French Open washed out for first time in 16 years

first_imgPARIS (AP):Not so much the French Open as the French closed. For the first time in 16 years, unrelenting rain yesterday washed out a full day of play at the only Grand Slam tennis venue without a retractable roof over its show court, clogging the schedule with unfinished and postponed matches and prompting the frustrated tournament director to plead again for a roof as soon as possible.”Our roof is a necessity,” Guy Forget said as players were sent back to their hotels and thousands of would-be spectators told to apply for refunds for their unused tickets.”I’m a bit annoyed today, to say the least.”Chopped and changed plans to modernise Roland Garros now call for a retractable roof by 2020 over Court Philippe Chatrier as part of a modernisation of the cramped clay-court venue in the west of Paris. But opposition and legal action from local residents and environmental activists haVE slowed the ambitious project, which would expand Roland Garros into botanical gardens next door.Tournament organisers hope a ruling expected in September from the Council of State, France’s highest administrative authority, will allow work to proceed.HORRIBLE DAY”We knew today was going to be horrible and it went beyond what we had imagined. That’s why we sent back the players so early,” Forget said.The schedule for today now has top-ranked Novak Djokovic against 14th-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut in the first match on Chatrier playing for a place in the quarter-finals.They will be followed by defending champion Serena Williams in her delayed fourth-round match against 18th-seeded Elina Svitolina. Venus Williams’ match against 2015 semi-finalist Timea Bacsinszky was supposed to have been played on Chatrier yesterday but was rescheduled as the third match today on Court Suzanne Lenglen.The first men’s quarter-finals are also scheduled: Second-seeded Andy Murray against Richard Gasquet is the third match on Chatrier, and defending champion Stan Wawrinka against Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain is scheduled last on Lenglen.For the tournament to have the singles finals over the weekend as planned, players could be asked to play on consecutive days, as opposed to every two days, which is usual when conditions are ideal. That should not be a huge problem in women’s singles, which play best-of-three sets, but could be tougher on men if their singles matches go to five sets. Forget didn’t rule out that the finals could also be postponed.”We are not that far back on schedule,” Forget said. “If they do have, eventually at one point, to play two matches, then I guess the fittest guy will be rewarded for it.”last_img read more

Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen moving closer to season debut

first_imgLATEST STORIES MOST READ Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Kevin Durant’s 49 points carry Warriors past Magic Hoiberg said the plan is to have Markkanen travel with the team on its upcoming four-game trip.The Bulls have been riddled by injuries this year. Denzel Valentine, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis also have missed significant time.Valentine is scheduled for reconstructive surgery on his left ankle on Tuesday in Wisconsin. Dunn and Portis were scheduled for conditioning and weight-room sessions on Monday night, and they could participate in the non-contact portions of practice on Tuesday.Dunn is coming back from a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee, and Portis sprained the MCL in his right knee.“So they’re going to kind of get on the same path as what Lauri has gone through the last couple of weeks, to start integrating themselves back into the team,” Hoiberg said.ADVERTISEMENT Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal “He’s passed every hurdle that he’s had, as far as being medically cleared and going out and doing the individual workouts, having a controlled contact 2-on-2 session and then yesterday coming and going full-court 2-on-2 with some of our players,” Hoiberg said before Monday night’s 108-107 loss to San Antonio.“He felt good this morning and then went through shootaround and tomorrow will be the next test to see if he’s ready.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissThe 7-foot Markkanen is perhaps the centerpiece of Chicago’s rebuilding plan, so the Bulls are looking forward to getting him back on the court. He was selected by Minnesota with the No. 7 pick in last year’s draft and then traded to Chicago in the Jimmy Butler deal. He averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 68 games as a rookie.“It’s going to be a day-by-day situation,” Hoiberg said. “If he has soreness, obviously we’ll scale it back. But hopefully he feels great and keeps making progress and we can get him out on the floor soon.” Rookie forward Chandler Hutchison returned against San Antonio after missing three games because of back spasms. He finished with four points in 18½ minutes.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) shoots free throws before an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in Chicago. . (AP Photo/David Banks)CHICAGO — Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is moving closer to his season debut after spraining his right elbow in September.Markkanen has been cleared to “fully participate in practice” on Tuesday, coach Fred Hoiberg said. If that goes well, a timeline for Markkanen’s return could come into focus.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

