Lettermacaward NotesChurch of Ireland Dance Church of Ireland Lettermacaward are having a fund raising dance in Elliott’s lounge on Sat 9th Feb starting at 9 pm. Come along for a night of good music and craic with family neighbours and friends.* DonegalDaily.com – Beware Cheap ImitationsFollow us on Twitter – https://twitter.com/DonegalDaily DD LOCAL: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NEWS was last modified: February 9th, 2013 by BrendaShare 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:DD LOCAL: LETTERMACAWARD COMMUNITY NEWS
A company installed a specialist CCTV system to catch a suspected thief after their accountant noticed their business was not performing as well as it should be.Castle Interiors, a painting and decorating supply company in Co Donegal had noticed their books were not tallying over a period of time. They installed a new surveillance camera system and observed one employee who was caught red-handed dipping in and out of the till.Alan Moore appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court in Co Donegal today for sentence after previously being found guilty of ten counts of theft at the shop at the Courtyard Shopping Centre in Letterkenny.A jury of twelve found him guilty on all charges by a majority verdict of ten to two.The court heard how the owner of the shop, Rossa McCosker, had been informed by his accountant that there had been an unexplained shrinkage in stock.The accountant also said the shop was not performing as it should be.Employee Alan Moore, aged 54, had been reprimanded on a number of occasions for leaving the till open.An older surveillance system which had to be played back by staff was then replaced but Moore had not been told of this.When the new ‘live’ surveillance system was put in place, a member of staff in the company’s Ballyshannon office monitored the activity in the shop.Between 22nd November, 2013 and December 2nd, 2013, the employee made a contemporaneous note of everything that happened in the shop while watching the live CCTV stream.She had noted when to ring in some items into the till put money in or took money out.The jury was shown footage of ten specific incidents when More took cash out of the till and put it into his pockets.The court was told that a total of €794 had not been rung into the till and that €780 in cash had been taken from the till.Because the items were not being rung into the till there was no excess of cash in the till to be lodged at the bank.When approached about the incidents Moore became very angry and later claimed that Mr McCosker had wanted to close the shop and did not want to pay out redundancy money.She was strongly denied and the court was reminded that the Government paid 60% of redundancy payouts in any case.Detective Garda Paul Lynch gave evidence of interviewing Moore after he was arrested.He admitted that he had operated a haphazard system for operating the till for a number of years but this had been tolerated by management.In his victim impact statement, owner Mr McCosker said he operated a number of businesses and after this, he had found it difficult to trust employees.“I am less able to trust individuals and am watchful and needy and I feel more vulnerable to fraud,” he said.The court was told that Moore was now a 56-year-old married man with two sons and had no issues with drugs, drink or gambling.Judge John Aylmer adjourned the case to decide on a sentence which he said he will pass on May 8th next.Company caught thief after installing new CCTV system at Donegal business was last modified: May 2nd, 2019 by StephenShare 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:Alan MooreCastle INteriorsCourtyard Shopping Centredonegalfraudtheft
Staff writerSouth Africa has held five national elections since 1994, one every five years. As we await the results of the country’s latest national vote, which took place on 7 May 2014 in South Africa’s 20th year of democracy, we look back at past election results.The relative number of National Assembly seats in Parliament political parties have won in South Africa’s four previous democratic elections.The proportional representation systemThe proportional representation system is also called the party list system. Every vote counts. The total number of votes cast for a party decides the number of seats it gets in Parliament.Parties draw up lists of candidates, and the number of people that get in will be decided by the number of seats the party wins. This is the system used in all South African national elections since 1994, and will be used in this year’s elections.For example:Party A: 100 000 votes – 100 seatsParty B: 20 000 votes – 20 seatsParty C: 50 000 votes – 50 seatsThe first 100 people on Party A’s list will get seats in Parliament, as will the first 20 people on Party B’s list and the first 50 people on Party C’s list.The 1994 electionsThe struggles waged by exiled liberation movements and communities inside South Africa, together with international pressure, led to the unbanning of organisations and a negotiated transition period, including the drawing up of a democratic Constitution.The resulting 1994 elections were historic because they were the first-ever non-racial democratic vote in South Africa.After fighting for so long for democracy, 19.7-million South Africans cast their ballots, with a turnout of 86.9% of registered voters. 