Cyprus championship resumes after Easter break

first_imgBy Iacovos ConstantinouThe Cyprus football championship resumes this weekend following the Easter break with the last six ties of the first round of the playoffs. All but one of the six teams in each group have something to play for, be it the championship or a European position in the top group, or first division survival for the bottom group.Apollon travel to Nicosia to face Omonia with a number of key players unavailable either through injury or suspension.Dutch coach Ton Caanen, who took charge of Apollon less than two weeks ago following the dismissal of Ioan Andone, will take his depleted side to Nicosia to face Omonia in the most important game of the top group.Merkis, Hamdani, Papoulis and Sangoy are all suspended while Gullon and Stylianou join Adrande and Vassiliou on the injury list. Apollon need to bounce back from their poor showing against Anorthosis just before the break knowing that they cannot afford to drop any more points with second-placed APOEL just a point behind.Omonia, currently in fourth place, and with little chance of progressing to the final of the Cup, know that only the league can offer them a European ticket next season. The Nicosia team has not tasted victory on home turf since February 1, when they hit four past Doxa Katokopias.Coach Kaiafas has all but one (Rubio) of his players available for selection.Anorthosis, who surprised a few with the ease with which they overcame Apollon, are at home to in-form AEK Larnaca with the home team desperate for the points that will keep them in the hunt for third place.Calvo and Seran are both out while coach Paous will give Laifis and Ende late fitness tests.AEK will be without their star players Vander and Ortiz, both through suspension, but the good news for the Larnaca team is that their captain Murillo has shrugged off his injury and will be available for selection.AEK, just three points off the top, want to maintain the pressure on the top two but also maintain the two-point cushion from the team immediately below them.In the third game of the top group, defending champions APOEL are at home to Ermis, who over the past 12 months have become somewhat of a bogey team for them.Ermis however have nothing to play for and given that a number of players have already packed their bags and begun their summer holidays, APOEL should be able to take all three points despite missing a number of players through suspension.Coach Fink will probably give Vinicius a first start since December with keeper Pardo also expected to return to the starting eleven following injury.In the bottom group, Othellos are at home to Ayia Napa and anything other than a win for the home side will probably signal the end of their first division stay. Ethnikos Achnas lead Doxa by six points and even a draw can prove sufficient while Nea Salamina take on AEL.Salamina should be able to take all three points and ensure their first division stay, especially as AEL are expected to field a second-string side in order to rest key plays for their Cup semi-final second leg against AEK next Wednesday.Saturday, April 18th: Omonia vs Apollon, Anorthosis vs AEK (16.00)Sunday, April 19th: Nea Salamina vs AEL, Ethnikos vs Doxa, Othellos vs Ayia Napa (16.00) APOEL vs Ermis (16.30)last_img read more


Justice delayed is justice denied

first_imgDear Editor,The Leader of the Opposition Dr Bharat Jagdeo has once again displayed his trademark quality of astuteness and high class political maturity as he made a bold move to avoid not only a constitutional crisis but an economic one in the making as well. As he outlined in his press conference, it is the duty of both the Government and the Opposition to inspire confidence in society in the face of the mounting uncertainties being faced following the passing of the no-confidence motion against the coalition Government. He indicated that strong and mature actions by both parties are essential to remove such insecurities. The populace wants speedy justice!However, it is quite disappointing to the point of utter disgust that the State-owned newspaper continues to twist the outcome of the no-confidence motion and now the meeting between Jagdeo and Granger to highlight in its front pages that the “Government rejects Jagdeo’s request to withdraw legal challenge to no-confidence vote”. What should be highlighted is the fact that Dr Jagdeo stated that once the Government intends to pursue the course of legal action then both parties must a joint statement requesting the Court to deal with the matter expeditiously since there is a constitutional timeframe given which is 90 days. There is a famous legal maxim which says that “justice delayed is justice denied” and this is exactly what the Leader of the Opposition was referring to. We have seen this being echoed by Guyanese diplomat and academic Sir Ronald Sanders who said that the Courts must act expeditiously since it is a matter of grave national importance and should not take more than a week. He concluded that the political anxiety and tension is not a good thing and the supreme law should not be vilified. The State-media is financed by taxpayers’ dollars and must be in the forefront to ease this type of tension, not to ignite and fuel it. Even in its dying throes this Government is squandering our monies!Moreover, it would seem that the State resources are now being used against Guyanese who want to preserve the sovereignty of our Constitution. Those resources should be directed towards a speedy resolution of the constitutional questions before the court. The selfish attempts by some members of the coalition Government to brainwash Guyanese and hold them at ransom will only push them further down the precipice of ignominy to the point of no return. In addition, the AFC duo, Nagamootoo and Ramjattan are now expressing hues and cries far above the normal decibel in a final effort to gain some recognition from the PNC. They failed at the recently concluded LGE!GECOM had signaled just after the passing of the no-confidence motion that they are prepared for an early election within the constitutional time frame. This was according to Public Relations Officer of GECOM, Yolanda Ward who was adamant that, “it is our Constitutional mandate to conduct the General and Regional Elections and the Local Government Elections whenever they are constitutionally due; so whether it is in 90 days then it is GECOM’s responsibility to conduct elections”. This was published in the Guyana Chronicle on December 27, 2018. I wish our ‘fit and proper’, GECOM Chairman a speedy recovery to facilitate the electoral process in 90 days!Yours sincerely,Haseef YusufRDC CouncillorRegion 6last_img read more


