March 10, 2016 561 Views Interest rates for mortgage loans, which continue to remain at historic lows, saw another increase for the second time this year.Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) showed that mortgage rates rose for the second time this year “making mortgage rates very attractive for the upcoming spring home buying season.”The report showed that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate averaged 3.68 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 10, 2016. Last week the 30-year rate averaged 3.64 percent.”The 10-year Treasury yield ended the survey week exactly where it started, however the solid February employment report boosted the yield noticeably on Friday and Monday,” said Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac. “Our mortgage rate survey captured the impact of this temporary increase in yield, and the 30-year mortgage rate rose 4 basis points to 3.68 percent. This marks the second increase this year. Nonetheless, the mortgage rate remains 33 basis points lower than its end-of-2015 level.”The February 2016 Employment Summary from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed a mixed bag in the U.S. labor market. While February’s job gains were solid at 242,000 and the labor force participation rate shot up to a 15-month high, a noticeable weakness in the labor market is wage growth.Amid all the positives in the February employment summary, however, the average hourly earnings for all employees declined by 3 cents down to $25.35 after an increase of 12 cents in January. The average workweek also declined in February by 0.2 hours down to approximately 34.4 hours. The lack of wage growth combined with house price appreciation has caused some concenrs as far as affordability in the housing market, according to Fannie Mae chief economist Doug Duncan.“On the housing front, builders continue to hire more workers, but at a steadily slowing pace since last November, suggesting little relief to one factor underlying extremely tight inventories,” Duncan said. “Our forecast of a more modest gain in home sales this year reflects our concern of declining housing affordability from income growth that is trailing home price appreciation. Today’s jobs report is consistent with our view of an affordability-constrained housing expansion.”According to Freddie Mac, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.96 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.94 percent. The 15-year FRM averaged 3.10 percent a year ago at this time.The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.92 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, the report showed. Last week, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.84 percent and one year ago, it averaged 3.01 percent. in Daily Dose, Data, Government, Headlines, News Freddie Mac Homebuyers Mortgage Interest Rates 2016-03-10 Staff Writer Mortgage Rates Climb for the Second Time This Year Share
Share in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News December 7, 2016 654 Views 2017 Housing Market 2016-12-07 Seth Welborn Home sales experienced their best year in a decade in 2016, but that isn’t giving industry leaders any confidence that housing and the economy are going to improve in 2017, according to the annual 2016 Imprev Thought Leader Real Estate Confidence Survey.Compared to two years ago, leaders in real estate are much less confident that housing demand will increase; in the latest survey, 35 percent or respondents said they believe there will be more demand for housing next year compared to 47 percent in 2015. Meanwhile, 13 percent said they believe there will be less demand next year—compared to just 6 percent in 2015.Noting that real estate leaders are “less bullish” about 2017 than they were in 2015, Imprev CEO Renwick Cogdon stated that “Confidence for 2017 is lower across nearly all questions related to housing and the economy.”Fewer respondents in the latest Imprev survey believe the economy is going to improve in the coming year than they did in recent years; for example, for 2017, 30 percent of respondents said they believe the U.S. economy will improve, compared to 44 percent in 2014. The share of respondents who believe the U.S. economy will deteriorate shot up from 9 percent in 2014 to 23 percent for 2017.“When we compare past studies, an interesting trend emerges: Executives and broker-owners are less confident in the global economy and far more confident in their local economies at the end of each year than they were at the beginning,” Cogdon said. “In fact, their confidence grows stronger the closer the economy is to home.”The share of respondents who are “somewhat confident” in the housing market is down to 74 percent from 79 percent two years ago and the share of respondents who are “not at all confident” in housing for the coming year jumped from 3 percent in 2015 to 5 percent for 2017, with one broker reporting that “Low inventory, slow development and a lack of new home construction” were the reasons behind his lack of optimism, according to Imprev.But the good news for next year’s housing outlook is that 21 percent of survey respondents said they were “very confident” in the housing market for next year, which represented an increase from 18 percent two years ago, according to Imprev.For the survey, Imprev polled 240 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms, a group that covered nearly half of the country’s real estate transactions in 2015. Confidence Waning Heading into the New Year
You might also be interested in PRESS RELEASECapespan announced the certification of its procurement and marketing operation in South Africa under the IFS Broker requirements.“We are one of only 12 exporters from South Africa to have this certification and I am incredibly proud that our product meets the highest level of quality standards” says Tonie Fuchs, Capepan’s managing director.The goal of IFS Broker is to ensure the safety and quality of products filling the gap between production and distribution. The results of IFS audits also enable the various stores and retailers to implement suitable plans for action and improvement to offer consumers the highest levels of food safety and build consumer loyalty in return. As a supplier, the IFS Broker certification confirms Capespan’s reputation as a supplier of safe and high quality products.“At Capespan we believe that we win when our customers win and this certification shows our commitment to making our retail customers successful”, says Fuchs. December 12 , 2018 Capespan works closely with its grower customers, packhouses and supply chain partners to ensure that HACCP principles are applied across the supply chain. Further to meeting the highest product quality standards, Capespan recently reviewed its business structures and is refocusing its core business.Fuchs says service delivery, simplicity and transparency are their promise to both their grower and market customers. Our main objective is to work closely with our customers by managing the supply chain as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Our sole purpose is to provide a service to meet our customer’s needs. Capespan Europe as an importer also holds IFS Broker certification, covering supply regions outside South Africa. Merritt Bruce joins Church Brothers Farms … Golden Bay Fruit creates “One of a Kind” show … Hazel Tech welcomes industry veteran, announces 40 … 2018/2019 Category trends, demographics & mar …