UNICEF Makes Post-Ebola Donation

first_imgThe everyday management of hundreds of metric tons of fetid dirt, including sewer waste from Monrovia and its environs, especially the slum communities, remain a tremendous challenge to the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) particularly in the absence of reliable trucks.The waste is the fertile breeding site for the outbreak of diseases, most especially the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).UNICEF Liberia Country Representative, Sheldon Yett,  said the Ebola virus is closely related to dirt (waste), and so are many other diseases, including cholera and malaria.“We know that about 600 metric tons of sewer waste are generated in the city everyday and that’s a tremendous amount and it is an emergency by itself.  Yes, it is related to Ebola and other diseases too. Cholera is an example, because it is also closely related to sewer waste,” Mr. Yett said.The UNICEF Liberia boss said the donation of the six trucks came from the partnership and generosity of USAID and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The Government and people of the United States, through UNICEF, decided to make the donation to Liberia to ensure that Monrovia and its environs are free of any problem that would make the country vulnerable to diseases. The six trucks, valued at US$460,000, can offload dirt or wastes from either side and each truck contains six boxes of spare parts.The deputy team leader for planning of OFDA, Ms. Emily Gish, said the support to the MCC is to help stop the city from overflowing with sewer waste in the rainy season.  “We are happy to be here to provide this support, especially when the rainy season is approaching.   These trucks must start work immediately in order to help prevent the city from  overflowing because of sewer waste,” Ms. Gish said.Assistant Public Works Minister George Yarngo said the issue of solid waste is a huge challenge and expressed gratitude to UNICEF for the trucks.  Monrovia Mayor Clara Doe Mvogo thanked UNICEF for the trucks and the said MCC Solid Waste Department has many challenges and available logistics would eliminate them. “We appreciate the OFDA, UNICEF and also the WASH Cluster for giving us the trucks that would definitely make a serious impact on our cleaning exercises,” Mayor Mvogo said.It may be recalled that the MCC through its partners last week launched clean-up campaign against the foul smelling septic drains running through Newport Street and other streets and several other slum communities in Monrovia, including Soneiwhen and Buzzy Quarter.  The campaign also includes the removal of wastes from hospitals, health centers and  markets, amongst other areas.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

