The Industry Pulse: Updates on Ginnie Mae, MQMR, and More

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / The Industry Pulse: Updates on Ginnie Mae, MQMR, and More The Industry Pulse: Updates on Ginnie Mae, MQMR, and More Sign up for DS News Daily Previous: Revisiting California’s Camp Wildfire: The Long-Term Housing Impact Next: Angel Oak Mortgage Solutions Expands Lending Unit Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Related Articles Share Save Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Market, Technology Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: Ginnie Mae industry pulse Technology The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Ginnie Mae industry pulse Technology 2019-05-16 Seth Welborncenter_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago May 16, 2019 1,043 Views Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post About Author: Seth Welborn From key hires and promotions to new technologies, catch the latest happenings in the industry in this update.Ginnie Mae announced Adetokunbo Lofinmakin was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and named CFO and Thomas Young was named the new Director of Counterparty Risk Management.Lofinmakin was serving as the acting CFO since January 2018. She will continue to report to Acting President Maren Kasper and Young will report Greg Keith, SVP and Chief Risk Officer.“Both [Lofinmakin] and Greg bring deep expertise to Ginnie Mae in their respective fields,” Kasper said. “Each will serve in a role that is critical to maintaining the sound financial foundation of our mortgage-backed securities (MBS) program. As we continue to evolve to meet the challenges of today’s operating environment, we look forward to their leadership contributions to the agency.”As CFO, Lofinmakin oversees the preparation of financial reports in accordance with the standards of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB), Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circulars. In addition, she manages all accounting operations for Ginnie Mae’s $2.0 trillion MBS portfolio, including applying financial management policies and procedures, preparation of the annual budget, accounting systems oversight, cash management, investment services, audit readiness, and enhancing internal controls over financial reporting.___________________________________________________________________________The California-based mortgage compliance service provider, Mortgage Quality Management and Research, (MQMR) has announced the appointment of Jeff Christensen as its VP of Sales. In this role, Christensen will be responsible for leading sales, driving new business opportunities and expanding awareness of the MQMR brand in the market.“Compliance is one of the main core competencies upon which MQMR hangs its hat, and to have someone that has been as deeply immersed in mortgage compliance as Jeff Christensen is a tremendous win for our organization,” Michael Steer, President at MQMR said. “It took me more than two years and countless interviews to find the right fit for our unique corporate culture, and I look forward to seeing the next phase of MQMR’s growth with such a talented and knowledgeable individual like Jeff leading the way.”Christensen brings more than 10 years of mortgage compliance experience to MQMR, having served as both the CFO and CEO of Mortgage Compliance Advisors (MCA), of which he was a founding member in 2008. MCA was a residential mortgage outsource provider for quality control and risk management solutions with more than 400 clients. When MCA was acquired in 2014, Christensen worked with the executive team to continue to improve and grow the combined business.___________________________________________________________________________Verifyd’s new bidder app will allow prospective buyers to participate in foreclosure auctions remotely.“For over 100 years, the foreclosure process in our state, and country, has barely changed, completely shutting out technology,” Verifyd CEO Mike Watkins said in a release. “We all live busy lives today, which means many interested buyers miss out on foreclosure purchases due to their inability to be physically present at the courthouse. It has been our dream to open this process up in a way that is both legally compliant and accessible to people everywhere.”“I personally believe that the 2008 financial crisis would have been averted if this technology was in place at the time,” Watkins said. “By making sure that the foreclosure auction process is transparent and open to all those interested in buying the property, the lenders are ensured they receive fair market value for the property. Really, it’s a win-win for all parties involved.”The app, currently available only for the Atlanta area, is set to eventually roll out across the rest of the state. Buyers can bid without participating as well, by setting a maximum bid before the auction begins, as the app will bid in their place automatically. Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days agolast_img read more