The Australian Cruise Association (ACA) will have a truly regional presence this year at Seatrade Cruise Global, being held in Florida from13-16 March as delegates from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and new members, New Caledonia Tourism, join the stand.Fourteen delegates will represent the Association, reflecting the continued growth of the Australian and Pacific cruise market. They include chairman Stephen Bradford, ACA CEO Jill Abel and numerous representatives from the various State Tourism Organisations, port authorities and ground handling organisations, who will showcase the Australia-Pacific region as a major world class base and destination for cruise vessels.“This has been another exciting year for our industry and our Association as we increased our membership and celebrated with our 20th anniversary conference in Sydney,” said Jill Abel.“We also released our 12th Economic Impact Report which noted growth in several significant sectors of the industry – 40 ports were visited in the last year – up from 30; 46 cruise ships visited Australia including eight new ships; and passenger and crew expenditure increased,” she said.All indicators point to this growth continuing with eight new ships slated to visit Australia in the 2016-17 season, including vessels such as the luxury Azamara Quest and Ovation of the Seas – the biggest ship to sail from Australia. “We are looking forward to having discussions with cruise line partners around how our members guarantee that the passenger experience on shore complements the experience on board the ship so that cruising to, and around, Australia remains a number one option for international and domestic travellers,” said Abel.Abel will take part in a panel looking at the future of cruising in the region, where she will be joined by Debbie Summers from Cruise New Zealand, Jan Swartz from Princess Cruises and Gavin Smith, Royal Caribbean.Following Seatrade, a number of the Association’s STO members will travel to Seattle and LA on an educational mission meeting the cruise lines, where they will conduct itinerary and destination training for the res agents. Australian Cruise AssociationSeatrade Cruise Global
Wendy Wu Tours has joined Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) as an Executive Partner, a relationship Wendy Wu Tours’ MD Australia & New Zealand, Andrew Mulholland, says ‘opens up a world of touring opportunities to cruise specialists across Australia’. “We’re excited to start our relationship with CLIA … Adding on land to the start or end of a cruise itinerary is a terrific way for travel agents to grow their business into new markets. Given our buying power, we have the ability to offer, cost and hold allocations of pre/post land components up to two years in advance. We have a dedicated team of special groups experts ready to assist with pre-packaged arrangements or we are able to customise based on the groups specific needs.”Wendy Wu Tours Cruise Extensions in China cover the key inland sights that cruise guests typically miss on a coastal itinerary. “Many of our clients tell us that they simply can’t come all the way to China and not see the Terracotta Warriors.” said Wendy Wu Tours Head of Product, Bernadette Holmes. “Our Cruise Extension product meets this need, hitting all of those inland routes.” CLIAWendy Wu Tours
Singapore Airlines has announced the introduction of its popular ‘Book the Cook’ service for the first time on its four daily flights from Brisbane to Singapore.Already offered across over 20 destinations, including on flights from Sydney and Melbourne for Suites, First Class, Business Class and Premium Economy Class customers, ‘Book the Cook’ allows customers the opportunity to pre-select a main meal from a wide selection of delicious options, including creations inspired by the Airline’s International Culinary Panel of world-renowned chefs.The new service will be available to customers travelling to Singapore from Brisbane in Business Class from 1 October, 2017, and for Premium Economy customers when the first Airbus A350-900 operates from Brisbane on 17 October, 2017.Options available on all flights from Brisbane to Singapore include:BUSINESS CLASS * Pan-fried barramundi in native pepper berry sauce, with sautéedvegetables and saffron fettuccine pasta.Pan-fried barramundi in native pepper berry sauce * Chicken Madras with saag aloo gobi, steamed basmati rice, mangochutney and garlic naan bread* Cantonese roasted duck with Asian greens and steamed jasmine rice* Chargrilled beef fillet in green peppercorn sauce, with seasonedvegetables and gratin potatoes.PREMIUM ECONOMY CLASS * Hainanese chicken rice, with chilli, ginger and choy sum.* Nasi Lemak with prawn, sambal, green beans with fried onions IkanBillis and half boiled egg* Lamb with chilli and cumin, jasmine rice and stir fried Gai lan.Lamb with Chilli and Cumin * Pesto fettuccine with cooked seafood mornay and panko parmesan crumb.Orders can be placed online at singaporeair.com, at least 24 hours before the flight departure time. BrisbaneSingapore Airlines
Let’s Go Maldives has cancelled its Furaveri 2018 Offer with immediate effect, saying the offer is ‘no longer applicable’, despite the original T&Cs stating “*Furaveri Island Resort & Spa reserves the right to discontinue this offer at any time with official email notification 14 day’s [sic] prior.”The booking period was open until 15 April 2018 for travel between 8 January and 15 April 2018 and included a host of bonuses.More information is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org Lets Go Maldives
awardsCLIAnominations Nominations for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s 2018 Cruise Industry Awards will close this Friday, 14 December 2018, and this is the last chance for agents to head online to submit nominations for themselves or a deserving colleague.As part of the new look ‘CLIAs’, there are eleven categories open for nomination including the addition of a new “Cruise Champion” award which will recognise an individual agent who goes above and beyond to champion the cruise industry.CLIA member agents can also submit nominations for Cruise Consultant, Rising Star and Home Based/Mobile Agent of the Year for both Australia and New Zealand as well as for Agency/Network Promotion and #ChooseCruise Promotion of the Year. CLIA Australasia & Asia Managing Director Joel Katz said he was thrilled with the response to the new award line-up. “We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the response to the refreshed CLIA awards. With more awards than ever open for peer and self-nomination, it has been great to see so many nominations pouring in from our enthusiastic and engaged travel agent community,” Mr Katz said.‘The CLIAs’ will take place at The Star, Sydney, on Saturday 23 February 2019.The event’s headline sponsors are Emirates and Dubai Tourism. Gold sponsors include Princess Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, and silver sponsors are Scenic, MSC Cruises, Aurora Expeditions, Silversea and APT.
