Freddie Mac Prices Fourth Structured Credit-Risk Offering of 2015

first_img Freddie Mac has announced on Tuesday the pricing of its fourth Structured Agency Credit Risk (STACR) debt notes offering for 2015 at $425.6 million, pending market conditions.With the latest offering, STACR Series 2015-HQ2, Freddie Mac is rating the M-3 bond and issuing 100 basis points of first loss. Freddie Mac holds the senior loss risk in the capital structure and also holds a portion of the risk in the Class M-1, M-2, and M-3, and the first-loss Class B tranche. STACR HQ2 is fixed severity, not actual loss.STACR Series 2015 HQ-2 consists of a reference pool of single-family mortgages with an unpaid principal balance of more than $30.3 billion. The mortgages in the reference pool were acquired by Freddie Mac from the first through third quarters in 2013 and have loan-to-value ratios ranging from 80 to 95 percent. The loans in the pool are 30-year fixed-rate single-family mortgage loans.”This is our fourth STACR offering out of an expected six to eight this year,” said Mike Reynolds, Freddie Mac vice president of Credit Risk Transfer. “STACR has gained momentum in the market so far this year, and we hope to continue to see new investor participation in each transaction.”Co-lead managers and joint bookrunners for the STACR offering will be Barclays and Nomura. Co-managers will be BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley. Multi-Bank Securities will be a group selling member for the deal.The issuance of STACR Series 2015-HQ2 comes one month after Freddie Mac announced its intention to sell its third STACR debt notes offering, STACR Series 2015-DNA1, at $1.01 billion (an increase from $720 million due to market demand). That STACR offering represented a couple of first for Freddie Mac: It was the enterprise’s first transaction in which losses will be allocated based on actual losses realized on related reference obligations instead of using a fixed severity approach to allocate losses. In addition, that STACR offering represented the first time the first-loss Class B tranche will be issued as book-entry notes.The STACR offering priced on Tuesday is the GSE’s fourth this year and 13th overall. Freddie Mac began the STACR program in the second half of 2013 as part of the Enterprise’s goal of reducing risk to taxpayers by increasing private capital’s role in the mortgage market. Freddie Mac has laid off a substantial portion of credit risk for more than $266 billion in unpaid balances on single-family mortgages through STACR transactions, according to the GSE. The enterprise has issued $8.8 billion in STACR bonds to date, representing reference pools of $292.6 billion through 13 issuances. Related Articles Subscribe in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Market Home / Daily Dose / Freddie Mac Prices Fourth Structured Credit-Risk Offering of 2015 Sign up for DS News Daily The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Previous: DS News Webcast: Wednesday 5/26/2015 Next: Fed Survey Finds Increased Optimism for Future Financial Prospects Freddie Mac Single-Family Mortgage Loans STACR Program Structured Agency Credit Risk 2015-05-27 Brian Honea Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Tagged with: Freddie Mac Single-Family Mortgage Loans STACR Program Structured Agency Credit Riskcenter_img Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Brian Honea May 27, 2015 933 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Freddie Mac Prices Fourth Structured Credit-Risk Offering of 2015 Share Save Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago  Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agolast_img read more

FINAL FOUR BOUND: Syracuse pulls off massive comeback in 68-62 win over No. 1 seed Virginia

first_img Published on March 27, 2016 at 8:21 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+ CHICAGO — Adrian Autry was trying to forget everything he knew about Virginia as he sat helpless on the Syracuse bench. The assistant coach had scouted the Cavaliers for this game. He’d scouted them for the game in January and in other games in past years.Syracuse was down by 16 to a team that didn’t give away leads, a team that controlled tempo and shut down offenses with a purpose.There was a certain hopelessness as he and everyone else on the Orange bench watched London Perrantes hit his sixth three pointer and pound three fingers against his temple, staring down a Virginia bench that stood in applause. There was hopelessness as Mike Tobey, a backup center, found an open dunk to end a 7-4 Orange spurt and bring the lead back to 11.“They always somehow compose themselves and boom, bounce the lead back out,” Autry said. “So I’m just sitting there, just kind of cheering the guys. Not trying to think about what I’ve seen over the years.”It was a lead to end this Syracuse season. Its run to the Elite Eight was improbable, but far from magical. A better team stood in its way, and was about to end any hope at history. And that’s when the magic happened. That’s when a 15-0 run, spurred by 21 second-half points from Malachi Richardson, turned improbable into historical. A 68-62 Syracuse (23-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) win over Virginia (29-8), that puts it in the Final Four next week in Houston, where it will play No. 1 seed North Carolina.