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Suite 2004: Not your average roommates

first_imgIt was an unusual day for freshman Yash Bhartia. Suite 2004 was a little quiet, and still a bit unfamiliar. For the first time in his life, Bhartia felt the full weight of his distance from home sink in. He had left everything behind — his friends, family and loved ones — to pursue his education at a university more than 7,000 miles away from home in Guwahati, India. He missed it — the fragrant smell of turmeric in the air, the heat pressed against his skin and the taste of the pav bhaji, a vegetable curry and bread dish, that his mom made often.So, he got out of bed. He convinced his suitemates Lance and Richard to come with him to Jitlada, a restaurant he had been dying to try since coming to USC. After eating the spiciest chicken curry in Los Angeles and watching his suitemates cry from the heat, Yash was glad he got a small taste of home — and that Lance and Richard did too. That spontaneous adventure was just the beginning for Suite 2004.Yash Bhartia and his seven suitemates — Paulo Dela Cruz, Alvin Li, Daniel Xu, Lance Azusada, Jack Zhao, Richard Xian and Talman Fortune  — have found a home with each other, despite coming from eight different backgrounds.Chinese, Filipino, Indian, white, gay, straight — those are just some of the unique identities that these eight suitemates carry. Those identities have shaped and strengthened the boys’ friendships with one another.Though none of them originally applied to live at the International Residential College, the eight freshmen ended up together through randomized housing assignments. “It was very interesting meeting all of my suitemates,” Azusada said. “I come from Palmdale, where the majority of people I knew were Hispanic or black, so it was amazing coming to USC and living with people from so many different places and backgrounds.”At first, these differences weren’t apparent. As a 17-year-old from Guam, Dela Cruz didn’t think much of the people he would later call his suitemates. For all his life, he had grown up with the same people — some Filipino, some Chamorro, the indigenous people who live on the island. Familiarity was a way of life on the island, but after arriving at the University, he realized that things were about to change. Living with a group of strangers from all different corners of life was a new and strange experience for him. And differences had to be set aside. “There’s been a lot of lessons learned during my short time here,” Dela Cruz said. “I knew there were things I had to change about myself to figure out my way in college.”Dela Cruz knew there were things he needed to sort out with his suitemates. He knew himself too well to dismiss his own identity to the people he was living with. It was the little things, from his faded purple hair to the way he dressed, and he understood that he needed to remain true to himself in order to mature. So, after being out to his friends and family, he decided that it was time to come out to his suitemates.Initially, things were awkward. Coming from India, Bhartia found it difficult to understand his suitemate’s circumstance. He experienced a new form of culture shock. He never had these conversations back home, where homosexuality is generally considered taboo.“At first, it was really difficult because there were just things that [Yash] wasn’t used to, especially because of his background,” Dela Cruz said. “I really wanted to show him that even though being gay is part of my identity, it does not define me.” After speaking together privately, the two emerged with a better understanding of one another’s identities. And according to Dela Cruz, “The dynamic is back again.” On the other hand, Azusada began to realize he identified more with his Filipino background than he previously thought. Azusada grew up in Historic Filipinotown without knowing any Tagalog. After moving to Palmdale during his formative years, he thought he had left behind a large part of his Filipino culture in exchange for “being Americanized.” “Living in Hi-Fi was pretty interesting,” he said. “[My parents] did not teach me any Tagalog, so it was tough being surrounded by people who were Filipino and knew Tagalog, and feeling less Filipino than them because of the language barrier.” Since coming to USC, Azusada has joined Dela Cruz in Troy Philippines, the only Filipino culture club on campus. Reconnecting with his culture, he was reminded of the values his family raised him with — Filipino values, to be precise. And for him, it’s the little things that matter.“I still take my shoes off when I come back into my room,” he said. “I ask my friends to do it as well whenever they visit. In the Philippines, there’s a lot of poverty, so a lot of Filipinos take cleanliness very seriously. I’m one of those people.”Xian didn’t come from one neighborhood like Azusada — he grew up all around the world, from China to Philadelphia to South Africa. One thing was certain though —he had never actually experienced Indian culture. Despite crying and sweating for several hours after trying a spicy curry dish at Bhartia’s insistence, he was not apprehensive about wanting to learn more about his suitemate.During the last weekend of October, he decided to spend Diwali with Bhartia. Diwali, which took place on Oct. 30, is a Hindu tradition that celebrates light and goodness. Though he did not wear any traditional garb, Xian took this opportunity to get to know his roommate better.“I asked questions about what people do on Diwali, how they dress,” Xian said. “I was interested, and from my experience, it was a lot of fun getting to learn more about Yash and his traditions.” Learning and understanding each other’s cultures was a common theme when it came to creating relationships in Suite 2004. After getting comfortable with each other, however, the suitemates went beyond learning to experiencing.Despite being Chinese, Xu made a conscious decision to join the Korean American Student Association with his suitemate Paulo. Like many other students who come to USC, KASA is a melting pot of identities — and it isn’t uncommon to have students of all different backgrounds, Asian or non-Asian. Participating in an annual competition called Dance Off, Xu began to learn more about not only Korean culture, but also those of many of his peers. He also reconnected with his own heritage.“Being away from family and not speaking Chinese as well some other people here made me realize that maybe it’s time for change,” Xu said. Xu has been looking into taking Chinese courses for spring semester. Though these steps are small, he hopes that he’ll be able to come out of college with a stronger connection to his family, and to his Chinese heritage.The eight attribute many of their learning experiences, about their own cultures and others, to each other. “My suitemates and IRC have taught me a lot, and also have driven me to be a better student,” Azusada said. “Coming here, I had a lot of stereotypes and expectations about what I thought USC would be like. But everything’s been very different from what I anticipated, and I’m glad that my suitemates have shaped my experience as a student here in some way.”There seems to never be a dull night in Suite 2004. Since becoming suitemates, the eight have learned a lot about each other, from Bhartia’s obsession with American television to Li’s extreme study habits. It’s not only the way they live, but also the conversations they’ve had together, that truly allowed their relationships to grow beyond IRC. “We can go hours on end talking to each other about literally anything and everything,” Xian said. “On some nights, we just gather in Daniel and Yash’s room to eat and talk about life for probably about three hours until we realize that we should have done our homework.” Like any other first-year students and their roommates, the eight have created a dynamic friendship together. For them, it isn’t just about going to parties together (though they still do) or being around each other all the time. Even though their majors and extracurricular activities all differ from one another, they share one thing in common — their excitement to come back home to IRC every night. “We might be the same, and we might be different in some ways,” Xian said. “But we see each other beyond our beliefs and our cultures. We see each other as suitemates, as friends and as people.”last_img read more

