Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Assistant Secretary Len Wolfson; General Counsel J. Paul Compton, Jr.; HUD Secretary Ben Carson; Assistant Secretary of Administration Suzanne Israel Tufts; and Chief Financial Officer Irv DennisThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has four new top leaders who are taking on key roles in the agency at the start of 2018 and during a critical recovery period following last year’s devastating hurricanes.HUD Secretary Ben Carson administered the oath of office to the following individuals recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate: J. Paul Compton, Jr. to become HUD’s General Counsel; Suzanne Israel Tufts to be Assistant Secretary for the Office of Administration; Leonard Wolfson as Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations; and Irving Dennis to serve as Chief Financial Officer.“Today, our bench got a lot deeper,” said Secretary Carson. “These four outstanding individuals bring substantial experience to HUD at a moment when our Department is being called upon to excel as we support millions of our fellow citizens recovering from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”J. Paul Compton, Jr. will lead HUD’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) which provides advice and services to all HUD programs and activities. OGC represents the department in litigation and enforcement actions; provides legal services in the development, preparation and presentation of the Department’s legislative initiatives; has primary responsibility for the development of HUD program regulations; represents the department in multifamily finance transactions; and assists in the development of HUD programs and policies.Assistant Secretary Suzanne Israel Tufts will lead HUD’s Office of Administration tasked with delivering administrative support and customer service to HUD employees nationwide. As HUD’s Chief Administrative Officer, Tufts will oversee the Department’s human resources, contract procurement and training needs.As HUD’s Assistant Secretary of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Len Wolfson will serve as the principal advisor to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and senior staff on legislative affairs, Congressional relations, and policy matters affecting Federal, state and local governments, as well as public and private stakeholders.Irv Dennis is HUD’s Chief Financial Officer responsible for employing sound financial management practices across all of the agency’s program areas. Dennis will oversee the accounting, budget and financial management for the agency’s budget and appropriations including processing millions of transactions each year to support HUD’s mission. Related Articles The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save HOUSING HUD mortgage 2018-01-15 Nicole Casperson Sign up for DS News Daily The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Nicole Casperson is the Associate Editor of DS News and MReport. She graduated from Texas Tech University where she received her M.A. in Mass Communications and her B.A. in Journalism. Casperson previously worked as a graduate teaching instructor at Texas Tech’s College of Media and Communications. Her thesis will be published by the International Communication Association this fall. To contact Casperson, e-mail: [email protected] Subscribe January 15, 2018 1,478 Views Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Tagged with: HOUSING HUD mortgage HUD: Carson Delivers Oath of Office to Four New Leaders Previous: Mortgage Capital Trading Announces New Leadership Next: American Mortgage Diversity Council Welcomes New Members About Author: Nicole Casperson Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / HUD: Carson Delivers Oath of Office to Four New Leaders
Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Magazine, News, Print Features, Technology Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Protecting Borrowers Through Tech Tagged with: FinTech Print Features Protecting Borrowers Through Tech July 1, 2018 6,719 Views Phil Britt started covering mortgages and other financial services matters for a suburban Chicago newspaper in the mid-1980s before joining Savings Institutions magazine in 1992. When the publication moved its offices to Washington, D.C. in 1993, he started his own editorial services firm and continued to cover mortgages, other financial services subjects, and technology for a variety of websites and publications. Print This Post Home / Daily Dose / Protecting Borrowers Through Tech Related Articles About Author: Phil Britt Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the July issue of DS News, out now.Mortgage servicing technology has taken some giant leaps in the last year. Tech and mortgage experts have been joining forces to push past the current boundaries of doing business with the aim of strengthening in-house efficiencies, providing faster and more seamless connections for customers to make payments on their mortgage, or staying compliant with the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection rules.Some of these technology transitions have been made by other industries many years ago, but for one reason or another, have not transitioned into the mortgage sphere. “Mortgage servicing has been based on outdated technology like mainframes, COBOL, etc., it has been slow to enter the millennial footprint,” Bryce Elliott, Chief Technology Officer for SunTrust Mortgage shared. The company is servicing approximately 900,000 loans.