Wednesday 15 December 2010 10:54 am alison.lock Irish parliament approves bailout package whatsapp whatsapp Show Comments ▼ Tags: NULL by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBemoneycougar.comThis Proves The Osmonds Weren’t So Innocentmoneycougar.comDefinitionDesi Arnaz Kept This Hidden Throughout The Filming of ‘I Love Lucy’DefinitionAlphaCute30 Rules That All “Hells Angels” Have To FollowAlphaCuteTaonga: The Island FarmThe Most Relaxing Farm Game of 2021. No InstallTaonga: The Island Farm Share More From Our Partners Brave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgBill Gates reportedly hoped Jeffrey Epstein would help him win a Nobelnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.com IRELAND’S parliament has narrowly voted in favour of an €85bn (£71bn) EU/IMF bailout, paving the way for the IMF to approve its portion of the funds later this week.Deputies voted 81 to 75 in favour of the package, which provides €35bn in support for the banking sector and €50bn to cover the country’s borrowing costs over the next three years.Finance Minister Brian Lenihan pushed the package through with the support of independent MPs and told the centre-right Fine Gael party that its proposals to lean on senior bondholders would fail because of opposition from the European Central Bank.“Those who think we can unilaterally renege on senior bondholders against the wishes of the ECB are living in fantasy land,” he said.Fine Gael earlier said it had no moral or legal obligation to honour all of its banks’ debt as it prepared to vote against a controversial multi-billion euro EU/IMF bailout.The party, which will likely lead a coalition government following an election next year, said it would seek to renegotiate the rescue package to ease the burden on the taxpayer.The EU/IMF deal provides enough money to recapitalise its banks, shattered by bad debts, while preserving full repayment of its senior bonds — those first in line to be repaid in the event of any default.But Fine Gael said investors who hold bank senior debt not covered by a government guarantee, amounting to around €15bn euros, should take a share of losses, so lessening the amount that Ireland had to borrow under the EU/IMF deal.“You have the obscene situation now where the poorest of the poor in Ireland, through their taxes and welfare cuts, are being asked to guarantee the speculation of investors in hedge funds,” Michael Noonan, Fine Gael’s finance spokesman, told the national broadcaster RTE.“Ireland has no moral or legal obligation to cover this debt. That’s why it’s a bad deal, that’s one of the principal reasons we’re going to vote against it, and that’s why it has to be renegotiated.”
Now in its second year, the iGaming Business Most Influential Women list aims to celebrate the highest achieving women in our industry. Today we reveal the first three women featured in the 2019 list Topics: Casino & games Lottery People Sports betting Tags: Online Gambling Casino & games 19th November 2019 | By Joanne Christie AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Email Address Most Influential Women 2019: Part 1 Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Europe US It’s no secret that women are under-represented at the highest levels of the igaming industry. Now in its second year, the iGaming Business Most Influential Women list aims to redress the balance.There’s a wealth of evidence to support the idea that companies that are gender diverse perform better than those that aren’t.Figures from the inaugural All-Index, produced by the All-in Diversity Project late last year, show that overall the betting and gaming industry is close to having an evenly split workforce in terms of gender diversity. Analysing data from 25 betting and gaming organisations, it found that 47% of employees in the industry were female.However, when looking at the more granular detail, it quickly becomes clear that there’s an issue. While numbers were close to parity at entry level (53% men versus 47% women) and team leader or supervisor level (51% to 49%), after this things start to diverge.At manager level the gender split widens out to 60% male versus 40% female, and worsens through head of department (70% to 30%), director or C-level (78% to 22%) and CEO or MD (83% to 17%) levels.Gambling is not the only industry where this is an issue. In its Women in the Workplace 2019 report, for which it interviewed 68,500 employees across 329 organisations in the US, McKinsey identified a “broken rung” in the career ladder for women.While it reported a 24% improvement in the number of women in C-level roles over the past five years, things were less positive lower down the ladder. It found that while women made up 48% of the workforce at entry level, this fell to 38% at manager level.