Because of ISIS Morocco Asks Turkey to Require Visa For Moroccans

Fez – To tighten its grip on extremists who seek to join the ranks of the Islamic State (IS), the Moroccan government reportedly asked Turkey to require a visa for Moroccans wishing to visit or pass through Turkey, Moroccan newspaper Akhbar Al Youm said in its Thursday edition.According to the same source, the Moroccan authorities aim to curb the flow of Moroccans joining IS, most of whom travel to Syria and Iraq through Turkish territory.The fact that Moroccans don’t need a visa to enter Turkey makes it easier for some extremists to get through its borders and join the ranks of this terrorist organization. The same source added that Turkey does not seem to be enthusiastic about the Moroccan request for political and economic reasons.The political reason is related to Ankara’s reluctance to fully engage in the international coalition led by the United States to destroy IS.The second reason is related to the importance of the Moroccan market for the Turkish tourism sector.More than 100,000 Moroccans visit Turkey every year. This has a positive impact on the country’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism. If the Turkish government meets the request made by its Moroccan counterpart, the number of Moroccans tourists who visit Turkey is likely to plummet, which will have a negative impact on its economy.A report published by CNN earlier this month said that over 1,500 Moroccans have joined the ranks of terrorist groups in Syria, including IS.The same report ranked Morocco third in terms of countries that have sent the most jihadists to Syria. 1,500 Moroccan jihadists are fighting in Syria, followed by Russia (800 jihadists) and France (700 jihadists). read more

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Morocco Should Reconsider Alliance with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Washington D.C – Last Wednesday, June 13, Moroccans were disheartened to see their country lose the race to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Millions of Moroccans were aware that the Morocco 2026 bid could not compare to the joint proposal of the US, Canada, and Mexico, known as United 2026, in terms of existing infrastructure. However, they were hopeful Morocco would create a surprise and win a majority of votes. The Moroccan people pinned their hopes on the organization of the World Cup as an opportunity to boost Morocco’s economy, resulting in the creation of more than 100,000 jobs.What Moroccans did not expect was that a country considered hitherto as a “brotherly” country and one of Morocco’s most strategic allies would betray them in the most brazen manner. Saudi Arabia left no stone unturned to prevent Morocco from organizing the World Cup. It not only announced support for the United 2026 bid, but intensified its efforts to persuade other countries to vote against Morocco. What happened in Moscow and the power play that has been taking place in Saudi Arabia since Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince last June indicates that the relations between Morocco and Saudi Arabia have taken a new turn.The time has come for Morocco to officially and unequivocally announce its withdrawal from the Saudi-led coalition to oust the Houthi rebels in Yemen. At first, Morocco’s involvement stemmed from its belief that the war would be limited to air strikes lasting a short period of time.Morocco’s participation was predicated on the premise that whatever harms the Saudis and Emiratis also harms Moroccans and vice-versa and that the strategic interests of the Saudis align with Morocco’s strategic interests.However, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were not only fighting the Houthi rebel group, but also devastating the country as a whole while committing war crimes against the Yemeni people. The two countries are playing a dangerous game in Yemen and in other countries; they have a subversive agenda and seek to destabilize all the countries that do not fall in line with it. For example, after Morocco supported them in their war against the Houthis in Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the UAE expected Morocco to side with them in their brazen blockade of Qatar. But Morocco acted wisely and decided to remain neutral, offering to help the opposing parties overcome their crisis.Morocco’s decision to remain neutral was intentional. It reflects a new direction in Morocco’s foreign policy towards making decisions independently of Saudi Arabia.The votes of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain against the Moroccan World Cup bid were clearly meant to punish Morocco’s decision to remain neutral in the Gulf crisis and act independently. The new orientation of Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy under Mohammed bin Salman’s leadership is worrisome and risks plunging the whole Middle East and North Africa region into chaos and turmoil.Morocco should by no means be associated with a country accused of committing war crimes in Yemen and of starving civilians there. Neither should Morocco be associated with the subversive agenda of the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the whole Arab world, be it in Qatar, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Lebanon, or Syria.To achieve this goal, the first step that Morocco should take is to withdraw completely from any alliance led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. No more Moroccan men should die to defend these countries. No more decision should be made to please the Saudis or Emiratis. Morocco should never follow these two countries’ foreign policy agenda, which is mainly inspired and manipulated by the Washington-based right-wing research center “Foundation for the Defense of Democracies” (FDD). This is the same think tank that helped orchestrate the Saudi-Emirati media campaign against Qatar since 2011.The center recommends policies for Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to adopt in the Arab world. The think tank was also behind the frenetic media and political campaign to convince the American president and his entourage to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.This center and its financiers have one main goal: to achieve regime change in Iran and prevent Iran from acquiring the atomic bomb. One of the biggest financiers of the center is Sheldon Adelson, who serves first and foremost the Israeli agenda. Adelson was a major donor to President Trump’s presidential campaign, and was behind his decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. There are many reasons why Mohammed bin Salman considers Trump his first patron, which led him to betray Morocco. In addition to gaining U.S. support that helped Mohammed bin Salman seize power, Saudi Arabia’s goal is to convince the United States to overthrow the regime in Iran, which would be difficult and even impossible, given the strength of Iran.The decision to take a confrontational stance against Iran was not made in Riyadh or Abu Dhabi, but in Washington, D.C. It was made and promoted by the FDD whose backers and experts make the reckless Saudi and Emirati leaders believe that the right path to challenge Iran’s subversive agenda in the region is to provoke regime change.FDD’s ultimate goal is not to achieve the well-being and perennial stability of these two countries, but to eventually enable Israel to have the upper hand in the whole region. But the Saudis and the Emiratis take the bait.In addition, Saudi Arabia lavishes billions on Trump and on many research centers, and lobbies to distract Americans from the JASTA Law enacted by the US Congress less than two years ago. The law gives the families of American victims of 9/11 the possibility to sue the Saudi government for its involvement in the terrorist attacks. Moreover, Morocco, for which one of Jerusalem’s gates holds the name of its people “Moroccans’ Gate,” should not be linked to any policies aiming at abandoning the Palestinian people and betraying them in order to help the 32-year-old Saudi prince consolidate his power. However, this does not mean that Morocco should enter into a tug-of-war with these countries. Rather, it must deal with them in a wise and pragmatic way, making foreign policy decisions that serve its strategic interests and that preserve its dignity and the dignity of its people.Morocco’s bilateral relations with these countries should be built on mutual respect and mutual interest, rather than on empty slogans, blackmail, and provocations. Samir Bennis is the co-founder of Morocco World News. You can follow him on Twitter @SamirBennis. read more

