Goa governor convenes day-long Assembly session

first_imgGoa governor Mridula Sinha has called for a day-long session of the Assembly on February 8 in a bid to avert a constitutional crisis, as the Assembly has not been in session for nearly six months.Earlier, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had claimed that there was no need to convene a session of the outgoing Goa Assembly and had ruled out a constitutional crisis emerging out the ongoing electoral process. The State Assembly polls were held on February 4, and the counting of votes will be held on March 11.The Opposition had earlier demanded that the governor should either dissolve the House or convene a session of the Assembly. Activist Aires Rodrigues has approached the Bombay High Court in Goa regarding the issue.In a letter sent to Ms. Sinha earlier this month, Goa Congress president Luizinho Faleiro had urged her to summon a session of the Assembly by March 3, or dissolve the Assembly, as per the provisions of Article 174 of the Constitution. The letter read, “If the government of the day seeks to continue in office without having the seating within six months, then it will be wholly unconstitutional and the government will be an unconstitutional government.”last_img read more

Two coaches of Kalka Mail derail

first_imgTwo coaches of an empty rake of Kalka Mail derailed while entering Howrah station on Sunday morning, leading to disruption of train movement of the South Eastern Railway, an official said here.No one was injured due to the accident, in which the second and third coaches from the rear-end of the empty train derailed while entering a platform at Howrah, an Eastern Railway official said. The incident occurred at 1.47 a.m. and the derailed coaches were fixed by 6.25 a.m. Complete fitness points were obtained at 12.20 p.m., a South Eastern Railway spokesman said. Kalka Mail, which runs between Howrah and Kalka in Haryana, is operated by the Eastern Railway.31 EMUs cancelled As a result, 31 EMU local trains of SER were cancelled, while 10 others were either short-terminated or short-originated from Santragachi station, a spokesman said.last_img read more

Ranbir Kapoor’s look in Barfi! resembles Raj Kapoor’s iconic image in Joker

first_imgWhen Ranbir Kapoor plays a goofy deaf and mute boy in his upcoming film, Barfi!, the inspiration he draws from Raj Kapoor’s image will extend beyond sporting a moustache reminiscent of his grandfather.Among the many interesting details that Ranbir’s character has been given in the film is a life-size doll created of pillows that is the protagonist’s companion. Ranbir with a doll reminiscent of the one Raj Kapoor carried in Mera Naam Joker.The idea straightaway reminds one of the doll Raj Kapoor used to carry close to his heart in Mera Naam Joker. Although the two dolls are very different in look and shape, the idea seems to be the same.Barfi! director Anurag Basu has styled Ranbir’s image personally and doesn’t desist from admitting to the Raj impact. Anurag’s aim was to make Ranbir look simple, innocent and loveable. Watching Ranbir in the film will instantly remind the audience of Raj, especially in Mera Naam Joker, according to the director.”Murphy, Ranbir’s character in the film, is just like the characters Raj portrayed. The shades are similar to the lovable tramp that Rajji portrayed with ease. Raj had mesmerised the audience with his charm and simplicity. Ranbir is set to do something similar. In the film, people adore Murphy for what he is. He will leave a lasting impression on your mind and in your heart,” Anurag says.The doll apart, Ranbir’s pencil thin moustache and ill-fitting baggy trousers are also reminiscent of his granddad. Add to this the simpleton hat, umbrella and the happy go lucky smile.advertisementThe doll in Barfi! is actually a mannequin of sorts, made from pillows. It sports a scarf and in one scene is seen sitting on a sofa next to the hero.”Taking inspiration from his grandfather is something special for Ranbir,” a source says. Considering Ranbir is reportedly all set to revive the RK banner with a film directed by Shriram Raghavan, any similarity you spot with his grandfather would only make for wonderful publicity.Watch the trailer here:last_img read more

