Mortgage Loan Rates Drop, Boosting Applications for New Loans

Last week, the Federal Reserve chose to hold its benchmark rate of interest at a level that is near zero.

 

“Global growth concerns and lackluster inflation convinced the Fed to defer a hike in the Federal funds rate”, Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac chief economist, said in a statement.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.91% this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.92%.

The survey is complemented by Bankrate’s weekly Rate Trend Index, in which a panel of mortgage experts predicts which way the rates are headed over the next seven days.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 13.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. But there was rate decreases in other loan products, such as the 15-year fixed, 5/1 ARM, and 30-year jumbo.

Separately, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) announced the availability of data on last year’s mortgage lending transactions at 7,062 United States financial institutions covered by the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA).

The average rate for a 30-year FRM with jumbo loan balance (greater than $417,000) was 3.99%, down from 4.04% the previous week.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 12.9 percent from 14.2 percent the week prior. The short term, popular 15 year fixed rate loans at the bank are published at 3.21% and April of 3.392% today.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.86 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending September 24, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.91 percent.

Mortgage rates moved lower Tuesday amid a sell-off in the stock market; they are now at the lowest levels in four months, which could prompt even more current borrowers and potential buyers to take advantage. “Higher-priced” loans – those with APRs that exceed prime offer rates by 1.5 points for first-lien loans – accounted for 8 percent of all first-lien loans in 2014, up three points from 2013.

FFIEC Releases 2014 HMDA Data

Mortgage rates at lowest ever level

Dalai Lama cancels visit to USA after doctors advise rest

However, doctors at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., advised the Dalai Lama to rest instead.

 

The Dalai Lama canceled USA appearances following a checkup at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic and planned to return to India to rest, the University of Colorado and a Tibetan association announced Friday.

“We have spent hundreds of hours and sleepless nights preparing for his visit”, said Lobsang Tsering, with the Community Center.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was due to make his United Nations debut as leader of China, which has ruled Tibet since Communist troops took over the Himalayan region in 1950 and regards the Dalai Lama as a risky separatist. “We thank everyone for their support and understanding and would like to consider rescheduling the visit in the future”.

Since 1959, the Dalai Lama has lived in exile in Dharamsala, northern India.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dalai Lama as he recovers his strength”, Rosen said.

Ticket costs will automatically be refunded to ticket holder’s credit cards for all Dalai Lama events starting the week of October, 5.

CU-Boulder was set to host the Dalai Lama on October 21. Dalai Lamas are important monks of the Gelug school, the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism which is nominally headed by the Ganden Tripas.

However, the Office of Tibet has said that they may reschedule the visit. He is a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, for his nonviolent advocacy for the Tibetan people.

 

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama greets devotees as he arrives to give a religious talk at the Tibetan Childrens Village School in Dharmsala India Wednesday

Dalai Lama visits US for checkup as world leaders gather for UN

City of Los Angeles Declare State of Emergency on Homeless

City Council President Herb Wesson said members of the council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee, which is co-chaired by councilmen Jose Huizar and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, will introduce a motion at this morning council meeting calling for $100 million to be dedicated to services for the homeless, particularly permanent supportive housing and shelter programs. “Every single day, we come to work, we see folks lying on this grass, a symbol of our city’s intense crisis”, he said.

 

There are an estimated 26,000 homeless people living in the city, and a vast majority of that population is living in the streets. It has risen about 11 percent since 2013.

Callaghan said she feared the bulk of the new money would go toward “reducing the visibility” of the homeless ahead of a proposed bid to bring the Olympics to Los Angeles in 2024, which includes about $6 billion in public and private spending.

Finally they plan to declare declare a state of emergency on homelessness and spend $100 million.

Under another of Garcetti’s proposals, storage and access centers in the city would provide restrooms, showers, laundry and storage space. “A hundred million certainly won’t build much housing – and what we really have here is a housing crisis”. “We wanted the mayor to know that we had his back”. Keith Ackerman, executive director of Cottages at Hickory Crossing, told Huffington Post that the initiative will bring down those costs to less than $13,000 per year.

“This is the fallout of not having anywhere near the affordable housing that’s needed”, said Megan Hustings, the interim director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, a Washington-based advocacy group.

One likely source for the funding is the city’s reserve funds, which now have an unexpected extra allocation of about $60 million, according to Ben Ceja, the city’s assistant administrative officer.