The Case of the Ambitious Performer

first_imgProsecutor James Sayon sauntered to the witness table and pawed through papers and in swift motion, turned and in three strides, stood in front of the witness and glared at the 35-year-old Dan Bowman of the Leaders Protective Force (LPP).“You were at the venue for the celebration of the world freedom week?”“Yes.”“You were chosen as the keynote speaker?”“Yes.”“And by choosing you as the keynote speaker,” the prosecutor said, “it was because of the confidence that the media had in you?”“Yes,” the witness said, fidgeting with his hands, and putting them on his back and then in front of him.“You hold your job very much dear to you?”“I am qualified for the job and I am accountable for my own actions. I will even arrest my mother if she poses a danger to my job and will not hesitate to use my power to show that I am the kind of person I am,” he said, as a murmur of disapproval swept through the courtroom, and Judge Willie Zotaa’s gavel struck twice to remind the audience of the importance of the case.“There are many cases in the past that brought the honor of the Court into disrepute because of audience excitement and this Court cannot and will not lower its esteem on the trivialities of an excited audience,” Zotaa said, and calm was immediately restored.“Mr. Bowman,” the prosecutor continued, “you believe in the freedom to speak your mind?”“I believe in it.”“And also the freedom of the press?”“To some extent.”“To what extent, do you believe in the freedom of the press?”“To the extent that my integrity is not questioned.”“Very well,” the prosecutor said, “you are paid by taxpayers’ money?”“Yes.”“And taxpayers in this country expect you to do a particular job?”“Yes.”“But you resent them to question your integrity and how you perform the job that they agreed to pay you?”“They did not employ me.”“But you are paid by their money?”“You put it that way.”“Is there any other way since their tax money pay you, Mr. Bowman?” “I am not aware.”The witness lowered his head and the prosecutor allowed the echo of his voice to sweep across the audience. “When you were invited to speak at the gathering of media men and women at their own program, did you at first understand your responsibility?” the prosecutor began from another approach.“I thought I did…”Judge Zotaa interrupted.“The witness cannot express what he thought. His answers must be factual and not sentimental.”“Thank you, Your Honor,” the prosecutor said and directing his questions at the witness, said, “Did you know what you were expected to do at the gathering of the media men and women?”“They were media men and I knew it was time for me to tell them my mind.”“Which was not the reason you were invited to speak?”“No, now I know.”“But until then you had a distorted view of the responsibility that the members of the Fourth Estate entrusted into your hands, didn’t you?”“I have a job to do,” he said deliberately, evading the question. “And the job you had to day that day was to speak on a topic that had a theme of the freedom to speak our mind, without fear or favor?”“I can accept that now.”“You are not happy about the turn of events, with the imposition of a media blackout simply because an overzealous security man or to put it bluntly, an insolent watchman felt his self importance to shoot his mouth at a wrong forum, did you realize that?”“All I wanted to do was to sound a word of caution.”“And have you realized that your action to sound a word of caution was premature, the absolute silence of any of the leaders shows moral support to your wanton declaration of violence, even after one week and her final declaration of enjoying the blackout, the house and the senate’s silence have all contributed to the bad blood with the media, all starting because of you?”“I am not the devil’s grandson.”“Is it not exactly what you are now in the eyes of the men and women of the Fourth Estate?”The witness did not respond, and the prosecutor went on.“Is it not a fact that your action was premeditated with the intent to destroy the gains that our society has earned in the last seven years?”The witness shifted in the witness stand, as the audience’s attention fixed on him.“Mr. Bowman,” the prosecutor said, “is it not a fact that your action was deliberate and your intent was diabolical? Is not a fact that your motive showed you as a reckless advocate of violence?”“I never could realize the implications.”