“This early inequality has a long-term impact on the talent pipeline,” says the report. “Since men significantly outnumber women at the manager level, there are significantly fewer women to hire or promote to senior managers. The number of women decreases at every subsequent level. So even as hiring and promotion rates improve for women at senior levels, women as a whole can never catch up. There are simply too few women to advance.”This inequality at the more senior levels goes some way towards explaining the persisting gender pay gap. In the UK, for example, many had hoped that when the second annual gender pay gap figures were released this year there would be signs of significant improvement.Sadly, this did not prove to be the case and when the numbers were revealed they showed little change. The median gender pay gap had decreased only slightly, to 9.6% from 9.7% the previous year, based on those companies that had reported by the 31 March deadline.It’s not all doom and gloom, however. There are plenty of examples of women performing at the highest levels of our industry. Last year we launched the Most Influential Women survey to shine a light on those women who are shaping our industry and we’re now ready to reveal the results of our second survey.Again, we threw nominations open to the industry and this year we received a significant increase in entries.Some of the candidates impressed the panel due to their influence on the industry, some scored points for their influence on their company and others for their influence as a role model or champion of diversity.There were, inevitably, a number of candidates where more than one of these elements came into play, particularly with such a strong field to choose from. In fact, judging the top 10 from such a talented pool was so tough we decided this year to also list the five runners-up.Here are the first three of our 10 Most Influential Women 2019, listed in alphabetical order.Melissa Blau, director, iGaming Capital Known as a fierce supporter of innovation, Blau, pictured above, has been chair of the Clarion Start-up Launchpad since its inception in 2009. “When I got into the gaming industry I really did like the more entrepreneurial side,” she says. This is perhaps no surprise given she began her career in investment banking before moving into venture capital.Among the notable successes of the Launchpad she counts numberFire, which was acquired by FanDuel within four months of winning the Launchpad, BlueBat Games, which was acquired by Greentube and is now “a core part of its interactive business” and Colossus Bets, “the industry innovator of popular early cashout features for sportsbooks and pools betting”.Alongside her work with start-ups, Blau also consults for a wide range of gaming businesses. After a number of years working in the industry in Europe and also commuting across the pond, Blau returned permanently to her native US in 2015 and has played an integral role in the developing US market. She worked with Tropicana to launch its igaming offering in 2013, and also managed the igaming RFP and vendor selection for the Delaware Lottery. Blau also launched and continues to own one of the first licensed affiliate businesses in New Jersey. Described by an industry insider as “an enormous force in the industry”, Blau’s other clients have included Hard Rock, Pechanga, Mystic Lake and Akwesasne Mohawk. She’s currently working with SuperBook on the nationwide expansion it announced last year.Her advice to women looking to make a mark is to make themselves visible. “Be out there in front,” she says. “Do a lot of writing, especially if you have something to say. The magazines are always looking for great, innovative content and a lot of them are also doing events. Work with them on attending conferences and doing webinars – understand specifically what you are good at and what you think you can share in terms of leadership and expertise and make yourself public.”Britt Boeskov, chief experience officer, Kindred No one could accuse Boeskov of resting on her laurels since featuring on our Most Influential Women list last year. Since then she’s been promoted to head a new division at Kindred and also taken on a board position as independent non-executive director at Racecourse Media Group.She says she hopes this appointment will lead to more board-level positions for women. “There is a really sound logical argument that boards over time should become much more diverse, not only in terms of gender but to represent the general population and the stakeholders of that company,” Boeskov explains. “I am really glad that Racecourse Media Group was pursuing that path. It is a good step and hopefully it has a bit of a snowball effect – as women see it is possible to combine executive roles and board roles, there might be more opportunities for them.”In terms of her role at Kindred, Boeskov is now front and centre as the operator (and the industry more generally) shifts from being product-led to customer-led. She says the focus on customer experience does present challenges but that the effort is already paying off in terms of player and staff engagement.Asked for some words of wisdom for those looking to follow her career path, she says: “Always say yes to new experiences and slightly uncomfortable tasks. Do formal training and seek informal advice from people who you see have been able to do what you want to do. Most of the time they will be very happy to support you.“Also enjoy the fact that it is a very diverse industry with real challenges and real question marks around its identity right now,” she adds. “It is a fantastic time to be in the industry as we try to redefine who we are and why we should be in society at all.”Shannon DeHaven, deputy director of digital operations, Michigan Lottery Ask anyone involved in the nascent US iLottery space where they turn for inspiration and one of the first words out of their mouth is likely to be Michigan.The driving force behind Michigan Lottery’s online lottery operation is DeHaven, described as “the preeminent expert in all digital and iLottery matters” by one industry insider.