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Research Shows Signs of Mortgage Credit Loosening

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first_img Housing Credit Availability Index Loosening Mortgage Credit Urban Institute 2015-07-22 Staff Writer in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News July 22, 2015 564 Views Sharecenter_img After years of post-crisis credit tightening, the availability of mortgage credit has slowly edged up from Q3 2013 to Q1 2015.The Urban Institute’s (UI) Housing Finance Policy Center reported that 4.6 percent of purchase loans that are likely to default increased to 5.7 percent, according to the Housing Credit Availability Index (HCAI). This was mostly caused by loans backed by the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs)—Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—and also through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development (RD) program, jointly called FVR loans.“Despite the recent uptick, very significant space remains to safely expand the credit box: even doubling the default risk would keep the level well within the pre-crisis standard of 12.5 percent,” the report said.The HCAI trends showed that the mortgage default risk the market is willing to take peaked from 2005 to 2007, mostly fueled by the popularity of risky loan products during the height of the housing bubble. After the crisis, the market eliminated almost all risky products and implemented more restrictive borrower credit standards.According to the report, the total default risk the government loan channel is willing to take bottomed out at 9.6 percent in Q3 2013, then began to climb steadily to 10.8 percent by Q1 2015. Meanwhile, the GSE market the total risk taken increased by 17 percent from 1.8 percent to 2.1 percent. The PP channel took a higher product risk that any other channel during the bubble, with product risk around 0.6 percent and borrower risk around 2 percent.The median credit scores for both GSE and government loans have been on a steady decline since 2013, UI reported. The median credit score for GSE loans stood at 758 as of May 2015, down from 769 for the same month two years ago. A similar drop was recorded among the government market, from 691 to 682 in the past two years.“GSE and FHA lending dominates the postcrisis mortgage market, the report said. “Today’s tight credit box is largely the result of lender reluctance to lend to the full extent of credit box allowed by the GSEs and the FHA. One key reason has been deep uncertainty about when and why those entities will force lenders to take back the credit risk that they thought they were transferring to the GSEs and FHA, otherwise known as the put-back risk.”UI concludes that credit was much too relaxed in the housing bubble years, but now the tables have turned a bit too much.“Although small progress has been made, significant room remains to safely expand the credit box, the report said. “The mortgage market could have taken twice the default risk it took in the first quarter of 2015 and still have remained well within the cautious standard of 2001–03.”Click here to view the Urban Institute’s complete report.  Research Shows Signs of Mortgage Credit Looseninglast_img read more

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SFR Rehab Cost May Be Lowered By Removing Waste From Process

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first_img in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market October 13, 2015 677 Views SFR Rehab Cost May Be Lowered By Removing Waste From Process A panel speaks during the Rehab Lab of the inaugural Five Star Single-Family Rental Summit in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Pictured are, from left, Matt Fulton of Market Ready, Steve Helser of ASONS, Brad Bordelon of ZVN Properties, Andy Capps of Ameritrust Residential Services, and Charlie Nelson of SGF Contracting Services.With the costs of labor and materials increasing, investors and contractors are constantly searching for ways to lower the cost of doing business when it comes to renovating or rehabbing their rental properties.The key to keeping costs down is to remove waste from the process, according to one expert on Tuesday at the Rehab Lab in the inaugural Five Star Institute Single-Family Rental Summit in Las Vegas.”The price of labor includes the processes, so if you can streamline your processes and take waste out of the processes, and cut your overhead costs or pass that on to a client,” said Steven Helser, CEO of ASONS, a panelist during the lab. “The other way to look at this is the materials. By only buying the level of materials you need at the right quality, you get massive discounts for national material suppliers like Home Depot and Lowe’s. Leveraging off of that, you can save that and pass that onto the client.”One way to keep costs down is to convert fixed costs into variable costs, Helser said.”If the client has a rehab team that goes out to do their renovations or their flips, they can get rid of that rehab team, and we as contractors can come in and take that fixed cost and make that a variable,” Helser said. “So if they’re not buying, they don’t have that labor cost. So it’s on our dime. And if we’re not performing for them, we’re out performing for somebody else. So we’re able to take and use that labor efficiently across multiple clients where one client would say ‘I have 10 or 15 people over here to do rehab or maintenance, and now I don’t have that anymore. I just pick up the phone and we know I’m going to have the right level of labor and performance and my costs are going to be lower.'””We take waste out of the system and we minimize the time from the time we get a purchase order to the time we invoice the client. So we’re moving that waste and making processes more efficient both inside and outside with our own performers or contractors.”In order to remove the waste from the processes, Helser said his company uses the Six Sigma approach, which was famously utilized by Jack Welch during his tenure as CEO of General Electric.While not many real estate investors or contractors are current utilizing this approach, more and more are coming on, Helser said.”We take waste out of the system and we minimize the time from the time we get a purchase order to the time we invoice the client,” he said. “So we’re moving that waste and making processes more efficient both inside and outside with our own performers or contractors. It allows us to have a complete hold on those overhead costs so we can take them down to a bare minimum. You match your labor with what business you have and it seems to work out. Same thing with materials.”While keeping costs of labor and materials down is an ongoing challenge for contractors in the single-family property rehab space, the availability of labor has also been an issue.”If you’re not self-performing with the way construction is going nowadays, all of the labor is going to the next job, like the big commercial jobs,” Helser said. “Having that labor available and keeping that labor engaged in this environment is very tough.”Editor’s note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of DS News, DSNews.com, The MReport, and TheMReport.com. center_img Asset Management Five Star Single-Family Rental Summit SFR Rehab The Five Star Institute 2015-10-13 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

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Will Q2 Results Be Kinder to Banks than Q1

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first_img Banks Earnings Profits 2016-07-05 Seth Welborn For the most part, the largest U.S. bank holding companies suffered through a dismal first quarter, as the profits of nearly every one of them took a hit compared with the first quarter of 2015.For example, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley each saw their profits decline by more than 50 percent from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016. Citi’s net income dropped over-the-year from $4.8 billion to $3.5 billion in Q1, and Bank of America’s dropped by 13 percent down to $2.7 billion. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase also reported over-the-year earnings declines for Q1.In slightly more than a week, the mortgage industry will find out if the banks were able to bounce back in Q2, starting with the release of JPMorgan Chase’s second quarter earnings statement on the morning of Thursday, July 14. The following day, Friday, July 15, the Q2 earnings statements of four financial institutions will be released: Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, PNC, and Citi.Bank of America and Morgan Stanley will follow with their respective Q2 earnings statements on Monday, July 18, and Goldman Sachs will release theirs on Tuesday, July 19.The banks may be in a good position to increase profitability for Q2. The nation’s 33 largest bank holding companies all showed improved capital levels in the recent stress tests conducted by the Fed. According to the Fed, the 33 banks had added a combined total of more than $700 billion in common equity capital. The 33 bank holding companies tested, which hold more than 80 percent of domestic banking assets, showed they would take losses of about $385 billion when tested for their ability to lend in a hypothetical severe economic scenario.The Fed then announced on June 29 that it did not reject the capital plans for all bank holding companies except for Santander and Deutsche Bank. The Fed did not reject Morgan Stanley’s capital plan, but did ask the investment banking firm to resubmit its plan after correcting some deficiencies in the plan found by the central bank.The earnings statements for non-bank mortgage servicers such as Ocwen Financial, Nationstar Mortgage, and Walter Investment typically follow a week or two after the bank holding companies release their statements. All three posted net losses of more than $100 billion in Q1; the only one of the three that was profitable for the full year of 2015 was Nationstar.Q2 earnings scheduleThursday, July 14: JPMorgan ChaseFriday, July 15: Citi, PNC, U.S. Bank, Wells FargoMonday, July 18: Bank of America, Morgan StanleyTuesday, July 19: Goldman Sachs July 5, 2016 499 Views Sharecenter_img in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Will Q2 Results Be Kinder to Banks than Q1?last_img read more

