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“A lot of people just perceive pimping in regards to pimps and sex workers,” he says, in an interview from his Calgary home. “In urban-slang terms, it also means making something out of nothing. That was my whole story about me coming here to Canada: to make something out of nothing.”

Lyrique was born in the City of Baguio, the so-called “summer capital” of the Philippines, located in a mountainous area north of Manila. Initially, it was a privileged life. But by the time he turned 13, things drastically changed when his paternal grandmother had a devastating stroke. Due to the country’s less-than-stellar health care system, her needs drained both the family’s wealth and his father’s energy to run his once-lucrative business.

“I was able to experience poverty when I was 13,” says Lyrique, who will perform Friday, Oct. 9 at Cafe Koi. “It was a situation I didn’t understand. But looking back in hindsight, it was an eyeopener. I was really doing well in school in my younger years. Then when that situation came about, I was doing terrible in school. I was doing terrible socially.”

In 2014, Lyrique migrated to Canada in search of a better life. He was 22 and arrived as a temporary foreign worker under the live-in nanny program. It was not an easy time for him. Male live-in nannies were uncommon and therefore not exactly in demand. Within two weeks of arriving, his living arrangements with a relative came to an abrupt end.

“It was tough times, a lot of drama,” Lyrique says. “I lived in Fort McMurray for two or three months trying to look for an opportunity as a live-in nanny. But it was really hard because I was a guy. There were a lot of bad situations. I

By Clara-Laeila Laudette

MADRID, Oct 6 (Reuters)Investment giant Blackstone BX.N is offering a sweetener to buyers as it tries to speed up the sale of 8,400 properties in Spain in the teeth of the country’s deepest recession on record.

Two Blackstone units, Aliseda and Anticipa, said on Tuesday they would reimburse buyers up to one tenth of the sale price if their property dropped more than a tenth in value in the three months after a deal is sealed.

“We detected the current context was generating uncertainty for buyers, and wanted to provide them with security and send a message of confidence in the Spanish real estate market,” said Aliseda communications director Jaime Navarro.

Blackstone bought the real estate portfolio, known as “Quasar”, in 2017 from Santander, Spain’s biggest lender, which had acquired it for 1 euro in 2016 following the collapse of its previous owner Banco Popular.

Aliseda took control of the portfolio and placed it on sale in 2018, but many properties remain on the market as the COVID-19 pandemic plunges Spain into a deep recession.

The portfolio being advertised is valued at 1.035 billion euros ($1.22 billion), with 640 million being handled by Aliseda, which is selling 5,700 properties.

Hola Pisos – Anticipa’s commercial outfit – is selling 2,700 properties, valued at 395 million.

To decide whether a buyer qualifies for the 10% reimbursement, Blackstone will consult the price index compiled by Spain’s infrastructure ministry for each province.

Navarro said the offer did not imply a prediction prices would fall in coming months, and that his company did not make forecasts.

There are, however, signs that Spain’s economic paralysis has hurt real estate.

The presence of funds as major property owners in Spain is politically controversial, with the current administration decreeing in March a

Nigeria’s substantial oil and gas reserves, its young and growing population and its position as Africa’s largest economy continue to point to significant development potential for its insurance sector. However, Nigeria has failed to deliver on that potential historically due in part to the volatility of growth in the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP), coupled with the sporadic enforcement of mandatory retail insurance lines.

In a new Best’s Market Segment Report, “Nigeria’s Insurance Market Offers Significant Potential Despite Headwinds”, AM Best notes that, due to the COVID-19-driven economic slowdown, the insurance market regulator (National Insurance Commission [NAICOM]) has agreed to further delay its revised plans to strengthen market capitalisation and limit the volume of premium flowing out of the country.

NAICOM has now opted for a staggered approach that requires partial recapitalisation by December 2020, with market participants obliged to meet the full requirements by September 2021. AM Best believes that a material proportion of (re)insurers will find it challenging to raise sufficient additional capital to meet the new standards. It estimates that only one fifth of Nigerian (re)insurers at year-end 2018 had sufficient capital and surplus to cover the new requirements. In addition, more than 10 companies will have to double their reported 2018 year-end capital and surplus figures to meet the requirements.

To access a complimentary copy of this market segment report, please visit

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in New York, London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2020 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Traveling now carries with it more uncertainty than ever before. If you plan on traveling anytime soon, one thing you can do to protect yourself is get a trip insurance policy that includes coronavirus coverage. Previously, many insurers excluded COVID-related claims due to the virus’ status as a foreseen event/pandemic. But now, some insurers are changing their tune. Here’s what you need to know about how to find travel insurance providers that offer coronavirus-related coverage, as well as what is and isn’t covered.

What is covered

Coronavirus coverage falls into several categories:

  • Trip cancellation: You need to cancel a trip prior to departure because you, a covered travel companion or possibly someone you need to care for contracted COVID-19.
  • Trip delay: Your trip is delayed due to changing COVID-related guidelines.
  • Travel medical coverage: You (or a covered travel companion) become ill with COVID-19 while traveling abroad and incur health care expenses or require an evacuation.

Of providers that are offering COVID policies, most are covering these expenses.

What is not covered

  • Countries with Level 4 travel advisories: Some insurers disclose that if a Level 4 Do Not Travel advisory is issued by the U.S. Department of State for a specific country, you will not receive coronavirus-related coverage. With cases surging in various countries unexpectedly, the list of Level 4 countries is constantly changing. Before booking a trip and purchasing a policy, make sure to check that the country does not have a Level 4 advisory.
  • Fear of getting sick while traveling: Canceling a trip because you’re afraid you’ll get sick does not qualify for coverage under your travel insurance policy. Travel insurance providers have a list of standard reasons that qualify for cancellation, including: car accident, jury duty, terrorist act, military duty and other extenuating circumstances. If you want

Just in time for fall, home builders in Katy’s Cane Island are offering money-saving deals on new, move-in ready homes, including money back at closing, free upgrades and other special offers.

Buyers can go to and choose from one or more of the community’s acclaimed builders to connect virtually or in person with their respective sales representatives to learn more. Buyers will also find a current list of the community’s move-in ready homes, virtual tours of model homes and information on premium, acreage properties in The Estates, Cane Island’s custom home neighborhood.

In addition to a broad selection of new homes, Cane Island offers neighborhoods with a distinctive, open feel. Cane Island properties start at 50 feet in width, giving families plenty of open space and the feel of a larger homesite.

Cane Island provides the convenience of immediate I-10 west access, proximity to major west Houston employers and an abundance of nearby shopping, dining and entertainment. Students in the community also receive a challenging, yet well-rounded education at Katy ISD’s Bryant Elementary School and at Katy ISD schools — Katy Junior High School and Katy High School, all within proximity to the community.

As for on-site amenities, residents enjoy year-round recreation and fitness in Cane Quarter, a resort-style setting featuring a yoga studio with on-demand classes, two-story fitness center, lap pool, lagoon-style family pool and cabanas, children’s water playground and central lawn. Cane Quarter also is home to The Oaks Kitchen & Bar, open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Plus, a full-time on-site lifestyle director plans movie nights, outdoor concerts, seasonal shopping events and other gatherings.

To reach the Katy community of new homes, take the Cane Island Parkway, exit off I-10 west of Grand Parkway. Head north on Cane Island Parkway and take the roadway