familHelloworld TravelLATAMSouth America With LATAM arranging international and internal flights, and Nomade Unique Experiences, Luciano K Hotel, Ocio Territorial and explora organising the land component, six Helloworld Travel network agents have just enjoyed an amazing famil in South America.Highlights included a day tour of Machu Picchu and Chiloe Island, with the group spending three nights at Luciano K Hotel, three nights at Chiloe – OCIO Territorial, and three nights at Explora Valle Sagrado Peru in the Sacred Valley.IMAGE: Back row (left to right): Ruth Mintern – Emma Whiting Travel, Erika Affolter – MTA Travel, Shelley Tyzack – Helloworld Travel Niddrie, Chris Ellis – LATAM Airlines HostFront row (left to right): Connie Laosy – Casula Travel Service, Fiona Borserini – Helloworld Travel host, Rebecca Beuger – Helloworld Travel RowvilleNot pictured: Rossemarie Nunez – Austral Tours
The Arizona Cardinals placed running back Beanie Wells on the “injured reserve/designated for return list” Wednesday. The move was made after Wells left last Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a turf toe injury at University of Phoenix Stadium. The beauty of the Cardinals’ roster is that they kept four running backs since training camp and today they re-signed Alfonso Smith who was with Arizona last season and through camp this year as well. The others are Ryan Williams, LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell. Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke 0 Comments Share All backs are familiar with the game plan and the team, so it should be an easy transition. Quarterback Kevin Kolb has no doubt second-year player Ryan Williams can handle the load as the feature back. “We all know that he can. He has the ability to,” Kolb said. “I thought he had a nice ending to the game last week to build his confidence and he’s working hard, even today, to make sure that he’s up to date on everything and sharp with everything mentally.”Williams has 31 carries on the season for 105 yards, but has yet to score a touchdown. The former Virginia Tech star has shown flashes of brilliance, but that doesn’t mean that Wells being out of commission isn’t still a loss for the Cardinals. “Oh it’s huge,” said Kolb. “He’s a big part of our team and he’s a nice counter to the rest of our backs, you know the way he runs and a leader. He’s stepped up as a big leader the last year and a half so I know other guys will step up but it is a huge loss.”Wells has recorded 29 carries for 76 yards this season. Under the new NFL rule, each team is allowed to designate a player to be placed on the IR/designated for return list. That means Wells will be allowed to return to practice after six weeks and will be able to play in a game after eight weeks. Wells will be eligible to practice starting November 7 and can see some action November 25 against the St. Louis Rams. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away
Go back to the enewsletterCrystalbrook Collection has added two key positions to its leadership team as the group prepares to expand its portfolio. Murray Gordon has been appointed as Director, Development and Raphael Antonini as Director, Hotel Investments. Both report to CEO, Mark Davie.Crystalbrook Collection currently owns and operates two hotels in Sydney and Cairns. Four more hotels are currently in development and construction with openings scheduled for later this year, 2020 (two openings) and 2022. In the next stage of expansion, the group is looking to add several more hotels across Australia and New Zealand.Murray Gordon, Director, DevelopmentMurray GordonWith extensive commercial, residential and retail development experience, Murray is responsible for the development and project management of all current and future constructions within the group, overseeing planning, project programming, design, quality assurance, project budgeting and delivery.Prior to joining Crystalbrook, Murray was Associate Director at PDS Group, a national development and project management consultancy. He has also held senior positions with Pointcorp and Multiplex. Murray has an extensive background across projects ranging from $2m up to $1.1b.Raphael Antonini, Director, Hotel InvestmentsRaphael AntoniniTasked with the strategic expansion of the Crystalbrook portfolio, Raphael is responsible for pursuing hotel investment opportunities, management agreements and leases, assessing and advising on future acquisitions and developments.Raphael has an extensive background managing investments in Australia, United Kingdom, USA, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, New Zealand and across South America. Most recently Raphael was Director, Acquisitions and Development for Ovolo Hotels and Mojo Nomad. He has also held senior positions with CBRE Hotels, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels and Hospitality Group and Hilton Worldwide.For more information on Crystalbrook Collection, see crystalbrookcollection.comGo back to the enewsletter
Dear AnnaPut ‘dance holidays’ into a search engine and you will be overwhelmed with results, including companies that do nothing else but sell holidays for the twinkle-toed, but here’s my suggestions for a few holidays that should fit the bill.AndaluciaThe La Fuente flamenco school in Andalucia, southern Spain, offers courses in the country’s most passionate dance. There are three levels of classes according to experience, and each focuses on technique and choreography, with lessons lasting half a day, leaving the rest of the day free.There’s an option to visit a flamenco club to watch a performance and a final evening for all students to show off their new-found skills to the accompaniment of a flamenco guitarist. It’s in a stunning location in the village of La Alpujarra on the edge of the Sierra Nevada National Park.In addition to the dancing, there’s also the chance to do Spanish language classes, hiking, horse riding and painting. Accommodation is in the Mesón-Hostal Poqueira, which is seconds from the school, and has a restaurant and swimming pool. A week-long course costs from E295 plus accommodation from E180 a week B&B.ViennaThe Vienna ball season may be over but you can still dance the waltz in the Austrian capital. At Tanzschule Hernals Grossman there are a number of courses including the 12-night waltz course, which costs E144 per person. There’s also hip pop, children’s workshops and foxtrot. Alternatively you can take private lessons for E49 an hour, which includes coffee and cake afterwards, the other