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The who, what, when, where, why, and how of mobile lending

first_imgDoes your credit union offer mobile lending? Probably. Have you personally ever used it to apply for a loan? Probably not. Understanding the ins and outs of the mobile lending process starts with who? You! Putting your staff and board members into the role of a member will only serve to improve your mobile lending products. What you find could surprise you.According to Robert Israelite, lending and compliance specialist at CUNA Mutual Group, “Many veteran CEOs have expressed disbelief that members are applying for loans on mobile devices, and boards are even further removed. Most credit union staff have never applied for a loan in a member channel, and that’s a problem. They have internal ways of doing it. Staff needs to put themselves in the shoes of a “real member” or potential member who doesn’t have strong ties to the credit union.”It is surprising the number of staff and board members of credit unions who do not know that loans can be applied for and approved, from their smartphones.  And of course, this realization tends to raise the typical questions of What, Who, Where, Why, When, and How… continue reading » 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Semenya says she is ‘unquestionably a woman’

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Caster SemenyaJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP | South African 800m Olympic champion Caster Semenya on Thursday said she was “unquestionably a woman”, after the IAAF denied reports that it would argue that she should be classified as a biological male.Semenya, 28, issued the statement ahead of a landmark hearing at the Court of Arbitration (CAS) next week that will challenge a proposed rule by the International Athletics Federation (IAAF) aiming to restrict testosterone levels in female runners.“Ms Semenya is unquestionably a woman. She is a heroine and an inspiration to many around the world,” her lawyers said in a statement.“She asks that she be respected and treated as any other athlete.”The rules would force so-called “hyperandrogenic” athletes or those with “differences of sexual development” (DSD) to keep testosterone levels below a prescribed amount.The rules were to have been instituted in November 2018 but have been put on ice pending next week’s hearings.Supported by the South African Athletics Federation, the two-time Olympic champion in the 800m (2012, 2016) and three-time world champion (2009, 2011, 2017) has denounced the proposals. “I just want to run naturally, the way I was born. It is not fair that I am told I must change. It is not fair that people question who I am,” she has said previously.“She looks forward to responding to the IAAF at the upcoming CAS hearing,” Semenya’s legal team said, adding that “her genetic gift should be celebrated, not discriminated against”.As well as Semenya, the silver and bronze medallists of the 800m at the Rio Olympics, Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and Kenya’s Margaret Wambui, have also faced questions about their testosterone levels.“The IAAF is not classifying any DSD athlete as male,” the IAAF said in a statement. “To preserve fair competition in the female category, it is necessary to require DSD athletes to reduce their testosterone down to female levels.”A CAS spokesman confirmed to AFP on Thursday that the hearing is scheduled for next week in Lausanne from Monday to Friday with Semenya in attendance.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Humboldt Crabs hit double digits once again, extend winning streak to nine games

first_imgARCATA >> As the Crabs’ winning streak has gone on, they’ve had a propensity to show that it’s not a matter of if they will score runs, it’s simple when they will push runs across the board.Friday night’s 10-4 win over the Menlo Park Legends provided the latest chapter in the book that is being added to game after game over the last two weeks.Getting contributions from up and down the lineup, Humboldt erased an early 2-1 Menlo Park lead with its latest onslaught of runs, allowing the hometown …last_img read more