“Michigan was the first state that was able to prove that offering lottery online could be profitable and could increase revenue contributions for the good causes that lotteries are supporting,” says DeHaven. “I have been incredibly proud to be a part of that effort.” She joined the state lottery in 2010 as club games/interactive coordinator, moving over from the sporting goods industry. After a couple of promotions, she took charge of its iLottery operation in 2016 and since then, sales have gone from strength to strength – in fiscal year 2019 online sales exceeded US$1bn.Michigan’s success is all the more impressive given a little-known piece of legislation that means the lottery can only offer a game online if it offered one with the same mechanics prior to 2004.“A lot of people would not know that we have that constraint, however we do and we have had to be very creative with how we develop our games,” says DeHaven.Though happy that others are looking to Michigan as a guide, DeHaven says one of the secrets to its success is not being afraid to fail.“Not every implementation at Michigan Lottery was perfect. We failed more than once, but our success actually came from those failures. I think a lot of lotteries are afraid to fail, especially when they are going online, so while we are proud to have brought a template to many lotteries, here in my division we often say, ‘If you’re not failing, you might not be trying hard enough’.”The judgesEwa Bakun is director of industry insight and engagement at Clarion Gaming. She is in charge of key industry relationships and market intelligence to identify industry trends and ensure the editorial integrity of the educational content presented through Clarion’s brands. Eva has been tracking industry developments since 2009 and has seen the rise (and sometimes fall) of trends, brands and people, a testament to the pace with which the industry evolves.Andrew Bulloss is a partner at search firm Odgers Berndtson and has been placing directors, senior executives, C-level and non-executive directors in the gaming and gambling industries for a decade. Prior to joining Odgers, he spent eight years leading recruitment in the technology/ online, consumer goods and financial services industries in the UK and Europe.Kelly Kehn is co-founder of the All-in Diversity Initiative, which advocates for a data-driven approach to improving inclusion in gaming. During her career, Kehn has held leadership roles in marketing, operations, management and sales. She won the Women in Gaming Award for Leader of the Year in 2016.Suzi Read is head of talent development at Kindred, where she looks after diversity and inclusion, engagement and values. Prior to joining Kindred, she worked across many industries in commercial roles and also leading global talent and people development teams. She has more than seven years’ experience in the gambling industry.Holly Straker is inclusion and engagement executive at Sky Betting and Gaming, working to make the company an inclusive place for everyone. This involves managing SBG’s inclusion work streams, which this year are gender, parents and carers, ethnicity, pride, age and wellbeing, as well as other initiatives across the broader inclusivity and community agenda.Christina Thakor-Rankin is the other half of All-in Diversity and runs a consultancy business. Her career in the industry spans 25 years and the whole betting and gambling ecosystem, including landbased, online and mobile gaming. She firmly believes that diversity and inclusion are critical to success in business.Helen Walton is founder and CCO of Gamevy and Gluck. She started her career at Unilever and has worked with Boots, Frucor, Tate Britain, PZ Cussons and dozens of other brands. She describes herself as a dealmaker, writer and marketer who enjoys solving problems, trying out ideas and making things happen.Part II of iGB’s Most Influential Women 2019 list will be published in this section tomorrow.
Metal Fabricators of Zambia Plc. (ZAMEFA.zm) listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchange under the Engineering sector has released it’s 2017 abridged results.For more information about Metal Fabricators of Zambia Plc. (ZAMEFA.zm) reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Metal Fabricators of Zambia Plc. (ZAMEFA.zm) company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Metal Fabricators of Zambia Plc. (ZAMEFA.zm) 2017 abridged results.Company ProfileMetal Fabricators of Zambia Plc (ZAMEFA) manufactures and markets copper rods and copper and aluminium electrical conductors in Zambia and for international export. ZAMEFA partners with CBI-Electrical Cable Group, CBI-Electrical Power Installations, CBI-Electrical African Cables and Tank Industries to sell its range of low- and medium-voltage power cables, general insulated wires, aluminium overhead conductors and copper conform products. The company also manufactures and markets telecommunication cables; this division operates as a subsidiary of Phelps Dodge Africa Cable Corporation. ZAMEFA is a subsidiary of Reunert Limited; a South African company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reunert International Investments (Mauritius) Limited. The holding company has extensive interests in the fields of electrical engineering, information and communications technology, and applied electronics. Metal Fabricators of Zambia Plc is listed on the Lusaka Securities Exchange
ArchDaily Japan Toda House / Office of Kimihiko Okada Area: 90 m² Photographs “COPY” Projects ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/194979/toda-house-office-of-kimihiko-okada Clipboard CopyAbout this officeOffice of Kimihiko OkadaOfficeFollow#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousesHousesJapanPublished on December 27, 2011Cite: “Toda House / Office of Kimihiko Okada” 27 Dec 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021.