The emergency declaration could allow Los Angeles to receive federal funding to combat the problem, according to Wesson’s office. “We all understand the urgency that this situation requires, and what is at stake”, Garcetti said in response to the council’s announcement.

“The council, the mayor and the county have been working closer on this probably than any issue I’ve worked on”, Garcetti said.

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, in the past two years homelessness in the city has increased 12-percent.

Councilman: Use digital billboard revenue to help homeless

City of Los Angeles Declare State of Emergency on Homeless

Google wants to make Glass cool again

Google’s new name for Glass is somewhat confusing considering the company already has “Project Ara”, a development team attempting to produce a modular smartphone.

 

The expectation is that Project Aura will provide a home for some of Google’s weirder technology projects, including its virtual reality effort Google Cardboard, and gesture input technology which is known as Soli.

According to the source, Nest CEO Tony Fadell will continue to help in the project, though no one knows what will happen if Nest becomes a separate Alphabet company.

Just weeks after Google and several other silicon valley mammoths agreed to a record $451 million settlement over a nearly 10-year old “no-poaching” pact among technology giants-a secret agreement not to recruit each others employees-Google is raiding the valley to recruit for its new Project Aura, Glass and Beyond, hiring a full-time recruiter, Jessica Bailow.

Google has brought in at least three employees from Amazon’s Lab126 to work on the new project and is still recruiting. Moreover, the fact that it was way overpriced at $1500 and didn’t offer that any practical usage, hence the Mountain View, California-based company in January stopped selling the head-mounted gear, with the company’s top management admitting that the device was released ahead of its time. He is now the software development manager of Project Aura, sources said. (Ross reports to Fadell.) To bolster its team, Project Aura has been picking up engineers laid off by Amazon after its Fire smartphone failed to gain traction with customers.

Some say Project Aura got started four months ago and is looking at reviving Google Glass.

Project Aura remains a mystery as of this writing, although there are speculations that the wearable is geared to becoming a VR (virtual reality) device. The third is Tina Chen, who left Lab126 after working on the retailer’s streaming box and Echo last month. The Fire phone was not well received and is no longer being sold after numerous price cuts.

Google renamed Project Glass to 'Project Aura', hiring ex-devs of Amazon's Lab126

Google bags ex Amazon ‘Lab126′ employees for ‘Project Aura’ Google Glass revival

Tribune Publishing to LAT buyers: Drop dead

Earlier this month, Tribune Publishing fired Austin Beutner as publisher of the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Many industry experts had raised concerns about the future of LA Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune after Beutner was sacked by the company on September 8.

Billionaire Eli Broad and other Los Angeles leaders might be trying to enlist Oaktree Capital Management Co-Chairman Bruce Karsh, whose company owns almost a fifth of Tribune Publishing Co. stock, into the fight to regain local control of the Los Angeles Times.

Tribune Publishing Company (NYSE: TPUB) is a diversified media and marketing-solutions company that delivers innovative experiences for audiences and advertisers across all platforms.

“We strongly urge you to demonstrate to the news consumers of Southern California that the Times will continue to serve their interests”, they said. “At the same time, given the way our company is set up and given the secular realities of print advertising, our local publishers/CEOs have to (buy) into and be fully participating in the initiatives”.

The heat is on Tribune CEO Jack Griffin to put the L.A. back in the Los Angeles Times.

Several days before, dozens of influential, Los Angeles civic leaders signed an open letter to Tribune CEO Jack Griffin, expressing disappointment over Beutner’s dismissal. Griffin informed that no formal offer was made to acquire the California News Group.

It added the Times’ readership is “best served when its leaders, decision makers and journalists are established and invested members of the Los Angeles County community and reflect the commitment to this community that is reminiscent of its storied tradition”. The company expects to record $1.645 to $1.675 in annual revenue for year 2015. Many sources close to the matter also feel that most of the issues were related to financial performance and cost cutting.

Three of Beutner’s executive hires have already left the company after his firing, including Renata Simril, the paper’s chief of staff, Johanna Maska, communications vice president, and digital strategist Nicco Mele.

The Chicago Tribune has stated publicly that their operation in Southern California called Tribune Publishing isn’t doing too well financially & is doing quite poorly as compared to the rest of their company.