Mankad controversy hits Pakistan cricket, Salman Butt not impressed

first_imgA Mankad storm is brewing up in Pakistan cricket and it has threatened to sour the country’s prestigious domestic tournament, the Quiad-e-Azam Trophy.In a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match between WAPDA and Peshawar, a Peshawar bowler ran-out non-striker Mohammad Irfan — who was casually wandering outside the crease at the time of the delivery. Taj Wali in the process won the match for his team form an almost improbable position as WAPDA needed just four runs to win from 78 overs with one wicket in hand however.Wali was just about to deliver the ball, when he saw Irfan outside the popping crease and following that, he just flicked the bails of and appealed. Following the law, the umpire had to give Irfan out once the bowler appealed and in the process Peshawar won the match.The on-field umpires — Ahmed Shahab and Faisal Afridi asked the fielding side about rethinking the appeal but they didn’t and Peshawar won by three runs.Talking about the incident later, WAPDA captain Salman Butt said that the game didn’t end in a proper way as sportsman spirit should have been the top priority.”What’s the point of this law when the winning team isn’t proud and ashamed instead?” Butt told ESPNcricinfo. “We had a great game, fully competitive throughout four days, which saw both teams’ fortunes fluctuate. And suddenly this Mankading spoiled it. Sportsman spirit should have been the top priority but the game didn’t end in a proper way. What’s the point of this law when the opponent team despite winning apologises to us?”advertisementHowever, according to the ICC playing regulations, also followed in Pakistan domestic cricket, the dismissal was clearly fair.This is what the MCC rule-book says:”The MCC (Law 42.15) states that “The bowler is permitted, before entering his delivery stride, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal Dead ball as soon as possible.”However, there is a slight difference from that in the ICC rule-book, where the rules were changed since 1st of October 2011The ICC rule and the difference:”The bowler is permitted, before releasing the ball and provided he has not completed his usual delivery swing, to attempt to run out the non-striker. Whether the attempt is successful or not, the ball shall not count as one of the over. If the bowler fails in an attempt to run out the non-striker, the umpire shall call and signal dead ball as soon possible.”last_img read more

World Cup 2018: Will Smith, Ronaldinho perform at the closing ceremony

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Liverpool don’t need to buy in January – Hyypia

first_imgTransfers No need for Liverpool to buy in January, says Hyypia Manasi Pathak Last updated 1 year ago 19:12 12/9/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Philippe Coutinho Robert Firmino Mohamed Salah Liverpool Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Transfers Liverpool Liverpool v Everton Everton Premier League The former Reds defender is optimistic about the current squad and believes they are good enough to finish in the Premier League’s top four Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp has no reason to dip into the transfer market in January because his side is already strong enough to achieve the club’s goals, according to Sami Hyypia.The Reds are fourth in the Premier League and have booked their place in the second round of the Champions League, having won seven and drawn two of their last games in all competitions.It represents a huge turnaround from their previous run of two victories from 10 and there have been little signs of the defensive issues which plagued them at the start of the season, as they have conceded just six times since late October. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player There has been talk that the Anfield club will look to make a few additions in the next transfer window, but Hyypia believes their impressive results prove that Klopp has a good squad at his disposal already.”At the moment, I think no department needs any improvement,” the Champions League winner with Liverpool told Goal at Standard Chartered’s LFC World event at Mumbai. “We are winning games and scoring goals and even keeping clean-sheets so everything is fine at the moment. Every year you want to be stronger and move forward.”This season winning the league will be very, very difficult because we are so much behind Manchester City and they seem to be getting their points every weekend. There are some teams in between as well who will come up the table if Manchester City drop points.”The minimum target of course would be to end up in the Premier League top four and play in the Champions League next year or even winning the Champions League.”Klopp LiverpoolKlopp LiverpoolAlthough Liverpool are likely to see some of their rivals invest further in January, Hyypia stressed that big signings can sometimes be disruptive and says they should instead look to improve the players they already have.”I think every season you want to be stronger and there are two ways to do it – either develop the players you have or buy someone. I haven’t talked to Jurgen Klopp recently so I don’t know what he has planned but it’s important to find players that suit the team.”For example: Mohammed Salah; Salah came in and he suited the team, he was the perfect player for the side and he’s doing well at the moment. So, it’s extremely important that the manager finds the right players he wants to sign.”It wouldn’t make any sense to buy somebody for €100 million and then find out he doesn’t suit the team or the style. Of course, I’m looking forward to the transfer season.”Klopp will take charge of it and I hope he takes the right decision when the time comes. I think he is a good manager to develop players and give the trust and responsibility to young players like (Trent) Alexander Arnold or Joe (Gomez) to come through. Whenever they are given more minutes on the field, they will develop and I think one day they can become the strength of the team. I’m waiting for that time to arrive.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

