New Delhi: As many as 8,189 Indians are lodged in various prisons in foreign countries, with Saudi Arabia having the highest number, the External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said that of the total number of Indian prisoners in foreign countries, 4,206 are imprisoned in the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations. Saudi Arabia has the highest number of Indian prisoners at 1,811 followed the UAE at 1,392, he said. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!The GCC is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. Muraleedharan said India and the UAE signed an agreement in 2011 on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. It came into force in March 2013. The agreement, among other things, includes conditions for transfer of prisoners and obligations to furnish information on them. But no Indian prisoner from the UAE has been transferred under this agreement till date, he said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedHe further said that in October 2018, the government had received a proposal from the Consulate General of India, Dubai, about the transfer of 77 Indian prisoners under the agreement, to serve the remainder of their sentences in India. “The proposal is being processed by the authorities concerned in the UAE and India in accordance with the procedures laid down in the Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Persons between India and UAE,” he said in his reply. In a response to another question, Muraleedharan said that since 2016, mortal remains of 14,312 Indian nationals from 125 countries have been brought back till May 31, 2019.
MONTREAL – Armenia isn’t top of mind when one thinks of thriving French culture.But this week the Armenian capital of Yerevan will be briefly transformed into a francophone mecca, a sign of the relaxed admission standards of the organization representing the French-speaking world.Armenia, host of the two-day la Francophonie summit opening Thursday, counts a little more than 10,000 fluent French speakers out of a population of three million. That represents about 0.33 per cent of the population; it is roughly as many French speakers as live in the Quebec town of Baie Comeau.Martin Normand, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ottawa, said the organization’s acceptance of marginally French-speaking states “certainly dilutes in a certain way the status of French, even within the Francophonie.” He says criteria for joining the 48-year-old organization have become “less and less stringent” when it comes to an expectation to promote French.The counter-argument, he noted, is such countries “may hold the key for the future of French” as long as they commit to promoting the language.An official at the Armenian embassy in Ottawa insisted the French language is alive and popular in the eastern European country.“The French language has become the third (most popular) foreign language in Armenia,” said Ara Mkrtchian, the embassy’s deputy head of mission. It trails Russian and English.French is still taught in public schools there, and Mkrtchian noted his immediate family members are all fluent in French. Armenia became a full member of the International Organization of la Francophonie six years ago.A further connection is the nearly half-a-million Armenians who live in France. Charles Aznavour, the crooner who died this month at 94, was the most famous French-Armenian.Mkrtchian said the summit could boost the popularity of French in his country. “Maybe in 50 years, we can compare with Canada,” he quipped.This is not the first time the organization, which counts 84 member states and governments, has raised eyebrows by welcoming countries where French is seldom heard. For example, Macedonia and Moldova are full members, while Qatar and Ghana are associate members.Quebec City Mayor Regis Labeaume had harsh criticism for the organization Monday on the sidelines of a France-Quebec convention in his city.Lamenting a decline of French in Quebec, Labeaume accused the international group of neglecting “this side of the Atlantic.”“I’ve been mayor for ten years. I’ve been involved in la Francophonie for ten years, and I have not yet understood what it gets us (in Quebec and Canada),” Labeaume told reporters, describing the institution as a “party of dignitaries” and a “landing strip for politicians at the end of their career.”Despite his concerns about membership, Normand said he thinks the organization remains relevant. It still plays an important role in promoting French in other international bodies, he said.Many African and eastern European countries with historic links to France use Francophonie membership as a counterweight to other large international groups.Others see a potential economic benefit from putting forward a French face. For example, Louisiana is trying to gain member status at this week’s summit.“If Louisiana knows how to do this, other countries in Eastern Europe or Africa surely are aware of the benefits of using that organization to promote French on their territory as well,” Normand said.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec premier-designate Francois Legault are scheduled to arrive in Yerevan on Wednesday.
Join us as we celebrate TV shows that were best skipped in 2017. Login/Register With: Facebook Twitter Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement They can’t all be winners.By volume, there was more great TV in 2017 than ever before, but there was probably also more bad TV. That’s just how it goes.Some of these shows we’re singling out are awful. Some are merely awfully disappointing. We’ve mostly avoided singling out bad stuff that you probably didn’t know existed, stuff like the Audience Network pseudo-comedy Hit the Road or Reelz’ comically bad The Kennedys: After Camelot. ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’HBO Courtesy of HBO.Let’s get this out of the way: Curb Your Enthusiasm was not, realistically, among the 100 worst shows on TV last year, much less the 10 worst, but for me it was surely one of the 10 most disappointing. One of TV’s most influential and often brilliant comedies returned rusty after a six-year hiatus. It wasn’t that Larry David forgot how to be funny. There were still laughs on the journey to bring Fatwa! to the stage. Advertisement
New Delhi: Steel maker Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) Thursday said it has bagged a Rs 665 crore order from Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) to supply 89,042 tonnes of rails. JSPL has won an order from RVNL “to supply 89,042 tonnes of UIC 60 kg IRS T-12 880 grade 13 meter rails for its upcoming projects,” the company said in a regulatory filing. “This order is indicative of JSPL’s strategic commitment to growing its footprint in the domestic Rail segments,” JSPL Managing Director Naushad Akhter Ansari said. This is the second big rail order in less than a year, the first-ever rail order to JSPL for supplying close to one lakh tonnes rails to Indian Railways was completed in April, 2019, the filing added. RVNL functions as an extended arm of the Ministry of Railways. It is empowered to act as an umbrella special purpose vehicle (SPV) to undertake projects directly or by creating project specific SPVs, according to its website. The required rails will be manufactured and supplied from its Raigarh facility. Part of the $22-billion OP Jindal Group, JSPL has presence in steel, power, mining and infrastructure sectors.
