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Michael Noonan: 'New Central Bank mortgage deposit rules too strict'

Finance Minister Michael Noonan FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan has said he believes proposed Central Bank rules on mortgage deposits should be softened. He also said he’ll be pushing the Central Bank not to implement the rules in full in January. It had been expected that the controversial measures ensuring most first time buyers would need a hefty deposit to buy a house would be in place by the start of next year, although Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan has already hinted at delays. “The full rules don’t have to come in at the beginning of January,” he told Pat Kenny on Newstalk. “There are people who are on the last couple of thousand putting their deposit together and I wouldn’t pull the rug out from under them, so I’ll be asking the Central Bank to have a look at that. “But it will be their decision.”The Central Bank’s plan to cap most home loans at 80pc aims to insulate banks from the effects of any new bubble. There are also proposals to limit the size of a mortgage to three-and-a-half times a family’s income, which is less controversial. The plan is going through a consultation process that is due to end on December 8.Under the current plan, 15pc of the banks lending over a six month period can be above the 80pc loan-to-value  limit.But Mr Noonan said he believes this should be extended to 20pc or 25pc.“I would like if they’re relying on 15pc of any loan book to be ...  

At Harvard, Technology Resurrects Long-Silent Voices Of Poets

Harvard’s Woodberry Poetry Room is home to thousands of archived recordings from some of the most important English language-poets of the age — T.S. Eliot, Sylvia Plath, Robert Frost. (Curt Nickisch/WBUR) CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Imagine being around the Thanksgiving table on Thursday and having someone pull out a sound recording of a family member you barely knew, or a relative you’d only heard stories about. That rare, personal discovery is something that poetry researchers at Harvard University are now experiencing. In the warmly lit Woodberry Poetry Room, walled with well-worn books, researcher Mary Walker Graham is unwrapping a sealed wooden box like a gift. Inside it is a sort of gift, a gift to the English language. A black record, a disc, the only one of its kind in the world. In wax crayon in the center is written: “Canto 56, Part 2.” It’s a master recording of Ezra Pound in 1939, reading part of his modern epic poem, “The Cantos.” But the disc is falling apart. A new service from a Massachusetts nonprofit is recovering endangered audio recordings, such as this one of Ezra Pound reading part of his epic poem “The Cantos” in 1939. (Julie Martin/NEDCC) “You can see that the lacquer is beginning to come completely separated from the metal base,” Walker Graham says, holding the record. “It’s far past beginning, actually, this is what you would call advanced delamination. ...  

Fitbit Planning Expansion Into India and Other Asian Markets in 2015

After announcing three new fitness trackers, Fitbit is planning to expand its reach to Asian markets next year.Fitbit, as reported by WSJ, will be making its appearance in India, Indonesia, Philippines, and Taiwan. "I believe the Asian market will be a major contributor to Fitbit's global growth within a few years," elaborated Yolanda Chan, Vice President and General Manager of Asia Pacific in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.Notably, Fitbit recently expanded its South Korea, China and Thailand markets, and Chan added that the firm is also getting ready to expand to other regions in China including Guangzhou, Suzhou and Shenzhen.The California-based fitness tracker firm is also investing in a considerable amount of promotion of its brand. "Next year, we will have more aggressive marketing campaigns in the region as the general public is not aware of Fitbit," added Chan. Fitbit is also noted to be promoting itself via social apps like WeChat and Sina's Weibo.To stay ahead in the competition, Chan added that the firm is in talks with some fashion designers and designer brands to make Fitbit products more striking. It is worth noting that Tory Burch, an American fashion designer, collaborated with Fitbit to design the Flex accessory, which included a brass pendant and bracelet.The firm last month unveiled three new fitness trackers, the Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Charge HR, and Fitbit Surge. It also announced Cortana compatibility for its newest fitness trackers, allowing Wi...  

Xavi i Iniest in FIFPro list

... (Manchester United), Eden Hazard ( Chelsea FC), Kroos (Real Madrid), Modric (Real Madrid CF), Özil (Arsenal FC), Pirlo ( Juventus), Pogba ( Juventus), James Rodríguez (Real Madrid), Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern Munich) and Arturo Vidal (Juventus).  

Bacon, eggs and Banting

INDEPENDENT MEDIA A breakfast of bacon and egg is better than so-called health foods, says Sally-Ann Creed who promotes a low carb high fat way of eating. Picture: Marilyn Bernard Durban - Hardly a day goes by without the word Banting cropping up. Everyone knows someone who is Banting – following the diet recently popularised by Professor Tim Noakes and his Real Meal Revolution. Sell-out attendances at Noakes events in Durban and, more recently, packed houses for his right-hand woman, Cape Town nutritional therapist Sally-Ann Creed, fuelled by word-of mouth testimonies of weight lost and energy gained, indicate that increasing numbers of people are trying the low carbohydrate high fat (LCHF) way of eating. Critics of the diet say it is, at best, a fad and, at worst, dangerous, but supporters are not distracted. At a breakfast event at La Bella restaurant in Durban where generous plates of egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, zucchini and bacon were served with a slice of Banting-friendly bread, Banters swopped stories of how the lifestyle was working for them and how they dealt with hitches like stubborn weight or constipation. Creed, co-author of The Real Meal Revolution book that has sold more than 160 000 copies and has translation rights pending in many countries, demonstrated with zeal how a “healthy” high fibre, low fat breakfast didn’t live up to its name. In A Tale Of Two Breakfasts, she totted up the sugar content of cereal, fruit juice, toast and j...  