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Examining Loan Application Fraud and Defect Risk

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first_imgExamining Loan Application Fraud and Defect Risk Share CoreLogic Florida Fraud Mortgage Application 2019-05-02 Mike Albanese in Daily Dose, Featured, Newscenter_img CoreLogic’s National Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index (Index) reported a Q1 2019 increase of 6% over Q1 2018, settling in at 152.The Index is calculated from the aggregation of individual loan application fraud risk scores during the previous quarter. Score compilations are calculated for the 100 highest-populated Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSA) in the U.S., and the 15 CBSAs with the highest fraud risk for the most recent quarter are shown in rank order.The CoreLogic report notes that the share of refinance transactions increased to 32% in Q1, an increase from 28% from the prior three quarters, due to a reduction in interest rates.Eight of the top 15 highest-risk CBSAs are in Florida, which continues trends seen during 2018, when the Sunshine State was one of three with the highest levels of mortgage-application fraud risk.The market of Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, however, was the only market that saw an increase in its fraud risk from 2018, as its fraud risk increased 17%.Florida markets included on the list that saw decreases were: Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach (-9%); Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (-12%); Lakeland-Winter Haven,(-23%); Cape Coral-Fort Myers (-29%); North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton (-10%); Jacksonville (-9%); and Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford (-28%).Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach was ranked as the No. 1 CBSA for Fraud Risk in Q1 of 2019 with an Index of 401. The market’s Index is 143 points higher than the second-ranked market, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach (261).First American Financial Corporation also released its March Loan Application Defect Index this week, revealing that the Defect Index increased by 15.9% year-over-year.The Defect Index, however, is down 6.8% from its peak of 6.8% in October 2013.“Nationally, defect risk continued to surge in early 2019 and in February reached its highest point since 2013,” said Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American. “Suddenly in March, the acceleration stopped.”First AM Financial Corporation noted there were two trends influencing defect risk: the rising share of refinance transactions and the continuation of the sellers’ market. May 2, 2019 1,646 Views last_img read more

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Aprils USDA forecast for production of a number o

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first_img April’s USDA forecast for production of a number of U.S. citrus fruits, including oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and tangelos, shows lower figures than March’s estimate for the 2018-19 season.These reduced numbers are mainly due to expectations of slightly lower production in Florida across the board.Starting with oranges, last month’s forecast showed volumes of all variants increasing from last year’s drastic drop in numbers, (down 26 million boxes from the 2016-17 harvest), by almost 37 million boxes.Yet April’s figures cut this predicted 29% yearly increase with slightly less hopeful data, reporting the national production total will likely be two million boxes fewer than March’s number.  What’s more, calculations for Florida orange production demonstrate production dropping here the most, with 500,000 fewer boxes than last month’s predictions. Forecasted grapefruit production figures from March were also up from last year’s numbers by over three million boxes, but this number was also reduced country-wide in April, though by much less (only 500,000 boxes).Here, Florida was the only state affected by the new month’s projections. Estimates for harvests in California and Texas for the current year remain the same. Meanwhile, April’s forecast for tangerine and tangelo production across the U.S. stood out as the only outlier of Florida’s citrus trend.The projected national figure for this month fell one million boxes from March’s, but the estimate for Florida’s production remains the same. The entire one-million-box decrease is expected to be attributed to California. Overall, however, the USDA predicts tangerine and tangelo production will still be up three million boxes from the 2017-18 season.  April 10 , 2019 Mexico’s apple tariff repeal to boost Washington’s … You might also be interested incenter_img Farm equipment maker Deere’s dealers hit hard by t … Fresh Del Monte Produce short interest up 31% from … South African blueberry industry forecasts soaring …last_img read more

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has reached an agre

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first_imgNorwegian Cruise Line Holdings has reached an agreement with Fincantieri S.p.A. to construct the next generation of ships for NCL, with four ships, costing €800 million each, on order for delivery in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025, with an option for two additional ships to be delivered in 2026 and 2027.The new class of ships will each accommodate approximately 3,300 guests and, at 140,000 gross tonne apiece, a priority of the prototype design is energy efficiency, with the aim of optimising fuel consumption and reducing the impact on the environment. Details on the ships’ many innovative guest facing and first at sea features will be announced at a later date.“This new class of ships will continue Norwegian Cruise Line brand’s legacy of introducing meaningful innovation to the cruise industry,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.“This order continues to highlight our disciplined newbuild program, extends our growth trajectory well into the future, enhances our already attractive earnings profile, and drives expected long-term returns for our shareholders.” NCLNorwegian Cruise Linelast_img read more

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July 26 2012 Lunchtime with Whiz FLAGSTAFF — Ca

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first_imgJuly 26, 2012: Lunchtime with WhizFLAGSTAFF — Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt meets the media daily at lunchtime:“Well, no decison on the quarterback yet.”And that’s how Whisenhunt opened his Thursday afternoon press conference.The Cardinals will practice in full pads for the first time this afternoon. “I’m expecting it to be potentially sloppy at times,” Whisenhunt said. on what the depth at the cornerback position may ultimately mean“There’s going to be a player or two, I feel like, that we’re going to release, that we’re going to have to release that’s going to be able to play for another team. That’s not something that we’ve always faced here in the last few years. We’ll see how it all pans out. We haven’t done anything yet but just from what you’ve seen, how they’ve responded in drills, the way they’re competing, I’m really looking forward to seeing how they handle themselves.” Top Stories D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’center_img on the play Ryan Williams made in the team’s first practice“No, I smiled. I didn’t suppress anything. It was nice to see. It brings back memories of what you saw last year in a short period of time and how excited you got. But I think you also have to temper that with he’s still got a little ways to go. He’s still a redshirt rookie as you would say. It’s exciting to see him out there and that’s a great sign.”on how Greg Toler is coming along after ACL surgery last year“It’s a process for him. I think especially at that position with as much turning and stopping and starting that you have to do as a corner that he’s got to get a feel back for it. He’s a big kid that can really run, that’s physical. He’s got to get the feel back. He’s got to be able to do some of the things that he hasn’t done.”on whether having 10 cornerbacks on the roster is too many“Been many times here where we’ve scrambled to try to get a corner in here to play. And it could end up being that way too. You never know how it’s going to go with injuries.“[I] feel very good about the quality of cornerbacks that we have competing for spots out there. We’ve got some very good young players. We’ve got some strong leaders…not necessarily just the corners but the secondary in general has got the chance to be a strength for us.” Comments   Share   last_img read more

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Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt never doubted