Nearly six million Iraqi children are going back to the classroom this week in what the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calls a “remarkable achievement” while cautioning that more needs to be done to support the effort. The damaging toll of displacement and the pervasive insecurity in Iraq have cost many of the country’s schoolchildren their education: according to figures released by Iraq’s Ministry of Education, only 40 per cent of final year students in Iraq (excluding the Kurdistan Region) passed their high school exams during the first examination session of 2007, compared to last year’s pass rate of 60 per cent, UNICEF said. The same figures showed that just 28 per cent of Iraq’s graduation-age population took their exams at all – 152,000 out of approximately 642,000 children aged 17 – although a supplementary exam session currently under way should increase the rate. UNICEF Representative for Iraq Roger Wright stressed that, despite the low numbers, each and every completed test must be viewed as a success for Iraqi children – many of whom braved severe risks to reach exam centres. “Iraq’s schools are in urgent need of support, both in terms of access to schooling and the quality of learning children receive,” Mr. Wright said. “Well-educated children represent a chance to lift Iraq into a future of security and hope.” A 2006 survey by the Iraqi Government, supported by UNICEF, showed that in the previous year, even before the intensification of violence and displacement, one in six Iraqi children did not attend primary school. Reports from communities suggest attendance has since declined further in many areas, due to increased insecurity, clampdowns on security, and the threat of direct attacks on schools and teachers.Displacement has placed an additional burden on Iraq’s school system, UNICEF said, pointing out that more than 220,000 school-aged children have had to flee their homes since early 2006. Many were initially unable to attend schools in their new areas for lack of clear policies on mid-year re-enrolment and may have missed months of schooling. Throughout the summer, UNICEF has been supporting Iraq’s Ministry of Education to enhance children’s education prospects for this coming year. The agency and its partners are helping to restore damaged school infrastructure and add extra classrooms and water/sanitation facilities. Teachers are also being trained to provide psycho-social care for the many children affected by anxiety and loss. For the first time in Iraq, UNICEF is promoting, together with local communities, a home learning curriculum for children forced to stay at home because of displacement or insecurity, while 20,000 out-of-school children are now enrolled in a special Accelerated Learning Programme to help them finish their education. 8 October 2007Nearly six million Iraqi children are going back to the classroom this week in what the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) calls a “remarkable achievement” while cautioning that more needs to be done to support the effort.
CALGARY — Analysts say average gasoline prices across Canada will continue to rise this weekend after jumping almost eight cents per litre since Hurricane Harvey roared ashore in Texas last Friday.Consumers in Ontario are expected to be paying nine cents more per litre on Saturday, taking the average price in Toronto to $1.32 per litre.Meanwhile in Montreal, the price is expected to peak at as much as $1.42 per litre at some point over the Labour Day long weekend.Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy, says Canadian fuel prices are rising by more than those in the United States because the country is undersupplied with domestic fuel, causing an overreaction to supply shortages from closed refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.He and Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst for EnPro International, agreed that prices on the Prairies will be relatively stable over the weekend after rising by five to 10 cents to about $1.10 per litre in the past few days.In Vancouver, McKnight predicts little change but McTeague says he expects a five-cent jump on Saturday.The Canadian average gasoline price has risen above $1.16 per litre, according to GasBuddy.At least two major pipelines — one that ships gasoline across the southern United States to New York, and another that flows north to Chicago — have been slowed or stopped since Harvey struck the Gulf region.The Canadian Press
For the third time in 17 months, new long-term care beds have been announced for the area.This week, Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma joined other Conservative politicians in Grimsby to promise almost 1,000 new long-term care beds in Brant, Haldimand-Norfolk, Hamilton and Niagara, including 94 new beds and 140 renovated beds in Brantford and 126 new beds in Haldimand and Norfolk with another 130 renovated.But the beds for Brantford, Haldimand and Norfolk were announced first by the Liberals in April 2018 and again by the Conservatives last October.“You’re absolutely right,” Bouma said.“We have announced those care beds before but the big change was we were announcing new beds for Shalom Manor in Hamilton for the first time. We have constituents at Shalom so it was good to be there.”The Brantford beds include those for Fox Ridge Care Community, which is proposing to a build new 192-bed nursing home and a 120-unit retirement homes on Lynden Road. Fox Ridge currently has 122 nursing home beds at its site on West Street.Fox Ridge is getting funding for 70 new beds and for upgrading 90 existing beds. The home has 33 Class A beds which don’t qualify for upgrades.The new Bell Court encompassed care unit at the municipally run John Noble Home is getting 10 new beds.And Iroquois Lodge in Ohsweken also will get a boost with 14 new beds and funding to upgrade 50 beds.In Hagersville, there will be 68 new and 60 upgraded beds funded at the New Anson Place home and, in Port Dover, 58 new and 70 upgraded beds will go to Dover Cliffs nursing home.The expanded beds are part of an ongoing government promise to help the more than 34,000 Ontarians who are on waiting lists to get into long-term care homes.On Tuesday, Bouma was joined by Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care, and Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett and Donna Skelly, Flamborough—Glanbrook MPP, at Shalom Manor and Gardens in Grimsby, which is getting 128 new beds.“These new long-term care bed allocations are part of our government’s commitment to adding 14,000 long-term care beds over the next five years to give Ontarians the care they need, when they need it,” said the minister.Fullerton said the announcements reaffirm the Conservative government’s commitment to long-term care.“The over-1,000 announced beds will have an immediate impact throughout the Haldimand-Norfolk, Brant, Hamilton and Niagara regions,” she said.The province promised 5,000 new long-term care beds by 2022 and 30,000 within a decade in the April 2018 announcement.This week’s announcement came with a commitment of 15,000 new and 15,000 renovated beds within five years.SGamble@postmedia.com @EXPSGamble
Police are presently interrogating a Rosignol, West Bank Berbice pensioner who allegedly killed his reputed wife on Tuesday evening after hours of physically abusing her at the home they shared.The dead woman has been identified as Shabana Babita Ishack, 40, of Lot 69 Rosignol Village, West Bank Berbice.While details remain sketchy, Police “B” Division Commander, Lyndon Alves told INews that the matter was reported at about 07:15hrs today (Wednesday).“We don’t have much details at this time. The suspect is in custody. It is alleged that this incident happened between 18:00hrs last evening to about 07:15hrs this morning when it was reported,” he said.This online publication was informed that the duo resided together and on the evening in question, they were seen imbibing in their yard.However, at about 17:00hrs, neighbours alleged that the 62-year-old suspect began to physically abuse the woman, for reasons unknown.The beatings reportedly prolonged into the early morning hours of Wednesday.INews gathered that on Wednesday morning, a concerned neighbour went to talk to the couple about their constant fighting, and it was then that the accused let her into the home, requesting that she check on “Shabana.”It was then that the woman was discovered motionless, with her neck appearing to have been broken.A report was immediately made and the suspect allegedly remained quiet and seated on a bed in the home, until ranks arrived to arrest him.Police in a subsequent statement on the murder said that the pensioner has since “admitted to beating her severely with pieces of wood and an iron bar because his meals were not properly cooked.”It was further related that the victim, reportedly a heavy consumer of alcohol, started a common law relationship with the suspect about three months ago.The body is presently at Bailey’s Funeral Home awaiting a post-mortem examination.Investigations are ongoing. (Ramona Luthi) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedDaughter admits to killing motherApril 14, 2019In “Crime”19 – Year – old female murdered by suspected jilted boyfriendJanuary 18, 2015In “Crime”Pensioner killed in West Berbice home, daughter arrestedApril 13, 2019In “Crime”
Regardless of how you feel about the third-person stealth-em-up gameplay in The Last of Us, the game’s narrative is nothing short of a harrowing, amazing, devastating experience.Fans of the game want more, but the story of the two main characters, Joel and Ellie, is so perfect that a sequel would ruin it. It seems that Naughty Dog will satisfy both of those requirements for wanting more game to play, while not disrupting the perfect narrative of the main characters.Naughty Dog has teased that it’ll be revealing information regarding some TLOU DLC this week. The developer is planning three packs– a campaign add-on, and two multiplayer packs. The DLC is available for purchase in a season pass pack for a total of $19.99 (saving you around 30% on the price if you would purchase each pack individually), as is customary this generation.If you’re worried about what the campaign DLC might be because it might disrupt the perfect ending of the story, never fear. Not too long ago, the creative director of the game, Neil Druckmann, said that Joel and Ellie’s story is over. Druckmann did say that if TLOU gets a sequel somewhere down the line, the team feels the world is still ripe for story — just not the stories of Joel and Ellie.From that (totally correct) sentiment, it sounds like the campaign DLC will focus on other characters throughout the game, of which there were enough to fill out a side-story, such as wacky loner Bill.Whatever the campaign DLC ends up being, we’ll find out sometime this week. If the TLOU team can craft a story even half as good as the main campaign’s story, the DLC will be well worth the investment.