“The primary origination and servicing platforms have been around for a number of years and continue to provide a huge value to the market,” Steve Comer, Financial Services Sales Director at Hyland added. “Updates to platforms of this scale don’t come without a significant investment in both time and cost, and when the market is moving as fast as it is currently, it’s challenging for these platforms to make changes on a global level. So while many core technologies are updating parts and pieces of the platform, it still leaves large portions of the application operating on technology that is quickly becoming outdated. This current state is forcing servicing vendors to evaluate whether to buy, build, or partner with third-party providers to advance the capabilities of their platform and remain competitive.”“A combination of accumulated technology debt at banks, the shift of focus towards the customer experience, open APIs, mobile, and fintech have all combined to disrupt the traditional mortgage business model recently,” Tyrone Canaday, a Managing Director with Protiviti added. “Today, the ability for mortgage fintechs to leverage alternative data sources to do underwriting and create lending services that are user-friendly, quick and efficient is gaining new momentum with customers.”Though many of the technologies that mortgage services companies are using have been around for a while, much of their implementation in the industry has been relatively recent, with many firms upgrading their technology, particularly in the last year, according to several experts.“Mortgage technology for servicing has become digital, user-friendly, and available,” Brent Rasmussen, EVP and CIO for Carrington Mortgage Holdings said. “Consumers are much more comfortable with digital self-service items.”Below is a look at the digital and other technologies that mortgage servicing experts say are making positive impacts on their businesses and their customers.Digital DocumentationThe move to digital documentation has been progressing for many years, but in the last couple, the evolution has taken a quantum leap, according to Rasmussen. Now rather than just scanning documents as they come into the enterprise, the servicers are receiving digitized files from lenders, which is critical not only for speed and efficiency but also for compliance.“Mortgage technology has come a long way in providing more consistency and transparency through the lending process,” Hyland’s Comer adds. “Much of the advancements made in this area have been done out of necessity because of the impact of compliance requirements over the last several years. Lenders now have more data than ever at their disposal from the very start of the origination process, allowing them to make better lending decisions. The accessible data allows them to review a wealth of metrics related to their consumer pool—from at-risk DI ratios, at-risk credit levels, consumer metrics in certain regions, key LTV ratios, etc.—that ultimately result in a stronger loan portfolio, thereby reducing the potential for past-due loans or defaults.”With digital documentation, mortgage servicers have been able to incorporate digital onboarding of accounts, which wasn’t possible before because servicers didn’t have electronic documentation for prior payments to other servicers, updated appraisal, escrow, title, and other information, according to Rasmussen. “Now that everything is digital, we can do that, making things more seamless for the borrower. The consumer has benefitted from a lot of these changes.”Automation/Machine LearningWhile servicers have used digital processes as they became available, there were still many manual processes, which have given away to more comprehensive automation only relatively recently, Rasmussen says. “A bot does the same thing every single time, so it eliminates errors. When used properly, it changes the efficiency and the accuracy of the industry. We have them in production now. This is a tool that can be used in numerous instances. It’s a rules-driven process. Robots in process automation will be a game-changer in our industry.”Since the bots handle many processes, there is no need to have human staff after “business hours,” yet customers can still receive most of the services they need, Rasmussen adds.“Automation is allowing loan officers, buyers, sellers and title companies to interact at lightning speed,” Lynn Black, Marketing Manager for LiquidVZN Group, LLC said. “The acceptance of mobile notaries by mortgage companies is making the closing process even easier for buyers and sellers, especially when the parties are in different states. Portals can now notify all parties involved within seconds of a new submission, limiting human error and making the sale efficient. This same automation can make payment processing a breeze for both the borrow and the accounting department.”