ESPN Honors Purdue Superfan Tyler Trent At College Football Awards Show

first_imgTyler Trent asks Purdue football fans to do the "Kinnick Wave" during game against Iowa.One of the best stories of the college football season had nothing to do with football at all. Purdue superfan Tyler Trent, who was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, became the best story of the season when ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi shared his story with the college football world.On Thursday night, ESPN honored Trent once again at the College Football Awards show. Trent took the stage in a wheelchair, pushed by Purdue quarterback David Blough and alongside ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi.The entire room, full of the best college football players and coaches, stood in ovation for Trent for a full minute before an interview on stage. At the end, Trent thanked Rinaldi with tears in his eyes.Here’s the incredible moment.A powerful moment as Tyler Trent is honored at the College Football Awards.Join him in the fight against cancer with a donation to @thevfoundation: https://t.co/FoWSH3C3dj pic.twitter.com/TXYeLoEqtW— ESPN (@espn) December 7, 2018During the brief interview, Trent revealed he was wearing the shoes worn by Craig Sager, given to him by Sager’s wife, Stacey.Moments like these show just how truly incredible sports can be.last_img read more

Nebraska Great Wants 2 Former Husker Rivals To Join Big Ten

Ashes 2019: Steve Smith draws level with Virat Kohli, Inzamam-ul-Haq with 25th Test hundred

first_img commentary No data available! Rohan Sen BirminghamAugust 4, 2019UPDATED: August 4, 2019 19:32 IST Steve Smith followed up his defiant 144 off 219 balls in the first innings with yet another gritty century (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSteve Smith is the 5th Australian batsman to hit consecutive hundreds in an Ashes TestSmith had scored a defiant 144 off 219 balls in the first inningsSmith is now joint-20th on the list of batsmen with most centuriesHe was booed, he was jeered and he was mocked but Steve Smith paid no heed to all that came his way and only let his bat do all the talking as he smashed his 25th hundred in the ongoing first Test against England at Edgbaston on Sunday.The same crowd which booed every run that Smith scored in the first innings and every run that he saved on the field, stood up and applauded yet another outstanding hundred from the former Australia captain as he became the 5th Aussie to score hundreds in both innings of an Ashes Test.The century saw him rise to joint-20th on the list of batsmen with most hundreds in Test cricket. India captain Virat Kohli, former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq also have 25 hundreds in the format.Smith is the 2nd-fastest batsman to hit 25 tons after Don Bradman. Bradman had achieved the feat in 68 innings while Smith did it in 117.Smith’s 10th Ashes century also saw him go level with Steve Waugh. Only Don Bradman (19) and Jack Hobbs (12) have more Ashes tons than Smith.Smith followed up his defiant 144 off 219 balls in the first innings with yet another gritty century, one which might just help Australia clinch a 1-0 lead in the five-match series on Monday, provided they bowl well on the final day.Smith’s knock was laced with nine boundaries as he brought up triple figures off 147 balls just after the lunch break, forcing even the hostile English crowd, who had come out with Smith crying masks on the first day, to stand up and applaud another masterclass from the fourth-best batsman in the format.advertisementSteve Smith continues to bat on as Australia lose just one wicket in the first session of Day 4.At Lunch they are 231/4, leading England by 141!#Ashes pic.twitter.com/HIsf7qkbVIICC (@ICC) August 4, 2019Resuming his innings from 46, Smith first brought up his 25th half-century to equal Michael Hussey’s Ashes record of 6 successive fifties and also joined an elite group of players who have scored a hundred and a fifty in the same Test match for the ninth time. But he went on to convert that fifty into a hundred for the ages.Smith had led a miraculous fight back for the team on his comeback Test match in the first innings as well. He rescued the side with three big partnerships as Australia recovered from 99 for 4 to post 284 in the first innings.England in reply scored 374 in their first innings thanks to Rory Burns’s maiden hundred. The hosts then reduced Australia to 75 for 3 on Day 3 before Smith once again took control of the situation and bailed his side out of trouble with another score of 100-plus.At the time of writing this article, Australia had reached 236 for 4 in their second innings with a lead of 146 runs over England (374). Smith has Matthew Wade as his batting partner, who was unbeaten on 15.Also Read | Steve Smith equals Michael Hussey’s Ashes record for most consecutive fiftiesAlso Read | England vs Australia Ashes 2019, 1st Test Day 4 Live ScoreAlso Read | Ashes: David Warner empties pockets to win Edgbaston crowdFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Steve SmithFollow Steve Smith hundredFollow Ashes 2019Follow England VS Australia scorecard Ashes 2019: Steve Smith draws level with Virat Kohli, Inzamam-ul-Haq with 25th Test hundredAshes 2019, England vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4: Steve Smith smashed his 23rd Test hundred in Edgbaston on Day 4 to put Australia in a commanding position in the first Test against England on Sunday.center_img graphs view more view less advertisementlast_img read more

