Atlantic City Area Tops U.S. Metro Foreclosures In First Quarter
Atlantic County, home to New Jersey’s fiscally distressed gambling hub Atlantic City, had the highest foreclosure rate of any major U.S. metropolitan area in the first quarter of 2016, according to RealtyTrac data released on Thursday.One in every 106 housing units in Atlantic County had a foreclosure filing in the first quarter, compared to a nationwide rate of one filing per 459 homes.
The area has been hit hard by the closure of four Atlantic City casinos in 2014, which remain shuttered. It also had the highest metro foreclosure rate for all of 2015.Trenton, New Jersey’s capital city, had the second-highest metro foreclosure rate in the nation in the first quarter and Baltimore, Maryland, came in third.
As a state, New Jersey had one foreclosure filing for every 216 housing units, the second-worst rate of all U.S. states, behind only Maryland, where one in every 194 units had a filing, the RealtyTrac data showed.Nationally, foreclosure activity bumped higher seasonally in March, but most markets continue to improve to more stable levels, said RealtyTrac senior vice president Daren Blomquist in a statement.
More than a third of the 216 local markets examined were below their pre-recession foreclosure averages in the first quarter.“We would expect a growing number of markets to move below that milestone the rest of this year, while the number of markets with a lingering low-grade fever of foreclosure activity continues to shrink,” he said.
Despite the overall improvement, other weak spots include several New York state areas. Syracuse, Utica-Rome and Binghamton were among a half dozen metro areas that reached new foreclosure activity peak levels, according to the data.
Obamacare Birth Control Plan Back to Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is taking up a challenge from faith-based groups that object to an Obama administration effort to ensure their employees and students can get cost-free birth control.The justices are hearing arguments Wednesday on the sixth anniversary of President Barack Obama\\\'s health care overhaul in a case at the intersection of the law, religion and birth control.The 2010 law is making its fourth Supreme Court appearance in five years.
The issue this time is the arrangement the administration devised to make sure that religiously oriented colleges, charities and advocacy groups do not have to pay for or arrange the provision of contraceptives to which they object, while ensuring that women covered under their health plans still can obtain birth control.
Eight justices are hearing the case, following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month. The challengers could find it hard, without Scalia, to attract the five votes they need to prevail.Contraception is among a range of preventive services that must be provided at no extra charge under the health care law. The administration pointed to research showing that the high cost of some methods of contraception discourages women from using them. A very effective means of birth control, the intrauterine device, can cost up to $1,000.
Houses of worship and other religious institutions whose primary purpose is to spread the faith are exempt from the birth control requirement.Other faith-affiliated groups that oppose some or all contraception have to tell the government or their insurers that they object.The groups say doing so leaves them complicit because the government is using their insurers and health plans to provide the contraception.
In 2014, the justices divided 5-4, with Scalia in the majority, to allow some \\\"closely held\\\" businesses with religious objections to refuse to pay for contraceptives for women. That case involved the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores and other companies that said their rights were being violated under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act.The nonprofit groups are invoking the same law in asking that the government find a way that does not involve them or their insurers if it wishes to provide birth control to women covered by their health plans.
Among the challengers are Bishop David Zubik, head of the Catholic Diocese in Pittsburgh; the Little Sisters of the Poor, nuns who run more than two dozen nursing homes for impoverished seniors; evangelical and Catholic colleges in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C., and the anti-abortion advocacy group Priests for Life.The groups argue that the administration already has carved out exemptions and encourages people who can\\\'t get contraceptives through their employers to use the health care exchanges that were created by the health care law and serve millions of people.
Novartis Splits Drugs Business Into Two
Novartis is splitting its pharmaceuticals division into two business units, one focused on cancer medicines and the second on the Swiss company’s other drugs, it said on Tuesday, its latest management shake-up within months.David Epstein, division head and chief executive of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, will leave the company to “explore new challenges”, Novartis said in a statement.Novartis’ reorganisation of its main drugs unit, which accounts for about two-thirds of its $49 billion in annual sales, comes as it struggles with the patent expiration of blood cancer drug Glivec and slower-than-expected revenue from its new heart failure medicine, Entresto.