Mediratta, Charania only Kenyans to make Kenya Open cut

first_img0Shares0000Mohit opened round two with a bogey, before settling down to hit six birdies and impressively closing the round with an eagle at Muthaiga’s 18th hole.NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 23 – Sigona Golf Club’s Mohit Mediratta and Windsor Golf Club’s Riz Charania are the only Kenyans to make the cut at the 2018 Barclays Kenya Open.Mohit, who was the Kenyan overnight leader shot a score of 3-under par 139, hitting six birdies and an eagle in round 2, building up from the four birdies he shot in the first round.Speaking after his round, Mohit made his intentions clear, “I want to make history, I want to make a name for myself, I want to become the first Kenyan to win the Kenya Open.”“If however this doesn’t happen, I want to see how far I can go.” He added. After making the cut, Mohit and Riz will pocket Sh100,000 each from the Kenya Open Golf Limited.Max Schmitt of Germany finished the day top of the leader board returning a score of 10-under par after the two rounds. The 19 year old who ended round one with a 4-under par score, played an impressive round of 6-under dropping only one shot on the 10th. MaxRiz Charania shot almost identical rounds of par on the two days, hitting four birdies in the first round and a similar number today. The only difference between his two rounds, was an impressive eagle on the 10th hole.center_img MAXSpeaking on the condition of the course and his game, Max noted the speed of the greens.“The fairways are a bit wet, but I like the greens they are fast, the key to my game is that this far I am not hitting a lot of drivers and I getting quite good ball strikes with the irons.”Max is closely followed by Kristian Johannessen who returned an overall score of 8-under, following rounds of 4-under on both days.Swedish duo of Simon Forsstrom and 2016 Kenya Open winner Sebastian Soderbeg are tied for third on an overall score of 7-under par.Frenchman Victor Riu who booked his ticket to play at the Kenya Open after the Pre-Qualifier tournament played on Monday, finished T15 after returning a score of 4-under.A total of 73 players made the cut from a field of 156 players, notable absentees include Kenyan duo of Dismas Indiza and Greg Snow, as well as Stefan Andersen. Former Kenya Open champions Gary Boyd and Robert Dinwiddle also failed to make the cut.Round 3 of the 2018 Barclays Kenya Open will tee off at 8:00 am, with Kenyan Riz Charania the first Kenyan to tee off at 9:10 AM. Mohit will get his game underway at 11:10 AM.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more



