A trainee flight attendant is taking legal action against Qantas over an unfair dismissal claim. Jessie Holgersson, was completing her second training exercise aboard the Boeing 747 that suffered an engine blowout on 5 November this year. Ms Holgersson said her contract was terminated after she objected to waiting more than 24 hours for psychological debriefing, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The ordeal was overwhelming for the twenty five year-old novice flight attendant. “When you’re on your second flight ever and you see flame out your window, it’s a little bit disturbing to say the least,” she said. Qantas said Ms Holgersson was never a direct employee of the airline and was being assessed for possible employment with one of their UK subsidiaries. “Based on her behaviours during the training phase, the decision was made not to offer her employment,” a spokesperson for Qantas said. The airline was adamant regarding their stance on counselling.“All cabin crew including any in training were provided with immediate and appropriate support,” said Qantas. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T Sitting at your desk? Wondering what to read? Wonder no more…e-Travel Blackboard has compiled our user-friendly, ‘Year in Review’.You’ll discover our most-read news items for 2010, along with a unique Top 5 most-read breakdown of each travel category and industry including; airline, cruising, MICE, top stories, weird news, hotels, wholesalers and many more.Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to re-visit the year that was and be reminded of all the important, dramatic, decisive, interesting and bizarre news that made 2010 such an exciting year.See if you can spot yourself in our end of year photo gallery, highlighting some of the key events that took place over the past twelve months.We will be closed for business on 3 January 2011, re-opening on 4 January 2011.e-Travel Blackboard wish you the very best for all your New Year celebrations.Thank you for all your support throughout 2010 and we look forward to providing you with the most informative, up-to-date travel industry news in 2011.Click here to view our Year in Review 2010
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H The dramas continue for the Dreamliner. Image: Avioners.net While Dreamliner fleets worldwide remain grounded, a new report has revealed that the Japanese government eased safety standards to fast track the rollout of the Boeing 787.According to officials involved in the process, an advisory panel to Japan’s transport ministry in 2008 recommended proposals to streamline regulations surrounding the new aircraft, one of which included exempting the Boeing jet from detailed inspections by ground crew after each landing – a procedure which would have meant higher costs and longer delays for Dreamliner customers All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL).Another proposed rule involved reduced testing and approval of pilots preparing to switch to the 787 from the Boeing 777, Reuters reported. Upon recommendation of the new rules, Japan’s government agreed to adopt the 40 proposals, saying at the time that an easing of regulatory standards would help “quickly realize the benefits from the introduction of the 787”.According to the Reuters article, there was nothing to suggest that the looser regulations contributed to the current problems facing the Dreamliner, which revolve around the massive overheating of the jet’s powerful batteries. But the request for the rule changes did shed light on the pressure ANA and JAL exerted on Japan’s government as well as the push to support the Japanese companies that supply 35 percent of the technology that makes up the Dreamliner. Despite the concessions granted by the country’s administration, Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau’s chief air worthiness engineer, Tatsuyuki Shimazu, said it had not brought down it standards “in comparison to other countries”. “This was a pragmatic revision,” he said.Dreamliner operations have been suspended worldwide while investigations continue into the malfunctioning of batteries aboard an airborne ANA jet and a parked JAL aircraft, a process which could take weeks, or even months. ANA and JAL, who committed to buying the first 787s in 2004, said there have been no changes to their order plans.
Breakaway TravelclubBreakaway Travelclub nominated for the 2017 NTIA AwardsFor many years Breakaway Travel Club have been supporting you, the travel and tourism industry of Australia. By offering incredible travel industry rates on a range of products, their efforts have enabled the industry to not only travel but to educate themselves with the world of tourism.ETB Travel News Chief Executive Officer, Jonathan Harris commented, Breakaway is such a valuable resource to our industry, not only in the provision of travel opportunities to the thousands of Travel Consultants but also by working closely with suppliers, distributing their product and opportunities to the trade. Harris went on to say, we have worked with Breakaway for many many years and we are delighted to learn of their well deserved nomination and we wish them well.Breakaway Travelclub is Australia’s largest and leading travel industry Travelclub and the first to offer live online booking facilities 24 hours a day 365 days a year. We pride ourselves on providing the Australian Travel and Tourism industry with the best travel deals available! With Breakaway, the benefits are endless. You can experience savings of up to 75% of retail value and beyond on a huge variety of products including Airfares, Accommodation, Car Rental, Cruising, Travel Insurance and more! Our product is always changing, and new specials become available all the time.Help us to keep supporting the industry!Vote No.1 Breakaway Travelclub.Best Agency Support Service – Category 31You can support Breakaway Travelclub by voting for them HEREThank you for your continued support!Source = ETB Travel News – Breakaway Travelclub
