airports across five continents. In 2017, United and United Express operated more than 1.6 million flights carrying more than 148 million customers. United is proud to have the world’s most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Newark/New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 750 mainline aircraft and the airline’s United Express carriers operate 545 regional aircraft. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 191 countries via 28 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “UAL”.Source = United Airlineslast_img read more

Superb rates in Malaysia with Stuba

first_imgFor the intrepid tourist, Malaysia has it all. Source = Stuba.com The list of things to do & see, is in-exhaustible, but here are a few to start with!:Langkawi Sky Cab (Langkawi): Head to the South West coast of Langkawi to take a trip on the Langkawi Sky Cab. The cab will take you from ground to 708m above sea level, covering over 2km from the foothills of Machinchang to the mountain summit and onto sky bridge. Not for those who are adverse to heights!Petronas Twin Towers (Kuala Lumpur): The world’s tallest twin towers have featured in dozens of films including James Bond, and are one of the countries most recognised landmarks. Walk between the towers for a slightly scary time on one of the tours; however tickets are in hot demand so get in early. Available from the visitors centre on ground level.Batu Caves: The caves have been used as temples since 1878, with thousands of Hindus visiting for the spectacular Thaipusam Festival in Jan or Feb. Magnificent statues of Hindu gods are present, and is definitely worth the trip. If your clients are into rock climbing, challenging limestone formations will keep them busySipidan National Parks (Semporna): One of the best dive spots in the world, and is the only oceanic island in Malaysia. Wildlfe abounds with masses of sea turtles, sea animals and fish. Numbers are limited, and divers need to pre arrange a diving permit. Base at Mabul or Kapalai, but accommodation is expensive.Mulu World Heritage Area (Malaysian Borneo): A protected rainforest known for its caves, including the huge bat filled Deer Cave which leads to the Garden of Eden, a magnificent valley with spectacular waterfall. With limestone formations, visit the summit for the best view. read more

UBS Tries Again to Block FHFA Lawsuit

first_img After losing a previous bid earlier this year, “”UBS””:http://www.ubs.com/us/en.html is making another attempt to shut down a lawsuit from the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency””:http://www.fhfa.gov/ (FHFA), “”Bloomberg””:http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-26/ubs-leads-wall-street-bid-to-halt-fhfa-mortgage-bond-suit.html reports.[IMAGE]The bank is one of a number of defendants facing suits from the FHFA over the sales of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to “”Fannie Mae””:http://www.fanniemae.com/portal/index.html and “”Freddie Mac””:http://www.freddiemac.com/. The securities cost the GSEs billions of dollars when they collapsed during the housing crash. The FHFA alleges the banks that sold the securities misrepresented the underwriting and stability of the loans they contained.In its argument to dismiss, UBS says the FHFA took too long to act on its claims, which expired in 2010. U.S. The agency first brought claims against UBS in 2011.District Judge Denise Cote ruled against UBS’ motion to dismiss in May, saying the law that established the FHFA gives it three years from the start of its conservatorship to pursue losses over the allegedly misrepresented securities. Since that time, Cote has rejected motions to dismiss from several other banks under fire from the FHFA, including “”JPMorgan Chase””:https://themreport.com/articles/jpmorgan-chase-fails-in-bid-to-dismiss-fhfa-suit-2012-11-06, “”Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank””:https://themreport.com/articles/fhfa-suits-against-deutsche-bank-goldman-sachs-to-go-on-2012-11-13, and Bank of America’s “”Merrill Lynch””:https://themreport.com/articles/judge-refuses-to-dismiss-fhfa-suit-against-merrill-lynch-2012-11-09 unit.While UBS may have lost that battle, it hasn’t bowed out of the war yet. The bank argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Monday, once again stressing that the lawsuit may open itself and other banks up to claims that have otherwise expired.In a brief filed with the appeals court, UBS calls the FHFA’s suit “”a belated attempt by the two largest and most sophisticated issuers and purchasers of MBS in the world to shift blame for losses they suffered as a result of the nationwide housing crisis in which they played a critical role.””In its response, the FHFA argued that placing an expiration date on the agency’s claims would limit its ability to pursue losses brought on the GSEs and taxpayers. November 27, 2012 442 Views UBS Tries Again to Block FHFA Lawsuit Sharecenter_img in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bank of America Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Goldman Sachs Investors JPMorgan Chase Lenders & Servicers Mortgage-Backed Securities Processing Service Providers 2012-11-27 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Community Bankers Urge Simplicity in Secondary Market Reform