first_imgLYIT students get ready to head for Shangai.Choosing to return to education or change career can be a daunting prospect anytime.However, for a group of mature students at LYIT their journey is taking them all the way to Shanghai.The Springboard Professional Selling and International Marketing (China) programme at LYIT is an innovative course and the first of its kind in Ireland, and includes two months intensive exposure to businesses and potential employers in Shanghai. The 14 people selected for the course are from various backgrounds ranging from accounting to teaching and hospitality to a former member of An Garda Síochána.The programme is funded by the Higher Education Authority through the Springboard initiative, with the support of the Department of Social Protection.During the last 6 months the class has been studying the essentials of how to do business in China, learning Mandarin and cultural etiquette, marketing and selling.For many of the people on the programme China holds a genuine fascination, now they hope they can turn that fascination into real opportunity. On the eve of his departure to China, student Terence Heeney who is originally from Dublin and now living in Castleblayney, revealed his hopes are for the future.“I’m looking forward to returning to China and to practicing my Mandarin and exploring new opportunities. I view the programme as a stepping stone to pursue a graduate programme with an Irish company.”Terence already has strong connections with China, having spent 3 years working there teaching English as a volunteer.He met is wife in Kunming (Yunnan Province) and now they have a 3 year old son fluent in Mandarin and English.He travelled daily from Castleblayney to study at LYIT. “The Chinese element was a big draw but also the selling and marketing. When I returned from China last year my focus was to go on to third level and this course has given me that opportunity. It was a perfect way to combine the Chinese aspect and business. I know I’ll have a qualification which will enable me to go on to further study.”Patricia Doherty, Head of Department of Business Studies at LYIT, is confident about successful outcomes from the course.“The calibre of the candidates has been outstanding and we know that some key alliances will be made whilst in China. We wish the class every success and look forward to hearing about their visit when they return.”Terence adds, “I’ve learned how to apply myself to studying again and I’m glad I was accepted on to the programme. Everyone has been very supportive and helpful, it’s been a good experience. I’ve still more to do on my Mandarin!” Jill Murphy, International Education Manager at LYIT, who had a major input into compiling the programme and teaches Mandarin explains, “It was a key aspect to include practical insights on doing business in China whilst simultaneously learning the language. The combination of sales, culture and language aims to give the participants a solid foundation to develop real job prospects.”The business program in Shanghai has been arranged by a company called Zhida International who are an Irish-Chinese business and education consultants.Terence says that where he was living previously in China was quite poor and Shanghai will be a different type of experience.“Given that Shanghai has a population of 24 million people it will be a culture shock. China is a complex, vast country where things are done very differently. Relationships are very important so it will be interesting to meet the various companies and businesses. I’m hoping it will lead to new opportunities. ”LYIT STUDENTS HAVE CHINA IN THEIR HANDS! was last modified: February 14th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ChinaLYITShangaistudentslast_img read more


Manchester United star injured in England training and returns to club

first_imgPhil Jones has withdrawn from the England squad for the games against Germany and Lithuania.The Manchester United defender suffered an injury in training on Tuesday and will return to his club for treatment.Gareth Southgate’s side will take on Germany in Dortmund on Wednesday night in a friendly before facing Lithuania at Wembley on Sunday in a World Cup qualifier.Jones had been hoping to make his first international appearance since November 2015 against Germany after an injury-disrupted period at Old Trafford.A Football Association statement read: “There are no immediate plans to call up a replacement but, with Gary Cahill suspended for Sunday’s game against Lithuania, Gareth Southgate will assess his options following tomorrow’s match.” Other than Jones, boss Southgate had no injury worries ahead of the Three Lions flying to Dortmund on Tuesday afternoon.Raheem Sterling missed the session as he is on his own personal recovery plan following Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, however there were no concerns surrounding him.The winger was the only player absent, with City team-mate John Stones and Liverpool’s Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne taking part at Burton and the uncapped James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond also involved.Jamie Vardy trained with his team-mates the day after revealing he received death threats following Claudio Ranieri’s sacking by Leicester last month. The threats followed reports he may have had a part to play in the Italian’s exit, which Vardy firmly denies.The returning Jermain Defoe, who has not played for England since 2013, and West Brom’s Jake Livermore, looking for his first cap since 2012, also featured.Southgate’s men took part in a light warm-up before a session of keep-ball at St George’s Park as they look to beat Germany for the second time in a year in Wednesday’s friendly.They won 3-2 in Berlin last March thanks to Eric Dier’s last-minute winner. 1 Phil Jones [right] in England training last_img read more


Tottenham ‘rejected late Barcelona approach for winger’ on transfer deadline day

first_img targets Getty Images – Getty Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman appointed LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ LIVE on talkSPORT Liverpool transfer news live: Star man wanted by Real Madrid, Mbappe latest and more However, the club could not finance a move for the world’s most expensive player.And it is understood the Catalan club were also priced out of a move for Moura, whose valuation exceeded £45million. He has been a hit at Tottenham since joining for £25million from Paris Saint-Germain in January 2018.And Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claim Barcelona targeted Moura on Monday after a proposed deal to re-sign PSG star Neymar collapsed.Barcelona had chased Neymar, who left the LaLiga giants to join PSG in 2017, throughout the summer with the forward keen on a return. update Chelsea fan arrested for allegedly racially abusing Heung-min Son Germany vs Netherlands (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2MK Dons vs AFC Wimbledon (Saturday, 12pm) – talkSPORT 2Coventry City vs Blackpool (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2England vs Bulgaria (Saturday, 5pm) – talkSPORT What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas rookie error 1 statement Check out all the live commentaries coming up across the talkSPORT network this week latest deals BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta stalemate Lucas Moura has started two of Tottenham‘s opening four games this season Barcelona were short on cash having spent a combined total of £174million on Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong earlier this summer.Now, Neymar will look to reintegrate himself at the Parc des Princes, while Moura attempts to continue his good start to the season.The 27-year-old opened his account for the 2019/20 campaign after netting against Manchester City in a hard-fought 2-2 draw last month. Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti on target Barcelona failed in a late approach to sign Lucas Moura from Tottenham on transfer deadline day, reports claim.The forward starred for Spurs last season, scoring 15 goals, including a hat-trick against Ajax to take Mauricio Pochettino’s men to the Champions League final.last_img read more


