House prices rise 0.3% in February

first_imgHouse prices rose by 0.3% month-on-month in February, according to the latest figures from the Halifax – slightly down on the 1.5% rise in January.The year-on-year increase also slowed to 2.8% in February from 4.1% the previous month.The Halifax figures compare with a slightly more conservative estimate from Nationwide, which put annual house price inflation at a 19-month high of 2.3% in February.The underlying trend remains strong, however, with a gain of 2.9% over the three months from November 2019.Confidence has soared since the decisive general election result, ending months of uncertainty over Brexit.The Halifax figures follow data from the Bank of England showing mortgage approvals for house purchases rose to 70,888 in January, the highest level in four years.The data relates to the period before the dramatic increase in coronavirus cases.Business analyst EY says it now looks likely that the COVID-19 outbreak will have a dampening effect on the economy and could also affect consumer confidence.As a result, EY has revised its house-price forecast downwards from a 3% rise over the course of 2020 to 2.5%.“We had been expecting house prices to rise 3% over 2020 following the marked pick-up in activity at the start of the year. However, it looks highly likely that the coronavirus outbreak will have some dampening effect as it impacts on the economy and consumer confidence,” said Howard Archer, Chief Economic Advisor to the EY ITEM Club.“Housing market activity – and possibly to a lesser extent – prices could be given a modest lift if the government introduces specific measures aimed at boosting the sector in the Budget.”Mr Archer said the shortage of properties for sale was likely to keep prices buoyant, although the latest RICS survey showed new instructions rose sharply in January for the second month in a row.“The economy now looks set for a pretty challenging year,” he prices rising Halifax market confidence mortgage approvals Nationwide March 9, 2020Richard ReedWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » House prices rise 0.3% in February previous nextHousing MarketHouse prices rise 0.3% in FebruaryHouse prices rose by 0.3% month-on-month in February, down on January – but trend still strong.Richard Reed9th March 20200600 Viewslast_img read more

Coal’s end may be on the horizon

first_imgCoal’s end may be on the horizon FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Should we just give up now?The world’s electrical utilities need to reduce coal consumption by at least 60 percent over the two decades through 2030 to avoid the worst effects of climate change that could occur with more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced Monday.Such a target seems wildly ambitious: Even Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tends to be more optimistic than other analysts (and more accurate) about the speed of energy transition, expects coal-fired generation to increase by 10 percent over the period. Hold on though. Is it really such a stretch?After all, U.S. coal-power generation decreased by about a third in the seven years through 2017, to 12.7 billion British thermal units from 18.5 billion, based on data from energy-market consultancy Genscape Inc. In the European Union, black-coal generation fell by about the same proportion over just four years through 2016, according to Eurostat, to 385,925 gigawatt-hours from 544,279 GWh.Across Europe and the U.S., the decline in coal output recently has averaged close to 5 percent a year. If the world as a whole can reach 7 percent a year, it would be on track to meet the IPCC’s 2030 target. The conventional wisdom is that this isn’t possible, as rising demand from emerging economies, led by China and India, overwhelms the switch from fossil fuels in richer countries. That may underestimate the changing economics of energy generation, though.The mainstream view is still that we can’t decarbonize our electricity system fast enough to meet the IPCC’s targets. But a decade ago, the current situation of plateauing demand for coal and car fuel and cratering renewables costs looked equally outlandish. Given the way the world’s energy market has changed in recent years, it’s a good idea to never say never.More: The end of coal could be closer than it lookslast_img read more

3 ways you’re wasting your time in the office

first_img 6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: Details We’ve talked before about the need to better manage your time when you’re at the office. You do your research, make a schedule, and look for your weak spots. But just what are those week spots? Here are three ways you keep wasting your time at the office…You treat the symptoms instead of the problem: There’s something not quite right about a process in your credit union. Are you repeatedly putting duct tape over it instead of replacing it? While you may think your solution is an easy one, is it really the right one? Find solutions to problems that are going to get down to the root of the problem and not cause you or your staff to have to waste any more time correcting it.You try to multi-task too often: Multi-tasking isn’t the answer. If you can keep your brain focused on one task at a time, you’ll get through each task as efficiently as you possibly can. Don’t let your to-do list keep you unfocused all day. Go down your list and knock everything out quickly and effectively.You schedule dumb meetings: Okay, some meetings are actually good meetings. But how many times have you left a meeting and then thought to yourself: “That should have been an email.” Before scheduling a meeting, make a list of everything you want to cover and what you need to say about it. Then, take a look at your list and decide if it really needs to be said face-to-face or if it can be effectively conveyed through an email. You’ll often save not only your own valuable time, but your staff’s as well.last_img read more