“You spent many years in the United States, earning excellent degrees in security and others but your action indicate that paper degrees are not enough because possessing them alone shows a deficiency in character and disrespect for the rule of law, isn’t it?”“Objected to…” the defense counsel said.“Overruled,” Judge Zotaa thundered from the bench.The prosecutor repeated, “Isn’t that so?”“I am an honest man,” the witness said, “but God knows my intentions are clean.”“Do you appreciate the work of the media in the last several years?”“Yes.”“But isn’t your threat against the members of the Fourth Estate demonstrating your blatant disregard for the rule of law?”“It was a mere caution.”“Wonderful, a mere caution with ‘I have my gun and they have their pen’ and you were not referring to toys, were you?”His defense lawyer, Thomas Yuo was on his feet, objecting to the questions as improper and an attempt to browbeat his client but Judge Zotaa denied his objection.“Overruled,” the judge said.“You are a family man?” the prosecutor kept the pressure on.“Yes.”“And under no condition will you refuse them the chance to express themselves?”“Yes.”“And you agree in the rule of law?”“That’s what the book says.”“And yet, you advocated the breakdown of the rule of law?”The witness coughed involuntarily. The prosecutor turned to Judge Zotaa and smiled.Fifteen minutes later, Judge Zotaa held a conference with the counselors in his private chambers.“Gentlemen,” he said, “it is probable that as far as the current case is concerned there was an element of an oversight in which the defendant can be held liable.“Indeed, it is also reasonable to conclude that since Liberia is a country of laws and since we are strengthening institutions to uphold justice, there is no way anyone in high position could shoot his mouth as Dan Bowman admitted doing.“Nonetheless, while there is a high degree of a man who did his job with over ambition the Court is aware of human weakness but is troubled that immediate response did not come from the President’s office,” Judge Zotaa said, Quoting a recent case PUL v. Presidential Guard, (Case No. S300147)“The Court, therefore,” Judge Zotaa continued, “finds it interesting to encourage Liberians in authority, which will trickle down to the masses, to allow the laws of the land to dispense justice without resorting to the law of the jungle.“And authorities must be swift in dispensing corrective measures to forestall the unnecessary escalation of a simple error in judgment as the court has eventually found out.” The conclusion of this case was telling since the defense had earlier indicated that the defendant’s motive was purely against the backdrop of protesting the overwhelming abuse that the media in recent times have been enjoying with unbridled exposition of the ills of society and accusing others of wrong doing that were most often could not be verified.“One is tempted to state here with emphasis that if a professional does not have the right to demonstrate his passion for his job,” defense counsel Thomas Yuo said, “then it makes it possible for many who hold a low opinion of others to win.”Judge Zotaa countered Cllr. Yuo’s position and noted, “The Court takes exception to the opinion of the defense since, of course, it was brought out after a lengthy exposition that the defendant was invited by the same people he humiliated and therefore the inherent lesson, as far as there are many, includes the clarity of our own understanding of our responsibility as it relates with a public office.”The argument about the defendant’s overzealousness and the resultant failure to accord those who called him to participate in that party and to do them justice became central in the local media.Interestingly, the media held itself accountable for what happened in the end and while some of the members dissected the issue in a series of arguments, others chose to remain out of the public and to express their disgust to themselves.The people on whose behalf the media professionals performed their duties were too much involved in the economic woes that prevailed to weigh in with their positions. In the end many of those who could not make a statement on the issue spoke through others, calling the contenders to let sleeping dogs lie.“The adjudication of justice,” they said, “demands a conscious involvement of the parties in knowing or proving the right and wrong in an issue, which was brought out in this case.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Romney ‘preordained’ president?