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt was a run that included a boastful “They can’t f*cking guard me” from Richardson in front of the Syracuse fan section. It included a pull-up 3 in the face of Malcolm Brogdon, the best perimeter defender in the ACC. When it was over, Syracuse had a six-point lead. It had a clear path to the Final Four, its first in three years, but the most unlikely of Jim Boeheim’s six trips.“Coach came in and barked at me a little bit at halftime. I just had to pick it up,” Richardson said. “Once I got going, I was hot. And I was going.”It took the Orange nearly 14 minutes to get a basket on the first attempt of a possession. Its offense was almost solely on the offensive putbacks of Tyler Roberson. There were certain sparks, like Tyler Lydon connecting on a 3 with one of his shoes thrown off to the sideline, or an 11-2 run to start the second half. But those moments, the Cavaliers found answers to.Usually it was in the form of a Perrantes 3-pointer. Syracuse had game-planned for him, but UVA was picking apart the zone and it left him wide open atop the key.The run, not the spurt that Syracuse had continued to threaten with, didn’t ever seem like it was on the verge of happening. And then it happened with a force.“It was a great comeback, one of the best I’ve coached in, any team I’ve had,” Boeheim said. “Virginia has beaten us by 15 points three straight times. And they were up by 15 today. They’re a hard team to come back against, and these guys just made some unbelievable plays. They deserved to win.”Richardson said he started feeling it when he got to the basket and got fouled with 8:23 left. That cut a 13-point lead down to 11. Then he got to the basket again and got it to nine on the next possession. He pulled up from the left wing and pushed the Orange’s deficit from nine to six. He was using the isolation offense to get to the rim, and he did it all alone when he put Syracuse ahead by one – inciting bedlam from the partisan SU crowd.His pull-up 3 over Brogdon made it four. Then his offensive rebound and putback made the lead six. No one could defend him. When he scored only two points in the first half, it wasn’t out of the ordinary. He’s been bad this year in that way, he gets in his own way. But when it clicked, he was unstoppable.During the Syracuse shoot-around on Saturday afternoon, Richardson got the chance to meet NBA shooting legend Reggie Miller, who was broadcasting the game for TBS. Assistant coach Mike Hopkins asked Miller if he had any advice for the freshman, who in turn told him that as a shooter, he needed to have a short memory. He couldn’t hold on to the ones he missed. And on Sunday, when things weren’t going well, he thought of that moment.Trevor Cooney never found his 3-point stroke. Michael Gbinije had just 11 points. Everyone else combined for just 26. The offense came from Richardson when there was no one else willing or able to step up.“Malachi’s been awesome, man,” Cooney said. “He took this second half over. I just told him, keep being aggressive. You’re gonna get those foul calls. The ball’s gonna go in for you.”The celebration on the court was wild and all over the place. A blur to everyone who was asked about it. Cooney was hounded by reporters on the court, sweat still dripping from his head as he caught his breath. Dajuan Coleman boasted that his powerful and frustrated slap of his towel on the hardwood when the team went down by 14 was the sign of life, the beginning of a comeback.The walk-ons took selfies with each other. Former Syracuse players Rakeem Christmas, Tyler Ennis and C.J. Fair watched the celebration from afar on the other side of the court. Director of athletics Mark Coyle waited patiently for his turn to climb the ladder and cut down part of the net.There was the coach that has been through it all, with a hoarse voice and a Final Four hat atop his head, and he thanked all the Syracuse fans. He was suspended nine games and no one’s stopped asking him to talk about it since. He got in Richardson’s ear when Syracuse needed him to step up. Most importantly, he kept the Orange from giving up.When he walked into the locker room, all the hoopla had died down. The walk-ons affectionately started yelling “GOAT” at him, a reference to the “greatest of all time”. He picked up some chicken fingers that were being given out to the team. He looked at his cell phone, walked to the corner of the locker room, sat down, crossed his legs and let out a loud sigh.His team, against all odds, had found a way. And it still isn’t over.“I mean, I thought we deserved to be in the Tournament,” the 40-year SU head coach said. “But I certainly didn’t — I wasn’t planning on getting to the Final Four.” Commentslast_img read more