1994 NATIONAL ELECTION RESULTSVotes wonNational Assembly seatsAfrican National Congress (ANC)62.7%252National Party (NP)20.4%82Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)10.5%43Freedom Front (FF)2.2%9Democratic Party (DP)1.8%7Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)1.3%5African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)0.5%2The 1999 electionsThe 1996 Constitution said that there must be elections every five years, so new national and provincial elections had to be held before the end of July 1999. The were held on 2 June 1999, with 16.2-million South Africans voting for a registered voter turnout of 89.3%.1999 NATIONAL ELECTION RESULTSVotes wonNational Assembly seatsAfrican National Congress (ANC)66.4%266Democratic Party (DP)9.6%38Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)8.6%34New National Party (NNP)6.9%28United Democratic Movement (UDM)3.4%14African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)1.4%6Freedom Front (FF)0.8%3United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP)0.8%3Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)0.7%3Federal Alliance (FA)0.5%2Minority Front (MF)0.3%1Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging (AEB)0.3%1Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo)0.2%1The 2004 electionsSouth Africa’s third democratic national and provincial elections were held on 14 April 2004.2004 NATIONAL ELECTION RESULTSVotes wonNational Assembly seatsAfrican National Congress (ANC)69.7%279Democratic Alliance (DA)12.4%50Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)7.0%28United Democratic Movement (UDM)2.3%9Independent Democrats (ID)1.7%7New National Party (NNP)1.7%7African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)1.6%6Freedom Front Plus (FF+)0.9%4United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP)0.753Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)0.733Minority Front (MF)0.352Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo)0.252The 2009 electionsThe fourth democratic national and provincial elections were held on 22 April 2009.2009 ELECTION RESULTSVotes wonNational Assembly seatsAfrican National Congress (ANC)65.9%264Democratic Alliance (DA)16.7%67Congress of the People (Cope)7.4%30Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP)4.6%18Independent Democrats (ID)0.9%4United Democratic Movement (UDM)0.9%4Freedom Front Plus (FF+)0.8%4African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)0.8%3United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP)0.4%2Pan Africanist Congress (PAC)0.3%1Minority Front (MF)0.3%1Azanian People’s Organisation (Azapo)0.2%1African People’s Convention (APC)0.2%1
Organize Audio Clips and Sync Sound with FootageAfter shooting and recording foley, you’ll have plenty of audio to work with from dialogue, sound effects, and music. With all these different files, it’s important to make sure you organize all your clips and tracks so you can sync them.To keep things in order, you’ll need a solid folder structure. You can create your own or just download some free programs that will create folders structures for you. The Film Look has also provided their own Premiere Pro folder structure that you can download here.You will then see them import and rename all of their footage based on the name of the take. Then you can start syncing footage either by using a program like PluralEyes or syncing it yourself in Premiere Pro.For more on syncing audio and footage, check out these articles:Three Ways to Sync Audio to VideoQuickly Sync Audio and Footage in Premiere ProPluralEyes: The Best Workflow for Syncing Audio Did you enjoy this series? Want more like this? Let us know in the comments below. Editing and Mixing AudioOnce you’ve organized, synced, and edited your project, you are ready to start mixing. First, adjust the volume on your machine. This will give you a reference point for how your final video should sound, so you will have a rough idea of how low to mix SFX compared to dialogue.Here are a few level ranges to keep in mind while mixing:Dialogue between -6dB and -24 dBHard foley -5dB to -25dBSoft foley below room tone up to -7dB Ambience will depend on room tone — shouldn’t be overpoweringRoom tone is also important to avoid dead silence. Be sure to match to the levels of room tone silence recorded on set. If some parts of the dialogue are hard to hear, or too loud, you can use keyframes to raise or lower the volume of specific dialogue. While cutting dialogue and SFX, fade in and out of clips to avoid harsh peaks. Finally, layer a variety of SFX not only for practical onscreen noises but also to emphasize emotions. The Final SceneIf you are curious how all of this played out from recording audio to the final mix, you can see the final scene here.Now that you’ve seen everything from recording audio to mixing, you can enjoy this final behind-the-scenes look at the whole process. Check out this comprehensive guide for working with audio in post-production. Learn about foley art, syncing audio, mixing, and more.All images and video via The Film Look.In the original Indie Filmmaker’s Guide to Recording Audio, the guys at The Film Look covered topics like audio levels, microphone position, room tone, and capturing wild takes. You can read more and watch the first five episodes here.In the remaining episodes of this series, The Film Look will talk about working with audio in post — specifically, capturing foley and mixing sound. Let’s dive in.Capture the Perfect SFX in Post with FoleyFoley is the reproduction of sound effects in post-production. It mixes in time-specific sounds, like making