Print This Post Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago April 6, 2018 893 Views Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, Journal, Market Studies, News Home Values Job Growth 2018-04-06 Staff Writer Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Previous: Fight Against Urban Blight Finds Unexpected Ally Next: How Homebuying Millennials Must Adapt Sign up for DS News Daily Related Articles Share Save Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Tagged with: Home Values Job Growth As Jobs Grow, Home Listing Prices Follow Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / As Jobs Grow, Home Listing Prices Follow The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Subscribe The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Kristina Brewer is a graduate of the University of North Texas (UNT), where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in rhetoric and writing and a minor in global marketing. During this time, she served as Director of Philanthropy in the national women’s fraternity Zeta Tau Alpha, of which she is an alumna. Her passion for philanthropy continued after university when she was an intern at Keep Denton Beautiful, a local partner of Keep America Beautiful, where she drove membership, organized events, and led social media campaigns. Brewer honed her writing at the North Texas Daily, UNT’s student-run newspaper where she wrote about faculty, mentorship, and student life. Brewer also previously worked at Optimus Business Plans where she helped start-ups create funding proposals, risk assessments, and management plans. You can reach her at [email protected] In a report released by the U.S. Department of Labor, surveys found that total nonfarm payroll employment increased to 103,000 in March, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.1 percent, for the sixth consecutive month. “In March, a net of 103,000 additional jobs were created, a slowdown from February, but still enough to make the 90th consecutive month of job growth,” said Danielle Hale, Chief Economist from Realtor.com. “Since October 2010, 17.9 million jobs have been added to the economy. But this weaker than expected job growth may lead to more fluctuations in the stock market as it recovers from this week’s potential trade war news.” Hale goes on to project what this may mean for the housing and mortgage industry.“Home prices continue to steadily increase, driven by demand and the overall strength of the job market. Unemployment remains low at 4.1 percent. As new workers join the workforce, there’s potential for even more demand to be added the housing market which could drive prices even higher. In March, listing prices rose 8 percent year-over-year and are easily on track to surpass last year’s highs.”The number of unemployed persons changed little, at a reported 6.6 million in March, while the number of long-term unemployed, or those jobless for 27 weeks or more, accounted for 20.3 percent of unemployed persons. The labor force participation rate was 62.9 percent in March, with the employment-population ratio holding at 60.4 percent. “The unemployment rate has remained flat for six straight months, and the average workweek held on to the increase in the prior month. Wages picked up during the month, but the year-over-year rise has held within the narrow band seen since late 2017,” said Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Freddie Mae. “The 15,000 drop in construction employment—the weakest in three years—following the 65,000 gain in February—the strongest in more than a decade—supports the view that the February-March swing in hiring was likely weather-induced noise. Despite hiccups in some economic activity amid increasingly heated rhetoric on trade, our growth outlook and our call of three Fed hikes this year have not changed, though downside risks appear to be intensifying.”In March, construction employment decreased by 15,000, following a large gain in February of 65,000. Nonfarm payroll employment grew in manufacturing (22,000), with the durable goods component accounting for nearly three-fourths of the jobs added, as well as healthcare (22,000), and mining (9,000) with gains reflective in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction. Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in March (up 33,000) and has risen by 502,000 over the year. About Author: Kristina Brewer
An American hedge fund has invested in excess of £100M in Britain’s biggest prepared fresh foods supplier.The Boston-based Baupost Group has bought shares in the privately owned Bakkavör Group as part of a wider ownership shake-up of the company. As a result, Bakk AL Holdings, (a company owned by Agust & Lydur Gudmundsson and funds managed by The Baupost Group), now owns approximately 89% of the outstanding shares in Bakkavör.Agust Gudmundsson, chief executive of the Bakkavör Group said: “I am delighted to welcome The Baupost Group to Bakkavör. They are globally recognised as highly successful long-term investors and are supportive of the company’s continued expansion plans.”In a statement, Bakkavör described The Baupost Group as “investors with experience investing in a wide range of securities and asset classes globally, including within the food sector”.UK and global interestsAgust and Lydur Gudmundsson, who own a controlling interest in Bakk AL Holdings, will remain in their current roles and retain their positions as chief executive and chairman respectively.Bakkavör employs more than 18,000 people globally and produces more than 5,500 products in 18 different categories, including bakery. Products include pre-cooked baguettes, dough balls and ciabattas. In the UK, customers include Tesco, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Asda and Morrisons.
