INFO: What Is a Structured Settlement?



If you've been in an accident, won or settled a lawsuit, or received a payout, you may receive a structured settlement annuity. What this means is that you receive your settlement in monthly payments rather than a single lump sum. 

A structured annuity can last for a set period of time, 30 years for example, or until the death of the beneficiary.

If you need to pay off debts, have medical bills, or are facing a significant expense, you may want your cash up front. There are many services that buy structured annuities in exchange for a single cash payout. 


Pros and Cons


There are benefits and drawbacks to selling your structured settlement. Here are just a few you should consider:

Pros


You get immediate access to your money instead of receiving it monthly over several years.

The lump sum of your settlement retains the same tax status as your initial settlement. An insurance settlement is tax free, so, too, are the proceeds from selling one.

You can sell a portion of your settlement without depleting the entire annuity.

Cons


When you sell your structured annuity, you give up future value for present gains. Structured settlement companies take into account the depreciation of future earnings and apply a discount rate to your settlement (more on that below). What this means is for a $100,000 settlement, you can expect to receive anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000.

It can sometimes take months for the paperwork to be completed and for a judge to approve the sale. If you need money immediately, you may want to look into alternate ways to get it.

If you rely on your structured settlement to pay bills, selling is unwise. You can compromise your income stream and leave yourself at risk for dire financial consequences.

In fact, you may have seen a commercial or even been contacted by one of these companies since they market their services aggressively. Many brokers will offer different types of structured settlement loans as well. 

In these situations, you can borrow cash against your structured settlement, just like you can with a loans against any other type asset. 

You can sell the entirety of your structured settlement or a portion of it. Many factors affect the amount you'll ultimately receive, including the total amount of the settlement you're selling, the number of payments you're selling and how often these payments are made.

The process for selling a structured settlement is lengthy and needs to be approved by a court. Usually it takes between two to three months to complete a sale.

SOURCE:

1. http://www.toptenreviews.com

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Malaysia to pay U.S. firm up to $70 million if it finds missing plane MH370



BY: Eileen Ng / Associated Press

Malaysia's government said Wednesday it will pay U.S. company Ocean Infinity up to $70 million if it can find the wreckage or black boxes of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 within three months, in a renewed bid to solve the plane's disappearance nearly four years ago.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said there was an 85 percent chance of finding the debris in a new 9,650 square mile area — roughly the size of Vermont — identified by experts.

The government signed a "no cure, no fee" deal with the Houston, Texas-based company to resume the hunt for the plane, a year after the official search by Malaysia, Australia and China in the southern Indian Ocean was called off. The plane vanished on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

"The primary mission by Ocean Infinity is to identify the location of the wreckage and/or both of the flight recorders ... and present a considerable and credible evidence to confirm the exact location of the two main items," he told a news conference.

If the mission is successful within three months, payment will be made based on the size of the area searched. Liow said the government will pay Ocean Infinity $20 million for 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square mile) of a successful search, $30 million for 15,000 square kilometers (5,790 sq. miles), $50 million for 25,000 square kilometers (9653 sq. miles) and $70 million if the plane or recorders are found beyond the identified area.

Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Oliver Plunkett said the search vessel Seabed Constuctor, which left the South African port of Durban last week, is expected to reach the southern Indian Ocean by Jan. 17 to begin the hunt.

After 3 years, MH370 search ends with no plane, few answers

He said eight autonomous underwater vehicles, which are drones fitted with high-tech cameras, sonars and sensors, will be dispatched to map the seabed at a faster pace. Plunkett said the underwater drones can cover 1,200 square kilometers (463 sq. miles) a day and complete the 25,000 square kilometers within a month.

"We have a realistic prospect of finding it," he said. "While there can be no guarantees of locating the aircraft, we believe our system of multiple autonomous vehicles working simultaneously is well suited to the task at hand."

The official search was extremely difficult because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the flight's position failed to work after this point, said a final report from Australian Transport Safety Board last January.

"I feel very happy but at the same time very panicky whether it can be found or not. Now it's back to four years ago where we have to wait everyday (to find out) whether debris can be found," said Shin Kok Chau, whose wife Tan Ser Kuin was a flight attendant on MH370.

Underwater wreck hunter David Mearns said the new search takes into account oceanographic models used to drastically narrow the possible locations of the crash and deploys state-of-the art underwater vehicles that will allow the company to cover far more seabed at a faster pace.