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first_imgCardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt never doubted Roberts’ contributions.“We’ve been pleased with the way Andre has played the last two and a half years,” he said. “We’ve been the ones saying Andre is a good receiver, Andre is a good receiver. I remember last year everybody talking about all the receivers we should bring in to be the number two, we didn’t have a number two.”Roberts had six catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns against Miami, with his second touchdown catch coming on a 4th and 10 that forced overtime. “You know I think that it’s nice to see Andre getting opportunities,” Whisenhunt said. “Sometimes that’s the way it goes, the ball will find you.“It’s doing that with Andre and to his credit he’s making those plays when it comes his way.”Roberts has four touchdowns in four games in 2012, a number that represents half of his career total of eight. He shows up to work every day and quietly goes about his business. The media may not talk about him much, but his effort doesn’t go unnoticed by the coaching staff. Whisenhunt said Roberts has earned the right to be in the game. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke – / 15 “He’s worked very hard to get these opportunities and it’s nice to see him have success with them.” Comments   Share   Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocationcenter_img D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Top Stories The Arizona Cardinals left University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday afternoon with a big win over the Miami Dolphins and, better yet, a 4-0 record. Much of that was made possible because of the play of wide receiver Andre Roberts. Roberts has flown under the radar since being taken in the third round in 2010 draft by the Cardinals. With superstar and future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald on his team, it’s understandable that Roberts may have a tough time getting noticed. Yet, he continues to get the job done. Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

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The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

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first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments   Share   It’s understandably frustrating to watch a team struggle to get into the end zone week are after week, but sometimes you have to examine the silver lining. As a team you always want to be improving and from the Cardinals perspective even though it’s not much, at least their offense isn’t worse. So while the scoring numbers aren’t where you would like them to be, the offense is headed in the right direction. It’s gone from almost NFL-worst to below average. They currently rank second-to-last in total yards per game at 293.4, compared to the 344 yards per game from the last two, which would rank 21st.Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt discussed the improvement and need for all aspects of the offense to come together.“I think we’ve had a lot of different players at different times because of injuries,” Whisenhunt said. “Fullbacks, quarterbacks, linemen, sometimes it takes time to get some form of continuity.”Whisenhunt also pointed to the Cardinals shooting themselves in the foot, hindering their efforts to put points on the board.“We’ve made too many mistakes that’s kept us from scoring,” he said. “We’ve turned the ball over countless times on the plus side of the 50-yard line. “Our guys are working at it, our goal is to continue to try and get better. Hopefully it will start meshing, be nice if it did Monday night.” It won’t be an easy task against a San Francisco 49ers team allowing 14 points per game and who has given up fewer than seven points in three of its last four contests. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Despite scoring 16 points against the Buffalo Bills and 14 points at Minnesota against the Vikings, the Arizona Cardinals offense has actually showed growth the last two weeks. You may laugh at the notion, but check out the facts. In the Cards’ first five games, Arizona averaged 273 total yards per game, 4.22 yards per play and 16 first downs. In the Cards’ last two games, Arizona has averaged 344 yards per game, 4.95 yards per play and 19.5 first downs. last_img read more

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Rarely does a sporting event live up to its prega

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first_imgRarely does a sporting event live up to its pre-game billing, but the Cardinals’ visit to New York did exactly that.This game, which the Jets “won” by a score of 7-6, was every bit as poorly played as we thought it would be. In fact, it may have even been more pathetic than anticipated.The Jets’ Mark Sanchez threw three interceptions. The Cardinals’ longest play from scrimmage was a fake punt. And Ryan Lindley, the Cardinals’ latest in a long list of disasters at quarterback, completed 10-of-31 passes for 72 yards and one interception. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Quarterback controversies are fun; quarterback ineptitude is painful to watch.And when the issues are created by a head coach who seems unable to fix things?There’s really only one thing to do.The last time the Arizona Cardinals lost eight-straight games was 2006, when the team was breaking in a first-round draft pick named Matt Leinart. The slide was embarrassing, and it helped usher Dennis Green out of town.Ken Whisenhunt is a better coach than Green, but at this point it’s tough not to expect him to suffer a similar fate. – / 16 The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   Top Stories And Lindley, a sixth-round pick who has no business playing right now but will be back next year, has shown nothing that would make someone think the team will win any of the final four games with him under center. What’s a coach to do? Deal with the mess he made and suffer the ramifications.It’s been said that Whisenhunt is one of the game’s best and smartest coaches, and it’s easy to see why.After all, he guided the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, and was well-respected enough that Peyton Manning paid the franchise a visit last March when he was looking for a new team.However, with Whisenhunt’s smarts have come a certain level of confidence that, unfortunately, has led to some questionable decisions over the last few seasons. Is it a case of “I’m smarter than you, and I’m going to prove it?”Kind of looks that way.What else would you call Whisenhunt’s decision to turn to Derek Anderson and Max Hall in 2010? Why else would the Cardinals trade for Kolb and ask him to fit the offense instead of adapting the offense to fit the QB?And how else could someone interpret the reactionary decision to bench a struggling-but-winning Skelton in favor of a rookie who, through no fault of his own, has no business being on the field right now? Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Lindley completed less than 1/3 of his passes and averaged fewer than three yards per attempt. The Cardinals went 0-for-15 on third down and moved the chains just five times. And yet, he gave the team the best chance to win?If Lindley gives the team its best chance to win, one must wonder what the prize is. After all, it’s too late to suck for Luck.Anyway, it’s the same baseless claim the coach had when he replaced John Skelton in Atlanta with a lead, after Lindley’s pair of pick-sixes cost Arizona a chance to beat the Rams, and now after the rookie put forth a miserable effort in the Big Apple.Either Whisenhunt is lying to us, and he really has given up on the season and is rolling with the rookie with an eye towards the future, or he’s just clueless when it comes to the quarterback position.Both options are currently still on the table.The Cardinals coach is backed into a corner with this one. Kevin Kolb may be ready to come back, but what good comes from giving him the starting job with the playoffs out of reach and the QB not likely to return next season? It would be tough to turn back to Skelton, a third-year player who likely has little confidence left after the coach turned his back on him with a 10-point lead just a few short weeks ago. Like Kolb, Skelton is not likely to return in 2013. Sanchez was benched in the third quarter; Lindley played the entire game. Sanchez’s replacement threw the game-winning touchdown pass. As for Lindley?“You look at it and you say he’s got to play better, and he does,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt told the Arizona Cardinals Radio Network after the game. “If he wants to be the quarterback of this team he’s got to play better than that, and I think he understands that.”There’s little doubt Lindley would like to be the team’s quarterback, and who knows, maybe in time he will be. But right now it’s obvious he’s not anywhere close to being ready for the job. The coaching staff recognized that, too, and considered making a change Sunday afternoon.“But at the time where we were, the way he talked on the sideline and was handling what he needed to handle as the quarterback and then he made the good throw to Michael (Floyd) on the sideline after we got the turnover there late,” the coach said, adding he thought the Cardinals were going to score a touchdown on the fourth quarter drive instead of having to settle for a Jay Feely field goal. “You consider all those things and you ultimately go with what you think gives you the best chance to win.”last_img read more

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Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

