Maldives Tourism was bestowed with the prestigious ‘Most Exclusive Leisure Product’ award at the OTM 2016, India’s leading travel trade show. Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation won the award at the show which was held in Mumbai from February 18-20, 2016. It was one of the two destinations who won this title at the conclusion ceremony of OTM 2016.An estimated average of 3000 unique individuals visited the Maldivian stand. Maldives showcased the exclusive destination by participating in the stand with a total of 26 industry professionals from 15 companies. In addition, the Visit Maldives Year 2016 campaign was promoted in surplus advertising options such as billboards, pillar wraps, lanyard design, and show carry bags.In December 2015, Maldives had won the prestigious position of the ‘World’s Leading Beach Destination’ at the annual World Travel Awards ceremony held at the Mazagan Beach and Golf Resort in Morocco.In 2015 in India, Maldives was also declared the ‘Best Destination’ for relaxation (international), at Lonely Planet awards. Conde Nast Traveller readers chose Maldives as the ‘Emerging Destination’ while it was awarded as the ‘Best Destination’ in Asia at Outlook Traveller Awards.Maldives is a paradise on earth. Despite being a small country in Asia, Maldives is a famous dream destination as it has beaches of pure white sand, covered by palm trees and rich foliage. It has become a holiday spot for celebrities, businesses, friends, individuals, families and honeymooners.
The research team from UVic and partner universities in the U.S. and Jordan has found the oldest evidence of protein residue- the residual remains of butchered animals including horse, rhinoceros, wild cattle and duck on stone tools. The discovery draws startling conclusions about how these early humans subsisted in a very demanding habitat, thousands of years before Homo sapiens first evolved in Africa.New research published in the Journal of Archaeological Science by a team led by paleoanthropologist April Nowell of the University of Victoria reveals surprisingly sophisticated adaptations by early humans living 250,000 years ago in a former oasis near Azraq, Jordan.A team from the University of Victoria, working with researchers in Jordan and the U.S. unearthed 10,000 stone tools during a three-year excavation in the deserts northwest of the town of Azraq. The team closely examined 7000 of these tools, including scrapers, flakes, projectile points and hand axes (commonly known as the ‘Swiss army knife’ of the Paleolithic period), with 44 subsequently selected as candidates for testing. Of this sample, 17 tools tested positive for protein residue, i.e. blood and other animal products.“Researchers have known for decades about carnivorous behaviours by tool-making hominins dating back 2.5 million years, but now, for the first time, we have direct evidence of exploitation by our Stone Age ancestors of specific animals for subsistence,” said Nowell.
On the occasion of World Tourism Day William Techer, Head of Marketing & Promotion India & Indian Ocean and Vineet Gopal, Director India for Reunion Island Tourism Board presented the new visual identity of the Reunion Island Tourism Board.Earlier, the Chairman of Reunion Island Tourism Board, Stéphane Fouassin and Willy Etheve, CEO, had unveiled this new visual identity at Top Resa Paris France in front of the local press and professional.The theme ‘The Ultimate Island’ was accompanied by forty pictograms representative of the Reunion Island. These symbols of the island, the modern graphics, contemporary and universal are assets that are the strength of the destination Reunion.On the occasion, the Reunion Island Tourism Board had invited Top Tour Operators (Key Partners) and Media on a Hi-Tea Networking at Hotel Shangri-la New Delhi to meet and talk with Indian Trade and Media in order to explore the possibilities and opportunities offered by the Reunion Island Tourism Sector, with an aim of enhancing the visibility & Identity of the Reunion Island.
OTM 2017 has been great and I got the opportunity to meet various suppliers from the target market that I was looking forward to. The show has given broad prospect to understand the market itself which has grown tremendously over the few months that we have been working together. OTM is a one stop show where I got the opportunity to meet supplier from not only India, but from all over the world.