first_imgPARENTS of children in the Donegal gaeltacht who have complained for years that their children should be taught through Irish only in their first years at school have been proved correct today after the release of a major report.The research was carried out by an Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), an agency of the Department of Education which provides supports to Irish schools around the country.Pupils at Irish medium schools outside gaeltacht areas are taught through ‘total immersion’ techniques – through Irish only. This is NOT the case in many gaeltacht schools however.Researchers examined the linguistic ability of 50 children, aged between seven and 12, whose home language is exclusively Irish.They found that their competence in English significantly surpassed that in Irish.There are several reasons for this, but the pervasive nature of the English language in social, sporting and cultural contexts plays a significant part. The earlier children are exposed to bilingualism, the more their Irish is compromised, said the report.The research found that children who attended schools with English speaking pupils had the lowest levels of competence in Irish.In addition, a decline in the number of young people using Irish in Gaeltacht areas is having a knock-on effect on the way in which the language is being used for everyday communication by children.The report’s authors argue that this needs to be addressed to safeguard the Irish language.It is estimated there are now fewer than 1,000 children who are native Irish speakers in Gaeltacht area primary schools. The report recommends that the State and school patrons take steps to provide necessary supports for children who are native speakers.The report, ‘Analysis of Bilingual Competence: Language Acquisition among young people in the Gaeltacht’, was launched today.FAILURE OF DONEGAL GAELTACHT SCHOOLS TO IMPLEMENT ‘TOTAL IMMERSION’ LEADS TO WORRYING REPORT was last modified: November 20th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:irishteachinglast_img read more

Environments Do Not Cause Adaptations

first_img(Visited 509 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The way some evolutionists think, light creates eyes, sound creates ears, and odors create noses.As we have seen, lazy Darwinians are accustomed to explain everything by the phrase, “It Evolved” (12 July 2018). That’s a restatement of their prior belief, not an explanation. When pressed, some of them try to say that the environment causes things to evolve and adapt. Here are some recent examples in the news. But before reading, ask: what power does the environment have to make something adapt?How California’s sea stars are evolving past a devastating pandemic ( In California, sea star wasting disease (SSWD) has had a devastating effect on a particular species of sea star, turning the “normally rigid body into a gooey blob.” Unchecked, the disease would have driven the ochre sea star extinct, but some individuals of the species are surviving the epidemic (or “epizootic” as the paper in PNAS calls it). Is this evolution in action? The article thinks so. “While it remains one of the worst marine pandemics ever recorded, the SSWD outbreak had an unexpected silver lining: It provided scientists with a natural experiment in evolution and an opportunity to explore how a species responds to a cataclysmic population collapse.” At best, though, this is an example of microevolution that takes advantage of “standing genetic variation” – variability that already exists in the population. The disease was specific enough to target only some existing variants. Others escaped. The biologists speak of “selection pressure” on the survivors, but that’s like saying wind creates selection pressure on falling leaves. Charles Darwin saw no more directionality to evolution than the way the wind blows.Natural selection could have influence on lizards’ ‘personalities’ (Science Daily). Do predators create personalities in their prey? Evolutionary theory expects that all traits—behaviors as well as phenotypes—should emerge by Darwin’s mechanism. “Surprisingly, however, no experimental studies had been able to actually conduct an experiment in wild animal populations and test the idea in nature,” this article admits. Scientists wanted to know if the presence of predators on Caribbean islands selects for boldness in lizards. Some anolis lizards in the population already were bold, and some already were shy; nothing new emerged by a Darwinian mechanism. The evolutionists in this study were honest enough to admit that they had not demonstrated evolution:“Natural selection is crucial for adaptation to new environmental challenges,” Lapiedra said. “But the presence of natural selection per se does not imply evolution. What we have shown is that there is consistent variation in behavior. If there is heritability in behavior…lizards that are more bold would have more bold offspring. But so far, we don’t have evidence for this. We can say that some phenotypes survive better than others in certain conditions…but that does not necessarily imply evolution.”Evolution does repeat itself after all ( Does water create fish to swim in it? Does the depth of water create the shape of a fish? Here is another paper that assumes similar environments will predict the kinds of animals that will be found there. Before we get into that, keep in mind that this study involves not just freshwater fish, but freshwater cichlid fish of certain lakes in Nicaragua, and only “Midas cichlid fish” in particular. By trying to narrow down their study so as not to “compare apples to oranges” (e.g., mammal evolution to fish evolution), these evolutionists have narrowed it so far down as to make it nearly meaningless for explaining macroevolution (the real issue that would separate Darwinism from young-earth creationism). The only differences they find are tiny differences in how slender certain species are in certain crater lakes compared to their counterparts in great