Everton manager Marco Silva is full of praise for Lucas Digne after he scored a free-kick in their 2-2 draw with Watford on Monday night.Richalison opened the scoring for Everton 15 minutes into the first half, but a Seamus Coleman own goal and an Abdoulaye Doucoure strike gave Watford the lead heading into stoppage time.In the sixth minute of stoppage time, Digne scored a stunning free-kick from 25 yards to hand Everton a point in their game against Watford.Silva was happy with the defender’s strike and described him as “a good player”.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“Because he has quality, it means personality and character as well. It was an important moment for him and he showed me he is a good player,” Silva told Sky Sports.“In the first goal we conceded, there was a lack of communication between him and Bernard. In these type of moments it’s really important it doesn’t affect him.”
Nacharam: Division Corporator Shanthi inspected the works of underground pipeline at Raghavendra Nagar in Nagole. Speaking on the occasion, she said, “As per the complaint received regarding drinking water, we forwarded it to the respective officials. Officers allotted workers and processed the works. There will be no drinking water issues from now.” Sai Gen Sekhar, Yadgiri, Buchana Goud, Srinivas and others were present.
Kolkata: Within 10 days of Krishnagunj MLA Satyajit Biswas’s murder, a Trinamool Congress councilor, identified as Mithun Tikadar, was shot inside the party office at Chitligunj in Budge Budge on Monday.He has been rushed to a private hospital in Ekbalpore, where he is undergoing a major operation. According to locals, Tikadar, councillor of ward 20 of Budge Budge Municipality, was at the party office around 8:45 pm on Monday. All of a sudden two youths went inside the party office and shot Tikadar. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseImmediately after that the duo ran outside. Locals gathered hearing the bullet shot. To save themselves miscreants allegedly hurled bombs. When locals ran for their lives, the duo fled the scene. Sources informed the bullet hit Tikadar between his chest and upper abdomen. According to Goutam Dasgupta, the vice-chairman of Budge Budge Municipality, Tikadar is quite popular in the area. He had done a very good job while developing his ward. He alleged that BJP was behind the attack. “We suspect that BJP is doing all this as they are our political enemy.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSources informed that ward No. 20 was the weakest area for the ruling party before Tikadar became councillor. Phulu Dey, chairman of Budge Budge Municipality said: “I just heard Tikadar has been shot. He has been taken to hospital. He is very much popular in the area. ” Upon receiving the information, police reached the spot and started an investigation. Locals claimed Tikadar identified the duo who shot him. As per their version, both the miscreants were from Budge Budge area. One of them lives in Tikadar’s ward. Till Monday night police could not trace the miscreants who had shot Tikadar.
Clueless made an unexpectedly big splash in the movie world back in 1995. Not only did it reap box office rewards, but it also became a defining teen comedy. Lines of dialogue are quoted even today and it turned lead Alicia Silverstone into a major star. However, some who watch and enjoy the film may be surprised at its origins. Because the inspiration for writer/director Amy Heckerling came from nearly 200 years previously. The story and characters were an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel Emma.A 2015 article for Bustle.com said Clueless reinvented Emma in “much in the same way that Bridget Jones’ Diary updated Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”Alicia Silverstone holding shopping bags in a scene from the film ‘Clueless’, 1995. Photo by Paramount Pictures/Getty ImagesThough the translation from a sleepy English village of the 19th century to the sunshine and egos of Nineties Beverly Hills is reportedly a loose one, there are direct connections between the modern movie and its historic counterpart.Silverstone played Cher Horowitz, a seemingly shallow and popular high school student, obsessed with fashion and setting up her friends. For readers of Emma, the comparisons are obvious.Title page from 1909 edition of ‘Emma’In describing both characters, Bustle wrote about how each young woman is “well regarded by her family and her community, with manipulation as her major weakness… She lives in wealth with her indulgent father after her mother dies.”Yet there is a family tragedy beneath the attractive surface. The blog Jane Austen’s World observed, “Like Emma, Cher is motherless. Whereas Emma’s mama died a natural death, Cher’s mom died from the complications of liposuction on a plastic surgeon’s table. Both Cher and Emma are rich, bored, and meddlesome.”Portrait of Jane Austen, c. 1810This meddlesome quality formed the narrative backbone of Clueless. Just as Emma interfered in the life of Harriet Smith, so Cher decided to give the image and love life of social misfit Tai (played by the late Brittany Murphy) a serious makeover.Bustle.com wrote, “Harriet is an outsider because she is lower class, while Tai is the new kid in school. While both defer to the judgment of their mentors, they ultimately know what’s best for themselves.”1898 illustration of Mr. Knightley and Emma Woodhouse, Volume III chapter XIIIThere’s a strong similarity between the characters of Mr. Knightley and Cher’s best friend Josh (future Ant-Man Paul Rudd). They eventually capture the heroine’s heart, though before this they had a relationship that was more like brother and sister.In some ways, the two stories are very different. Jane Austen’s World remarked, “Who can forget Cher’s mugging, where she resists lying down on the ground in her designer outfit, even with a gun to her head?”Justin Walker and Alicia Silverstone in a scene from the film ‘Clueless’, 1995. Photo by Paramount Pictures/Getty ImagesOne of the biggest shifts involved the character of Frank Churchill. In 2017 The Telegraph referred to Emma’s potential love interest as “the Ryan Gosling of Highbury”, though as it transpired the tag is ill-deserved. Churchill was secretly engaged, and cheating on his beloved Jane Fairfax.It’s safe to say the 1995 version took some liberties. As written on Jane Austen’s World blog, Churchill was transformed into “Christian, a disco-dancing, Oscar-Wilde-reading, Streisand-ticket-holding-friend-of-Dorothy cake boy”. Cher’s interest was always doomed to failure.In 1816 the editors of The New Monthly Magazine noted Emma’s publication, but chose not to review it.Modern audiences got to judge the contrast for themselves when Douglas McGrath’s period adaptation of Emma was released a year on from Clueless.Another box office success, it starred Gwyneth Paltrow in the title role. Toni Collette played Harriet, Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley and Ewan McGregor took the role of Churchill.Gwyneth Paltrow. Photo by Andrea Raffin CC BY SA 3.0It was released at a time when Clueless was still fresh in popular culture. Cher’s catchphrase “As if!” — which Heckerling used after researching the lifestyles of Beverly Hills teens — made a particular impression, and the film went on to become a TV series, a book range and, inevitably, a musical.Read another story from us: Robert Zemeckis to Remake ‘The Witches’ – Angelica Huston not ImpressedParamount is currently developing a remake. Another movie take on Austen’s Emma is reportedly arriving in 2020.
Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. October 22, 2014 An article made the online rounds recently titled The Disruption Myth. Its basic premise was that currently dominant businesses are more resistant to change than might be expected, that the peak of digital innovation lies in the past, now stifled by big corporations, and the benefits of new economics are, therefore, overblown and unlikely to impact our lives for the better to any significant degree.Don’t you believe that for a tick.This is my third tech revolution and in each, richly endowed pundits have declared the emerging technologies deficient, delusional, defunct. And, in each revolution, those pundits have been wrong. These current downbeat predictions about the social/mobile revolution are wrong, too.Here’s why: This tendency to declare the game over while we are still warming up for it stems from some fundamental misunderstandings of how tech revolutions and change actually work.First, as much as we might expect and want it to, technological change doesn’t occur arithmetically. If only each little change led to another change and to another in a neat, consistent, straight-line chain. In reality, though, tech change is epochal, following a course more like evolution. In evolution, everything appears to stay the same in an environment until the sum total of challenges to species in it passes a critical threshold and then change happens dramatically, deeply and suddenly. So, too, with tech revolutions. Everything in business and society seems pretty much normal on the surface, and stays the same, and stays the same. And then, boom, everything seems dramatically different. PCs are a trinket until suddenly they are everywhere and touch everything. The Internet is a weird backwater full of flaming nerds and tap dancing cats until, suddenly, it is the lifeblood of culture.In the Darwinian world of tech revolution, traditional businesses don’t disappear, they become extinct. New businesses, business models and economics don’t merely win, in the sense of a war, they conquer with the totality and finality of evolution. They rise rapidly and inexorably in response to radically altered circumstances, wiping out those who cannot adapt utterly off the map. It’s the death of the dinosaurs in business and cultural terms.Related: 5 Secrets to Recognizing an Industry Ripe for DisruptionA McKinsey report on competing in the digital age stated the situation starkly: “Digitization often lowers entry barriers, causing long-established boundaries between sectors to tumble. At the same time, the ‘plug and play’ nature of digital assets causes value chains to disaggregate, creating openings for focused, fast-moving competitors. New market entrants often scale up rapidly at lower cost than legacy players can, and returns may grow rapidly as more customers join the network.“Digital capabilities increasingly will determine which companies create or lose value. Those shifts take place in the context of industry evolution, which isn’t monolithic but can follow a well-worn path: new trends emerge and disruptive entrants appear, their products and services embraced by early adopters. Advanced incumbents then begin to adjust to these changes, accelerating the rate of customer adoption until the industry’s level of digitization—among companies but, perhaps more critically, among consumers as well—reaches a tipping point. Eventually, what was once radical is normal, and unprepared incumbents run the risk of becoming the next Blockbuster. “Why does change happen this way? The big reason is human beings. Humans both crave and fear change and we are the great rationalizers of the animal world. As my great mentor Bill Ziff used to say, “Our rationalizations are every bit as strong as we are.” So, humans will both change and deny we are changing with equal vehemence. And the edifices we create—companies, political institutions, media—will do the same.Another key reason for these dramatic shifts is that technological change, being environmental, works under the surface. It is like erosion at a beach. You don’t see it on the smooth sand. But deep down, the waves are pounding, grinding, shifting, penetrating until one day – Phooomp! The surface collapses and the whole coastline transforms.Related: Richard Branson on What Keeps Him GoingThis creates a phenomenon noted by Bill Gates during the PC revolution. When it comes to deep tech change, he said: “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.”Business and society have been through a number of tech revolutions over the past several decades, so why do these errant dismissive predictions keep happening? Why don’t we learn from our recent experience? Again, the reason lies in human nature. Humans are impatient. We peek. We read ahead. We want to know how the story comes out. In tech terms, this means that whenever we experience something fundamental and new, we immediately project a future for this innovation. And then we begin to think and act as if that fictional future were a fact. A therapist friend of mine called this acting in FEAR: Future Events As Real.When actual events don’t line up with our chimerical presumptions, we are confounded and disappointed. Surely, the fault can’t lie with us! It must lie in the technology itself. It’s disappointing, deficient, derelict. And, in this way, we repeatedly build and then attack our own sand castles across cycles of much sound and fury, most decidedly signifying nothing.As we mess around this way on the surface, deep below the real change is occurring, quietly, occultly, patiently. Until, without our fully recognizing it has happened, the familiar reality collapses, and its suddenly hollowed husk rolls away. And the new reality emerges, wet and glistening, toward its natural ascendency in a transformed future.At that point we, being human, will insist we knew it was going to happen that way all along.Related: A New Challenge to Disruption Theory
In over half a dozen countries, those found guilty can even face the death penalty. These include Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, parts Somalia and northern Nigeria. Members of Islamic State have also put people to death for being gay in Iran and Syria.The situation for LGBTI people in many of these countries remains dire. Elsewhere, advocates are making progress.Below are five countries which could follow India’s example.Trinidad and TobagoThis is basically a done deal. On 12 April, a court in Trinidad and Tobago (population 1.4million) ruled that parts of the country’s sexual offenses act which criminalized ‘buggery’ and ‘serious indecency’ between two men were unconstitutional.In effect, Judge Devindra Rampersad’s ruling meant the ban on gay sex was wrong and the law must change.Campaigners for legislative change and LGBTI advocates were jubilant. A final ruling is due on 20 September, and for now, the law is suspended.The court ruling was made after a case was filed by Trinidad-born LGBTI activist Jason Jones. He filed to have both Section 13 and Section 16 of the Sexual Offences Act declared null and void.Pro-LGBTI campaigners in Trinidad and Tobago, April 2018 (Photo: @trinijayjay | Instagram)The significance of the court decision extended far beyond Trinidad and Tobago. Advocates in other Caribbean countries are hopeful their nations may follow suit.This includes Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, plus Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.Advocates expect the law to change this month. Jones tells GSN some time will elapse to allow current cases to pass through the justice system, ‘where the buggery laws have been used in instances of anal rape. And then the law will be struck down. After that, any cases or rape will go through the normal rape laws.‘One of the overbearing arguments for retaining buggery laws is anal rape, but this is a cop-out,’ says Jones. ‘If you need to update your sexual offences act, update them. Don’t keep a law on buggery that also criminalizes law-abiding citizens.’Jones points to the example of Mozambique. It recently updated its sexual offenses law but dropped its British Colonial era buggery law.‘They just left it out,’ says Jones. ‘There are many ways to move forward. It doesn’t have to be an act of Parliament. It can just be a measure of updating a country’s sexual offences act.’After the court Trinidad and Tobago issues its ruling, the country’s Attorney General appeals the victory to the privy Council in London, UK. This is of great significance. The privy Council acts as a Supreme Court for a number of former colonies of Britain, similar to the Supreme Court in the US or India.‘For many former British colonies we’re too small to have our own Supreme Court, so we rely on the privy Council. The privy council take 3-5 years to make a ruling.’That ruling could have an impact on at least the ten other Commonwealth Countries mentioned above.In addition, it opens up a way for potentially similar legal challenges in the 36 other countries in the Commonwealth where gay sex remains illegal.JamaicaAlthough the privy council ruling mentioned above may impact on Jamaica, the island nation is worthy of particular attention. Many consider Jamaica (population 2.8million) one of the most homophobic countries in the world, and local LGBTI communities face persecution and discrimination.Three main pieces of legislation prohibit same-sex sexual activity: Sections 76, 77 and 79 of the The Offences Against the Person Act, which prohibit buggery and gross indecency between men.Section 80 of the act also allows police to arrest anyone loitering at night who they suspect may be about to engage in any of the prohibited acts. It’s a vague clause police use to arrest anyone they suspect may be gay. Local newspapers often name men arrested and many LGBTI fear blackmail by neighbors if their sexuality becomes known.Maurice Tomlinson is fighting for LGBTI equality in JamaicaA case is currently passing through the courts challenging the Jamaica law. Maurice Tomlinson, a Jamaican now based in Canada, says Jamaica’s anti-sodomy law is unconstitutional.‘The case in Jamaica is currently stalled as we wait on the Court of Appeal to decide if the Public Defender can be allowed in the matter as an interested party to support my claim,’ Tomlinson told GSN.‘The court below allowed ten religious groups in as interested parties but denied the Public Defender and so she appealed. Although the appeal was fully heard last year we have no idea when the judgment will be decided.’The current Jamaican Government holds on to power by a slim majority. Given the country’s political climate and the very strong anti-LGBTI sentiment among citizens, Tomlinson says the chances of Parliament acting to repeal the gay sex laws are slim.‘Parliament has had many opportunities to do so, and there is in fact a review of the Sexual Offences Act currently ongoing with a report outstanding from November 2017. However, the powerful anti-gay churches that control significant voting blocs have threatened to punish any Parliamentarian who supports decriminalization.‘So, we will have to wait on the courts, which are hopelessly backlogged.‘The Trinidad decision will indeed be very persuasive for the Jamaican anti-sodomy law challenge, however our unique constitutional arrangement will require a fresh look at the law by our courts.A spokesperson for local LGBTI group J-FLAG also believes it’s impossible to say whether law change might come soon. The decision to strike down the ban on gay sex by the Supreme Court in India is monumental. With a population of over 1.3 billion, the law change impacts upon the lives of millions. Approximately one sixth of the world’s population lives in the country.However, in many countries, gay sex remains illegal. Homosexual activity can still result in prosecution in 71 countries. ‘The Trinidadian case will be instructive if it arrives to the level of the privy council as are all judgements made by that Court. However, the likelihood of the outcomes of such a process are too distant to comment. The Trinidad & Tobago Court of Appeal will have to make its decision first.’A campaign video released ahead of elections earlier this year featured LGBTI people calling for change in Lebanon (Photo: Arab Foundation For Freedoms and Equality)LebanonIn the Middle East, Israel stands alone in its legalization of same-sex sexual activity. However, there’s a chance Lebanon (population 6million) may follow suit. Same-sex sexual activity is illegal under Penal Code 534. However, the code, which bans ‘unnatural sex’, has rarely been enacted in the past ten years. LGBTI citizens are beginning to live more open lives.In 2017, a small, arts-based Beirut Pride festival took place, although its organizer was arrested during this year’s event.Ahead of the country’s recent Parliamentarian elections in May, many candidates for the fledgling, anti-corruption Kelna Beirut party called for the repeal of Penal Code 534. Although none were successful in their bid for election, the fact it’s even being discussed is positive.In July, a Lebanese appeals court ruled same-sex conduct is not illegal under article 534 of the penal code, and that homosexuality is not unnatural. It said homosexual sex should not be criminalized unless it occurs in public or with a minor. Although the ruling doesn’t change the law, it was welcomed by advocates as another step in the right direction.Bassam Khawaja, Lebanon researcher at Human Rights Watch, told Gay Star News.‘This is a significant step in the right direction … We will continue to press parliament to fully repeal article 534, which punishes “any sexual intercourse contrary to the order of nature” with up to one year in prison. However, despite years of advocacy, parliament does not show any immediate sign of considering a repeal.‘But in parliamentary elections this year, a major political party for the first time pledged to repeal the law as part of its elections platform, so we are starting to see some cracks in this wall.’TunisiaGay sex risks a jail sentence of three years in the North African country of Tunisia. However, a committee formed last year by current President Béji Caïd Essebsi, recommended in June looks at a law change.In a wider report on recommended law reforms, the Individual Freedoms and Equality Committee (COLIBE) recommended to Essebi the scrapping of Article 230 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes gay sex. It said if Article 230 is not removed, the punishment should at least be lowered, from a potential prison sentence to a fine of 500 dinars (US$200).Human Rights Watch’s Neela Ghoshal specializes in LGBTI research in Africa. She said the report’s recommendations on homosexuality were a big deal.‘(They) may not result in immediate change, but provides fuel for the dynamic LGBT rights movement in Tunisia,’ she wrote on Twitter.All Out is currently running a petition to bring international pressure on President Essebsi to scrap Article 230. However, a spokesperson for local LGBTI rights organization, Shams, tells GSN it is not looking likely the President will act.‘We are not optimistic about the abolition of article 230 of the Tunisian Penal Code.’They think the chances of reducing the punishment is ‘possible’. However, many in society still regard homosexuality as a ‘perversity.’Workers at India Culture Lab celebrate the Indian Supreme Court ruling, 6 September 2018 (Photo: @IndiaCultureLab via Twitter)KenyaSame-sex sexual activity is legal in 21 African states and illegal in 33.Campaigners in Kenya (population 48million) are currently engaged in a legal challenge to Kenya’s colonial era laws prohibiting any sex that doesn’t involve penis-vagina penetration. Currently, anyone found guilty of homosexual activity in the East African country can face up to 14 years in jail.The National Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission launched a legal challenge earlier this year. It points out the Kenya constitution states: ‘Every person is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law.’It argues Section 162, which makes sodomy illegal, is unconstitutional. Furthermore, Section 165 refers to sexual activity between men as ‘gross indecency’ and can lead to five years imprisonment.However, Kenya remains a deeply homophobic and transphobic country. It is by no means certain the court will overturn the gay sex ban.A spokesperson for the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya said law change won’t just impact on gay people.‘For clarity, these are not sodomy laws. It is not clear what they are because as they read, they refer to any type of sex that, pardon my crudeness, does not include a penis penetrating a vagina.‘These sexual acts include oral sex, the use of toys, anal sex and masturbation. While these laws often are applied on gay men and women, the reality is even straight couples have oral sex, toys, engage in anal sex, masturbation, among other things, so this law applies to them as well.’‘At this time, the case is still pending. A ruling has not been made and it is not clear when it will.’See alsoLGBTI radio station launched in Arab world prompts death threats Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Lebanon LGBTI advocates appeal to citizens abroad to vote for change eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Over 75% of the world now live in a country where gay sex is legalTrinidad and Tobago government challenges decriminalization of gay sexCountries where LGBT tourists are criminalsRead the full article on Gaystarnews: :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/after-india-decriminalizes-gay-sex-next/ GAYSTARNEWS- Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…
The OAuth protocol specifies a process for resource owners to authorize third-party applications in accessing their server resources without sharing their credentials. This tutorial will take you through understanding OAuth protocol and introduce you to the offerings of OAuth 2.0 in a practical manner. This article is an excerpt from a book written by Balachandar Bogunuva Mohanram, titled RESTful Java Web Services, Second Edition. Consider a scenario where Jane (the user of an application) wants to let an application access her private data, which is stored in a third-party service provider. Before OAuth 1.0 or other similar open source protocols, such as Google AuthSub and FlickrAuth, if Jane wanted to let a consumer service use her data stored on some third-party service provider, she would need to give her user credentials to the consumer service to access data from the third-party service via appropriate service calls. Instead of Jane passing her login information to multiple consumer applications, OAuth 1.0 solves this problem by letting the consumer applications request authorization from the service provider on Jane’s behalf. Jane does not divulge her login information; authorization is granted by the service provider, where both her data and credentials are stored. The consumer application (or consumer service) only receives an authorization token that can be used to access data from the service provider. Note that the user (Jane) has full control of the transaction and can invalidate the authorization token at any time during the signup process, or even after the two services have been used together. The typical example used to explain OAuth 1.0 is that of a service provider that stores pictures on the web (let’s call the service StorageInc) and a fictional consumer service that is a picture printing service (let’s call the service PrintInc). On its own, PrintInc is a full-blown web service, but it does not offer picture storage; its business is only printing pictures. For convenience, PrintInc has created a web service that lets its users download their pictures from StorageInc for printing. This is what happens when a user (the resource owner) decides to use PrintInc (the client application) to print his/her images stored in StorageInc (the service provider): The user creates an account in PrintInc. Let’s call the user Jane, to keep things simple. PrintInc asks whether Jane wants to use her pictures stored in StorageInc and presents a link to get the authorization to download her pictures (the protected resources). Jane is the resource owner here. Jane decides to let PrintInc connect to StorageInc on her behalf and clicks on the authorization link. Both PrintInc and StorageInc have implemented the OAuth protocol, so StorageInc asks Jane whether she wants to let PrintInc use her pictures. If she says yes, then StorageInc asks Jane to provide her username and password. Note, however, that her credentials are being used at StorageInc’s site and PrintInc has no knowledge of her credentials. Once Jane provides her credentials, StorageInc passes PrintInc an authorization token, which is stored as a part of Jane’s account on PrintInc. Now, we are back at PrintInc’s web application, and Jane can now print any of her pictures stored in StorageInc’s web service. Finally, every time Jane wants to print more pictures, all she needs to do is come back to PrintInc’s website and download her pictures from StorageInc without providing the username and password again, as she has already authorized these two web services to exchange data on her behalf. The preceding example clearly portrays the authorization flow in OAuth 1.0 protocol. Before getting deeper into OAuth 1.0, here is a brief overview of the common terminologies and roles that we saw in this example: Client (consumer): This refers to an application (service) that tries to access a protected resource on behalf of the resource owner and with the resource owner’s consent. A client can be a business service, mobile, web, or desktop application. In the previous example, PrintInc is the client application. Server (service provider): This refers to an HTTP server that understands the OAuth protocol. It accepts and responds to the requests authenticated with the OAuth protocol from various client applications (consumers). If you relate this with the previous example, StorageInc is the service provider. Protected resource: Protected resources are resources hosted on servers (the service providers) that are access-restricted. The server validates all incoming requests and grants access to the resource, as appropriate. Resource owner: This refers to an entity capable of granting access to a protected resource. Mostly, it refers to an end user who owns the protected resource. In the previous example, Jane is the resource owner. Consumer key and secret (client credentials): These two strings are used to identify and authenticate the client application (the consumer) making the request. Request token (temporary credentials): This is a temporary credential provided by the server when the resource owner authorizes the client application to use the resource. As the next step, the client will send this request token to the server to get authorized. On successful authorization, the server returns an access token. The access token is explained next. Access token (token credentials): The server returns an access token to the client when the client submits the temporary credentials obtained from the server during the resource grant approval by the user. The access token is a string that identifies a client that requests for protected resources. Once the access token is obtained, the client passes it along with each resource request to the server. The server can then verify the identity of the client by checking this access token. The following sequence diagram shows the interactions between the various parties involved in the OAuth 1.0 protocol: You can get more information about the OAuth 1.0 protocol here. What is OAuth 2.0? OAuth 2.0 is the latest release of the OAuth protocol, mainly focused on simplifying the client-side development. Note that OAuth 2.0 is a completely new protocol, and this release is not backwards-compatible with OAuth 1.0. It offers specific authorization flows for web applications, desktop applications, mobile phones, and living room devices. The following are some of the major improvements in OAuth 2.0, as compared to the previous release: The complexity involved in signing each request: OAuth 1.0 mandates that the client must generate a signature on every API call to the server resource using the token secret. On the receiving end, the server must regenerate the same signature, and the client will be given access only if both the signatures match. OAuth 2.0 requires neither the client nor the server to generate any signature for securing the messages. Security is enforced via the use of TLS/SSL (HTTPS) for all communication. Addressing non-browser client applications: Many features of OAuth 1.0 are designed by considering the way a web client application interacts with the inbound and outbound messages. This has proven to be inefficient while using it with non-browser clients such as on-device mobile applications. OAuth 2.0 addresses this issue by accommodating more authorization flows suitable for specific client needs that do not use any web UI, such as on-device (native) mobile applications or API services. This makes the protocol very flexible. The separation of roles: OAuth 2.0 clearly defines the roles for all parties involved in the communication, such as the client, resource owner, resource server, and authorization server. The specification is clear on which parts of the protocol are expected to be implemented by the resource owner, authorization server, and resource server. The short-lived access token: Unlike in the previous version, the access token in OAuth 2.0 can contain an expiration time, which improves the security and reduces the chances of illegal access. The refresh token: OAuth 2.0 offers a refresh token that can be used for getting a new access token on the expiry of the current one, without going through the entire authorization process again. Before we get into the details of OAuth 2.0, let’s take a quick look at how OAuth 2.0 defines roles for each party involved in the authorization process. Though you might have seen similar roles while discussing OAuth 1.0 in last section, it does not clearly define which part of the protocol is expected to be implemented by each one: The resource owner: This refers to an entity capable of granting access to a protected resource. In a real-life scenario, this can be an end user who owns the resource. The resource server: This hosts the protected resources. The resource server validates and authorizes the incoming requests for the protected resource by contacting the authorization server. The client (consumer): This refers to an application that tries to access protected resources on behalf of the resource owner. It can be a business service, mobile, web, or desktop application. Authorization server: This, as the name suggests, is responsible for authorizing the client that needs access to a resource. After successful authentication, the access token is issued to the client by the authorization server. In a real-life scenario, the authorization server may be either the same as the resource server or a separate entity altogether. The OAuth 2.0 specification does not really enforce anything on this part. It would be interesting to learn how these entities talk with each other to complete the authorization flow. The following is a quick summary of the authorization flow in a typical OAuth 2.0 implementation: Let’s understand the diagram in more detail: The client application requests authorization to access the protected resources from the resource owner (user). The client can either directly make the authorization request to the resource owner or via the authorization server by redirecting the resource owner to the authorization server endpoint. The resource owner authenticates and authorizes the resource access request from the client application and returns the authorization grant to the client. The authorization grant type returned by the resource owner depends on the type of client application that tries to access the OAuth protected resource. Note that the OAuth 2.0 protocol defines four types of grants in order to authorize access to protected resources. The client application requests an access token from the authorization server by passing the authorization grant along with other details for authentication, such as the client ID, client secret, and grant type. On successful authentication, the authorization server issues an access token (and, optionally, a refresh token) to the client application. The client application requests the protected resource (RESTful web API) from the resource server by presenting the access token for authentication. On successful authentication of the client request, the resource server returns the requested resource. The sequence of interaction that we just discussed is of a very high level. Depending upon the grant type used by the client, the details of the interaction may change. The following section will help you understand the basics of grant types. Understanding grant types in OAuth 2.0 Grant types in the OAuth 2.0 protocol are, in essence, different ways to authorize access to protected resources using different security credentials (for each type). The OAuth 2.0 protocol defines four types of grants, as listed here; each can be used in different scenarios, as appropriate: Authorization code: This is obtained from the authentication server instead of directly requesting it from the resource owner. In this case, the client directs the resource owner to the authorization server, which returns the authorization code to the client. This is very similar to OAuth 1.0, except that the cryptographic signing of messages is not required in OAuth 2.0. Implicit: This grant is a simplified version of the authorization code grant type flow. In the implicit grant flow, the client is issued an access token directly as the result of the resource owner’s authorization. This is less secure, as the client is not authenticated. This is commonly used for client-side devices, such as mobile, where the client credentials cannot be stored securely. Resource owner password credentials: The resource owner’s credentials, such as username and password, are used by the client for directly obtaining the access token during the authorization flow. The access code is used thereafter for accessing resources. This grant type is only used with trusted client applications. This is suitable for legacy applications that use the HTTP basic authentication to incrementally transition to OAuth 2.0. Client credentials: These are used directly for getting access tokens. This grant type is used when the client is also the resource owner. This is commonly used for embedded services and backend applications, where the client has an account (direct access rights). Read Next: Understanding OAuth Authentication methods – Tutorial OAuth 2.0 – Gaining Consent – Tutorial
Related posts:5 questions for a Costa Rican musician: blind artist Gerardo Mora 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician 5 questions for a Colombian rapper 5 questions for a Honduran artist Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook Comments Recommended: 5 questions for a Costa Rican musician – blind artist Gerardo MoraLuis Carmona may be only 22, but he has organized his life around the strings of an instrument for about 10 years now.The young artist started playing the guitar at the age of 12 under his brother’s influence, and then moved on to the bass; he now studies both instruments at the University of Costa Rica (UCR). He plays in the Young Chamber Orchestra of Costa Rica (OCJCR), the Youth Band of Desamparados and the Symphonic Orchestra of the UCR School of Musical Arts (OSEAM), and works as a freelance musician.Carmona also studied sociology for two and a half years at the UCR.“It gave me a form of analysis that helped me not only as a musician, but also as a researcher and in my adventures teaching,” he said.The Tico Times talked to Carmona about his approach to music, his orchestra experience and the impact of orchestras on Costa Rican society. Excerpts follow.What was your initial approach to music?Music has always been there. It is something that we all consume at some point: it is something very human. But as for my academic preparation… my brother had a guitar and I started to play with it. Eventually, I started open education in electric bass in 2010, in order to have a formal formation. There I learned basic things like solfeggio, harmony… basic components of musical language which later I would use when I entered the basic stage of contrabass in 2011.I have also developed myself in other musical contexts, such as rock bands, folkloric groups, and musical groups with nonprofit organizations.What was it like to make the decision to study music instead of letting it remain a hobby?It is a very stigmatized road… but in general, I think I never saw it as a hobby. I don’t see it as my job either. I feel it is more like a task. I think we are all musicians and we all make music, todos musicamos, which means that we all celebrate and share music in different ways.How can music influence youth for the development of Costa Rican society?The trade of music brings with it a lot of challenges. There is a discipline with an instrument but more than that, it’s a discipline within oneself. It’s similar to sports. I see a lot of similarity between the discipline of athletes and the discipline of musicians. It is a constant surrender, and that builds character. (Courtesy of Luis Carmona)Why is it important for Costa Rica to maintain its orchestras and philharmonics around the country? We live in an era where my generation plays on a stage where there is a lot of competition. There are many good musicians, but there are not many orchestras to play in. I think the development of orchestras in 2017 has to be linked not only to a musical project but to a cultural one as well. To involve other areas and become multidisciplinary proposals.What’s the value of joining an orchestra for the musicians of Costa Rica?Although we are a musically advanced country within the Central American region, we still have a long way to go in the national media, and when it comes to opportunities for growth and professional work. We have advanced in the professionalization of the musician at the level of academic preparation, but we have not professionalized the theme of jobs and the generation of spaces to involve both our academic and popular musicians within a clear cultural policy.Read also: 5 questions for a Colombian rapper
Mortgage Rates Hover as Fed Extends Bond-Buying Program Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Bankrate Federal Reserve Freddie Mac Investors Lenders & Servicers Processing Service Providers Unemployment 2012-12-13 Tory Barringer in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Fixed mortgage rates made small movements this week as fiscal cliff negotiations seemed to stall.[IMAGE]According to “”Freddie Mac’s””:http://www.freddiemac.com/ Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) interest rate averaged 3.32 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending December 13, down slightly from 3.34 percent the previous week. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.66 percent (0.6 point), down week-to-week from 2.67 percent.Adjustable rates also budged, though only slightly: The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.70 percent (0.6 point), up one basis point from the last [COLUMN_BREAK]survey, while the 1-year ARM averaged 2.53 percent (0.5 point), down from 2.55 percent previously.””Mortgage rates held relatively steady following the November employment report,”” said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac, noting that the November’s unemployment rate was down to 7.7 percent. “”However, in its December 12 “”monetary policy statement””:https://themreport.com/articles/fomc-maintains-policy-stance-to-hold-down-rates-2012-12-12, the Federal Reserve noted that this rate remains elevated and modified the statement to tie any increases to its target rate to the unemployment rate falling below 6.5 percent.””If the Fed’s projections hold out, that rate will not be reached until 2015 or later.Rates measured by “”Bankrate’s””:http://www.bankrate.com/ weekly survey were even more sluggish. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.52 percent, a slight increase from last week’s low of 3.50 percent. The 15-year fixed average remained unchanged at 2.85 percent. The 5/1 ARM was also flat, holding at 2.74 percent.””Mortgage rates showed little movement as the fiscal cliff talks looked more like a stalemate,”” Bankrate said in a release. “”But a newly announced stimulus plan from the Federal Reserve aimed at buying longer-term Treasuries should help bring both bond yields and mortgage rates lower, albeit modestly. Don’t expect any big moves in mortgage rates as long as the fiscal cliff talks drag on.”” December 13, 2012 453 Views Share
February 19, 2018 581 Views Share Texas coastal communities are still rebuilding after the impact of Hurricane Harvey last year. But in addition to rebuilding what was damaged or destroyed, the affected communities must also look to the future and prepare for future storms. FEMA is helping with that problem, to the tune of $1 billion in funds earmarked for hazard mitigation.During a press conference in Rockport, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that coastal communities affected by Hurricane Harvey could now apply for a share of half a billion dollars in FEMA funds that have been disbursed to the state. That’s half of the billion-dollar total, the rest of which is expected to be available by around the one-year anniversary of Harvey’s landfall in late August. As reported by Houston Public Media, the funds can be put toward a variety of hazard mitigation projects.“We want to rebuild in ways that reduce the risk of future damages to property and to lives,” Gov. Abbott told an assembly of reporters in Rockport. “The money is here, checks can be cut immediately as soon as you get your applications in and get them approved by [the Texas Division of Emergency Management].”The FEMA funds will cover 75 percent of costs for applicable projects, which Houston Public Media reports can include:Buyouts of flooded structures and elevating structures above floodplainsFloodwalls, seawalls, jetties, sand dune restoration and channeling waterwaysRetrofitting houses and buildings to withstand hurricane windsStorm surge protection projectsThe remaining 25 percent would typically be paid by local governments, Abbott told reporters that in this case other federal funds had been secured to cover the remainder of the cost for these Harvey-related projects.Austin-based FEMA spokesman Kurt Pickering said, “The whole idea is to make the state … more resilient next time.”Abbott clarified that these FEMA funds are in addition to the $5 billion HUD grant announced in November 2017. In accordance with HUD rules, Abbott said the Texas General Land Office must submit a state plan for those funds, which HUD must then approve. Abbott said he expected the $5 billion to be fast-tracked and available by the end of March.In the meantime, Texans still working to rebuild after Harvey can check out two upcoming free drop-in hurricane assistance centers, co-hosted by HOPE NOW Alliance and the National Mortgage Servicing Association. The drop-in center events will allow hurricane-affected residents to speak with professionals to learn how best to manage their own recovery and what resources are available to them. The first two events are scheduled for Tuesday, February 27, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kingwood Community Center located in Kingwood, Texas, and Wednesday, February 28, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott in Katy, Texas. More such events are planned for later in the year. You can learn all the details here. FEMA floods Greg Abbott hazard mitigation HUD Hurricane harvey hurricanes 2018-02-19 David Wharton FEMA Sending $1 Billion to Texas Communities in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, Headlines, journal, News
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