Continued employment growth in the United States pushed mortgage rates up slightly in the last week, market reports show.Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending February 12 shows the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) was 3.69 percent (0.6 point) this week, up a full 10 basis points from last week’s 2015 low of 3.59 percent.The jump followed last week’s Employment Situation Report, which estimated that employers added 257,000 new jobs in January after gains of 329,000 in December and 423,000 in November. Wages also picked up, climbing 0.5 percent after a decline of 0.2 percent in December.In its own weekly survey, Bankrate.com said the surge in job growth in recent months could push the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates as early as June.”The strength of the U.S. economy, at least for this week, was enough to overshadow the concerns about slower growth in both developed and emerging markets around the globe,” Bankrate said.Even with the sizable one-week increase, the 30-year fixed average is still barely above its May 2013 low of 3.35 percent (as measured by Freddie Mac).The 15-year FRM also moved up this week, averaging 2.99 percent (0.6 point) compared to 2.92 percent a week ago.Adjustable rates, meanwhile, averaged 2.97 percent (0.5 point) for the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid product—a surge of 15 basis points—and 2.42 percent (0.4 point) for the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).Bankrate’s survey turned up similar results. According to the site, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.90 percent this week, while the 15-year fixed averaged 3.17 percent. The 5/1 ARM came to an average 3.32 percent. Continued Job Growth Lifts Mortgage Rates from 2015 Lows Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Bankrate Fixed-Rate Mortgages Freddie Mac Jobs Mortgage Rates 2015-02-12 Tory Barringer in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News February 12, 2015 464 Views Share
in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Government, Market Studies, News, Technology September 15, 2015 541 Views First-Time Homebuyer Freddie Mac Homebuyers 2015-09-15 Michael Ma Freddie Mac’s First-Time Homebuyer Numbers Continue to Rise in 2015 Share The number of first-time homebuyers is growing steadily in the housing market as mortgage rates remain low, labor conditions improve, and lending loosens up.Freddie Mac’s latest numbers revealed that the GSE financed affordable mortgages for almost one million first-time homebuyers and more than 4.5 million low- and moderate-income borrowers between 2009 and 2015, according to a blog on the company’s website titled “Freddie Mac: First-Time Homebuyer Gains Hold Steady in 2015.”The most active states for first time homebuyers in 2015 are California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, and Washington, Freddie Mac data shows.”Year to date, the company is on track to match its best year financing mortgages for first-time homebuyers since the beginning of the Great Recession,” Freddie Mac said.Lenders have delivered an average of 17,000 first-time homebuyer mortgages a month to Freddie Mac from January 2015 to June 2015, the blog noted. This number lines up with last year and is 25 percent higher than the 2013 average.”The increase is due to a combination of factors including general economic trends, low mortgage rates, Freddie Mac lender alliances and outreach initiatives plus low down payment mortgage products such as Home Possible Advantage,” the blog explained. “Home Possible Advantage requires down payments of as little as 3 percent, and the source of these funds may include a gift from a family member or employer, or a grant from a housing agency.”The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) International Center on Housing Risk recently released a report, finding that the first-time buyer share in April, May, and June was launched to new highs, supported by improvements in the labor market, riskier mortgage lending, and continuing low mortgage rates. First-time buyers account for 58.8 percent of primary owner-occupied home purchase mortgages with a government guarantee, up from 57.2 percent the prior June, according to the Agency First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share Index (FBMSI).The Combined FBMSI, which measures the share of first-time buyers for both government-guaranteed and private-sector mortgages reached an estimated 52.9 percent, up from 51.6 percent the prior June, according to the report.In addition, AEI determined that the Agency First-Time Buyer Mortgage Risk Index (FBMRI) stood at a series record of 15.83 percent, and increase of half of a percentage point from the average over the prior three months and up 1.1 percentage points from a year earlier. The Agency FBMRI is 6.75 percentage points higher than the mortgage risk index for repeat homebuyers, a gap that continues to widen.“The housing lobby, led by the NAR and the Urban Institute, has successfully pushed for looser lending standards for first-time buyers,” said Edward Pinto, codirector of the AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk. “Rather than increasing accessibility, the loosening of lending standards during a strong seller’s market is moving the goalpost further away for many lower-income and minority renters desiring to become homeowners.”A Zillow analysis in August also found that first-time homebuyers in the market today are waiting longer periods of time to purchase a home and are less likely to be married compared to first-time buyers in the 1970s and 1980s.The Zillow study found that Americans are renting for an average of six years before buying their first homes. Meanwhile, in the 1970s, they rented for an average of 2.6 years. In addition, 52 percent of first-time homebuyers were married in the late 1980s, while today, only 40 percent are married.”Millennials are delaying all kinds of major life decisions, like getting married and having kids, so it makes sense that they would also delay buying a home,” Gudell said. “We know millennials value home-ownership and want to buy. The next challenge will be figuring out how they can save for a down payment and qualify for a mortgage, especially while the rental market is so unaffordable all over the country. The last hurdle will be finding a home they like amidst very tight inventory, especially among starter homes.”