thing Vienna is famous for.As for where to stay in Vienna, the Levante Parliament hotel is a modern, 67-bedroom hotel in the centre of town, only a few hundred metres from the Vienna City Hall. It has a gym, sauna and massage room and costs from E130 a night.BerlinIf Buenos Aires is a little too far to learn Argentina’s fieriest dance, you could try the Club Dance Holidays break in Germany. It costs £349 for the three-night break, which includes two hours of tuition each day, nights out dancing the tango, B&B accommodation in a three-star hotel, Hotel Berlin Mark, and there’s a tour rep to guide you through the holiday. The company also offers tango in Granada for seven nights – a perfect opportunity to combine dancing with sightseeing.ColombiaThat other famous Latino dance is the salsa, and one of the most inspiring places to master it is Santiago de Cali, a city in the west of the country that boasts over 200 salsa schools. Sondeluz Academy, near San Antonio, is one of them and trains champs as well as beginners. Private classes start at around £60 for up to 12 hours of tuition, which leaves plenty of money to spend in the city’s many wonderful salsa clubs, whether you’re just there to watch and learn or try some steps. A couple of clubs that come highly recommended are the small but lively Zaperoco on Thursday nights, and Changó, on the edge of town in the Juanchito district.As for where to stay, try the Hotel Posada de San Antonio, a pretty yellow building on Carrera 5 that was a family mansion built in 1902. It costs from £20 a night and has many of its original features including a pretty garden.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedWhere to go in 2018 with TUIWondering where to travel in 2018? Check out our guide to the best places to go in 2018 with TUI – we’ve got it all, from short sweet city breaks and ventures off the beaten track in Montenegro, to long, lavish escapes to the Caribbean.Art holidays and painting vacationsArt holidays and painting vacations8 must-visit events in Europe this autumnExperience the best of what Europe has to offer this autumn, from duck racing to beer drinking! Dear Skyscanner,As a keen (though not particularly proficient!) dancer, I’d love to spend a holiday learning a some new steps, as well as enjoying the food and weather. Where are the best places to learn to boogie?Anna, Brighton
No men, please we’re skint! Indian airline set to recruit only female flight attendants because they weigh less – and cost less.A flight staffed entirely by women? Is this a sexist joke, a lads’ mag dream or a feminist utopia? No, this is reality, or at least is set to become so in India by 2020. If you’re set to jet between Delhi and Chennai or hop from Lucknow to Goa with GoAir in the next few years, look out for a lack of blokes serving the diet cokes. And if you’re a man on the make for a job indicating that the nearest emergency exit may be behind you, forget about GoAir.The Indian low-cost carrier recently announced that it would in future be recruiting only female flight attendants. Why? Because the heavier a plane is, the more fuel it has to burn, which costs more. And in general, geezers are heavier than girls, so GoAir is looking for lightweight ladies, presumably preferably with less-full frames than the leanest of lads, to save them 30 million rupees (£329,000) a year in fuel costs.The no-frills operator said that no present cabin stewards would be shown the door, but every position recruited for on its 80 new aircraft by 2020 will be filled by the female of the species. The airline revealed that for each ‘extra’ kilogram of load that one of its planes carries costs it an additional three rupees per hour of flight. In cost-cutting drive, it has already slashed the size of its in-flight magazine by 50%, while its planes fly with their water tanks half-full.Do you think women-only flights are a good idea? Let us know below.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedEverything you need to know about booking a round the world ticketTrotting off around the globe sounds like a pricey business, especially when you consider all the flights you’ll need to get you from continent to continent. But it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re gearing up for a gap year or simply planning a multi-stop adventure, a round the world…Hidden Costs: what else can airlines charge for?What else can airlines charge for?Skyscanner Myths Debunked: the truth behind Europe’s favourite flight search engineSkyscanner is constantly being talked about in the press
New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the Private Jet Lifestyle MagazineIn its continued effort to preserve, enhance and invent the art of independent hotel-keeping, The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) has launched a comprehensive re-branding with a vibrant advertising campaign, sleek new logo and a completely updated hotel directory.“The branding campaign is absolutely consistent with our strategy—one that is in fact deeply rooted in our history—that is to champion independent luxury hotels, those that offer a truly unique and authentic experience rather than a corporate mandated sameness. The primary tagline—All Kinds of One-of-A-Kind—conveys the true spirit of our very individual hotels, while bringing them together under one umbrella,” says Ted Teng, president and CEO of LHW.Furthermore, the campaign focuses on LHW’s market sweet spot: The intersection of luxury, global scale and independent-minded hotels, tagged as The World’s Largest Collection of Utterly Unique, Boldly Independent Luxury Hotels.The brand’s makeover brings with it a completely revamped Directory of The Leading Hotels of the World, which has been redesigned both visually and editorially. It will inspire readers to explore new options and experiences at an extremely diverse array of hotels. Teng comments: “Its purpose is more inspirational, to motivate travelers to embark on enriching journeys of discovery—of far-off places, intriguing traditions and alluring cultures.” This first edition of the new directory pays homage to family-owned properties, providing family histories of owners of some of the most legendary Leading Hotels, many for at least three generations. “It is personal stories about passionate individuals like these which really set the organization apart,” Mr. Teng concluded.www.lhw.com
