On the campaign trail, March 2012

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The following is the fifth in a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2012 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after a brief mention of some of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail, a politician from outside the fifty states receives significant mention as a potential Republican Party vice presidential nominee, Wikinews gets the reaction of three Democratic Party candidates after the party strips delegates from two of their fellow challengers, and a minor third party removes its presidential nominee for fraud.

Contents

  • 1 Summary
  • 2 Might the GOP VP nominee come from Puerto Rico?
  • 3 Democratic Party strips delegates
  • 4 Party removes presidential nominee
  • 5 Related articles
  • 6 Sources

Mortgage Brokers Vs. Banks

By John Kim

When it comes to searching for the right kind of mortgage to meet your needs, you will probably come across a decision about who you should borrow from: Do mortgage brokers or banks make better lenders?

A mortgage broker is a mediator that facilitates the process of acquiring a mortgage for individuals as well as businesses. Essentially, they are like home loan supermarkets. Their broad access to lenders as well as their wide offering of various programs makes them a convenient source of help for many borrowers. If you have less-than-perfect credit or are in unusual circumstances, mortgage brokers can still find you the type of funding you need. Mortgage brokers will charge a broker’s fee, which you should ask about and take into account when calculating your initial payments.

Mortgage brokers will typically originate, process, and pass the loan on to a lender who will subsequently sell it to an investor. They take commission and will have higher closing fees. Beware of gouging, as brokers have full discretion on how much they want to charge the borrower for processing the documents necessary for the loan.

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Today, about 20,000 mortgage brokerage operations account for more than 80% of mortgages are issued by mortgage brokers in the U.S. The convenience and resources they offer to borrowers is the key to their popularity.

The term ‘mortgage banker’ refers either to an individual loan officer who works at a bank or to the bank itself. They specialize in originating mortgages and selling them to investors and continue to service them. Both the origination and servicing processes require fees, which are the two primary sources of income for mortgage banks.

A key difference between mortgage banks and mortgage brokers is that banks have more of a standardized and set approach to setting fees. Bankers are told what fees to charge and are told not to stray away from them. This allows for more stability and prevents the borrower from being surprised when it comes to discovering what the fees for the home loan will be.

Now the question is which is the better option? The answer is quite simple: Whoever gets you the better deal. It should be noted that while some borrowers enjoy the comfort and help of having a mortgage banker see them through the life of their loan (though not all do), while others do not mind either way. This discernment, along with a thorough comparison of deals that you can get from mortgage brokers and bankers, should give you a fairly clear idea of which path to take.

About the Author: John Kim has researched Real Estate and Mortgage topics for many years. You can find more of his work at: allmortgagenews.com For more in depth coverage on various mortgage and real estate related topics, please visit http://www.allmortgagenews.com

Source: isnare.com

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Obama to suspend Arctic oil drilling

Thursday, May 27, 2010

According to Democratic Senator Mark Begich from Alaska, the U.S. Department of the Interior has decided to halt all new Arctic exploratory oil drilling applications until 2011. The response is believed to be caused in part by the two current oil spill disasters (that of the Deepwater Horizon Incident and more recently the Alaska oil pipeline malfunction). However, Begich is not happy about the actions taken by the White House.

“I am frustrated that this decision by the Obama administration to halt offshore development for a year will cause more delays and higher costs for domestic oil and gas production to meet the nation’s energy needs,” Begich claims.

Last September, the state of Alaska made a public notice about Shell’s desire to drill off the coast of the Beaufort Sea, placing experimental drilling rigs at two drill site location: “Torpedo” and “Sivulliq”.

“Shell is committed to undertaking a safe and environmentally responsible exploration program in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea in 2010,” said Shell Oil Company President Marvin E. Odum to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Mineral Management Service (MMS).

Odum follows with, “I am confident that we are ready to conduct the 2010 Arctic exploratory program safely and, I want to be clear, the accountability for this program rests with Shell.”

Chuck Clausen, director of the Alaska project at the National Resources Defense Council is not so optimistic: “Hazards present in the Arctic can include frigid temperatures, presence of sea ice, gale-force winds, intense storms and heavy fog … The potential for loss in the Arctic is great.”