Gulf oil spill good for Africa

first_imgIn an effort to clean up oil from the massive Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP sets fire to the surface, burning up everything in the area. There have been reports that this has included oiled sea turtles. (Image: Kris Krüg, Flickr) MEDIA CONTACTS • Institute of Security Studies, Pretoria +27 12 346 9500/2 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • $90bn boost to Africa’s economy • New bridge to boost African trade • Ghana’s world first in legal timber • SA seeks investment in Uganda • African farmers land juicy dealJakkie CilliersTragic as it is, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is good news for Africa – increasingly the new frontier for oil and gas exploration worldwide.Now estimated to be spewing up to 60 000 barrels of oil into the Gulf every day, the Deepwater Horizon spill is huge, but still relatively moderate compared to the leakage that has contaminated places like the Niger Delta and Ecuador’s Amazon.By early July the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico cumulative oil spill reached a bit more than six times that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez (around 27 000 barrels). It is dwarfed, however, by the estimated equivalent of more than 50 Exxon Valdez spills into the Niger Delta by Shell, Chevron, and other companies over five decades – the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez spill every year for half a century.Time will tell what the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill will have on BP, but it is not looking good. The third-largest oil company in the world, BP is set to pay a massive price for the apparent trade off between cost efficiency and safety as the collective fury of the US has turned on the company, with its share price plummeting and its reputation torn to shreds.Different to much of what is happening in the on-shore exploration by Shell in much of the Niger Delta, deep-water drilling is extraordinarily complex, risky and expensive. It is also set to expand as findings on land and in shallow waters run dry.BP, the most swashbuckling and entrepreneurial, has been at the forefront of deepwater drilling and oil extraction for a long time as it sought to extract oil deeper and in different rock formations to that of most others.In Nigeria the majority of oil leaks were from old pipes that corroded and were not maintained. More recently this has been due to the determined efforts by local communities, gangsters and criminals to tap oil or, by creating a spill, gaining some reward during the subsequent cleanup operation. In anticipation of the damage that could befall its stock market price and what remained of its reputation, Shell eventually decided to reduce its on-shore exposure in Nigeria earlier this year, although it did so also in anticipation of impending legislation in front of the federal legislature in Abuja.The demand for oil is rapidly using up the remaining global reserves as world addition to carbon fuels comes to a necessary end. It took the world 140 years to use its first trillion barrels of oil. It will use its second, and final, trillion, in less than 30 years. And the need will just go up and up as global energy demand skyrockets.Currently some 1.5-billion out of 7-billion people still live without electricity and with the increase in global wealth (particularly in China and India) set to continue, the demand for energy is almost endless. As many have indicated, the world has moved from an industrial to a knowledge era, and now into an energy era where the demand and availability of energy will determine global growth patterns.Some African countries are planning ahead. Morocco, the only North African country without oil, is investing several billion dollars in wind energy and will soon provide almost half its need from wind, with the remainder planned for nuclear. While substantial reserves of coal and gas remain, the dependence on a dwindling supply of oil makes competition for this scarce resource particularly voracious and countries need to act now.Although Africa is estimated to only have around 10% of the world’s proven oil reserves (Libya and Nigeria have the largest reserves) it will, by 2025, provide around 25% of North America’s oil and is also increasingly important for other countries. Already Angola is the single largest oil provider to China.Today new sources of oil are being located more frequently in Africa than anywhere else. Hardly a week goes by without a new discovery, often in pristine environmental areas such as Lake Victoria or within the Great Rift Valley. The Niger Delta falls into a similar category. Its mangrove swamps are considered to be one of the ten most important wetlands and marine ecosystems in the world, now also some of the most heavily polluted.As oil runs out elsewhere and stability continues to improve in Africa, exploration on the continent is lucrative business, with companies tripping over one another to obtain exploration rights.The reasons are not hard to fathom. Much of the oil in Africa is off the coast of countries such as Angola and others to the north in the Gulf of Guinea. Transport costs are reduced and no pipelines are required. Ships can load up and sail off, unhindered by instability or indeed the need to invest onshore. Sub-Saharan African oil is also viscous and has a very low sulfur content that requires less refining.Finally, Africa also offers a very favourable contractual environment. Without the capacity to effectively manage and oversee oil exploration and production, nor the ability to amass either the technical expertise or the billions in capital investment required to drill for oil themselves, most countries in sub-Saharan Africa operate on the basis of so-called production-sharing agreements that offer foreign oil companies tremendous down-stream profits. This is particularly advantageous as only four African countries, Algeria, Angola, Libya and Nigeria are members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and therefore not subject to limits on output.Most important of all, virtually all the big discoveries of oil in recent years have been offshore, in deepwater reserves miles way from civil war, insurrection or strife. In fact, one-third of the world’s new oil discoveries since the year 2000 were in Africa.Writing in his 2007 book Untapped: the Scramble of Africa’s Oil (Orlando, Harcourt) John Ghazvinian notes that “African oil is cheaper, safer, and more accessible than its competitors”, and there seems to be more of it every day. And, though Africa may not be able to compete with the Persian Gulf at the level of proven reserves, it has just enough up its sleeve to make it a potential “swing” region – an oil province that can kick in just enough production to keep markets calm when supplies elsewhere in the world are unpredictable.’That the BP deepwater disaster happened within the waters of the global superpower allowed the collective venting of US spleen on an ostensible non-American company. American politicians, President Barack Obama included, could gang up on hapless CEO Tony Hayward as part of a useful domestic political scapegoating exercise, comfortably ignoring their own regulatory failures.The sad reality is that if the Deepwater Horizon happened say to Chevron off the coast of Angola, there would be no $20 bn compensation fund, little impact upon Chevron’s share price, no delay in paying out handsome dividends and certainly no legislative pressure from a hapless Angolan congress.All this has now changed. Exxon Mobil BP, Shell, Total or Chevron (the big five) will not be able to easily hide or obscure a massive spill when next it happens and the chances are best that a new spill will not be within US territorial waters, but perhaps in places such as the Mediterranean where BP will shortly start deepwater drilling in 1 700 metres of water.The well, in the Gulf of Sirte, is the first to be drilled under a $900-million deal BP signed with Libya in 2007, which it described at the time as its largest single exploration commitment. It is also in water substantially deeper than that below the Deepwater Horizon and since it is evident that oil safety technology has not kept pace with exploration technology at these depths, the risks self-evident. One can only hope that the development of improved safety awareness and hopefully, containment and emergency measures, will be spurred by events in the US.Certainly the Deepwater spill will help to focus attention on the need to act environmentally responsibly and to not push exploration boundaries beyond controllable safety limits. The damage that the oil spill will inflict on the sensitive habitat along the coast of Florida will raise consciousness in the largest global oil consumer about the need for responsible exploration as much along the US coast as in emerging African oil producers.For their part African governments need to enter into an alliance with the global green movement to monitor exploration practices, as well as with countries such as Norway that has both managed its oil income and its environment in an exemplary manner. This requires a new partnership for the energy age well beyond current practices.Jakkie Cilliers is the executive director of the Institute for Security Studies Head Office in Pretoria, South Africa. This article was originally published on the ISS website on 6 July 2010.last_img read more