Asian Currencies Drop a Third Month on Weak Yen, Falling Crude

Asian currencies fell for a third month on speculation a slump in the yen will prompt some central banks to tolerate losses to aid exporters. The Japanese, South Korean and Taiwanese currencies led the declines in North Asia following the Bank of Japan’s unexpected decision last month to add to its unprecedented stimulus. Those exchange rates tend to track each other because manufacturers compete in similar export markets such as electronics and mobile phones. Malaysia’s ringgit was Southeast Asia’s worst-performing currency as the net oil-exporting nation faces the prospect of falling revenue due to the plunge in crude. “Yen-linked currencies, such as the won and the Taiwan dollar, are doing worse because of the very huge yen depreciation,” said Singapore-based Sook Mei Leong, the Southeast Asia head of global markets research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. “The drop in oil prices is negative for the ringgit.” The Bloomberg-JPMorgan Asia Dollar Index, which tracks the 10 most-active currencies excluding the yen, fell 1 percent in November and is down 2.5 percent since the end of August. The yen lost 5 percent as of 9:06 a.m. in London, the won 3.5 percent and Taiwan’s dollar dropped 1.8 percent. The ringgit weakened 2.8 percent. While Japan is extending stimulus to prop up growth and fight deflation, China cut interest rates last week for the first time since 2012 as the economy is set to expand at the slowest pa...  

European Markets Fall As OPEC Maintains Quota

The European markets are trading lower on Friday, after oil cartel OPEC left production quotas unchanged at its meeting in Vienna. It is feared that falling oil prices could increase the risk of deflation in the euro zone. Yet, travel-related stocks advanced on the day.On the economic front, Eurozone inflation slowed in November after accelerating slightly in the previous month, according to preliminary data released by Eurostat. The flash euro area annual inflation fell to 0.3 percent from October's 0.4 percent, in line with economists' expectations. Separately, Eurostat announced that the Eurozone unemployment rate held steady at 11.5 percent in October for a second straight month since August. That was also in line with economists' expectations.German retail sales grew at the fastest pace in more than three years in October, as consumer confidence strengthens amid favorable labor market conditions and low inflation.Retail sales rose a calendar-and-seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent month-over-month, preliminary figures from Destatis revealed. Economists had expected 1.5 percent growth. The increase was the biggest since June 2011, when sales grew 2.6 percent. France's domestic producer prices declined in October as expected, figures from the statistical office INSEE showed. The producer price index for the French market fell 1.4 percent annually, in line with economists' expectations. Prices fell at the same pace in September and August. The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone b...  

European markets slip as Opec keeps crude ouput untouched, dollar firms

London: Oil prices extended their recent slide on Friday, sending related shares and currencies lower, after Opec decided to refrain from cutting output despite a supply glut. Brent crude touched a low of $71.12 a barrel after settling at a four-year closing low on Thursday, when Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the cartel to cut production to stem a slide in global prices.Opec logo. AFP Oil dominated Asian trade, and was set to remain in focus as US markets reopened after the Thanksgiving holiday. Brent crude came off its lows to trade 0.8 percent lower at $72.00, and was poised to shed more than 16 percent for November. US crude was last down 6.7 percent at $68.78. European oil and gas stocks dropped 4.7 percent, crimping the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300, which fell 0.5 percent to 1,386.17 and looked set to snap a five-day winning streak. The top four risers on the index were airlines, which are among the biggest beneficiaries of a drop in oil prices. The safe-haven dollar firmed against commodity-related stocks and also the euro and the yen. Although a lower oil price helps to support economic growth, it undermines attempts in Japan and the euro zone to avoid deflation. "Whatever positive connotations lower energy might have for global growth, the extent and pace of the decline in oil seems the more worrying factor for the moment," said Michael Turner, a strategist with RBC Capital Markets. Euro zone sovereign bond yields were pinned at record lows on Fr...  

Tennis: Ivanovic delights, shuts out Hantuchova in Manila IPTL opener

Ana Ivanovic shuts out Daniela Hantuchova, 6-0. Photo by KC CruzAna Ivanovic charmed the Philippine crowd on Friday, flashing a bright smile while crushing Daniela Hantuchova, 6-0, in the women's singles match between the Micromax Indian Aces and the Singapore Slammers in the Manila leg of the IPTL tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.The Indian Aces almost scored a shutout against the Singapore team, before the duo of Nick Kyrgios and Tomas Berdych secured the Slammers' only win.In the first match, Rohan Bopanna's power and Sania Mirza's precision propelled the Indian Aces past the duo of Bruno Soares and Daniela Hantuchova, 6-4, in the mixed doubles category. In the champions competition, Frenchman Fabrice Santoro came up big, capitalizing on his opponent's errors to beat Aussie legend Patrick Rafter, 6-5.In the men's double's category, the Singapore Slammers recovered with a 6-2 victory by Nick Kyrgios and Tomas Berdych over Bopanna and Gael Monfils. The final match was the men's singles battle, where Gael Monfils dominated Lleyton Hewitt, 6-1. - GMA News ...  

Malaysia Airlines says 3Q losses expanded

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia Airlines says its losses worsened in the third quarter after its business was hit by two deadly passenger jet disasters this year. The flag carrier said Friday that its net loss in the quarter rose 53 percent from a ...  

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