first_img“Preordained” to be president? At least that was the parody planned for GOP White House hopeful Mitt Romney at the annual Gridiron Club dinner. To the tune of “Fly Me to the Moon,” Romney was being skewered Saturday night as the perfect presidential candidate – “His hair, his teeth, it’s evident, he’s preordained to be president!” The song, as sung by the Gridiron chorus, suggests that the perfect ticket would be Romney, a Mormon, and moderate Democrat Joe Lieberman, who is Jewish. Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., the architect of the Democrats’ election victory in the House in November, was tapped to speak for the Democrats. President George W. Bush traditionally attends the dinner, but was conferring with Brazil’s president at Camp David on Saturday. Vice President Dick Cheney substituted for the president. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Kenya pulls out of hosting CECAFA due to financial constraints

first_img“We have decided to cut down on the events that we are doing. We are not going to host CECAFA Senior Challenge this year. We have asked CECAFA to relieve us of that opportunity so that this year we don’t have to do any major even because obviously of how our finances are,” Mwendwa said in a press briefing at the federation headquarters.He disclosed that the Federation is struggling to pay up debts accrued from the previous regime and at the same time battling with up to 12 cases in court.Also on the Federation’s neck is an accumulated bill of almost 156mn shillings, two being claims of former coaches while one is a claim from the tax man over failure to remit PAYE (Pay As You Earn) for its employees.“Our case against Adel Amrouche is at CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sports) after we appealed when a one man bench at FIFA awarded him 600,000 Dollars (Sh60mn) earlier in the year. We will fight the appeal and see how it goes,” Mwendwa said.“Bobby Williamson has also gone to the labor court and his claim is Sh55mn. KRA (Kenya Revenue Authority) are on our case and he claim is that between 2012 and 2015 FKF did not remit PAYE for its employees which accumulated to Sh24mn which with penalties became Sh41mn. We have been trying to negotiate and see what we can do,” Mwendwa disclosed.-Training coaches, Youth development-Mwendwa remains confident that Kenya can give its shot and be one of the two qualifiers to next year’s showpiece. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAHe now says because of all the legal battles they are facing and paying off previous creditors, they have been forced to prioritize and their areas of concern will be on training of coaches, youth development, leagues and national teams.“Those are our priorities and we will stick with them. We will try keep the ship as lean as possible to make savings and keep afloat, the challenges are many but we are hopping that when the sports fund is available we can attack them through those means. We are also talking to government to see whether they can be of help anywhere,” Mwendwa disclosed.This year, FKF’s biggest budgetary allocation will be around the Harambee Stars as they play Ghana next month, a venture that is said to be costing in the region of Sh16mn, home and away ties to Ethiopia, a home tie against Sierra Leone and an away trip to Ghana in the 2019 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers.Mwendwa remains confident that Kenya can give its shot and be one of the two qualifiers to next year’s showpiece.-AWCON hosting rights-“I will not blame the government because I think they have been very helpful to us but we are talking with them. I had conversations with the minister because I went there to get guarantees when we were presenting documents to CAF and he has promised to do something,” Mwendwa added. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYAMeanwhile, Mwendwa has admitted that the Federation had approached CAF to ask for hosting rights for November’s African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON), but the continental body rejected the same due to facilities.At the moment, only Kasarani Stadium can host any international match with Nyayo closed while Machakos, Bukhungu and Afraha are yet to tick the right boxes to host a continental event.“We all know that it is only Kasarani which fits the bill but I was hoping that probably Machakos would, but there are a few aspects that let us down there. The reason we asked to host this was because a third team gets the chance to play at the World Cup next year and I was hoping our Starlets can get that chance,” Mwendwa said.He also hinted that the federation has been frustrated with the lack of facilities, especially with those earmarked for CHAN yet to be completed. Nyayo has been closed down since last September and works have slowed down due to budgetary issues.“I will not blame the government because I think they have been very helpful to us but we are talking with them. I had conversations with the minister because I went there to get guarantees when we were presenting documents to CAF and he has promised to do something,” Mwendwa added.Meanwhile, CAF will make a decision next month on whether or not to strip Ghana of the hosting rights for the Cup of Nations with the West African country still in a leadership vacuum after the resignation of top officials over a corruption expose early this year.0Shares0000(Visited 3 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Football Kenya Federation President Nick Mwendwa (left) with CECAFA Secretary General Nick Musonye (right). Photo/ RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 28 – Kenya has pulled out of hosting the 2018 CECAFA Senior Challenge Cup that was scheduled for December, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa announced on Tuesday.CECAFA had agreed to hand the hosting rights to Kenya after it successfully staged the tournament last year across three venues, but Mwendwa on Tuesday disclosed that the federation will find it tough funding it due to tough financial strains.last_img read more