sure a tap sounds just as a finger hits a table. Mixing in foley is part of a true cinematic experience.If you don’t have a quiet room to record foley, find a space where you can hang some sound blankets and cloth to dampen sound. Then, grab an assortment of props to use to create sounds. Remember, you don’t have to use the exact same dishes or props as you saw on set. You are looking to create the perfect sound; it doesn’t have to be an accurate one.You will need a way to play back a scene so you can time the sound effects, so be sure to have a monitor, laptop, or phone nearby. Then it’s just a matter of recording foley with the right timing.Remember, if you didn’t capture a wild take or can’t recreate a specific sound in foley, you can always browse SFX libraries for additional noises.For more on foley work, check out these videos and articles.Foley: The Art of Making Sound EffectsRecording Foley and Sound Effects: The FundamentalsBehind the Sound Design: Nerf John Wick
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea defender David Luiz: We must find consistencyby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea defender David Luiz says finding a winning consistency is key to returning to the top.Luiz knows Chelsea need consistency, after their win over Manchester City was sandwiched between defeats against Wolves and Leicester.He said: “In those games we had the same problem after the goal we conceded. We changed our style. We have to be consistent in the way we play, and after that the results are going to come.”Luiz praised Eden Hazard, who has been playing as a false nine recently. “He’s a fantastic player, an intelligent player,” he said. “He is playing a different position but intelligent players can play anywhere. He is doing well and he deserves it.”
Fredericks: West Ham boost from Bournemouth drawby Paul Vegas25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRyan Fredericks says West Ham United have gained plenty of confidence from their 2-2 draw with Bournemouth on Saturday.The Hammers came back twice to steal a valuable away point which leaves in fourth place on the Premier League table.”Coming back like that gives us a lot of positive feelings,” Fredericks called the club’s website.”We’re a confident bunch anyway and we know we can go anywhere and pick up a result.”We didn’t panic when we went 2-1 down. Obviously it was frustrating to go behind, especially so early in the second half, but we knew we were going to get chances. “We have very good forward players who always create chances so we knew that as long as we didn’t concede a third we’d always have a chance of getting back in the game.”We’re a different beast this season. We don’t want to just be up there and think ‘it’s nice to be here’. We think we’re good enough to stay in and around these positions so we’re going to fight for every point, every goal and I think teams know that when they play against us it’s never going to be an easy game.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
BRUSSELS – Under fire for his warm embrace of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump jolted the NATO summit Wednesday by turning a spotlight on Germany’s ties to Russia and openly questioning the value of the military alliance that has defined American foreign policy for decades.Trump declared that a joint natural gas pipeline venture with Moscow has left Angela Merkel’s government “totally controlled” and “captive to Russia.” So, in a stroke, he shifted attention away from his own ties to the Kremlin just days before he meets one-on-one with Putin.With scorching language, the president questioned the necessity of the alliance that formed a bulwark against Soviet aggression, tweeting after a day of contentious meetings: “What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy?”German Chancellor Merkel hit back immediately, not only denying Trump’s contention but suggesting that his comfortable upbringing in the U.S. gave him no standing to spout off on the world stage about Germany.Drawing on her own background growing up in communist East Germany behind the Iron Curtain, she said:“I’ve experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union, and I’m very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that’s very good.”Trump demanded by public tweet that members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025” for their military efforts. He then rattled U.S. allies further by privately suggesting member nations should spend 4 per cent of their gross domestic product on the military — more than even the United States currently pays, according to NATO statistics.It was just the latest in Trump’s demands and insults that critics fear will undermine a decades-old alliance launched to counter-balance Soviet aggression after World War II. And it came just days before Trump planned to sit down with Putin in Finland at the conclusion of what has become a contentious European trip.Trump has spent weeks berating members of the alliance for failing to increase military spending, accusing Europe of freeloading off the U.S. and even raising doubts about whether he would come to members’ defence as required if they were ever attacked.Trump’s tongue-lashing accelerated during a pre-summit breakfast, when he traded his usual long-distance Twitter attacks for a face-to-face confrontation with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.