First-time homebuyers, including millennials, are slowly but surely making their way into the housing market and lenders need to be prepared to grab their attention and keep it.The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the share of first-time buyers remained at 32 percent in January for the second consecutive month and is up from 28 percent a year ago. First-time buyers in all of 2015 represented an average of 30 percent, up from 29 percent in both 2014 and 2013. During pre-crisis years, first-time homebuyers averaged 40 percent or more of the market.Freddie Mac’s VP, Danny Gardner, said that low mortgage rates, stabilizing housing markets, and the nation’s 86 million millennials and rapidly growing immigrant communities, are expected to produce about 1.2 million new households a year for the next ten years, based on statistics from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and the Collingwood Group.Gardner noted that more first-time homebuyers can be welcomed into the housing market if they are provided more information. “As an industry, we have to drive a stake through a few stubborn myths that are draining life out of the market. These familiar myths lead potential buyers to overestimate the credit, income and downpayment savings they need for an affordable mortgage,” he said.In addition, lenders can produce more sales to first-time buyers by getting myth-dispelling information into the hands of families who don’t know how ready they are to buy their first home and to families who gave up trying after being rejected for a mortgage once, according to Freddie Mac.Source: Freddie MacThe American Enterprise Institute (AEI) International Center on Housing Risk found that the share and volume of first-time homebuyers increased year-over-year in December.According to AEI’s First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share Index (FBMSI) released Tuesday, first-time buyers accounted for 56.7 percent of primary owner-occupied home purchase mortgages with a government guarantee in December 2015. This number is 1 percent above the December 2014 share of 55.5 percent.AEI credits “improvements in the labor market, riskier mortgage lending, and continuing low mortgage rates” for the spike in first-time buyers.“On a year-over-year basis, first-time buyer demand increased in December, continuing the trend of the last 14 months,” said Edward Pinto, Codirector of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk. “Strong demand, in combination with shortness of supply, is driving home prices up faster than incomes and inflation.” March 14, 2016 500 Views Lenders: Here’s How to Attract First-Time Homebuyers in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination First-tome Homebuyers Freddie Mac Lenders 2016-03-14 Staff Writer Share
The Week Ahead: A Look at the Rising Prices in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Origination, Servicing Share CoreLogic Home Prices 2017-04-23 Seth Welborn On Tuesday, S&P Indices, along with CoreLogic, will release the February S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index (HPI), a monthly measure of changes in the housing market.The S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI covers 20 metropolitan areas across the U.S., and is released on the last Tuesday of every month. The previous HPI, covering January 2017, showed home prices at a 31-month high.During January, home prices were up 5.9 percent year-over-year and 5.7 percent month-over-month.After January’s results were released, David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Down Jones Indices, stated that the uptick in home prices shouldn’t sound off alarm bells just yet.“Housing and home prices continue on a generally positive upward trend,” Blitzer said. “The recent action by the Federal Reserve raising the target for the Fed funds rate by a quarter percentage point is expected to add less than a quarter percentage point to mortgage rates in the near future. Given the market’s current strength and the economy, the small increase in interest rates isn’t expected to dampen home buying. If we see three or four additional increases this year, rising mortgage rates could become concern.”The upcoming indices may reveal rates continuing to rise, but even with the rate hike, housing should remain affordable for many middle-income buyers. According to Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American Financial Corporation, said there shouldn’t be a problem.“Even at the higher mortgage rate, for the majority of markets a median income can purchase more than the median priced house,” Fleming said. “Why is this? The house buying power that borrowers have, even with rates below five percent, still remains historically strong. It would take a significantly higher mortgage rate to erode the real, house-buying power adjusted, price of housing, even as nominally house prices grow at their current pace.”To view the full Index, visit us.SPIndices.com.This Week’s ScheduleFHFA Home Price Index, Tuesday, 9 a.m. ESTMBA Mortgage Applications, Wednesday, 7 a.m. ESTFSC to Hold Financial CHOICE Hearing, Wednesday, 10 a.m. ESTFreddie Mac Weekly Mortgage Survey, Thursday, 10 a.m. EST April 23, 2017 636 Views
November 14, 2017 627 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, journal, News Perception is Reality in Home Values Appraisal Home Prices HPPI HVI Quicken Loans 2017-11-14 Staff Writer According to a Quicken Loans study published Tuesday, the gap between opinions of values from appraisers and homeowners continue to narrow. The study states that according to the Quicken Loans Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), actual appraisals were 0.99 percent lower than homeowners thought they would be. According to Quicken Loans, homeowners estimate that their home’s values rose by an average of 0.99 percent over the actual appraisal value. Quicken loans goes on to state that this finding marks the fifth consecutive month that the value opinions narrowed. Additionally, the study found that the HPPI is currently the closest it has been to equilibrium since April 2015. Overall, Quicken Loans found that the trend is for homes in Western cities to have an appraisal value that surpasses the homeowner’s estimate. Dallas is a particularly noteworthy example of this, as the study found that appraisals there were as much as 3.13 percent higher than expected. Although this is the case for the West, Quicken Loans found that the opposite is true for homes in the East and Midwest, where home values are more likely to be appraised below the homeowner’s estimate.“Based on the HPPI, it appears homeowners in the markets where prices are rising faster than the national average—like Denver, Seattle and San Francisco—are continuing to underestimate just how quickly home values are rising, so the average appraisal is higher than the homeowner estimate,” said Bill Banfield, Quicken Loans Executive Vice President of Capital Markets.Quicken Loans goes on to state that despite appraisers and homeowners still continuing to differ, that appraisal values continue to rise. For October 2017, home values are up by an average of 0.71 percent while they are up 4.76 percent compared to October 2016.This is where home value index, the measure of home value change based on appraisal data, comes in. The Quicken Loans study said that the HVI showed values increasing at a steady pace month-over-month while increasing at greater amounts yearly. The 0.71 percent jump from September to October along with a 4.76 percent year-over-year jump illustrates this. Share
Effective 7 November 2017, AirAsia will relocate operations at Singapore Changi Airport from Terminal 1 to the new state-of-the-art, fully-automated Terminal 4, opening on 31 October 2017.All AirAsia flights scheduled for 7 November 2017 will arrive at and depart from Terminal 4. Departing and arriving flight schedules will not be affected by the move.Guests departing from Terminal 4 are advised to arrive 3 hours before departure to ensure sufficient time to move through the new terminal, while those arriving in Terminal 4 are advised to inform their loved ones of the change.At Terminal 4, AirAsia will deploy 19 check-in kiosks, 14 auto bag drop machines, two document check counters and two payment counters at Row 4, with group check-in services available at Row 5. Guests will be able to check-in at home via web and mobile, print their bag tags at our self-service kiosks and drop their bags at the auto bag drop machines when they come to the airport, or proceed directly to the gate if they have no check-in baggage.“This year, the focus in Singapore is to embrace Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST). We collaborated with Changi Airport Group (CAG) to automate and innovate our check-in and airport experience. When you fly out of Changi with us, expect a fully automated service with FAST from door to gate, which integrates seamlessly into our own innovations on mobile and web,” said AirAsia Singapore CEO Logan Velaitham.Terminal 4 can be reached via taxi, private hire cars, bus and personal transportation. Those using MRT services will need to head to Terminal 2 arrival hall and take the free shuttle bus service that will ferry guests to Terminal 4. The shuttle bus will be available every 10 minutes for 24 hours a day, every day of the week. AirAsiaairlinesChangi AirportSingapore