Odum believes that the climate in the arctic will make any spill easier to clean up because, “Arctic conditions create differences in responding to oil in cold and ice conditions. Differences in evaporation rates, viscosity and weathering provide greater opportunities to recover oil. In Arctic conditions, ice can aid oil spill response by slowing oil weathering, dampening waves, preventing oil from spreading over large distances, and allowing more time to respond.”

However, Clausen believes that there are no current systems to remove oil from icy ocean waters.

This is not the first time that President Obama’s administration has taken the environmentally cautious path in Alaska. The President put Bristol Bay off limits to oil and gas exploration until 2017. Bristol Bay currently is one of the top salmon fishing grounds in the state.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to give a speech at Thursday’s White House address, regarding the suspension of Arctic oil drilling projects.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO apologies for financial planning scandal

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ian Narev, the CEO of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, this morning “unreservedly” apologised to clients who lost money in a scandal involving the bank’s financial planning services arm.

Last week, a Senate enquiry found financial advisers from the Commonwealth Bank had made high-risk investments of clients’ money without the clients’ permission, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars lost. The Senate enquiry called for a Royal Commission into the bank, and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mr Narev stated the bank’s performance in providing financial advice was “unacceptable”, and the bank was launching a scheme to compensate clients who lost money due to the planners’ actions.

In a statement Mr Narev said, “Poor advice provided by some of our advisers between 2003 and 2012 caused financial loss and distress and I am truly sorry for that. […] There have been changes in management, structure and culture. We have also invested in new systems, implemented new processes, enhanced adviser supervision and improved training.”

An investigation by Fairfax Media instigated the Senate inquiry into the Commonwealth Bank’s financial planning division and ASIC.

Whistleblower Jeff Morris, who reported the misconduct of the bank to ASIC six years ago, said in an article for The Sydney Morning Herald that neither the bank nor ASIC should be in control of the compensation program.

Your Thirty Golden Minutes

By Kevin Eikenberry

Would you like a new idea that could greatly impact your outlook, attitude, productivity and happiness? Would you be willing to make a change to your daily routine in order to increase your personal satisfaction and help you reach your goals faster than ever before? Are those accomplishments worth 30 minutes a day to you?

Thirty minutes is what you need thirty minutes at the start of your day. The habit that will help you gain all the benefits described above is to devote thirty minutes at the start of your day to yourself, your happiness and complete well being. This relatively short amount of time will help you start your day more purposefully and help you be more intentional about your day and your life.

There are a variety of things you can do during your thirty minutes, and as you read this list you may see some things that are already a part of your daily routine. The list isnt meant to be a checklist designed for you to try to complete each item every day. Rather it is a list from which you can choose those things that most appeal to you or that you feel will help you gain greater control, success and happiness in your day and life.

The List

Plan your day. Sit down with your planner or task list and review those things that must be accomplished today.

Pick the critical few. While your to-do list might be long, use a few minutes to determine the 1-3 things that must be accomplished today. Include at least one that furthers an important project or goal in other words dont focus only on the urgent things, but consider the important ones as well.

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Review your goals. If you have a written goal list, use some of your thirty minutes to re-read them, reviewing your progress and seeing yourself accomplishing them.

Pray, meditate or reflect. Depending on your spiritual beliefs, you may choose to pray during this time. If that isnt a part of your beliefs, you may choose to reflect on the previous day, looking for lessons and ideas, as well as resolutions to important challenges you might face in the coming day.

Prepare for the key moments. Perhaps on this day you will be giving a presentation, making an important sales call, asking for a raise, or any of a thousand other important things. Use some of your Golden Thirty to mentally prepare and walk through those moments.

Exercise or stretch. You can use some of your thirty minutes for your exercise regimen. If you dont regularly exercise, you might consider doing some stretching. Recognize that during this physical activity you may be able to do some of the other items on this list (depending on how you are exercising). Remember to consult your physician before making a significant change to your exercise patterns.

Read something positive or uplifting. Read something inspirational, motivational or spiritual. Those few minutes early in your day feeding your mind positive thoughts will pay dividends all day long.