Led by Captain Arif Al Reyami and Jordanian First Officer Laith Saudi, the A380 Amman service was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute.The Emirates A380 ventures to Amman and Boston Emirates’ first scheduled A380 services have just touched down in Boston and Amman for the summer season peak.The first scheduled A380 service landed in Amman on 1 June at 1555hrs local time and the second A380 service from Dubai to Boston landed at 1350hrs local time. Led by Captain Arif Al Reyami and Jordanian First Officer Laith Saudi, the A380 Amman service was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute.Emirates will operate its A380 aircraft to and from Amman until 26 October to cater to the increased demand for travel during the peak summer period. The airline has adjusted its schedule on one of its three daily flights (EK 903/904) with the A380. Emirates A380 operations to Boston also coincide with high customer demand during the peak summer and winter travel season and will see overall capacity increase around 45% between 1 June to 30 September 2019 and 1 December 2019 to 31 January 2020. The move to deploy the popular A380 on both routes demonstrates the airline’s flexibility to optimise the usage of its fleet to cater to passenger demand within its network.Emirates has been flying to Jordan for over 33 years, and has carried over 5 million passengers to and from Amman. Emirates has been serving Boston since 2014, consistently growing passenger demand over the past five years to and through Dubai. With the A380 being introduced for the summer, travellers have more choice to explore unique A380 destinations on the Emirates network, as well as experience the ultimate in travel comfort on the airline’s flagship aircraft.The Emirates A380 flying to Amman is set in a three-class configuration, and will have 427 seats in Economy Class on the lower deck over the months of June and July, 76 flat-bed Business Class seats and 14 luxurious First Class Suites. First and Business Class customers can catch up, network and enjoy an extensive range of beverages and delicacies in the Onboard Lounge.The Emirates A380 flying to Boston is also set in a three class cabin configuration, offering 14 private suites in First Class, 76 seats in Business Class, and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class. First Class passengers can relax and revitalise in one of the two A380 Shower Spas, and First and Business Class passengers are welcome in the Onboard Lounge to enjoy canapés and beverages prepared by the onboard bartender.Passengers in all classes can enjoy complimentary meals and beverages, Wi-Fi, hospitality and service from multi-national cabin crew and Emirates’ award winning ‘ice’ with up to 4,000 channels of movies, TV programs, music and podcasts.The Emirates A380 to Boston will operate until 30 September 2019 and will then resume on 1 December 2019 to 31 January 2020. Emirates flight EK 237 leaves Dubai at 0815hrs and lands in Boston at 1350hrs. EK 238 departs Boston at 2310hrs and arrives in Dubai at 1925hrs the next day.The Emirates A380 will operate until 26 October 2019 to Amman. Flight EK 903 departs Dubai at 1400hrs and arrives in Amman at 1555hrs, while the return A380 flight, EK 904 leaves Amman at 1800hrs, arriving in Dubai at 2200hrs.Emirates is also offering Greek travelers the unique chance to fly on the iconic A380. The airline deployed the double-decker aircraft to Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos on 31st May with the commencement of the peak summer travel period to meet high passenger demand to and from Greece. The A380 will operate to Athens until 30th September 2019.The Emirates A380 has become one of the most recognised and admired aircraft in the world, and more than 115 million passengers have experienced the airline’s flagship since 2008. Emirates currently has 110 A380s in service and 13 pending delivery, and is set to receive 6 A380s this financial year.Source = Emirates
Kerala is set to emerge as the perfect destination for health tourism in the world as it has many advantages like trained personnel, infrastructure and English-speaking medical staff.State Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson said that Kerala has held out advantages like well-trained practitioners, English-speaking medical staff, infrastructure in the form of super-specialty hospitals, a mix of modern and alternative treatment systems, affordable cost and low waiting times.“I believe that by promoting medical value travel in Kerala, with the right thrust from all quarters, the health tourism industry in Kerala can boom to become the global leader,” Thomson said while inaugurating the fifth edition of ‘Kerala Health Tourism’, an international conference and exhibition on the sector.Observing that the medical tourism sector in the country is expected to grow from the current $3 billion to $7-8 billion by 2020, Thomson said the state government would come up with an integrated plan for building up the sector.“Health tourism has evolved from a concept to a much in demand reality whereby foreign nationals are now looking at Kerala to receive medical care and attention. Gone are the days when one had to travel abroad to receive quality healthcare and treatment,” he said.As more and more patients from Europe, North America and other affluent regions with high medical costs and long wait-lists are looking for effective and affordable options, medical healthcare travel to Kerala would see a rise. Thomson assured that the fast-growing Kerala health sector is fully geared to meet that need.Additionally, Kerala Health Tourism (KMT) 2015 saw the announcement of the launch of Kerala Medical Value Travel (KMVT), a forum to promote health tourism in the State.Azad Moopen, Chairman of KHT 2015 said KMVT is an industry body of 22 NABH accredited hospitals for the promotion of medical value travellers and has been set up with the objective to build a strong health tourism industry.Speaking on the sidelines of KHT 2015, he said, “We are taking serious efforts to make Kerala a most sought destination for medical travellers. The initial focus will be on Gulf countries for long term sustainability for the sector and later to African countries where there is lack of basic healthcare infrastructure facilities.”