"There are no guarantees in a search of this type. However, notwithstanding that uncertainty, this upcoming search is the best chance yet that the aircraft wreckage will be found," said Mearns, director of Blue Water Recoveries Ltd.

SOURCE: Associated Press

Keropok Udang Di Pasaran Di Perak Punya Logo Halal Yang Sah - KPDNKK

GAMBAR OLEH: BH ONLINE


SUMBER: BERNAMA

Kementerian Perdagangan Dalam Negeri, Koperasi dan Kepenggunaan (KPDNKK) Perak mengesahkan keropok udang yang dijual di pasaran sekitar negeri ini mempunyai sijil dan penandaan logo halal yang sah.

Ketua Pegawai Penguatkuasa KPDNKK negeri Shamsul Nizam Khalil berkata hasil pemeriksaan terhadap 65 premis di sepanjang hentian Rehat dan Rawat (R&R) Ulu Bernam sehingga Alor Pongsu serta kawasan tumpuan orang ramai mendapati produk itu mendapat sijil halal daripada Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) atau Jabatan Agama Islam Perak.

"Hasil daripada pemeriksaan tersebut terdapat enam keluaran syarikat berbeza turut dipasarkan dalam pasaran ketika ini. Pemeriksaan juga mendapati pembungkusan keropok udang juga hampir sama seperti yang dirampas pada 4 Jan lalu, di mana terdapat seekor gambar udang di hadapan pembungkusan.

"Hasil pemeriksaan mendapati produk berkenaan menggunakan logo halal yang mendapat pensijilan daripada Jakim atau Jabatan Agama Islam negeri, hasil pemeriksaan juga mendapati produk keropok udang yang diambil tindakan pada 4 Jan lalu tiada lagi dijual di pasaran," katanya.

Beliau berkata demikian pada sidang media berhubung pemeriksaan susulan terhadap penjualan keropok udang di Perak, di Pejabat KPDNKK Perak di sini hari ini.

Dalam pada itu, Shamsul Nizam turut memberi amaran kepada peniaga agar tidak meletakkan logo halal pada produk mereka sehingga mendapat perakuan daripada pihak berkuasa.

Syarikat yang meletakkan logo halal palsu boleh didenda tidak melebihi RM200,000 manakala bagi individu boleh didenda tidak melebihi RM100,000 atau penjara.

SUMBER: BERNAMA

STRANGE BLUE COMET!

PHOTO: SPACE WEATHER.COM


Beyond the orbit of Mars, blue Comet PanSTARRS (C/2016 R2) is behaving strangley. Active jets of gaseous material are spewing from the comet's core, feeding a chaotic tail marked by rough swirls and an unusual rectangular "knee." Michael Jäger photographed it from St. Oswald, Austria, on Jan. 6th:

"I took 30 shots in 90 minutes, which allowed me to make a nice animation," says Jäger.

What's happening to this comet? Blue is the telltale clue. That's the color of ionized carbon monoxide (CO+) fluorescing in the the near-vacuum of interplanetary space. 

Comet PanSTARRS has abundant stores of CO. Last month, astronomers K. Wierzchos and M. Womack of the University of South Florida used the Arizona Radio Observatory's 10-m Submillimeter Telescope at Mount Graham to detect as many as 4.7 x 1028 CO molecules emerging from the comet's core every second. 

"This comet appears to be very CO-rich," they wrote in International Astronomical Union telegram CBET 4464.

Carbon monoxide can make a comet behave strangely because it is extremely volatile. CO can sublimate (change suddenly from solid to gas) at temperatures as low as -248 C (25 K). Only a little bit of sunlight is therefore required to turn deposits of frozen CO into wild jets and billowing clouds.

"The last notable comet with high CO was Comet Humason in 1962, so this is quite a rare sight," notes veteran comet observer Michael Mattiazzo of Australia. 

"It will be very interesting to watch Comet PanSTARRS as it makes its closest approach to the sun (2.6 AU) in May 2018." Stay tuned!

SPACE WEATHER

Boeing Vs Airbus



BOEING built and delivered 763 airplanes in 2017, up from 748 jets the previous year. Its previous record was 762, set in 2015.

In a production record, Boeing released its 2017 jet-order and delivery data confirming that for the sixth year in a row it was the world’s top manufacturer of airplanes.