Credit cards going unpaid

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO – Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the past year and prompting warnings of worse to come. An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country’s largest card issuers also found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears. Experts say these signs of the deterioration of finances of many households are partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis and could spell more trouble ahead for the economy. “Debt eventually leaks into other areas, whether it starts with the mortgage and goes to the credit card or vice versa,” said Cliff Tan, a visiting scholar at Stanford University and an expert on credit risk. “We’re starting to see leaks now.” Even after the recent spike in bad loans, the credit card business is still quite lucrative, thanks to interest rates that can run as high as 36 percent, plus late fees and other penalties. But what is coming into sharper focus from the detailed monthly SEC filings from the trusts is a snapshot of the worrisome state of Americans’ ability to juggle growing and expensive credit card debt. The trend carried into November. As of Friday, all of the trusts that filed reports for the month show increases in both delinquencies and defaults over November 2006, and many show sequential increases from October. Discover accounts 30 days or more delinquent jumped 25,716 from November 2006 and had increased 6,000 between October and November this year. Many economists expect delinquencies and defaults to rise further after the holiday shopping season. Tough juggling act Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody’s Inc., cited mounting mortgage problems that began after this summer’s subprime financial shock as one of the culprits, as well as a weakening job market in the Midwest, South and parts of the West, where real- estate markets have been particularly hard hit. “Credit card quality will continue to erode throughout next year,” Zandi said. Economists also cite America’s long-standing attitude that debt – even high-interest credit card debt – is not a big deal. “The desires of consumers to want, want, want, spend, spend, spend – it’s the fabric of our nation,” said Howard Dvorkin, founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which has advised more than 5 million people in debt. “But you always have to pay the piper, and that can be a very painful process.” Filing for bankruptcy is no longer a solution for many Americans because of a 2005 change to federal law that made it harder to walk away from debt. Those with above-average incomes are barred from declaring Chapter 7 – where debts can be wiped out entirely – except under special circumstances and must instead file a repayment plan under the more restrictive Chapter 13. Personal finance coaches say the problem is most grave for individuals who are months delinquent or already in default – like Kenneth McGuinness, a postal clerk from Flushing, N.Y. His credit card struggles began nine years ago, when he charged his son’s college tuition and books. He thought he was being clever: His credit card’s 6 percent “teaser” interest rate was lower than the 8.6 percent interest on a college loan. McGuinness, 61, soon began using Citibank and Chase cards for food, dental work and copays on doctor visits and minor surgeries. Interest rates surged to 30percent. Now he’s $37,000 in debt and plans to file for bankruptcy in February. “I tried to pay what I could and go after the high-interest accounts first,” McGuinness said. “But it just kept getting higher and higher, and with late charges and surcharges I was going backward.” In the wake of the jump in defaults on subprime mortgage loans made to borrowers with poor credit histories, banks have been less willing to allow consumers to consolidate credit card debt into home equity loans or refinanced mortgages. That is leaving some with no option but to miss payments, economists said. Investors are leery Investors also are backing away from buying securitized credit- card debt, said Moshe Orenbuch, managing director at Credit Suisse. But that probably has more to do with concerns about the overall health of the economy, he said. “It’s been getting tougher to finance any kind of structured finance – mortgages, automobile loans, credit cards, student loans,” said Orenbuch, who specializes in the credit industry. Capital One Financial Corp. reported that delinquencies and defaults are highest in regions where troubled mortgages are concentrated, including California and Florida. Among the trusts examined, Bank of America Corp. had the highest delinquency volume, with overdue accounts valued at $5 billion. Bank of America defaults in October were almost 200 percent higher than in October 2006. A spokesman for Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America declined to comment. Other trusts – including those linked to Capital One, American Express Co., Discover Financial Services Co. and those containing “branded” cards from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Home Depot Inc., Lowe’s Companies Inc., Target Corp. and Circuit City Stores Inc. – also reported striking increases in year-over-year delinquency and default rates for October. Most banks and other financial institutions holding credit card debt on their own books also reported double-digit increases in delinquencies. The one exception in October was JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s credit card trust, which reported declines in both delinquencies and defaults. A Chase spokesperson attributed this to its focus on prime borrowers and aggressive account management. Billions in write-offs By contrast, Capital One executives told analysts last month that the company projected 2008 write-offs of credit card debt to be at least $4.9 billion. This projection, analysts were told, took into account growing delinquencies and potential effects if the housing market continued its slide. Capital One spokeswoman Julie Rakes said the increase in delinquencies could be due to an accounting change last summer, which shortened the grace period between when statements were issued and the due date. Capital One also reported that the number of accounts 90 days or more in arrears had increased between October and November. More than 1.2 million of Capital One’s 30 million accounts were either delinquent or in default. Many personal financial coaches expect this trend to accelerate in 2008 – particularly among people who took out untraditional loans whose interest rate has risen, requiring owners to pay mortgages several hundred dollars more than just a year ago. “You’re looking at more and more distress – consumers desperately trying to preserve their credit lines, but there’s nowhere else to go,” said Robert Manning, director of the Center for Consumer Financial Services at Rochester Institute of Technology. “It’s like a game of dominoes.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe value of credit card accounts at least 30 days late jumped 26 percent to $17.3 billion in October from a year earlier at 17 large credit card trusts examined by the AP. That represented more than 4percent of the total outstanding principal balances owed to the trusts on credit cards that were issued by banks such as Bank of America and Capital One and for retailers like Home Depot and Wal-Mart. At the same time, defaults – when lenders essentially give up hope of ever being repaid and write off the debt – rose 18 percent to almost $961million in October, according to filings made by the trusts with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Serious delinquencies also are up sharply: Some of the nation’s biggest lenders – including Advanta, GE Money Bank and HSBC – reported increases of 50percent or more in the value of accounts that were at least 90 days delinquent when compared with the same period a year ago. The AP analyzed data representing about 325 million individual accounts held in trusts that were created by credit card issuers in order to sell the debt to investors – similar to how many banks packaged and sold subprime mortgage loans. Together, they represent about 45 percent of the $920 billion the Federal Reserve counts as credit card debt owed by Americans. Until recently, credit card default rates had been running close to record lows, providing one of the few profit growth areas for the nation’s banks, which continue to flood Americans’ mailboxes with billions of letters monthly offering easy sign-ups for new plastic. last_img read more