AgostinisaustraliaBisa PropertyCanberraEast HotelEast Hotel CanberrahotelsMuse Food Wine and BooksReview All images: Katrina HoldenJars of Jaffa and Strawberries and Cream lollies sit on a large bench with MAC computers for guest-use. A pink neon sign illuminated with ‘You had me at Pizza’ contrasts against the recycled timber paneled walls. A central atrium with a limitless sky-effect features comfy sofas, leather ottomans and a large spotted rug. A row of bikes line the entrance, tempting guests to explore the cycle-friendly surrounds of Canberra.I’m in Canberra’s fashionable Manuka precinct checking in to East Hotel — a family-owned operation by the Bisa family and opened in 2012. The hotel’s street frontage exudes a contemporary, chic vibe without being overly glossy or stuffy, which seems to reflect the clientele the hotel attracts.“Our guests don’t want to be fussed over,” says General Manager, Todd Handy. Having grown up in the US and with an extensive career working in several five-star hotels, including Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Handy says the people that stay, and return to East Hotel want attentive, friendly service but they don’t like to have everything done for them.“So we’ve really trained our staff with this in mind. They’ll approach our guests and offer to help with bags, but usually they have just driven from Sydney and they really just want to get out of the car,” says Handy.The service is what Director, Dion Bisa says her family’s company pride themselves on. Dion and her brother Dan, director of Bisa Property were behind the hotel’s build and incarnation. Their parents, now retired, were the first to open serviced apartments in Canberra — which has driven the philosophy behind East Hotel. The rooms feature the amenities of a serviced apartment which are popular with their frequent business guests who just want to feel at home while travelling for work, but also want the additional amenities and services found in a hotel.Leisure travellers are also a large portion of visitors — everyone from couples, girlfriends on a getaway to visit the many gallery exhibitions; and many families.“There’s not many places you can go with kids and where you know they will be welcome,” said Dion. That’s not the case at East Hotel. On this visit, I’m here without my kids and while I notice the other families visiting, the kids just seem to seamlessly blend in. That’s a result of the Bisa’s careful planning to ensure the kids are catered for. In the lobby, I notice some youngsters getting ready on their scooters for a neighbourhood exploration; I chat with a couple in the lift cuddling their 10-week old baby; kids are dining at the hotel’s Italian eatery Agostini’s, some enjoying the Mamma Mia one-metre long pizza; two tweens join their dad in the gym the morning I visit; and of course, a few of them have a good crack at those lobby Jaffas. In the kids’ rooms, they have access to Xbox360 Connect Games and even a child-appropriate mini bar! The goal was, explains Bisa, to have a restaurant that serves great quality food that parents are really happy to dine at but also caters for kids and makes them feel welcome. As General Manager Todd Handy adds, “If the kids are happy, the parents are happy”.The dining experience at Agostinis is certainly impressive. Many locals coming back for the food and service, not just the hotel guests. Everything is made on site and in-house. Walking past in the afternoon, you can see the staff hard at work kneading pizza dough or slicing charcuterie. Each dish on the menu has a recommended wine pairing. You must try the Beppo’s Blend, a wine contract-made by winemaker Bryan Martin at local winery Ravensworth whom Bisa describes as a “genius”. It’s a blend of sangiovese, nebbiolo and barbera and named after their nonno Beppo.Patriach of the Bisa family Joe is not forgotten — with Joe’s Bar named in his honour. It too has colourful furnishings, a cheese and charcuterie fridge, a whimsical ‘concrete curtain’, beaded chandeliers and more than 35 gins to try.Joe’s Bar. Positioned alongside the hotel (but separately owned) is Muse Food Wine and Books. It’s the logical place for breakfast and tables in small and large configurations means there are nooks for both couples and big groups catching up over their morning espresso as they plan their Canberra sightseeing strategies. Shelves bulge with beautiful books and wine bottles, while a rustic grand piano sits tucked in a corner. Muse Wine Food and Books. The hotel is ideally positioned to make the most of Canberra’s attractions. The National Gallery of Australia is a short drive away for instance, close to nearby science and technology centre and kids-mecca, Questacon. The hotel is currently offering packages on Cartier: The Exhibition which start from $270 for a couple for one night; and also family packages. The Cartier Exhibition, ending on 22 July, is well worth a visit. Read our review here. Travel Monitor MemosEast Hotel69 Canberra AvenueKingston140 rooms in total38 East Studios (31sqm)2 Kids studios/cubbies (31sqm)16 Luxe studios (43sqm)60 East one bedroom apartments (63sqm)20 Luxe one bedroom apartments (57sqm)20 East two bedroom apartments (interconnecting East apartment and East studio) (94sqm)20 Luxe two bedroom apartments (interconnecting Luxe apartment and East studio) (88sqm)Free wifi throughout the hotelPillow menusBabysitting servicesCheck out time: 12pmIn-room Nespresso machines24-hour gymNo pool but nearby is the Manuka PoolFree bike hire Bisa says that most of their visitors are from Sydney. “We’re really seeing a big increase in both families and couples that just want to escape Sydney for a weekend.”The Italian-style hospitality encouraged in staff definitely is noticed throughout the guest experience — at check-in, at Joe’s Bar and at Agostinis, the hotel’s eatery named in honour of Dan and Dion Bisa’s mother Marisa who grew up in Northern Italy.The brief of ‘fun’ for Agostinis interior was realised by designer Kelly Ross who Bisa loved working with on the project for her vision and wild, original ideas including a ‘concrete curtain’ in Joe’s bar.Dion Bisa and Todd Handy in front of the old family photo of the original Agositins bar in Italy. At Agostini’s, there are design cues to the family’s Italian heritage with a vintage Vespa taking pride of place near the kitchen, colourful geometric floor tiles, circular leopard-print dining booths and hand-dyed ropes hanging from the roof to represent hand-made pasta hanging to dry. The most striking feature would be the large mural enlarged black and white photo against one wall depicting an old Italian bar, also named Agositins. “Mum casually said to us one day that she remembers her family used to have a bar called Agostinis back in Italy when she was a child. This was after we’d already decided to name the restaurant Agositins!”