FPSO EnQuest Producer Heads to Port of Tyne (UK)

first_img Print  Close Port of Tyne, October 18, 2013 My location 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 zoom The FPSO EnQuest Producer will arrive undertow and without engines making it a challenging job for the Port of Tyne’s team of Pilots. Mike Nicholson, Port of Tyne’s Harbour Master, said: “We have developed a good level of experience in handling FPSO’s but working with a ‘dead ship’ with no power always requires careful planning.“Conditions have to be just right, the weather will be critical, we will need winds of force 4 or less with benign sea and swell. Three of our most senior Pilots will be employed to coordinate five tugs with a total pulling force of over 400 tonnes.”The EnQuest Producer is 249m and 53k gross tonnes, and once fully converted will be destined for the North Sea oil fields off the coast of Aberdeen.The EnQuest Producer is expected to arrive off the Tyne at 1100 on Friday morning, and weather permitting, is anticipated to be approaching the berth at Offshore Group Newcastle in Wallsend by 1500.last_img read more

Navios Containers Raising USD 30 Mn for More Ships

first_imgzoom Monaco-based container shipping company Navios Maritime Containers has completed a USD 30 million private placement to finance possible vessel acquisitions.The company will issue 5,450,000 common shares at a subscription price of USD 5.50 per common share. The net proceeds from the private placement, which is expected to close on March 13, 2018, will be used for general corporate purposes, including vessel acquisitions.Navios Holdings and Navios Partners have subscribed for USD 15 million in the private placement and thus will own approximately 39% of the outstanding share capital upon closing.Each of Navios Holdings and Navios Partners will also receive warrants, with a five-year term, for 1.7% and 6.8% of the newly issued equity, respectively. The offer shares will be tradable on N-OTC on or about March 14, 2018.last_img read more