The shores of Batam in the Riau Islands would be abuzz with the launch of Nongsa Regatta, set to be held at the end of January 2016, at the peak of the northeast Monsoon. The event is open to racing multihull boats, yachts, keelboats, stand up paddleboards, radio sailing, traditional sampan kolek and dinghies.The Nongsa Regatta, hosted by Nongsa Point Marina and Resort, Batam, is expected to attract an estimated 500 participants from Hong Kong, Thailand, the Philippines, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The event hopes to attract a minimum of two dozen entries from each of those categories mentioned.Opening and registration would be done at Nongsa Point Marina and Resort, Batam from January 23-27 while the competitions would take place from January 28-30.Apart from competitions, participants and attendees would be able to enjoy a host of social events daily and engage in activities on the resort’s shores from the regatta’s opening ceremony to its closing event.
Lebanon is expected to witness a growth equivalent to 2.5% in 2016 which will be higher than last year. One of the significant factors behind this growth is the tourism winter season where all ski lifts are running a swing opportunity to benefit from this leisure sport.The International Airport of Beirut in 2015 had received a greater number of arrivals, and this trend is helping many hospitality actors to shape their business plans and invest not only on the traditional sources but also on the meetings and conventions segment revealing to be very effective for the corporate side of business.With gourmet tours, fashion shopping, wine tasting, and medical tourism, Lebanon can cater in tandem to archaeology and history to all niche markets, including environmental trips to hidden trails and valleys.Forests cover 13.4% of the Lebanese land area with a few old cedar trees remaining in pockets of forests. The country is actively working to conserve and regenerate the forests and has created several nature reserves that contain cedars, including the Shouf Biosphere Reserve, the Jaj Cedar Reserve, the Tannourine Reserve, the Ammouaa and Karm Shbat Reserves in the Akkar district, and the Forest of the Cedars of God near Bsharri. This Cedar Nation is a sensory delight for travellers.
Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac G-fees Investors Lenders & Servicers Mel Watt Service Providers 2014-01-08 Carrie Bay January 8, 2014 438 Views in Government, Secondary Market The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced Wednesday that it has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to delay implementation of planned changes to the companies’ guarantee fee (g-fee) structure.In early December, FHFA–through acting director Edward DeMarco–announced plans to increase the base g-fee for all mortgages by 10 basis points, update the up-front g-fee grid, and eliminate the up-front 25 basis pointadverse market fee that has been assessed on all mortgages purchased by the GSEs since 2008. The changes were expected to take effect in March and April of this year.However, FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt, who was sworn in as head of the agency on Monday, said he first wants to conduct a thorough evaluation of the proposed changes and their likely impact. In a statement to the press, FHFA said Watt’s assessment of the fee adjustments would be completed “”as expeditiously as possible.”” The agency says lenders will have at least 120 days from the completion of that evaluation before any changes must be implemented.””The implications for mortgage credit availability and how these changes might interact with the new qualified mortgage (QM) standards could be significant. I want to fully understand these implications before deciding whether to move forward with any adjustments to g-fee pricing,”” Watt said in announcing the delay on Wednesday.Watt had previously alerted the market and industry partners that the g-fee hike would be postponed in late December, prior to officially taking up his new post. Share Fannie, Freddie Directed to Postpone G-Fee Changes
Share The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday ordered a restructuring of how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) operates within the executive branch, calling the Bureau’s structure “unconstitutional.”New Jersey-based mortgage lender PHH Corp. had challenged a $109 million fine handed down by CFPB Director Richard Cordray, becoming the first organization to challenge an enforcement action handed down by the CFPB.Judge Brett Kavanaugh in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the CFPB will be allowed to continue operating as an agency and perform its duties as it has been, but that it will be an executive agency similar to other executive agencies such as the Department of Justice and Department of Treasury that are headed by a single person.“This new agency, the CFPB, lacks that critical check and structural constitutional protection, yet wields vast power over the U.S. economy,” the ruling stated. “In light of the consistent historical practice under which independent agencies have been headed by multiple commissioners or board members, and in light of the threat to individual liberty posed by a single-Director independent agency…We therefore hold that the CFPB is unconstitutionally structured.”The court’s ruling gives the president the power to supervise the CFPB’s director and remove him from that position at will; the court also asked the CFPB to review the decision in the PHH Corp. case.The Bureau was created in July 2011 out of the Dodd-Frank Act. While Democrats have defended the Bureau’s structure and pointed to the more than $11 billion returned to consumers that the Bureau has deemed financially harmed, the CFPB has been harshly criticized by Republicans who believe it to be an overreaching agency whose power is unchecked.The court’s ruling noted the power of the Bureau’s director, stating that, “In short, when measured in terms of unilateral power, the Director of the CFPB is the single most powerful official in the entire U.S. Government, other than the President. Indeed, within his jurisdiction, the Director of the CFPB can be considered even more powerful than the President. It is the Director’s view of consumer protection law that prevails over all others. In essence, the