lakes. They also find an apparent correlation to the depth of the lake and the fish’s shape. These factors are what they claim make evolution “predictable”—The importance of these ecological factors can further be demonstrated by the fact that the diverse body shapes of the crater lake populations are closely related to the average depth of the lakes. Andreas Kautt comments: “It makes sense. The deeper a lake is, the more likely it is to provide various ecological niches, including in the deep open water.” All of this leads the researchers to conclude that, under certain conditions, evolutionary outcomes can be predicted.And yet if this were a law of nature, they should be able to see every species of fish, arthropods and other aquatic organisms follow the same pattern. Does water depth cause a Midas cichlid to become slender? Most likely, all the variability was present in the initial population, and still exists in the purported “various ecological niches” that exist in any given lake. Even if the crater lakes could somehow “cause” its cichlids to become slightly more long and slender, the evolutionists do not connect that to a survival advantage that would cause all the others in that particular niche to die off. Their paper in Evolution Letters pathetically says, “The depth of a crater lake is positively associated with variation in body shapes (and number of species), presumably by providing more ecological opportunities.” Association is not causation, and presumption is not demonstration.Factors that shaped evolution (Science Daily). “Understanding the many factors that have played into shaping the biodiversity within Earth’s ecosystems can be daunting,” this paper begins, but then claims that a group of international scientists helped identify “many of the fundamental factors that drive evolutionary adaptation and extinction.” How did they solve this daunting task? They developed a computer simulation. Needless to say, minds use intelligence to program computers, but nature (in the Darwinian view) has no such resource. If programmers know what they need to see, can’t they rig it to succeed? Besides, their simulation is so broad, trying to simulate “cradles, museums and graves” of organisms (which originate, stabilize and go extinct, respectively), the model does little more than restate their beliefs. Do they explain how a mountain range caused a particular bird or mammal to appear in a particular niche? Of course not; it would be impossible to sort through all the factors. The study accomplishes little more than providing them an opportunity to pontificate about climate change.Physics makes rules; evolution rolls the dice (Science Magazine). In this book review, Chico Camargo gushes over Charles Cockrell’s new book, The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution. His first paragraph could almost fool one into thinking he’s in a worship service:Picture a ladybug in motion. The image that came into your head is probably one of a small, round red-and-black insect crawling up a leaf. After reading Charles Cockell’s The Equations of Life, however, you may be more likely to think of this innocuous organism as a complex biomechanical engine, every detail honed and operating near thermodynamic perfection.The only worship going on, though, is for Darwin. Evolutionists seem pressured to make natural selection more law-like, and less random. The tone of Cockrell’s book is that physics—blind physics—creates biological organization. It may constrain what is possible, but can physics cause a snail to emerge, as shown in the photo accompanying the article? Ignore the praise, and think about the concepts:In a fascinating journey across physics and biology, Cockell builds a compelling argument for how physical principles constrain the course of evolution. Chapter by chapter, he aims his lens at all levels of biological organization, from the molecular machinery of electron transport to the social organisms formed by ant colonies. In each instance, Cockell shows that although these structures might be endless in their detail, they are bounded in their form. If organisms were pawns in a game of chess, physics would be the board and its rules, limiting how the game unfolds.Constraints are not the same thing as causes. In the illustrations Camargo picks from the book, he commits a fallacy borrowed from Cockrell, that physics has creative power. He says that a drop of water on a ladybug’s back is like a heavy pack to a human. He says that a drop of water to an ant would be like a prison to one of us. Those might be interesting details, but what power does a water drop have to direct Darwin’s unguided processes to evolve an ant or ladybug in the first place, endowing it with antennae, eyes, and numerous organs that allow it to thrive? Water is oblivious to organisms. The physical properties of water drops can only limit what is possible for organisms to do. Nothing in physics, despite the fancy equations Cockrell employs in his book, has creative powers.At the end of every chapter, the reader is reminded of how the laws of physics nudge, narrow, mold, shape, and restrict the “endless forms most beautiful” that Charles Darwin once described. Cockell’s persistence pays off as he gears up for his main argument: If life exists on other planets, it has to abide by the same laws as on Earth.Nudging and shaping are activities