World’s Largest Paid Blogging Platform Goes Real-Time

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Typepad, the SixApart-owned paid blogging service believed to be larger than any other online, announced this morning that every one of its blogs will now make updates available in real time. The service has implemented the Google-backed real-time protocol Pubsubhubbub, an Atom-centric alternative to the real-time protocol RSSCloud, which competitor WordPress turned on for millions of bloggers last week.A fast-growing number of sites around the web are now flying the real-time banner, no longer requiring that news reading software poll them for updates several times an hour. With two of the largest blogging software providers now real-time, blogging could steal a little thunder back from immediacy-rich social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Josh Fraser, a Pubsubhubbub contributor, wrote a comparison of that protocol and RSSCloud on TechCrunch this weekend. Fraser favors Pubsubhubbub but says that both are a big win for the real-time web. Developer Chuck Shotton has written about the prospects of making the two protocols interoperable. “I know this sounds dorky,” RSSCloud lead developer Dave Winer said last night on Twitter, “but I don’t see rssCloud and Pubsubhubub competing. It’s not either-or.” Note that the Typepad announcement says that Google Reader is consuming Pubsubhubbub feeds – but we’ve confirmed with protocol developer Brad Fitzpatrick and then with SixApart that this was a misunderstanding. Google Reader still does not consume real time feeds. When it does, that will be a big deal for the real time web. Tags:#NYT#Real-Time Web#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

10 months agoAston Villa manager Smith unsure about Abraham & Chelsea

first_imgAston Villa manager Smith unsure about Abraham & Chelseaby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAston Villa manager Dean Smith admits he’s not sure if the club will retain Tammy Abraham.The Chelsea loanee has fired in 12 goals for Villa this season and reports have suggested he could return to Stamford Bridge to be loaned out to a Premier League club.Asked about the speculation, Smith said: “I’ve no idea about the contract situation if I am honest. All we can do is work with him, we have a good relationship with Chelsea.”Eddie Newton [Chelsea’s loan technical coach] was up here over a month ago, looking and checking at his development.”He’s been developing with us all the time. He is enjoying his football and I think that is a big thing in the development of the young lad’s future.”He wants to go and keep scoring goals for us and that’s what we are in control of at the moment.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

