US home sales fall at fastest pace on record

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US home sales fall at fastest pace on record

By | September 9, 2017

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sales of previously owned homes in the US fell at the fastest rate ever recorded last December, according to data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

According to the association, existing home sales fell 16.7% last month, to an annual rate of 5.45 million, the largest crash since 1968. The figure was less than the 5.90 million units, or an eleven percent drop, predicted by most analysts.

Sales of homes went up for the entire of 2009 to 5.156 million units, or 4.9% for the year, and prices dropped from 2008 by 12.4%.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun described the figures as being “probably the largest annual drop since the Great Depression”. He said that “the market is going through a period of swings driven by the tax credit. We’re likely to have another surge in the spring. Job creation is the key to a continued recovery in the second half of the year.”

Pierre Ellis, a senior economist for Decision Economics in New York, commented on the figures, saying: “The drop in home sales is the payback for the acceleration of sales that occurred with the original first-time home buyers tax credit. […] There is an issue as to whether the decline represents a fundamental weakening.”

“The housing market continues to face significant headwinds, including high unemployment, record delinquencies and foreclosures, the specter of rising mortgage rates as the Fed’s [mortgage-backed securities] purchase programs comes to a close in late March, and tight credit,” Omair Sharif, an economist for RBS Securities, noted.

“Still, the resale market showed resilience in the second half of 2009, and the expansion and extension of the tax credit to April 30 could boost purchases during the spring selling season,” he said.

“We’ll see a pickup in existing home sales in the next couple of months as people take advantage of the tax-credit extension”, economist Adam York of Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina claimed. He fore-casted a pace of 5.4 million. He said that there were unlikely to be buyers of homes, despite the fact that the U.S. was “past the bottom.”

All four regions of the country saw a decline in sales. In the Northeast, sales fell 19.5 percent, in the Midwest, they plunged 25.8 percent. The South, the country’s largest region, saw a 16.3% decline, while in the West, sales waned by 4.8%.

US stocks fell slightly after the announcement, but went back up later in the day.

Existing US home sales fall 9.6% in February

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Existing US home sales fall 9.6% in February

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell 9.6% in February, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said today, in a sign that the U.S. housing market is still depressed. The figure was worse than the 3.9% decline anticipated by the economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and questions whether the U.S. housing market is beginning to recover or will continue to fall.

We have an uneven, choppy recovery. Hopefully it is a recovery …

A combination of foreclosures and short sales, where the mortgage holder sells the house for less than owed on the mortgage, accounted for almost 40% of the sales.

Millions of foreclosures have forced down home prices and the number of foreclosures are predicted to rise this year. The inventory of existing homes listed for sale rose 3.5% at the end of February, a 8.6-month supply at the current sales rate. As more homes are listed in the spring, the inventory of houses for sale will probably increase. A five or six month inventory is usually considered a healthy balance between supply and demand.

According to Moody’s Analytics, another 3.6 million bank-owned homes and possible foreclosures will be added to the inventory by 2013, adding to the 6.7 million home foreclosures since 2006. Thus housing inventories will probably continue to remain high, delaying the point when prices stabilize. The median sales price in February fell 5.2%, down to a price level not seen since April 2002.

“We have an uneven, choppy recovery,” said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Hopefully it is a recovery that is taking place.”

Echocardiograms For Translational Biomarker Development In Animals}

By | September 6, 2017

Submitted by: Adrianna Notton

New innovative and ground-breaking technologies are now being developed in the field of medical research. Vevo technology allows for echocardiograms for translational research and biomarker development in animals. This technological advancement provides a resolution down to 30 microns. Quantification tools and software are customized for small animal physiology. The high frame rate of acquisition provides the best spatial resolution and temporal specs compared to other imaging modalities such as CT and MRI. Today, medical researchers are now offered a variety of opportunities that until now were simply not possible.