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaThere’s a destructive gang running loose in Georgia. It wants to do only two things and has taken an opportunity to drastically increase its numbers in recent years. In its wake, it threatens to suck some profit out of a major Georgia commodity.Individual members of the gang probably don’t know they’re in a gang. But collectively they’ve gotten the attention of Georgia cotton farmers, says Phillip Roberts, entomologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.They have complex scientific names. But on the street, or in the field, gang members use aliases like stink bug, tarnished plant bug and leaf-footed bug.“And all they want to do is eat and reproduce,” Roberts said.Gang leader The gang’s ring leader is the stink bug. Common across Georgia and around homes, the stink bug, along with other gang members, really likes the taste of cotton bolls, the fruit-like part of the plant that produces lint. A hungry stink bug pierces a boll with its needle-like beak and injects a digestive enzyme to soften the tissue inside. It then sucks the tissue out for food.“In addition to the outside boll damage, the hole it creates allows organisms to enter the boll and cause rot,” he said. This reduces the quality and yield of the cotton from that boll, if it is able to produce cotton after the attack.Georgia’s cotton plants begin to make these bolls around mid-June. About 75 percent of the cotton now is setting bolls.New problemIn the past, this gang wasn’t much of a concern to farmers or entomologists. It was controlled when farmers sprayed pesticides on their cotton to kill other bugs and worms. (Tobacco budworms and corn earworms cause the most economic damage to cotton. Left unchecked, they can eat a field down to nothing.) In the 1980s and early-90s, Georgia farmers had to spray their cotton for worms and bugs as much as 16 times throughout the six-month growing season, Roberts said. And the chemical they sprayed killed most all bugs, including all members of the boll-eating gang.Due to new technology, however, farmers don’t have to spray pesticides nearly as much anymore.In the mid-90s, farmers began planting a new kind of cotton, developed to produce an insecticidal toxin created by a common bacteria, Bacillus thuringiensis. When worms eat the leaves of this Bt cotton, they die without causing any more damage to the plant.Most Georgia farmers now only spray about twice for bugs or worms each growing season. This has saved farmers money and time and has been better for the environment in and around cotton fields, Roberts said.But now that farmers spray less pesticide in their fields, members of the boll-eating gang have moved in for an easy cotton boll meal. And their numbers are on the rise.The real damage from this gang will not be known until harvest begins in September and October, Roberts said.Farmers and cotton scouts should keep an eye out for boll damage and the members of the boll-eating gang right now, Roberts says. If too many gang members show up, farmers should spray before they get out of hand and cause real damage to the crop.
Tipp FM’s Stephen Gleeson caught up with Tipp manager Liam Kearns after the gameHowever that game at Cusack Park was overshadowed by an incident involving Tipp selector Shane Stapleton who has been taken to hospital.It’s reported Stapleton hit his head off the ground after he was involved in an incident with Clare’s Jamie Malone, who was shown a red card.Other results today from Division 2Roscommon 0-7 Down 0-12Cork 2-11 Louth 0-10Cork now top Division 2.Next up for Tipp is the visit of Meath to Semple Stadium in two weeks time. Tipp manager Liam Kearns says the Premier were lucky to get a share of the points in Ennis this afternoon.The sides finished all square at 11 points apiece.This leaves Tipp with a win, a draw and a defeat from their opening three games in Division 2 of the National Football League.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dieticianI have a love-hate relationship with bees. I love the bees at my farm! It is a symbiotic relationship farm to bee. The bees especially love the red raspberries. Not much beats a warm fall day with a breeze, listening to the bees at work. It is Zen-like. And let me tell you, my customers love honey!I have however, had quite a few funniest home video adventures with bees, with one last week being among the most memorable. I’ve mowed around the hives, weekly for 13 years with only one incident. But somehow last week some bees got caught in my hair. I was wearing ear plugs but I’m sure I was screaming. They began to sting my scalp because they couldn’t get out of (as Paul says) my mass of hair! I high-tailed it, pedal to the floor to my mom’s next door about 800 feet away. I arrived at her door with my new “beehive” hairdo, created not from a 1960s beauty parlor but due to my erratic and wild driving trying to out drive the bees.