And the jet maker projects another boom year for airlines, and even higher production, in 2018.

Based on market pricing data from aircraft-valuation consultancy Avitas, those deliveries are valued at about $60 billion.

Boeing also reported a total of 912 net orders last year, up from 668 the previous year.

The list price of those orders, the vast majority of which are smaller single-aisle jets, is $134.8 billion. However, based on Avitas data, the actual value after standard discounts is about $63 billion.


AIRBUS PERFORMANCE

Meanwhile Airbus will report its final 2017 order and delivery figures expected to show it finished the year with just over 700 jets delivered.

An enlarged version of Airbus SE’s famously bulbous Beluga wing transporter is set to make its debut flight in the middle of the year after the first plane was rolled off the assembly line.

The aircraft, named for its resemblance to the dome-headed, hunch-backed white whale of the Arctic, is awaiting installation of its two engines before starting ground tests, with work on a second underway, Airbus said on 9 Jan, 2018.

The Beluga XL will feature the same low-slung cockpit as the original version developed two decades ago from the A300 model, allowing the front of the plane above it to hinge open, but will be based on Airbus’s A330 jet, making it six metres (20 feet) longer and a meter wider so that the payload capacity will be six metric tons (13,200 pounds) greater.

The five planes due to be built will shuttle between the company’s base in Toulouse, France, and sites including Broughton in Wales, where they’ll be able to collect both wings for the newest A350 wide-body, rather than just one using the current model.

SOURCES: BLOOMBERG NEWS/ Seattletimes.com

AirAsia & Uber Partner Up: Now Everyone Can Ride & Fly



SMART MOVE & COLLABORATION: AirAsia is partnering with Uber to provide a seamless, affordable and convenient door-to-door experience for its travellers.

BERNAMA NEWS AGENCY  reported guests can plan their entire trip from home to their destination, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said in a statement here, 9 January 2018.

“AirAsia will incorporate a ‘deeplink’ feature that allows Uber riders to request or schedule rides when confirming, booking or checking in for flights,” said.

The two companies will work together to help passengers get home or to work, or to the airport and back more seamlessly in the 52 cities in 16 markets across India, Asia Pacific and the US, where AirAsia operates and the Uber app is available.

Further, AirAsia will incorporate a ‘deeplink’ feature that allows Uber riders to request or schedule rides in advance when confirming, booking or checking in for flights. New users to the Uber network will also enjoy promo codes for free or discounted rides.

“By working together, we can provide a service that allows customers to request their Uber ride to the airport in step with their itinerary and have their Uber driver partner waiting for them when their flight lands,” said Brooks Entwistle, Uber Chief Business Officer, Asia Pacific.

“AirAsia is always looking to complement its award-winning inflight experience with services outside the plane that meet our exacting standards. We have found the right ride partner in Uber. 

Working with Uber allows our guests to plan their entire trip from the moment they step out of their home right until they arrive at their destination, providing amazing travel comfort and peace of mind,” added Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer.

Toyota And Mazda Pick Alabama For $1.6 Billion US Investment



BY: BBC NEWS

AUTO INDUSTRIES: Japanese auto giants Toyota and Mazda have picked Alabama to build their new $1.6bn (£1.2bn) US factory, according to several reports.

The firms revealed last year that they planned a US joint venture, with production scheduled to begin in 2021.

At the time, President Donald Trump said the decision was "a great investment" in US manufacturing.

The choice for the factory location had reportedly been narrowed down to either Alabama or North Carolina.

One US media outlet reported that North Carolina missed out because it did not offer the supply-chain logistics the two firms required.




Tariff threat

The factory is expected to eventually produce 300,000 vehicles a year and employ about 4,000 people.

When contacted by the BBC, Toyota refused to confirm that Alabama had been selected, saying an announcement would be made "in early 2018".

However US media was widely reporting a formal announcement would be made on Wednesday.

The auto industry is one area where President Trump has been pressuring overseas companies to do even more manufacturing in the US.

Last year he said Toyota would face hefty tariffs on cars built in Mexico for the US market if they were made south of the border.