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In Jordan UN food relief agency chief stresses need to strengthen aid

“The humanitarian situation is evolving on a daily basis and we must ensure that we can continue to meet the food needs of those affected by the conflict,” said Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), during a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. “Together with our UN and NGO [non-governmental organization] partners, we are strengthening our response capacity to address any escalation in need should the situation further deteriorate leading to more displacement from Syria.” Syria has been wracked by violence, with at least 20,000 people, mostly civilians, killed since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began some 20 months ago. The violence has spawned more than 380,000 refugees – many of them seeking safety and aid in neighbouring countries – with more than 2.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, according to UN estimates. During her visit to the camp, Ms. Cousin met with Syrian women, who told her about fleeing their homes and taking cover at night until they reached safety in Jordan. Many of them had travelled for two days without any food until they arrived at Zaatari camp, which hosts tens of thousands of refugees. “We recognize the difficult living conditions that Syrian refugees are facing away from home and we are committed to working together with our NGO partners and sister UN agencies to improve these conditions,” Ms. Cousin told journalists during a news conference in the camp. Her visit to Zaatari camp was the last stop of a three-day trip to Lebanon and Jordan to see the increasing humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. The trip was also her first official visit to the region since she assumed her post as head of WFP in April. WFP has launched a regional emergency operation to cover the food needs of Syrians who have fled to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, and is seeking to reach as many as 460,000 people by the end of the year. In Jordan, the agency provides ready-to-eat food to Syrians arriving at Zaatari camp, and, once they have settled in, supplies them with dry food rations to cook in communal kitchens. In addition, WFP provides food vouchers to Syrian refugees living with host communities so they can buy food in shops and at the same time boost the local economy. Before her visit to the camp, Ms. Cousin met top Jordanian officials and expressed gratitude for the generosity of the Jordanian people and the Government for welcoming displaced Syrians and extending support to people fleeing violence. read more

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MobileMe Upgrade Getting Music Locker Rumor

first_imgWith Lala’s founder gone from Apple (having moved on to buzzy new startup iPhone app, Color), one wonders what the future of that once-promising service will be within the confines of One Infinite Loop. We saw Apple roll out a social networking feature for iTunes in the form of Ping, which seems to have a tenuous connection to the shuttered service. The future of iTunes in the cloud, however, is no more clear than it’s ever been.Things may be cleared up with the rumored MobileMe revamp. Reportedly set for April, the upgrade will feature, among other things, a music locker service, for storing songs in the cloud. Apple is said to be dealing with various labels, trying to get support of the service, which will apparently run $20 a year. According to anonymous sources, Sony is the hardest sell.There aren’t a lot of details about the service–my guess is that, if anything, however, it will likely only support songs actually purchased through iTunes, which mean, for most of us, that the large majority of our music will remain earthbound for the foreseeable future…last_img read more

