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Michigan vs. Villanova for NCAA title game

first_img Written by Beau Lund April 1, 2018 /Sports News – National Michigan vs. Villanova for NCAA title gamecenter_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailiStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The NCAA national championship game is set as Michigan will take on Villanova.Villanova beat Kansas 95-79 on Saturday night and Michigan put an end to Loyola Chicago’s Cinderella story with a 69-57 win.Michgian hasn’t won a NCAA title since 1989; Villanova’s came only two years ago in 2016. They meet Monday, April 2. The title game will tip off at 9:20 p.m. ET. Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img

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Renting, the New American Dream

first_imgBy Tom PurcellGet this: Renting is the new American dream. And that doesn’t bode well for America.According to a report by the Urban Institute, American homeownership rates are the lowest they’ve been in years and will continue to decline.Homeownership, which peaked in 2006 at 67.3 percent, now sits at 63.6 percent, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey. It’s been dropping ever since the financial collapse of 2008.Between 2010 and 2030, the Urban Institute estimates, 22 million new households will form. The majority of them, 59 percent, will be renters, while just 41 percent will be homeowners.Which means more households will vote for Democrats over Republicans.According to a University of Virginia Center for Politics study, you see, “homeowners are much more likely to vote for Republicans than renters (34 to 18 percent), while renters are more likely to vote for Democrats than homeowners (44 to 35 percent).”That’s because the responsibility of homeownership — the continuous hassles, expenses and taxes — brings out the conservative in even the most diehard liberal.Boy, did I learn that lesson the hard way.I had my first taste of ownership 17 years ago after buying a fixer-upper that made Herman Munster’s place look like the Trump Palace. The house nearly killed me.When I tore off a rickety porch enclosure, I was stung multiple times by angry hornets.It took me weeks to catch the mice in my attic, which woke me every morning at 3 a.m. as they scratched the ceiling, building their nests.I nearly died the day ground bees attacked me. I poured a big cup of gasoline down their hole and nearly burned my house down when, after lighting it, flames shot out, 20 feet high.I haven’t mentioned the snake incident, the electrical problem (I had to rewire most of the house) or how, every time it drizzles, the water in my basement makes Niagara Falls look like a lap pool.Nor have I mentioned the battle with the septic tank, or the moron who dug it up and broke the lid — causing me to hand-dig a couple of tons of earth surrounding it while straddling the stinky thing for three days.These are just some of the many miseries common to homeowners — miseries renters don’t know the first thing about. Add to these the constant trips to the hardware store to fix the things that break, as well as the taxes and other expenses that make homeownership a costly pain, and the typical homeowner will vote for more conservative principles.Homeowners are more likely to vote for people who won’t raise our already costly utilities and property taxes. We’ll vote for the candidate whose policies will lower, rather than increase, the cost of building materials.We want the person who will put an end to federally mandated low-flow toilets and washers and dishwashers — toilets, washers and dishwashers that don’t flush or clean very well.My vote is for the politician who initiates pro-growth policies that will get homeownership back up to 2006 levels.As homeownership increases, America will become much grumpier, thus much more likely to vote Republican.We’ll demand simpler and lower taxes and other commonsense reforms. The economy will boom. Our property values will soar.Then we can sell our homes at great profit, become renters and vote for Democrats — and finally start to enjoy life for once while we mooch off the people dumb enough to still own homes.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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U2 Rocks Newark’s Prudential Center [Review/Photos]