Mars Life Would Spit Out the Water

first_img(Visited 86 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Finding minimal amounts of salty water contaminated with perchorates is not helpful to life.The optimistic astrobiology reporter Pallab Ghosh at the BBC is at it again, tantalizing readers with thoughts of Martians. In his piece “Is there life on Mars?” he retells the history of his optimistic antecedent, Percival Lowell, who spent his fortune seeking the “canals” on Mars that he mistranslated from Schiaparelli’s map. Ghosh whisks the reader along to Vikings 1 and 2 that, in 1976, seemed to present negative results on the life question. But now, he says, new findings about gullies on some craters has provided “The strongest evidence yet that water still flows on the Martian surface.” And everyone knows what that means:For there to be life, there needs to be liquid water. Evidence for that has been growing and earlier this week Nasa [sic] seemed to have the the strongest evidence yet that some is still there – albeit in small amounts.The discovery confirms that the Red Planet is still geologically active and, tantalisingly, it increases the possibility that it may currently harbour simple living organisms….The discovery confirms that the Red Planet is still geologically active and, tantalisingly, it increases the possibility that it may currently harbour simple living organisms.Ghosh seems to have an affection for the word “tantalizing” which is mostly what he does in his article. He ends with a quote that tantalizes the imagination:“If we find life on Mars and it can be shown to be of a different origin to that on Earth, then that essentially means that the Universe is teeming with life. It seems almost impossible that life could spring up by chance on two adjacent planets if life was rare.“But can two examples in the same solar system around one star mean the universe is teeming with life? Looks like a bad case of extrapolation. As for life springing up by chance, maybe he needs to think a little about the numbers (see online book).Ghosh’s imagination sprang from water to life (hydrobioscopy). What if the water is so bad, Martians would spit it out? Nadia Drake at National Geographic is a tad more realistic:You might think that the first human explorers on Mars will park next to a salty stream and use it to manufacture fresh drinking water. Maybe they could even find life in damp Martian nooks and crannies, areas where the dusty red planet can still fuel microbes.Reality is much more subtle. Finding evidence for flowing water is not the same as finding life. Right now, scientists don’t know where this water is coming from, or if the chemistry in these Martian seeps is even life-friendly. And unfortunately, chances are it will be a long time before we can get there to find out.Drake also points to evidence from Earth that is not encouraging to Mars-lifers:[Chris] McKay notes that the type of salts near the Martian streaks, called perchlorates, form different watery mixtures than the salts we’re most used to on Earth. In fact, it’s possible the perchlorate streaks could behave similarly to Antarctica’s Don Juan Pond, which is the saltiest liquid water body on Earth—and totally dead.“Such a brine is not suitable for life and is of no interest biologically,” McKay says. “Nothing can live in the brine of Don Juan Pond.”Jonathan Amos at the BBC News is also optimistic about water and life, but realistic about the chance of finding it on Mars without contaminating the planet with our own germs. “Wherever there’s water, there’s a good chance life can thrive,” he tantalizes, but then descends into the depressing realities of trying to get close to those crater slopes with spacecraft to check them out.Maybe instead we should just look for Martians on Earth. PhysOrg published an article titled, “Rock samples from Western US teach how to hunt for life on Mars.” This article even got religion:The search for life beyond Earth is one of the grandest endeavors in the history of humankind—a quest that could transform our understanding of our universe both scientifically and spiritually.One again, tantalizing suggestions tempt the reader to think that if water is there, life must exist (or at least be possible). The NASA announcement, though, presents “salty” water. Salt is not good for cells trying to emerge (4/15/02). Perchlorates are worse.Since it’s so hard to study Mars directly, there’s an easier way: study rocks that look like fossil microbial mats. Stromatolites, the “apartment buildings” of microbes could, in the meantime, teach scientists how to use instruments to detect life if they ever find similar rocks on Mars and return them to Earth some day. They could, that is, if scientists find a way to distinguish them:She [Alison Olcott-Marshall, U of Kansas] said microbial and non-microbial rocks are found in similar environments, with identical preservation histories for millions of years, and many of the same chemical parameters, such as amounts of organic carbon preserved in the rocks.Let’s say we get a sample return from the 2020 Mars mission, and it has a layered appearance. We will still only look “tantalizingly” like maybe there might have been perhaps life once upon a time on Mars, but they won’t know, because it could be “non-microbial.”All this hydrobioscopy depends on clean water. Chris McKay, despite his optimism, knows that. In Live Science‘s piece “Why is water so essential to life,” he compares water to other liquids like methane, for which we have no evidence life could make something of it instead of water. The article admits, though, that “the briny flows” detected by NASA “may be too full of chlorine-based salts to support life” — how then, exactly, does this “raise the odds that Mars could have life right now”?Perhaps Mars had a lot more water in the past. Or maybe it’s there and we just can’t see it.Researchers in Barcelona are revisiting accounts of Martian megafloods, inferring past events from geological evidence. Science Daily ups the perhapsimaybecouldness index:A recent study puts forward a new explanation for the Martian megafloods: enormous discharges of subterranean water that dug out the biggest flood channels in the solar system over 3 billion years ago….In the words of the Geology Department researchers, “Our research suggests that, given that the process was regional rather than global, there could still be large reservoirs of subterranean water trapped under the surface of Mars, in the areas around the old northern ocean, or in other parts of the planet where seas and lakes formed at the same time.” “Traces of ancient environments capable of sustaining life forms similar to those on Earth could have been preserved in sub-surface materials that are now exposed,” claim R. Linares and M. Zarroca. “The results obtained could have clear implications both for exobiological research and for future human activity on Mars.”These researchers think the floods were local rather than global, resulting from oceans, lakes and glaciers. One of their illustrations superimposes the estimated Martian floods over Europe, showing large parts of Spain, France and eastern Europe inundated.It’s evident that much of astrobiology depends on divination techniques deriving from the imaginations of their own hearts (1/17/07 commentary). They imagine themselves gaining understanding, both scientifically and spiritually. Since spirits are not made of atoms, these prophets betray their dependence on imaginary religions of their own devising.last_img read more

