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Jumbo and FHA mortgage rates set record lows, juicing refinance demand

first_imgPeople wait to visit a house for sale in Floral Park, Nassau County, New York.Wang Ying | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images Potential homebuyers are still pulling back, despite low interest rates. Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 1% for the week but were 25% higher annually. Purchase mortgage demand has been falling pretty steadily over the past month, as home prices set new record highs and the supply of homes for sale is still incredibly lean.“After a solid stretch of purchase applications growth, activity decreased for the fifth time in six weeks, but has increased year-over-year for six straight months,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “2020 continues to overall be a strong year for the housing market.”Mortgage rates have been remarkably steady over the last several weeks, even more so than the bonds they historically follow. Whatever the election results, it does not appear that they will move rates dramatically.- Advertisement – Record low rates for both larger loans and low down-payment loans drove an increase in mortgage demand last week. Total mortgage application volume rose 3.8% compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.The demand was fueled by refinances, which rose 6% for the week and were 88% higher annually. The rates for jumbo loans, FHA loans and 15-year fixed loans set record lows, while the rate on the most popular loan, the 30-year fixed, saw really no change.The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 3.01% from 3.00%, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement – “While we’re not likely to see as big of a reaction this time around, it’s still the biggest potential market mover since March,” said Matthew Graham, CEO at Mortgage News Daily. “Keep in mind that if markets knew rates were going to go higher after the election, they’d already be there. Traders always do their best to get in position for whatever they think they can know about the future.”last_img read more

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Bachelor’s Tierra LiCausi Engaged 7 Years After Sean Lowe’s Season

first_img“I am forever grateful that our paths crossed. It still seems surreal, it feels like a lifetime of knowing you already!” she gushed in a June message to her now-fiancé. “I love you honeyyy and so excited to see/fulfill our next adventures together! #worththewait #ily.”Lowe, for his part, went on to marry Giudici, 34, in January 2014. The couple now share three children: sons Samuel, 4, and Isaiah, 2, and daughter Mia, 10 months.Listen to Here For the Right Reasons to get inside scoop about the Bachelor franchise and exclusive interviews from contestants “YES, YES & YES!!!!!! #worththewait #BecomingaBrown #ily,” the former reality star captioned her post, adding emojis of a brown heart and a diamond ring.Bachelor’s Tierra LiCausi Is Engaged 7 Years After Sean Lowe’s SeasonBachelor’s Tierra LiCausi Courtesy of Kevin Foley/ABCLiCausi later took to her Instagram Story to celebrate, promising that “more pictures and posts will come” on Thursday, November 6.“We are just trying to get back to the States & recoup from the sickness we had,” she added. “Thanks for everyone’s outreach, love & support. We are both over the moon & beyond excited for this journey together. #BecomingaBrown love y’all.”- Advertisement – The Las Vegas native is best known for her controversial stint on season 17 of the ABC reality dating series. She finished in sixth place, and Lowe, 36, chose Catherine Giudici as his winner.After Lowe sent her packing, LiCausi (who famously shouted, “I can’t control my eyebrows!” during her time on the show) showed off an engagement ring at the Women Tell All special in March 2013. She did not reveal her fiancé’s identity, and their relationship ended that September.Bachelor’s Tierra LiCausi Is Engaged 7 Years After Sean Lowe’s Season 1Tierra and Sean Lowe ABC/RICK ROWELLWhile the leasing consultant took a step back from the spotlight after her stint on reality TV, she began sharing her journey to find true love again via Instagram in December 2019 after meeting Brown.- Advertisement – Tierra LiCausi found The One! Seven years after vying for Sean Lowe’s heart — and causing a stir in the process — the Bachelor alum is engaged to Tyler Brooks Brown.LiCausi, 31, announced the news via Instagram on Wednesday, November 4, alongside a stunning photo of Brown on bended knee in Tulum, Mexico. Red rose petals and candles surrounded the couple as Brown proposed in a teepee-like structure outdoors.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