first_imgPhoto: Marc Millman More than 40 years into their career, this little band from Dublin, Ireland still rule supreme when they take the stage. Ten years into their career, U2 took the stage on a smoldering hot day in East Rutherford, NJ at Giants Stadium to play as a headliner on the final night of the Amnesty International A Conspiracy of Hope tour. The Police reunited for the tour and played a blistering set that included Bono joining them for “Invisible Sun”. But when they show was over, everyone in attendance agreed that the torch had been passed from Sting to Bono. And now U2 were the biggest band in the world. Less than a year later, The Joshua Tree was released and all in attendance that day had their beliefs confirmed.Last year the band took that landmark album about the band and their complicated love relationship with America on the road again. And now they are back with another tour promoting their 14th studio album, Songs of Experience. And with some of the most dazzling visuals on par with last year’s Roger Waters tour, they are playing a set that features music from the early days and now. But oddly it skips all of The Joshua Tree. That didn’t mean it was a show without hits. This band has plenty of those of their career. Combined with visuals that included white supremacists and Martin Luther King, Bono used the stage to preach against our current President and his supporters in much the same way he has since his early days talking about the unrest in Northern Ireland, the heroin epidemic that was killing his countries young and the unjust imprisonment of people around the world. The sensory overload of his powerhouse vocals and the music made by his three bandmates allowed songs like Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride (In The Name of Love) and I will Follow to bring you right back to concerts at places like The Palladium, Pier 84, Madison Square Garden and Giants Stadium in the 80s. When they hit the Elevation stage for the start of the second set, It was the power of The Edge‘s chiming guitar and the locked-in rhythms of Larry Mullen Jr. and Adam Clayton that made songs like “Vertigo” and “Desire” shake the arena to it’s rafters.It’s been 27 years since Achtung Baby was released. Many consider this to be the band’s last great album, and so it stands to reason that they should be surpassed by a number of bands in that constant battle for the throne. But as the arena lit up with cell phone lights and everyone began the giant sing-along that is the hit sing from that album, there was no doubt that the four men from Dublin are still in control when they hit the stage.The Stones will always be “The World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band,” Coldplay will continue to try and dazzle the masses with their technicolored shows, and Foo Fighters will continue to rock hard. But U2 may be the last great band in rock to be around for more than four decades and still have it’s original members and still be able to make a big arena feel like a smaller theater. And that is no small feat.U2 | Prudential Center | Newark, NJ | 6/29/18 | Photos: Marc Millman Load remaining imageslast_img read more

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Writing Center gives students opportunity to work with tutors

first_imgChris Collins | The Observer A student consults with a tutor in the Coleman-Morse location of the Writing Center, which is open to students of all ages, skill levels and areas of study.Junior Evelyn Heck, also a tutor for the Writing Center, said its methodology focuses on ideas and communication. Taking cues from the way writing works in a real world academic environment, it focuses on improving a student’s writing through organic discussion with tutors, Heck said. At the Writing Center, she said, a student can receive constructive criticism about their writing as well as discuss, debate and order their ideas. “The purpose of the Writing Center is to promote discussion about various topics, and also to help writers shape their ways of thinking, and that’s the first step in writing a good paper,” Heck said. “It’s much less about editing and grammar or ‘What does the professor want?’ and it’s so much more about really shaping the way the writers can narrow in on what their ideas are on a given subject and express it in their own words.”Matthew Capdevielle, director of the Writing Center, oversees the selection and training of the student tutors. To be a tutor for the Writing Center, a student must be recommended for the position by a professor, submit an application and go through an interview process. Students who have been selected as tutors take a class during their first semester as a tutor, which exposes them to the basics of teaching, tutoring and different types of rhetoric.While its focus is to improve student writing, the Writing Center is far from a remedial program. John Duffy, director of the University Writing Program and former director of the Writing Center, said the main thing people don’t understand about the Writing Center is it’s not just for bad writers — it offers all students, regardless of age, skill level or subject an opportunity to improve their writing at any stage of the process.“Good writers understand that they can always be better, and one of the ways to get better is to talk about your writing and to talk about the ways you can improve,” he said. “So the main misconception, I would say, is that to go to the Writing Center doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer — it means you want to be a better writer.”Duffy said the best way to utilize the resources the Writing Center has to offer is through their online portal at writingcenter.nd.edu. On the website, clients can create an online account and schedule a 45-minute meeting with one of the Writing Center’s tutors.  In the midst of midterms and application season, those looking to improve their writing skills can visit the Writing Center to discuss their work and receive constructive criticism. The center is open to anyone, regardless of skill level or area of study, senior Kathryn Minko, a tutor at the center said, and allows clients to work on any form of writing with trained student tutors.“The Writing Center is a tool for undergraduate, graduate students — pretty much anybody to come in and just work on their writing and have a conversation about it,” she said. “There’s an emphasis on collaboration, not just the tutor telling the student what’s wrong with their paper.” Tags: Midterms, tutoring, Writing Centerlast_img read more