“From the lender’s point of view, the largest contributor to the cost of loan production is still personnel,” Comer said. “Technologies that effectively cut down on the number of people required to interact with the loan process, duplication of data, ‘stare and compare,’ etc. are going to have an enormous impact on the bottom line to generate a loan. Much of the cost involved still revolves around the gathering of documents and validation of data to ensure the loans are meeting all requirements. Technologies that allow automation of gathering, extracting and validating all of the necessary data will provide a rapid ROI.”With everything, from coupon rates to loan performance information to payment characteristics all readily available, a servicer can now better predict delinquencies and be more proactive when pursuing loss mitigation strategies, Rasmussen says.Easily Accessible ToolsIt used to be that to do almost anything data analytics; a servicer had to have expensive hardware and software and technically adept staff that knew how to run algorithms, queries and could understand complex readouts, according to Rasmussen. Now, however, there are some easy, inexpensive tools from Microsoft, Google, and others that someone can use with almost no technical or data background.Simplicity was also the idea behind the redesign and renaming of Quicken Loans’ website previously called MyQL, now branded Rocket Mortgage, to build on the marketing campaign around that brand for origination and use it for servicing as well, Nicole Beattie, Quicken Loans VP of Servicing shared.“Now customers never feel a handoff when they move from origination to servicing,” Beattie explained. “We did a complete overhaul of our website to provide the servicing information that is important from a customer perspective. We’re constantly looking at things through a client lens. We’ve added a nice interface, using a ‘tile’ approach.”One tile is estimated value, which shows the property’s estimated current value. The key here is that the borrower can see if the property is rising in value over time, declining or holding its own.Another tile offers escrow information, including detailed information about how escrow is calculated, disbursed, etc.An easy-to-use mortgage calculator is another feature. Though mortgage amortization calculators are far from new, the Quicken Loans one shows not just simple loan amortization schedules and payment differences for different loan amounts and varying interest rates, Beattie says. “It takes someone step-by-step through the process. They can see how much they can save if they make additional payments, they see how much they can save if they make bi-weekly payments rather than monthly payments.As with other technologies the company uses, the website redesign was handled in-house Beattie says.By making the servicing side simple for the customer, Quicken Mortgage expects to help encourage borrowers to return to the company for loans for subsequent homes, Beattie explains. “We want to provide our clients with the best possible web experience. This is where we can earn a client for life.”Similarly, simplicity for the servicer and borrowers was behind the combination of four different systems into the single SunTrust mobile app, Elliott says. Beyond basic mortgage information, borrowers can obtain escrow information, private mortgage insurance details, appraisal reports, as well as other related information.“We wanted to make what was complex very simple,” Elliott said.Additionally, many of the borrowers also have other SunTrust banking relationships, and now they can access them all from one source.“This provides them with a single version of the truth,” Elliott said.Tools that are changing the way mortgage professionals approach servicing, include those targeted in the following areas:Digital Connectivity: Servicers want to make it as easy as possible for borrowers to make payments, whether it be through a mobile app, via a desktop connection or through the traditional mailed check. Quicken Loans has taken that idea one step further. Borrowers with mortgages from Quicken Loans can now tell Amazon’s Alexa to make a mortgage payment, Beattie says. The company is working on similar capabilities with Google Home, Siri, and others. Improved Pricing Transparency: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for some time had been providing the largest secondary market companies full details about specified portfolio pools online, but now is offering that same information to mid-tier companies, such as Churchill Mortgage, says Tom Gillen, the company’s SVP of capital markets. “This is giving the smaller guys a boost.” It also provides them with the detail they need to compete on an even playing field for these loans. Yet many in the secondary market don’t take advantage of this new capability, according to Gillen. “A lot of people get into a rut working with the same aggregator all of the time.” Digital Marketing: In an area where other industries have led the way, secondary market firms are now turning to more digital marketing efforts, leveraging tools like Google AdWords, retargeting and Analytics to pinpoint the best prospects, Whitney Blessington, Churchill VP of Marketing, said. Investors and other partners are moving into the digital realm much like consumers, so servicers and others in the mortgage business need to market to them the same way they do to consumers.Tech Never SleepsThough mortgage servicing technology has evolved rapidly, particularly in the last couple of years, there’s still more technology that will come into play in the next few years, according to Rasmussen. Some closings documents, loan servicing files, ancillary payment information, property liens and some other details still come into a servicing organization or loan originator as paper documents. Getting the providers of those documents to deliver them electronically “is like wrestling in the mud,” according to Rasmussen. “When that changes, everything will become more accurate and available. It’s something everyone [in the mortgage industry] is chasing.”Quicken Loans is working on a technology with the working title “Rocket Mod” that would help consumers at risk of foreclosure to reach out for help more quickly so that they can work out the best solution, be it a modification, short sale or something else.Similarly, SunTrust Mortgage is developing its online modification program to help the servicer as well as borrowers to attempt to quickly address any shocks like those that occurred in 2007-2008, Elliott commented. “When it happened, all of the lenders and the servicers were very reactionary. We had to act quickly. From a technology standpoint, we were working with very complex software stacks. It’s been important to improve our processes.”