“Free the bees” I yelled!Between my mass of hair, my mom’s eye issues and the bees loving my hair, it took some time before I was bee free. It sure wasn’t pleasant at the time but I wish I had it on video. I’m sure it would’ve won the big prize!There were 7,644 beekeepers registered with Ohio Department of Agriculture by the beginning of 2019, with an estimated 4,700+ colonies. In 2015, Ohio produced 850,000 pounds of honey. The American Beekeeping Federation (AFB) states that there are over 300 unique varieties of honey in the United States, each originating from a different floral source. It is estimated that a third of all foods, either directly or indirectly, need honey pollination. The world’s oldest honey was discovered about 7 years ago in the country of Georgia and estimated to be over 5,500 years old.It is certainly buzz-worthy to note that the honeybee is an interesting sort. They love to fly. Bees are generally home foraging in a 2-mile radius from their hive, though they have been known to fly up to 6 miles. On average a worker bee only lives 6 to 8 weeks in the summer. Their main cause of death is that they have worn their wings out. In that short lifetime, they produce one-twelfth of teaspoon of honey and fly the equivalent of one and a half times the circumference of the earth.Honey adds a unique rich flavor to your recipes. A quick and easy way to get every tasty drop of honey is to spray utensils with cooking spray before measuring. Honey has 22 calories per teaspoon compared to sugar with 16 calories per teaspoon, so you won’t need as much to sweeten your foods. You can substitute honey for sugar. This being true, ABF suggest you can substitute honey for up to half the sugar in the recipe, reducing liquid by one-quarter cup per 1 cup of honey used. You should also reduce temps by 25 degrees F when baking to prevent overbrowning.All honey will naturally crystalize, especially if you are not a huge consumer of honey. You can liquify in the microwave with the lid off. First, get a micro safe container and be careful not to boil the honey. Start with 30-second increments and stir between. Speaking from personal experience, honey bears are NOT, I repeat not micro safe. One suggestion given to me was to pop your honey bear in the top rack of your dishwasher. Run the cycle and voilà — beautiful honey in a non-deformed bear!!!September is a great month to celebrate honey! The bees begin to prepare for the winter and beekeepers are collecting their sweet harvests. Use it to top your fruit, bread products, yogurt or try one of the recipes below. It’s bound to BEE a tasty treat!!Eat well and healthyShelly No bake chocolate peanut butter energy bites honey.comThis is one of National Honey Board’s most requested recipes. 1/2 cup peanuts, finely chopped1 1/2 cup old fashioned Quaker oats, divided1/3 cup flax seeds1/2 cup almond flour3 T unsweetened cocoa2 T peanut butter powder2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, divided1/2 cup peanut butter1/3 cup + 1 T honey2 T milk Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper.In a food processor, combine 1 cup of the oats, flax seed, almond flour, cocoa, peanut butter powder and 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips. Pulse several times until it resembles coarse meal.Add the peanut butter, honey and almond milk to the oat mixture and process until the mixture comes together.Transfer the oat mixture to a large bowl and mix in the remaining oats and chocolate chips, your hands work best for this!Scoop out 1” clusters of the mixture and roll into a ball with your hands. Then dip the bites in the finely chopped peanuts. Place each ball on the sheet pan and chill in the refrigerator. When the bites are chilled and set, store in an airtight container for up to a week. Makes 15 balls NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving) Calories 214 kcal; Fat 13 g; Sat Fat 3 g; Carb 23 g; Protein 6 g; Fiber 4 g; Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 48 mg; Potassium 182 mg; Calcium 34 mg; Iron 1 mg; Vitamin D 1 mcg Honey beets old favorite honey recipes abfnet.org 6-8 young beets2 Tbsp. butter1 tsp. onion, chopped finely2 tsp. cornstarch1 cup water2 Tbsp. Honey2 Tbsp. VinegarSalt and pepper to taste Wash and cook 6 young beets. Drain and peel skin. Cut in slices or cubes.Melt butter in saucepan, add onion and sauté slightly.Add cornstarch, water, salt and pepper. Stir until thick. Stir in beets, vinegar and honey. Eat soon. Honey-roasted vegetables marthastewart.com2 medium sweet potatoes (1 pound total), peeled, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces1/2 cup walnut halves1/4 cup honey2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oilCoarse salt and ground pepper3 to 5 sprigs thymePreheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 3-quart baking dish, toss together sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, walnuts, honey, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Top with thyme sprigs and roast until vegetables are browned at edges and tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Honey and cinnamon nighttime drink https://infotopharian.blogspot.com/It’s a little hot to enjoy this drink tonight but this website claims it is the ideal method to unwind and destress during the evening! I’ll let you know in the morning. 1 cup milk1 tsp honey2 drop vanilla extract1 pinch ground cinnamon Pour milk into a microwave safe mug and place in the microwave. Cook on High until the milk is very hot and begins to foam, about 3 minutes. Stir in honey and vanilla, then sprinkle with cinnamon before serving. Whipped cinnamon honey butter houseofnasheats.comThis is similar to the butter served at steakhouses! 1 cup butter, room temperature1 cup honey1/2 cup powdered sugar1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Beat the softened butter until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes, in a large bowl with a hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.Add the remaining ingredients and beat again until smooth. Transfer to jars or other storage containers. Serve at room temperature.