“COPY” Save this picture!© Marc Torra+ 9 Share “COPY” ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/465423/17-vpo-dwellings-marius-quintana-creus Clipboard ArchDaily Save this picture!© Marc TorraAll homes are designed with interior practicability, and the project has an adapted route linking the street with each home. All vertical elements with building facilities are concentrated at the boundary between dwellings, with corridors for easy maintenance and repairs.Save this picture!© Marc TorraThe homes meet all points of the Sustainable Construction Program of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Decret 157/2002), especially with regard to the installation of solar collection panels for DHW, means to promote energy saving and systems with consumption reduction and water reuse.Save this picture!SectionProject gallerySee allShow lessIntercity Bus Terminal / José Luis Rodríguez GilSelected Projects361° Conference 2014: Architecture and IdentityEventProject locationAddress:Avinguda el Castell, 2, 08570 Torelló, Barcelona, SpainLocation to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Share 17 VPO Dwellings / Màrius Quintana CreusSave this projectSave17 VPO Dwellings / Màrius Quintana Creus Spain 2010 Housing 17 VPO Dwellings / Màrius Quintana Creus ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOrhttps://www.archdaily.com/465423/17-vpo-dwellings-marius-quintana-creus Clipboard Projects Year: Architects: Màrius Quintana Creus Year Completion year of this architecture project Save this picture!© Marc TorraText description provided by the architects. We propose dwellings with a minimum depth to achieve the largest interior courtyard possible, thereby obtaining natural cross ventilation for the dwellings, and in turn, to be able to design with a clear distribution in the chamfer.Save this picture!Typical PlanOnly the service areas overlook this common interior space. Access to all the dwellings is concentrated through gateways with a single vertical core, which is accessible on the ground floor at the highest level, ie, through Progrés street. In this way the interior courtyard, with good solar orientation, can be a community space for users of these homes on the outskirts of Torello. Parking in the basement is accessed through the lowest level of the Pirineus Avenue, and is stepped to excavate the minimum necessary.Save this picture!© Marc TorraThe building, 9.50 m deep, yields dwellings with long facades facing east and west, where all the bedrooms and living rooms are located. In cases where the building regulation allows, continuous balconies are proposed with sliding shutter blinds. CopyAbout this officeMàrius Quintana CreusOfficeFollowProductConcrete#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsResidential ArchitectureHousingTorellóSpainPublished on January 10, 2014Cite: “17 VPO Dwellings / Màrius Quintana Creus” [Edificio de 17 viviendas VPO / Màrius Quintana Creus] 10 Jan 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 11 Jun 2021.
