DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CMC): All-rounder Andre Russell grabbed three wickets to help fire Islamabad United into the final of the Pakistan Super League, with a 50-run victory over Darren Sammy’s Peshawar Zalmi’s in yesterday’s last semi-final. United posted 176 for three off 20 overs after being sent in at the Dubai International Stadium and then restricted Zalmi to 126 all out of 18 overs to book their spot in the championship game against Quetta Gladiators tomorrow. Seamer Russell picked up three for 37 from his four overs, including the wicket of captain Shahid Afridi, who smashed a 17-ball 38 with two fours and four sixes. Left-arm spinner Imran Khalid was the best bowler with four for 20, while opener Kamran Akmal stroked the top score of 45 from 32 deliveries. Sammy made nine from eight balls with two fours before he was fifth out at 80 for five in the 13th over. Earlier, opener Sharjeel Khan smashed 117 off 62 deliveries to propel United’s innings. He put on 108 for the first wicket with Barbados and West Indies right-hander, Dwayne Smith, who made a painstaking 19 off 37 balls. On Saturday, in contrast, Smith hit an unbeaten 50 from 48 deliveries to help United post a nine-wicket victory over Karachi Kings.read more
The FNB Dance Umbrella 2009, on in Johannesburg until 14 March, celebrates 21 years of offering a platform for contemporary dance in South Africa. Zoopy TV pays a visit to Newtown to check out French choreographer Fabrice Guillot’s “Tuning into the Void”. Click arrow to play video.
Rethinking the GridSolar Power Alone Won’t Solve Energy or Climate NeedsCan Solar Power Solve the Coal Problem?Is Nuclear Power Our Energy Future or a Dinosaur? Long-term picture is still positive for renewablesSteadily declining prices for renewable energy point to continued adoption, despite provisions in the pending legislation. The wind and solar industries have been expecting a gradual loss of federal tax subsidies over the next several years, but if the changes are sudden, fewer projects would be started and electricity prices would go up in markets already committed to putting more renewable energy on the grid.The debate comes at a time when the production of solar electricity is surging. PV Magazine reports that solar electricity grew by 47% in the first nine months of the year over the same period a year ago.Citing figures from the U.S. Energy Information Agency, the magazine said that solar electric output in every single state had increased. Some states more than doubled the amount of solar electricity they generate. California is still the leader with more than five times the output of Arizona, the number two state.The growth of residential solar was 32% from 2016 to 2017, with the PV’s overall market share rising from 1.3% to 1.9%. RELATED ARTICLES Republican tax bills now in the hands of congressional negotiators would weaken a variety of federal incentives for renewable energy, but a lot is riding on a final version of the bill the GOP hopes to pass by the end of the year. The New York Times reports that wind and solar are two of the fastest growing energy sources in the country and provided 7% of the country’s electricity last year. Renewable energy is now less expensive than power provided by fossil fuel plants in some parts of the country as costs for wind and solar facilities continue to decline.But both the House and Senate versions of the tax overhaul would make renewables less attractive. An analysis by the Rhodium Group shows that the two versions of the bill affect wind, solar, and other energy sources in different ways. House and Senate conferees are now trying to come up with a single version of the bill.Many of the changes would affect utility-scale projects, although some would have an impact on small-scale facilities. For example, the House bill extends the 30% investment tax credit for small wind projects through 2021 before phasing it out. But it requires a plan for continuous construction rather than simply starting construction in order to claim the credit, a disadvantage. For solar energy, the House bill would make it harder for developers to get projects on the books before 2020 when the 30% credit begins to drop. For both solar and wind energy, the Senate’s inclusion of a provision called Base Erosion Anti-Abuse Tax, or BEAT, designed to stop big companies from shifting profits overseas, would have the effect of reducing the value of current investment tax credits. That could dry up financing for many solar and wind projects.If you’re thinking about buying an electric vehicle, start rooting for the Senate’s version of the bill. It keeps the $7,500 federal credit while the House version eliminates it.Reaction has been predictably mixed.At a recent White House event aimed at giving a plug to the GOP tax plan, a coal plant employee from North Dakota thanked President Trump for the House plan to cut the production tax credit for wind because the credit has “destroyed” the energy market. “Wind production has really eroded our state tax base and replaced coal production when it comes to electricity production,” Jessica Unruh told the president.On the other hand, the American Wind Energy Association warns of a sharp decline in wind installations if the Republican plan passes.“We would see a drastic drop-off in wind installations,” Michael Goggin, the senior director of research at the American Wind Energy Association told The Times. “We’re already seeing orders put on hold and projects not able to get refinancing. Even the threat of this bill is having a chilling effect.”read more