“Mortgage technology can only go so far in resolving a problem after the problem has reared its ugly head,” Hyland’s Comer says. “But getting and staying ahead of the issue will allow companies to better manage their portfolios and reduce the potential bad debt.”“Technology can make communication with borrowers easier than ever, and this should be the case with past due loans,” Black recommended. “Mortgage companies can reach out to past due loans via direct email with reminders and even automated emails to suggest refinancing or other options to assist the borrower through the algorithm, versus reach out by phone and other options. The world revolves around smartphones, and the mortgage industry should be embracing this as well.” Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: Secretary Carson on Healthy Homes and Healthy Lives Next: The Week Ahead: Checking in With the Fed FinTech Print Features Protecting Borrowers Through Tech 2018-07-01 Phil Britt
ColumnsMarital Rape- Has The Law In India Made Sufficient Progress? Gagan Gupta2 July 2020 2:46 AMShare This – xThe issue of marital rape has perplexed the law makers and the society alike, since time immemorial, across the world. Marital rape was eventually criminalized in most of the countries as they realized that sexual intercourse within a marriage cannot be regarded as a right of a spouse. As per a Report published by India Today Web Desk on 12.03.2016, India is one of the 36 countries…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe issue of marital rape has perplexed the law makers and the society alike, since time immemorial, across the world. Marital rape was eventually criminalized in most of the countries as they realized that sexual intercourse within a marriage cannot be regarded as a right of a spouse. As per a Report published by India Today Web Desk on 12.03.2016, India is one of the 36 countries where marital rape is not criminalized as on date. We are in the company of nations like Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Bahrain, Syria and Sudan. As is being detailed in this write up, what we have still been able to achieve so far in our country is that unnatural sex or use of pervert means by a husband with his wife may amount to rape if it is without her consent, but forceful natural sex by a husband with his wife is yet to be criminalized. Commonly understood, marital rape or spousal rape is the act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent or against will. Lack of consent is the essential element. Progress of law in India can be traced back to two distinct phases – first, prior to the 2013 amendment to the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (“IPC”), and second, post the said amendment. Prior to the 2013 amendment, Section 375 IPC defined rape as sexual intercourse with a woman under any of the six circumstances mentioned in the said Section. Essentially, if the act of sexual intercourse with a woman was against her will or without her consent or was under any misconception or fear, the man was guilty of rape. If the woman was under 16 years of age, even consent was immaterial. Exception to Section 375 IPC provided that sexual intercourse by a man with his wife, wife not being under 15 years of age, was not rape. A set of petitions was filed in the Supreme Court of India, since the year 1997, inter alia praying that it be declared that “sexual intercourse” as contained in Section 375 IPC shall include all forms of penetration such as penile/vaginal penetration, penile/oral penetration, penile/anal penetration, finger/vaginal and finger/anal penetration and object/vaginal penetration. The said petitions came to be decided by the Supreme Court of India in its Judgment dated 26 May 2004 reported as 2004 (5) SCC 518 Sakshi V/s Union of India. The Supreme Court held that it was not persuaded to enlarge the definition of rape as given in Section 375 IPC. The Supreme Court expressed its hope and trust that the Parliament will make appropriate legislation in this regard. At the cost of being reminded at this stage of one of the most barbaric acts against the person of a woman, it needs to be stated here that it took the happening of the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder for the Parliament to wake up and constitute the Justice J.S.Verma Committee which gave a report in record time and formed the basis of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013 which accepted some recommendations of the Committee. However, the recommendation of criminalizing marital rape was still not accepted. One consequence of the amendment of 2013 was the change of definition of rape in Section 375 IPC. As per the amended definition, a man is said to commit rape not only if he