Research conducted by the BBC in November last year found that approximately 53% of cars sold in the US by the top six Japanese carmakers were made there. The rest were made in Japan, Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS

Satelit Perisikan Amerika Syarikat Musnah, Gagal Masuki Orbit

PHOTO BY: NASA


GLOBAL: Satelit risikan milik Amerika Syarikat (AS) yang dilancarkan dari Cape Canaveral, Florida pada 7 Janurari 2018 dilaporkan gagal memasuki orbit seperti disasarkan sebelum ini.

Agensi Berita Antarabangsa REUTERS melaporkan lebih malang, satelit itu dikatakan turut musnah, lapor dua pegawai AS berhubung misi yang dikenali sebagai Zuma itu.

Terdahulu, satelit yang dibangunkan oleh Northrop Grumman Corp. itu tidak dapat memasuki peringkat kedua selepas gagal dipisahkan daripada roket Falcon 9 milik syarikat aero­angkasa, SpaceX.

Satelit terbabit dipercayai rosak atau telah terjunam ke dalam laut, jelas mereka.

Difahamkan, laporan mengenai kemusnahan satelit itu pada mulanya diterbitkan oleh Wall Street Journal.

Ketika ini, siasatan lanjut sedang dijalankan dan kedua-dua pegawai tersebut turut menolak kegagalan misi itu berpunca daripada perbuatan sabotaj atau campur tangan asing.

Dalam pada itu, jurucakap SpaceX, James Gleeson memberi­tahu, pihaknya tidak dapat mengulas mengenai misi berkenaan namun semakan terhadap data mendapati, roket Falcon 9 berfungsi secara nominal.

SpaceX atau syarikat Space Exploration Technologies Corp. yang diketuai usahawan, Elon Musk melancarkan satelit pertama mereka bersama roket Falcon 9 untuk tentera AS pada bulan Mei tahun lepas. 

SUMBER: REUTERS

Samsung Launches Modular TV Called The Wall


PHOTO BY: The Verge


BY: BBC NEWS

INNOVATION: Samsung has announced a giant 146in (396cm) TV called The Wall at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.

BBC NEWS reported the TV features a micro-LED display, which is pitched as a superior alternative to OLED because it offers both deep blacks and bright highlights.

The TV features a micro-LED display, which is pitched as a superior alternative to OLED because it offers both deep blacks and bright highlights.

However, one analyst said they would likely be very expensive to manufacture.

Samsung also says its modular technology will allow for TVs of customised sizes to be ordered.

This is because the display is actually composed of many smaller modules that can be arranged to form unusual dimensions - one example that was squat and super-wide was briefly shown at the presentation.

'Millions' of LEDs

The micro-LED display, thanks to its self-emitting LEDs, should allow for a bright picture without the need for a backlight.

Backlights normally make it hard to produce deep blacks on screen because their illumination spills beyond the pixels they are targeted at.

Sony tried to produce TVs made from the same basic technology back in 2012 but they proved too expensive to make en masse.

Samsung's decision to bet on micro-LED puts it in direct competition with rivals that have opted to go with OLED displays.


Micro-LED screens are difficult to manufacture because the LEDs need to be individually placed onto a layer by machines, explained analyst Paul Gray at IHS Technology.

"You have millions for a single display," he said.

"But maybe Samsung has made some breakthroughs on multiple placement [at once]."

Mr Gray added that, although Samsung was pitching the technology as a "consumer" product, it would likely only appear in very expensive devices.

Samsung has not yet revealed details on pricing itself.

The modular technology allows for TVs of unusual shapes and sizes to be made, according to Samsung
Other options for giant TV displays have been shown off at CES this year.

Hisense unveiled a 150in 4K TV projector system that can beam a picture onto its owner's wall.

The firm did not announce a price for the product, though a 100in version costs $10,000 (£7,300).

And there were TVs with improved brains, too.

Samsung promised that its next generation of smart TVs would be more intelligent than ever before, thanks to the inclusion of the firm's voice-activated assistant Bixby.

Users can even ask Bixby to display the inside of their fridge on screen - if they have a compatible Samsung smart fridge with internal camera.

AI assistants have cropped up several smart TV's at CES this year, including Philips' 7703 Series 24in Android TV, which comes perched on a Bluetooth speaker and is designed for kitchen worktops.

TERKINI

AirAsia Jakarta Operations Moves To Terminal 2 From December 12

Photo:  The Jakarta Post AirAsia is moving back its international flight operations in Jakarta from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 at Soekarn...