Tribune Board Fires Back

Wing Of London-Bound Virgin Atlantic Plane Hits Fence At JFK Airport

A Virgin Atlantic flight bound for London clipped a fence as it was pulled out of a gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport Saturday morning.

 

The incident happened at 8.30am local time [1.30pm GMT] as the Virgin Atlantic aircraft was being pushed back from the gate by a tug.

A video filmed by Twitter user Schlecker R, who was on the plane, shows airport staff examining the wing after the aircraft had come to a halt.

Crews were working to free the plane from the fence, Coleman said.

“All people have disembarked the flight and our participants are functioning an effort to get our clients on their quest while possible”, Virgin said in an allegation. “Safety is our number one priority and we would like to apologize for the delay and any inconvenience caused”, the statement said.

There were no reported injuries, and the passengers are being rebooked by the airline, he said.

Flight 26 was scheduled to depart for London at 8:15 a.m. before the mishap, which aviation expert Phil Derner called “the most minor of incidents in aviation”.

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic

Pre-reptile first to walk on all fours?

It may be the earliest known creature to do so, according to a new study.

 

Some 260 million years ago, the thinking went that most creatures were scampering around like lizards on the ancient supercontinent known as Pangea. However, pareiasaurs usually boasted limbs that extended from the side of the body, then curved downwards at the elbow.

Lead author of the new study, Morgan Turner, expected the pre-reptile Bunostegos akokanensis to be a sprawler too, but they learned about a different story from the bones of the animal’s forelimbs.

“Aspects of the anatomy of the shoulder and the forelimb indicate that the humerus could not have jutted out in a “sprawling” posture”, Dr. Linda Tsuji, contract assistant curator at the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada and a co-author of the study, told The Huffington Post in an email, “and in Bunostegos we see limited motion at the elbow joint, which is an indication of upright posture in other animals”.

Turner carried out the analysis under supervision of Professor Christian Sidor when he was a student at the University of Washington.

Meanwhile Bunostegos’s humerus is not twisted like those of sprawlers.

It might be that Bunostegos akokanensis was quite a sight, what with its oversized body and its bony armor, but it’s not its looks that paleontologists are quite fascinated with. Standing like a cow, and about the same size.

Then there is the elbow joint. Rather, it would function like a human knee, back and forth. First, the shoulder joint faces downwards, which means the connecting humerus would be vertically oriented underneath.

Bunostegos was an isolated pareiasaur”, Turner noted.

Finally, the forearm is longer than the humerus in Bunostegos, which is a common trait among non-sprawlers, Turner said.

“Many other sprawling four-legged animals have the reverse ratio”, Turner explained.

The significance of such an early instance of the upright posture is that Bunostegos dates very far again on the evolutionary tree, pushing again the clock on when this posture exhibits up in evolution.

Turner speculates that, perhaps, the ability to walk upright on all fours would have  allowed Bunostegos to travel much longer distances-which is an ability that could have contributed to the species’ overall survival where it lived, in the central desert of Pangea.

Turner says she wouldn’t be surprised if scientists eventually uncover peers of Bunostegos with a similar stance and gait.

‘There are many complexities about the evolution of posture and locomotion we are working to better understand every day. “The anatomy of Bunostegos is unexpected, illuminating and tells us we still have much to learn”.

The first known animal to have walked on all fours was a hideous cow-like creature that lived 260 million years ago. Dubbed Bunostegos akokanensis the knobby-faced'pre-reptile was unlike any other animal that roamed the supercontinent Pangea. All other

260-Million-Year-Old Pre-Reptile First to Use Upright Gait

Los Angeles Times Layoffs: Tribune Facing New Financial Problems

Beutner’s firing appears to have stemmed, at least in part, from a dispute with Tribune Publishing leadership over whether The Times and its newly acquired sister paper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, should stay in the Tribune family.

 

Los Angeles County supervisors have called on Chicago-based Tribune Publishing Co. to “restore local, established and invested leadership” at the Los Angeles Times. Other Tribune papers could also see layoffs.

The board joins a group of influential business and civic leaders who last week signed an open letter to Tribune CEO Jack Griffin expressing disappointment over Beutner’s dismissal.

Forty-eight hours before Union-Tribune and L.A. Times Democratic publisher Austin Beutner was fired last week, the U-T was out with a prescient Labor Day editorial entitled “The foreboding future of work”.