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GRAYL GeoPress Purifier bottle makes unclean water from wells and lakes drinkable » Gadget Flow

first_img– Advertisement – The GRAYL GeoPress Purifier bottle purifies and filters contaminated water in just eight seconds. In particular, it removes waterborne pathogens (viruses, bacteria, protozoan cysts), including Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, and more. With this incredible feature, you can purify water from hotel sinks, murky rivers, wells, lakes, and much more. This makes it a great travel gadget, so you can drink clean water anywhere. The GRAYL GeoPress Purifier bottle also improves the taste, smell, and clarity of water. The process is simple, too. Fill with water, press the lid down to begin purifying, and drink. This allows you to take it on the go with you without any complexity. It also features ergonomic comfort pads for non-slip, anti-fatigue pressing, allowing you to use it in all conditions and environments. Overall, this GoPress Purifier bottle holds up to 24oz of liquid and keeps you hydrated and safe on your travels.last_img read more

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Traditional media finally condemns Trump and his baseless ‘fraud’ charges

first_imgEven in Georgia, where harassment from Republican senators has forced the Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, to declare a recount, there was no fraud—no whiff of it. Before he caved, he called Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue’s charges that the count wasn’t transparent and could be fraudulent “laughable.” In a statement before the caving, he said: “We were literally putting releases of results up at a minimum hourly. […] I and my office have been holding daily or twice-daily briefings for the press to walk them through all the numbers. So that particular charge is laughable.” Any irregularities, he said, were not a threat to the outcome of the election. Yet the ridiculous charges continue.That’s because this is what Trump does, explains ABC News, which is also jumping onto the “there is no fraud” bandwagon. “There is no truth to the claims that there was widespread voter fraud in the election, yet the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee are pursuing lawsuits in several states claiming that there was,” ABC says. “This is not the first time Trump has made claims about election fraud when the results do not please him. It has been a part of his playbook for years—long before he entered politics.- Advertisement – “This time, the president is taking his claims through the legal system with no evidence to back them up,” ABC concludes. “Meanwhile, the campaign is continuing to raise money for the battles, as it’s clear the president isn’t willing to give up quickly.” Yeah, the money is playing a huge role here at this point. Because the legal challenges truly do have no evidence. And Trump’s lawyers have to keep going before judges and admitting so. Like in Pennsylvania, where in one of their countless challenges the judge had had enough.“I am asking you a specific question, and am looking for a specific answer,” the judge told one of Trump’s lawyers. “Are you claiming that there is any fraud in connection with these 592 disputed ballots?” To which the lawyer could only say, “To my knowledge at present, no.” The judge: “Are you claiming that there is any undue or improper influence upon the elector with respect to these 592 ballots?” The lawyer: “To my knowledge at present, no.” They. Have. Nothing. Again. Still.This thread from Reuters reporter Brad Heath details that hilariously, with a look at 234 pages of affidavits from Republican poll watchers in Detroit (Biden leads by nearly 149,000 votes in Michigan). It’s 234 pages of conspiracy theory. “EVERY single one of the lawyers/law student that I talked to was ideologically far-left,” one said. Another said, “I can estimate that at least 80% of the military ballots I saw were straight ticket democrat [sic] or simply had Joe Biden’s name filled in on them.” That can’t be, this person said, because “I had always been told that military personnel tended to be more conservative.” There was a “pattern of intimidation, secrecy, and hostility by the poll workers,” one said. That could probably be explained by another GOP observers complaint: “I was told by election workers to back away from the table and stay six feet away from the table. I was able to move closer at times, but was told to stay six feet away.” Yeah, Republicans crowding in and violating COVID-19 restrictions could create some hostility. And the paranoia. One said “two large men” watched them all night, and it was “obvious a coordinated and organized system of challenger intimidation was implemented.” Another one experienced “intimidation” because some of the ballot counters were “wearing BLM face masks” and also “another man of intimidating size with a BLM shirt on.” They are all snowflakes. And not a one of them had any evidence of anything approaching fraud.- Advertisement – This is all ridiculous and hilarious except for the part where it’s really fucking dangerous for the country. It’s casting the the sanctity of our elections into doubt with millions of Trump voters. It could stoke violence, and it will definitely result in a huge bloc of Americans once again believing the Democrat president is not legitimate. As elections law guru Rich Hasen writes, “what Trump and his team are doing now is corrosive to democracy, which depends on the losers accepting results as legitimate. The danger,” he says, “is less about whether Biden takes office in January and more about whether the American people will keep believing that this is a country that can settle its disagreements peacefully and through a legal process.”The traditional media—five years too late—gets that and is finally doing its job reporting on Trump and the danger he’s posing. It would be really good if Democratic leaders and all the past presidents and vice presidents did the same thing. Trump’s gambit has to be condemned roundly and repeatedly and called the disgrace that it is.center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