Build your reputation. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Prompt responses. Around the clock support. Tags:#celebrity influencers#crowdfunding#Digital Marketing#influencer marketing agency Accredited investors. According to influencer marketing agency Mediakix’s latest influencer marketing survey, 89 percent of surveyed marketers say the return on investment is as good as — or better than — other channels. Eight out of 10 also said that they see influencer marketing as “effective” or “very useful. Networks to look into are YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter influencers. These channels are influencer marketing at scale and give brands the opportunity to leverage social influencers organically as well as enjoying cross-channel competency.The large network of influencers ensures that any brand they are accelerating carries out a successful crowdfunded campaign all the time focusing on the here and now. The game-changer is to outsource to the best hands around instead of depending on the internal source. Or, trying to engage influencers on your own which is not as effective as working with a crowdfunding influencer network. The need for expertise for a marketing support agency cannot be overemphasized. A competent team has to work on many startup projects and have years of crowdfunding experience to have expertise. It also can help you if the marketing support agency you pick can work with some of the largest blockchain and enterprises companies in the world. Find out if they’re connected to the most influential people in Blockchain. They travel to the largest crypto conferences in the world and have networked with thought leaders like Charlie Lee, the Founder of Litecoin, Joseph Lubin, Co-Founder of Ethereum, and, Tim Draper, the most significant Bitcoin Whale VC Investor. Get connected to a team with clients on other channels globally, and countries in many languages. Find a company with a billion views, not just millions if you can — and expertise that can provide you with geo-specific targeting. Data-driven approach. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry Marketing has gone customer-centric, and any business that wants to compete effectively must do everything to satisfy the customer. The speed with which you attend to their pain points determines every other thing. A good marketing support agency must staff full-time team members around the world in multiple time zones that speak multiple languages to be able to respond within just one minute.Investors and community members want to be quickly responded to; it minimizes fear, doubt, and uncertainty (FUD). Your company aim here is to stop spam, get community members engaged, and provide immediate responses to your team. Investors view fast responses as a measure of the level of commitment the team has about their project. It is the duty of the accelerator or marketing support agency to advocate for quick funding of crowdfunding campaigns, with the hindsight that it overwhelmingly and resoundingly sends across the message that the startup has come on board and is one to watch out for. It also contributes significantly to enhancing the brand’s visibility and helps to attract additional investors for subsequent funding. Segun OnibalusiFounder & CEO Related Posts Around 40% of a public company’s market performance can be attributed to non-financial factors associated with its corporate reputation. These can also be individualistic properties according to analysis. “A corporate reputation is the overall estimation in which an organization is held by its internal and external stakeholders based on its past actions and probability of its future behavior.” This statement, according to a leading international expert Charles Fombrun, a former research professor of management at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and founder of the Reputation Institute.Experience is based on a person’s past dealings with your organization while the other is purely the extent and nature of people’s direct and indirect communication with you. The reputation built by confident investors over the years stands helps a marketing agency stand out among its peers. When you strive to enhance your reputation by being genuine to your goal, the outcome is that people will eventually learn about your project. Expertise. Crowdfunding platforms must not only ensure that investors fund you but also ascertains that they are accredited. Accredited investors are a particular class of investors who can access investments that regular investors can not. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) permits companies and private funds who sell assets to accredited investors to skip the need to register certain investments. When you sell to accredited investors, you are exempted from registering any securities with the SEC under rules 505 and 506 of Regulation D.No government agency or independent body review an investor’s credentials, and no certification exam or piece of paper exists that states a person has become an accredited investor. What it boils down to is how you determine a potential investor’s status by conducting due diligence prior to your sale. Network of influencers. Building an Audience. If a substantial relationship exists between a crowdfunding platform, the investors and businesses, a route for constant feedbacks will be established. Growth may not always be the answer. Companies that utilize supergrowth techniques are having a difficult