Griffin and Beutner clashed over a variety of issues, some involving core strategic notions and Griffin’s preference for marked centralization of some tasks. There were marked stylistic and personality differences, too. He was changed by Tim Ryan, the previous writer of the Baltimore Solar, the place he ushered in vital value reductions.

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “We’re not trying to run the business of the newspaper”. Meanwhile, the news staff hasn’t gotten a cost of living raise in several years, this year they are being forced to use up stored vacation time, and they are under greater pressure to re-package news for print and a variety of digital products.

The Beutner era heralded the hiring of famed undocumented journalist Jose Antonio Vargas and former New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones.

The Times would see the bulk of those reductions, though other newspapers would also get cuts.

Warren is a former managing editor and Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune, as well as that paper’s media columnist, so he has Tribune sources.

Job reductions will initially come from buyout proposals, similar to the round of buyouts and layoffs that claimed about 100 positions at The New York Times at the end of 2014.

 

In addition, Tribune Publishing was stripped of its real estate (including the Times Mirror Building in the heart of DTLA) and its very valuable investment in Classified Ventures (Cars.comApartments.com) which was later sold for a country fortune.

County Supervisors Slam LA Times Management

Los Angeles Occasions Layoffs: Tribune Dealing with New Monetary Issues

The Internet Collectively Mocks Vanity Fair’s All-Male Comedy Photo

The article was titled, “why late night television is better than ever”, but the cover photo only included men.

The piece notes that two late night shows hosted by women, Samantha Bee’s for TBS and Chelsea Handler’s for Netflix, are slated to debut in 2016.

Vanity Fair published a feature Monday (Sept. 14) about how late-night television is “revitalized” and “better than ever”, featuring a photo of 10 hosts together, laughing and drinking.

Of course, it’s not Vanity Fair’s fault that there is absolutely no diversity in the late night world, but perhaps they could have pointed out their absence, instead of celebrating uniformity.

More than that, the photo is shot on a white background, lit with what appears to be white light, meaning that everyone in the shot looks similarly beige, stripping Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore of their heritage while presenting an even more homogenized and whitewashed vision of late-night than actually exists.

Despite regular calls for a female host to take the reins on a late night slot – including from late night legends David Letterman and Jay Leno, who “conveniently” articulated their thoughts long after their departures – the late night landscape remains uncomfortably male, as Vanity Fair’s own article couldn’t ignore.

In May, Samantha Bee released a teaser trailer for her TBS show. However, the next version of this story’s opening picture will be that much brighter.

It’s a common knowledge that late night is something of a boys’ club.

But something is clearly missing here, right? Bee says she’s “kind of done with sausages” and eventually exclaims I’m “female as f-“.

People Angry That Late-Night TV Features Mainly White Dudes

Chelsea Clinton praises Kanye’s presidential desire

Though their participation in the 2010 elections declined steeply, there are signs today that the youth have a vested interest in politics, particularly when there is an exciting candidate who speaks to their liberal-leaning values.

 

Rihanna also brought up Trump.

On a lighter note, seems like West has just managed to find his presidential running mate. When pressed whether she’d vote for the Louis Vuitton Don, Clinton shrewdly said, “I think it depends on who he’d be running against.”

Last Sunday, when West spoke what was on his mind at the time, he took 12 minutes to do it, in an often rambling speech.

In 2009, West infamously crashed the MTV Video Music Awards stage during Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video for “You Belong With Me”. “I’m voting for Kanye“, Ice Cube said.

Since making his lovely announcement on the VMAs final week, the rapper has been steadily incomes endorsements from his fellow celebrities. “Perhaps I ought to do this, ‘ that is superior”.

NBC said its “Carmichael Show” debuted last week to 4.8 million viewers, the largest audience for any summertime comedy in eight years.

With Kanye West now poised to make a run for United States president, some of his high-profile pals in the music game are, for some reason, throwing their support behind the rapper.

Though the former boy-bander wasn’t in attendance to watch Kanye’s awkward speech go down at the VMAs, he was quick to respond. “Kanye’s seriously considering campaigning right now and one of the ways he’s thinking about doing it is to get his message to the people through his music”, a source told Hollywoodlife.

Justin Bieber who returned to perform at the awards show for the first time in two years got pretty emotional towards the end of his performance of personal songs “Where Are U NowWhat Do You Mean?”

Kanye-4-prez-screenshot

Celebrities Sound Off About Kanye West For President