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Basil suspected in Florida cyclosporiasis outbreak

first_img Jun 3 FDA news releasehttp://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2005/ucm108439.htm Cases of cyclosporiasis were reported in 32 Florida counties from mid-March to mid-April, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Jun 4. The state health department found 293 laboratory-confirmed cases during that time, the FDA said in a Jun 3 news release. State health officials sought an FDA inquiry when their epidemiologic investigation pointed to fresh basil as the culprit, the FDA said. Jun 6, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is trying to uncover the source of basil believed to be responsible for nearly 300 cases of intestinal illness earlier this spring in Florida. Cyclosporiasis is caused by the one-celled parasite Cyclospora. Signs and symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, fever, and fatigue, the FDA said. Without treatment, the illness generally lasts from a few days to a month, but it can be treated with antibiotics. As authorities looked for the source of the basil, they urged consumers to consult physicians and notify local health departments if they become sick after eating basil. Experts also suggested washing all fresh fruits and vegetables under running water before eating them. “FDA is aggressively working with our federal and state partners to determine the source of the contaminated produce and taking appropriate action to protect the public,” said Dr. Robert Brackett, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Some of the cases occurred in clusters, but many cases were sporadic, the FDA said. Recent cyclosporiasis outbreaks have involved fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Separate outbreaks in Illinois and Texas in 2004 were believed to be associated with raw basil and mesclun salad. In addition, raw snow peas were implicated in an outbreak for the first time last year, when nearly 100 people got sick in Pennsylvania. Raspberries and strawberries have also been associated with outbreaks in the past. See also: The basil is a mystery product right now. Florida Secretary of Health John O. Agwunobi told the AP that officials don’t know where the basil came from or where it is being sold.last_img read more

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West Nile shot for horses is first licensed DNA vaccine