Director is the President of Consumer Finance. The concentration of massive, unchecked power in a single Director marks a departure from settled historical practice and makes the CFPB unique among traditional independent agencies.”The court further stated that the Bureau’s determining when, how, and against whom to bring enforcement actions “occurs in the twilight of judicially unreviewable discretion. Those discretionary actions have a critical impact on individual liberty.”CFPB spokesperson Moira Vahey said in reaction to Tuesday’s D.C. Circuit Court decision: “The Bureau respectfully disagrees with the Court’s decision. The Bureau believes that Congress’s decision to make the Director removable only for cause is consistent with Supreme Court precedent and the Bureau is considering options for seeking further review of the Court’s decision. In the meantime, as the court expressly recognized, the Bureau will continue its important work. Congress has charged the Bureau with ensuring that the markets for consumer financial products and services are fair, transparent, and competitive and with protecting consumers in these markets from unlawful practices. Today’s decision will not dampen our efforts or affect our focus on the mission of the agency.”House Financial Services Committee Republicans praised the court’s decision, while the Democrats on the Committee derided it:#CFPB structure ruled unconstitutional: Director Cordray, H.R. 1266 could fix that for you -> #fiveperson #bipartisanpanel— Randy Neugebauer (@RandyNeugebauer) October 11, 2016 in Daily Dose, Headlines, News #RELEASE – @MaxineWaters: @CFPB Works for Consumers Despite Conservative Efforts to Dismantle It – https://t.co/RfEBHMeqh3— Financial Services (@FSCDems) October 11, 2016Credit unions, which have long sought relief from the CFPB’s regulatory regime, praised the court’s decision.“I applaud the ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit regarding the PHH case against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in that it will establish a meaningful check and balance and bring needed accountability to the Director’s role,” said Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Jim Nussle. “This ruling confirms CUNA’s concern that the structure of the CFPB is flawed and that an unchecked, independent director who answers to no one can’t lead to good public policy. CUNA continues to support a five-person commission for the CFPB instead of its current structure.”PHH had originally been fined $6.4 million by an administrative law judge in November 2014 for accepting kickbacks in the form of reinsurance premiums paid to a PHH subsidiary by mortgage insurers, a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The administrative law judge ruled that PHH was responsible only for payments accepted on mortgage loans that closed on or after July 21, 2008; Cordray expanded that penalty to $109 million in June 2015, saying that PHH was in violation of RESPA for every kickback payment the company accepted after July 21, 2008 even, if the loans closed before that date.PHH immediately appealed the decision and the arguments were heard in the D.C. Court of Appeals in April 2016. PHH’s petition with the court stated: “Never before has so much authority been consolidated in the hands of one individual shielded from the president’s control and Congress’s power of the purse.” This, PHH claimed, put the CFPB director’s power and tenure at odds with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board decision from 2010.CFPB defended itself and the $109 million disgorgement in a filing with the D.C. Circuit Court, claiming the penalty was a “small fraction” of the kickbacks and that the $109 million was merely money that the company should have never received to begin with, and therefore in essence not a penalty.Click here for a copy of the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling from Tuesday. Appeals Court to CFPB: Structure is ‘Unconstitutional’ CFPB PHH 2016-10-11 Staff Writer October 11, 2016 706 Views
October 23, 2017 585 Views Share Fitch Ratings has taken rating actions on 504 classes in 27 U.S. RMBS transactions in a spreadsheet released by the credit-rating agency Monday. The transactions reviewed consisted of 26 seasoned performing loan (SPL) and re-performing loan (RPL) transactions and one ReRemic U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities transaction; 373 classes were affirmed and 131 classes were upgraded, according to Fitch Ratings.Based on the data, 258 classes have a positive outlook and 246 have a stable outlook, which can be found on Fitch Ratings website by doing a title search for “U.S. RMBS Ratings Actions for Oct. 20 2017.” Those interested in an updated probability of default (PD), loss severity (LS) and expected loss (XL) can be find that information by searching “U.S. RMBS Loss Metrics” on Fitch Ratings’ website.Rating SensitivitiesFitch’s analysis rates scenarios from “CCCsf” to “AAAsf.” The CCCsf scenario is a most-likely base-case scenario and any scenarios above CCCsf are increasingly more stressful and less likely to occur. The primary driver of the loss scenarios is the home price forecast assumption. In a “Bsf” scenario, Fitch assumes home prices decline 10 percent below their long-term sustainable level and the home price decline assumption is increased by 5 percent at each higher rating category up to 35 percent decline in the “AAAsf” scenario.Key Rating DriversAccording to Fitch Ratings, performance has been stronger than expected and projected losses have improved since its prior review. The base-case projected loss has gone down 70 bps and the “AAAsf” stress scenario loss went down by 90 bps. This was mainly driven by low delinquency and home price appreciation. The pools reviewed by Fitch Ratings had an average serious delinquency rate under five percent. Conditional prepayment rates (CPS) are averaging 19 percent and pool factors average around 84 percent, while the average credit enhancement (CE) of investment-grade classes reviewed increased from 31 percent at issuance to 40 percent today. in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, journal, Servicing Upgrades Made to Over 130 RMBS Re-Performing Loan Classes Fitch Ratings Re-Performing Loan Classes RMBS stress scenario transactions upgrade 2017-10-23 Dean Terrell