that minds engage in. If Camargo has accurately described the book, both he and the author commit a non-sequitur in a post-hoc fallacy. Just because an organism abides by the laws of physics, it does not follow that the laws of physics created the organism. The most egregious error in the book review is where Camargo allows Cockrell to leap over fantastical improbabilities (improbabilities so utterly absurd as to qualify as insane) with the same post-hoc sandwich:Cockell also describes how physical constraints make evolution possible by causing different DNA sequences to be translated into the same amino acids, leading amino acids to form proteins with the same shapes. If one were to consider, for example, that every position in a chain of 300 amino acids—not far from the length of an average protein—could be one of 20 possible amino acids, a simple calculation would reveal that there are approximately 2 × 10390 potential combinations. If each of those chains were to adopt a different shape, evolution would never lead to the same protein shape twice. But because of the laws of physics, most proteins assume a very limited set of shapes, combining patterns of α-helices and β-sheets.Words cannot describe how absurd and unscientific this statement is. Nothing in the laws of physics forces life to select amino acids that are left-handed. Nothing in the laws of physics forces strings of amino acids to form sequences that result in patterns of α-helices and β-sheets. Nothing in α-helices and β-sheets forces them to fold into functional machines. If evolution is as blind and unguided as Darwin taught, there is nothing in physics to make life “choose” any solutions that work. And certainly, if the Universal Probability Bound for our universe is 1 in 10150, nothing in a thousand universes could overcome odds like 2 x 10390. (Remember, each additional exponent multiples the previous number by 10.)Evolutionists are desperate to distance themselves from chance. In our Twitter debates with atheists, they get uptight about our frequent assertion that natural selection is equivalent to the Stuff Happens Law. The more civil tweeters, instead of cussing, like to pass around boilerplate statements like this one from the PBS Evolution FAQ:Evolution is not a random process. The genetic variation on which natural selection acts may occur randomly, but natural selection itself is not random at all. The survival and reproductive success of an individual is directly related to the ways its inherited traits function in the context of its local environment. Whether or not an individual survives and reproduces depends on whether it has genes that produce traits that are well adapted to its environment. Repeating this quote ad infinitum does not alter its inherent big lie. The holes in the statement are easy to see for anyone not intimidated by Darwin bluffing. If Darwinians really believe that evolution is an unguided natural process—without any mind or aim—then every part of it is unguided. Nobody disputes that mutation (genetic variation) is random, but so is the local environment as well as the global environment. An unguided environment cannot steer unguided variation. Additionally, the statement presupposes that the organism has inherited traits that perform functions, but those had to come from genetic information, not from random molecules. Moreover, that information had to reach a phenomenally improbable threshold before reproduction “emerged” that could reproduce it, using molecular machines of astonishing complexity. Finally, there is nothing about physics or chemistry that makes an organism desire to adapt, let alone reproduce, since extinction is the easier way out. Evolution is unguided turtles all the way down.Laws of physics can constrain actions, but they have no creative power. Gravity may draw objects toward the Earth, but the same law can fling objects away from the Earth, or toward another object. It doesn’t care. Even Aristotle, for all his faults, realized that “If the art of ship-building were in the wood, ships would exist by nature.” Since we don’t see ships growing on trees, we can assume that an additional cause—a ship-builder—is required. We do, however, see cells and organisms of astonishing complexity. They use the laws of physics (a sea turtle can navigate by the magnetic field); they are constrained by the laws of physics (ants lack the power to escape a water droplet’s surface tension); but the laws of physics do not create the organisms. Evolutionists wrongly attribute creative powers to natural selection, contrary to the best-known laws of physics: the laws of thermodynamics.In his book Undeniable, Douglas Axe describes “The Gaping Hole in Evolutionary Theory” — “Evolutionary theory ascribes inventive power to natural selection alone,” he notes. “However, because selection can only hone in on the fitness signal from an invention after that invention already exists, it can’t actually invent” (p. 97). We know that intelligent minds can invent. We know they can invent things with traits for robustness so that they can survive perturbations (see Guliuzza article). The only way evolutionists continue to believe evolution can invent all the wonders we see around us, he argues, is by personifying evolution (p. 80), which is the fallacy of personification: attributing intelligence, emotions and will to inanimate objects or to the laws of physics. To believe in the creative power of mindless, unguided nature, contrary to all evidence and logic, evolutionists transfer the attributes of God onto matter. They do not rid nature of the need for the attributes of God. This means that atheists believe in a god—a nature god, or a pantheistic god, but a god nonetheless. The only God with the attributes necessary to create what we see in a hummingbird, a whale, or a human brain is the God who revealed Himself in His Word.last_img read more