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Close competition for English schools’ titles

first_img28 Jun 2012 Close competition for English schools’ titles Dulcie Sverdloff and Calum Hannay are the new English schools champions – both winning their titles at The Kendleshire, Gloucestershire, with sub-par scores and by the narrowest of margins. Dulcie, (image © Tom Ward) from Garon Park in Essex, was three-under par for the 36 holes and won on countback from the 2011 champion Sophie Keech of Lyme Regis. “It’s great to win such a big title and to score so well,” said Dulcie, who was four-under for her second round. This is her second success of the year, having already won the British Colleges Sport national title. Calum Hannay, from Mendip Spring in Somerset, was one-under par for the day and also won on countback, from Billy Spooner of Boston. Calum also saved his best for last, shooting two-under in the afternoon. This was the first time an Avon Schools’ player has won the championship in the 32 years they have been taking part. The win underlines a successful June for Calum who has already had a victory in the South West Counties U16 Championship. Leading girls’ scores Par 72 CSS 71 72 141 Dulcie Sverdloff (Garon Park/Seevic College) 73 68; Sophie Keech (Lyme Regis/Millfield) 70 71 143 Inci Mehmet (Wentworth/The Tiffin Girls) 71 72 145 Alice Hewson (Berkhamsted/Berkhamsted) 73 72; Shelby Smart (Knowle SGS Filton College) 69 76 146 Emily Mae Hall (Notts Ladies/Frederick gent) 72 74 148 Emily Coleman (Trentham/Denstone College) 72 76 Sverdloff, Keech, Mehmet, Hewson, Smart and Hall will represent England in the annual schools’ international against Scotland. Sverdloff, Keech and Coleman have been selected for the international against Wales. A place has been reserved for the English U16 schools champion. Leading boy’s scores Par 71 CSS 71 71 141 Calum Hannay (Mendip Spring/Blackwell) 72 69; Billy Spooner (Boston/Kirton Middlecott) 142 Andrew Horgan (Wentworth/Magna Carta) 73, 69; James Dobbs (Forest Hill/Hartpury College) 72 70; Chris Handy (South Moor/St Bede’s RC) 72 70; George Bloor (Cavendish/Chapel-en-le-Frith) 71 71 143 Liam Taylor (Sherwood Forest/Garibaldi) 70 73 144 Kieran Waters (Carlisle/Lee Westwood College) 75 69; Joshua Fletcher (Luffenham heath/Millfield) 71 73; Daniel Sutton (Walsall/Streetley Academy) 71 73 146 Jack Singh Brar (Brokenhurst Manor/Hampshire Collegiate) 76 70; Steven Robins (Hull/Nolfreton) 73 73 The above boys will all represent England in the annual schools’ international against Scotland. Spooner, Horgan, Joshua Knight (Avon), Dominic Knight (Hampshire), Ian Stirling (Lancashire) and Mark Fosker (Suffolk) have been selected for the international against Wales. Places have been reserved for the English schools U16 champion and runner-up.last_img read more