Top Stories Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away “Well, I sensed some frustration after the Green Bay game.He said ‘Coach I can do this, I can do this,’” Hortonexplained. “I said ‘Yes, but you also have to be able torun the defense. If you don’t know where to go you can’tdo what you’re supposed to do.’” Horton said Schofield is one of the key guys that theyhave to get going.“We found a way to get him on the same page. He’ll have awristband. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just kindof a cheat sheet.”When asked if Schofield is too prideful to wear it, Hortondidn’t seem to care about pride getting in the way. “Couldbe, but I tried to explain it to him though. I think heunderstands now. It’s a way for him to play faster on thefield.”Schofield was injured for much of 2010 but still made hismark. The Cardinals expect a lot from the linebacker andthey’re hoping the extra time he puts in to study the newdefensive scheme will give him more time on the fieldSundays. Cardinals Defensive Coordinator Ray Horton feels goodabout the strides his group made last week against Seattlebut knows some things will have to change. “You have to add something,” he said. “You can’t do whatwe did last week for 16 games and be successful. You haveto come after people, and we are.”In saying that, Horton knows some guys are picking up thenew system faster than others. One of those struggling abit is linebacker O’Brien Schofield. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ 0 Comments Share Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation
What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Top Stories Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation “When you’ve been playing football for so many years, I don’t care if you lose by one point or 50 points, if you step on the field you expect to win,” Dockett said. “Losing by one point and saying ‘Oh it’s okay we only lost by one point, it’s a moral victory,’ that’s a guy that I would never want on my team.”Dockett says that he sees maximum effort from everyone in his locker room and the Cardinals are still confident heading into every game.“We’re learning, we’re facing adversity in a major way,” Dockett said. “We just have to find a way to get ourselves out of the slumps, we have nine games left, all winnable games.”Dockett remains confident that the Cardinals are close to becoming a winning team again. “No team is beating us, we’re actually kind of beating ourselves and our effort is at an all-time high,” Dockett said. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Comments Share Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett believes his team is competing at a high level and has faith they will turn things around. “At the end of the day we have a lot of football left,” Dockett said. “We win one or two in a row and this whole thing will turn around but right now we’re just scratching for that second win.”The Cardinals are coming off a game in which they blew a 21-point lead and lost to the Baltimore Ravens 30-27. It was their fourth loss by four points or less this season.
In his sophomore campaign, Peterson fumbled/muffed seven kicks and lost possession on three separate occasions. To add insult to injury, he also failed to reach the end zone and finished with a disappointing 8.4 yards per return average.Although Jones didn’t imply that Peterson’s role would change because of the coaching change, he did say the former No. 5 overall pick will have to adhere to a new set of guidelines.“He’s an offensive guy on defense, but I’m just glad coach (Bruce Arians) told me I can use him,” Jones said. “He’s going to have parameters, they all will have parameters. Absolutely. You put your toes on the yard line that we decide and you make decisions.”When pressed by Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Friday as to what those parameters will be, Jones didn’t go into great detail.“Well I think goes back to not just Patrick, I don’t want to pick on a guy that’s a great player,” said Jones. “Because I’m excited to working with him. I think the biggest thing is learning the situational stuff coach Arians is going to teach this whole entire football team.“One, it’s a team game. Two, even if you have a lot of great talent, you have to know and play the situations.” Your browser does not support the audio element. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Jones did say the onus lies with him and the rest of the staff to coach Peterson up in that department.“I think you have to play situational football and put him in that in practice,” said Jones. “You have to make him understand that every ball can’t be a home run and every ball won’t be a home run. “So, particularly when you’re playing back there as we were in Pittsburgh with a starter, you have to protect the football.”Jones previously worked for the Steelers (2007-2012) as the team’s assistant special teams coach. However after he took over as the special teams coordinator in 2012, punt returner Antonio Brown actually saw his numbers go down (tied for 26th in average with 6.8 yards per return). The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments Share LISTEN: Amos Jones, Arizona Cardinals special teams coordinator Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact During his introductory press conference Friday, new Arizona Cardinals special teams coordinator Amos Jones gushed over the opportunity to work with punt returner Patrick Peterson. And why wouldn’t he be excited?As a rookie, Peterson took the NFL by storm tying a league-record for most punt return touchdowns (4) in a season. Not to mention, all four went for 80 yards or longer.Yet while Peterson dazzled fans in 2011 with his unique approach in the return game, which among other things included catching punts inside the five-yard line, 2012 wasn’t so kind to the former LSU standout.