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Community language grants offered to young Australians

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Morrison Government has committed $10 million through the Community Languages Multicultural Grants Program to support not-for-profit community language schools.Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Grants Program would deliver a stronger Australia and invest in the future of Australia’s workforce to help them compete in an increasingly multilingual global market.“Community language schools play a key role connecting young Australians with new cultures and the cultures of their ancestors,” Mr Morrison said.READ MORE: When PM Scott Morrison visited the Greek Centre“As well as building on Australia’s successful multicultural society, community language schools help prepare students for a workforce that increasingly works with different countries and cultures.”Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said there are 1000 community language schools across Australia who would be eligible for the grants. These schools specialise in 69 different languages and teach more than 100,000 school-aged children.“These grants will assist more children and students learn and use another language which will have positive impacts well into the future.”last_img read more

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The 8BitDo N30 Pro 2 Controller Is a Great Sequel

first_img Review: The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ Is an Elite Nintendo Switch Controller8BitDo’s M30 Gamepad Is the Ultimate Sega Genesis-Inspired Controller Stay on target 8BitDo is best known for producing wireless controllers which resemble old-school Nintendo and Super Nintendo controllers. The company also makes retro-themed controllers with modern features like analog sticks and shoulder buttons. One such device is the N30 Pro Game Controller. Given the peripheral’s popularity, it is no surprise that 8Bitdo has recently released an updated model: the N30 Pro 2. Though not a radical departure from its predecessor, it features enhancements which make it a superior product.The N30 Pro 2 supports vibration and motion controls; two features which were sorely lacking in the original. It also sports new function buttons. With these, users can more easily return to the home menu, enable turbo functionality, and pair the controller with a bluetooth device. The faceplate sports a slightly updated design. There’s now an 8BitDo logo directly above the select button and the N30 Pro name above the start button. Two horizontal lines cut across the bottom of the controller where the analog sticks rest. We’ll get into how these features impact gameplay shortly.8BitDo offers four different designs for the N30 Pro 2. The ‘N’ edition is similar to the original N30 Pro and is inspired by the classic Nintendo Entertainment System controller. The ‘6’ edition has an all-gray body with a black d-pad, red select and start buttons, and colorful face buttons. This controller is reminiscent of the Super Nintendo controller. Then we have the ‘C’ edition, which is an homage to the GameCube controller. Finally, the ‘M’ edition is black all around. You can’t go wrong with any of these different types. They all look equally great.Like its predecessor, the N30 Pro 2 is a compact controller. Its rounded edges ensure you can play for hours without much discomfort. Everything from the d-pad, face and shoulder buttons, and analog sticks respond in a satisfying manner. Each has an appropriate amount of give that makes the controller feel sturdy and responsive. While the controller is relatively light, it doesn’t feel like a cheap piece of plastic. Plus, it’s just a gorgeous device to look at. 8BitDo didn’t have to change much, and I’m glad they kept the overall original design intact.You can pair the controller with the Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, and Android and iOS devices. The included instructions detail how to pair the controller to the desired device. As is usual with 8BitDo controllers, I had no issues pairing the new controller. The only slight caveat is that for PC, I needed to use an 8BitDo wireless adaptor. This is because my PC does not have built-in Bluetooth. I also had the choice to use the included USB cable for PC play. When it comes to Bluetooth devices, you’ll have no problem pairing the controller.Like the N30 Pro, the N30 Pro 2 is a bit too small for my hands. The diminutive size mostly impacts the shoulder buttons. Instead of being two distinct buttons, the shoulder buttons on both sides are actually one button split in the middle. The saving grace is that, since my hands are big for the controller, I’m able to rest my index fingers across the shoulder buttons. Ironically enough, the analog sticks work nicely despite how small they are. The tiny size isn’t a deal breaker, but a slightly bigger variant of the same controller would be great for a future iteration.To test the controller, I played Sonic Mania, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, and Super Mario Odyssey on Nintendo Switch. For PC, I played Sega Mega Drive & Genesis Classics, Doom (2016), and Monster Hunter World.Old-school games played like a dream. Whether it was platformers, side-scrolling beat ‘em ups, or fighters, everything controlled perfectly. This is really thanks to the d-pad, which feels amazing and is ultra precise. I was particularly impressed by how well the Street Fighter games performed. I pulled of Hadoukens, Sonic Booms, and Screw Piledrivers with ease. In fact, it was easier to play this game with the N30 Pro 2 than it was with my dedicated Hori Fighting Commander controller. The N30 Pro 2 does an exceptional job when it comes to handling classic and classic-playing titles.Playing modern games is somewhat of a mixed bag. Most of the issues I had playing games like Super Mario Odyssey, Doom, and Monster Hunter World were due to the shoulder buttons. This is partly because of their placement, but mostly because of the small size. Playing Super Mario Odyssey wasn’t too bad, but the small size of the controller and shoulder button placement did negatively impact Doom and Monster Hunter World. Using both analog sticks simultaneously feels awkward since they’re so close together. You can still play modern games with the controller, but I suggest sticking mostly with classic titles.The inclusion of vibration is something I really appreciate. I didn’t realize how much I missed vibration/rumble in the original N30 Pro until I tested the N30 Pro 2. If you’ve played almost any game in the last 20 years, then you know how much rumble enhances gaming experiences. The actual rumble itself is strong without being overbearing. Motion controls also work nicely. I had no trouble tossing Cappy around in Super Mario Odyssey with motion controls. You just need to take care when using motion controls. The small controller can easily fly out of your hands.The N30 Pro 2 is a brilliant upgrade of the original N30 Pro. It has all of the same functionality which made that device so popular and includes new features which take it to the next level. Unfortunately, it also has the same issues of the previous controller; most notably, the relatively small size. That aside, this is a wonderful controller I feel confident recommending to folks. Especially those in the market for a solid wireless controller to play old games with. At $40, you really can’t go wrong.Pre-order the N30 Pro 2 at AmazonMore on Geek.com:8BitDo’s New SN30 and SN30 Pro Controllers Pay Homage to the Gameboy PocketResurrect Your Old Gaming Controllers With 8BitDo’s DIY Mod-Kits8Bitdo Launches a New Wireless Controller for the NES Classic Editionlast_img read more