Man United, Liverpool and Everton tracking England starlet

first_img Paul Cook could look to promote Gelhardt to Wigan’s first-team next season Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton are tacking Wigan and England starlet Joel Gelhardt, according to reports.Gelhardt, the striker, has emerged as one of the brightest talents in his age group since breaking into Wigan’s Under-18s as a 15-year-old. 1center_img The forward, now 16, is a regular in the side, and he’s also represented England at Under-15 and Under-16 level.And now Premier League scouts are taking interest in him.Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton are all credited with an interest in Gelhardt, according to the Sun.The top-flight trio are said to have monitored Gelhardt last season and they are now ready to test Wigan’s resolve with an approach for the teenager.last_img read more


first_imgThe Christmas lights have been switched on at Letterkenny General Hospital tonight but there’s a good reason for it!Christmas has come early at Letterkenny General Hospital!The traditional festive lights, normally switched on in late November, have lit up the skyline tonight.Passers-by have been watching in amazement as dozens of the lights lit up the roof of the hospital. It was thought by many that a simple mechanical error has resulted in the lights being turned on.But the real reason, of course, is that the hospital is taking part in raising childhood cancer awareness.Lightitupgold is a parent-led campaign and Letterkenny General Hospital is kindly taking part.One passer-by said “It was amazing to see it. Everyone is rubber-necking and checking the calendar when they get home. “Hopefully come Christmas the current troubles of the hospital will be someway behind us.“Cancer touches so many people across Donegal and Ireland and this is a super way of reminding people of the challenges many families face each and every day.“Hopefully these kind of gestures will keep that challenge fixed firmly in people’s thoughts.”There is also a fun day at Bernard McGlinchey Town Park in Letterkenny from 2-5pm tomorrow (SAT).Well done to everyone involved. CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY AS FESTIVE LIGHTS GO ON AT LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL! was last modified: September 6th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Christmas lightsLetterkenny General Hospitallast_img read more