“We’re supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia and I think that’s very inappropriate,” Trump said, repeatedly describing Germany as “captive to Russia” because of the energy deal. He urged NATO to look into the issue.Trump’s harsh words for Merkel, whose country has hosted tens of thousands of U.S. troops that have been key to post-WWII stability in Europe for seven decades, struck at the core of the alliance. West Germany joined NATO in 1955 and was a critical factor in the alliance’s success in facing down the Soviet Union until its collapse. Reunified with the East, Germany became the largest European economy in NATO in 1990.The president’s beef was with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany’s northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany. The vast undersea pipeline is opposed by the U.S. and some other EU members, who warn it could give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe. It’s expected to be online at the end of 2019.Environmental-conscious Germany is trying to reduce its reliance on coal and is phasing out nuclear power by 2022, so it hopes to use natural gas to partially fill the gap until the country’s electricity grid can cope with fluctuating levels provided by renewable energy.Hours after the breakfast, Merkel and Trump appeared to play nice as they met along the summit’s sidelines. Trump told reporters the two had a “very, very good relationship” and congratulated Merkel on her “tremendous success.”While Trump went after Germany for its ties to Russia, he himself has been accused by critics of being too eager to improve relations with Moscow. He’s also dismissed the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia tried to undermine Western democracy by meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help him win.Trump also lobbed fresh complaints about allies’ “delinquent” defence spending and suggested at one point that NATO allies commit to spending 4 per cent of their GDP on defence — twice the goal they’ve set for 2024.“I have great confidence they’ll be spending more,” he said.However, a formal summit declaration issued by the NATO leaders Wednesday reaffirmed their “unwavering commitment” to the 2 per cent pledge set in 2014 and made no reference to any effort to go higher.Trump has repeatedly mischaracterized the spending target, wrongly describing it as a fee that countries pay to NATO or the U.S. rather than their own military. NATO estimates that 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends.Back in the U.S., Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement describing Trump’s “brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany,” as “an embarrassment.”“His behaviour this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the president is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies,” they wrote.Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, also criticized Trump’s rhetoric.“I do believe everybody should get to 2 per cent quickly, but the NATO alliance is something that’s very important to the United States and our citizenry, and things that are said to try and create instability, all that it does is strengthen Putin,” Corker said, describing concerns “about conciliatory things that could occur in Helsinki” when Trump sits down with the Russian president.But Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, a strong supporter of the president, said the pipeline issue strikes at the “heart of NATO unity.”“The pipeline gets cheap Russian gas to Germany while bypassing smaller Eastern European nations, allowing Russia to pressure them while Germany is held harmless,” he tweeted, adding: “No amount of preening in Berlin will cover this nakedly selfish policy.”___Associated Press writers Ken Thomas, Darlene Superville and Zeke Miller in Washington, Matthew Lee in Brussels and Maria Danilova in Moscow contributed to this report.___Follow Colvin and Lemire on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj and https://twitter.com/JonLemirePresident Donald Trump barrelled into a NATO summit Wednesday with claims that a natural gas pipeline deal has left Germany “totally controlled” and “captive to Russia” as he lobbed fresh complaints about allies’ “delinquent” defence spending during the opening of what was expected to be a fraught two-day meeting.Trump also suggested that NATO allies commit to spending 4 per cent of their gross domestic product on defence — double the current goal of 2 per cent by 2024.The president, in a testy exchange with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg that kicked off his visit, took issue with the U.S. protecting Germany as it strikes deals with Russia.“I have to say, I think it’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia where we’re supposed to be guarding against Russia,” Trump said at a breakfast with Stoltenberg. “We’re supposed to protect you against Russia but they’re paying billions of dollars to Russia and I think that’s very inappropriate.”Trump repeatedly described Germany as “captive to Russia” because of the energy deal and urged NATO to look into the issue.German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back firmly, insisting that Germany makes its own decisions and drawing on her own background growing up in communist East Germany behind the Iron Curtain.