Features of echocardiogram vevo technology for translational research and biomarker development include:

Quantitative evaluation of the cardiovascular system: Researchers will benefit from real-time quantification and evaluation of the functions of the developing heart and related major vessels. This includes right ventricular function, left ventricular function, blood flow, and valve movement.

Evaluation of cardiovascular disease and therapies: It is used in the evaluation of the extent of cardiovascular disease and measure the effectiveness of treatments. The non-invasive nature of the system allows medical professionals to study the effectiveness of treatment in the same animal over time. Examples of pathologies that can easily be assessed include: vessel stenosis, pulmonary hypertension, myocardial infarct, valvular regurgitation, diastolic dysfunction, atherosclerosis, cardiac hypertrophy, inflammation, and diabetes.

Evaluation of cardiovascular function in conscious mice: Hand-held probes allow imaging of conscious mice for assessing valvular disease at high frame rates. The biomarker is very lightweight and easy to handle.

Extensive measurement and annotation functionality: Vevo software provides measurement and annotation functionality that allows researchers to conduct all-inclusive analysis for measuring and monitoring and the progression of disease and the effectiveness of therapies. Examples of calculation packages include: fractional shortening, cardiac output, pulsatility indices and resistivity indices, quantification of ejection fraction, strain, and strain rate.

Monitoring of full animal physiology: Integrated Rail and Animal Handling Table allow physiological parameters to be captured and monitored during an imaging session such as heart rate, body temperature, respiration, and ECG.

Integration of blood pressure external devices: Researchers have the ability to integrate external blood pressure recordings with the Vevo system to acquire pressure volume data which is vital to stress-echo and pharmacological and studies.

Perform and visualize cardiac and vascular injections: An integrated rail system and image-guided needle injection system allow for precision adjustments to ensure a successful procedure. The Integrated Rail system allows for the precise position of a needle and syringe to be mounted and the animal to be carefully positioned on a heated table. The injection can be performed with minimal invasiveness thereby eliminating invasive surgical procedures and improves an animal’s survival.

The Vevo system is not just an important and essential system in the field of medical research, but it is also simple to use so that researchers can make the most of their time performing post-imaging analysis. As well, an offline workstation is available to analyze all data. Vevo technology provides echocardiograms for translational research and biomarker development in animal allowing researchers to gain valuable information that will benefit the medical industry and the search for better ways to diagnose disease and come up with better treatments.

About the Author: The cutting-edge digital imaging company provides modalities designed for preclinical research, such as in vivo and molecular imaging. They specialize in the highest quality of

mouse heart

, scientific digital imaging, and

photoacoustic

systems.

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Kentucky faith-based agency under fire for religious coercion

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Kentucky faith-based agency under fire for religious coercion

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Saturday, May 5, 2007

A lawsuit filed by a former employee of Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children (now Sunrise Children’s Services) and four other tax-payers, has shed light on the possibility of religious coercion by the organization. The lawsuit challenges the faith-based agency’s eligibility for state funds.

Specifically, interviews of children conducted by the state of Kentucky have revealed complaints from some of the children. Mainly, children who said they were Catholic, Pentecostal, Jehovah’s Witnesses or atheist voiced complaints in the interviews.

“They tried to more [or] less force me to become a Christian,” said one child in an exit interview. “I just felt I was being pressured into giving up my religion.”

Another child reported s/he was “not allowed to choose when or when not to attend a religious service,” per the interview, and was told “‘to do’ some type of Bible study during that time or get consequences.”

Both the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Sunrise say there is a strict policy against proselytizing in the program and that it does not prevent children from practising their individual faiths.

They also stress that these complaints number merely a “handful” among the approximately 1,500 children that are served by the faith-based agency.

“If a child says, ‘I don’t want to go to the Baptist church,’ then the child does not go,” Jonathan Goldberg, the state’s attorney, said. Some children might have mistankenly believed they were forced to go, he added.

The plaintiffs are seeking to have the interviews unsealed, at least in the cases where the child is now 18 years of age or older. The state and Sunrise argue they need to be kept confidential.