first_img More than 22,600 cases of WNV in horses were reported between 1999, when the virus first surfaced in North America, and the end of 2004, the USDA said. About a third of horses that fall ill with the mosquito-borne virus die or must be euthanized. The DNA technology used to develop the vaccine is serving as the foundation for an experimental human WNV vaccine, the CDC said. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) announced the launch of a small clinical trial of the vaccine in April of this year. The NIAID is developing the vaccine in collaboration with Vical Inc. of San Diego. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it issued a license for the vaccine to Fort Dodge Laboratories, Fort Dodge, Iowa. The CDC helped the company develop the vaccine. “This is truly an exciting innovation and an incredible scientific breakthrough that has potential benefits far beyond preventing West Nile virus in horses,” CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said in a news release. “This science will allow for the development of safer and more effective human and animal vaccines more quickly.” DNA vaccines are less vulnerable to changes in temperature, a major asset for vaccination campaigns in developing countries. The CDC said DNA vaccines offer important advantages over traditional vaccines: Apr 20 CIDRAP News story on human trial of WNV DNA vaccinehttp://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/other/wnv/news/april2005westnile.html Fort Dodge expects to make the vaccine commercially available to veterinarians early in 2006, the CDC reported. The USDA said researchers are continuing to assess how long the protection afforded by the vaccine lasts. Once a vaccine model for an organism is developed, it can be adapted fairly quickly for similar organisms, which can be a major advantage in an emerging epidemic. Jul 21, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials say a new West Nile virus (WNV) vaccine for horses, licensed this week, represents a breakthrough that may lead to important benefits for human vaccine development.center_img Work on the new vaccine began about 5 years ago at the CDC’s branch in Fort Collins, Colo. In clinical studies, the vaccine protected horses from WNV-related illness without causing any major side effects. The USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics determined that the vaccine’s safety and efficacy have been satisfactorily demonstrated. The way the USDA explained it, “Traditional vaccine development involves either passing a disease-producing virus through a different species or cell type until it no longer causes disease but does create immunity, or by killing the virus in such a manner that allows it to produce immunity but no disease in the recipient. DNA vaccines, by contrast, use specific fragments of a pathogen’s unique genetic material to stimulate a targeted immune response from the host.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the vaccine is the world’s first licensed DNA vaccine—one that uses small pieces of the target virus’s genetic material instead of using a weakened or killed form of the whole virus. Two other WNV vaccines for horses are licensed and commercially available now, according to the Center for Equine Health at the University of California, Davis. Fort Dodge Animal Health makes an inactivated (killed virus) vaccine, while Merial makes a live vaccine based on a canarypox virus. See also: USDA announcementhttp://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/news/2005/07/wnvdna_vs.html In addition, horses that have received a DNA vaccine can be distinguished from those that have been naturally infected, which is helpful for disease surveillance, the CDC said. CDC news releasehttp://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r050718.htmlast_img read more

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Indonesia blames 5 deaths in family on avian flu

first_imgMay 15, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesian authorities have attributed the deaths of five members of one extended family to H5N1 avian influenza, and three surviving relatives are also suspected of having the virus, according to news services.The five people who died all tested positive in local laboratories, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report yesterday. Four had died early last week, and the fifth died yesterday, the Associated Press (AP) reported. AFP said the victims included two women, two men, and an 8-year-old girl.Reports on the status of the three surviving relatives conflicted. Nyoman Kandun, director general of disease control for Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, said the three had also tested positive, according to AFP. But a Reuters report described them as suspected cases only, while some other news services did not mention them at all.The family members, from Tanah Karo village in northern Sumatra, had all been in contact with sick poultry and pigs near their homes, Kandun told AFP.However, agricultural minister Anton Apriyantono said that H5N1 had not been found in local poultry, according to Reuters. Officials continue to check poultry in and around Tanah Karo, the report said.Samples from the family members have been sent to a World Health Organization (WHO)-accredited laboratory in Hong Kong for confirmatory testing. If the WHO confirmed all eight cases, the Indonesian death toll would rise to 30, and its case total would reach 41. Indonesia’s 33 confirmed cases and 25 deaths are second only to Vietnam, which hasn’t logged a human case since November 2005, according to the AP.In addition to the five fatalities that have tested positive, a sixth family member died of suspected avian flu but was buried without being tested, the AP reported. Kandun said all nine were members of the “same family tree,” according to AFP.The WHO is paying close attention to this cluster of cases, because it may indicate human-to-human infection, according to a Reuters story. But even if human-to-human transmission occurred, it is not necessarily evidence of viral mutation, WHO spokesperson Maria Cheng told Reuters. It could be caused, as in some cases in Vietnam and Thailand, by the close contact normal in families, she said.This family cluster, however, could also come from a common animal exposure, Cheng said. Another possible factor in family clusters of H5N1 cases, flu experts have said, is a common genetic susceptibility (see link below).In other avian flu news, poultry outbreaks of H5N1 have been confirmed in three counties in central Romania, according to an AFP article. Romanian Agriculture Minister Gheorghe Flutur said, “Almost 1 million birds will be culled in total in central Romanian regions that have been hit or could be hit by bird flu.”Authorities have traced the outbreak to a single farmer who sold infected chickens to farms in three counties. Romanian authorities first reported H5N1 in poultry in October 2005, but the country has had no human cases.See also:May 4 CIDRAP News story discussing possible susceptibility to H5N1 in familieslast_img read more