time managing their groups after saturation. Sometimes they provide bad solutions or ignore their now large community. A good relationship ensures that customers have the opportunity to be heard, and they, in turn, provide valuable feedback for brands in areas that might need to be tweaked. A marketing support agency that intends to help crowdfunding platforms attain their goals should have at their beck and calls a global team of passionate thought leaders and moderators that provide 24/7 support across all major languages right around the year who will effectively grow your community. Before investors dip their hands into their pockets to fund a project, they carry out an extensive evaluation. The investors take critical looks at the size of their community and engagement — with the view of discovering any shortcoming. People don’t ordinarily bank on a sinking shipLendingblock sold out $10 million in 3 days, and Linda Wang, Co-Founder & COO of Lendingblock has this to say: “…our telegram room has already grown 100X within two months. Already, their team has proven their knowledge in both marketing and lending across all of the community channels.” For any campaign to be successful, you have to package it correctly. According to Crowdcreates Co-Founder Ivan Kan, “Getting a product from development stages to becoming a well-known project is still very challenging. There’s still a lot of projects that go up there — a lot of it gets lost in the noise. Our specialty is to craft a story and make it viral.”The point is not just to go about telling a story; the most essential thing that will make your story sell is how it is crafted. The way you package the campaign invariably determines how successful it will be. Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… In this age of big data, any corporation that wants to excel must adopt a data-driven approach to execute projects successfully. Ivan Kan says to focus on being data-driven in every project.To be data-driven, you must ensure that:Test design and analysis are overseen by analytics/data science teams.Dashboards are already in place to give stakeholders self-serve access to key metrics. (Otherwise, you’ll have low-value ad-hoc requests to pull these metrics, and it’ll be a time sink.)Analytics/Data Science teams collaborate with the business to understand the problem and devise an appropriate methodology.There are data governance and consistent usage of data definitions across departments in the organization.You have an unassailable data strategy. Segun Onibalusi is the Founder and CEO at SEO POW, an Organic link building and content marketing agency.When he’s not learning something new about link earning and his industry you’ll find him planning his next trip.You can reach out to him via email at [email protected] Good relationship. Get Funding as Quick as Possible. There are thousands of prospective businesses out there looking for financial assistance to kickstart as well as functional ones that want to expand on the one hand while there are a large number of investors who are looking for projects to fund. Crowdfunding platforms come into the game, to bring the two together. Here are 10 things teaching us about running successful crowdfunding campaigns.The main reason being that you don’t organize a successful crowdfunding campaign with kids gloves; it takes the input of an expert, an experienced and tested crowdfunding marketing support agency.Where others find it extremely difficult a growth marketing service provider can help some of the world’s largest companies and fast-growing startups accelerate their growth and raise funds.Anker’s is the most successful Kickstarter campaigns that raised 5M USD. Anker is Amazon’s largest electronics seller doing revenues over 1bn USD. Crowdcreate helped them get there.Nui Cookies hit their first Kickstarter campaign, and the food craze company was featured on ABC’s hit TV show, Shark Tank. Asia’s fastest-selling token sale, Bezant, raised 18M USD in just two hours and built their community from zero.Eric Youn, Community Manager of Bezant, mentioned how efficient and successful crowdfunding campaigns done by Crowdcreate were. Youn said: “We could not have met our 17 million Hardcap and sold out our 4 million Bonus round without Crowdcreate. They helped us when FUD and spam were getting the best of our Telegram room. They also advised me during peak panic hours.”What are the 10 things teaching us about running successful crowdfunding campaigns? Here are the takeaways you should learn. AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not…
Ter Stegen: I’m happier in Barcelona than city I was bornby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen admits he feels more settled in Spain than in Germany.Ter Stegen is now firmly established as Barca’s No1 keeper.He told Libero: “The kindness of the people has made it much easier for me. “It is not normal for me to be treated so well. This gives me a lot of life. In our profession, everyone is looking at you and wants to make an opinion about you. And I would not like to change because I’m a natural person.””It was very important for me to get to a city that you can identify with. I think that if you come to a place that does not convince you, you can not be comfortable for many years in that place and feel good. There are players who do not care much, but I do, and now I almost feel better here than in the city where I was born.