Make progress on a learning goal. If you are working to learn something new or build your expertise in some area, 30 minutes a day of effortful study can make you a world expert within a couple of years. Dont want to be a world expert? Then it wont take you as long to learn what you want!

Things to Exclude

As important as the list of things to do, there are things to exclude during this time. Keeping these things out of this golden thirty minutes are as important as what you include. These things should be excluded because they wont positively impact the start of your day.

The morning paper and television news. If you need to be informed, get what you need in smaller doses, but dont mix it into your Golden Thirty minutes.

The Snooze bar. Build the habit of getting up when you have determined you need to get up. Hitting the snooze bar once is fine, but if you are hitting it over and over you wont have your thirty minutes, and it will be straight to the shower!

The second (or third) cup of coffee. Perhaps you want a cup of coffee or tea during your first thirty minutes. That is fine, but try to avoid putting too much caffeine into your body during this time of purposeful planning and preparation.

Finding the Time

You may be wondering where you are going to find thirty minutes in your day. Remember you arent going to find those minutes you are going to have to make them. Making this time may require going to bed a few minutes earlier or taking things out of your morning routine (like too many minutes of morning news). Making the time will be one of the most challenging parts of creating this new habit, but after the first several days you will see the benefits far outweigh what youve given up to make it happen.

But Im Not a Morning Person

Ben Franklin said, Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Though I am sure Ben was a morning person, I am equally sure that there are differences in peoples body clocks. So while this may be much easier for some than for you, dont use that as an excuse. Notice I havent told you to start your thirty minutes by setting your alarm for 5 a.m. all Ive suggested is making time at the start of your morning. Your start may be at 5, or it may be at 9. The time of day matters far less than the timing your golden thirty minutes should start very soon after you awaken.

This habit, like many others, will take some time to implement. But if you keep at it you will quickly see the benefits, making this one habit you will embrace and be glad it has become a permanent part of your life.

About the Author: Kevin Eikenberry is the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group, a learning consulting company. To receive your free special report on Unleashing Your Potential go to

kevineikenberry.com/uypw/index.asp

or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.

Source:

isnare.com

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Eight mountaineers missing on Mont Blanc in French Alps after avalanche

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Rescue crews have called an end to the search for eight mountaineers who went missing on the French side of Mont Blanc after an avalanche that occurred on at 0100 GMT August 24. Eight other climbers were also injured. Five of the missing are said to be Austrian and three were from Switzerland.

“[There is] no longer any chance of finding someone alive,” stated the interior minister of France, Michele Alliot-Marie who also added that are more people trapped beneath the snow. “Thanks to technology, we know for certain there are people buried under the snow, but it’s impossible to be sure exactly how many.”

Rescuers feared that there would be more avalanches and decided to end the search for survivors in the late afternoon today. The avalanche started at an elevation of 3,600 meters and went down the mountainside for nearly 100 meters, leaving a trail 50 meters wide. Rescuers used helicopters and dogs to search for survivors for a day, but failed to find any.

“[I saw] a wall of ice coming towards us and then we were carried 200 metres,” said one of the survivors from Italy, Marco Delfini who also said he tried to help the others caught in the snow.

There have been many accidents in the Alps this summer, about one hundred climbers have perished since June 1 in France, Italy and Switzerland altogether, of whom about twenty have died on Mont Blanc.

Ten dead on Minnesota Indian reservation after school shooting

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

A 17-year-old Minnesota student is believed to have shot his grandfather and grandmother, drove his grandfather’s squad car to the high school, and shot a security guard, a teacher and five other classmates, later committing suicide. This happened at 3pm local time on Monday (2100 UTC), and as many as 14 others were injured before the rampage subsided.

One witness said of the gunman, he was “grinning and waving”.

“I looked him in the eye and ran in the room, and that’s when I hid,” Sondra Hegstrom told The Pioneer of Bemidji. “You could hear a girl saying, ‘No, Jeff, quit, quit. Leave me alone. What are you doing?”

Today’s incident marks the highest death toll yet in US school shootings since the Columbine High School massacre in April 1999. There were 15 people shot in Jefferson County, near Littleton, Colorado, in the Columbine shooting.

Police are still investigating any possible motive.