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first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said Friday that third-string quarterback Ryan Lindley will start Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. It will be his second consecutive start. Arians said earlier in the week that the Cardinals would start their fourth quarterback of the year in Logan Thomas, Arizona’s 2014 fourth-round draft pick, after Lindley completed just 18-of-44 passes for 216 yards and an interception in Sunday’s 35-6 loss to the Seahawks. According to Arians, the decision came after the “evaluation process during the week” and Lindley would “give us a better chance to win the game.”“Logan’s going to be a hell of a player one of these days, but right now he’s not ready,” he added. Arians said Thomas had not been putting the ball in the spots it needed to be. “He was throwing it well,” he said, “But not to the right guys. He just hasn’t had enough reps to go against this defense, which is one of the best five defenses in the National Football League.“It was probably a poor decision on my part to early-announce it.” The news came after an earlier report surfaced that said Drew Stanton had to have an arthroscopic procedure to combat an infection “caused by an outside medical treatment.” Arians said he has “no idea” about the infection and that Stanton is “on schedule for next week.” 0 Comments   Share   Top Stories center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Top Stories

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first_img Top Stories Comments   Share   The Cardinals signed veteran Evan Mathis to play right guard, which means just two spots — right tackle and center — are currently up for grabs. The favorites for those roles are D.J. Humphries and A.Q. Shipley, respectively, but the rest of the offseason and then training camp will be about determining who is best for each job.“As you look at it, let’s be honest with ourselves, from a money situation certain people don’t get moved, and from there you go,” Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said, referring to Veldheer, Iupati and Mathis. “Right now it’s still open competition; D.J.’s in open competition, A.Q. is in open competition.“I think we’re pretty set — unless something happens — between now and fall practice, that Jared, you’ve got Mike, you’ve got Evan who are having great springs so far, should be there.”Goodwin went on the praise the work being put in by young linemen Antoine McClain, Taylor Boggs and Evan Boehm, the last of whom is competing with Shipley to be the starting center.“At the end of the day we’re going to need seven bodies,” he said. “Right now I have a pretty good clue who five are, but I don’t know who six and seven are going to be. So competition’s wide open, and we’ll see what happens.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Should Humphries not be ready, or if the need for someone else to step in for one of the other projected starters arises, one option to fill the role would be Earl Watford. A fourth-year pro, he started the first two games last season at right tackle while Bobby Massie was serving a suspension and has seen time all across the offensive line this offseason.“Earl’s like my Swiss Army knife,” Goodwin said. “Earl’s played tackle, he’s played guard, he’s played center, and he’s done well at all those positions. Right now Earl’s got probably a leg up just because he can do everything. He’s played in a game at right tackle, he’s played in a game at guard. Never played in a game at left tackle but he’s done really well at center — kind of shocked me a little bit — he’s done well as far as ID’ing the front making the calls and getting the ball up to Carson.“He’s matured a whole bunch too, so the more you can do in this league the better chance you’ve got of sticking on a roster.” – / 20 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact When the Arizona Cardinals open their season against the New England Patriots on Sept. 11, their offensive line will have a much different look than it did at the end of last season.Gone are right tackle Bobby Massie, guards Jonathan Cooper and Ted Larsen, and center Lyle Sendlein.Sixty-percent of the offensive line is projected to be different, with left tackle Jared Veldheer and left guard Mike Iupati as the only holdovers from a group that paved the way for the NFL’s eighth-best rushing offense and No. 1 offense overall. Linemen Mike Iupati, Earl Watford and Givens Price wait during OTAs. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Goodwin, who is in his fourth season with the Cardinals, added that the battles will truly be won during training camp when the pads are on because “everybody looks good in shorts.”Still, he is evidently high on a handful of his linemen, including Humphries. A second-year pro who was not active for a single game last season, Humphries is currently slotted to be the team’s starting right tackle in Week 1. It’s a far cry from where he was last season, when Humphries went from being a first-round pick to almost an afterthought.“I think one of the things that people get caught up in and forget about D.J. is when he was drafted, he was a young kid, came out of a program that was a spread offense; let’s be honest, he was a little immature, and he’s grown up a lot between B.A. calling him ‘Knee Deep’ and other things — and myself doing the same thing,” Goodwin said. “And just sitting on the bench; when you’re a competitor and you sit on the bench for a year, you don’t dress and you don’t really participate other than practice, it hurts a little bit.“And I think he’s a little bit more focused. He’s matured a whole bunch — I don’t think he’s quite there — but it’s night and day as far as last year being on the grass and this year. I’m not worried about D.J. from a physicality standpoint or a knowledge standpoint, and I just want to make sure he’s prepared and I think he’s going to be OK by the time the season starts.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

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Besides the opponents themselves location does se

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first_imgBesides the opponents themselves, location does seem to favor the Cardinals more early than late, with Arizona hosting five of its first eight games. Of course, hitting the road five times in the season’s second half.Then again, maybe playing away from University of Phoenix Stadium will not be problematic for the Cardinals, as last season they were 7-1 on the road and 6-2 at home. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Along with Baltimore, Arizona and Oakland figure to have the league’s most back-loaded schedules next year, with their toughest games coming relatively later in the year. Meanwhile, the Jets, Bengals, and Steelers all have the opposite problem, as their toughest challenges come before the midpoint of the season.Stuart looked at potential point-spreads when creating his table, and of course there is plenty that could happen between now and when each game is played to alter the betting lines. Injuries and surprise performances will undoubtedly play a role, and just because a team looks good (or bad) right now does not mean they will play well (or poorly) when the time comes.However, do the Cardinals really have a more favorable beginning than end?The first half of their season sees them play just three teams who were in the 2015 postseason in the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers. The Patriots and Seahawks will be faced at University of Phoenix Stadium, however, but the Pats will be without star quarterback Tom Brady for their Week 1 matchup.Following a nicely-placed Week 9 bye, the Cardinals will have games against 2015 playoff teams Minnesota, Washington and Seattle, with just the Redskins coming to Glendale. The Cardinals will also square off against the Falcons (road) and Saints (home), two 2015 underachievers whom more is expected of in 2016. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians, right, walks away after talking with Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer prior to an NFL football game, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Top Stories If the Arizona Cardinals are to repeat as NFC West champions and earn one of the NFC’s top playoff seeds, they’ll have to put in some serious work in the first part of the 2016 season.At least, that’s the thought over at FiveThirtyEight.com, where Chase Stuart took a look at the 2016 NFL slate and pointed out which teams’ schedules are tougher in the beginning compared to the end.In the Cardinals’ case, the slate is significantly more difficult late than early. The only team with a greater disparity between the front half of the schedule and the second half is the Baltimore Ravens. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more

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Fans always think they know more than the offensi