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Fire destroys motor home in Hazel Dell

first_imgA fire destroyed a motor home parked near the Wal-Mart in Hazel Dell Thursday afternoon.Firefighters got a call about a burning RV at 9000 N.E. Highway 99 around 4:45 p.m., according to emergency dispatch logs.Clark County Fire District 6 spokesman David Schmitke said firefighters arrived to find an older RV largely engulfed in flames.No one was inside, he said, and no one was injured.It’s not clear who the vehicle belonged to, he said, as no one had come forward to claim it by Thursday evening.The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office was investigating.last_img read more

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5 Ways Tech Is Stopping Theft

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 4 min read November 7, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Even if you have the most brilliant social media strategy and are constantly bringing new faces through the door, it will be hard to stay profitable if unpaid merchandise walks out behind them. New technologies are helping businesses decrease their losses by either preventing crimes before they happen or catching shoplifters in the act. However, it is essential to select the right product for your industry and business model as well as actively use the technology in your day-to-day operations.Here are five technologies that can help you prevent shoplifters:1. Video analytics. This software can be paired with security cameras allowing retailers an innovative, real-time way to analyze your surveillance. It identifies and detects when suspicious activity occurs, such as a customer walking out of the store with unpaid merchandise, and concealment of goods on the sales floor, and allows merchants to go directly to the incident on video, saving hours of monitoring and reviewing. “You can also integrate the technology with a point of sale system to catch financial losses at the register, such as an employee making bad choices or a cashier working in cahoots with another thief,” says Garth Gasse, director of assets protection for the Retail Industry Leaders Association.2. Anti-push out technology. In the “push out” scam, a shopping cart is loaded with goodies and “pushed” right out of the store. Anti-push out technology is a modification of existing technology that prevents shopping cart theft from lots. With this loss prevention technology, underground wires are installed around the perimeter of a store parking lot and a device on the shopping cart locks the wheels when the cart crosses that perimeter. The technology can be redeployed to prevent push-outs by embedding wires at the store’s front doors and locking up cart wheels that have not been pushed through checkout, says Bill Alford, president of International Lighthouse Group and member of the ASIS National Loss Prevention committee.3. Facial recognition software. Stores using video surveillance can benefit from integrating facial recognition software into their video program. When someone enters the store, the software compares the person to known shoplifters in the database. If a known shoplifter enters your store, facial recognition software sends an alert to the smartphone of your manager or your loss prevention agent. “The best part about this technology is that it can prevent shoplifting from actually occurring by allowing a manager to approach the person and ask them to leave,” says Alford. He says that the facial recognition database can be used to track repeated visits to multiple locations and the facial recognition technology can be especially helpful for merchants targeted by organized crime rings. To most effectively use the software, merchants would need to take photos of people caught shoplifting in their store.4. Mobile point of sale. With a traditional point of sale system, the cashier is stuck behind the cash register, giving potential shoplifters plenty of opportunity to head out the door with a shirt or piece of jewelry. But a mobile point of sale system allows your employees to be on the store floor, which often discourages theft because clerks are mobile and thieves feel they have less opportunity to steal. This system is especially useful for large stores or those that often have one person working alone, who can’t monitor all areas. “However, it is essential that all staff using mobile point of sale technology have security training before engaging with perpetrators,” says David Feeney, IT director of integrated solutions AlliedBarton Security Services. For best practice, he suggests having a professional security guard is nearby to limit staff involvement with the shoplifter.5. Smart display system. A new and emerging technology, these systems allow high-theft merchandise to be openly displayed rather than be locked in a cabinet. “If several items are taken from a cologne display, the smart display system triggers a flag that immediately sends a preventative message via email or text to a loss prevention person in the store who may be able to stop theives before they leave the store,” Alford says. An audible alert can also sound. He recommends this product for stores with a theft problem targeting specific items, especially health and beauty care items, baby formula and perfume. Register Now »last_img read more

