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Published: Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 10:18 AM
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 10:17 AM
WASHINGTON — Long-term US mortgage rates rose this week after three weeks of declines, marking their first increase of the year.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on 30-year fixed-rate loans climbed to an average 4.19 percent from 4.09 percent last week. That was still sharply higher than a 30-year rate that averaged 3.65 percent for all of 2016, the lowest level recorded from records going back to 1971. A year ago, the benchmark rate stood at 3.79 percent.
The average for a 15-year mortgage increased to 3.40 percent from 3.34 percent last week.
Mortgage rates surged in the weeks since the election of Donald Trump in early November. Investors in Treasury bonds bid yield rates higher because they believe the president-elect's plans for tax cuts and higher spending on roads, bridges and airports will drive up economic growth and inflation.
That would depress prices of long-term Treasury bonds because inflation would erode their value over time, a prospect that caused investors to demand higher yields.
In the latest week, the price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury bond dropped, pushing up its yield.
Bond yields move opposite to prices and influence long-term mortgage rates. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note climbed to 2.52 percent Wednesday from 2.42 percent a week earlier. The yield continued its steady march higher since Election Day Nov. 8, when it stood at 1.87 percent. It held steady at 2.52 percent Thursday morning.
To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn't include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.
The average fee for a 30-year mortgage fell this week to 0.4 point from 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also slipped to 0.4 point from 0.5 point.
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 1:20 PM
— The federal government has admitted that it does not know the whereabouts of almost 1,500 immigrant children in its custody, according to news reports.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement took in some 40,000 immigrant children in 2017 and when the agency reached out to check on more than 7,000 of them between October and December of 2017, 1,475 were unaccounted for at the end of the year, CNN reported.
The news came as the Trump administration cracks down on undocumented immigrants, threatening to separate more children from their families if the families are caught entering the United States illegally, in a new policy move.
In testimony before Congress earlier this month, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen said the children of illegal immigrants are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services within 48 hours after they are taken into custody, and DHHS officials then find sponsored homes for them, USA Today reported.
Nielsen said separations like this happen in the U.S. every day.
Top DHHS official Steven Wagner testified before a Congressional subcommittee last month during a hearing on the Office of Refugee Resettlement that the ORR was “was unable to determine with certainty the whereabouts of 1,475 children,” and that 28 more had run away, CNN reported.
“I understand that it has been HHS’ long-standing interpretation of the law that ORR is not legally responsible for the children after they are released from ORR care,” Wagner said.
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 7:45 PM
— A video game that gives the player the choice to be an elite SWAT team member or take the role of an active shooter during a mass casualty event is drawing national and international backlash.
“Active Shooter,” developed by Revived Games and offered through the Steam video game platform, is a point-of-view simulation game that allows the player to lead a team to extract civilians and neutralize the shooter, or play as the mass shooter, according to its description.
“I have been stormed with accusations and heavy (criticism) from people across the globe,” the video game publisher, Acid, wrote. “First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any sort of a mass shooting. Originally when this game started its course of the development, I (had) planned on having SWAT only based game-play. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. While I can see people's anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone. After receiving such high amount of critics and hate, I will more likely remove the shooters role in this game by the release, unless if it can be kept as it is right now.”
In addition to commenters on the video game storefront on Steam disgusted with it, a petition on change.org trying to stop its release has garnered more than 5,350 signatures.
Infer Trust, a United Kingdom charity, asked Valve, the company behind the Steam game store, to drop the title ahead of its June 6 release.
"It's in very bad taste,” an Infer Trust spokeswoman told the BBC. “There have been 22 school shootings in the U.S. since the beginning of this year. It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it's a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children? We're appalled that the game is being marketed."
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 10:44 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 9:49 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 9:37 a.m.:
Police arrested one male juvenile at the scene where rocks were being thrown onto vehicles traveling westbound on U.S. 35.
The juvenile was taken to the Juvenile Justice Center where he was booked on several counts of vandalism, according to a Dayton police report.
According to a report, the suspect admitted to throwing rocks at vehicles on U.S. 35.
It was not confirmed if anyone else was involved but the suspect told police another male juvenile threw rocks as well.
FIRST REPORT (May 26):
Nearly 20 motorists pulled over Saturday night after their vehicles were struck by someone throwing rocks while they were traveling west on U.S. 35.
Thomas Acco of Jefferson Twp. and his girlfriend had just dropped off their children and were headed home when a rock came through the front of the windshield.
“I was in shock that someone would play with someone’s life like this,” he said.
“Glass just flew everywhere. We had a little swerve contest with the car in front of us — their windshield got hit also. We just pulled to the side and it was like 15, 20 cars lined up to the side all with damage.”
Dayton police Lt. Chris Malson said there are no suspects, but plenty of victims.
“We got a report of multiple cars, approximately 18 of them, that were hit with rocks as they were driving westbound on U.S. 35 near Woodman (Drive),” he said. “All the calls came within about five minutes of each other.
The Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center said they received starting at 10 p.m. The last one received was at 10:29 p.m.
One of the victims was Susan Myers of Lima who was headed back home with her husband, riding in the front passenger seat.
“We heard a loud bang and looked up and saw the damage on the windshield,” she said. “We immediately pulled over and noticed that there were several cars ahead of us also pulled over with their hazard lights on.”
There are no reports of injuries, but Myers said they were shaken and now have to deal with broken glass inside the car and their insurance company.
Tony Gerardi of Xenia said he was driving home from visiting friends in Dayton when his car was struck.
“I hope police get them. I’m safe, thank God,” said Gerardi, “I don’t know why someone would do something like that.”
Earlier Saturday, around 4:45 p.m., another two motorists, one from Illinois and one from Dayton, reported their windshields were struck by rocks. At least one of the windshields shattered just when they went under a bridge. They told police the rocks appeared to come from the north side of the highway but were not able to see the culprits. Police officers found a pile of rocks laying on the side of the highway before the South Smithville Road exit, according to a Dayton police report.
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 11:55 AM
— Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer, with an estimated 154,050 deaths projected for 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute. Unfortunately, some groups are more likely to be diagnosed than others.
For the assessment, they examined lung cancer data of adults aged 30 to 54 from 1995 to 2014. They gathered information on sex, race or ethnic group, age, year of diagnosis and year of birth.
While previous research revealed men were more likely to be diagnosed, the new data suggests otherwise.
Overall, men were still more likely than women to have lung cancer when all races and ages were combined, but researchers noticed new patterns after closely assessing the different age and race groups.
Younger white and Hispanic women born since 1965 are now more likely to have lung cancer than white and Hispanic men, the researchers found.
For example, incidence rates for white women surpassed white men in nearly every age group examined. Rates of lung cancer among white women aged 40 to 44 went from 12 percent lower than men during the 1995-1999 period to 17 percent higher during the 2010-2014 period.
For black and Asian groups, the women rates inched closer to those of the men but did not exceed them.
In a statement, researchers said they were surprised by the results. While they are still exploring why the switch has occurred, they noted smoking patterns did not explain the change.
“While prevalence of smoking among men and women has converged over the past several decades, smoking prevalence among women has still generally not exceeded that of men,” lead author Ahmedin Jemal said. “We do not believe sex differences in smoking behavior explain our finding of a gender crossover.”
On the other hand, they do believe women more than men may be more susceptible to the health hazards of cigarette smoking. They explained that women may also be more likely to get lung cancer even after they quit smoking, but more research needs to be done.