Fun debate topic throughout the week: Is this the biggest regular-season game in the history of the Arizona Cardinals?My answer: Give me a month.Now I’ll spend the next few paragraphs defending why that’s not a “straddle-the-fence” answer.As it stands now, there will never be a game in the regular season more important than a Week 17 victory that puts a team in the playoffs. If memory serves, Jake Plummer and the Arizona Cardinals beat the Chargers in Week 17 to set up the playoff upset of the Dallas Cowboys. When winning or losing one game determines whether or not you’re a playoff team during the last week of the regular season, that’s the biggest game. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo If the Cardinals make it to the Super Bowl as a wild-card, that would prove Sunday’s game as a tad overhyped. I’m not picking the Cards to win at least two and possibly three road playoff games. Doing that, however, flies in the face of Sunday Night Football being even remotely important, especially if one of the wins is in Seattle.If the Cardinals play three post-season games at home, the biggest regular season game in the history of the Arizona Cardinals “was” this Sunday. Top Stories Obviously, it sounds like I just gave you an answer: The Seahawks/Cardinals game on Sunday night is not the biggest regular season game in Arizona Cardinals history. Well, that is the answer…for now.If the Arizona Cardinals win on Sunday, I think they’re going to the Super Bowl.If the Cardinals lose on Sunday, I think they lose to the Saints in the first round.This is not a Super Bowl guarantee. Any playoff team can come into University of Phoenix Stadium and beat an 8-0-at-home Cardinals team — I just don’t think they will. A win over Seattle on Sunday proves the UofP magic is real and adds to the players’ confidence when playing at home. Home games versus road games dramatically affect the play of a first-team quarterback, let alone a second-string, third-string or fourth-string quarterback.If you buy what I’m selling, no regular season game could possibly be bigger than Sunday. If one regular season game actually determines a Super Bowl participant, that’s the biggest regular season game in a franchise’s history.I stand firmly on the ground — not the fence — that there’s no way to tell whether or not this is the biggest regular season game in Cards’ history until we see how the playoffs shake out. I have to be right that the Cards won’t lose a home playoff game for Seattle/Arizona to be the biggest. A home playoff loss would prove earning home-field wasn’t as important as I thought it was. In that scenario, Sunday’s game would clearly rank below the win against San Diego in 1998. 0 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo It’s been mostly down.It started with a broken leg suffered in the third preseason game of his rookie season, an injury that cost Cooper, projected to be the team’s starting left guard, the entire campaign. Slow to recover, he then came down with a turf toe injury late in the following training camp, setting him even further behind and low on the depth chart. Injuries ahead of him allowed Cooper to get into the lineup, and he appeared to play well in wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams. It was against St. Louis, though, where Cooper suffered a wrist injury, which put him back on the shelf for the rest of the season. Finally healthy, he’s made a switch over to right guard, which he said is not a problem.“I’ve been working at it in the offseason, been training out at O-line Performance with LeCharles Bentley, he’s helped me out quite a bit,” Cooper said. “Even just the mental space of switching over positions and understanding if I put in the work, I can do it.”The 25-year-old has most definitely put in the work, as has been noticed by head coach Bruce Arians. The coach said the difference in Cooper is “night and day,” as he’s done a great job redefining his body and getting himself in fantastic condition. On a personal level, you could say he is in the same boat. Once viewed as a great prospect, he’s now entering his third season as a pro without having made much of an impact. Cooper would seem to have a lot to prove — and he does — though the former North Carolina Tar Heel is not worried about showing the doubters what he can do. “More so prove it to myself and my teammates,” he said. “Everybody is going to have their opinions, and to some people I’ll never fulfill what they’re looking for.“As long as I’m performing to a level that I’m pleased with and my teammates and my coaches are pleased with, I’ll be just fine.” – / 12 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact TEMPE, Ariz. — Jonathan Cooper said he feels a lot better now than he has in a long time.“So yeah, I’m excited about it, I feel pretty good,” he added Tuesday after participating in the Arizona Cardinals’ first day of organized team activities, or OTAs.It would not be accurate to say Cooper, the team’s first-round selection (7th overall) in the 2013 draft, has had an up-and-down career. Top Stories “He’s a natural athlete so it doesn’t matter right side, left side,” Arians said. “I’ll go in and watch the tape, but he’s been extremely — he’s got a smile on his face a lot, that’s a good thing.”Cooper is in a much better place now than he was this time one year ago, both physically and mentally.When asked if his lineman has gained a better sense of how to “gut out” injuries and play through them, the coach responded yes, but added that Cooper was legitimately hurt.“You can’t gut out broken bones unless you’re Jack Youngblood, then the coach gets sued these days,” he said, with a smile. “Back then it was cool. I think he appreciates being healthy.”If all goes according to plan, Cooper will slide into the right guard spot this season, solidifying it for the foreseeable future. The Cardinals have spent a considerable amount of resources to shore up the rest of the line, including big-money free agent contracts as well high draft picks.The goal was to build one of the best blocking units in the NFL, and right now, Cooper said the important thing is the group is building camaraderie and coming together. What remains to be seen, he noted, was whether or not they can fulfill their potential and be great. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share