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WHO: H5N1 cases in Turkey targeted children, youth

first_imgOct 31, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report on 10 of the 12 confirmed H5N1 avian influenza cases that occurred in Turkey last winter adds to evidence that children and youth may be particularly susceptible to the infection.The disease struck only children younger than 16, even though their parents had probably been exposed to the same probable source of infection, infected poultry, according to the Oct 27 issue of WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record.”To some extent, this reflects the same age distribution observed globally, where 50.5% of cases occurred among people aged <20 years, and it suggests that age-related factors may influence susceptibility to the disease," the report states.Of the four case-patients described in the report who died, all were teenagers, while all the survivors were younger children, aged 3 to 9 years. "This reflects closely the global situation where the highest case-fatality rate (73%) has been observed in the 10-19-year age group," the article says.Turkey was the first country outside Southeast Asia to have human cases. The WHO report discusses 10 cases that occurred in the eastern provinces of Van and Agri in late December 2005 and January 2006 and were investigated by WHO epidemiologists. The two other confirmed cases in Turkey were in other provinces, according to Mary K. Kindhauser, a WHO spokeswoman in Geneva.A total of 21 human H5N1 cases had been reported in January on the basis of tests in a Turkish laboratory. But the WHO recognized only 12 cases that were confirmed by a reference laboratory in the United Kingdom.At the time of the outbreak, a WHO official reported that two Turkish boys had asymptomatic H5N1 infections. But those two cases were among the nine that were never confirmed by the UK lab, Kindhauser told CIDRAP News by e-mail today.The 10 cases covered in the report included three family clusters, one involving three cases and two involving two each. But investigators concluded that person-to-person transmission in the families was unlikely, because in each family the members fell ill within about a 2-day period, indicating they all contracted the virus from a common environmental source.Although all three family clusters occurred near one another and within a 2-week period, "field investigations provided no evidence of human-to-human transmission between households," the report says. The families had had no interactions, and the children attended different schools.Investigation indicated that close exposure to infected poultry was the primary risk factor for infection, the WHO says. All the patients had been exposed to backyard poultry, and at least five were known to have had contact with sick or dead poultry. The three families that had multiple cases had been sheltering their poultry indoors in late December because of severe cold.Two patients had pet pigeons, but the birds' possible role could not be assessed because no samples were collected from pigeons in the area, the report says.The article notes that 135 people in the two provinces had suspected cases of H5N1 and were hospitalized and treated with oseltamivir at the time, but testing ruled out all the cases.See also:Oct 27 WHO bulletin with report on H5N1 cases in Turkeyhttp://www.who.int/wer/2006/wer8143.pdfJun 30, 2006, WHO bulletin with report on general epidemiology of H5N1 caseshttp://www.who.int/wer/wer8126.pdfJan 30, 2006, WHO situation update on Turkish caseshttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_01_30/en/index.htmlJan 11, 2006, CIDRAP News story "WHO says Turkish cases may yield new findings on H5N1"last_img read more

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E coli cases prompt beef recall by Illinois firm