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first_img“Fans always think they know more than the offensive coordinator,” I said. “He’s always the most unpopular guy in town. Who was the last one you liked?”He hesitated, stuck for an answer.“Ted Marchibroda?” I said. He smiled and nodded.• The Bills say Greg Roman installed too many plays. How does installing plays actually work? (Buffalo News)In the week since the Bills replaced offensive coordinator Greg Roman with Anthony Lynn, many players have said they’re glad Lynn will scale back the number of plays the offense has installed every week, which they hope will allow them to think less and play faster.So what exactly goes into “installing” plays?• After being stepped on in a walk-through, Sammy Watkins is questionable for Cardinals game (Buffalo News)Just when you thought the Buffalo Bills’ situation was about as wacky as it could get heading into their Week Three matchup with the Cardinals, coach Rex Ryan dropped this note on Friday: Top receiver Sammy Watkins, who has been dealing pain from an offseason foot surgery, got stepped on during a walk-through this week, further clouding his status for Sunday’s game.• Top 10 reasons why you should be pumped for Bills-Cardinals (BuffaloBills.com) • Williams: Have to have a ‘stone wall mentality’ (WGR550.com)Defensive tackle Kyle Williams knows all too well about the years without the playoffs for the Bills. The former fifth round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft (134th overall) has played in 138 career games with the Bills and has accumulated 479 total tackles, 35.5 sacks, and one career interception. However, the team’s record in his tenure with the team has not been pretty, sitting at 66-96.Thursday, September 22• Bills-Cardinals scouting report by Jay Skurski (Buffalo News)The Buffalo Bills face no easy task in getting back on track Sunday. The visiting Arizona Cardinals have established themselves as a Super Bowl contender, and despite a slip-up in Week One at home against New England, they looked every bit the part in a Week Two demolition of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here is how Jay Skurski sees the matchup.• Rex-isms: 10 attention-grabbing comments by the Bills coach (Buffalo News)Rex Ryan definitely loves the microphone. Since he was hired by the Buffalo Bills, Ryan’s mouth has produced many “Rex-isms” — honest, outrageous, shocking, sometimes funny, sometimes foolish — statements that only he is capable of making. Here are our top “Rex-isms” of Ryan’s tenure. There are reports that the team’s owners, Terry and Kim Pegula, met with Bills players without Ryan being present. Let’s face it, so far 2016 has been a mess for Buffalo.Anyway, the Bills have 14 more games on their schedule, including Sunday’s clash with the Arizona Cardinals at New Era Field.All week, we’ll keep you abreast of Buffalo’s preparation for the Cardinals, who are seeking their first win in upstate New York since 1971.It’s Behind Enemy Lines…Saturday, September 24• Bills defense has plenty of fixing to do of its own (Buffalo News)It’s easy to get so caught up in the turmoil the Buffalo Bills’ offense has generated that you forget there are some real problems with their defense as well.Major problems. The kind of problems that could easily have led to the coaching shakeup that occurred on offense. In fact, as many critics have voiced, the Bills fired the wrong guy in offensive coordinator Greg Roman.• Bills’ change of coordinators eliminates one more excuse (Buffalo News)Earlier this week, I ran into a friend at the gas station and the conversation quickly turned to the Bills. He said that as a season ticket-holder, he had no problem with the team firing Greg Roman two games into the season. • Sammy Watkins discusses Roman firing, gives interesting quote (BuffaloRumblings.com)Sammy Watkins wasn’t shy talking to the media today about the Bills firing of offensive coordinator Greg Roman. • Rex Ryan, 0-2 Bills eager to face Arizona, New England (ESPN.com)“It might be the best team in the league, and maybe this is the exact team we need to play,” Ryan said of the Cardinals. “And it’s back-to-back weeks, by the way. You got [Cardinals coach] Bruce Arians this week, and you got [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick next week. So it’s like, OK, there’s a few more easier options than those two, but maybe this is exactly what we need.”• Coming off long weekend, Bills ready to regroup (BuffaloBills.com)There won’t be any easy answers for the Bills to uncover to right all of the wrongs in their first two games, but Buffalo’s coaching staff and the players have three extra days to find the fixes necessary to get on the winning side of the ledger in Week 3. As they come back to work today the players are resolute in their desire to improve the consistency of their play.• Bills make practice squad add (BuffaloBills.com)The Bills made a move on their practice squad Monday. Buffalo signed OT William Poehls.A 6-8, 334-pound Montana product, Poehls (pronounced Pales) originally entered the NFL in 2014 as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans. He has spent time on the Titans practice squad since entering the league. Poehls, 25, is a native of Chandler, Arizona. • Offensive coordinator change not new for Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood (Buffalo News)Eric Wood has been down this road before.The Buffalo Bills’ center was a rookie in 2009 when then-coach Dick Jauron fired offensive coordinator Turk Schonert just two weeks before the season started.• Bills entering must-win territory as Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals visit (ESPN.com)Is it too early to call this a must-win game for the Buffalo Bills?Perhaps not. Reeling after two consecutive losses to begin the season, as well as last Friday’s firing of offensive coordinator Greg Roman, the Bills’ backs are up against the wall as they host the Arizona Cardinals (1-1) this Sunday at New Era Field.• Rex Ryan wants more from Sammy Watkins, less ‘ground and pound’ (ESPN.com)More than a year-and-a-half later, Ryan’s emphasis seems to have shifted away from the “ground and pound” approach and toward putting the ball in Sammy Watkins’ hands — even if Watkins is dealing with foot soreness from offseason surgery, another in a growing succession of physical ailments for the third-year receiver.• Police officers sue Bills RB LeSean McCoy over bar fight (ESPN.com) Top Stories • LeSean McCoy, Tyrod Taylor looking forward to Anthony Lynn’s ‘simplified’ offense (Buffalo News)Bills running back LeSean McCoy and quarterback Tyrod Taylor both said Wednesday that their offense should be simpler to run with new coordinator Anthony Lynn at the helm.“There won’t be a drastic change, but there will be a difference,” McCoy said. “The plays will be simplified a lot.”McCoy said Greg Roman, whom the Bills fired on Friday, was an “intelligent coach” who ran a “thinking offense” that put as many as 80 or 90 potential plays in place every week, which is a lot to master. Now they’re down to 30 or 40.• LeSean McCoy: ‘Not as much thinking’ the goal with Bills’ new offense (ESPN.com)Amid what Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan has called the most challenging start to a season in his seven-year head-coaching career, one of his most veteran players, guard Richie Incognito, provided some comic relief Wednesday.• Bills will move Anthony Lynn to coaches’ booth to call plays (ESPN.com)New Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn will call plays from the coaches’ booth beginning with Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. Former offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who was fired Friday, called plays from the sideline.• Playing fast the aim for Bills offense (BuffaloBills.com)Increasing the tempo and reducing game plan volume are two main changes being implemented by new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn in the hope that it will allow Buffalo’s most talented playmakers to shine.• Buffalo Bills have hurt playoff odds more than any other NFL team, says ESPN (NewYorkUpstate.com)When the 2016 season kicked off, the Buffalo Bills had a 38.1 percent chance of making the playoffs according to Football Outsiders’ playoff odds simulation.Following back-to-back losses to the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets, Buffalo’s playoff odds are significantly worse. In fact, no team saw their chances drop more than the Bills.According to ESPN Insider, the Bills’ playoff odds after an 0-2 start have dropped by more than 20 percent.Wednesday, September 21• At this point, Eagles are where Bills should be (Buffalo News)As if the first two weeks weren’t nauseating enough, along come the Philadelphia Eagles with their spanking new coaching staff and shiny rookie quarterback, providing a power-point presentation to our football-loving nation on everything that’s wrong with the Buffalo Bills. Two off-duty Philadelphia police officers injured in a February bar fight involving Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy filed a lawsuit Tuesday morning against the former NFL rushing leader in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.• Mike Francesa Destroys Rex And Rob Ryan, Buffalo Bills In Epic Rant (NESN)In case you haven’t been following along with the Bills, they’re currently 0-2, and they look like an 0-2 team. Buffalo’s offense failed to show up at all in its 13-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, but they bounced back Thursday, only to watch their defense get annihilated by the New York Jets 37-31. And that apparently was reason enough to fire offensive coordinator Greg Roman. So, basically, the Bills are a mess after just two weeks, and Francesa went in on the team Monday on WFAN. Namely, head coach Rex Ryan and his assistant head coach and twin brother, Rob.• Top 6 storylines for the Bills-Cardinals this week (BuffaloBills.com)They don’t play each other very often, and they haven’t played against one another in Buffalo in 12 years. The Buffalo Bills face the tough task of trying to put their season back on the rails this Sunday when they go up against the Arizona Cardinals, a bonafide Super Bowl contender. Here are the top storylines going into this Sunday’s game: • Five things Anthony Lynn must do to fix the Bills’ offense (Buffalo News)1. Stop going three-and-out. The Bills are punting after just three plays on 37 percent of their offensive drives through two games, which ranks 31st in the NFL. Only the Los Angeles Rams – with no touchdowns in two games – are worse.• Anthony Lynn ready for his shot, even if it’s still Greg Roman’s offense (Buffalo News)“I’ve been training to do this all my life,” Lynn said Thursday in his first press conference since replacing Greg Roman. “When I was playing I knew I was going to coach one day, so I started taking notes on things that I would do if I was coaching way back then.”But one thing Lynn couldn’t prepare for is taking over someone else’s playbook mid-season. The Bills won’t be running “Anthony Lynn’s offense” on Sunday. It’ll be more like Anthony Lynn doing Greg Roman’s offense.• Bills confront sobering reality: Their fans love to get hammered before games (Sporting News)The young man stood above a keg, can of beer already in hand.He began chugging from a hole punched in the bottom of the 12-ouncer at the same time brew began flowing through the tap. He finished the “shotgun” before an entire cup could be poured, producing a celebratory spike. Comments   Share   Tuesday, September 20• Rex Ryan: Rob Ryan has done ‘as good of job as anybody coaching’ (ESPN.com)“I think my brother’s done as good a job as anybody coaching in this league, so I think that’s … but I get it,” he said Monday. “That’s always going to be [those questions] out there but hey, it comes with the territory. And now it’s time to move on, I’m focused on Arizona and I better be.”• Sammy Watkins explains what happened when Buffalo Bills players met with Pegulas (NewYorkUpstate.com)“They just showed up and said, ‘Hey, we need to talk,’” he said. “I think the talk went well. It had nothing to do with anybody. It just had to do with the players. … to be 0-2, that’s probably the reason that caused it. I just think they wanted to see where my head was, and the leaders on the team, where their heads were.”• Offense adjusts with Lynn now calling the shots (BuffaloBills.com)With Monday being an extra day of practice this week, the session was split evenly between installing some of the new tweaks Lynn wants to implement in the offense and installing the game plan for Arizona, the opponent the Bills host on Sunday. • Buffalo Bills OC Anthony Lynn trying to make Greg Roman’s system work (NewYorkUpstate.com)Anthony Lynn has been thinking about how he would call plays since back when he was still playing. But the new Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator, who obtained that position after Greg Roman was fired last week, didn’t envision getting play-calling duties this way.• What Buffalo Bills OC Anthony Lynn said in first press conference (NewYorkUpstate.com)The Buffalo Bills have spent the week transitioning to new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn after Greg Roman was fired last week.Lynn had his first press conference on Thursday. Here’s everything he said.• Rex Ryan: ‘Heightened concern’ over Sammy Watkins’ availability for Sunday (ESPN.com)Rex Ryan said Thursday that there is “heightened concern” over Sammy Watkins’ availability for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals after the Buffalo Bills’ top receiver remained out of practice.• Playing fast the aim for Bills offense (BuffaloBills.com)Through the first two weeks of the 2016 campaign Buffalo’s offense was uneven in performance, efficiency and execution. It’s partly why head coach Rex Ryan felt a change had to be made. New offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn didn’t get to choose the scheme, but he will be choosing what plays are run and how the Bills will operate. Step one for Lynn is to increase the pace of their game. As the Bills gear up to take on the Cardinals at home, here are the top 10 reasons why you should be pumped for this Week 3 matchup.• Special teams looking to give Bills and edge vs. Cardinals (BuffaloBills.com)Buffalo’s special teams units have performed well through the first two games, but their exploits have largely flown under the radar so far this season.With all the attention focused on the Buffalo Bills’ offensive and defensive struggles through the first two weeks of the season, the special teams unit has enjoyed some success that has mostly flown under the radar.Friday, September 23• Stephon Gilmore, Bills chalk up his nightmare game against Jets as just a bad day at the office (Buffalo News)If it felt like you were watching Stephon Gilmore play the worst game of his career last week, there’s a good reason for it.At least according to one analytics website, it’s because he did.Pro Football Focus charted the Buffalo Bills’ top cornerback, as it does for every player of every NFL game, and charged him with allowing seven receptions (on eight targets) for 129 yards against the New York Jets. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had a 118.8 passer rating when throwing at Gilmore, according to PFF, with Quincy Enunwa (55 yards) and Brandon Marshall (47 yards) making three receptions each. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling It’s never too early for turmoil when Rex Ryan is involved.Ryan’s Buffalo Bills are off to an 0-2 start in 2016 and they’ve already found a scapegoat in (former) offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who was fired the day after a 37-31 loss to the New York Jets last Thursday. Anthony Lynn stepped into the position.The timing of the firing was strange because the Bills had almost 400 yards of offense against the Jets, while the defense yielded 493. Of course, Ryan’s twin brother, Rob, heads up the defense, so there’s that. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The players are not expecting any of the forthcoming changes to be a heavy lift knowing they’re largely coming from the same playbook they’ve been working with the better part of the last 18 months.• Watkins: Not just me who needs ball more (BuffaloBills.com)“I don’t want to be out to be selfish,” said Watkins. “As I got to film I think we need to go to Woods more. He’s open on every play. But as a wide receiver you want to get 10 targets and see what you can do and help your team out as much as you can. But that means Woods needs 10 targets too. Clay needs the ball too.”Monday, September 19• Sammy Watkins says he’s good to go, but Rex not as sure (Buffalo News)Bills coach Rex Ryan certainly didn’t imply that Monday, saying, “Sammy is probably very similar to last week,” when Watkins tested his surgically repaired foot before the game and decided he was OK to play.But the Bills star receiver had an opposite take. Asked if his foot would be an issue for Sunday’s game, Watkins said, “That’s kind of out the window.”• Jimmy Garoppolo is better than Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo News)Bills fans will cringe to hear this, but Garoppolo is better than Tyrod Taylor. His first two games were more impressive than anything I’ve seen from Taylor over a sustained period in his 18 games as a starter. You know what’s even more distressing? Taylor might be the fifth-best quarterback in the AFC East. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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Passengers flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles wi