“He played very well,” head coach Bruce Arians said, referring to Wetzel. “Earl did a nice job. So, that’s where we’ll start the week. See how it goes.”Watford has been down this road before. He started against the Buccaneers in Week 2 after Mathis was unable to go because of a foot issue.Now it’s an ankle problem for Mathis, who needs surgery and may be lost for the season, according to Arians on Monday. The team placed Mathis on injured reserve over the weekend.Watford played the entire second half against the 49ers.Wetzel, meanwhile, entered the game midway through the third quarter. He played 29 snaps at a position he had not lined up at since training camp. It also just happened to be his first NFL game action outside of special teams.“It was huge, not having practiced it even for a while,” Arians said. “I thought he stepped up as big as anybody has in a couple years.”Wetzel, a tackle at Boston College, is in his first season with the Cardinals after being signed to the practice squad last December. Since leaving college in 2013, he had spent time on the practice squads of both the Cowboys and Colts.It’s not clear how much time Iupati might miss. Linemen Earl Watford and John Wetzel prepare for the snap during the team’s training camp practice Aug. 6. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) “Mike Iupati has a sprained ankle,” Arians said. “I don’t know when he will return, but it was very good news that it was a sprained ankle.”Aside from Watford, rookie Cole Toner, the team’s fifth-round draft pick this year, is the only other guard on the roster.“He’s more than ready,” Arians said.The Cardinals did add Ulrick John from the Dolphins’ practice squad, but “he’s a left tackle, and we’ll look at him at right tackle. I’m anxious to see him on the field,” Arians said.The Mathis injury is big.Signed as a free agent in the offseason to help solidify the right side of the offensive line, Mathis sat sandwiched between two other new starters, center A.Q. Shipley and tackle D.J. Humphries.The Cardinals had Humphries in mind when this offseason they targeted Mathis, who was coming off a Super Bowl season with Denver and had played 11 years in the league. The team wanted some veteran experience next to a first-year starter in Humphries.That’s now gone.“I think D.J. has grown so much and has learned so much from Evan throughout OTAs this summer that he can handle it on his own now,” Arians said.Humphries played one of his better games against the 49ers. According to Pro Football Focus, Humphries surrendered only one hit and two hurries on 31 pass-blocking snaps, and he excelled as a run blocker. Comments Share TEMPE, Ariz. – They experienced the most turnover from a year ago. Now five weeks into the season, there comes more change for the Arizona Cardinals offensive line.It’s not a matter of next man up, but next men up.John Wetzel and Earl Watford are expected to replace left guard Mike Iupati and right guard Evan Mathis, respectively, when the Cardinals host the New York Jets on Monday Night Football.Wetzel and Watford filled in when the two starting guards got hurt in San Francisco. LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Your browser does not support the audio element. Offensive line-play is going to be key this week. The Cardinals are going to want to run the ball, but doing so against the Jets won’t be easy.Despite their 1-4 record, the Jets have allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards (342), while only the Packers are stingier against the run in yards per attempt and yards per game.The Jets have also shown the ability to get after the quarterback. Their 12 sacks are tied for the eighth-most in the league with defensive tackle Leonard Williams leading the way with five.“Defensive line, this is by far the best defensive line, I think,” Arians said. “The Rams are different in their speed factor with Aaron (Donald) and (Robert) Quinn. But these guys are all big, physical — and a bunch of them. You’ve got Muhammad (Wilkerson) playing linebacker, so that’s a huge front when you have him out there playing outside linebacker.”Follow Craig Grialou on Twitter – / 31 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact
Comments Share His ability to hurt teams as both a runner and a receiver in 2016 was reminiscent of Marshall Faulk, another former NFC West running back.That’s high praise for Johnson, but his numbers back it up. After growing his national profile in 2016, Johnson’s return to the gridiron in 2017 should be greatly anticipated.In fact, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians thinks 2017 could be a historic year for Johnson.“Sky is the limit. I mean, 200-yard games every week. I’m serious. He’s capable,” Arians said the day after the 2016 season ended. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) runs as Washington Redskins inside linebacker Su’a Cravens (36) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact NFC West writers for ESPN unanimously voted Arizona Cardinals’ running back David Johnson as the division’s offensive player of the year.Johnson had a historic season, rushing for 1,239 yards and scoring 16 touchdowns on the ground. What’s more impressive is that Johnson caught 80 passes for 879 yards and four touchdowns. His receiving yardage total was the second best on the Cardinals in 2016.Alden Gonzalez, who covers the Los Angeles Rams, thought that Johnson could have some higher recognition if Arizona was better. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Johnson rushed for 1,239 yards and added another 879 receiving yards. All told, he led the NFL with 2,118 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns. If the Cardinals were a playoff team, Johnson would probably be getting a lot of mention as a potential MVP candidate.The second-year running back still collected his fair share of accolades, as he was voted into his first Pro Bowl and was selected to be a first team All-Pro.Johnson may not have led the league in rushing, but Josh Weinfuss, who covers the Cardinals, notes that Johnson led the NFL in other categories.He set an NFL record for consecutive 100-yard games from scrimmage to start a season, with 15. On top of all that, Johnson was responsible for 36.1 percent of the Cardinals’ total offense — the highest percentage in the league.Even though he was not the only offensive standout in the division, Sheil Kapadia, who covers the Seattle Seahawks, thinks that Johnson was significantly better.Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (94 catches, 1,128 yards) and Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald (107 catches, 1,023 yards) both had excellent seasons, but Johnson separated himself from the pack.Nick Wagoner, who covers the San Francisco 49ers, compared Johnson’s dual-threat ability to a Hall of Fame running back.