Cabinet launches consultation drives

first_img Bahamas to hold historic Cabinet Meeting outside of Capital PNP Administration to Meet the Press in Post Cabinet debriefing TCI begins loan re-financing talks Related Items:cabinet meeting, consultative drive Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 29 Jan 2016 – During the recent meeting, Cabinet approved for the National pharmaceutical policy and a draft agriculture policy. In the case of the pharmaceutical plan, or NPP the document has already been prepared and endorsed by the Ministry of Health; it is also supported by the Pan American Health Organization.The public consultation on agriculture is aimed to update the current national plan. last_img read more

SD Sheriffs Department uses specialized dogs to help fight crime

first_imgSD Sheriff’s Department uses specialized dogs to help fight crime Posted: February 21, 2019 KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- President Trump, earlier today, at a rally in El Paso talked about how K9’s are a valuable asset to border protection.Deputy Kirsten Racine, who is a k9 handler with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, talked to KUSI about what it’s like being a handler.Full comments on the K9’s at President Trump’s rally: February 21, 2019last_img read more

President Trump Dismisses Grand Spending Caps Deal

first_img ADC AUTHOR President Donald Trump Thursday night dismissed the idea of a bipartisan two-year spending caps deal to avoid billions in mandatory defense and nondefense spending cuts, reported.“House Democrats want to negotiate a $2 TRILLION spending increase but can’t even pass their own plan. We can’t afford it anyway, and it’s not happening!” Trump tweeted.Earlier in the week House Democrats failed to gather enough support for a $1.3 trillion budget that would have eliminated $126 billion in budget cuts for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 beginning Oct. 1, as ADC reported.The scrapped House budget vote would have increased defense spending by $17 billion and nondefense spending by $34 billion for 2020, but the administration says the legislation would increase spending nearly $2 trillion over 10 years.The administration’s 2020 budget keeps the mandatory nondefense cuts, but proposes diverting billions in DOD funds into a Pentagon account that is not subject to caps. The move would need to be approved by Congress, driving the need a larger bipartisan budget deal to resolve spending differences.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced last week that he has engaged in talks with the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to negotiate a bipartisan budget agreement.Army photo by Sgt. James McCannlast_img read more