first_imgCommunity Bankers Urge Simplicity in Secondary Market Reform Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies ICBA Investors Lenders & Servicers Politics Service Providers 2013-10-01 Tory Barringer With Congress pondering (among other things) how best to reform the nation’s housing finance system, “”Independent Community Bankers of America””:http://icba.org/ (ICBA) urges lawmakers not to count smaller banks out when drafting new policies.[IMAGE]In a “”white paper””:http://www.icba.org/files/ICBASites/PDFs/HousingFinanceReformWhitePaper2013.pdf released Monday, ICBA warns policymakers to “”be careful not to create a new [secondary market] system that destroys liquidity for all but the few largest players, limits access to the market or narrows options for smaller lenders, and imposes requirements that make it too costly for smaller lenders to operate””–a common thread among the major proposals presented so far, the group says.””My community bank depends on easy access to the secondary market that doesn’t require me to sell loans to a competitor,”” said Jack Hopkins, chairman of ICBA’s Housing Policy Task Force and president and CEO of Sioux Fall’s CorTrust Bank. “”Consumers are better served by a diverse, competitive market with thousands of active mortgage lenders, including community banks, which specialize in personalized and customized lending that megabanks are structurally incapable of providing.””In addition to preserving the relative simplicity of the current loan selling process and avoiding industry consolidation, ICBA says lawmakers must make sure that any secondary mortgage market reform ensures “”robust oversight by a strong and competent regulator”” and maintains “”an explicit government guarantee against catastrophic loss.””Going forward, it will also be crucial to protect originators’ rights to retain servicing after selling a loan, the group says.””In today’s market, the large aggregators insist that lenders release servicing rights along with their loans. … While servicing is a low-margin business, it is a crucial aspect of the relationship-lending business model, giving community banks the opportunity to meet the additional banking needs of their customers,”” the white paper reads.With these concerns addressed, community banks are prepared to “”adapt and thrive”” in the private-market environment Congress is trying to restore, ICBA says. October 1, 2013 430 Views center_img in Secondary Market Sharelast_img read more

Report Slow and Steady Markets Pulling Ahead of Others

first_img January 7, 2014 391 Views Report: ‘Slow and Steady’ Markets Pulling Ahead of Others in Data Sharecenter_img After observing a “”first in, first out”” recovery over the past year in which markets hardest hit during the housing downturn experienced the fastest-paced recovery, “”Clear Capital””:http://www.clearcapital.com/ is now examining whether the housing market, in fact, follows the allegory of “”The Tortoise and the Hare.”” The analytics firm observed price movement and offered its predictions for the new year in its “”Home Data Index””:http://www.clearcapital.com/company/MarketReport.cfm?month=January&year=2014 released Monday. [IMAGE]Nationally, Clear Capital expects a major deceleration in home price gains this year. After rising 11.3 percent in 2013, Clear Capital expects prices to rise just 3.4 percent in 2014–“”a sign of calibration toward long-run historical average rates of growth.”” This slowdown “”is a healthy move for the broader housing recovery as gains move back into a more sustainable, historical range,”” said Alex Villacorta, VP of research and analytics at Clear Capital. Nine of the 50 largest metro areas are poised for price declines this year, while 34 should reach price gains of up to 5 percent, according to Clear Capital. Seven markets will experience price gains higher than 5 percent, according to Villacorta. Of the top 50 markets, Chicago is expected to experience the greatest home price increase this year–an 11.2 percent rise. Atlanta, Georgia (7.5 percent), San Francisco, California (6.5 percent), Fresno, California (6.1 percent), and Tampa, Florida (5.5 percent) fall in line next at the top of the list. [COLUMN_BREAK]At the other end of the spectrum, the greatest price decline is expected to take place in Richmond, Virginia, where prices are expected to fall 3.6 percent this year. Next in line at the bottom of the list are Seattle Washington (-3.1 percent), Hartford, Connecticut (-3 percent), Virginia Beach, Virginia (-2.7 percent), and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (-2.5 percent). In the tortoise versus hare analogy, Villacorta points to Phoenix as an obvious hare in the recent recovery. Phoenix’s prices have swung drastically over the past several years, rising 98.5 percent during bubble years from 2002 through 2006, and then plummeting 61.6 percent from their peak by 2011. Since then, home prices in Phoenix have climbed 56.4 percent. “”In this first heat of the recovery from the run-up in mid-2002 to the trough in 2011, you could call the hares [such as Phoenix] the winners,”” Clear Capital stated in its report. In stark contrast to Phoenix, Denver, Colorado, deemed one of the tortoises, charted the slowest growth during the bubble years. From 2002 through 2006, home prices in Denver rose just 2.2 percent compared to Phoenix’s 98.5 percent and a national 46.2 percent. When prices began to plummet across the nation, Denver was not exempt. Its prices fell 22.4 percent from their peak. Since their bottom in 2008, Denver’s home prices have risen 28.9 percent. With much more moderate valleys and peaks, “”Denver is one of the only few markets to see current prices higher than 2006 levels,”” Clear Capital reported. Thus, it would appear slow and steady may win the race after all. Furthermore, “”[a]s observed over the last several years, skyrocketing gains followed by decimating declines don’t benefit long-term market participants who like slow and steady gains,”” Villacorta said. Looking forward, Villacorta also predicts “”the homebuyer mix may shift more toward non-investor homebuyers”” this year. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Clear Capital Home Prices Home Values Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2014-01-07 Krista Franks Brocklast_img read more