The lawsuit originated with Alicia Pedreira, who was fired in 2000. She alleges her firing was direct result of Sunrise (then Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children) finding out she is a lesbian.

Sunrise Children’s Services provides residential programs and foster care homes for children that have suffered abuse or neglect. Since 2001, Kentucky has paid Sunrise US$61 million to provide the services for children who would otherwise be in direct state custody.

In 2001, the state did find cause for action against one of Sunrise’s homes to fix “a coercive religious environment” where staff members confirmed that church attendance was required.

With accusations of undue pressure by a Christian agency funded by the state, the Sunrise case bears some similitude to the lawsuit against Iowa for paying Chuck Colson’s evangelical agency to run part of its prison.

Last June, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Pratt strongly reprimanded and ruled against Iowa’s use of a Christian social service agency to administer its prison. Judge Pratt stated: “For all practical purposes, the state has literally established an Evangelical Christian congregation within the walls of one of its penal institutions… There are no adequate safeguards present, nor could there be, to ensure that state funds are not being directly spent to indoctrinate Iowa inmates.”

The Iowa ruling is pending appeal.

Critics point to both of these cases as failures of George W. Bush’s faith-based services initiative. The program is often seen as conflicting with the tradition of separation of church and state in the United States.

Unions battle in Ohio over hospital workers

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Unions battle in Ohio over hospital workers

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Service Employees International Union, a trade union in the United States and Canada, was trying to unionize 8,300 workers in nine different Ohio hospitals through elections that were scheduled for this Wednesday and Friday. But then organizers from a second union, the California Nurses Association, visited the hospitals to encourage the workers to vote not to join the S.E.I.U. These actions led to the service employees union on Tuesday asking to postpone the vote by workers at the nine hospitals, all which are a part of the Catholic Healthcare Partners system.

Andy Stern, the service president is quoted as saying, “nothing more than a flimsy cover for out-and-out union busting that we normally see from employers, not organizations that claim to care about workers.”

The California Nurses Association, said it dispatched organizers to Ohio because in its view the unionization efforts were part of a “sweetheart deal”.

Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the nurses association, condemned this agreement. She called it “a rigged scam” in which the service union would bargain without care if they won the vote.

“This was a top-down deal between an employer and a hand-picked union,” Ms. DeMoro said. “There was a gag order on everyone, and as a result this was a banana republic election.”

“As for the future,” DeMoro said, “no election is planned.” She said that delaying the election was “a significant victory for employee rights.”

Dave Regan, president of a service employees’ local representing 35,000 health care workers in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, called the nurses union’s conduct as, “Their conduct is indistinguishable from that of the most vicious anti-union employers,” Mr. Regan said. “It violates every principle of unionism. Real people are worse off today as a result of their behavior.”

Orest Holubec, spokesman for Catholic Healthcare, said the system’s hospital in Lima had obtained a restraining order to bar the California nurses from entering restricted patient-care areas and aggressive leafletting outside hospitals. “They were doing exactly the kind of things we were trying to avoid,” Mr. Holubec said. “They poisoned the well to the degree that we didn’t have the conditions that we tried to establish for a pressure-free environment.”

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Fujitsu launches cloud website for dog pedometer service

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Fujitsu launches cloud website for dog pedometer service

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Japanese multinational company Fujitsu launched a website for a dog pedometer which allows customers to monitor their dog’s health online. The device measures data while attached to the dog’s collar. Customers are also able to add more data to the website manually, then it displays the complete set of data graphically. Fujitsu launched the website today (Tuesday) and plans to start the sales in Japan tomorrow (Wednesday).

The pedometer is called “Wandant”, from Japanese “Wan” equivalent to “woof”, and the “dant” of “pendant”. The latter refers to the pedometer, because it is attached to a dog collar. The users can transfer data to an Android phone using a touch-card to make it available online.

Fujitsu said Wandant would be the first cloud-based dog health-care service.