“Experienced growers believe the product quality is the best since the period 2008 to 2010 when the drought was impacting to produce fantastic almond kernels. The hot and dry conditions currently being experienced in the production regions are ideal for almond harvesting.”It notes the U.S. – whose crop size and shipment data is crucial to world pricing – will likely come in a little under 2.3 billion pounds. Despite the tariff increases in China and Turkey, U.S. shipments are 3.5% up compared to last year and have recovered from the slow early season figures resulting from the tariff impositions in early 2018, it adds.”Pundits believe the inventory at the end of the U.S. marketing year in August 2019 will be similar to that of 2018,” it says.”The pollination period in California, critical in determining crop potential for the 2019 U.S. crop, has been less than ideal with a delayed bloom and much colder than average daytime temperatures, and heavy rain events being experienced.” March 15 , 2019 U.S.: California’s almond acreage on the rise … You might also be interested in Australia is expecting its highest quality almond crop in a decade following favorable weather over recent months.The Australian Almond Growers Association says the crop is estimated by processors and marketers to be 93,000 metric tons (MT) this year.”The dry seasonal conditions have led to outstanding quality in terms of flavour and colour with size grading similar to last year,” it says. Chile opens for Australian almonds …
While Etihad has announced that all 14 weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi – Sydney route will be operated with its flagship A380 aircraft, effective 29 October 2017, Emirates will also provide an all-A380 service from Melbourne when it upgrades its third daily flight, EK408 and EK409, from a Boeing 777-300ER to an A380 operation.
agentsroadshowSwitzerland Tourism A total of 12 destination partners from Switzerland will join the Switzerland Tourism AU&NZ team in Melbourne (19 June), Adelaide (20 June), Sydney (21 June) and Brisbane (25 June) to meet with industry partners and travel agents for the 2018 Switzerland Travel Experience roadshow.With limited spots available at each venue, agents are advised to save the date and RSVP ASAP to avoid disappointment. The event promises to be an exciting one with two September famil spots up for grabs at each event, a series of door prizes including Victorinox watches and suitcases, as well as bags bursting with Swiss goodies and useful information.Agents can look forward to meeting the following Swiss delegates at STE 2018: Christoph Bosshardt, Basel Tourism; Mark Meier, Lucerne and the Lake Lucerne Region; Rayomand Choksi, Mt Titlis; Katarzyna Morgenstern, Jungfrau Region; Dario Gross, Jungfrau Railways; Renato Julier, Interlaken Tourism; Francois Michel, Lake Geneva Region; Stephan Neidhart, Zurich Tourism; Andreas Nef, Swiss Travel System, Alan Ramsay, Schilthorn; Janine Imesch, Zermatt Tourism; and Andrea Pietsch, Hotel Ambassador Zurich. Joining them will be Mark Wettstein and Birgit Weingartner from Switzerland Tourism AU&NZ along with local representatives from SWISS International Air Lines and Singapore Airlines.Switzerland enjoyed a whopping 14.1% year-on-year increase in overnight stays in 2017, which set a new record high in both the overnight numbers and percentage growth from the Australian market. With more than 55% of Swiss holiday bookings coming from travel agents, Switzerland Tourism and their partners are looking forwards to working with Australian agents even more closely to achieve an equally, if not more, successful 2018 and 2019. Click here to register.
When exploring the Croatian coastline, there is nobetter option for comfort and style than exploring it on Insight Vacations9-day DalmatianElegance itinerary. Whilst happily perched aboard a modern, spaciousmega yacht, guests will discover new ports each day, hidden coves and ancientsites steeped in history. See below for some incredible experiences yourclients can explore with Insight Vacations in Croatia.In Split, explore above and below the Roman EmperorDiocletian’s palace, where a Local Expert guides guests through labyrinthinestreets to see St. Duje’s, the Temple of Jupiter, the Golden Gate and theCellars.Over in Korčula, travellers can walk theherringbone maze of streets and flagstone plazas with your Local Expert. Learnwhy the locals claim this is where Marco Polo was born.Explore the buffed marble streets of King’sLanding, otherwise known as Dubrovnik, the fascinating city during your guidedwalking tour.In Kuna, visit the church and monastery, and learnabout local life when you visit a local farm.Walk through the main square of Hvar with yourLocal Expert and see the yacht-filled harbour and the Renaissance cathedral.Enjoy time at your leisure to explore this delightful island, famed for beingthe sunniest in the country and boasting an interior dotted with lofty mountainpeaks and aromatic ﬁelds of lavender.Select trips will also have the opportunity tolearn the secrets behind cooking Croatian specialties during a hands-on cookingclass with your onboard chef. Travel agents still have two weeks to qualify for Insight Vacations’global group famil to Croatia in April. To qualify, agents must sell anyInsight Vacations or Luxury Gold 2019 trip that visits Croatia by 15 February2019. One booking qualifies for one entry into the random draw, the morebookings means the more chances of winning a spot! agent familCroatiaInsight Vacations
LISTEN: Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL analyst Call in Ali; ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski says the Arizona Cardinals’ game against conference opponent Seattle Seahawks “will be a prizefight.” “They’ll just slug it out,” he said to Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday. “This is not going to be one of those ‘pretty games,’” he said. “This is a little bit of an old-school throwback kind of football game with a lot at stake.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Like home field advantage and a bye week, for example. There’s a lot of pressure on the Cardinals, but Jaworski has some advice for the team as they prepare for Sunday. “I’ve never bought into that ‘it’s just another game,’” he said. “I know that’s the way coaches try to sell it, and you prepare your team for 16 games…but every player knows when there’s a big game. They can’t go anywhere without people wanting to talk about it. “My feeling is always to embrace it, but don’t be distracted by the magnitude of the game.” The 11-3 Cardinals have had a season that’s the stuff of fairytales (or famous movies about boxers) with plenty of adversity to overcome along the way. Jaworski says to give credit where its due. “You gotta give Bruce Arians and his staff a lot of credit,” he said. “He is the coach of the year in my opinion — to hold this team together and keep instilling confidence when everyone else would doubt the direction they were going, you know, he held to his guns and got the job done. Your browser does not support the audio element. 0 Comments Share Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo
Top Stories There weren’t a lot of penalties called on the Arizona Cardinals during their 26-20 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers last Saturday night.In fact, the Cardinals were flagged only three times for 26 yards in the victory that pushed them into the NFC Championship Game against Carolina Sunday.One of them was a 15-yard personal foul call on wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the third quarter for what was called a blindside block against Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett on an end-around run by John Brown. What would have been 2nd-and-goal at the Packers’ 3-yard line turned into a 1st-and-goal at the 20. The Cardinals had to settle for a Chandler Catanzaro field goal that pulled Arizona to within three points. 0 Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo A guest on the Big Red Rage with Calais Campbell on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Thursday night, Fitzgerald got praise from his teammate about the block he threw.“That block you threw against Green Bay, where they threw a flag on you, I was so hyped,” Campbell said.Fitzgerald responded immediately.“Well then help me pay my fine, man,” he said. “Twenty-three thousand dollars, man. Help me out.”Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi was incredulous about the fine, pointing out that Fitzgerald isn’t a repeat offender.“No, it hurt me,” Fitzgerald said.Fitzgerald’s head coach, Bruce Arians, didn’t agree with the call on his receiver.“I thought it was a clean block,” Arians told Bickley and Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “In my opinion, it’s still a clean block. I didn’t think he hit (Burnett) in the head, I thought he hit him in the chest, but he slid up and the guy’s ricocheted back and it looked like he hit him in the head.“I’ll still argue it was a clean block.”The league disagreed, of course, and it will cost Fitzgerald. – / 40 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) warms up prior to an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws under pressure from Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Markus Golden (44) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The Cardinals have emerged as a heavyweight in the NFC behind a talent-laden roster loaded with young playmakers. The “Birdgang” will remain among the NFL’s elite with a rookie class that showed tremendous promise throughout the season. David Johnson is an impressive all-purpose RB1 with the size, strength and speed to deliver explosive plays as a runner or receiver. He amassed over 1,000 scrimmage yards — and really delivered the goods as the Cardinals’ feature back down the stretch of the season. J.J. Nelson flashed big-play ability as a deep threat on the perimeter. Although he only snagged 11 receptions during the regular season, seven of those grabs went for 20-plus yards, showing a glimpse of his impact potential. Markus Golden was a nice find as an energetic pass rusher off the edge. He not only has a knack for getting home (four sacks, to go along with two forced fumbles), but he plays with a relentless spirit that energizes the unit. D.J. Humphries failed to make a positive impression as a rookie, but he remains a talented prospect with immense potential.Brooks’ grade underscores the fact that it does not really matter where you get your best players from, so long as you get them. The team’s first-round pick, Humphries, was inactive for every game, yet the draft was a success due to the play of second-round pick Golden and third-round pick Johnson, among others. Comments Share Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo As it is with any draft class, there will be hits as well as misses.The key, of course, is having more of the former than the latter, and hopefully landing a couple of stars, too.Many analysts believe you cannot truly judge a draft class until its players are a few seasons into their careers, and that may very well be the case.But that does not stop people from handing out grades after just one season, and over at NFL.com, that’s exactly what Bucky Brooks has done. Looking at the Arizona Cardinals’ seven-member 2015 class, he hands out a B+. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Golden racked up four sacks, 16 QB pressures and 14 QB hits, while Johnson tallied 1,646 all-purpose yards as well as a franchise rookie record 13 touchdowns.With the 2016 draft still a couple months away, the Cardinals and every other team will be doing their research into prospects in hopes of unearthing more gems that can help them win games. With that in mind, Brooks has an idea of what Arizona should be focusing on at the NFL Combine, which takes place in late February in Indianapolis.The Cardinals’ defense needs to replenish the active rushers along the front line, something they could do with the No. 29 pick in the draft. Thus, the team likely will spend much of the combine visiting with the likes of Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence, Georgia’s Leonard Floyd, Utah State’s Kyler Fackrell and Boise State’s Kamalei Correa to see if they can fill roles as edge rushers. The Cardinals also could study Clemson’s Kevin Dodd and Oregon’s DeForest Buckner to project their potential as five-techniques in Arizona’s 3-4 scheme.The idea that the Cardinals will look to the draft to improve their pass rush is not a new one. In fact, general manager Steve Keim said Tuesday he would prefer to find those kind of players in the draft as opposed to free agency.