“It will probably take us throughout the night to really put the whole picture together,” said FBI spokesman Paul McCabe in a briefing to the press. “We do have evidence that we believe that the shooter is dead,” he continued, “we believe he was acting alone.”

Reporters were asked to leave the area, located on The Red Lake reservation, by tribal authorities.

“The events that took place today involving the shootings at the Red Lake High School make this one of the darkest and most painful occurrences in the history of our tribe,” said Floyd Jourdain Jr., Chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. The Indian band is made up of about 5,100 people, living on 825,000 acres of land in the northern part of the state.

Minnesota’s last school shooting was in September 2003, when two students were fatally shot at Rocori High School. That incident had statewide implications, causing a hearing on expansion of tribal gaming in Minnesota to be canceled for the day.

“We ask Minnesotans to help comfort the families and friends of the victims who are suffering unimaginable pain by extending prayers and expressions of support,” said a statement from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Coin Collecting For Investment}

Coin Collecting for Investment

by

Cecelia WongCoins hold a wealth of information on their small faces, from the year of their birth to the language spoken at the time, from the metals a country holds valuable to the cultural influences and historical figures that its people hold valuable. The history of gold coins dates as far back as 2,700 years ago. The first gold coins in the world were issued in Lydia around 640 B.C. certain internet websites will provide you with a lot of information about the history of gold coins. Australia reveres its national animal with the Gold Kangaroo, for example, while China has a Gold Panda with a lovely design that changes every year. Because not many people know what distinguishes precious rare coins from run-of-the-mill legal tender, these coins can remain in circulation for decades, until a lucky coin collector recognizes them. Coins can lose their brightness over time, and you’ll be tempted to polish them. The best advice is … DON’T. Many collect coins to commemorate great events in their lives, a child’s graduation, a new baby…or to mark historical events such as the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Some people happily collect more common everyday coins, going through their pockets at the end of the day for them is fun, checking dates and mintmarks on their change. Some collectors can spend thousands of dollars on rare silver and gold coins from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Some collect coins from different countries. Commemorative coins are a popular form of collection, as are rare minted coins like those which had an error in their stamping. If a certain set of coins doesn’t interest you, it won’t be any fun at all to become a collector. Most coin dealers will charge a lower premium on the sale of coins to their best customers. After all, it makes good business sense to get the most profit possible from a person who will do business with you only once. Design Types of US Coins and Coin Collecting Coin collecting is a fun hobby that anyone who has the time can do. A coin’s history and its development can be learned by collecting them. At one point in time, between 1838 and1933, the United States issued gold coins for circulation. The Liberty Head bust was used as the design until 1907. The design was then changed to the Indian Head and Saint Gaudens motifs until 1933 when the Great Depression” started. This prompted the recall of the coins which makes it very rare to find any of them today. The most valuable coin in the world is the 1933 Double Eagle. This was a $20 gold coin that was made in the 1800’s after the California gold rush. This coin was not allowed to be used in the 1930’s and when this coin was auctioned in 2002, it sold for nearly eight million dollars. Since gold coins are hard to find, most collectors select other coins. One type of collection you might consider is the one made up of coins that are flawed when the coin was minted. If you can find a coin with a misspelled word, a wrong date, off-center characteristics, or double-punched marks, these coins are valuable. Such mistakes can increase a coin’s value from $50 to a $1000. Coin collecting for investment purposes can be a tricky endeavor. But as time goes by, the number of these coins go down. Some get lost and some are damaged beyond recognition. Buy quality! Buy quality! Buy quality! That’s all you hears these days when you are considering rare coins as an investment. The Augustus Saint-Gauden Double Eagle is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful coins America has ever produced. For most gold coin collectors, there are the highly coveted rare gold coins and a lot of gold coin collectors are interested in these rare gold coins that they will offer high bids just to be able to get their hands on these. Always be on the lookout for rare gold coins, and have coins appraised by a gold coin expert to avoid large differences in price. Coins, which were printed on standardized weights of precious metals and stamped with a government guarantee of value, was the answer to this unwieldy, easily sabotaged trading process. Minting problems don’t only involve the writing on the coin. Sometimes a problem with the die causes a coin to be double stamped accidentally, resulting in a very unusual form of rare coins. The mintmark of the coin can usually be found near the date and on newer coins the mintmarks are as follows: “P” Philadelphia, “D” Denver, “S” San Francisco,”W” West Point New York. Older coins may show the following mintmarks: “C” Charlotte North Carolina, “CC” Carson City Nevada, “D” Dahlonega Georgia, “O” New Orleans. The first vital piece of information that you’ll need when considering coin dealers is his or her professional qualifications. Some important questions to ask include, does the coin dealer belong to any professional groups? How long has he or she been in business? Coins that were only issued or circulated for short period of time also make good collectibles. A coin collection is at its best if it is focused on a certain coin. A collector can choose from pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars. Another way of collecting is disregarding the types of coins but concentrating on a certain time period. Coins have different mint marks and collecting those that were struck in the same location can also be interesting. The important thing for hobbyists is to stick to the collection until it has been completed. For a good start subscribe to a coin publication such as Coin World or Coinage Magazine for information on the types of coins that you might want to collect. The internet or a local coin shop can also help expand the search for those coins that can’t be found in your locale or out of state. Building a coin collection will take a long time – months or even years. The United States has produced so many coins that it is hard to keep track of them. By deciding on the coin(s) you want to collect, the challenge to complete that collection begins. Today, building a fascinating collection of coins does not have to be expensive, and everyone can participate in this exciting pastime. An avid coin collector will be able to tell you virtually every piece of history that surrounds any coin in their collection both because they tend to specialize and because knowledge is one of the most important factors when it comes to starting and maintaining a collection of any value or worth. Possibly. In 1991, only 459,000 25-cent coins were struck (the annual number is usually closer to 100 million). ‘Mint State’ versions of these coins are worth about $8. A good number of coin collectors collect coins according to themes. The coins they collect all have a common topic. Generally speaking, putting demand aside, the more scare/rare a coin, the higher its value. This is usually very true, especially when comparing dates within the same series. Some precious coins with double stamping include doubled-die Lincoln cents from 1972, 1983, and 1984, and a doubled quarter minted in New York in 2001. While there are some real gold coin enthusiasts in the internet, there are also those people who are posing as gold coin collectors and are just looking to rip you off. You can get a silver locating device or a magnetic pole for finding loose coins in ditches, under cars, or in other hard-to-reach places. Or simply rely on your eyes to identify those gleaming metal circlets of potential wealth. The development of two large coin organizations in the mid-to-late 1800s, the American Numismatic Society (ANS) and the American Numismatic Association (ANA), helped spark American interest in building and maintaining a coin collection.