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Steve Kerr on his Durant-less lineup: ‘Let’s go out there and let it rip’

first_imgKlay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!HOUSTON – As a thunderstorm hovered over this city, Warriors coach Steve Kerr met with his players on Thursday to discuss something else that has formed a dark cloud.How do the Warriors win with Kevin Durant staying sidelined with a strained right calf?“We’ll just find somebody on the bench who can give us 35 points, two blocks, 11 boards and nine assists,” Kerr …last_img read more

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South African firms ‘becoming more energy-savvy’

first_img10 March 2014The rising cost of electricity and increased demand on the national grid, along with the government’s introduction of a National Energy Efficiency Strategy, are encouraging South African businesses to implement energy-efficient initiatives and technologies, US-based business consultancy Frost & Sullivan said last week.New research from Frost & Sullivan, titled Energy Efficiency and Large South African Commercial Businesses, finds that South African companies are becoming more aware that reducing energy usage will lower operating expenditure, improve profit margins, and enhance both their brand image and their competitiveness in a country that is striving to become a carbon-neutral economy.In the 2013/14 financial year, according to the study, peak demand savings by large South African corporates grew to 141 megawatts (MW), from 22 MW in 2012/13.“The introduction of the National Energy Efficiency Strategy (NEES) by the South African government to achieve certain social, environmental and economic targets by 2015 is promoting energy efficiency and sustainable practices among businesses,” Frost & Sullivan’s head of energy and environment, Cornelis van der Waal, said in a statement.“The NEES aims to improve energy efficiency by 15 percent in the commercial sector, which currently uses nearly 10 percent of the country’s energy.”Van der Waal said South Africa’s commercial sector could begin by implementing simple measures such as monitoring lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning use, installing technologies like variable speed drives that have shorter payback periods, and using default energy-saving settings on computers.“There is already a growing interest in the replacement of halogen light bulbs with more efficient light-emitting diodes,” he said, adding that power utility Eskom was offering financial incentives for saving energy, real-time metering, training staff on energy efficiency, and planning energy management projects effectively.Large commercial businesses in South Africa could further cut down on energy consumption by investing in efficient motors, water heating systems, proper building management, and regular maintenance. Conducting energy-saving audits would also help companies establish benchmarks and identify other areas in which they could save energy, the researchers said.They noted, however, that the of lack of staff with the requisite skills, as well as the high capital cost of energy-efficient equipment, was preventing companies from implementing energy management projects. In addition, most businesses still did not consider energy efficiency as a core function of their brand and operations.“To ensure that energy efficiency becomes a culture in South Africa, large commercial businesses should invest in initiatives that positively influence the perception of energy consumers and encourage the adoption of sustainable practices,” Van der Waal said. “They could then implement projects that will optimise resources and be most profitable for their particular business.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