“I’ve experienced myself a part of Germany controlled by the Soviet Union and I’m very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany and can thus say that we can determine our own policies and make our own decisions and that’s very good,” she said.The president appeared to be referring to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would bring gas from Russia to Germany’s northeastern Baltic coast, bypassing Eastern European nations like Poland and Ukraine and doubling the amount of gas Russia can send directly to Germany. The vast undersea pipeline is opposed by the U.S. and some other EU members, who warn it could give Moscow greater leverage over Western Europe. It’s expected to be online at the end of 2019.Environmental-conscious Germany is trying to reduce its reliance on coal and is phasing out nuclear power by 2022, so it hopes to use natural gas to partially fill the gap until the country’s electricity grid can cope with fluctuating levels provided by renewable energy. The alternatives, including U.S. supplies, are more expensive.In their back-and-forth, Stoltenberg stressed to Trump that NATO members have been able to work together despite their differences. “I think that two world wars and the Cold War taught us that we are stronger together than apart,” he told the president, trying to calm tensions.Trump’s dramatic exchange with Stoltenberg set the tone for what was already expected to be a tense day of meetings with leaders of the military alliance as Trump presses jittery NATO allies about their military spending ahead of his meeting next week with Putin.“The United States is paying far too much and other countries are not paying enough, especially some. So we’re going to have a meeting on that,” Trump said, describing the situation as “disproportionate and not fair to the taxpayers of the United States.”“They will spend more,” he later predicted. “I have great confidence they’ll be spending more.”And with that, he went on to push allies at the summit to double their commitment on defence spending.“During the president’s remarks today at the NATO summit, he suggested that countries not only meet their commitment of 2 per cent of their GDP on defence spending, but that they increase it to 4 per cent,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She said the president raised the same issue at NATO last year and that, “Trump wants to see our allies share more of the burden and at a very minimum meet their already stated obligations.”However, a formal summit declaration issued by the NATO leaders Wednesday reaffirmed their “unwavering commitment” to the 2 per cent pledge set in 2014 and made no reference to any effort to get to 4 per cent.Trump’s pipeline criticism was an unusual line of attack for a president who has proclaimed himself eager to improve relations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and dismissed the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia tried to undermine Western democracy by meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to help Trump win. Trump has long argued that improving relaxations with Russia would be good for both nations.Back in the U.S., Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement describing Trump’s “brazen insults and denigration of one of America’s most steadfast allies, Germany,” as “an embarrassment.”“His behaviour this morning is another profoundly disturbing signal that the president is more loyal to President Putin than to our NATO allies,” they wrote.Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch also took issue with Trump, saying “I don’t agree with that. Germans wouldn’t agree with that. They are a very strong people.”But Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, a strong supporter of the president, said the pipeline issue strikes at the “heart of NATO unity.”“The pipeline gets cheap Russian gas to Germany while bypassing smaller Eastern European nations, allowing Russia to pressure them while Germany is held harmless,” he tweeted, adding: “No amount of preening in Berlin will cover this nakedly selfish policy.”Despite Trump’s claims about Germany, Merkel served as a forceful advocate for imposing — and maintaining — sanctions on Russia after it annexed Crimea in 2014, arguing that it violated the principles of the international order established after World War II. The president is also not the first leader to point to the impact of Nord Stream 2 on Europe, echoing complaints from Eastern European allies who note it would cut out transit countries such as Poland and Ukraine.Trump and Merkel met later Wednesday on the sidelines of the summit and kept their remarks polite during a photo opportunity with the press.Trump told reporters the two had a “very, very good relationship” and congratulated Merkel on her “tremendous success.” Asked if they had discussed the pipeline, he said they had, but declined to elaborate.Merkel, for her part, called the two nations “good partners” and said “we wish to continue to co-operate in the future.”Trump then met with French President Emmanuel Macron, who said he disagreed with Trump’s pipeline assessment. But the two appeared on good terms, with Trump joking about the fact that Macron had been asked about it.Trump has long pushed NATO members to meet their agreed-to target of 2 per cent by 2024 and has accused those who don’t of freeloading off the U.S.He tweeted from the summit: “What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are their only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.”NATO estimates that 15 members, or just over half, will meet the benchmark by 2024 based on current trends.Brussels is the first leg of a weeklong European tour that will include stops in London and Scotland, as well as a highly anticipated meeting next week with Putin.__Associated Press writers Ken Thomas, Darlene Superville and Zeke Miller in Washington and Maria Danilova in Moscow contributed to this report.__Follow Colvin and Lemire on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj and https://twitter.com/JonLemire