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A universal bypass tricks Cylance AI antivirus into accepting all top 10

first_imgResearchers from Skylight Cyber, an Australian cybersecurity enterprise, have tricked Blackberry Cylance’s AI-based antivirus product. They identified a peculiar bias of the antivirus product towards a specific game engine and bypassed it to trick the product into accepting malicious malware files. This discovery means companies working in the field of artificial intelligence-driven cybersecurity need to rethink their approach to creating new products. The bypass is not just limited to Cylance, researchers chose it as it is a leading vendor in the field and is publicly available. The researchers Adi Ashkenazy and Shahar Zini from Skylight Cyber say they can reverse the model of any AI-based EPP (Endpoint Protection Platform) product, and find a bias enabling a universal bypass. Essentially meaning if you could truly understand how a certain model works, and the type of features it uses to reach a decision, you would have the potential to fool it consistently. How did the researchers trick Cylance into thinking bad is good? Cylance’s machine-learning algorithm has been trained to favor a benign file, causing it to ignore malicious code if it sees strings from the benign file attached to a malicious file. The researchers took advantage of this and appended strings from a non-malicious file to a malicious one, tricking the system into thinking the malicious file is safe and avoiding detection. The trick works even if the Cylance engine previously concluded the same file was malicious before the benign strings were appended to it. The Cylance engine keeps a scoring mechanism ranging from -1000 for the most malicious files, and +1000 for the most benign of files. It also whitelists certain families of executable files to avoid triggering false positives on legitimate software. The researchers suspected that the machine learning would be biased toward code in those whitelisted files. So, they extracted strings from an online gaming program that Cylance had whitelisted and appended it to malicious files. The Cylance engine tagged the files benign and shifted scores from high negative numbers to high positive ones. The researchers tested against the WannaCry ransomware, Samsam ransomware, the popular Mimikatz hacking tool, and hundreds of other known malicious files. This method proved successful for 100% of the top 10 Malware for May 2019, and close to 90% for a larger sample of 384 malware. “As far as I know, this is a world-first, proven global attack on the ML [ machine learning] mechanism of a security company,” told Adi Ashkenazy, CEO of Skylight Cyber to Motherboard, who first reported the news. “After around four years of super hype [about AI], I think this is a humbling example of how the approach provides a new attack surface that was not possible with legacy [antivirus software].” Gregory Webb, chief executive officer of malware protection firm Bromium Inc., told SiliconAngle that the news raises doubts about the concept of categorizing code as “good” or “bad.” “This exposes the limitations of leaving machines to make decisions on what can and cannot be trusted,” Webb said. “Ultimately, AI is not a silver bullet.” Martijn Grooten, a security researcher also added his views to the Cylance Bypass story. He states, “This is why we have good reasons to be concerned about the use of AI/ML in anything involving humans because it can easily reinforce and amplify existing biases.” The Cylance team have now confirmed the global bypass issue and will release a hotfix in the next few days. “We are aware that a bypass has been publicly disclosed by security researchers. We have verified there is an issue which can be leveraged to bypass the anti-malware component of the product. Our research and development teams have identified a solution and will release a hotfix automatically to all customers running current versions in the next few days,” the team wrote in a blog post. You can go through the blog post by Skylight Cyber researchers for additional information. Read Next Microsoft releases security updates: a “wormable” threat similar to WannaCry ransomware discovered 25 million Android devices infected with ‘Agent Smith’, a new mobile malware FireEye reports infrastructure-crippling Triton malware linked to Russian government tech institutelast_img read more

