Markets News 

Mortgage rates stay subdued, bringing relief to slumping housing market

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.45% in the January 17 week, mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac said Thursday” writes Andrea Riquier for marketwatch.com. Even as mortgage rates have declined or stayed steady over the past few months, Americans have applied for home loans in droves.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88%, down one basis point.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%, up from 3.83%.Americans flocked to line up financing for home purchases as rates for home loans remained favorable, suggesting the recent housing downturn may be easing. Source: marketwatch.com

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Pfizer’s new drug applications for tafamidis accepted for filing by FDA

“Pfizer Inc’s PFE, -1.43% two new drug applications for tafamidis for the treatment of a fatal heart condition have been accepted for filing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company announced Monday” writes Sarah Toy for marketwatch.com. One of those forms, tafamidis meglumine, was granted priority review and has a July 2019 Prescription Drug User Fee Act target date for FDA review, the company said.Pfizer submitted the NDAs based on two forms of the drug for treatment of transthyretin amyloid cardiomyopathy, a fatal condition where a transport protein…

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IBM continues its big bet on data with new weather, health-tech applications

“Rometty and Bastian discussed other ways that data can impact airline travel, in regards to security and customer loyalty” writes Emily Bary for marketwatch.com. Big data and artificial intelligence present big business opportunities, but there’s steep competition in the area.Weather models in most countries run only six to 12 hours, but IBM plans to use data from aircrafts, smartphones, and other sources to conduct hourly forecasts across the globe. Source: marketwatch.com

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Thirteen people apply online on Christmas Day in England and Wales

“Thirteen people applied online to divorce their partners on Christmas Day, according to government figures” writes Owen Bowcott for theguardian.com. More than 300,000 people have registered with online justice services since 2015.During the period between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day, 455 applications were lodged in England and Wales, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said. Online services do not replace existing paper-based applications, but provide what the department said were quicker, easier routes for many claimants.The justice minister, Lucy Frazer, said: “These online services are already making a difference to…

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Don’t blame planning system for the housing crisis, developers told 

“Housebuilders have been told to stop blaming the planning system for holding back the supply of new homes as new figures show councils are speeding through applications at their fastest rate in over a decade” writes Garry White for telegraph.co.uk. Around 87pc of major applications for residential planning permission were processed within 13 weeks or an agreed time limit in the year to last summer, compared with a low-point of just 47pc five years earlier.For minor applications the rate rose from 60pc to 82pc in the same period, while the…

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Portugal Tech Visa applications now open

“The evaluation will be based on the potential, degree of technological innovation and orientation for the internationalization of the companies, which can not have more than 50% of employees contracted simultaneously under Tech Visa” writes Tim Hinchliffe Is for portugalstartups.com. The companies in the area of ​​technology and innovation that wish to be included in the list of companies certified to receive foreign citizens through the program will have to apply, as of January 2, 2019, to the Tech Visa program. Source: portugalstartups.com

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Markets News 

Windows 10 has passed Windows 7 in market share

“More than three years after its release, Windows 10 has passed Windows 7 in market share” writes Emil Protalinski for venturebeat.com. Windows 10 had 38.14 percent market share in November and gained 1.08 percentage points in December to hit 39.22 percent.Windows 10 market share growth has been slowed ever since the free upgrade expired in July 2016.If you prefer usage market share, you’ll want to get your data from StatCounter, which looks at 15 billion page views every month. Source: venturebeat.com

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GBP News 

Record numbers of Britons seek passports

“Almost 200,000 Irish passport applications were received from the UK this year, the department of foreign affairs in Dublin said on Monday” writes Lisa O’carroll for theguardian.com. The number of British citizens applying for Irish passports rose by 22% in 2018, more than doubling the total number of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union.Earlier this year, the Irish government increased the number of staff in its passport office to cope with the rise in the number of applications. Source: theguardian.com

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GBP News 

Almost 200,000 British Citizens Apply For Irish Passports in ‘Record Breaking’ Year

“Out of the total number of applications received this year by the Passport Service, 84,855 applications were from Northern Ireland and 98,544 applications were received from Great Britain” writes unknown author for huffingtonpost.com. The figure represents a 22% rise on the previous year in applications from England, Scotland and Wales, and a 2% rise from Northern Ireland, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs said. Source: huffingtonpost.com

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Valley’s first medical school gets OK to accept applications

“Come May 3, 2019, applications can be made through the online centralized application service, AACOMAS, hosted by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine” reports thebusinessjournal.com. A rendering shows what the upcoming College of Osteopathic Medicine in Clovis will look like when it’s completed, projected for spring 2020. published on December 18, 2018 – 9:49 AM Written by The Business Journal Staff The Central Valley’s first four-year medical school has received the OK to accept applications from students. Source: thebusinessjournal.com

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