indulges in sexual intercourse against the will or consent of a woman or by placing her under any fear or misconception, but also if he indulges in acts of perversity against the person of a woman. Essentially, the amended definition of rape conforms to the prophetic prayer in Sakshi batch of petitions. Coming back to the issue of marital rape, even after the 2013 Amendment, Exception 2 to Section 375 IPC read that sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his wife is not rape (if the wife is above 15 years of age). Another batch of Writ Petitions came to be decided by the Supreme Court of India on 11 October 2017 reported as 2017 (10) SCC 800 Independent Thought V/s. Union of India, in which the Supreme Court held that Exception 2 to the now-amended Section 375 IPC needs to be read in a manner that for the said exception to be available to a husband, the wife has to be above 18 years of age and thus the threshold age of 15 years prescribed by the 2013 amendment was struck down and replaced. However in this judgment as well, stalemate as to marital rape and its criminalization remained, as the Supreme Court clarified, and rightly so, that the issue of marital rape was not before it and thus the same was not being decided. A set of Writ Petitions, with the lead matter being W.P.(C) 284 of 2015 RIT Foundation V/s Union of India, in which the prayer essentially is to criminalize marital rape, is presently pending hearing and adjudication in the High Court of Delhi. The challenge is primarily based on Exception 2 to Section 375 IPC being unconstitutional and violative of fundamental rights of married women under Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India (Ref.: Order dated 18.07.2017 of the High Court of Delhi in WP(C) No. 284/2015). Now let me come to a silver lining among the dark clouds. There is an overwhelming misconception that Exception 2 as it is exists in Section 375 IPC grants absolute immunity to a husband from prosecution for any act against the person of his wife which would otherwise constitute rape under Section 375 IPC. A careful reading of Exception 2 reveals that the immunity is only for sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a husband with his wife (with wife being more than 18 years of age). In Sakshi, the Supreme Court has defined “Sexual Intercourse” as heterosexual intercourse involving natural intercourse between a man and a woman, adopting the dictionary meaning, thus the expression of immunity used in Exception 2 has to be given a restrictive meaning and is not to be applied across the board to the entire definition of rape in Section 375 IPC. In any case an exception is always subservient to the main provision [2004 (6) SCC 672 Maulavi Hussein Haji Abraham Umarji Vs. State of Gujarat and Another]. In other words Exception 2 to Section 375 IPC as it exists today does not grant any immunity to a husband from prosecution for (marital) rape if he commits any such pervert act against the person of his wife which has been defined as rape in Section 375, other than sexual intercourse and sexual acts (as defined in Sakshi), even if the wife is above 18 years of age. This interpretation of the scheme of the statute, for which reference may also be had to other provisions such as Section 376-B IPC and Section 376-C IPC, has recently found favor with the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur. The High Court, in its Judgment dated 11.06.2020 in CRR No. 1415 of 2019 N. V/s. State of Chhattisgarh, has accepted the plea of the victim based on the above interpretation, at the prima facie stage of framing of charge against the accused-husband in a case involving allegations of unnatural sexual intercourse and insertion of external objects by a husband on the person of his wife. I wish to repeat that India is still one of the very few countries who have not criminalized marital rape. A glimpse of how the Union of India views the matter is found in the Counter Affidavit filed by them in the Supreme Court in Independent Thought, in which, as recorded in the Judgment dated 11.10.2017, it is apprehended by the UOI that criminalization of marital rape cannot be brought about in view of socio economic conditions of the country. This, in my opinion, is not a valid circumstance or reason, particularly if we wish to view the Indian society as progressive rather than regressive. This reasoning is in fact just the opposite- in view of prevailing socio-economic conditions in our country, where oppression of a large part of women population and violence against them within their household is commonly known, criminalization of marital rape is all the more essential. All the more so, if the system really intends to effectively recognize fundamental rights, as enshrined in the Constitution of India, without any discrimination between men and women. It needs to be understood that the IPC, providing immunity against marital rape, is a statute of the year 1860 and India has travelled more than 160 years ever since. I am reminded of the Judgment dated July 01, 1983 of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in T.Sareetha V/s. T.Venkata Subbaiah (A.I.R 1983 A.P. 356) by way of which Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was struck down as being offensive of inviolability of the body and the mind and of the integrity by invading marital privacy and domestic intimacies of a person. It was held that the provision for restitution of conjugal rights was essentially a law