McInnes promises squad changes after cup disappointment

first_imgDerek McInnes saw his Aberdeen side fall to a 3-0 defeat to Motherwell in the Scottish Cup semi-final and admitted it opened his eyes to changes he’ll have to make to his squad.The Dons saw their mistakes punished by the Steelmen in a match where they never really looked like progressing to the final and McInnes said part of the reason was not being able to replace key players.A two-minute burst in the first half saw Curtis Main and Ryan Bowman punish errors, with Main scoring hi second on the counter in the second half to sink Aberdeen.McInnes pointed to what he felt was a missed handball in the lead-up to the opening goal but had no other complaints, feeling the side on display wasn’t up to the standards he wanted. “There’s going to be a big turnaround in the summer. We’ve got a few loan players and have already lost Kenny (McLean, who will return to parent club Norwich) so there will be a big recruitment again. “I didn’t play the team I wanted to play today, I played the team that needed to be played and unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.” Captain Graeme Shinnie was suspended, as were Kenny McLean and Shay Logan. Wingers Gary Mackay-Steven and Niall McGinn weren’t fit enough to start after injury and McInnes had to reshuffle his squad.“I said I wouldn’t use the players that were suspended as an excuse but it’s clear that we struggled to replace like for like,” he said. “I don’t take responsibility in terms of today’s performance because as a manager you can’t legislate for mistakes. “Where we I take responsibility is the recruitment. Today smacked me between the eyes that the strength of the squad wasn’t good enough. “The decisions we’ve made in both windows have come back to bite us. last_img read more


Giant Dinosaurs Got a Head Start on Growth

first_imgNearly 200 million years ago, some of the earliest dinosaurs on Earth laid their eggs in modern Yunnan Province in southern China, only to have one nest after another destroyed by floods. Today, the remains of those lost eggs—and the embryonic dinosaurs that they contained—are helping scientists understand how their relatives grew up to be giants. The destroyed nests probably belonged to Lufengosaurus, a long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur that lived in the region during the Jurassic period. Although Lufengosaurus and its relatives, called sauropodomorphs, have long been considered to be “those boring dinosaurs,” says paleontologist and lead author Robert Reisz of the University of Toronto, Mississauga, in Canada, they do have one trait that makes them stand out—their size: “They were [always] the biggest things that lived in the neighborhood.” Lufengosaurus, for example, grew to be about 9 meters long—the largest creature in the region at the time. But because fossils are literally set in stone, paleontologists have had few clues about how these animals grew to such gigantic proportions. At first glance, the newly discovered bone bed doesn’t look like much help. Although it offers some of the oldest embryonic dinosaur bones ever discovered, there are no complete skeletons to be found here; the floods that washed away the nests ripped apart their fragile, unhatched inhabitants and left behind only a few eggshell fragments and a chaotic jumble of hundreds of tiny bones. But it’s precisely this mixture of specimens from many different nests—and, therefore, multiple stages of development—that has paleontologists so excited. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) “When you get a beautiful little embryo inside an egg, it’s gorgeous, … but it’s only a glimpse, sort of like a frozen moment in the embryonic life of the animal,” Reisz says. “Here, because we have limb bones at various different stages of development, we can actually follow the embryonic life of the organism.” To reconstruct Lufengosaurus’s development, Reisz’s team focused on the 24 femur bones found in the remains. The first thing the researchers noticed is that the largest of these leg bones were nearly twice the size of the smallest ones, revealing that the creatures grew significantly before they even hatched. And when researchers cut open the femurs to study their structure, they noticed that the spaces in the bones where blood vessels and other tissues would have grown were particularly large. Scientists know that the larger such so-called vascular spaces are, the faster the animal is growing. Judging from the size of their femurs’ vascular spaces, Reisz and colleagues concluded that the Lufengosaurus embryos grew faster than all other known dinosaurs and all living birds—”faster than anything we have ever seen,” Reisz says. This rapid embryonic growth may be the key to understanding adult sauropodomorphs’ towering physiques, the team reports online today in Nature. But the real surprise that the bones contained didn’t reveal itself until the researchers subjected them to the powerful x-rays produced by a synchrotron in Taiwan. When they did, they noticed traces of what they suspect is organic matter inside the bones. “Organic remains [of dinosaurs] have been found before, but this is by far the oldest,” Reisz says. If the bones do, in fact, contain complex proteins, he hopes to compare them with proteins in living organisms to learn more about the biology of dinosaurs. Such a possibility “really opens up a new avenue of research for paleontology,” he says. Other researchers are more cautious. “Almost every example of such organic material is hotly disputed,” and this one will likely be no different, points out Hans-Dieter Sues, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., who was not involved in the study. “You can never really totally rule out contamination.” Still, if the evidence holds up, the find could finally tip the scale in favor of soft tissue preservation. “This [study] lends support to the idea that that some of these organic molecules … may actually be preserved over millions of years,” says Luis Chiappe, a vertebrate paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in California who was not involved with the research. Regardless, he says, the bone bed itself is “a spectacular find” that’s likely to yield many more insights into dinosaur development for years to come.last_img read more