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Deschamps confirms Man Utd star Pogba will miss Liverpool clashby Freddie Taylor21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFrance boss Didier Deschamps has admitted that Paul Pogba will miss the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers for his side.Deschamps was hoping that Pogba would be involved in the upcoming national team games.But it appears the midfielder has suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury that has troubled him all season.Pogba is likely to miss game time for his club Manchester United as well.”It’s a new worry with his ankle,” Les Bleus coach Deschamps told reporters.”He played in the [Carabao] Cup, he played again on Monday against Arsenal. He again has a problem that’s going to keep him out of action for three weeks.”I’d prefer he was there like all the available players but unfortunately he isn’t in a physical state to be present.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Newcastle winger Saint-Maximin: We must build on Man Utd victoryby Paul Vegas15 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin says they must build on victory over Manchester United.Saint-Maximin was impressive for the 1-0 win.He told nufc.co.uk: “It’s a great reaction after last week.“Everybody was very disappointed after losing against Leicester but we talked about it and said that this cannot happen again.“We are a good team with good players and we have to keep going and working hard. You always want to improve and play a great game against the great teams. We showed a lot of good things against Man United.“It’s a good time to win before the international break because everybody can now enjoy it a little bit before we play against Chelsea. We must make sure we keep going because we need to have good concentration and togetherness as a team to make sure we are ready for the next game.”
Jerusalem: Israel began voting in its second election in five months Tuesday that will decide whether to extend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s term as the country’s longest-serving prime minister despite corruption allegations against him. Polls opened at 7:00 am (0400 GMT) and were due to close in most areas at 10:00 pm. At one Jerusalem polling station, a trickle of voters arrived to cast ballots just after opening time. The stakes could not be much higher for the 69-year-old right-wing leader who, as in April polls, faces a strong challenge from ex-military chief Benny Gantz and his centrist Blue and White alliance. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Ex-defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu’s former right-hand man turned rival, could play a kingmaker role with his campaign to “make Israel normal again.” Some 6.4 million people are eligible to cast ballots. The first exit surveys will be released just after polls close, while official results are not expected until Wednesday. Opinion polls have indicated another tight race, showing Netanyahu’s Likud and Blue and White winning around 32 seats each in the 120-seat parliament. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Both Netanyahu and Gantz paid a last-minute visit Monday night to Jerusalem’s Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews are allowed to pray. Netanyahu enters the election after having suffered one of the biggest defeats of his political career following the April vote. His Likud along with its right-wing and religious allies won a majority of seats, leading Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to task the premier with forming a new government. But following weeks of discussions, Netanyahu failed, leading him to opt for an unprecedented second election rather than risk having Rivlin choose someone else. The danger for Netanyahu extends beyond remaining prime minister, a post he has held for a total of more than 13 years. If he wins, many believe he will seek to have parliament grant him immunity from prosecution while facing the possibility of a corruption indictment in the weeks ahead. Israel’s attorney general has said he intends to indict Netanyahu for fraud, bribery and breach of trust pending a hearing expected only days after the election in early October. A final decision would come later. Netanyahu would not be required to step down if indicted, only if convicted with all appeals exhausted. Recognising the stakes, Netanyahu spent the final days of the campaign seeking to appeal to right-wing nationalists — key to his re-election bid — and to boost turnout among his base. Those efforts have included a controversial pledge to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, a third of the territory. He has issued unfounded warnings that the vote could be stolen by fraud in Arab communities, leading critics to accuse him of racism. But Netanyahu has also highlighted the country’s growing economy and his relationships with world leaders such as US President Donald Trump. He has tried to label his main opponents “weak” and “leftist” despite their security credentials. “This is the choice that is open to you: their left-wing government or a strong right-wing government led by me,” he said Monday. Gantz has campaigned by presenting himself as an honourable alternative. He has repeatedly spoken of Netanyahu’s willingness to form a coalition with far-right parties that could help him seek immunity. Gantz says his alliance, which includes three former military chiefs of staff, wants a unity government that the vast majority of Israelis would support.