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Idina Menzel Will Perform Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ at the Academy Awards

first_imgIt’s time for the rest of the world to see what she can do! Idina Menzel will rise like the break of dawn and take the Oscar stage by storm (you, know, like a blizzard) to perform Frozen’s “Let It Go” at the 86th Academy Awards. Show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have confirmed that the Tony winner will perform the Oscar-nominated song at the March 2 show, airing live on ABC. Menzel wrote of the news on her Facebook page: “It’s really happening. I’m singing on the Oscars! Surreal. Thank you Frozen family and Oscar producers for this incredible opportunity.” The moment “Let It Go” was nominated for Best Original Song, we immediately wondered if Menzel would be able to take a night off from rehearsing If/Then to perform the show-stopping anthem at the ceremony. Obviously, the song is brought to magical-frozen-fractals-all-around life by Menzel in the movie, but was simultaneously released as a single by pop singer Demi Lovato. Disney’s Frozen juggernaut rages on: the movie is the fifth highest-grossing animated feature in history ($913 million worldwide and counting) and it’s the favorite to win Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. The movie’s soundtrack, featuring an incredible score by Tony, Emmy and Grammy winner Robert Lopez and his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez, has sold over 863,000 copies in the U.S. and is the first soundtrack to spend four weeks at number one on the Billboard 200 chart since 2003. Star Files View Comments Disney’s Frozencenter_img And now for the part of this story you’ve all really been waiting for… Check out Idina Menzel performing “Let It Go” at the 2013 D23 Expo in the first video below and then watch (for the gazillionth time) Elsa, the Snow Queen, show the cold who’s boss in the second video! You’re welcome. Idina Menzellast_img read more

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Housing leaders from 13 countries to visit Vermont next week

first_imgFrom Monday, September 14 to Friday, September 18 the Champlain Housing Trust will host 25 housing policy researchers and practitioners from thirteen countries and six different continents for a week-long study visit to learn about CHT’s innovative and internationally recognized Community Land Trust model of housing delivery. The visit is coordinated by the Building and Social Housing Foundation with Housing Trust staff and is a follow-up from CHT being recognized with a World Habitat Award last year.The week will kick off on Monday with current and former mayors of Burlington greeting the guests, including US Senator Bernie Sanders (invited), Mayor Bob Kiss and former Mayor Peter Clavelle. The Burlington City Council will officially welcome the delegation Monday evening at their Council meeting.Throughout the week, there will be tours of the Housing Trust’s properties throughout Chittenden and Franklin Counties, from Swanton to Shelburne. Shelburne Farms is hosting the group for an afternoon and evening of discussion on Vermont’s successful marriage of land conservation and affordable housing. The guest of honor that evening will be former Governor Madeline Kunin.Source: Champlain Housing Trustlast_img read more

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Puerto Rico Fiscal Plan Foresees 11% GDP Drop, 8% Population Decline, and No Payments to Creditors

first_imgPuerto Rico Fiscal Plan Foresees 11% GDP Drop, 8% Population Decline, and No Payments to Creditors FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:Puerto Rico’s governor submitted a revised fiscal plan Thursday that estimates the U.S. Caribbean territory’s economy will shrink by 11 percent and its population drop by nearly 8 percent next year.The proposal doesn’t set aside any money to pay creditors in the next five years as the island struggles to restructure a portion of its $73 billion public debt. The original plan had set aside $800 million a year for creditors, a fraction of the roughly $35 billion due in interest and payments over the next decade.The five-year plan also assumes Puerto Rico will receive at least $35 billion in emergency federal funds for post-storm recovery and another $22 billion from private insurance companies — figures still far below the $95 billion in damage officials estimate was caused by Hurricane Maria, which hit in September.Some analysts view the assumption of that much aid as risky given that the U.S. Treasury Department and U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency recently told Puerto Rico officials that they are temporarily withholding billions of dollars approved by Congress last year for post-hurricane recovery because they believe the island currently has sufficient funds.“I think counting on $30 billion is overreaching,” Puerto Rico economist Jose Caraballo said in a phone interview. “There’s great uncertainty in that sense, and especially with a Republican government that cares little to nothing about what is happening in Puerto Rico.”The plan also projects a brief burst of 7.6 percent GDP growth for 2019 — a figure Caraballo said is overly optimistic.“Puerto Rico would grow more than Panama, Dominican Republic and China, and that seems a bit exaggerated to me,” he said.Rossello said an original $350 million cut to the island’s 78 municipalities will not be immediately imposed as they struggle post-hurricane. Instead, he said they will receive more money than usual in upcoming years.Rossello also called for reducing several taxes, including an 11.5 percent sales-and-use tax to 7 percent for prepared food. More than 30 percent of power customers remain in the dark more than four months after Hurricane Maria, forcing many to spend their dwindling savings on eating out.A federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances has to approve of the plan, which it envisions doing by Feb. 23.“The Oversight Board views implementing structural reforms and investing in critical infrastructure as key to restoring economic growth and increasing confidence of residents and businesses,” Natalie Jaresko, the board’s executive director, said in a statement Thursday. “Our focus in certifying the revised plans will be to ensure they reflect Puerto Rico’s post-hurricane realities.”More: Puerto Rico warns of 11 percent GDP drop in new fiscal planlast_img read more