The data include walking, temperature, and shaking motion statistics. The users can manually enter additional data such as food quantities, weight, custom notes, and photos.

Fujitsu said, “The data are presented graphically on a custom website that makes trends in the dog’s activities easy to understand at a glance. This helps owners get a stronger sense of their dog’s health, while enabling communication with the dog.”

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State Arrest Records: Finding Criminal Arrest Records Of Anyone!

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By David Willis

State Arrest: Why Conduct Free Criminal Records and Background Checks?

“Nothing Changes Until Something Moves” and it’s YOUR MOVE! You Have Nothing To Loose If You Take Appropriate Action… And Everything To Loose If You Don’t.. Now; almost all state or county and federal courts maintain their own set of criminal records online. Failure to make a special appeal when slapped with a DUI arrest leads to the instant seizure of the driver’s license for a minimum of 6 months.

Finding the Truth with Online Arrest Records

However in many online criminal records the only information available is the name of defendant case number and date. If you want to get public criminal State Arrest records requests for free- you must be one of the eligible agencies. A diverse medium the Internet offers several web portals to tons of public State Arrest record information which can help you with your free online searches for criminal records.

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Preventing DUI Accidents..

Many effective strategies have implemented by the state in order to prevent DUI accidents. A criminal record search is the process of collecting and accessing criminal records or arrest records and background information on certain persons either through online providers or through local courthouses. Just a note here about your fears: In the face of fear there is no knowledge. In the face of knowledge there is no fear.

Finding Arrest Records on Federal Levels

Private citizens and firms may not have any access to federal criminal State Arrest records. Even though anyone can access arrest records but it should never be any generalizations made regarding the reputation or the character of a person based solely on an arrest record. Find out more about checking up on arrest records at

governmentrecord.info/criminal-arrest-records-search/index.html

Do Not Lose Your Cool When You Are Arrested!

If you are arrested by the cops; do attempt to stay calm and try to only speak to the police officer in a respectful polite manner and tone of voice. The arresting polic may even ask further information about you that may incriminate you later. It is the responsibility of the state government usually a law enforcement agency to keep the criminal State Arrest records of each of its citizens updated and accurate.

About the Author: Get 100% accurate and reliable

Arrest Records

Here.

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CIA chief to testify before Congress on interrogations

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CIA chief to testify before Congress on interrogations

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

The United States Congress has launched its own inquiry into a decision by the U.S spy agency to destroy tapes of interrogations of terror suspects, with Central Intelligence Agency chief Michael Hayden testifying before lawmakers this week.

The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democrat Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, says Hayden will appear before his panel.

“CIA director Michael Hayden is going appear before our committee on this coming Tuesday and talk about interrogation and techniques,” said Rockefeller.

During an appearance on the CBS television program Face the Nation, Rockefeller made clear members have a lot of questions about the destroyed videotapes.

“Were there things on those tapes that they did not want to have seen, that did not conform to what the attorney general would allow them to do?” he said.

Rockefeller indicated the session will take place behind closed doors, to enable law makers to delve into areas that are still considered top secret, and have to do with specific interrogation procedures.

The CIA director disclosed the destroyed videotapes last Thursday, after he got word that their existence had been uncovered by the news media. The tapes which were made in 2002, showed the interrogation of top terror suspects. They were destroyed in 2005, and Congressional critics charge that could amount to tampering with legal evidence and obstruction of justice.

Democrat Joe Biden of Delaware, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former chair of the Judiciary panel, says the preliminary joint inquiry by the Justice Department and the CIA announced yesterday is not enough.

Biden, who is running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, was interviewed on ABC’s This Week.

“I think that Hayden is not to be the judge of whether or not his condoning the destroying of the tapes was lawful. It appears as though there may be an obstruction of justice charge here, tampering with evidence, destroying evidence,and I think this is one case where it really does call for a special counsel,” said Biden.

Hayden told CIA employees Thursday the tapes were destroyed out of fears that if they ever became public, the identities of the interrogators would be revealed and their lives would be in danger.