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first_imgPassengers flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles will be the first to experience the Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner when the inaugural international service takes-off on 15 December next year.The Qantas Dreamliner will carry 236 passengers in a three-class configuration and complement the daily Airbus A380 service already flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Operating six times per week, the Dreamliner will replace the 747 service that currently operates on this route alongside the A380.Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the arrival of the Dreamliner would be a step change for the airline and for customers, both in terms of operational efficiency and passenger comfort.“The Dreamliner is a game-changing aircraft that opens up a new era for Qantas, and it’s been designed with passenger comfort in mind,” said Mr Evans.“The aircraft itself offers passengers larger windows, a smoother ride and better air quality to reduce jetlag.“In Economy there’s more room and plenty of storage. In Business, our suites will offer a fully flat bed and direct aisle access. We’ll be unveiling our Premium Economy in the first quarter of next year and it will set new standards for the industry.”Mr Evans made the announcement while visiting the Boeing Aerostructures Australia facility at Port Melbourne with Victorian Tourism Minister John Eren. The factory manufactures parts of the 787 wing, which are then shipped to the United States for the aircraft assembly.“We’ll be working with Visit Victoria on joint marketing campaigns to highlight what Victoria and the Qantas Dreamliner have to offer,” said Mr Evans.Today’s announcement follows Qantas confirming it will fly non-stop from Perth to London from March 2018.Travellers on the East Coast are expected to also use the service, cutting up to an hour off their total travel time.The 787-9 Melbourne-Los Angeles service will operate six days a week. This takes the total number of Qantas services on the route from nine to 13 return flights per week and will give customers the convenience of a morning or afternoon departure from Melbourne on most days. As it replaces a larger, 364-seat 747 that operates twice a week, the net capacity increase is approximately 1400 seats in total.Fares will be on sale from Christmas Day 2016.last_img read more