By Laura Q. Hughes, Editorial DirectorFashion designers have their catwalk shows, and watchmakers, their trade fairs. In both cases, it’s a time for the luxury world’s most imaginative minds to reveal beautiful new creations, set trends, and take centuries-old products and invent them a-new. At the annual watch fairs that took place this April in Basel and Geneva, watchmakers outdid themselves once again—giving watch collectors, trendsetters and simply stylish dressers an abundance of new timepieces to covet. And covet they must, for the watches we saw this spring won’t arrive (for the most part) in stores until fall.What’s worth waiting for this year, or even ordering sight-unseen many months in advance? On our two-week tour of the designers’ new collections, we saw mini-trends emerge that are bound to excite connoisseurs and also get a new group of shoppers to consider buying a luxury watch, or two, or more, this year. Our favorite trends, and examples of the hot new watches that will give those trends legs, follow. In addition, we invite you to come back to EliteTraveler.com in June to download our exhaustive Elite Recommends: Luxury Watch Buyers Guide for the nitty-gritty details on each watchmaker’s most exciting new introduction. And for our selection of the best-in-show from the fairs, pick up the July/August issue of Elite Traveler or check it out in digital form from this web site mid-summer.Return to ClassicsGetting back to basics, and in many cases returning to sobriety, may not sound like a ground-breaking move. But it is a distinctive new direction for an industry that was defined in recent years by ever-growing case sizes and increasingly bedazzled gem-encrusted watches. These new classics—often based on archival designs with clean dials and sensible sizing—seem poised to become the watches one wears to impress in the boardroom, to pass down for generations, and to turn to when quality and good taste are key. Zenith is introducing a new, small case size of 37 mm for men in its “Class” collection. The rose gold version with moon phase is a timeless beauty. Similarly, the new Chronomaster Grand Date with open power reserve measures 40 mm in rose gold, a discrete and elegant chronograph. At Audemars Piguet, where the sporty angular Royal Oak case and oval Millenary case are legendary, a very classic new case shape is joining the line-up. It is still awaiting a formal name, but the rounded square design is pure class. In its first year, it will be made in platinum, and available as a minute repeater or a perpetual calendar. IWC is launching a Vintage collection, which consists of six designs based on watches from its archives. They will be available in steel and platinum, and the first 140 platinum pieces will be sold as sets (for about $241,000). And surprisingly, avante-garde watch company Hautlence, which took a tv screen shaped case to house its revolutionary new movement three years ago, is adding a new, traditional round case, called the HLQ.High Doses of DiamondsAt the opposite end of the spectrum, diamonds (and other dazzling gems) are dressing up the cases, dials, buckles and even movements of luxury watches, this time for both men and women. Patek Philippe of course has new versions of its classic, collectible masterpieces. But the house also offers remarkable diamond-set timepieces this year, most notably the Nautilus set with baguette cut diamonds, for about $142,000. Hublot, which was the first to put the humble material rubber to luxurious use as a strap, is incorporating a spectrum of decadent gems and diamonds on its next introductions, resulting in colorful and glamorous options for women. Michael Beaudry, the California-based jewelry designer known for his masterful work with white and colored diamonds, is extending his repertoire to men’s complicated watches with tasteful diamond accents. Gucci furthers its trademark horsebit motif with its new Chioda rectangular watch for women, which features pave diamond horsebits at all four corners. Bedat’s brand new line of watches for women, No. 2, is a curved oval shape, often filled with delicate diamonds, and its mark of distinction is discovering that the “8” marker missing from the dial resides instead on a lower lug. Perrelet marks a strong return to the watch world with a collection of timepieces for women called Diamond Flower. The company is a watch legend for having created the rotor; in Diamond Flower, a gem-paved bloom serves as a working rotor as it whirls atop the dials of these feminine pieces. Ellicott’s Lady Tuxedo Chronotimer gives the traditionally sporty, masculine chronograph a decidedly glitzy and womanly look, which is a winner for evening. Expectations are always high for fine jeweler Harry Winston to deliver stunning diamond watches, and this year they do it again. The new ladies watch, Avenue Square, features two time zones and a diamond case, resulting in a style the reflects the urban glitter of Fifth Avenue and Times Square in New York. Milus is evolving its popular women’s watch, Marea, into the fine jewelry watch segment by adding precious stones—rubies and diamonds—to spectacular effect. London-based Backes & Strauss traces its origins to fine diamond work, and this year it displays its proprietary diamond cut and skilled settings with the new Royal Berkeley (an octagonally-shaped case covered in octagonally-cut diamonds) and the oval Prince Regent (a one-of-a-kind watch set entirely with baguette diamonds). Franck Muller introduces a new line of watches for women this year called Affinity. These tonneau-shaped gold pieces contain diamonds to various degrees—maxing out at the fully set version. Fine jewelry-maker Van Cleef & Arpels continues to raise the bar for uniting complications with extremely beautiful designs this year, and two stand-out examples are its Jour et Nuit diamond-set 38-mm watch that features a sapphire sun and diamond moon revolving around the aventurine dial as the day unfolds, and the Midnight in Paris watch whose aventurine dial contains the constellations as they would appear in the sky above Place Vendome based on the present time of year. Roger Dubuis is recasting its most successful models for men for women by adding brilliant diamonds and colorful gems to cases, bezels and dials.Innovative ComplicationsNew ways to tell time, or aspects of time…imaginative creators are able to re-invent this process in boundary-bursting ways. World’s first, smallest, thinnest, never-before-mastered—these superlatives go hand-in-hand with the newest innovations and complications. Maurice Lacroix’s big introduction is the Memoire 1, which is the world’s first mechanical chronograph with a memory function