Administration Approves $50 Billion in 301 Tariffs Farmers for Free Trade Executive Director Brian Kuehl says the Trump Administration’s approval of $50 billion worth of imported goods from China is “scary.” The tariffs on Chinese imports will result in heavy retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports. “For American farmers, this isn’t theatrical anymore, it’s scary,” Kuehl says. “It’s no longer a negotiating tactic, it’s a tax on their livelihoods. Within days, soybean, corn, wheat, and other American farmers are likely to be hit with retaliatory tariffs of up to 25 percent on the exports that keep their operations afloat. When they do, they aren’t going to remain silent.”Farmers for Free Trade says these tariffs are not only a blow to U.S. farmers, it’s a win for our competitors. When American corn and soybeans become more expensive, South America wins. When American beef becomes more expensive, Australia wins. As this trade war drags on, the group says farmers will rightly question why U.S. competitors are winning while American farmers are losing. Kuehl adds, “Farmers for Free Trade will continue to hold town hall meetings across the country this summer to ensure that farmers voices are being heard. The message will be heard loud and clear. American farmers demand that elected officials support them by ending this trade war.” SHARE Home Indiana Agriculture News Administration Approves $50 Billion in 301 Tariffs By Hoosier Ag Today – Jun 17, 2018 Facebook Twitter SHARE Facebook Twitter Previous articleFDA to Hold Public Meeting on Fake MeatNext articleCommentary: A Catastrophe Waiting to Happen Hoosier Ag Today
News Ten RSF recommendations for the European Union Organisation RSF calls on the Croatian authorities to ensure that the police provide effective protection to journalists when they serve the public interest by exposing violations of public health measures. December 2, 2020 Find out more RSF_en Receive email alerts RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive April 17, 2020 Coronavirus: Two journalists attacked during an Easter mass in Croatia Use the Digital Services Act to make democracy prevail over platform interests, RSF tells EU CroatiaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists WomenViolence Croatia is ranked 64th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. CroatiaEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists WomenViolence Facebook DR The Association of Croatian Journalists said it regretted that the police had not been present on the spot. The mass was announced in advance despite the ban on gatherings. The lack of a police presence undoubtedly encouraged the worshippers to resort to violence, the Association added. When the two reporters, Živana Šušak Živković of the news site Dalmatinski portal, and Ivana Sivro of the TV channel N1, arrived at the church, they were welcome by a rain of blows from those attending the mass as well as by insults including from the priest himself. One of the reporters had her hand injured, while the other’s camera was hit. to go further November 23, 2020 Find out more News Help by sharing this information The violence was condemned by the Interior Ministry and an investigation was opened targeting several persons. Follow the news on Croatia June 2, 2021 Find out more Two reporters were physically attacked by worshippers as they covered an Easter Sunday mass held in the coastal city of Split on 12 April in defiance of a government ban on public gatherings because of the coronavirus pandemic. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on the Croatian police to provide journalists working in public interest with better protection. News News
News UpdatesAll India Bar Examination(AIBE XVI) Postponed To April 25; Online Registrations Extended Till March 22 Sparsh Upadhyay21 Feb 2021 2:52 AMShare This – xThe Bar Council of India has decided to postpone the date of the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). Now, the Exam will be conducted on Sunday (April 25, 2021). Similarly, the date for receipt of applications has also been extended till March 22, 2020. It may be noted that the AIBE was previously going to be held on March 21. Now, it has been informed to all the candidates appearing…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Bar Council of India has decided to postpone the date of the All India Bar Examination (AIBE). Now, the Exam will be conducted on Sunday (April 25, 2021). Similarly, the date for receipt of applications has also been extended till March 22, 2020. It may be noted that the AIBE was previously going to be held on March 21. Now, it has been informed to all the candidates appearing for AIBE-XVI that the date for registration and last date of payment has been extended. Revised schedule of AIBE-XVI Online registration had begun from 26th December, 2020 Desirous candidates can apply for bar exams till 22nd March, 2021. Online payments for application will remain open until 26th March, 2021. Candidates may complete their online form by 31st March, 2020. Admit cards will be released on 10th April, 2021. New date of Examination – 25th April, 2021 Notably, AIBE is an exam conducted twice every year which a lawyer needs to pass before being admitted to the bar and is essential for law practice everywhere. Significantly, the Bar Council of India has recently decided that All India Bar Examination-XVI (AIBE-XVI) onwards, no books, notes, or study material will be allowed in the Examination Hall. However, the Candidates would be allowed to carry Bare Acts without notes.A Notification to this effect is available on AIBE’s Website (https://allindiabarexamination.com/).This Notification states,”This is to notify that All India Bar Examination-XVI (AIBE-XVI) onwards, no books, notes, or study material will be allowed in the Examination Hall. Candidates can carry bare acts without notes. The abovementioned dates are subject to modifications, if any, as may be notified by the BCI in case of unavoidable circumstances Visit the AIBE website. ClickHere To Download Schedule[Read Schedule]Next Story