India and South Africa growing together

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma walks with Indian President Pratibha Devinsingh Patil at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. President Patil meets the various cabinet ministers in the South African government. President Patil addresses delegates at the meeting. (Images: GCIS) MEDIA CONTACTS •GCIS Media Service +27 12 314 2911 RELATED ARTICLES • India invests in Africa development • Trade show to boost India-SA ties • India and SA: 150 years of history • South Africa, Brazil cement tiesRay MaotaPresident Jacob Zuma welcomed a delegation of government and business leaders from India, led by President Pratibha Devinsingh Patil, at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 2 May.Patil is in South Africa following an invitation from her South African counterpart. The two heads of state will discuss bilateral relations and will also address business leaders from both countries at a forum in Pretoria on 3 May.Patil is accompanied by a government minister, four parliamentarians, government officials from various departments, and representatives from business.“This is a significant state visit because relations between India and South Africa date back many decades,” said Zuma.“It is more important as it takes place during the year in which the country marks 100 years of the oldest liberation movement in Africa, the African National Congress (ANC).”The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1993, with numerous high-level visits resulting from the relationship. Furthermore, cooperation agreements have been signed in the trade, investment, education, defence, ICT, health, agriculture, and science and technology sectors.Strong historical ties“Our two nations share a history of struggles against colonial oppression and racism,” Zuma said.He added that the ANC’s centenary is important to India as well, as evidenced by the high level delegation sent from that country to the official celebrations in January.Zuma noted also the deep social, economic and cultural ties shared by the two countries.“In our talks we reflected on how we can further translate our historical ties into meaningful socio-economic development cooperation. Progress is being made in that regard.”The Indian delegation held private talks with their South African counterparts and then addressed the media, saying that there is a need for further cooperation in a number of areas, especially infrastructure development, training, trade relations and tourism.Investing in and visiting South Africa“We have once again extended an invitation to Indian business to invest in our infrastructure development programme, which will run until 2014 and is worth more than R800-billion (US$104-billion).”Of that investment, R300-billion ($39-billion) will go towards the energy sector and R262-billion ($33-billion) towards transport and logistics projects.The delegates identified a definite need for skills transfer with India in the areas of engineering; ICT; computer science; finance; economics and accounting.According to South African Tourism, between 2005 and 2010, there was an increase of 122% in the number of Indian tourists to South Africa.In 2011, the number in the first nine months of the year had already surpassed, by 29%, that of the same period in 2010. As a result, India is now ranked seventh in the top 20 source markets for South African tourism.“The Southern African Tourism Association is training more than 1 000 Indian travel agents and tour operators in India to ensure they have the skills and experience to market South Africa,” said Zuma.“We are doing this because we want tourism from India to South Africa to increase significantly, especially after this state visit.”Trade between the two countriesAccording to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, trade between the two countries stood at R48.2-billion ($6-billion) as of November 2011, with South African exports at R21.9-billion ($2-billion) and imports from India at R26.3-billion ($3.3-billion).The two countries have set a bilateral trade target of R111-billion ($14-billion) to be reached by 2014.“During our discussions, I also thanked the president for India’s continued development support,” said Zuma.last_img read more

‘Amazing’ Novak Djokovic tops Rafael Nadal for record 7th Australian Open