that permits the user to switch between real time and the chronograph functions without losing data. De Grisogono’s Meccanico appears to display the time as digital LED, but rather than being powered by a battery it is run the classic way: mechanically. Jean Dunand, which only creates one-of-a-kind pieces, reveals the world’s first instantaneous perpetual calendar on cylinders with a minute repeater this year. And FP Journe also takes the minute repeater to new lengths—this year it introduces a 4-mm-thick minute repeater in steel: the world’s thinnest.Tourbillon TrendTourbillons, those whirling, orbiting, complicated cages within watches that compensate for the effects of gravity on accuracy, continue to rate as an extremely popular complication. Greubel Forsey is one of the masters of it, and this year the company can officially display its completed quad-tourbillons, which were in the works for many years. Breguet is adding a tourbillon to its Eritage line of rectangular watches. The two-axis tourbillon has a bridge that also serves as the 6 marker on the dial. Bovet’s Seven Day Tourbillon is self-winding for the first time this year, and it is available with or without a baguette-set case. Cartier adds an elegant flying tourbillon to its successful new round watch, Ballon Bleau. In celebration of its 275th anniversary, Jaeger-LaCoultre launches four special watches, one of which is a perpetual calendar tourbillon in pink gold. Badollet’s Stellar Crystal Ball Tourbillon is embellished with an inner bezel of jade, and a movement and tourbillon cage that incorporates meteorite (customized versions using onyx, mother of pearl, and other materials are possible too).Times for TravelersWatchmakers are giving elite travelers more ways to keep track of their comings and goings, in any time zone. Breitling’s Bentley watch, a 49-mm case with asymmetric lugs, is newly offered as a GMT. Carl F. Bucherer updates its popular TravelTek Triple Time Zone watch to reveal the date wheel in the multi-layered dial. And Girard Perregaux puts a new twist on world time watches. Its WWTC 24-Hour Shopping indicates when the world’s great shopping avenues (Rodeo Drive, Orchard Road, Bond Street, etc.) open for business.Mastering MaterialsThe materials that are used to make watches—both inside and out—garnered extra attention at the fairs this year as gold and platinum hit record high prices on commodities markets, diamonds continued to rise in price, fashion-conscious shoppers sought out exotic skins like ostrich, stingray and alligator, and man-made substances coated cases and perfected internal functions. Ernst Benz is making his first foray into gold watches, citing an Olympic year as an auspicious occasion to go for the gold. Blancpain is refining its 50 Fathoms dive watch by using a diamond light carbon (DLC) process instead of PVD coating to blacken its stark black case, bracelet and rotor. Ulysse Nardin, a front-runner in the use of silicium within its movements, is now using the material for the hairspring, escapement wheel and additional parts of its Sonata. And Vacheron Constantin’s new “Quai de L’lle” cushion-shaped watch contains the same materials and processes used on Swiss banknotes and passports to create anti-counterfeit qualities to the dial and other parts.Beautiful BacksAs a way to add more beauty, and make the watch an even more personal purchase, some designers are paying extra attention to the design aspects of the backs of their watches. Engraved movements through clear casebacks are worthy of public display at Dubey & Shaldenbrand. Greubel Forsay has the story of the tourbillon engraved in tiny French type on the back of a watch. Chopard’s edition created just for the opening of its new Madison Avenue boutique has the New York City skyline engraved on its case back.TeamworkFinally, watch brands that share corporate values and design aesthetics with other companies are joining forces to create limited edition watches that unite aspects of both. Chanel tapped Audemars Piguet to provide the movement for its new limited edition black J12 with yellow gold details. Richard Mille, in celebration of jewelry house Boucheron’s 150th anniversary, reveals a limited edition of 30 Tourbillon RM 018 watches that incorporate movement wheels set with semi-precious stones, such as tiger’s eye, jasper, black onyx plus diamonds. And Parmigiani is collaborating with yacht-maker Pershing on a collection of sea-worthy watches that reflect the independent spirit of both manufacturers.
by The Associated Press Posted Jan 15, 2018 3:09 pm PDT Last Updated Jan 15, 2018 at 3:40 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email The Latest: Film ‘Heathers’ gets makeover in TV version PASADENA, Calif. – The Latest on upcoming programming from the TV Critics meeting in Pasadena, California (all times local):3 p.m. The 1988 cult movie “Heathers” and the title characters get makeovers in a new TV series debuting March 7 on the Paramount Network, formerly Spike TV.In the big-screen dark comedy, the queen bees who shared the name Heather were three white high school students. They were played by Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk and Kim Walker.The TV show’s trio includes a girl of colour and a boy named Heath, who is gay.The teenagers represent “marginalized communities” who trash everyone around them, said Brendan Scannell, who plays Heath.Unlike the film, the show can take a deeper look at what motivates the characters, said executive producer Jason Micallef.He sees both the original Heathers and the new ones as victims, not villains, which the show will explore, Micallef told TV critics Monday.Doherty, who played Heather Duke in the movie, will guest star in three episodes, including the first, he said, declining to provide details about her role.___12:45 p.m.Kevin Costner isn’t a big believer in doing film sequels for a simple reason.Costner told TV critics Monday that the writing often isn’t as good as in the original movie and it’s the screenplay that draws him to a project.He says that’s why he’s starring in “Yellowstone,” a 10-part drama series debuting June 20 on the new Paramount Television network, the rebranded Spike TV.The actor says that when he likes a script, it isn’t just because he has a good part, but that all the characters are “doing a nice dance.”Costner plays the owner of a vast, family-owned ranch who is trying to resist encroachment by developers and others. The ensemble cast includes Wes Bentley, Kelly Reilly, Jill Hennessey and Josh Lucas.