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Voyages Ayers Rock Resorts exclusive evening even

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first_imgVoyages Ayers Rock Resort’s exclusive evening event in the desert, Tali Wiru – meaning beautiful dune in local Pitjantjatjara – has re-opened for its 2017 season.The open air gastronomic experience offers a magical evening of fine dining on a remote sand dune overlooking Uluru and the distant domes of Kata Tjuta with this season’s menu celebrating the ancient flavours of Indigenous Australia.Andrew Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, commented: “Tali Wiru is a truly unforgettable dining experience in the spiritual heart of Australia. Our new menu for 2017 has a strong sense of place, showcasing Indigenous Australian flavours, with some exciting and unusual ingredients.”Guests enjoy Champagne and canapes at sunset accompanied by the sounds of a digeridoo, followed by a four-course table d’hote menu with perfectly matched premium Australian wines. A storyteller shares tales of Indigenous culture and the southern night sky and the evening ends with a port, cognac or native wattleseed infused hot chocolate around the campfire.The new Tali Wiru menu features canapes such as pan-seared scallop with gulgulk buerre noisette or smoked Kkangaroo and kutjera crostini, and entrees including pressed wallaby with fermented quandong, hung yoghurt, pomegranate and puffed ancient grains or beetroot and Illawarra plum mousse with crisp kale, bunya nut shards, Persian feta and finger lime caviar.Mains include Wagyu beef fillet with salt-baked celeriac, paperbark smoked onion soubise, king brown mushroom and smoked bacon jus or pan roasted toothfish with carrot and ginger puree, baby heirloom carrots, sea greens, spiced activated lentils and candied lemon aspen.To finish, desserts on offer are textures of chocolate with davidson plum, lemon myrtle, quandong and hot chocolate sauce; rosella and lychee petit gateaux with coconut snow, yoghurt panna cotta and raspberry zephyr or an Australian cheese selection with compressed apple, quince paste and saltbush lavosh.Tali Wiru runs daily until 15 October 2017 and is priced at $345 per person which is fully inclusive of return hotel transport, full menu, matched wines and entertainment.Guests can also choose to arrive in style by helicopter for their Tali Wiru experience. At $765 per person, Tali Wiru by Heli includes a half hour helicopter tour taking in Uluru and Kata Tjuta before the commencement of the wonderful evening’s event.last_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Did you know that Maca

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first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterDid you know that Macao surpasses Paris and nearby Hong Kong for having the world’s largest number of five-star hotels and restaurants respectively?This year’s edition of Forbes Travel Guide named Macao as a world leader in the luxury hotel category with as many as 12 five-star restaurants, beating the French capital, its nearest rival, by two.Macao also defeated another main competitor Hong Kong by three.News of this latest success rating couldn’t have been better timed as the Asian centre celebrates 2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy, further acknowledgement for being assigned a UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy.“Such high ratings further highlight Macao as a genuine leader for its luxury accommodation and quality cuisine,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia and New Zealand).“For a long time, Macao has been globally recognised for the standard of its hotels and restaurants, and to receive such accolades provides further proof of the former Portuguese enclave’s standings. With new hotels and resorts opening – or due to open – we can only see another increase in five-star quality establishments.”The Forbes Guide report:HotelsAfter tying on the global ladder in 2017, Macao nudged out Paris in the Forbes 2018 edition in the five-star category with 12, followed by Paris with 10, London with nine and Hong Kong with eight.The top award was presented to the following hotels: Altira, Banyan Tree, Conrad, Encore, Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, MGM Macau, Nuwa (formerly Crown Towers), Star Tower (Studio City), Wynn Macau, Wynn Palace and The Ritz-Carlton.Several of these hotels were multiple awardees of the five-star awards, namely Wynn Macau and Mandarin Oriental with six five-star awards each, for the hotel, the spa and four restaurants. While Nuwa received five for the hotel, the spa and three restaurants, followed by Altira with four awards in the top category.Additionally, six hotels in Macao received the Forbes four-star award. They were Galaxy, Grand Hyatt, JW Marriott, Okura, St. Regis Cotai Central and The Venetian.RestaurantsMacao was the most awarded city in the restaurants category with a total of 12 establishments receiving the five-star accolade, one more compared with last year’s figures, while nine restaurants in Hong Kong received the top award.The list of five-star restaurants awarded in Macao: Aurora (Altira), Belon (Banyan Tree), Golden Flower (Encore), Il Teatro, Mizumi and Wing Lei (Wynn), Jade Dragon (City of Dreams), Shinji by Kanesaka, Sushi Mizumi, The Tasting Room (City of Dreams), Tenmasa and Vida Rica (Mandarin Oriental).In regards to four-star ratings, the restaurants listed were Andrea, Lai Heen, Mizumi, Wing Lei Palace and SW Steakhouse (Wynn Palace), Pearl Dragon (Studio City), Robuchon au Dôme (Grand Lisboa), Terrazza (Galaxy), Ying (Altira) and Zi Yat Heen (Four Seasons).SpasIn the spas chapter, Macao was represented with eight of the best spas in the world, found at Wynn Palace, Wynn Macau, Mandarin Oriental, Encore, Nuwa, The Ritz-Carlton, Banyan Tree and Altira.As a footnote, Forbes listed five reasons to visit Macao in 2018:The Galaxy swimming pools complexThe emerging restaurant sceneLuxury shoppingMacau Grand PrixLocal culture in Coloane villageThe five-star accolade was given by Forbes in 2018 to a total of 199 hotels, along with 64 restaurants and 60 spas around the world.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter AFTAs Chief Executive