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BCFP follows CUNA recommendation with ‘no-action’ letter proposal

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection will issue a proposal to revise its current “No-Action” letter policy following CUNA efforts to have the bureau amend to provide clarity regarding enforcement and supervision expectations. The proposal will have a 60-day comment period after it is published in the Federal Register, which is expected soon.A bureau no-action letter signifies that bureau staff has no present intent to recommend initiation of supervisory or enforcement action against a particular product or service from a particular entity.CUNA encouraged the bureau to amend its no-action letter policy during an August meeting with Bureau Assistant Director Paul Watkins, head of the Office of Innovation, which announced the upcoming proposal.last_img read more

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Oil hits five-month highs as US producers cut output ahead of hurricane

first_imgUS producers cut crude output ahead of Hurricane Laura at a rate approaching the level of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and also halted most oil refining along the Texas/Louisiana coast.Laura is expected to strengthen into a major hurricane with 115 mile per hour (185 kph) winds before it strikes the coast near the Texas-Louisiana border early Thursday, according to the US National Hurricane Center.On Tuesday, producers had evacuated 310 offshore facilities and shut 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output, 84 percent of Gulf of Mexico’s offshore production, near the 90 percent outage that Katrina brought 15 years ago.“Today’s strength was again almost entirely attributable to storm concerns,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois, noting the storm factor would likely overshadow the weekly storage report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Analysts forecast US crude stockpiles fell for a fifth week in a row last week, according to a Reuters poll conducted ahead of reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) at 4:30 p.m. (2030 GMT) on Tuesday and the government on Wednesday.“Overall, hurricanes may be limiting supply this week … but the market will soon again focus on the biggest hurricane of them all, COVID-19,” said Bjornar Tonhaugen, head of oil markets at Rystad Energy.Europe is seeing a rise in coronavirus cases, including re-infection. Two re-infections were reported in Europe and one in Hong Kong.Elsewhere, US and Chinese trade officials reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal.Topics : Crude oil prices rose to a five-month high on Tuesday as US producers shut most offshore output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Laura even as rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe capped gains.Brent futures LCOc1 rose 73 cents, or 1.6 percent, to settle at US$45.86 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 rose 73 cents, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $43.35.That was the highest closes for both benchmarks since March 5, the day before Saudi Arabia and Russia failed to agree on a new plan to cut output and about a week before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.last_img read more

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Dutch pension fund considers replacing government bonds with swaps

first_imgDEPF, the €1.7bn pension fund of coffee producer Douwe Egberts, is considering replacing its government bond holdings with interest swaps to “create space” for better-returning investments.Director Elvin van den Hoek said DEFP would look into the possible strategy change if the pension fund decided to ramp up the investment portfolio’s risk profile, something it is currently considering.Long-term government bonds in a matching portfolio make up 29% of DEPF’s total assets.“The returns on long government bonds is very low at the moment,” Van den Hoek said. “If we could replace them for swaps, we would create space for better-performing investments, which would improve the potential for indexation.”Last year, the pension fund introduced a 4.9% allocation to residential mortgages at the expense of its government bond holdings, according to its 2014 annual report. DEPF reported an investment return of 18.8%, attributing the 0.6% underperformance to fund managers’ “disappointing” execution – both for the matching portfolio and alternative investments.Alternatives returned 7.5%, while equities returned 14.3%.The pension fund’s combined holdings in government bonds, mortgages and interest derivatives returned 25.2%.Over the course of 2014, the Douwe Egberts scheme reduced its interest hedge from 50% to 45% of its liabilities, whilst keeping the level of its strategic cover at 50%.It also kept the strategic currency hedge of the US and Hong Kong dollars, the British pound and the Japanese yen at 66.7%, after losing 1.4% due to the weakening of the euro against other currencies.However, it added that it would look into the possibility of introducing a dynamic currency hedge. The pension fund granted active participants a 2% indexation, while deferred participants and pensioners received an inflation compensation of 0.3%. DEPF said it could reduce the contribution from 26% to 21% due to cost-cutting on pension arrangements.It said it was able to limit transaction costs to 0.08% in 2014 by re-balancing its portfolio annually rather than on a monthly basis, in addition to allocating government-bond returns to its liquidity policy instead of re-investing the proceeds.The pension fund reported administration costs per participant of €150.At April-end, DEPF’s official ‘policy’ funding was 112.5%.The scheme has 2,225 active participants, 3,695 deferred members and 4,320 pensioners.last_img read more