The Latest: Other mega-media deals could still face scrutiny FILE – In this Monday, Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, the AT&T logo is positioned above one of its retail stores, in New York. The fate of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, a massive media deal opposed by the government that could shape how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies, rests in the hands of a federal judge. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is expected to announce in court Tuesday, June 12, 2018 his decision in the biggest antitrust trial in years. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) by The Associated Press Posted Jun 12, 2018 3:14 pm PDT Last Updated Jun 12, 2018 at 4:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The Latest on the resolution of the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust case (all times local):6:10 p.m.One expert warns that other mega-media deals will still face regulatory concerns despite AT&T’s clearance to take over Time Warner.David Turetsky, a professor at the State University of New York at Albany, says the AT&T ruling is based on “specific facts and evidence” that may or may not apply in other cases.Larry Downes, project director at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, adds that the government had a poor case throughout the AT&T trial. He says the government was “just wrong from the start” on antitrust law and assumptions on how the media industry is evolving.Still, Tuesday’s ruling is likely to clear the way for other mega-media deals. For starters, Comcast is expected to make a bid for Fox’s entertainment business as early as Wednesday. Comcast has promised to top Disney’s $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox. AT&T’s favourable ruling would seem to clear any regulatory hesitation.___5:35 p.m.AT&T says it will complete its purchase of Time Warner by June 20 now that a federal judge has cleared the deal.AT&T general counsel David McAtee says the company is “pleased” with the verdict after a “full and fair trial on merits.”Government lawyer Makan Delrahim says the Department of Justice is “disappointed” with the decision. In a statement, he warns that the pay-TV industry will be “less competitive and less innovative” as a result of merger.The government could appeal. Delrahim says officials will review the decision and “consider next steps in light of our commitment to preserving competition for the benefit of American consumers.”In Tuesday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rejected the government’s argument that the AT&T-Time Warner combination would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.___5:20 p.m.Investors are welcoming a federal judge’s approval of AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner.A rejection might have chilled possible multibillion-dollar deals involving other media companies. Instead, a rush to consolidate is likely.In after-market trading following the ruling, shares of Time Warner rose nearly 5 per cent and AT&T shares fell 1.6 per cent. Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox rose more than 4 per cent, while Disney’s stock dropped slightly more than 1 per cent. Disney has a deal to buy the bulk of Fox, but Comcast is now expected to make a counterbid, especially with the favourable ruling for AT&T. Comcast shares fell 3.3 per cent, though.Shares of both T-Mobile and Sprint rose; their proposed combination is pending.U.S. District Judge Richard Leon rejected the government’s argument that the AT&T-Time Warner combination would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.___5:05 p.m.U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the government failed to meet its burden of proof in its antitrust suit against the AT&T-Time Warner merger.Leon said the government had “taken its best shot” to oppose the merger. But, he added, “the government’s evidence is too thin a reed for this court to rely on.”The judge made his remarks to a packed courtroom in an unusual session weeks after the trial ended.Leon also said it would be harmful for him to put a temporary stay on the merger while the government appeals his decision, if it does so. The “drop dead” deadline for the merger to be completed is June 21. If not completed by then, either company could walk away, and AT&T would have to pay a $500 million breakup fee.___5 p.m.Now that a federal judge has approved AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner, other companies are likely to rush to consolidate.Tuesday’s ruling signalled that federal regulators will have a hard time stopping companies from getting bigger by gobbling up rivals and the programming they own. Even if a company doesn’t need to get bigger right away, it might need to do so to prevent a competitor from overshadowing it.For starters, expect Comcast to make a bid for Fox’s entertainment business as early as Wednesday. Disney has made a $52.4 billion all-stock offer for the bulk of Twenty-First Century Fox, including the studios behind the “Avatar” movies, “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.” Comcast has promised to top that. AT&T’s favourable ruling would seem to clear any regulatory hesitation.___4:45 p.m.A federal judge has approved AT&T’s merger with Time Warner. He rejected the government’s argument that it would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars more to stream TV and movies.U.S. District Judge Richard Leon announced the decision Tuesday, bringing the biggest antitrust trial in years to an end. The ruling blesses the $85 billion merger, one of the biggest media deals ever. It allows AT&T, a phone and pay-TV giant, to absorb the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, “Game of Thrones,” coveted sports programming and other “must-see” shows.The Department of Justice could decide to appeal the verdict. AT&T did not immediately respond to a request for comment.___2:15 a.m.The fate of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, a massive media deal opposed by the government that could shape how much consumers pay for streaming TV and movies, rests in the hands of a federal judge.U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is expected to announce in court Tuesday his decision in the biggest antitrust trial in years. The Trump Justice Department sued to block the $85 billion merger, arguing that it would hurt competition in pay TV and cost consumers more to stream TV and movies.The mega-merger is a high-stakes bet by AT&T Inc. on the synergy between companies that produce news and entertainment and those that funnel it to consumers — who spend more time watching video on phones and tablets and less time on traditional live TV on a big screen.