first_img Meanwhile, CDC officials who are monitoring a Salmonella outbreak linked by epidemiologic investigations to ConAgra’s Banquet pot pies said in an Oct 12 update that isolates of Salmonella enterica serotype I,4,[5],12:i:- had been collected from at least 174 patients in 32 states. At least 33 people have been hospitalized. Salmonellosis typically causes fever and nonbloody diarrhea that resolves within a week. Health officials are concerned about what appears to be a surge in the number of ground beef recalls for E coli O157:H7 contamination. A few days after the Topps Meat recall, Cargill Meat Solutions of Butler, Wis., recalled about 845,000 pounds of frozen ground beef because of possible E coli contamination. The recall was announced after Minnesota health officials linked three illness reports to the company’s beef patties, which were sold through Sam’s Club stores. Though investigators have not isolated the outbreak strain from the pot pies or the company’s Marshall, Mo., production facility, the company recalled all varieties of Banquet pot pies on Oct 12 to simplify its message that consumers should not eat the pot pies. The frozen beef patties, sold under the Topps and Sam’s Choice brands, bear the establishment number “Est. 5712” on their package labels, the FSIS said. Oct 12 CIDRAP News story “ConAgra recalls pot pies as Salmonella cases rise” The FSIS did not specify the number of E coli cases or their locations. In a statement today, J&B Meats said the beef patties were made for Topps Meat Co., though J&B is not a subsidiary of Topps. The latter company, based in Elizabeth, N.J., in late September announced a recall of 21.7 million pounds of ground beef because of potential E coli contamination. The company subsequently announced it couldn’t survive the financial blow and was going out of business. In the Topps outbreak, the number of related illness cases has risen to 38 in eight states, according to an Oct 11 statement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the patients sickened in the Topps outbreak are from the Northeast. Of 26 people for whom hospitalization status was known, 17 (65%) were hospitalized, and one had HUS. See also: E coli O157:H7 produces a toxin that causes diarrhea, often bloody, and abdominal cramps but usually no fever. The illness usually resolves in 5 to 10 days, but it can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), potentially leading to kidney failure or death, in 2% to 7% of patients.center_img Oct 11 CDC update on illness linked to Topps E coli outbreakhttp://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2007/october/100207.html Oct 15, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – An Illinois company has recalled about 173,500 pounds of frozen ground beef products because of a possible connection with Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections, as the number of cases in other recent foodborne illness outbreaks continued to mount. Oct 13 FSIS recall noticehttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_045_2007_Release/index.asp Oct 15 J&B Meats statementhttp://www.jbmeats.com/ Oct 12 CDC update on illnesses linked to ConAgra Salmonella outbreakhttp://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/4512eyeminus.html ConAgra has said that it believes the illnesses are probably due to undercooking by consumers. Microwave ovens vary in power, can cook products unevenly, and can lose some of their power as they age. The company also said it would revise cooking directions on packages to clarify safe preparation steps. Oct 9 CIDRAP News story “Spike in E coli–related beef recalls alarms officials” On Oct 13, J&B Meats Corp., Inc., based in Coal Valley, Ill., voluntarily recalled frozen ground sirloin and beef patties that were produced on Jun 12, 18, and 22, and were nationally distributed to retail stores, according to an Oct 13 statement from the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The company recalled the products after the FSIS received illness reports through its consumer complaint monitoring system.last_img read more

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Boy’s illness raises Egypt’s H5N1 count to 50

first_imgApr 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday confirmed that a 2-year-old Egyptian boy has H5N1 avian influenza, which raised the country’s case count to 50.The boy is from Al-Honsanya in Sharkea governorate in northern Egypt, according to a statement from the WHO. He got sick on Apr 13 and was hospitalized the next day, the statement said. A notice from Egypt’s health ministry said the boy received oseltamivir (Tamiflu), according to an Apr 16 report from the Kuwait News Agency.Two labs, Egypt’s Central Public Health Laboratories and US Naval Medical Research Unit 3 (NAMRU-3) in Cairo, confirmed that his samples were positive for the H5N1 virus, the WHO reported.An investigation into the source of the boy’s infection revealed that he had had contact with sick and dead poultry before he became ill.The boy’s illness marked Egypt’s second case in less than a week. On Apr 11, Egypt’s health ministry reported that a 30-year-old woman from Matariya district, just north of Cairo, died of an H5N1 infection. Her death raised Egypt’s H5N1 fatality total to 22.See also:Apr 17 WHO statementlast_img read more

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