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Golovkin and Alvarez deliver classic middleweight fight

first_imgGolovkin, who was making his Las Vegas debut, and Mexico’s biggest star Alvarez delivered on all levels as two of boxing’s pound-for-pound best met at the T-Mobile Arena Saturday in a highly-anticipated fight that was two years in the making.The evenly-matched fight ended in a draw which meant Kazakhstan’s Golovkin would keep his World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation belts.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We knew going into this it would be a war,” said Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez.Golovkin will earn a $3 million purse and Alvarez will make $5 million.  LATEST STORIES Canelo Alvarez (L) exchanges blows with Gennady Golovkin during their WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight championship fight at the T-Mobile Arena on September 16, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Gennady Golovkin retained his three world middleweight titles, fighting to a draw with Mexican star Canelo Alvarez in a showdown for middleweight supremacy that lived up the hype. AFP PHOTO / John GURZINSKIThree-belt champ Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez look set to rule the resurgent middleweight division for years to come after their 12-round slugfest Saturday which fittingly ended in a stalemate.“It was a great fight,” said boxing promoter Oscar De La Hoya. “This is one of the best fights we have seen in recent years.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Read Next MOST READ View comments Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Desiderio ends shooting slump with career game vs UE Golovkin has 19 straight title defences and now needs just one more victory to tie Bernard Hopkins for the most middleweight title defences in a row at 20.Golovkin waited a long time to get his first fight on boxing’s biggest stage in the United States. He has fought in 22 cities and seven different countries but never before in Sin City.This fight should have already happened and Golovkin had to push hard to get a deal. But it was left to marinate until there was no other option for Alvarez, who was fighting for just the second time over 155-pounds.Golovkin wasn’t going to let anything distract him while training for this fight. He even missed the birth of his daughter on September 8 because he was in the gym training for the fight. His wife, Alina, gave birth to the couple’s second child.While Golovkin plans to enjoy more time with his expanding family, Alvarez is going to take several months off.“I am going to rest for the rest of the year and we will fight again next year,” he said. Golovkin is considered one of the fittest athletes in boxing and he needed every ounce of that conditioning and every extra breath of air to withstand the force of Alvarez’s body and head punches. Alvarez says he would use his rematch clause for a second fight against knockout king Golovkin, who has now gone the distance his last two fights. In March, he had his streak of 23 consecutive knockouts snapped when he outpointed Daniel Jacobs.Some said Golovkin was showing his age as Jacobs had an unexpected surge over the final three rounds before losing by a narrow decision. Alvarez doesn’t think Golovkin is ripe for the picking but says he might have lost some of the fear factor.“He has a different power than others I have faced,” Alvarez said of Golovkin. “But he is not the monster everybody is talking about. I didn’t feel that.”ADVERTISEMENT PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH PLAY LIST 05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:40Pacquiao ready to go with week left before Thurman fight01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Gameslast_img read more

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10 months agoWATCH: Liverpool defender Van Dijk shuts down Sokratis in Salah row

first_imgWATCH: Liverpool defender Van Dijk shuts down Sokratis in Salah rowby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool defender Virgil van Dijk stepped in to end the halftime row between teammate Mohamed Salah and Arsenal defender Sokratis during Sunday’s 5-1 rout.The Reds centre-back and Gunners defender had to be separated as tempers flared, but the situation was quickly brought under control.Moments before the spat Sokratis could be seen walking off the pitch alongside Mohamed Salah, who netted Liverpool’s fourth goal from the penalty spot.It seems the Greek defender was angry Salah went down a little too easily in the penalty area and wanted last season’s Golden Boot winner to know all about it.Seeing Sokratis shouting at Salah, Van Dijk responded by running over to the Arsenal man and squaring up to him.Sokratis was picking on Mo Salah again for the penalty.Guess who promptly puts a lid on it? #LIVARS#LFC#VanDijkpic.twitter.com/9jU2XkQfML— Léon (@srijandeep) December 29, 2018 About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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End of an era as Japan’s beloved Akihito abdicates

first_imgTokyo: Emperor Akihito of Japan formally stepped down Tuesday, the first abdication for 200 years in the world’s oldest monarchy, as his son Naruhito prepared to take the Chrysanthemum Throne and usher in a new imperial era. In the “Room of Pine” in Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, the popular 85-year-old performed the abdication ritual in the presence of the imperial regalia — an ancient sword and sacred jewel that are considered to legitimise an emperor. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkIn his final speech, Akihito offered his “deepest heartfelt gratitude to the people of Japan” and said he would “pray for the peace and happiness of all the people in Japan and around the world.” Despite near-constant rain in Tokyo, several hundred wellwishers congregated outside the Palace during the historic ceremony attended by around 300 people, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and around a dozen members of the royal family. “I feel overwhelmed emotionally,” said a tearful Yayoi Iwasaki, a 50-year-old bank employee, standing outside the palace. “In the past, enthronements followed the death of emperors and people weren’t sure whether they should be happy and celebrating, but with this transition, I am sure that we can celebrate while welcoming the new era,” she said.last_img read more