Worldhotels announces its new partnership with White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou and brings the grand total of affiliate hotels in Greater China to over 30 properties. As the very first hotel in China to join World Luxury, a fine collection of distinct hotels, White Swan Hotel is slated to become one of Worldhotels’ flagship hotels and a prevalent force in both the leisure and business markets.Situated on historic Shamian Island, White Swan Hotel recently underwent a three-year makeover and reopened in Q3 2015. The hotel is dressed throughout in white. White Swan Hotel first opened in 1983 on the premise of its late owner, Hong Kong tycoon, Henry Fok’s dream to own a hotel in China that was designed, built and managed solely by Chinese.The hotel also prides itself on its extensive collection of art and currently boasts over 2000 pieces prominently displayed in the hotel’s premises – including the hotel’s centrepiece, “Homeland Water”, which consists of a Koi pond, a man-made waterfall, stone rockery and a hexagonal shaped pavilion perched at the top of the fountain.Contemporary rooms with views of GuangzhouThe 520 rooms and suites of White Swan Hotel range from 60 to 90 square metres, many boasting views of the Pearl River or the city’s landscape. The rooms are adorned with wood panelling and accents, and are complemented by natural lighting. Deluxe rooms are equipped with an ensuite marble bathroom, overhead rain showers, deep soaking bath tubs and are stocked with designer bathroom amenities.The convergence of palatesJade River is White Swan Hotel’s signature Cantonese restaurant and a mandatory visit for food connoisseurs. Dining at Jade Restaurant is akin to having a meal at an old Chinese courtyard, with an oriental-inspired interior and ambience, and its Koi pond serving as a serene setting. Silk Road Grill serves up Mediterranean and other Western-influenced cuisines. The restaurant offers riverside views and features prime cuts and seafood in its daily menu. The dishes found in the menu of Flavours of China offer guests exactly what the restaurant’s name suggests, and promise the discovery of authentic provincial Chinese flavours and delicacies.A true landmark hotelThe hotel boasts a well-equipped, two-storey Fitness Centre and also a yoga room, which provides a view of the hotel’s lush green gardens and the Pearl River. With Jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms, guests can be assured that their body’s wellbeing will be taken care of and pampered. A team of therapists is armed with an extensive knowledge in anatomy, aromatherapy and massage techniques.“Guangzhou is an up-and-coming leisure destination in South China and also an important traffic node for business travellers and we believe that White Swan Hotel is perfectly poised to cater to both divergent markets and more,” says Roland Jegge, Executive VP, Worldhotels Asia Pacific. “We are thrilled to be welcoming a property of White Swan Hotel’s calibre into our portfolio, and this latest addition is a tremendous vote of confidence for Worldhotels and the World Luxury collection of iconic hotels.”
Go back to the e-newsletterIt was the closest to an evening on the Amalfi Coast as Sydney can get. Sally Morgan of The Unique Tourism Collection and Annarita Aprea, Director of Sales & Marketing for the idyllic Italian hotel, Casa Angelina, hosted just five members of the media for an intimate dinner at Otto Ristorante on Cowper Wharf at Woolloomooloo.Over wine and the restaurant’s fresh, Italian cuisine, guests learned about this white gem, perched above the Mediterranean Sea in the quiet and picturesque Campania village of Praiano, which is only a 10-minute drive from Positano and 15 minutes from Amalfi.The property – which welcomes many Australians to enjoy all the magnificence and splendour of the Amalfi Coast and its surrounds during the beautiful European spring and summer months – operates seasonally and children from 12 years of age are welcome to visit.As a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Casa Angelina provides the timeless elegance of style and service. Accommodation includes 39 luxurious rooms and suites, as well as 4 exclusive Eaudesea rooms, almost at sea level.The gourmet restaurant, Un Piano nel Cielo, showcases seasonal, locally sourced Mediterranean cuisine, while the poolside dining offers easy, healthy salads, pasta and other light dishes.Guests can dip into the heated indoor or outdoor pools and bask in the summer sun on the poolside deck.The spa offers a comprehensive range of beauty and wellness treatments, and guests can also wander down to the local beach for a drink from the seaside bar or head out on a trip on one of Casa Angelina’s private boats.The style of the hotel is distinctly contemporary and sleek, with a bright collection of modern art creating the feel of a private home. The whiter-than-white exterior and interiors come from a cocktail of 15 different shades of white, applied with exacting precision by the hotel’s painter, Peppe, who will often conduct daily touch-ups. This neutral interior allows the views to be the focus, from the sea to Capri and the town of Positano.Casa Angelina offers early booking specials for Australians ahead of its European spring and autumn 2018 seasons.The Spring Offer is available on bookings confirmed by 15 May 2018 for stays of a minimum of two nights in any room category between 24 March and 31 May 2018.The Autumn Offer is available on bookings confirmed by 15 October 2018 for stays of a minimum of two nights in any room category between 1 October and 28 October 2018.Exclusive inclusions are:15% discount on Best Available Rates (BAR)Early check-in or late check-out (subject to availability)EUR80 food and beverage credit (excluding mini-bar)Complimentary bottle of Casa Angelina Champagne and in-season fruit platter in room upon arrivalGo back to the e-newsletter