Town of Frederick, Colorado(FREDERICK, Colo.) — Shanann Watts and her two young daughters, Celeste and Bella — allegedly killed by Watts’ husband, who was also the girls’ father — will be mourned at their funeral Saturday.The case began Aug. 13 when Shanann Watts; Celeste, 3; and Bella, 4, were reported missing by a friend in their town of Frederick, Colorado.Chris Watts — who at first spoke to reporters, saying his pregnant wife disappeared without a trace — was arrested two days later.“She was an amazing person,” friend Amanda Thayer told ABC News of Shanann Watts. “She uplifted everyone around her. She listened to your thoughts, your concerns, your life — and never judged you. She gave you great advice.”“She pushed people to be successful,” added Amanda Thayer’s husband, Nick Thayer. “She just loved helping people succeed. People were drawn to her.”Their funeral will be held Saturday afternoon in North Carolina, where Shanann Watts’ family lives.Shanann Watts, 34, was found in a shallow grave near an oil tank, according to court documents filed in Weld County and obtained by ABC News. The property where she was found is where Chris Watts worked, according to ABC Denver affiliate KMGH-TV.The girls’ bodies were found inside mostly full oil and gas tanks, according to court documents.Chris Watts told authorities he had told his wife he wanted a separation, then walked downstairs and returned to his bedroom to speak with Shanann again, according to the affidavit. He said he saw Bella sprawled out on her bed and Shanann “actively strangling” Celeste, according to the affidavit.Watts said he went into a rage and strangled his wife to death, according to the affidavit.Chris Watts faces three murder charges, two counts of murdering a child under age 12, three counts of unlawful tampering with a body, and one charge of unlawful termination of a pregnancy. He has not yet been arraigned.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tags (Photo illustration by The Real Deal)With its hotels business battered by the pandemic, Ashford Hospitality Trust took a cold, hard look at its portfolio and came to a sobering conclusion: The REIT was simply going to walk away from some of its struggling properties.“While we take no joy in handing back assets to our lenders, we do hope it demonstrates that we are willing to make hard decisions that are in the best interest of our shareholders,” Ashford CEO Rob Hays said on the company’s late-October earnings call.Dallas-based Ashford, which was facing the threat of insolvency before it landed a $350 million lifeline right before the new year, gave up a portfolio of 13 hotels with more than 2,000 rooms as it struggled to stem losses and work out forbearance agreements to avoid defaults.And the company warned it could soon walk away from even more properties.ADVERTISEMENTAshford isn’t the only investor making that difficult decision. Commercial real estate owners — particularly those in struggling sectors such as hotels and shopping malls — are giving up on their debt-laden properties rather than go through the foreclosure process.It’s reminiscent of the housing crash of 2008, when homeowners who took out big loans suddenly found that their houses were worth less than their mortgages and simply walked away from the properties. There was even a term — “jingle mail” — for owners who dropped their keys in an envelope and mailed them back to the bank.And although the number of hotel and mall owners walking away now hasn’t reached that level, it’s a threat to consider as the mark that looms large, as many properties still struggle financially with no end in sight nearly a full year into the pandemic.In particular, the devastation on the lodging industry over the past year is clear: As of January, nearly 25 percent of hotel CMBS loans — roughly $21 billion — were in special servicing, according to Trepp.No reservationsIn December, California-based REIT Sunstone Hotel Investors handed over control of the 478-key Hilton Times Square to the property’s special servicer, Torchlight Investors. The Manhattan property was in trouble even pre-pandemic, and things were set to get worse with an impending rent hike on its ground lease and its $75 million mortgage coming due this fall. Sunstone surrendered the property in a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. It also made a $20 million settlement payment, according to servicer notes on the loan.Hilton Times Square (Getty Images)Other properties seem headed for a similar fate. In October, there were nearly 100 loans totaling $3.9 billion in outstanding CMBS debt where the borrowers indicated they would be willing to hand back the keys, according to Trepp.Homeowners may have emotional attachments to their houses that make walking away a difficult decision, but experts say that commercial owners are using the cold logic of dollars and cents. “It’s really just a rational economic decision,” said Wendy Silverstein, co-founder of loan-workout company Silver Eagle Advisory Group. “They’re not going to be throwing good money after bad.”In addition to the bottom line, hotel owners also have to consider their reputations with lenders when it comes to how they act in these tricky situations.Borrowers have the option of forcing their lenders to go through lengthy and costly foreclosures, but that could be perceived as strong-arming. Owners who choose not to burn bridges with their lenders can preserve relationships for the next time they want financing, said Caroline Harcourt, an attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman who works on distressed real estate loans and restructurings.