US Housing Market Tilts Back Toward Stable Ground

first_imgU.S. Housing Market Tilts Back Toward Stable Ground in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Following a slower than expected summer, the U.S. housing market made up some ground in September as most major indicators inched closer to stability.Freddie Mac released last week its latest Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi), revealing a 0.5 percent uptick in September to a reading of 74.4 after months of slight declines. The most recent improvement puts the index a few points short of the lower threshold for a market considered to be in “stable” territory.According to Freddie Mac, three of the four major indicators tracked in the index saw improvements in September, led by a 1.2 percent gain in the gauge of labor health to 94. The components measuring payment-to-income ratios and the proportion of mortgage payments made on time also edged up, rising 0.8 percent to 72.7 and 0.5 percent to 66.6, respectively.Meanwhile, the already weak picture of home purchase applications deteriorated further, falling 0.8 percent to 64.1. As refinances have fallen off from their surge of the last few years, purchase applications have failed to close the gap, resulting in a more anemic mortgage market compared to the housing recovery’s early years.As of September’s index reading, 14 states and the District of Columbia were in a stable range, with North Dakota (96.5), Washington, D.C. (94.3), Wyoming (91.1), Montana (91.0), and Hawaii (89.3) leading the rest. That compares to 13 states in August’s report.”Following a similar trend from last month more states and metros continued to show improvement from the very slow summer months,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac.As with the last few reports, only six of the nation’s top 50 metro areas were in a stable range: San Antonio (91.3), Austin (87.6), Salt Lake City (84.4), Houston (84), Los Angeles (83.5), and New Orleans (82).Meanwhile, a handful of struggling states—including Nevada, which ranks lowest in stability with a MiMi value of 54.6—saw significant improvement over the month, with growth topping 1 percent and climbing as high as 2 percent in some places.Of note in the September release: California finally returned to its historical stable range of housing activity for the first time in six years. The long-struggling state still has its challenges, however.”[W]hile the state has made a strong comeback, we already see one of its four indicators elevated and showing that the typical family continues to have to stretch to buy a median priced house, especially in the Los Angeles metro area,” Kiefer said. “That said, far fewer homeowners are delinquent on their homes, the employment situation continues to improve and even purchase applications are beginning to turn around.” December 1, 2014 475 Views center_img Share Freddie Mac Jobs Multi-Indicator Market Index Purchase Loans 2014-12-01 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

Millennials Will Migrate to UpandComing Housing Markets in 2016

first_img December 8, 2015 670 Views America’s most-talked about generation—millennials—are expected to impact the housing market heavily in 2016. As home prices in popular metros rise and affordability problems persist, this generation is expected to weigh other options in the near future.With a force reaching 43.5 million, the millennial generation (aged 25 to 34) occupies 13.6 percent of the entire population. In addition, this generation makes up 30 percent of the current population of exiting-home buyers, a recent report from Realtor.com showed. “In 2016, millennials have the power to remake the real estate landscape wherever they choose to settle,” the report stated.According to Realtor.com, millennials are not as drawn to popular metros such as New York City, New York and Los Angeles, California because they cannot afford to live in these areas.As an alternative to pricier metros, the report notes that “shrewd young home buyers are increasingly turning to cities that are relatively affordable and have lots of jobs and maybe even a trendy atmosphere all their own.”Atlanta, Georgia was named first on the list in 2016 with a median list price $234,000 and a 13.6 percent share of millennials. This city’s hip-hop scene, nightlife, and job opportunities landed it first on list of top places for millennials to live, but the affordable housing is the main attraction, the report said.Second on millennials’ list in 2016 is Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with a median list price at $149,000 and a 12.3 percent share of millennials.”Low housing costs, good public transportation, cool clubs, a hopping night life, and a revitalized waterfront area all add up to an attractive destination for the young’uns,” the report explained.”In Memphis, Tennessee, third on the list of hot markets in 2016, has a median list price of $164,000 and a high population of millennials at 13.5 percent.”The market’s housing affordability and low-cost of living that are attracting millennials and encouraging them to buy—the share of older millennial households is 7 percent higher than the national average,” Realtor.com said.Realtor.com also identified markets where millennials are not likely to buy in 2016. These markets include Jacksonville, Florida; Phoenix, Arizona; Port St. Lucie, Florida; Spokane, Washington; and Stockton, California.Click here to view the full report. in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News, Origination Housing Markets Millennials Realtor.com 2015-12-08 Staff Writercenter_img Millennials Will Migrate to Up-and-Coming Housing Markets in 2016 Sharelast_img read more