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Parkside Mortgage Trust Announces First Mortgage Loan Purchase

first_imgParkside Mortgage Trust Announces First Mortgage Loan Purchase Parkside Mortgage Trust, Inc., recently announced it launched operations by purchasing its first mortgage loan.Parkside Mortgage Trust is organized to operate as a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company noted that the non-agency loan will be serviced by its affiliate, Parkside Lending, LLC, a national wholesale and correspondent lender and servicer.“This effort has been in the works for the past three years and we’re proud that it has finally come to fruition,” said Matthew Ostrander, President and Chairman of the Board of Parkside Mortgage Trust. “We’re excited to be entering into the next phase of this enterprise and starting to invest in mortgages.”Parkside Mortgage Trust was formed by a management team led by Ostrander who also serves as CEO of Parkside Lending, which was recently admitted as a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati through its insurance subsidiary PSL Insurance Company, LLC. In addition, Ostrander is a Director with the California Mortgage Bankers Association Board, where he serves as the President of Residential Real Estate. He is also a member of the Freddie Mac Advisory Board. Parkside Lending Parkside Mortgage Trust Real Estate Investment Trust 2016-01-08 Staff Writer Sharecenter_img January 8, 2016 519 Views in Headlines, Newslast_img read more

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US deals to American Samoa from 1866

first_imgAll About Tours and Hawaiian Airlines have released their 2019/2020 holidays deals from the US starting at $1866 per person double occupancy.The deals include return airfares from Hawaiian Airlines west and east coast gateways – San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle and New York – and five nights accommodation starting at Tradewinds Hotel, Sadies by the Sea, Moana O Sina and Tisa Barefoot Bar.The deals are:$1866 ppdo at Tradewinds Hotel;$1886 at Sadies by the Sea;$1966 at Moana O Sina;$2038 at Tisa Barefoot Bar 2 nights + 3 nights at either Tradewinds or Sadies; and$2086 at Tisa’s 2 nights + 3 nights at Moana O Sina.Bookings and travel is valid until March 2020, with no black out periods. For more information click on this link American Samoa 2019/2020 Holiday Deals or call All About Tours on 800-274-8687 ext 5 or email southpacific@allabouttours.comThe post US deals to American Samoa from $1866 appeared first on Discover the South Pacific.Source: Bloglast_img read more

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AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShar

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Dec 2, 2018 3:45 am PDT Beyonce and other stars to perform at Mandela festivalcenter_img JOHANNESBURG — Beyonce and other international stars have gathered in South Africa for a charity concert honouring Nelson Mandela, a century after he was born.Pharrell Williams, Trevor Noah and Oprah Winfrey were among those headlining the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium on Sunday. Model Naomi Campbell and singer Bob Geldof, who organized the Live Aid concerts for Africa, are also attending.Global Citizen, an advocacy group, campaigns for an end to extreme poverty and other causes. It says many people won tickets to Sunday’s concert through charity work and petition-signing.South African media say a concert worker died in a stadium fall Saturday.World leaders gathered at the stadium for a 2013 memorial after the death of Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and South Africa’s first black president.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Deposits rise to €509bn in May central bank says

first_imgDeposits in the Cypriot banking system rose in May by €201.2m in a month, to €50.9bn, as total lending fell by €66.8m, to €48.8bn, the Central Bank of Cyprus said.Total savings in the banking system rose mainly on a €285.3m increase in the deposits held by domestic non-financial corporations, to €8.5bn, the highest since March 2013, and a €225.9m rise in those held by domestic other financial corporations, to €3.1bn, the bank supervisor said in a statement on Wednesday.Total deposits held by domestic bank customers rose by €398.1m, to €39.8bn, again the highest since the bail-in, offsetting outflows by residents of other euro area members and third countries who withdrew €28.9m, to €3.2bn, and €168m, to €7.9bn respectively.Deposits held by the general government fell in May by €174.2m, to below €2.8bn, after rising in April by €2.5bn, when the central government decided to support the Cooperative Bank to prevent a further outflow while the procedure for the sale of its operations was ongoing. Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said on June 18, that the co-op saw its customers withdraw €2bn in the first three months of 2018 on fears it was undercapitalised.The reduction in credit continued for the third month in a row and reflects a general deleveraging trend that began in September 2012 when total loans peaked at €72.7bn, the central bank said. The drop was mainly on a €90.4m reduction in credit extended to other financial intermediaries, which dropped to €7.8bn while that of households fell by €46m, to €20.6bn, the lowest since September 2008.In May, banks extended €60.2m in fresh loans to non-financial sector companies whose total credit rose to €19.5bn, the central bank said.You May LikePopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoSmart Tips DailySeniors With No Life Insurance May Get A $250,000 Policy If They Do ThisSmart Tips DailyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Rep Cole responds to budget recommendation