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first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAFTA‘s Chief Executive has revealed the 2018 People’s Choice: Retail Travel Agency of the Year state finalists as part of this year’s National Travel Industry Awards after more than 10,519 consumer votes were received.“Thank you to all accredited agencies who got involved in this year’s campaign. We received a significant increase (32%) in the number of consumers who voted for their favourite accredited retail agency compared to last year. This speaks volumes for the role that travel agents continue to play in the travel booking processes,” Jayson Westbury said.The People’s Choice Campaign was delivered through a dedicated consumer program in which consumers were asked to vote for their favourite ATAS retail travel agency.The campaign was administered by International Traveller Magazine and Australian Traveller Magazine. Consumers were invited to vote either online or through the magazine survey forms. AFTA created branded assets that agencies could use to promote their agency and rally consumer votes.APT formed an integral part of the campaign as both Prize Partner, offering every consumer that voted the chance to win an eight-day Vietnam and Cambodia Mekong River Cruise and Gold Sponsor for the People’s Choice NTIA Award Category. The winners will be advised after the NTIA event has taken place.The travel agencies who received the most consumer votes in each state are category finalists and the winner will be will be announced at the National Travel Industry Award Gala Dinner which will be held on Saturday 21 July 2018 at the International Convention Centre, Sydney.The 2018 People’s Choice Finalists;Queensland – New Farm TravelNew South Wales – Chris Watson TravelAustralian Capital Territory – Weston Cruise & TravelVictoria – Destination HQ BeaumarisTasmania – Home Travel CompanySouth Australia/Northern Territory – Kingscote TravelWestern Australia – Bicton TravelGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

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Now is a great time to arrange cheap flights to th

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first_imgNow is a great time to arrange cheap flights to the Balearic Islands for a short autumn break, the Spanish Tourism Office has said.With a number of inexpensive flights available to the Mediterranean islands from London, Manchester and other regional airports, the organisation said the Balearics are an excellent destination to secure some autumn sunshine.Carmen Hernandex Gomez, the Spanish Tourism Office’s market analyst, said among Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca’s highlights are some excellent cycling routes.”With direct flights from London, Manchester and other airports the Balearics are the perfect spot for a short break,” she commented.”Rent a bike and try any of the cycling routes; many hotels rent road bikes or mountain bikes.”Ms Hernandez went on to say that another of the Balearics’ highlights is getting to know the locals and the islands’ culture, which is especially prevalent at the weekend markets.Monarch Airlines recently revealed that its flights to Palma, the Balearics’ capital, were among its most popular routes during September, with its services achieving a passenger load factor of 95.31 percent.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map RelatedWhere to go on holiday for early summer sun in 2019Looking for a summer holiday but don’t want to travel during peak season when prices go through the roof? Check out these short-haul destinations perfect for early summer and bag a cheap flight while the kids are still at school…Monarch launches Cyprus routesBudget airline Monarch is to bolster its presence at London and Manchester airports by offering new regular flights to Cyprus.Millions of Brits flying on holiday this weekendMillions of Brits flying on holiday this weekendlast_img read more

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7 Seater Car and MPV Hire in London

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first_imgVolvo XC90Peugeot 5008Nissan X-TrailKia SorentoLand Rover Discovery SUVs are a common site on roads all over the world now – large vehicles usually with ample ground clearance giving them an off-road look (although they are not always 4wd and not always suitable for offroading!) providing practical space, high driving position and plenty of seating. The larger vehicles in this category can comfortably seat 7 with reasonable luggage space left over. 7 seaters in this category include: Mercedes E-Class EstatePeugeot 308 SWAudi A6 Avant Estate Cars 7+ Seater Car Hire from Gatwick Airport Related7+ Seater Car and MPV HireWhy hire a 7, 8 or 9 seater car? Large MPVs and 7+ seater cars are a great option for family or group holidays if you’re planning to do a lot of traveling. The additional seating and spacious cabins ensure that all your passengers have plenty of space with room…7+ Seater Car and MPV Hire in MalagaPopular Car Hire Locations Near Malaga 7+ Seater Car Hire from Malaga Airport 7+ Seater Car Hire from Gibraltar Airport How to search for 7+ seater cars to hire in Malaga on Skyscanner Using the search box above, or on our Malaga car hire page, select your pick-up location as…7+ Seater Car and MPV Hire in OrlandoPopular Car Hire Locations Near Orlando 7+ Seater Car Hire from Orlando International Airport 7+ Seater Car Hire from Orlando Sanford Airport How to search for 7+ seater cars to hire in Orlando on Skyscanner Using the search box above, or on our Orlando car hire page, select your pick-up… Volkswagon Transporter ShuttleMercedes Vito TravelinerFord Transit 9 SeaterPeugeot Traveller Types of 7+ Seater Vehicles to Hire in London SUVs (aka 4x4s, Sports Utility Vehicles) 7+ Seater Car Hire from Heathrow Airport 7+ Seater Car Hire from Luton Airport 7+ Seater Car Hire from Stansted Airport MPV (aka Minivan, Multi-purpose vehicle, people carrier) At a certain size, minivans start to look less like a car/van hybrid and more like a small bus. Indeed, large minivans are essentially commercial vans you’d typically see being driven by tradesmen or being used to transport goods, but in this case outfitted with multiple rows of seats to accommodate up to 9 passengers and all their luggage and usually much more luxuriously equipped. Often used as executive shuttle busses by hotels, these can also be hired from rental companies for personal use if you are travelling with a large group or just have a lot of luggage and equipment to transport. Examples of vehicles in this class include: These are probably the most common type of 7+ seater family car available today. Essentially a van shaped car with three rows of seats and typically with sliding rear doors providing easy access to the two back rows of seats. Examples of cars in this class include: Popular Car Hire Locations Near London Pick-up LocationPick-up DateTime00:0000:3001:0001:3002:0002:3003:0003:3004:0004:3005:0005:3006:0006:3007:0007:3008:0008:3009:0009:3010:0010:3011:0011:3012:0012:3013:0013:3014:0014:3015:0015:3016:0016:3017:0017:3018:0018:3019:0019:3020:0020:3021:0021:3022:0022:3023:0023:30Drop-off DateTime00:0000:3001:0001:3002:0002:3003:0003:3004:0004:3005:0005:3006:0006:3007:0007:3008:0008:3009:0009:3010:0010:3011:0011:3012:0012:3013:0013:3014:0014:3015:0015:3016:0016:3017:0017:3018:0018:3019:0019:3020:0020:3021:0021:3022:0022:3023:0023:30Return car to a different locationDriver aged between 25 – 75Search Large estate cars with 7+ seats are less common to find these days, having mostly been replaced by MPVs and SUVs, but some are still around and may be available depending on where you are renting your car from. Estate cars are often extended versions of hatchbacks or saloons, creating additional boot space and, in some cases also allowing an extra row of seats, whilst still being a low to the ground car. These are often known as 5+2 seat cars as they usually don’t have a proper back row of seats and instead just have 2 extra seats which fold out from the floor of the boot. This of course may mean sacrificing luggage space if you want to use one of these to carry 7 people. Examples of cars in the class include: How to search for 7+ seater cars to hire in London on Skyscanner SEAT AlhambraVolkswagen SharanFord GalaxyChrysler Grand VoyagerMercedes-Benz V-Class Using the search box above, or on our London car hire page, select your pick-up location as well as the pick-up and drop-off dates and times then hit Search ->When the results have loaded, select 7+ from the Passengers filters in the Filter menu.Choose a preferred pickup location from the map or the list to see the selection of 7+ seater cars available to hire from that location.When you find one that suits your needs, click on the Select button to be shown price options from different suppliers and see more detail about the rental options.When you find one you would like to book, click on Select next to that option to be taken to the site where you can reserve the vehicle. Large Minivan There are several different types of 7+ seater cars and, depending on where you are hiring from, one or more of the following types may be available:last_img read more

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