compelling sexual intercourse. I may say no more about the right of a wife- to her dignity, to her person, to her body, and to her will and consent for sexual intercourse including the right to refuse. To quote from the judgment, Justice P.A. Choudary, author of the judgment, had said: “..any plausible definition of right to privacy is bound to take human body as its first and most basic reference for control over personal identity. Such a definition is bound to include body’s inviolability and integrity and intimacy of personal identity including marital privacy.” It is another matter that the High Court of Delhi in the same year gave a contrary judgment in Harvinder Kaur V/s. Harmandar Singh Chowdhary on 15.11.1983 [AIR 1984 DELHI 66] upholding the validity of a decree of restitution of conjugal rights, which judgment was upheld by the Supreme Court of India in Saroj Rani Vs Sudarshan Kumar Chadha [A.I.R 1984 SC 1562], overruling T.Sareetha. Nonetheless, we are still 37 more years down the road! I may endeavour to give one more suggestion before I conclude. It is true that possible misuse of a provision is a theory which is neither here nor there and has time and again been discarded by the Supreme Court, so the Parliament ought not to take the refuge of any such theory here. My suggestion is, instead of providing absolute immunity to a husband in cases of marital rape, the Parliament may consider criminalizing marital rape though with lesser stringent sentencing provision than is otherwise provided for rape. In fact a glimpse of the same is already visible in Section 376-B IPC where sexual intercourse by a husband with his wife living separately, without her consent, is punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than two years but extendable to seven years. The Courts will of course do a good job of deciding every such case on its own facts by separating the grain from the chaff and will adopt a suitable sentencing policy based on the nature of proved allegations in each such case.Views are personal only. (The author is an Advocate-on-Record practicing in the Supreme Court of India since the year 2000 and had represented the victim in the referred case decided by the High Court of Chhattisgarh at Bilaspur by Judgment dated 11.06.2020 in CRR No. 1415 of 2019 N. V/s. State of Chhattisgarh) Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
Sovernet Communications Acquires Majority Interest in Albany, NY-based IONBELLOWS FALLS, VT (August 14, 2008) — Sovernet Communications, a subsidiary of Atlantic Tele-Network (ATNI-NASDAQ), has announced it has acquired a majority interest in Albany, NY-based ION, a provider of high capacity communications network transport services, in partnership with twelve rural telephone companies in up-state New York.ION’s network, comprised of 2,200 miles of redundant SONET fiber-optic facilities, connects over 60 rural New York State communities such as Prattsburgh, Margaretville and Champlain to major communications hubs in Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Albany and New York City.ION was founded on the vision and investment of the affiliates of the Independent Telephone Companies that have been supporting customers in rural upstate New York for over 1,000 years collectively and will continue to hold a significant minority interest in the business.Rich Kendall, Sovernet’s President and CEO stated that “This investment fits nicely into our core strategy of delivering high quality network services to the traditionally underserved rural areas. We are very excited to be expanding into this new market with ION’s staff and its loyal customers.””ION’s staff and founders are very pleased to become partners with Sovernet and Atlantic Tele-Network. We believe their expertise, operational support, and financial backing will enhance ION’s capabilities to offer reliable, advanced communications services to carriers and institutions that do business in rural New York state.” says Jim Becker, ION’s Chief Executive Officer.
RELIANCE Masters used their experience to good effect to capture the Shivanandan Mandolall’s Memorial Softball title over their junior counterparts last Sunday at the Mainstay Lake Community Ground.After being invited to bat first in the 15- overs aside affair, Reliance Masters amassed 165-7, with Marvin Pearson smashing an impressive 42, containing three fours and four sixes.He received valuable support from Ravendra Mandolall (36) and Latchmikhant Narine (28). Trevis Simon (2-31) from three overs was Reliance Juniors’ most successful bowler.In reply,the juniors were well on course to getting to their target, as the Mandolall brothers Ravendra and Narendra provided a solid opening partnership of 78 in eight overs. However, once that partnership was broken, with Narendra being dismissed for 29, the scoring rate slowed significantly, and batting became a struggle.But Rovendra Parsram had other ideas, as he gallantly produced a stunning innings of 56, decorated with three fours and four sixes, in a losing cause.Ravendra Mandolall contributed 33, as the juniors reached 158-5 when their overs expired. Pearson claimed 2-34.Meanwhile,Reliance Sports Club had the better of a Select XI. In the six-over exhibition match, Reliance Sports Club batted first and posted 89,and then restricted the Select XI to 78.During the presentation, Ravendra Mandolall, brother of the late Shivanandan Mandolall,thanked the players and sponsors. Shivanandan Mandolall died in 2014 at the age of 31.