Pyze Announces $4.6 Million Funding Round for A… Frank Landman Frank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. How do you typically pay for big expenses? If you’re like most people, you likely turn to credit cards for major costs – and, even if you pay your bill on time, this may be working against you. That’s because credit score calculations take a number of different elements into account, one of which is the mix of credit forms you utilize. By relying too heavily on a single type of credit, you create a serious imbalance that can make it harder for you to access credit in the future.A Peek Inside FICOOriginally an acronym for the data analytics firm Fair, Isaac, and Company, today FICO is one of the major credit score providers, and the one most people know. When you apply for credit, then, lenders and credit card companies will typically look at your FICO score as well as some of the finer details of your credit report to determine whether you qualify. Even arriving at the initial FICO score, though, requires some complex calculations.Your FICO score includes five key elements, broken down as follows:35% payment history30% accounts owed15% length of credit history10% credit mix10% new creditWhat does all this mean? It means that how long you’ve been building your credit, whether you pay it reliably, and the number and types of accounts you have all matter when attempting to get more credit. And, though it’s one of the small factors, new credit is important. Too many new accounts can work against you and make it harder for you to access additional funds.Credit mix accounts for the same percentage of your credit score as new credit, but this element often isn’t given its due. What it ultimately means, though, is that you need to think broadly about what kinds of funding you can access, from car loans and home equity loans to traditional credit cards. When you’re thinking about borrowing money, you need to broaden your scope.Credit Card BasicsAs noted above, credit cards are the most common way that individuals take on debt. That’s because credit cards can be used for large and small purchases, are portable, and you can easily apply for them. It’s also common for people to have more than one. As you use your credit cards, though, remember that your credit card companies are developing a big picture representation of your financial habits.Not only does your credit card company know and help to develop your credit score, credit card companies know your income to debt ratio and credit utilization, your location, vacation habits, and how reliable you are as a client. They even develop a sense of your monthly spending patterns down to the daily level. This means that your credit card company may know when you get paid, whether your paycheck is enough to get you through the month, and whether certain daily or weekly behaviors have a negative impact on your overall financial wellbeing.The Power Of Personal LoansThinking beyond credit cards, one popular option for diversifying your credit holdings is the personal loan, and there are definite benefits to this approach. First, by taking out a personal loan, you obviously expand the types of credit in your credit mix, which can give your credit score a boost. Second, personal loans can be used to both pay for major purchases in place of a credit card as well as to consolidate your debt. By using a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt, and if you have a loan with a good interest rate, you’ll not only simplify the payment process but pay less total interest.Despite these obvious benefits, most people don’t take out personal loans unless they’re in a difficult position because we are offered so many specialized loan options. Instead of a generic personal loan, most people opt for mortgages, car loans, student loans, or other niche options. These purpose-oriented loans are a good way to ensure that funds are used in their intended way, but that shouldn’t mean that personal loans are overlooked.Manage Your MortgageMortgages are another common source of personal credit, and in terms of scale, they are among the most sizeable single source loans. Their size and function, though, means, that only a portion of individuals have need or access to mortgages, and even among those who have mortgages, they may be on homes that they can’t really afford. That’s why, if you have a mortgage, you need to think about how you can make it more affordable so that your home loan doesn’t cause your credit score to take a hit.It may seem silly, or at least circular, but one way to get a more affordable mortgage is by improving your credit score. When you have a better credit