first_imgThe annual Tulip Festival is underway in Orange City.The event celebrates the Dutch heritage of the Sioux County region and features a daily parade with the Queen and her court.There’s of course plenty of tulips on display with wooden shoes, horse-drawn trolley rides, the Dutch Dozen singers and many other attractions.The activities continue through Saturday in Orange City.Photo courtesy Orange City Chamberlast_img


JMB Makes Changes to Mortgage Indemnity Insurance Plan

first_imgStory Highlights The JMB will also commence insuring commercial properties under the MII plan to a maximum value of $100 million. This value was thought appropriate by the JMB after a risk analysis was done. Mr. Wynter told JIS News that a letter has been sent to inform Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Water, Works and Housing, Hon. Karl Samuda, of the four changes to the MII plan. General Manager of the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB), Courtney Wynter, says that effective immediately, the Bank will be implementing four changes to the Mortgage Indemnity Insurance (MII) plan.Mr. Wynter told JIS News that a letter has been sent to inform Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Water, Works and Housing, Hon. Karl Samuda, of the four changes to the MII plan.The changes will bring about the removal of the appraised value limit on residential mortgages that can be insured under the MII plan. The previous appraised value limit under the MII was $30 million.The JMB will also commence insuring commercial properties under the MII plan to a maximum value of $100 million. This value was thought appropriate by the JMB after a risk analysis was done.With the new changes under the MII plan, customers will enjoy a reduction in premium rates charged for residential mortgages with Total Debt Service Ratios (TDSR) of less than 40 per cent from seven per cent to five per cent, based on the low risk involved.The premium rates for residential mortgages with TDSR greater than 40 per cent will also be reduced from seven per cent to five and a half per cent. This translates to a reduction in the closing costs customers will have to pay.Bank fees under the MII will also be reduced by 40 per cent, resulting in customers now paying $1,000 instead of $2,500.“We as the administrators for the mortgage insurance for the Government have taken the Board-approved decision coming out of the actuarial review to take on some of the recommendations made by the actuaries,” Mr. Wynter told JIS News.He shared that the reductions are geared at stimulating usage of the MII plan by citizens.“We think that by reducing this burden of the costs of purchaser through this mortgage insurance plan, this will stimulate utilisation of the MII plan. The mortgage insurance, when it was conceived, was designed to help primarily low-income earners, so we had a limit on the appraised values of homes which were affordable to low-income earners,” Mr. Wynter said.He pointed out that, over time, the prices for houses have escalated and, therefore, the JMB has decided to remove the appraised value limit on residential homes.“Not long ago financial institutions were only lending up to 90 per cent, and what we found was that the deposit of 10 per cent became very onerous and burdensome to young professionals and low-income earners,” Mr. Wynter said.He explained that what the mortgage insurance sought to do since it came into existence 50 years ago, is to liaise with approved lenders to provide up to 97 per cent mortgage financing, as the JMB insures the additional seven per cent for the purchaser. This results in the purchaser only needing an initial deposit of three per cent to acquire a mortgage from an approved lender.“We are now implementing this with our approved lenders, the commercial banks and credit unions, to pass these reductions on to their borrowers, and we hope that this will be a move to stimulate utilisation of the mortgage indemnity plan,” Mr. Wynter said. General Manager of the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB), Courtney Wynter, says that effective immediately, the Bank will be implementing four changes to the Mortgage Indemnity Insurance (MII) plan. last_img read more