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Congress has won elections in Delhi more times than it has faced defeat: Sheila

first_imgNEW DELHI: The Congress has won elections in Delhi more times than it has faced defeat, says former chief minister Sheila Dikshit though she does not want to speculate on the number of seats the party will win in the national Capital. She says she will be satisfied only if the party romps home in all seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi but a “clearer picture” on which party is leading in the city will emerge in the next 8-10 days.Eight-one-year-old Dikshit, who is involved in a keen contest in the North East Delhi seat against Delhi BJP chief and sitting MP Manoj Tiwari and AAP candidate Dilip Pandey, has been busy campaigning for the polls. “I never rest during daytime. I am contesting parliamentary elections after a long time but I am used to election campaigning. The most important thing is to reach out to the people,” said Dikshit. Also Read – Odd-Even: CM seeks transport dept’s views on exemption to women, two wheelers, CNG vehiclesDikshit, who opposed an alliance with the AAP, says, “The Congress is an old party. It has always fought on its own in Delhi and won (elections) more often than it lost. But that is the game of politics. So, I felt we should not ally with a party (AAP) which is confined to one area (Delhi).” She justifies her stand saying, “We are contesting in all seven seats. If an alliance had happened, we would have got 2-4 seats only.” Dikshit successfully led the Congress in the 1998, 2003 and 2008 Assembly polls, but the party suffered a rout in the 2013 elections under her. The Congress could not even open its account in the 2014 Lok Sabha and the 2015 Assembly elections. Asked about her rival Tiwari, she says, “I do not even know him.”last_img read more

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Commentary NFL lockout in full swing only matter of time before NBA

The NBA is changing. For one, there is an imminent lockout. Owners want to find ways to make even more money. Players are quite happy with the current collective-bargaining agreement, and who can blame them for wanting to keep a system that can net Travis Outlaw a four-year, $28 million contract and Amir Johnson $34 million over five years? That’s highway robbery. But the association is also seeing a changing of the guard in terms of its upper echelon of teams. The San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, who have combined to win 10 of the past 12 NBA titles, are officially in decline. Their championship dreams have been locked out. The No. 1-seeded Spurs were stunned by the upstart No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies in the opening round. The wheels on their Tim-Duncan-Manu-Ginobili-Tony-Parker machine have significant wear and tear. Rarely are all three healthy at once, and their roster lacks young talent. The Lakers were embarrassed in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. Kobe Bryant, L.A.’s fading superstar, must find away to reinvigorate himself, his team and the organization, especially considering the Lakers’ legendary coach, Phil Jackson, appears to have paced the sidelines for the last time. Boston’s loss at home to the Heat in Game 4 sealed its fate, as this was its last legitimate shot at another ring. Its bench has been transformed into an infirmary and it, too, probably will lose its title-winning coach, Doc Rivers, after the season. Of course, everything is cyclical in the NBA. Magic’s Lakers and Bird’s Celtics gave way to Isiah’s Pistons, who were eventually topped by Jordan’s Bulls. The Spurs started their run the year after Jordan’s second retirement in 1998, ironically after a lockout shortened the regular season to 50 games. So, who are the teams next in line to carry the NBA’s mantle? I give you the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Heat, spearheaded by their 2 1/2 superstars, will continue to attract other talented teammates to South Beach. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James are just hitting their peak years and should be even better in the future, after going through mutual struggles in year one of their grand experiment. Derrick Rose, the MVP, will continue his ascent to stardom and attempt to lead his defensive-minded Bulls back to their former glory, reached under His Airness. And finally, the Thunder, who not only play as if they love one another but perform in a town that loves them back. The parts are all there for a title run, but one question remains: Can Kevin Durant, the NBA’s scoring champ and the anti-LeBron, coexist with his headstrong, ultra-athletic point guard, Russell Westbrook? Fans may have to wait to see all of this unfold. It’s virtually certain there will be a lockout. Let’s hope it doesn’t last long enough to rob fans of seeing a new era of great basketball teams. read more

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