“There’s a reason why you want to be known as someone who says, ‘Here, I’m not going to make a fuss. Take the keys,’” Harcourt said.But some lenders can be hesitant to take properties back.Banks prefer not to own real estate, and that makes them more willing to negotiate agreements with owners that allow them to hold onto properties. And when a bank does take back a piece of property, it helps to have a quick turnaround strategy.Wells Fargo, for example, took control of the 239-room Fairfield Inn & Suites at 325 West 33rd Street in Manhattan last year through a deed-in-lieu from a subsidiary of the Hawaii-based investor Shidler Group. The bank turned right around and sold the property — along with its $51 million outstanding loan — to Rhode Island-based Magna Hospitality for roughly $57 million.Unlike banks, though, CMBS special servicers are required to take over distressed properties. And if a lender is one of the real estate operators that in recent years became more active on the debt side — particularly those in loan-to-own situations — chances are that an owner can be sitting at the negotiating table with someone who has designs on taking over the real estate.In some cases, a lender will refuse to take back a property, which results in a standoff with an owner who has given up.Silver Eagle ’s Silverstein said that when borrowers take out their loans, they have to spell out in writing the circumstances under which they can hand back the keys.Smart borrowers, Silverstein said, make sure they’re covered. But a downturn usually exposes a few that forgot to read the fine print.“Every cycle, someone seems to learn that lesson anew,” she said.Wiggle roomOwners with properties in default are not completely out of options. Some states have put foreclosure moratoriums in place to prevent lenders from taking properties that have fallen behind due to government-imposed lockdowns. And even under normal circumstances, foreclosure can be a drawn-out process.In New York, for example, the average foreclosure case takes more than a year. But in cases where the outcome is inevitable — the owner giving up a money-losing property at a foreclosure auction — handing over the keys to the lender through a deed-in-lieu can be a money saver.“It’s a cheaper and quicker process than allowing a lender to foreclose on an asset,” Anne Lloyd-Jones, of the hospitality consulting firm HVS, wrote in an email.But that doesn’t always mean a deed-in-lieu is the path of least resistance.If a property has mezzanine financing, Lloyd-Jones added, a deed-in-lieu won’t wipe out subordinate liens or clear away unpaid property taxes and franchise fees. Only a foreclosure would allow the lender to get a “clean title.”“So even though a lot of owners are voluntarily giving their keys back, sometimes the lenders are still going through the foreclosure process rather than deed-in-lieu,” Lloyd-Jones said.On the retail front, more than 15 percent of loans were in special servicing in January, a slight improvement from the previous month. Brookfield Property Partners — among the country’s largest mall owners — recently handed over two properties to its lenders and has several others that are at risk, according to a recent analysis of Trepp and Fitch data by TRD.During Brookfield’s fourth quarter earnings call in early February, CEO Brian Kingston said that there are about 20 properties in its core retail portfolio where the malls are worth as much as the debt, and the company is considering all its options, including a deed-in-lieu giveback.Fairfield Inn & Suites in ManhattanExtended stay Strategies around distressed properties will be shaped primarily by time: How long will the economic recovery take, and do owners have enough capital to keep their hotels and malls afloat until things get better?The vaccine rollout, which has been chaotic at times, has been improving as supplies increase, leading some in the real estate industry to express hope that things are headed back on track. Others still aren’t there yet. Ronald Dickerman, president of Madison International Realty, said the people he knows who have been vaccinated are still behaving the way they did pre-vaccine, and they still aren’t returning to offices or traveling.“Covid is going to be around for years,” he said.Hotels certainly have a long way to go before they get back to pre-Covid levels. Occupancy across the U.S. was just north of 40 percent in the last week of January, according to hospitality data firm STR. Revenue per available room, a benchmark for measuring a hotel’s performance, was at slightly more than $36, about 50 percent below last year. Chris Woronka, a hotel REIT analyst at Deutsche Bank, said that borrowers and owners have been playing something of a waiting game until it becomes clear how much economic pain each side will have to swallow.The longer it takes, he said, the harder it becomes to keep throwing funds into money-losing properties.“The question is, how long are you willing to wait?” HotelHotel IndustryHotel Marketmalls