Saturday, April 05, 2008

Shanah Tova - Happy New Year

Today marks the beginning of the new year as stipulated in the Bible
by Zia
Antigua Sun

No, I haven’t gotten my calendar twisted, nor am I on or need to go on medication. I’m celebrating the new year on the Hebrew-Israelite calendar. Today marks the beginning of the new year as stipulated in the Bible.

Joining other nations which keep Biblical laws, the Hebrew-Israelites in Antigua, led by Ammi Ben Israel, a son of the soil, will join their fellow African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem in Dimona, Israel and other parts of the world, to exclaim, “Shanah Tova!” This means “Happy New Year!”

Unconvinced? Don’t be. Their lifestyle is based on the laws and teachings of the Old Testament. In fact, as a gift of appreciation to the Antiguan public, the Institute of Regenerative Truth under the auspices of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem will be holding a special seminar tomorrow at the City View Hotel, beginning at 2 p.m. The topic being discussed will be “Righteous cycles, seasons and set times” to commemorate the celebration of the New Year.

See: Shanah Tova - Happy New Year

Continental to add fee for checking second bag

Continental Airines is joining the "pack light or pay up" chorus
Houston Chronicle

Citing the continued high cost of fuel, Continental is joining most of its rivals in adding a $50 round-trip fee for many passengers checking second bags. Houston-based Continental announced Friday the fee will be tacked on to economy-class tickets, except for those passengers who pay full fare or are elite members of its OnePass frequent-flier program.

That means most leisure travelers who check two bags will be hit. Many business travelers and people buying tickets at the last minute already pay higher prices and won't be dunned further The policy will apply only for destinations within the U.S., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada for travel on or after May 5. That's also when other major U.S. carriers also will begin their $25-each-way fees for extra bags. United Airlines originated the fee in February.

American Airlines said Friday it has not changed its policy regarding a second checked bag, but experts expect it to fall in line.

"Plan on it," aviation consultant Mike Boyd said. "They are not going to leave money on the table." Southwest Airlines recently started charging $25 for third bags, but second bags remain free for all customers. The airlines, which have made repeated attempts to raise fares and cut costs in recent months, are taking the action in the face of stubbornly high fuel prices.

Northwest Airlines said late Thursday that in addition to its bag fee, it will reduce the number of seats it flies domestically more than it originally planned. Northwest said it will remove an additional 15 to 20 planes from service this year.

Continental has not announced similar moves, but its chairman and chief executive, Larry Kellner, has said the carrier will have to look at the size of its network if high fuel prices persist. Although Continental did not say how much money it expects to generate from the second checked bag fee, Northwest said it anticipates collecting $25 million more annually. From 2000 to 2007, the price of jet fuel more than doubled, according to the Air Transport Association, which represents most major U.S. airlines.

A Continental passenger checking just one bag won't have to pay extra as long as the bag meets weight and size limits already in place. The majority of travelers only check one bag. Continental said its premium travelers in economy class may check two bags at no charge. Those travelers are elite OnePass and SkyTeam members, Continental Airlines Presidential Plus credit card holders and non-elite customers who purchase full-fare tickets.

There is no change in the checked bag policy for passengers traveling in first class and BusinessFirst, Continental said. Boyd said the increase is driven strictly by high fuel costs and is different than charging for items such as pillows or blankets. "It is not opportunistic nickel-and-diming," he said. "It is a case of we are carrying another 35 pounds of weight, and that takes fuel."

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Payday Loan Co's Charge as Much as 800% Intrest

Desperate for cash, many in U.S. taking high-interest 'payday' loans
By Nick Carey
Reuters News Service

As hundreds of thousands of American homeowners fall behind on their mortgage payments, more people are turning to short-term loans with extreme interest rates, just to get by.

While hard figures are hard to come by, evidence from nonprofit credit and mortgage counselors suggests that the number of people using these so-called "payday loans" is growing as the U.S. housing crisis deepens.

"We're hearing from around the country that many folks are buried deep in payday loan debts as well as struggling with their mortgage payments," said Uriah King, a policy associate at the Center for Responsible Lending.

A payday loan is typically for a few hundred dollars, with a term of two weeks, and an interest rate as high as 800 percent. The average borrower ends up paying back $793 for a $325 loan, according to the center.

The center also estimates that payday lenders issued more than $28 billion in loans in 2005, the latest available figures.

In the Union Miles district of Cleveland, which has been hit hard by the housing crisis, all the conventional banks have been replaced by payday lenders with brightly painted signs offering instant cash for a week or two to poor families.

See: Desperate for cash, many in U.S. taking high-interest 'payda...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Son of O'Jays lead singer reportedly found dead

Sean Levert, son of O'Jays lead singer Eddie Levert, was found dead in a Cleveland, Ohio, jail over the weekend
Sun-Times Columnist

Sean Levert, son of O'Jays lead singer Eddie Levert, was found dead in a Cleveland, Ohio, jail over the weekend, sources said.

Sean Levert, 39, was being held for allegedly failing to pay about $80,000 in child support. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Sean Levert was a member of the R&B group LeVert with his late brother Gerald Levert and Marc Gordon. Gerald Levert died Nov. 10, 2006 at the age of 40.

Sean Levert had recently completed an album with Gordon, sources said.
Sean Levert appeared in the movies Dope Case Pending (2000) and New Jack City (1991).