first_imgCancer campaigner Betty Holmes is an example of all that is great about community volunteers. The Newtowncunningham woman has spent her life campaigning to upgrade cancer services in Donegal. And she’s not finished yet! What is your favourite place in Donegal and why? Ah now that has to be Newtowncunningham where I have lived for over 36 years since I got married and had our children, among many things it is the gateway to Inishowen. Newtowncunningham has over many, many years a great community spirit where the folk have worked away for the good of the community & area with little or no funding. We just get on with the work to be done! Newtowncunnigham’s key potential as an economic hub for business & community development over many years has not been acknowledged or highlighted at the level it should have been. Newtowncunningham has so much to offer at so many levels. Great place, good people!If you could change one thing about Donegal what would it be?That we the people of the county would start to be more proactive in realizing just how powerful we as the people of the county are & can be, how we can bring about change for the people of Donegal, how beautiful County Donegal is and what great things we have. I would like us to start to take every opportunity to make sure that it is known everywhere we can and that should start in our homes & our national schools.Who is the one person in Donegal that you look up to and why? I’m not sure I could single any one person out as there are many good folk who work away and do their best who I admire for not just their effort but also for the time they give to others. I do suppose I have a very special “soft spot” for a lady from Newtowncunningham Mrs. Sarah Baxter, she is an inspiration to us all, respectful, polite, caring, great sense of humour, down to earth and lives her life with such dignity. Mrs. Baxter to me is a fine example of our older generation who have lived through such hard times, given so much for us all and yet live their lives to the fullest. Also Sarah is a great knitter. She will be 91 on the 4th August and is still full of life.Daniel O’Donnell or Packie Bonner?Both have made a very valuable contribution to Donegal but for this question it would have to be Packie Bonner.Packie definitely put not only Donegal but Ireland on the map and is remembered for his famous penalty save from Daniel Timofte of Romania at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy during the knockout stage. He earned 80 caps for the Republic of Ireland national football team after making his debut on his 21st birthday. With 642 appearances, Bonner is the most prolific goalkeeper in Celtic history, and their fifth-most prolific player of all time. Donegal is proud of Packie and we shouldn’t forget his amazing contribution to the county & sport. Packie is & can continue to be an inspiration to so many young people here in Donegal & that with hard work, dedication & commitment you can do it!What has been Donegal’s proudest moment in recent years?Sure wouldn’t that have to be the Donegal team with Jim Mc Guinness on Sunday 22nd July 2012…go Donegal go! What was Donegal’s saddest moment?There are many in Donegal but I suppose the tragic road deaths always come to mind and in particular the one in Inishowen in 2010, so many lives lost.What is your favourite Donegal-made product?I would have at this time to say Donegal’s Rapeseed Oil and I am very proud when I drive up & down the road at Sharon Glebe, Newtowncunningham and see the big sign in the field that say’s “DONEGAL PURE RAPESEED OIL, STARTS HERE, FROM THIS FIELD TO YOUR KITCHENTABLE” Who is Donegal’s greatest ambassador around the world and why?Now that has to be our Daniel O’ Donnell, not just for his music skills & abilities but also for the dignified & respectful manner that he has always conducted himself. The time & acknowledgement he gives to his fans is amazing, sometimes artists forget who keeps them where they are but not Daniel. Daniel is never afraid or to proud to remember where he comes from, to acknowledge that life hasn’t always been easy for him or his family and he never forgets to highlight the beauty of Donegal & it’s people. Daniel always rises above the negative remarks and shows us how powerful having the strength not to respond can be.Who is Donegal’s most successful businessperson in your opinion?Sir Gerry Robinson, a successful business man & a great person who never is too busy to help where & when he can….inspirational!Who is your favourite Donegal sportsperson of all time?That would have to be our own Shay Given, he has done so much but has never forgotten where he came from and is so down to earth. Again Shay is such an inspiration to Donegal’s young people. But it is also important to mention Chloe Magee, Raphoe at this time who is doing Donegal proud with her badminton skills at the Olympics! I couldn’t not mention young Brian Gillespie who is dancing at the Olympics and doing Newtowncunningham & Donegal proud. The dancing may not be considered a sport but like sport the level of hard work, commitment & dedication shouldn’t be forgot. Well done Brian!What is your favourite Donegal restaurant?It would have to be the Tin Tai Chinese in Letterkenny. Con & I have been going there since it opened many years ago. The food is really good but equally if not more important is the high quality standard of service mixed with a very caring & homely welcome & atmosphere, Bobby & the staff are definitely in a class of their own. Bobby takes the time always to talk to all their customers it doesn’t matter if it is your first time or like us you come on a regular bases, you definitely feel your custom is not only valued but that they care about you, a real Donegal welcome!Donegal’s golden eagles or basking sharks?It has to be basking sharks….with our son Mark & my brother Kevin who spend a big part of their lives following & watching the sharks, we have all now became passionate about them. And I bet ye didn’t know that Ireland (and indeed Donegal) has an important historic association with the basking shark through the earliest-published references. The first being Williem Henry in 1739 and of more famous note a record from Thomas Pennant during his Tour of Scotland in 1772 “they inhabit most parts of the western coasts of the northern seas…. and on the coast of Ireland in the Bay of Ballyshannon”. There is also written and archaeological evidence of the establishment of a whale and shark fishery with a rendering plant built by Mr Thomas Nesbitt, the inventor of the first swivel gun in Donegal Bay in 1759 (McGonigle, 2008). That information I took from nomination for Donegal’s most stylish person?That would have to be Dr. John Mc Geehan, Scally’s Practice, Letterkenny. No matter when you see him, he is immaculately dressed, stylish more of a classic style than modern with great matching colors in shirts & ties. And the shoes are always polished! Despite his stylish & well dressed appearance every day, he is a very down to earth caring & approachable man, is a really good doctor who puts all his patients at ease, a real family man.What is your favourite Donegal saying or expression?“ ahhh is it ever going to stop raining” Don’t think it rains as much as we “whinge” about it!Will Donegal win the All Ireland this year?Of course they will, you shouldn’t have to ask…..have to say thanks to our son Mark, we learned very early the importance of having the Donegal flags out and with the energy of Jim & the team they will show the rest of Ireland & the world just what Donegal folk are capable off, it is time Sam came back to Donegal, it’s rightful home…..come on Donegal!What is your favourite Donegal food?Donegal fish….just love Donegal salmon…hmmm and the Donegal Catch ads are great!Is there anything that really annoys you about Donegal or its people?The negative attitude & gossiping!!If you had a million euro to spend on improving something in Donegal, what would it be?Donegal’s Community Hospitals for our elderly & patients who need long term & respite care!MY DONEGAL …….CANCER CAMPAIGNER BETTY HOLMES was last modified: July 29th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Betty HolmesMY DONEGALlast_img read more