first_imgLacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Serbia’s Novak Djokovic kisses his trophy after defeating Spain’s Rafael Nadal in the men’s singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)MELBOURNE, Australia — Novak Djokovic was so good, so relentless, so pretty much perfect, that Rafael Nadal never stood a chance.Djokovic reduced one of the greats of the game to merely another outclassed opponent — just a guy, really — and one so out of sorts that Nadal even whiffed on one of his famous forehands entirely.ADVERTISEMENT Right from the start, though, this shaped up nothing like their only previous Australian Open title match, back in 2012, which Djokovic won in 5 hours, 53 minutes, the longest Grand Slam final in history.Evenly matched as they were that night, this time was no contest. None whatsoever. It lasted a tad more than 2 hours.Watching things swing so immediately and irrevocably in Djokovic’s direction really was rather hard to comprehend, as was how someone of Nadal’s experience and excellence could come out of the gate quite so poorly.Nerves? Perhaps they played a role. So, of course, did Djokovic, whose defense was impenetrable.No ball, no matter how well-struck, seemed to be out of Djokovic’s reach. He slid and stretched and occasionally even did the splits, contorting his body to get wherever he needed to.Djokovic grabbed 13 of the first 14 points, including all four that lasted 10 strokes or more. A trend was established.Of most significance, Nadal was broken the very first time he served Sunday. That gave Djokovic one more break of Nadal than the zero that the Spaniard’s five preceding opponents had managed combined. But none of them is Djokovic, the best returner in the game now — and maybe ever.Not a shabby returner, either, Nadal could make no headway on this day. Djokovic won each of the initial 16 points he served and 25 of the first 26.By the end of the second set, after 75 minutes of action, Djokovic had won nearly twice as many points (59-30), made more winners (23-14) and far fewer unforced errors (20-4), while taking 14 of 17 points that lasted at least 10 strokes.The longest was a 22-shot point, which ended when Nadal netted a backhand to give Djokovic a set point at the end of the first. Djokovic raised his right fist and held it there while staring at his guest box. LATEST STORIES US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants In a remarkably dominant and mistake-free performance that yielded a remarkably lopsided result, the No. 1-ranked Djokovic overwhelmed Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 on Sunday night to win a record seventh Australian Open championship and a third consecutive Grand Slam title, raising his count to 15 overall.“An amazing level of tennis,” Nadal acknowledged.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsAfter dropping only four games in the semifinals, Djokovic spoke about being “in the zone.” Clearly, he did not budge from there, producing 34 winners and only nine unforced errors Sunday.And this was against no slouch, of course: Nadal is ranked No. 2, owns 17 major trophies himself and hadn’t dropped a set in the tournament. He was on the right path. Nadal could do nothing to stop him.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town “Sometimes, this tournament has been tough for me, in terms of injury,” said Nadal, who dropped to 1-4 in Australian Open finals, “and other times, in terms of opponents — like tonight.”A sore right elbow cost Djokovic the last half of 2017. It contributed to a fourth-round loss in Melbourne a year ago, right before he decided to have surgery.All that is in the past.The 31-year-old Serb is once again at an elite level. If anything, the gap between him and the rest is growing right now.“I’m just trying to contemplate on the journey in the last 12 months,” Djokovic said, mentioning what he called “quite a major injury.”“To be standing now here in front of you today and managing to win this title and three out of four Slams is truly amazing,” Djokovic said. “I am speechless.”Nadal also has dealt with all manner of health issues. He retired from his Australian Open quarterfinal and U.S. Open semifinal last year with right leg problems, had an offseason operation on his right ankle, and hadn’t competed in about four months when play began in Melbourne.“It was so important to be where I am today, coming back from injury, and it’s good inspiration for me for what’s coming,” Nadal said. “I’m going to keep fighting hard to be a better player.”Djokovic and Nadal know each other, their styles and their patterns all too well. This was their 53rd meeting — more than any other pair of men in the half-century professional era — and record-equaling 15th at a Grand Slam tournament. It was also their eighth matchup in a major final.So there should not have been any mysteries out there on Rod Laver Arena’s blue court as they began with the temperature, which had topped 105 degrees (40 Celsius) in recent days, at a manageable 75 (25 C) and just a hint of wind. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations But Djokovic left Nadal smirking or gritting his teeth or punching his racket strings, unable to compete at all.“Tonight,” Nadal said, “was not my night.”So Djokovic added to previous triumphs in Melbourne in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, along with four at Wimbledon, three at the U.S. Open and one at the French Open.He broke his tie with Roger Federer and Roy Emerson for most Australian Open men’s titles. He also broke a tie with Pete Sampras for third-most Grand Slam trophies; Djokovic only trails Federer, with 20, and Nadal.And he is gaining on them.ADVERTISEMENT ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes NLEX holds off much-improved Columbian for first win Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more