MOSCOW – Noted Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who directed orchestras in Moscow, Stockholm, Vienna and London, has died at age 87.Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory announced his death Saturday. It did not give details on where he died or the cause.In a career spanning more than 60 years, Rozhdestvensky served stints as principal conductor of the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra and as chief conductor of the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Vienna Symphony and the BBC Symphony. He guest-conducted at many major orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra.Since 2012 he had been conductor at the State Academic Chamber Theater in Moscow. Russian conductor Rozhdestvensky dies at 87 by The Associated Press Posted Jun 16, 2018 4:23 am PDT Last Updated Jun 16, 2018 at 5:40 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email FILE – In this Wednesday, May 24, 2017 file photo, Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky attends a state award ceremony in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who directed orchestras in Moscow, Stockholm, Vienna and London, has died at age 87, it was announced Saturday June 16, 2018. (Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)
by The Associated Press Posted Nov 14, 2018 6:12 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Long hidden, Marie Antoinette’s jewels go up for auction GENEVA — Diamond and pearl earrings, pearl necklaces, a giant pearl pendant and other jewelry once belonging to ill-fated French queen Marie Antoinette are set to go on auction in Geneva, showcasing perhaps the quintessential emblems of pre-Revolutionary royal opulence in France.Sotheby’s is billing the sale Wednesday as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to scoop up heirlooms and jewels that have been held in the Bourbon-Parma dynasty for generations, some of which haven’t been seen publicly for 200 years — until now.Marie Antoinette, who was guillotined in 1793 at age 37, had secretly smuggled abroad some of her most treasured possessions to her relatives, amid swelling revolutionary fervour that ultimately marked the beginning of the end of France’s centuries-old monarchy.Perhaps the highlight piece is “Queen Marie Antoinette’s Pearl,” a diamond-and-pearl pendant estimated to fetch $1 million-$2 million — maybe more. It features a drop-shaped, 2.58-cm (about 1-inch) natural pearl that outsizes the Peregrina that was once in Hollywood star Elizabeth Taylor’s collection.“The Marie Antoinette pendant is simply irreplaceable,” said Eddie LeVian, CEO of jewelers Le Vian. “This is about far more than the gems themselves: Marie Antoinette’s jewelry is inextricably linked to the cause of the French Revolution.”The queen’s jewelry is split across several lots, also including a set of pearl and diamond earrings, a diamond brooch, and a natural pearl and diamond necklace. A monogrammed, diamond-set ring bears a lock of Marie Antoinette’s hair.The Associated Press
AM Prep-Segue AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted May 2, 2019 12:43 am PDT RICK SCHRODER ARRESTED AGAINMALIBU, Calif. (AP) —Rick Schroder has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence for the second time in a month. In the most recent case, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department says deputies were called to Schroder’s home near Malibu early yesterday — and when they did, they saw evidence of a fight between the actor and a woman, whose name wasn’t released. Based on that evidence, Schroder was arrested and jailed. He was released after posting $50,000 bond. Authorities say Schroder was busted for a similar incident with the same woman on April 2. Schroder is 49. He was a child star known for the TV series “Silver Spoons” and the movie “The Champ.” As an adult, he was on the police drama “NYPD Blue.”___Sound: UpcomingJUSSIE SMOLLETT TURNS DOWN APPEARANCE AT CHICAGO HEARING TODAYCHICAGO (AP) — It’s unclear whether it’s an offer that he can actually refuse. But a rep for Jussie Smollett says the former “Empire” actor doesn’t plan to attend a hearing today in Chicago today. The hearing is part of a process to see whether a special prosecutor will be appointed to investigate the dismissal of felony charges against him. Smollett reported in late January that he was the victim of a racist and anti-gay beating in Chicago, where he was working on “Empire.” But police determined he staged the attack himself — and prosecutors socked him with a series of felony disorderly conduct charges for lying to authorities. Earlier this week, Fox announced that Smollett won’t be returning to the show for its sixth season.COLLEGE ADMISSIONS SCANDALBOSTON (AP) — Imagine if a person who was caught speeding began giving police evidence about others who had been speeding along the same stretch of highway. That’s the issue federal prosecutors are facing as they continue their investigation into the huge college admissions scandal. They say a growing number of parents and coaches who have already pleaded guilty in the case are now giving up the goods on other parents and school officials involved in the scam. The result, one insider predicts, is that there’ll be “a new wave of indictments.” The co-operation of those already caught in the federal dragnet may also spell doom for actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband Mossimo Giannulli. They’re fighting the allegations against them. But one of those said to be co-operating with authorities is a USC soccer coach who was paid to make up fake athletic profiles of Loughlin’s children to make them appear to be sports stars when they weren’t.MUELLER REPORT BECOMES A BestsellerNEW YORK (AP) — You can read it for free. But the paid edition of “The Mueller Report” is now officially a bestseller. The published form of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has sold about 42,000 copies since being released last week. NDP BookScan says that represents more sales than any other nonfiction book on the market. The book, jointly edited by Scribner and The Washington Post, will also top The New York Times bestsellers list due out a week from Sunday.CRUISE-SHIP PRODUCTIONS BRUSH UP THEIR ACTSMIAMI (AP) — When you think of stage productions, you’d think the leaders would be on Broadway or, maybe London. But there is an operation that puts on more live productions a year than Broadway and London’s West End combined. It’s the production arm of Royal Caribbean International, which directs 134 shows in 50 theatres on 26 ships as they cruise the seas. An official with the cruise line company says their shows are seen by a nightly audience of 100,000. Usually it takes from two to four weeks for a troupe to learn a show before hitting the waves with it. Often dismissed in the past as second-rate, cruise entertainment has evolved to the point where Royal Caribbean says it commands some of the best talent and technology around.“MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL” BOOTH CUT BACK TO TWO THIS YEARUNDATED (AP) — It’s back to the future for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football.” The weekly gridiron matchup returns to a two-man booth when it returns for its 50th season. The network says Joe Tessitore will do play-by-play while Booger McFarland joins him in the booth this fall. McFarland worked before as an on-field analyst. Speaking of those on the field, Lisa Salters will return for an eighth season as sideline reporter. “Monday Night Football” had a three-man booth for all but 12 of its first 49 seasons.WORLD VIDEO GAME HALL OF FAME GETS NEW MEMBERS TODAYROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The World Video Game Hall of Fame is ready to honour a new group of games. The class of 2019 will be revealed this morning at The Strong museum in Rochester, New York. The 12 finalists were announced in March — and included “Candy Crush,” ”Centipede,” ”Colossal Cave Adventure,” ”Dance Dance Revolution,” ”Half-Life,” ”Microsoft Solitaire,” ”Mortal Kombat,” ”Myst,” ”NBA 2K,” ”Sid Meier’s Civilization,” ”Super Mario Kart” and “Super Smash Bros. Melee.” Today’s selections will become the fifth class of titles inducted since the World Video Game Hall was established in 2015.by Oscar Wells Gabriel IIFollow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2The Associated Press