SIOUX CITY — Some Woodbury County citizens have filed petitions challenging the residency status of County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor.Petitioners accuse Taylor of moving into a Sioux City home that’s outside the district he was elected to represent, while listing another Sioux City home he owns that is in the district as his official address. Taylor says he’s done nothing wrong.“Nearly six months ago I made the situation known when asked by our county attorney and auditor and know that what I’ve done is legal and will stand,” Taylor says, “…I will look forward to a ruling on that.”A woman who has often run unsuccessfully for public office in Sioux City has filed a separate legal challenge of Taylor’s voter registration status, arguing he wasn’t a legal resident of the address he used to vote. Taylor is one of the Republicans running in the primary against Iowa Congressman Steve King.The county attorney has said he has a conflict of interest and the county has hired an outside attorney to provide legal advice during a hearing about Taylor’s voter registration. County officials will hold a separate hearing about the allegation Taylor does not live in the district he was elected to represent.
A local toddler has been found safe and sound, after his mother fled with him following a visit by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) to their home.According to the West Palm Beach Police Department, 24-year-old Jordan Heckelmoser disappeared with her 11-month-old son, Robert “Robbie” Gillis, after officials with DCF showed up at the home to take the child. Police say that DCF is Robbie’s court-ordered guardian.The police report states that Heckelmoser drove away in a rental newer model black Hyundai when officials with the state appeared at her home.An online post from the police department announced Sunday morning that the child has been located, but did not provide additional information.
The social media posts by the now dead mass shooter at the NAB in Pensacola, he “hated” America.Authorities are investigating the shooting at the Pensacola naval airbase that left three people dead and eight wounded as a possible act of terrorism.A Saudi pilot training at Pensacola’s Naval Aviation Schools Command was fatally shot by a sheriff’s deputy during the rampage Friday.Second Lt. Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, of the Royal Saudi Air Force was the sole shooter, armed with a legally purchased 9mm Glock handgun and several extra magazines, and no arrests have been made in the case, FBI special agent in charge Rachel Rojas said Sunday.Rojas also said investigators were still trying to determine a motive for Friday’s attack.“We work, as we do with most active shooter investigations, with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism,” Rojas said at a Sunday news conference. However, she said the “investigation has not led us to any information that indicated any credible threat to our community.”Rojas said investigators were probing whether the shooter acted alone or within a network or whether “any possible ideology” prompted the attack.Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the shooter somebody with “deep-seated hatred for the United States,” who should have been vetted by both the American and Saudi militaries.Hours before the shooting, tweets purportedly written by the suspect railed against the United States for its support of Israel and for stationing troops at bases in Saudi Arabia. Rojas declined to confirm the tweets came from the Saudi military trainee.The Associated Press reported one of the three students who attended the dinner later recorded video outside the building while the shooting was taking place. Two other Saudi students watched from a car, AP reported, citing a U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity after being briefed by federal authorities. The pistol used in the shooting was purchased “legally and lawfully” in Florida through a process that was open to “any foreign national,” Rojas said.“That’s a federal loophole that he took advantage of,” said DeSantis, adding that he would urge President Donald Trump and other federal decision makers to change policies that allow foreign nationals to arm themselves.Under U.S. code, foreign nationals who have been lawfully admitted to the U.S. can purchase and possess a gun under a few specific conditions: If they were admitted to the U.S. for lawful hunting or sporting purposes or if they are in possession of a U.S.-issued hunting license or permit If they are an official representative of a foreign government who is accredited with the U.S. government; if they are accredited with a government-partnered international organization headquartered in the U.S.; or if they are in transit to or from a country where they are accredited If they are an official of a foreign government or a distinguished foreign visitor as designated by the U.S. Department of State If they are a foreign law enforcement officer of a friendly foreign government entering the U.S. on official law enforcement businessThe FBI is investigating classmates’ claims that Alshamrani watched mass shooting videos in front of friends at his home just days before the deadly attack at Naval Air Base Pensacola. They believe it served as a way of psyching himself up. The FBI now poring through surveillance images and cell phone video from someone that recorded it nearby directly after his deadly rampage.
Throughout the year, the entity gives away bikes to underprivileged kids, the homeless, women reentering society from prison, recovering addicts in halfway houses and people living below the poverty line.In addition, Jack the Bike Man fixes bikes and hands them out to needy children and adults in the area, especially during the holidays. Two-thousand underprivileged children in Palm Beach County will receive a bike as an early Christmas gift this weekend.The giveaway is being conducted by Jack the Bike Man, a not-for-profit organization founded by Samuel H. “Jack” Hairston III in 2007.