score, you are able to qualify for a better mortgage rate on your home – meaning lower interest and fewer added costs. If you’re considering buying a house in the near future, then, you should start thinking about your credit mix now and avoid applying for any other new credit lines. All of this will help you boost your score and earn the trust of lenders when you do apply for a mortgage.Remember Your Student LoansOne of the first elements of debt diversification for many people is the student loan. Signed at age 18, and often cosigned by parents, this first debt ranges in size; some people start out life buried in debt while others have only a small amount of student loan debt. In recent years, though, the average student loan debt has skyrocketed, and more than 10% of loans are over 90 days delinquent or in default.Young borrowers need to be careful about how they manage their student loans because failure to pay them regularly can serious damage your credit scores. As such, while student loans may provide some diversification in terms of credit mix, if they aren’t paid regularly, they’ll damage the larger elements of your FICO score – payment history and accounts owed. So while it may be unrealistic to pay off student loans quickly, with many graduates taking well over a decade to pay off their loans, more students need to find ways to pay these loans regularly and stay out of default. Poor management of student loans will hold you back.Diversify – CarefullySo how do you diversify your credit without ending up with too much debt? There are several steps you can take.Monitor Your Credit Score: The most important thing you can do if you hope to diversify your credit mix is to monitor your credit score, and there are a few ways to do that. Many banks and credit card companies offer members free access to their credit scores, but they aren’t always entirely accurate and they usually only provide one score. Each of the major credit score companies is required to provide a free copy of your credit score once a year, though, so take advantage of that. Review your credit report carefully to ensure there aren’t any errors that are damaging your standing.Boost Your Score First: Yes, diversifying your credit will improve your credit score, but remember that it’s only a small part of your score. Before you apply for additional credit sources to create a better mix, then, work on improving your score. The better your score is when you get started, the better the APR and limits you’ll be offered by lenders when you apply. You can’t improve your credit score based on only a single element of the formula.Apply Within Your Limits: Don’t apply for new credit that you’re unlikely to qualify for. Whenever a lender checks your credit, they perform something known as a hard inquiry. The larger the number of hard inquiries you have, the lower your credit score falls because this serves as evidence to lenders that you’re repeatedly applying for and failing to secure new credit. A declined application is more serious than you might think, so focus on attainable credit lines.Pay Off What You Can: If you have multiple credit lines of the same type, such as several credit cards, work on paying one or two of them off as you develop your mix. Having multiple credit cards doesn’t necessarily work in your favor if you’re trying to establish a good payment record and a better mix.Be Patient: Your credit score will follow you for the rest of your life, so don’t worry about improving it overnight. While giving it a boost is important, do this on a timeline that you can afford. This will help you build a positive payment history and extend your overall credit record, making you a better contender when applying for new forms of credit.Remember, credit mix is just one element of your credit score, so manage your money wisely and stick to your strategy. Mixing sources matters, but it’s ultimately secondary to improving other elements, such as payment history and accounts owed. Don’t sacrifice one to work on the other. Harver is on the Way to Reinvent High-Volume Hi… 4 Painless Ways to Pay off Small Business Loans… Related Posts Venture Capital Is Just One Funding Option, Rem…read more
By Molly Herndon Our team’s presence on Twitter just got a bit easier to find. We’re now tweeting from @MFLNPF. Our team’s tweets, content and details about our upcoming webinars are shared from this handle, so be sure to follow us here to stay up-to-date on all the PF news.Last summer, our team and the Network Literacy Community of Practice hosted a Twitter cohort for personal finance managers. This two-week learning event was an opportunity for financial professionals to dip their toes into Twitter while working with a group to help newbies become acquainted with the social media space. Check out a recording of the first meeting below. Additional resources for learning about Twitter are available here.If you’re new to Twitter or an old pro, we’d love to connect with you and grow our network. Share you handle with us and follow us @MFLNPF!This post was published on the Military Families Learning Network blog on March 23, 2015.read more