New Brunswick health officials confirm 9th case of measles in province

first_imgFREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick have confirmed another case of measles — bringing the total to nine in the Saint John area — and some officials predict the number could go higher.Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer, says the latest case is linked to a previous infection at Kennebecasis Valley High School.On Friday, public health officials issued a directive that staff and students at the high school must receive a measles booster shot if they want to continue working and studying at the school.As of Monday, more than 950 students and staff had been given the vaccine, and it was still available to the final few people who had not received it.District school officials have cancelled a number of planned out-of-province class trips at two other schools in the district as a result of the measles outbreak.“In light of the long incubation period of the measles virus, and the understanding that more cases of measles could possibly be confirmed in the coming days, it was decided not to take an unnecessary risk,” district communications director Jessica Hanlon wrote in an email.“Our greatest concern would be that a student could start to present symptoms while travelling, away from home and their regular health care provider, and in extended, close proximity to their classmates.”Early symptoms of the virus may include fever, cough or tiny white spots in the mouth.Within three to seven days, a red rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs.Dr. Serge Melanson, an emergency physician in Moncton and president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, said he’s not surprised by the number of cases. He believes the total could rise.“Given the infectiousness and ease of spread of this particular virus, it’s not all that surprising that we’re up to nine. And that’s despite public health and the regional health authorities doing an exceptionally good job getting out a lot of information to folks on what to do and how to contain it and to urge people to vaccinate,” he said Tuesday.“It has a very long incubation period, which means people can feel relatively well for a good week or two weeks before they display symptoms, which means they have a lot of opportunity to transmit it to other folks,” Melanson said.  Education Minister Dominic Cardy has said he’s not ruling out mandatory immunization for teachers and school staff in the province. Russell has been asked if she thinks that’s necessary but said that during an outbreak is not the time for that debate.On Friday, legislators in neighbouring Maine signed into law a bill that eliminates religious and philosophical exemptions for vaccinations in the state. Maine has one of the highest rates of non-medical vaccine exemptions in the United States.Melanson said he isn’t prepared to push for the same action in New Brunswick.“I’ll leave those policy debates to those drafting those laws, but I will say there’s little scientific doubt that the easiest, safest and best way to prevent the spread of these communicable diseases is by vaccination,” he said.“What the medical field can do better, I think, is attempting to debunk some of the messages that are out there in the community, on social media and other platforms that are promoting vaccination hesitancy.”The measles virus is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected person. Measles can be more severe in adults and infants and can lead to complications.Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Mars to base US headquarters in New Jersey

first_imgNEWARK, N.J. – Mars Wrigley Confectionary is basing its U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.The maker of M&M’s, Snickers and Skittles on Tuesday announced it will operate from existing offices in Hackettstown and open a new space in Newark. The company’s world headquarters will remain in Chicago.New Jersey recently approved a 10-year, $31 million tax enticement for the company.Mars Wrigley says the move is expected to bring 1,500 jobs to New Jersey. It says it plans to move 113 jobs from Chicago and 370 jobs from Hackettstown to Newark, which should be operational by 2020.Mars operated in Newark when M&M’s were created as military rations in 1941. The Hackettstown location opened in 1958.last_img read more