The Arizona Cardinals took few risks, sitting the majority of their starters in the preseason finale on Thursday. But injuries hit their linebacker depth against the Denver Broncos.Both Kareem Martin and Tristan Okpalaugo left the game. The team initially believes Martin suffered an MCL injury that could keep him out two to three weeks.Okpalaugo’s issue was first called a knee issue, but Bruce Arians said after the game it is a hamstring injury. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said LB Kareem Martin “looks like an MCL” (2-3 weeks) and LB Tristan Okpalaugo looks like a hamstring.— Adam Green (@theAdamGreen) September 2, 2016Martin is second on the depth chart at weakside linebacker, behind starter Markus Golden. Okpalaugo is listed behind Martin.The 6-foot-6, 272 pound Martin had stood out in camp, Arians said. He has two seasons of experience with Arizona and in 16 games last year recorded nine tackles and 1.5 sacks to go with a forced fumble.Okpalaugo is a journeyman who was a rookie free agent who signed with the Dolphins in 2013. He has played in camps with the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys but spent the last two years in the Canadian football league. – / 34 0 Comments Share
“It should be an embarrassment when you watch the film, the way we played.”On if there was a no-call penalty on the Jaguars 68-yard kick return:“We decided to kick it left. Phil (Dawson) wanted to kick it left, and we had all our success to the right. We had two new guys over there, too, that got out of their lanes. But yeah, there could have been a call.”On the offensive line’s performance:“I thought it was outstanding. I thought they kept the quarterback clean. We ran the ball well. One of our best performances this year against a really good front.”On why the punt coverage has improved the last month besides the play of Budda Baker and Justin Bethel:“Andy’s (Lee) kicking the ball so well. We’re doing a really good job of securing the protections, so that he can step up and really get it off. His hang time and direction has been outstanding.”On if Andy Lee is doing more directional punting than before:“He’s always been able to do pretty much whatever you want him to do. I think he would like to have that one knuckleball a little bit higher near the end there.”On Foster’s upside:“He took a blitz pick up, up the middle. He stuck his face in there and did a heck of a job. So yeah, his role’s only going to continue to increase.” (AP Photo) On how much upside Gabbert has:“Oh my gosh, a ton. A ton, just as he continues to grow. He’s never been in the same offense two years in a row, so he can blossom.”On if there’s something about his offense that’s conducive to quarterback success:“It’s a very quarterback-friendly offense. It’s a heavy workload on a quarterback, and we ask them to do an awful lot. But, once you get it, it’s pretty quarterback-friendly.”On Gabbert’s football intelligence compared to other quarterbacks he’s coached:“He’s up there. You don’t just come in, change protections, see your hots and sights, and all the things that he has done so fast. He was doing it in OTAs (organized team activities) and preseason games. As he sees the exotic looks, he’s starting to know how to pick them up, how to get out of there and make plays.”On if Gabbert is on the level of Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning with his football intelligence:“Yeah, he’s up there. To play at this level in seven offenses is not easy, and he’s had success, especially in this offense. But yeah, he’s up there with those guys mentally with Drew and those guys.”On if play-action and intermediate calls helped free up Jaron Brown for the touchdown: Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “Nothing. Just continue to grow. Just get better. Protect the ball when you’re scrambling around. The other thing is when he does break out, we did a really … We haven’t had a scramble drill in so long, our receivers did a really bad job of scramble drill – who was going deep, who was coming back.“Guys were shooting the opposite way across the field. We’ve got to get that cleaned up, so that when he gets out of there, he can still make plays down the field. He anticipated a coverage on the interception. The safety just bit on his eyes, and he really had Jaron wide open. But, it was Cover 3, so he thought the safety would have been back on the post, but he could have pumped him and got a touchdown.“So, little things like that that he’ll continue to improve in the offense.”On where Drew Stanton is in the equation:“Drew will be backing him up. He’s getting healthier and healthier, but we’re going to stick with Blaine right now.”On how Gabbert is taking this opportunity:“I’m really proud of him. These things don’t happen – you hope they don’t happen very often when your top two guys go down, but we’re very blessed to have him, and he has taken the bull by the horns and showing us, ‘I’m a player. I can play at this level and play very high.’” “Well running the ball, we got the linebackers out of there, but then Larry (Fitzgerald) came on a deep cross and that’s like a magnet. He jumped Larry on a deep cross, and it’s pretty much a given that when we run that play, they’re going to jump Larry if we have time to throw it deep.”On if there are times when Gabbert needs to take some arm strength off his passes when he’s on the run:“He does a fairly good job of that. There’s not a lot of times where he’s throwing it too hard. Now, he still gets off behind hips a little bit, and we’ve got to make some catches for him. The almost interception to J.J. (Nelson) needs to be about two feet out in front of J.J. instead