President Bush gave the intelligence community the go-ahead to use enhanced interrogation techniques on terror suspects following the September 11th 2001, attacks on the United States.

The Bush administration has refused to specify which methods are permitted, but critics charge some amount to torture, including a procedure known as waterboarding, which simulates drowning.

Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona has called for the White House to publicly disavow the use of harsh interrogation techniques.

He appeared on the Fox News Sunday television program.

“What this does in a larger sense is it harms the credibility and the moral standing of America in the world again,” said McCain. “There will be skepticism and cynicism all over the world about how we treat prisoners and whether we practice torture or not.”

Senator McCain, a former Vietnam War era prisoner of war, has been one of the most outspoken members of Congress on the treatment of detainees in the war on terror. He is campaigning to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee.

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FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers

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FEMA accused of misusing trained disaster workers as public-relations workers

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Monday, September 12, 2005

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is being criticized for misallocation of personnel in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. FEMA representatives said they requested volunteers from fire departments around the U.S., to handle its community relations campaign. However, a document FEMA sent to local fire departments asked for firefighters with very specific skills and who were capable of working in “austere conditions”. Fire departments around the nation responded by sending crews to the FEMA staging ground in Atlanta. Some of these crews were unaware that they were only going to be used for public relations work. Others, however, merely hoped that FEMA would allocate them to rescue and damage control operations once it saw their qualifications.

The firefighter’s objections are particularly poignant as one of FEMA public relations training seminars coincided with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin plea for firefighters on national television, to relieve his own exhausted crews. It is unclear if FEMA’s request for firefighters prevented any municipalities from responding to Mayor Nagin’s request.

Some firefighters have objected to their use as FEMA public relations officers because their municipalities must bear the cost of their salaries, as well as endure reduced firefighting capacity. FEMA has stated that it sought to use firefighters to avoid background checks required of federal employees.

Firefighters began receiving their assignments Monday, September 5th. Among these was a crew of 50 assigned to tour the devastated areas with President Bush and the press.

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Indonesian authorities investigate after pornographic film screened on billboard in Jakarta

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Indonesian authorities investigate after pornographic film screened on billboard in Jakarta

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Authorities in Indonesia initiated an investigation after a pornographic film was illicitly screened on a 24-square-meter (roughly 260-square-foot) LED billboard in the capital city of Jakarta on Friday, in full view of rush hour commuters.

The film, depicting a couple engaged in explicit sexual activity, appeared on the screen for several minutes — five, according to BBC News — during which time passerby took the opportunity to film the display and upload it onto the Internet. Following complaints to the South Jakarta Communications and Information Agency, authorities cut power to the billboard at about 2:45 p.m. to stop the screening.

According to a report on Saturday by Agence France-Presse, the film, identified as Japanese erotica titled Watch Tokyo Hot, was believed to have been transmitted to the billboard by a personal computer. Awi Setiyono, head of public relations for the police, said the investigative team for the incident includes a cyber crime unit, with the intention of determining whether the billboard was hacked.

Lestari Ady Wiryono, head of public information for South Jakarta, stated “The South Jakarta administration takes this matter seriously”. She said on Friday she had no information on the culprits or the source of the film. “We received the report and we immediately severed the electricity to there”, she said according to the Daily Mirror.

The billboard, located in close proximity to the office of the South Jakarta mayor, is owned by PT. Matapena Komunika Advertama, a private company, while content screened on it is the responsibility of PT. Transito Adiman Jati Transito Adverstising, according to The Jakarta Post. According to Lestari, following the incident, staff from her office along with the investigating cyber crime unit visited PT. Transito’s offices to gather information relating to the affected billboard.

The Indonesian government blocks access to pornographic websites in the country, whilst also subjecting scenes of romance in public broadcasts to heavy censorship. Under a 2015 decree, the government subjects content shown on billboards to standards of “public ethics, aesthetics, public order, decency, security and the environment”.

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