Unexpectedly weak data on inflation retail sales cloud central banks next step

first_imgOTTAWA – A pair of unexpectedly soft economic reports are creating fresh doubts about the timing of the Bank of Canada’s next interest rate hike.For months, experts have been predicting Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz to raise his benchmark rate at next month’s meeting. But broadening economic unknowns — mostly linked to trade concerns around U.S. President Donald Trump’s protectionist agenda — have begun to lead some analysts to wonder if Poloz will stand pat on July 11.And on Friday two reports from Statistics Canada added more uncertainty to the interest rate outlook.One release by the agency found Canada’s annual inflation rose at a pace of 2.2 per cent in May for the second straight month. The number, however, was cooler than market expectations of 2.6 per cent.In the second report, Statistics Canada found that retail sales contracted in April by 1.2 per cent for the reading’s first month-to-month decline since December.“These reports kind of highlight an economy that has slowed pretty significantly from the last year or two,” Robert Kavcic, senior economist for BMO Capital Markets, said in an interview.“Given a lot of the uncertainty out there, and a little bit of a softer tone to this data, I think expectations for a July rate hike have probably come down a little bit.”Royce Mendes of CIBC Capital Markets wrote in a report that Friday’s “bad data” make it even more difficult for the Bank of Canada to hike rates in July. Mendes noted, however, that things could improve before Poloz’s July 11 meeting because more important numbers on gross domestic product and employment are still on the way.Nathan Janzen, RBC senior economist, said the combination of Friday’s figures, somewhat slower economic growth and a deteriorating tone in trade discussions with the U.S. “aren’t all that encouraging” and will make the Bank of Canada’s rate decision closer than previously thought.Ranko Berich, head analyst at Monex Canada and Monex Europe, said the central bank’s July rate decision is “now an unknown factor.”The hunt for clues into Poloz’s thinking will continue next Wednesday when he gives a speech to the chamber of commerce in Victoria, B.C.The May annual inflation number in Friday’s report followed the 2.2 per cent reading for April and 2.3 per cent for March.The main contributors to inflation last month were led by gasoline prices. Compared to a year earlier, they climbed 22.9 per cent in May and helped drive overall energy prices for the month 11.6 per cent higher.Inflation also received a lift because Canadians paid more last month for restaurants, airline tickets and mortgage interest costs.Consumers, however, paid less in May for telephone services, natural gas and digital devices and computers.The report also found the average of the Bank of Canada’s three measures of core inflation, which leave out more-volatile numbers like pump prices, slowed to 1.9 per cent last month.The core readings, which are closely monitored by the central bank, averaged 2.03 per cent in April, which was the strongest pace in six years.On retail trade, the April contraction of 1.2 per cent pulled total sales down to $49.5 billion.The April decrease was mostly due to a 4.3 per cent decline in sales by motor vehicle and parts dealers — with new car dealerships reporting a 5.1 per cent drop and used car lots seeing a contraction of 4.1 per cent.Statistics Canada said April’s unusually cool temperatures and bad weather in many parts of the country may have been to blame for the overall decline.The decrease was concentrated in the largest provinces. Sales fell 2.3 per cent in Ontario, while Quebec saw a 2.7 per cent drop.Statistics Canada, however, did release an upward revision to its retail sales data for March. The updated reading shows a 0.8 per cent increase, compared to its preliminary 0.6 per cent estimate.Friday’s reports will help feed the Bank of Canada’s deliberations as its governing council considers its next interest rate decision.For inflation, the bank can use interest rate hikes as a tool to help prevent it from climbing too high. The Bank of Canada tries to keep inflation from moving outside a range of between one and three per cent.Recent inflation readings — including Friday’s — have been hovering just above the two per cent mid-point of the bank’s target range.It’s unlikely, however, to have a significant impact on upcoming rate decisions because governor Poloz has predicted inflation to stay above two per cent for all of 2018. He’s predicted inflation to average 2.3 per cent this year before settling back down to 2.1 per cent in 2019 — in large part due to the temporary effects of higher gas prices and the introduction of minimum wage increases in some provinces.He’s raised the trend-setting interest rate three times since last July, but he hasn’t touched the rate since January. It’s been at 1.25 per cent ever since.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more

Ford recalls nearly 15M Focuses because engines can stall

first_imgDETROIT – Ford is recalling nearly 1.5 million Focus compact cars in North America because a fuel system problem can cause the engines to stall without warning.The recall covers cars from the 2012 through 2018 model years with 2-litre four-cylinder engines.Ford says a valve in the fuel system can stick in the open position, causing too much vacuum, and an engine control computer may not detect the problem. Excessive vacuum can cause the gas tank to deform, as well as other problems.The recall came after the U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration presented owner complaints to Ford. About 1.3 million of the recalled vehicles are in the U.S.Dealers will reprogram the computer with new software that will detect a stuck valve, which the company says will take care of the problem in most cases. They’ll also inspect the valve, a carbon canister and gas tank and replace them if needed.Ford says owners should keep the gas tank at least half full until repairs are made.The company says it’s not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the problem.The recall is expected to begin on Dec. 10.last_img read more

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