Epstein is the second high-ranking Novartis official to exit within months: Ex-Hospira chief Michael Ball replaced Jeff George at the company’s struggling Alcon eye care business in January as its sales declined again.“Novartis expects this change to help drive our growth and innovation strategy, with an increased focus and improved execution”, the company said in a statement.“The new structure reflects the importance of oncology to Novartis following the successful integration of the oncology assets acquired from GlaxoSmithKline.”Epstein, who took over the pharmaceuticals division in 2010, will be replaced by two people.
Paul Hudson, currently AstraZeneca’s North America head, will run the pharmaceuticals business, and Bruno Strigini, head of Novartis Oncology, will lead the newly created oncology business unit.A Novartis spokesman said on Tuesday that the divisional reshuffle will not result in “big costs,” though he did not name a figure.Additionally, a small number of jobs will be moved as part of the changes to the Basel headquarters from Novartis facilities in New Jersey in the United States.Novartis shares have fallen 16 percent this year.
North Korea Leader Kim Sets Five Year Economic Plan
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is infringed by others with nuclear arms, in a speech broadcast on Sunday, and set a five-year plan to boost the secretive state’s moribund economy.The North “will faithfully fulfil its obligation for non-proliferation and strive for global denuclearization”, Kim said on Saturday at the rare congress of the ruling Workers’ Party, although the speech only aired on Sunday on state television.
Pyongyang was also willing to normalize ties with states that had been hostile towards it, Kim said.Isolated North Korea has made similar statements in the past, although it has also frequently threatened to attack the United States and South Korea, and has defied United Nations resolutions in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.The first party congress in 36 years began on Friday amid anticipation by the South Korean government and experts that the young third-generation leader would use it to further consolidate power. Kim became leader in 2011 after his father’s sudden death.
North Korea’s economy is squeezed by U.N. sanctions that were tightened in March following its latest nuclear test, and Kim’s five-year plan to boost economic growth emphasized the need to improve North Korea’s electricity supply and develop domestic sources of energy, including nuclear power.He laid out the blueprint in an address highlighting his “Byongjin” policy of jointly pushing forward economic development and nuclear armament.
On Sunday morning, foreign journalists were told to dress presentably and were brought to the People’s Palace of Culture, where dozens of black Mercedes-Benz sedans, with the 727 number plates reserved for top government officials, were parked.However, after a one-hour wait in a lobby outside large wooden doors with frosted glass, the journalists were taken back to their hotel without having met any officials.
While the North Korean capital has been tidied-up as part of a 70-day campaign of intensified labor ahead of the congress, the 128 members of the foreign media issued visas to cover the event had yet to be granted access to the proceedings as of Sunday afternoon.North Korea does not publish economic data, though South Korea’s central bank said last year the North’s economy grew by 1 percent in 2014. The estimate did not include gray market economic activity, which has grown steadily in recent years and created an expanding consumer class.
Kim’s economic plan spelled out areas of focus, including more mechanization of agriculture and automation of factories, and higher coal output, but gave few specific targets.“(We must) solve the energy problem and place the basic industry section on the right track, and increase agricultural and light industry production to definitely improve lives of the people,” Kim said in a speech that lasted just over three hours, with delegates at the end rising to their feet in applause and shouts of “manse!,” or “cheers for long life!”
While the economic plan was short on detail, Michael Madden, an expert on the North Korean leadership, said it was significant that Kim had set out an economic plan at all.“In stark contrast to his father, he is publicly taking responsibility for the economy and development as the originator of the policy. His father never undertook that responsibility,” Madden said.North Korea came under tougher new U.N. sanctions in March after its most recent nuclear test and the launch of a long-range rocket, which put an object into space orbit, in defiance of past Security Council resolutions.
Since then, it has continued to engage in nuclear and missile development, and claimed that it had succeeded in miniaturizing a nuclear warhead and launching a submarine-based ballistic missile.“As a responsible nuclear weapons state, our Republic will not use a nuclear weapon unless its sovereignty is encroached upon by any aggressive hostile forces with nukes,” Kim said.Kim, 33, also called for improved ties with the rival South, although he has made similar proposals in the past that made little progress.
The two Koreas remain in a technical state of war since their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, and relations have been at a low since the North’s January nuclear test, its fourth.Kim Un Gyun, a 25 year old member of the elite Kim Il Sung Youth League, was among Pyongyang residents expressing support for Kim and his policies.“Although we are under many sanctions, we have to strictly adhere to the nuclear program because it’s the Marshal Kim Jong Un’s Byongjin policy.”
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.