Always be on the lookout for

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rare gold coins

, and have coins appraised by a gold coin expert to avoid large differences in price.

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Gay Talese on the state of journalism, Iraq and his life

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. “It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me,” the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. “Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn’t be pleading with those bastards! I’d say, ‘Go ahead. Make my day.'”

Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His 1966 profile of Frank Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the “Best Story Esquire Ever Published.”

Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told National Public Radio he rejects this label (“The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that’s where I wanted to part company.”)

He is not bothered by the Bancrofts selling The Wall Street Journal—”It’s not like we should lament the passing of some noble dynasty!”—to Rupert Murdoch, but he is bothered by how the press supported and sold the Iraq War to the American people. “The press in Washington got us into this war as much as the people that are controlling it,” said Talese. “They took information that was second-hand information, and they went along with it.” He wants to see the Washington press corp disbanded and sent around the country to get back in touch with the people it covers; that the press should not be so focused on–and in bed with–the federal government.

Augusten Burroughs once said that writers are experience junkies, and Talese fits the bill. Talese–who has been married to Nan Talese (she edited James Frey‘s Million Little Piece) for fifty years–can be found at baseball games in Cuba or the gay bars of Beijing, wanting to see humanity in all its experience.

Below is Wikinews reporter David Shankbone’s interview with Gay Talese.

Contents

  • 1 On Gay Talese
  • 2 On a higher power and how he’d like to die
  • 3 On the media and Iraq
  • 4 On the Iraq War
  • 5 State of Journalism
  • 6 On travel to Cuba
  • 7 On Chinese gay bars
  • 8 On the literary canon
  • 9 Sources