Bluenose II Helps Promote Nova Scotia in Toronto

first_imgNova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, the world famous schoonerBluenose II, is sailing into Toronto, bringing with it the sights and sounds of Canada’s seacoast province. The visit is part of the 2008 Nautical Festival at the Toronto Harbourfront Thursday, June 19 to Sunday, June 22. “We are thrilled to have Bluenose II at the Toronto Nautical Festival,” said Bill Dooks, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. “While she was born in Nova Scotia, Bluenose II is a symbol of endurance and achievement for all Canadians and remains a wonderful ambassador for our province.” The event will feature a Nova Scotian pavilion, including a wide range of industry professionals demonstrating new products, sharing experiences and offering samples from Canada’s seacoast province. It will also give the public an opportunity to stroll the deck of Bluenose II. Popular entertainers, such as the Barra MacNeils, will perform at the festival, immersing Toronto residents in Nova Scotia’s rich and lively music. Information about Nova Scotia as a travel destination will be featured at the Nautical Festival. Included will be an outline of air travel options available to those interested in visiting Nova Scotia from Toronto’s Pearson International and City Centre airports. The original Bluenose was launched from a shipyard in Lunenburg on March 26, 1921. Because of wins in the races of Grand Banks schooners between Canada and the U.S., the Bluenose became known as Queen of the North Atlantic. In 1963, the ship’s replica, Bluenose II, was launched from the same shipyard, also built by many of the same men who worked on the original Bluenose.last_img read more

Animal cruelty charges dropped against Ontario veterinarian

first_imgST. CATHARINES, Ont. – All charges have been dropped against a St. Catharines, Ont., veterinarian who was facing 16 criminal counts of animal cruelty.Skyway Animal Hospital owner Dr. Mahavir Rekhi was facing eight counts of causing unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal and eight counts of failing to provide suitable and adequate care for an animal.A Crown lawyer told St. Catharines court Friday that the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals started the investigation and received a warrant without a complaint.For that reason, the Crown says Rekhi should not have been charged regardless of public outrage surrounding the case and since the College of Veterinarians of Ontario already took disciplinary action that should be all he gets.The college launched an investigation after four former employees filed a complaint about Rekhi’s treatment of animals in his care, and they submitted a dozen surveillance videos as evidence of the animal abuse.OSPCA officer Kevin Strooband with the Lincoln County Humane Society says the media alerted him to videos and he acted.Strooband told radio station CKTB the situation is comparable to a police officer who would launch an investigation after stumbling across a body.last_img read more

Crews rescue boy suffering signs of appendicitis on cruise

first_imgMIAMI – The United States Coast Guard rescued a 12-year-old Canadian boy who was suffering from symptoms of appendicitis while on a cruise ship.Coast Guard officials said in a news release that a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater transported the boy and his father to Miami on Tuesday night. They were on board the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, which was about 230 miles (370 kilometres) southeast of Miami.The agency did not list the name or hometown of the boy.No further details were immediately available.last_img read more

Prime Minister Harper declares devolution agreement with Northwest Territories

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe federal government and the Northwest Territories have reached a long-awaited devolution deal.Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Yellowknife where the agreement-in-principle was made Monday afternoon.“Devolution is finally crossing the goal line,” said Harper. “It’s the beginning of a great new future.”The agreement ends formal negotiations and now shifts to consultation that are expected to end by April 2014 and the hope is then a final deal will be signed.The agreement will transfer federal power over land, water and resources to the people of the North. It essentially grants the territory province-like powers.In January, APTN National News reported four of the seven Aboriginal organizations agreed to sign the devolution agreement-in-principle.One more has since then.They are the Northwest Territories Metis Nation, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, Sahtu Secretariat, Gwich’in Tribal Council and Tlicho Nation.Still holding out are the Dehcho First Nations and the Akaitcho.The territorial government says they will do community information sessions across the territory before sealing the deal. The five Aboriginal groups which have signed on to the agreement-in-principle will have an opportunity to review the final deal, respond and decide whether to support it.Premier Robert McLeod said he’s still hopeful the two remaining Aboriginal groups who have not signed will get on board.last_img read more

Handy and Harman fine silver quotations 22939 oz 73749 kg

Handy and Harman fine silver quotations in Canadian dollars:Wednesday $22.939 oz., $737.49 kg.; Tuesday $23.129 oz., $743.60 kg.