Americans’ path to homeownership is likely to get more expensive this year, even as a severe shortage of homes for sale shows signs of easing.Mortgage rates, which climbed through much of last year, will continue to rise in 2019, driving up homebuyers’ borrowing costs and shutting others out of the market entirely. The projected result: a cooling housing market and falling home sales nationally.“On the whole, it’s going to be more expensive for buyers next year, despite the fact that they’ll have more options,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.The U.S housing market stalled in 2018 after a long period during which price increases outpaced income growth. That had been offset by historically low mortgage rates, until rates began rising steadily a year ago.While still low by historical standards, the average rate on a 30-year home loan was 4.55 per cent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. That’s up from 3.99 per cent a year earlier.Realtor.com and Redfin forecast the rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage will rise to 5.5 per cent by the end of 2019. Zillow expects rates will reach 5.8 per cent. That would be rates’ highest level since the last recession.A mere extra half percentage point can boost monthly payments and add tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the typical 30-year loan.“Rising mortgage rates will take a bite out of affordability on top of an already supply- constrained and high-priced housing market,” Trulia senior economist Cheryl Young wrote in her forecast.As mortgage rates increase, so does the pressure on would-be buyers to lock in a rate and close a deal.Nate Vogel, a homebuyer in the Denver suburb of Lafayette, has felt some of that pressure after about a year looking for a home without success.Because of the limited number of homes for sale, especially under $500,000, the software engineering manager recently decided to look at homes at the top of his budget, $650,000. But that could be a problem if mortgage rates continue climbing.“If that interest rate goes up another per cent, that would make things much more uncomfortable,” said Vogel, 37. “At this point, no matter what house I buy, I’m sure the interest rate will probably be higher and the payment will be more.”Higher mortgage rates have already started dampening home sales. As of November, sales of previously occupied U.S. homes were down 7 per cent from a year earlier, the steepest decline since May 2011, when the housing market had yet to bounce back from the bust.Realtor.com predicts U.S. home sales will fall another 2 per cent in 2019.It’s not all bad news for would-be buyers, though. Economists project home prices will rise more slowly in 2019. Zillow’s forecast calls for prices to increase nationally by about 3.8 per cent. Realtor.com has them rising at just 2.2 per cent.Another plus for buyers: The number of homes on the market is expected to continue rising, albeit from historic low levels. The inventory of U.S. homes for sale was up 4.2 per cent as of November to 1.74 million units.Alex Veiga, The Associated Press
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Peace River Regional District has opened a new restroom facility at Mile 202 of the Alaska Highway.As part of the ‘Gotta Go’ pilot project, Electoral Area B Director Karen Goodings says this project is an important part of developing the Region’s transportation infrastructure, adding that this new restroom is a vital addition for those travelling through the area.“The ‘Gotta Go’ pilot project is an important part of developing our transportation infrastructure. Providing a rest area, increasing cell coverage, and providing information on our Alaska Highway will be a benefit to our important economic drivers, including tourism. Those of us who live and travel in our region know how vital the addition of this new rest area is and appreciate the cooperation of all involved to make it happen.” According to the District, more plans are underway to transform the area into a fully functioning rest stop, including picnic tables, a cellphone booster tower, and informational signage about the area and highway.The new facility was developed under the ‘Gotta Go’ pilot project in partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, along with Northern B.C. Tourism and other various partners.
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday announced a list of TMC candidates for all the 42 Lok Sabha seats of the state, dropping 10 sitting MPs. She also attacked the BJP and the Modi government, claiming she had information that “VVIPs” were using helicopters and chartered flights to transport money to bribe voters. Releasing the list, the West Bengal leader assailed the Centre over a host of issues including the Rafale deal,farm distress and shrinking employment opportunities. Banerjee, also the TMC supremo, said the outgoing TMC lawmakers whose names do not figure in the list will be drafted for party work. She said 41 per cent of the nominees in the list are women. The TMC, she said, will also contest some seats in Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar and the Andamans.