first_img11Feb Rep. Cole responds to budget recommendation Categories: Cole News,News State Rep. Triston Cole of Mancelona issued the following statement regarding Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2015-16 Michigan budget recommendation:“I am confident that House Republicans will take Gov. Snyder’s recommendation and efficiently and effectively apply the appropriate solutions,” said Cole. “I am eager to delve into Gov. Snyder’s budget proposal to see what works and what does not. We must focus on constitutional and mandated aspects first. ”Snyder’s executive budget recommendation is a starting point focused on moving Michigan forward and adequately appropriates investments for the future of our state.“On one hand, it is incredibly disheartening to know that the hard-working folks of Michigan are still paying for decisions made under a previous administration. That said, I’m ready to go to work for the people of Michigan to correct those errors for future generations,” Cole said. “My response to the budget proposal will be shaped by the input of my constituents and our northern Michigan community.”For more information or to share feedback, please contact Cole’s office at (855) DIST-105; or e-mail him at tristoncole@house.mi.gov#####center_img Tags: #SB last_img read more

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Senate approves Rep Hughes bill to provide college credit for military service

first_img Tags: #SB, college credit, education, military, Veterans 27May Senate approves Rep. Hughes bill to provide college credit for military service Bipartisan legislation sponsored by state Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, providing men and women who honorably and heroically served their nation in uniform with university credit for their military experience, has passed the Michigan Senate unanimously, 38-0.House Bill 4060 requires Michigan’s public universities to inform veterans who apply to attend the school that they could receive college credit for their past military service and require that the universities review a veteran’s Joint Services Transcript.A Joint Services Transcript is a transcript prepared by the American Council on Education (ACE) to evaluate the military training and education each member of the military received while serving, and determine how that experience equates to college level credits. The ACE employs the services of teams of subject-matter specialists from colleges and universities, including professors, deans, and other academics.“I appreciate the support of the Senate on this important bill,” said Hughes. “When you serve our country in the military, your experience and hard-work should be recognized when you transition back into civilian life. In states that have implemented similar legislation, veterans have seen significant savings, sometimes upwards of $30,000 and a year’s worth of college courses.”House Bill 4060 passed the House 110-0 in March and will now be sent to the governor for his approval.###center_img Categories: Hughes News,Newslast_img read more

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Local residents can meet with Rep Noble on Feb 5

first_img Categories: Noble News 29Jan Local residents can meet with Rep. Noble on Feb. 5 State Rep. Jeff Noble will host an open office hour on Monday, Feb. 5 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Northville District Library located at 212 W. Cady St. in Northville.“Hosting regular office hours is one of my top priorities,” Rep. Noble said. “Connecting with community members and listening to their concerns is an important part of being a state representative.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Noble at 517-373-3816 or via email at JeffNoble@house.mi.gov.last_img read more

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Tax Extender Bill Approved Likely to be Signed by Obama but What

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares December 16, 2014;Accounting TodayIt’s like the end-of-the-year charitable giving rush, except in this instance, the giver is the U.S. Congress.  In the briefly extended December session of the U.S. Senate, the Senate passed legislation authoring a one-year renewal of the tax incentives that had been so eagerly sought by nonprofits and foundations—and many more that were strongly rooted in the lobbying agendas of corporate special interests. The package is all but assured of getting President Obama’s signature, although he had previously expressed misgivings about the grab bag nature of the 55 tax incentives in the package, the lack of other tax or revenue increases to offset the revenues sacrificed in the extenders, and the disproportionate benefits going to corporations rather than families or individuals in need.  Nonetheless, despite the President’s late discovery of presidential powers such as the executive order on immigration and the announcement of the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba, there are probably too many interests represented in the extenders bill with influence in some part of the White House so as to ensure Barack Obama’s John Hancock.Now let’s take stock of what the extenders package really did and didn’t do and what it reveals about the cockamamie way that this nation crafts and enacts tax policy.First, there was a good reason why some of the smartest tax-writing minds in the Senate, particularly the man who actually chaired the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), voted against the bill, and it wasn’t because of this tax incentive or that.  Rather, it was the notion of waiting until the end of the calendar year to retroactively approve for 2014 these tax extenders for all of a couple of weeks.  In frustration, Wyden said that the tax extender package had the shelf life of a carton of eggs, meaning that the nation starts 2015 once again with none of the extenders in place.  If the country can’t figure out which incentives should be made permanent, at the very least it should be giving a timeframe for these policies longer than year-to-year, a minimum of at least two years.  The U.S. proclivity of year-by-year determinations on tax policy makes tax planning a near impossibility for some people.    Second, there is little question that failing to act on the legislation until the last two weeks of the year means that most eligible taxpayers, unless they were equipped with magic eight balls to predict the future, were probably ill-prepared to take advantage of the tax incentives.  Perhaps some retirees over 70½ were completely confident that Congress would act to extend the IRA rollovers and planned accordingly, but there were probably many more retired persons with possibly cautious tax advisors who might not be able to make charitable distributions from their IRAs with only two weeks left in the year or to make charitable distributions at the level they would have had they been confident of the extension.  Incentives are supposed to, by definition, incentive behaviors.  By approving two weeks before the end of the tax year, Congress has left some taxpayers—and some charitable donors—discombobulated for eleven-and-a-half months.  As Senator Wyden put it, Congress’s action to approve the tax “cannot change anything taxpayers did six, eight or ten months ago” as “those decisions have already been made, and those actions have already been taken.”  FREE DOWNLOAD: What Drives Nonprofit Executive Compensation?  Third, for some charities and foundations that supported elements of this tax package such as the IRA rollover, the New Markets Tax Credit, and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, the rest of the package contained plenty of hold-your-nose components.  For nonprofits, it was a Hobson’s choice deal—take the entire package with a bunch of truly questionable tax incentives for corporations and special interests, or give up the IRA rollover, the charitable incentives for conservation easements, and the NMTC and LIHTC.  Just think:  to get the LIHTC and the NMTC, the package also includes tax breaks for NASCAR tracks, owners of thoroughbred race horses, and a bevy of incentives for corporations.  According to Robert McIntyre of Citizens for Tax Justice, the tax incentive for research and development, for example, is defined “so loosely that it includes the development of machines by Chili’s to replace staff in their kitchens and the development of new flavors by Pepsi.”  Some of the corporate incentives McIntyre describes were simply the product of corporate lobbyists looking for special tax breaks for their clients with no discernable public value.  No one should assume that these are tax incentives that benefit in a major way working families or the poor, except perhaps the LIHTC and the NMTC—and even there, remember that big corporations purchase 90 percent of the housing tax credits.  Even the IRA rollover, as experience in the past has shown, primarily benefits “universities, colleges, hospitals, and  other large institutions” and not organizations that are directly addressing the needs of low-income communities.  The IRA rollover may be a valuable addition to the charitable giving toolbox, but it shouldn’t be considered in this tax extender package as a low-income counterweight to the legislation’s corporate and high income giveaways.Fourth, the $42 to $45 billion a year in lost tax revenues due to these tax extenders has to be made up somehow.  You know that in the next overall budget battle, Congressional Republicans are unlikely, to put it mildly, to support tax increases to pay for these lost revenues.  At a time when corporations and wealthy taxpayers should be providing more revenues for hard-pressed government programs, the tax extenders, both good and bad, give up revenues and reduce the availability of revenues for social programs.  Given that the next Congress will be dominate by Republicans in the House and the Senate who are not particularly keen for expanding federal support for human service programs, the likelihood of Congress finding new tax revenues to avoid even deeper cuts in social programs is unlikely.  Remember that if Congress continues the practice of annual bulk approvals of tax extenders, the 10-year cost won’t be $450 billion, but more like $700 billion. So the nonprofit and foundation sectors got the incentives they wanted—for one year, approved at the very end of the year, tied to other tax incentives of mostly questionable relevance to incentivizing taxpayer behaviors for broad public good.  There has to be a better way of doing tax policy than this.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority GRA has signe

first_imgThe Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) has signed a contract with broadcast services provider Ariqiva to build a digital broadcasting network in Gibraltar.According to local reports, the GIP1 million (€1.24 million) contract foresees the development of two digital TV multiplexes and two digital radio multiplexes.The Gibraltar government has confirmed plans to complete digital switchover by the end of this year and blamed the previous administration for failing to take action until now.last_img read more

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