President assures benefits of Samurdhi beneficiaries will remain

Speaking further, the President said the Government expects to implement a new program in the agricultural sector to strengthen the economy of the farmers as well as the national economy.He pointed out there is a possibility to strengthen the national economy as well as the economy of the farmers through increasing the foreign market for the local vegetables and fruits. The President was speaking at the ceremony to hand over 5000 deeds to the farmers in the Walawe Zone. The ceremony was held at the Gam Udava Playground in Embilipitiya. President Maithripala Sirisena today assured that the Government will not cut off or reduce the benefits of Samurdhi beneficiaries.He pointed out there are large number of people in the country who are eligible for Samurdhi benefits but have not been granted them yet. He said therefore the Government will not cut off that benefit but will try to provide it to new applicants as well. President Sirisena said the various political accusations saying that the Government is going to cut off the Samurdhi benefits are not true. “The current Government always takes policy decisions for the betterment of the people,” he said. He said the Government has planned a program to attract the young generation to agriculture through modernizing the agricultural sector. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Mahinda says he never advised anyone to do things slowly

The former President later urged the media not to report the last part of his speech as it may be misunderstood. “I am not someone who does things slowly. I would also never advise any boy to do it slowly,” Rajapaksa said jokingly. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says he never gave advise to anyone to do things slowly.Speaking at an election rally in Galle, Rajapaksa quoted President Maithripala Sirisena of accusing him of telling officials to delay implementing some projects when he was in power. Rajapaksa said he did not mean anything wrong by that statement but was only responding to what the President had accused him of. (Colombo Gazette)Audio Playerhttp://colombogazette.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/MMM-RRR.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. read more

24 countries elected to UN human rights commission

The 53-member Commission on Human Rights, based in Geneva, promotes universal enjoyment of all human rights by giving practical effect to the will and resolve of the world community as expressed by the United Nations. It plays the leading role on human rights issues and emphasizes the importance of rights at the international and national levels, promoting international cooperation.Fifteen countries won new terms to the Commission by acclamation, including Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Mauritania and South Africa from the Africa region. Hungary and the Russian Federation were selected from the group of Eastern Europe states, while Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru were chosen from the Latin American and the Caribbean States.Secret ballots were held to determine representatives in Asia and Western Europe. Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom won the European seats, while Bhutan, India, Nepal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia represent the Asian region.Elections filled vacancies on a number of other bodies, including those dealing with sustainable development, the status of women, narcotic drugs, population, crime prevention, science and technology. ECOSOC also elected Executive Board members to several UN agencies. read more

Signed contracts to buy US homes slip in June after reaching 6year

Signed contracts to buy US homes slip in June after reaching 6-year high in previous month WASHINGTON – The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes dipped in June from a six-year high in May, a sign that sales could stabilize over the next few months.The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales ticked down 0.4 per cent to 110.9 in June. The May reading was revised lower by a percentage point to 111.3, but it was still the highest since December 2006.The slight decline suggests higher mortgage rates may be starting to slow sales. Still, signed contracts are 10.9 per cent higher than they were a year ago. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.Economists were relieved after seeing only a modest decline. They said that shows higher mortgage rates are having only a small impact on the home sales market.“All told … pending home sales held up fantastically well,” Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG, an institutional brokerage, said in a note to clients.The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage has jumped a full percentage point since early May and reached a two-year high of 4.51 per cent in late June.Rates surged after Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Federal Reserve could slow its bond-buying program later this year if the economy continues to improve. The Fed’s bond purchases have kept long-term interest rates low, encouraging more borrowing and spending.In recent weeks, Bernanke and other Fed members have stressed that any change in the bond-buying program will depend on the economy’s health, not a set calendar date.Since those comments, interest rates have declined. The average on the 30-year mortgage was 4.31 per cent last week.Even with higher mortgage rates, signed contracts increased in the West last month. They were unchanged in the Northeast and fell in the South and Midwest.Home sales and prices have climbed since early last year, buoyed by solid hiring and historically low mortgage rates. Housing has been an important driver of economic growth this year as other parts of the economy have languished, such as manufacturing and business investment.Sales of previously occupied homes slipped last month, after a big rise in May to the highest level in 3 1/2 years.But new-home sales jumped in June to the fastest pace in five years, boosting confidence that the housing recovery is strengthening. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Christopher S. Rugaber, The Associated Press Posted Jul 29, 2013 10:05 am MDT read more