of the back hip. Just those accuracy things, and he’s very capable.”On D.J. Foster’s catch in the fourth quarter:“I thought it was a great play by both of them – D.J. to stay with the route because they had changed coverage. Myles Jack slipped, and he got it in there and just did a great job of keeping his feet down.”On if he’ll stick with Patrick Peterson at punt returner if Kerwynn Williams can’t play:“J.J. was ready, and we’ll see who else can go back there.”On what Josh Bynes gave the defense: The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media several times leading up to gameday.Here, in this space, with help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following practice.Opening statement:“Injury-wise, it does not look like Deone’s (Bucannon) is as severe as it once looked. We’re still waiting on some images to come back. We sent everything off to the surgeon who did his repair because all the injury is to that part of the leg. It could be a day or two; it could be serious. So, we don’t know yet. On how comfortable he would be with Gabbert starting at quarterback in 2018 should Carson Palmer retire:“The way he’s playing right now, I’d be very, very comfortable.”On if he thinks that could happen:“Oh yeah. I think it’s a possibility.”On his thought process on the fourth-and-one on the 50-yard line:“Blaine tried to talk me into it, and I just kept looking to see if it was going to be six inches or a yard. We knew we’d get the ball back, and I’m really pissed off because we didn’t line up properly on that one play; it cost us one of our timeouts, or we’d have two timeouts. But, we knew we were going to get the ball back if they threw it, and they did.”On the problems it causes for opposing defenses to have Ricky Seals-Jones split out wide:“That’s why he has to line up and block. So, he’s considered a tight end. He did a good job on those assignments in that ball game. So that when he gets split out, he’s got a safety or linebacker. If it’s a corner, you know the coverage. It’s zone. So, those types of things are real easy for a quarterback to see. He’s got enough explosiveness to beat a corner, but it’s also very easy reads for a quarterback.” On if he has noticed a difference in Chandler Jones this season after he lost weight:“Oh, yeah. He looks like a linebacker instead of a defensive end, and he’s got his quickness. I think the other thing is his stamina. He never wears out during the game.”On if Jones’ improvements this year result from comfort with the playbook and better understanding of his role:“I think all those things – being comfortable with who he is on the team, his status on the team and just going out and play. Nobody’s holding him back, and he can do anything he wants out there, just make sure it’s good.”On what he saw from Robert Nkemdiche:“I thought he had one of his better games, and he got a slight ankle sprain again. We’ll see how bad it is, but I don’t think it’s anything serious. He had one of his better games.”On having a lot of fans in Seattle rooting for him this upcoming weekend:“Oh, yeah. For sure. We have three or four different groups cheering for us, but I was really happy with the way our fans turned out. Man, they were loud and great.” – / 51 Top Stories “He’ll get a game ball. He played lights out, especially in that sub-package, which he hasn’t played in yet, but he got mental reps. And he had no mental errors, just had unbelievable stats, but he led the team and was truly a true ‘next man up’ mentality. And he was more than ready to play and played as a starter and played at a very high level.”On if he anticipates moving Haason Reddick inside if Deone Bucannon is out:“Yeah, those things we’ll talk about, because Josh played so well. We’ve got packages with him back there anyways and especially on sub.”On what it means for the team to still be in the playoff race after all the team has been through this year:“It’s never over, especially this year. It’s a crazy year and having all these home games at the end of the season, had we just scratched out one or two road games earlier, we knew they’d be very, very important.”On the importance of this Sunday’s game against an NFC West opponent:“It’s huge. To climb back in the division, get a division win, bringing them back to us and us get higher, it’s a big, big game.”On if the loss to the Rams in London lingers as the team prepares for the Rams: 2 Comments Share “Josh Mauro sucked it up. He didn’t last very long on his ankle and re-sprained it. Other than that, I can’t think of anybody else that is going to miss any time. Kerwynn (Williams) cracked a couple ribs, so it’s just going to be how much he can play with pain. That’s pretty hard to do as a running back. I would anticipate he might miss some time. As far as the game, some really, really good plays.“The one thing I thought throughout the game, our guys played hard, really gave great effort in all three phases. It wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough to win. Been waiting to get some home games because that’s exactly what we needed, and the crowd was fantastic.“I thought Blaine’s (Gabbert) play to the 50-yarder to Jaron (Brown) was one only a few guys can make because Calais (Campbell) came fairly unblocked, and he knew. He had enough instinct not to draw back with the ball and still had enough strength to put it out there and not get it tipped. That was a fantastic play by him.“Overall, Chandler (Jones) was unbelievable. We had so many game balls, but the guys had a victory Monday, so we’ll give them out Wednesday.”On what else Blaine Gabbert needs to show him: Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact