Store Closing, Bankruptcies Loom as Retail Bounces Back from Horrible Holiday Sales

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via Bloomberg

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — U.S. retailers face a wave of store closings, bankruptcies and takeovers starting next month as holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years.

Retailers may close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. Talbots Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. are among chains shuttering underperforming locations.

More than a dozen retailers, including Circuit City Stores Inc., Linens ‘n Things Inc., Sharper Image Corp. and Steve & Barry’s LLC, have sought bankruptcy protection this year as the credit squeeze and recession drained sales. Investors will start seeing a wide variety of chains seeking bankruptcy protection in February when they file financial reports, said Burt Flickinger.

“You’ll see department stores, specialty stores, discount stores, grocery stores, drugstores, major chains either multi- regionally or nationally go out,” Flickinger, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a retail-industry consulting firm in New York, said today in a Bloomberg Radio interview. “There are a number that are real causes for concern.”

Sales at stores open at least a year probably dropped as much as 2 percent in November and December, the ICSC said last week, more than the previously projected 1 percent decline. That would be the largest drop since at least 1969, when the New York-based trade group started tracking data. Gap Inc. and Macy’s Inc. are among retailers that will report December results on Jan. 8. Continue reading

SONY Looking to Break-Even on Playstation 3 Consoles

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via WSJ

Sony Corp. is closer to breaking even on its new-generation PlayStation 3 videogame console because it costs 35% less to make than the previous model, according to technology-research firm iSuppli Corp.

The electronics giant is locked in a battle with Nintendo Co.’s Wii and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 for control of the videogame-console market. The cost cuts could help stanch the hardware red ink at Sony, which sold the previous-generation PS3 at a significant loss, making up for it with game-title sales and royalties.

Integration and key changes in components has brought the latest PS3’s cost down to $448.73 from $690.23 for the first-generation model, said iSuppli.

The PS3 sells for about $399 in the U.S., at least $150 more than Wii and Xbox 360. However, the PS3 accounted for 16% of global videogame-unit shipments in the second quarter of 2008, second only to Nintendo’s Wii, which accounted for 54% of the market. Continue reading

Hollywood Actor Becomes Sierra Leonean

Born August 3rd 1963 in Houston, Texas (USA) the NAACP Image Best Actor Award winner Washington said after discovering his root to the Mende tribe of Sierra Leone that “It’s very important for us to finally be able to trace our roots, until recently, it hasn’t been possible.”isiah_washington

Inspired by this development Washington was able to set up the Gbodobay Manga Foundation which focuses on improving health care, infrastructural and sustainable development to the people of Sierra Leone. The foundation draws the attention of the international community to distinct between needs and goals and to see the need to support the post war country in its bid for development. Among the many projects he has successfully implemented includes a $25,000 donation which he gave for a computer reconstruction project in Bunce Island, and 18th Century slave trading castle in Sierra Leone.

The exited Washington wrote on a Sierra Leone online discussion forum shortly after he confirmed his citizenship “I am completely numb yet elated. I am at a loss for words. I am now a citizen of Sierra Leone. I need to send two photos for the Sierra Leone Passport that awaits me in Freetown.’’ Continue reading

Shocking :Female Blood Member Charged With 2 Murders

Monday, December 29th 2008, 12:44 AM

Fifteen-year-old Sharell Butler has been charged with two savage murders, but the baby-faced Bloods gang member is still her daddy’s little girl.

The teen’s father, James Butler, defended her a day after she was arraigned for dismembering one man and helping kill another in a pair of drug-related slayings.

Continue reading

[pics]Exclusive Transformers 2 Images

Between Transformers 2, The Watchmen, Wolverine and a bunch of other movies slated for release it looks like is shaping up to be another record-breakin year at the movies. The question is do any of these have the appeal to challenge The Dark Knight’s ’08 numbers.
It will be fun seeing all of these though and let’s just hope they don’t raise the prices again. $12.50 to see the mediocre ‘The Spirit’ hurt.
via Latino Review, Empire Magazine, & USA Today

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[pics] Ever fought a Polar Bear? Man has chilling game of hide and seek with a hungry polar bear

via Daily Mail UK

There are few things more enjoyable on a freezing day than a vigorous game of tag followed by a hearty meal.

Unless you’re supposed to be the main course, that is.

These pictures show how close one man came to being a polar bear’s dinner.

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Mmmm, looks like dinner time: The bear stands on its haunches and peers over the car roof at his prey, a surveyor returning to his vehicle in the Alaskan town of Barrow

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Continue reading

Polo Returns with the Ralph Lauren “Cookie Boot”!!

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via Icedot

If you rocked Polo back in the day like I did then you know the Ralph Lauren Polo Ranger Boot known affectionately in the hood as the “Cookie Boot” was an essential part of ones wardrobe and after years of wondering why a boot so popular (mainly amongst us inner city black kids) was never re-released, David Z’s now has a new revamped Cookie Boot in tan nubuck. Lo heads holla. – ICE

LG ELECTRONICS Unveils State of Art Mobile — a 3G Watch Phone!

3g_watchphone

via The Sun

Phone manufacturer LG Electronics has unveiled its state of the art mobile – a 3G watch phone.

The gadget is a mobile you wear on your wrist and looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.

Using 3G technology, LG has created the phone so you can make video calls.

The watch has a touchscreen for use with dialling, with an integrated speaker and camera allowing you to make video calls over a high speed internet connection.

You can also listen to MP3s on the LG watch phone plus it transforms text to speech and recognises voices.

LG has confirmed the watch phone will be available in Europe next year.

For video of this device in action CLICK [HERE]

Detroit Lions End Season with Worst NFL Record EVER!

detroit-lions-logo

via My Way

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -The Detroit Lions own a distinction no team wants: worst in NFL history.

Facing one last chance to avoid their dubious destiny, the Lions lost Sunday’s season finale to the Green Bay Packers 31-21 to complete the league’s first 0-16 season. The 1976 expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-14) were the last NFL team to complete a season without a victory.

It didn’t come without a fight. After falling behind 24-14 midway through the fourth quarter, Kevin Smith’s 9-yard touchdown run put Detroit back within a field goal.

But Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers responded with a 71-yard touchdown pass to Donald Driver and the Lions’ Dan Orlovsky threw an interception on fourth-and-27 with 3 minutes left, dooming Detroit to futility of historic proportion.

“No competitor wants to go through something like this,” said Lions coach Rod Marinelli, who declined to discuss his future with the team. “This is not fun to go through, obviously. But there’s people going through a lot worse than this.” Continue reading

CHINA: USA Lost Strength In 2008; RUSSIA Gained

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via China View

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) — The world has undergone remarkable changes this year, but international security situation on the whole remained stable with “peace” and “development” prevailing as the themes of the times.

In 2008, the world has continued moving toward multi-polarization, resulting in a distinctive shift of international forces. Globalization is developing in depth and regional cooperation is gathering momentum.

The world has been confronted with one hotspot issue after another and non-traditional threats are increasing. The world economic growth took a turn for the worse due to the outbreak of the global financial crisis.

WORLD MULTI-POLARIZATION STRENGTHENED

In recent years, the international political structure has transformed gradually from “one superpower coexisting with several other powers,” formed after the Cold War, to multi-polarization.

The transformation picked up speed this year, with significant changes in the balance of international forces.

The United States has been acting as the world’s only superpower in 2008, but the financial turmoil, which broke out in Wall Street in September, showed its vulnerability. Continue reading

China Refuses to Release “The Dark Knight” in Chinese Cinemas

joker

via Breitbart

Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight” won’t be screened in Chinese cinemas, Warner Bros. said in a statement Wednesday.

The studio said that the acclaimed film — the second highest-grossing movie in US box-office history — would be canned in China, with “cultural sensitivities” cited as one of the reasons for the no-show.

“Based on a number of pre-release conditions that are being attached to ‘The Dark Knight’ as well as cultural sensitivities to some elements of the film, we have opted to forego a theatrical release of the film in China,” a statement emailed to AFP said.

It was not clear what “cultural sensitivities” were at issue but the movie includes an action sequence shot in Hong Kong where Batman, played by Christian Bale, apprehends a Chinese money-launderer.

In 2006, Chinese authorities barred the release of Hollywood movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” amid speculation its portrayal of Japanese courtesans played by Chinese actresses could spark public controversy.

Taiwanese director Ang Lee’s gay cowboy drama “Brokeback Mountain” was also denied a release in China.

Editor’s Note: Wow, now Heath Ledger has the distinction of having both of his biggest films being banned from Chinese cinema, Brokeback and Batman.  Can’t they just let a brother live, posthumously?

Louis Farrakhan Speaks on B.E.T, Rupert Murdoch, the music & movie industry

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Louis Farrakhan Speaks on B.E.T, Rupe…“, posted with vodpod

 

Not for those with weak stomachs.  He held on to this purposely during the election as to not hurt Barack Obama, because the media would have found a way to connect Obama to this fiery speech.  Do people really want to hear this now or since we have a new president and we have to start anew is this the old way of making people aware?

Please people we need comments on this. I don’t care what is your gender, race, or creed. Don’t be a pussie speak out!!!!

Study: Murders Among Black Youths Have Risen Sharply Since 2000

I guess bullets really do have names. Stanley Crouch will be all over this report and will definitely blame Hip Hop. My question is no one ever addresses how these guns get on the street and into young black youth’s hands.

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via Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — The number of young black men and teenagers who either killed or were killed in shootings has risen at an alarming rate since 2000, a new study shows.

The study, to be released Monday by criminologists at Northeastern University in Boston, comes as FBI data is showing that murders have leveled off nationwide.

Not so for black teens, the youngest of whom saw dramatic increases in shooting deaths, the Northeastern report concluded.

Last year, for example, 426 black males between the ages of 14 and 17 were killed in gun crimes, the study shows. That marked a 40 percent increase from 2000.

Similarly, an estimated 964 in the same age group committed fatal shootings in 2007 _ a 38 percent increase from seven years earlier. The number of offenders is estimated because not all crimes are reported, said Northeastern criminologist James Alan Fox, who co-authored the study.

Continue reading

Pill Poppin’ Rush Limbaugh,Racist Republicans Record ‘Obama the Magic Negro’ As Holiday Joke

To all you shitheads who still say there is no racism in this country. And to believe this was recorded when he was not even given a snowball’s chance in hell to win the presidency. Trust me we have not heard the last from ‘pill poppin’ Rush and his racist cohorts who still are plenty mad they have a Black president for at least four years. Why don’t some of the so-called rebels in this country, put a nice bullet in ole’ Rush’s head and take him outta his misery?

via The Hill

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RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show.

Saltsman, a personal friend of conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, sent a 41-track CD along with a note to national committee members.

I look forward to working together in the New Year,” Saltsman wrote. “Please enjoy the enclosed CD by my friend Paul Shanklin of the Rush Limbaugh Show.”

The CD, called “We Hate the USA,” lampoons liberals with such songs as “John Edwards’ Poverty Tour,” “Wright place, wrong pastor,” “Love Client #9,” “Ivory and Ebony” and “The Star Spanglish banner.”

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Paul Shanklin

Several of the track titles, including “Barack the Magic Negro,” are written in bold font.

The song, which debuted on Limbaugh’s show in late March 2007, latches onto an opinion column in the Los Angeles Times of the same title. That column, penned by cultural critic David Ehrenstein, argued that Obama could serve as a balm to whites who felt guilty about past treatment of African Americans.

Limbaugh first highlighted the column the day it ran, according to a contemporary report by Media Matters, the liberal watchdog agency. Media Matters reported Limbaugh repeated the phrase more than two dozen times the day the column ran.

The following month, Shanklin debuted his version of the song, sung to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon” and performed in Shanklin’s impression of Al Sharpton.

“See, real black men, like Snoop Dogg, or me, or Farrakhan, have talked the talk, and walked the walk, not come in late and won,” one verse in the song says.

Saltsman said he meant nothing untoward by forwarding what amounts to a joke more at Ehrenstein’s expense than at Obama’s.

“Paul Shanklin is a long-time friend, and I think that RNC members have the good humor and good sense to recognize that his songs for the Rush Limbaugh show are light-hearted political parodies,” Saltsman said.

Republicans searching for ways to attack Obama have been hesitant to embrace any reference to his race. Limbaugh presciently predicted his allusion to the column nearly two years ago would win attention from left-leaning organizations that would suggest he was using Obama’s race against him.

Jamaican dancer ‘Ice’ creator of the ‘Gully Creeper’ popularized by Usain Bolt Killed

This is the second major dancer out of Jamaica that has been murdered in the last couple of years, the previous being the legendary Boggle. The violence that goes on in Jamaica is definitely the Carribean’s dirty little secret.

The dancehall is king in Jamaica so this may not get the proper attention elsewhere but we would like to send condolences to the Smith family.

Israel Drops 100 Tons of Bombs on Gaza

Call me ol’ school but I will never grow accustomed to seeing dead babies and civilian casualties and I will always remind myself that by ignoring such a deplorable act is as bad as condoning it. This ain’t the time to be silent about the wholesale slaughter of people and unnecessary lose of life. And its not only going on in the Gaza, is going down in The Congo, in Sudan, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burma and countless other regions on this globe. I can’t see how this tragedy is any different than what took place in India last month.  Boy, the devil stays hard at work these days…

via Info Clearinghouse

Israel’s deadly airstrikes on Hamas compounds in the Gaza Strip are drawing sharp reactions in the Arab world, and a variety of responses elsewhere.

The Israeli attacks brought immediate condemnation from Arab leaders, and especially from Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum who said the Palestinian people would not “live in bloodshed and between body parts, wounded and dead people,” and that Israel must “pay the price” for what he called “this aggression.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah group is a rival of Hamas, denounced the airstrikes and called for restraint.   Continue reading

[video] Nas at Hammerstein-STREET KNOWLEDGE ARCHIVE

There’s alot of chatter online about Nas’ show the other night at the Hammerstein. I regret to say we missed that one, but we were there last year to the day to capture the QueensBridge MC at his finest. And just like he did for Friday’s show, Busta Rhymes came out last year and declared Mr. Jones as the illest spitter to clutch a mic device. We got the footage, check it out…here goes out of STREET KNOWLEDGE’S archive. If anyone got any clear footage from the other night, holla at us!!

Documentary: Black Woman Walking (About Rude Guys Hollering @ Females)

By Tracy Rose

Many Black women (including myself) have faced the daily anxiety of walking past enclaves of damaged men getting harrassed… Know that youre not alone… Do not let dissenters minimize the situation or say that Black women are blowing things out of proportion… Be on the lookout for predator protectionism… Do not fall for the video vixen/promiscuous woman red-herring argument as a subtle way to excuse this behavior, keeping the status-quo… I have heard so many of these nonsense prevailing attitudes i.e., “Why can’t Black women at least say HI when being approached?” I don’t care if the woman is the most stuck-up creature on the face of the earth…She is NOT OBLIGATED TO SPEAK TO YOU…Ladies, you DO NOT have any obligation to talk to a stranger…Remember A STRANGER!!!

Source: RealTalk NY

[audio] NOTORIOUS B.I.G. Microphone Murderer

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MICROPHONE MURDERER/radio ripBIG Demo

CLICK [HERE] for AUDIO

Mr. Cee continues to hold B.I.G. down to the fullest! This time he throws us MICROPHONE MURDERER, the Biggie Smalls demo recorded by DJ 50 GRAND over AINT NO HALF STEPPIN, the beat murdered by another Brooklyn legend, BIG Daddy Kane. Thats what I call “Droppin’ Science!”  The Finisher finishes strong with this one BABY, BABY!

Hawaiian Island Obama is on has Power Outage

hawaii

via Breitbart

HONOLULU (AP) – The island of Oahu lost power late Friday in the midst of heavy rain and lightning, leaving some 800,000 residents and thousands of tourists in the dark, as well as the neighborhood where President-elect Barack Obama is vacationing. Residents were being advised by the power company and civil authorities to get to their homes and store water.

Peter Rosegg, a spokesman for Hawaiian Electric Light, said the initial power hit at 6:45 p.m., knocking out electricity to most of the island. The rest of Oahu lost power two hours later as a second generator failed.

Rosegg said it would take at least 12 hours to get power back and maybe longer. He said the cause of the outage was being investigated.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann said he’s received word from police that Obama, who has been vacationing at a private residence on the east side of the island, is OK. It wasn’t clear if the house had a generator.

Hannemann told KSSK radio that Obama is in one of the “most secure places, so he’ll be OK.”

The outage closed stores at major retail outlets just after sunset, halting post-Christmas shopping a couple of hours early. Residents were trapped in parking lots and highways were clogged as everyone tried to get home at once.

The other Hawaiian islands have separate power grids.

WEIRD SCIENCE: Shark Found with Legs and Webbed Feet

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via Underwater Times

Penang, Malaysia — Has anyone ever seen a baby shark with webbed feet? A worker of the Malaysian Fisheries Development Board (LKIM) in Batu Maung, Penang, made this unusual find when she was given the 1.7kg fish by a fisherman at the jetty recently. Mary Looi, 48, said she only realised the shark was different when she wanted to cook tomyam fish for lunch for her family.

was only when I was about to cut the shark the day after I received it that I found two webbed feet sticking out from the lower part of the body.

“The shark is one-metre long,” she said.shark_web_feet_blowup

Looi said she dared not cook the fish after consulting her husband Gooi Man Kaw, 57, who told her that according to Chinese belief, eating fish with unusual features could bring disaster or ill luck.

“Immediately, I returned the fish to the fisherman that night at about 10pm.

“He threw it back into the sea,” said Looi. Continue reading

Internet sites could be given ‘cinema-style age ratings’

 

via Telegraph UK

Internet sites could be given cinema-style age ratings as part of a Government crackdown on offensive and harmful online activity to be launched in the New Year, the Culture Secretary says.

movie-ratingsIn an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Andy Burnham says he believes that new standards of decency need to be applied to the web. He is planning to negotiate with Barack Obama’s incoming American administration to draw up new international rules for English language websites.

The Cabinet minister describes the internet as “quite a dangerous place” and says he wants internet-service providers (ISPs) to offer parents “child-safe” web services.

Giving film-style ratings to individual websites is one of the options being considered, he confirms. When asked directly whether age ratings could be introduced, Mr Burnham replies: “Yes, that would be an option. This is an area that is really now coming into full focus.” Continue reading

Amazon Cleans Up at the eRegister This Holiday Season

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via 24/7 Wall St

Oh, so this is where the dough went, cuz the streets were bone dry this holiday season

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon (AMZN) is the Internet’s great escape artist. His company has been in trouble countless times only to emerge better off. He was beaten on by the stock market for low margins and high shipping costs. He bought profits up to show that he could, if he wanted to, produce better earnings.

When investors were concerned that all he had was on online book retailer, he increased his product offerings to include a range of items from consumer electronics to jewelry.

Bezos has been endlessly inventive. He brought the Kindle electronic book reader out earlier this year. It has been, by almost every measure, a success. Even Oprah likes it.

Bezos figured that he had excess computing and e-commerce capacity, so he allows other companies to pay to use a part of his IT infrastructure.

This holiday season has turned out to be like the wreck of the ore ship the Edmund Fitzgerald. One moment it was there, and the next moment it had sunk all the way to the bottom. Every retailer has been taken down, with the possible exception of Wal-Mart (WMT).

To the amazement of Wall St., Amazon today said it had “its best holiday ever”.

In the firm’s statement it said, “Amazon announced the 2008 holiday season finished as its best ever, with over 6.3 million items ordered worldwide on the peak day, Dec. 15, which is a record-breaking 72.9 items per second.”

The company cataloged the reasons for it success. It posted impressive sales for software, GPS devices, coffee, watches, and CDs.

In the final analysis, Amazon probably did so well because new products such as the Kindle build upon the consumers’ impression that the online store firm is endlessly inventive. Amazon has done what many of its Web 1.0 rivals have not been able to do. It has set the bar so high that no one else can clear it.

US Uses Viagra to Lure in Afghan Warlords

via BBC

America’s CIA has found a novel way to gain information from fickle Afghan warlords – supplying sex-enhancing drug Viagra, a US media report says.

viagraThe Washington Post said it was one of a number of enticements being used.

In one case, a 60-year-old warlord with four wives was given four pills and four days later detailed Taleban movements in return for more.

“Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people,” the Post quoted one agent as saying.

“Whether it’s building a school or handing out Viagra.”

‘Silver bullet’

The newspaper said the use of Viagra had to be handled sensitively as the drug was not always known about in rural areas. Continue reading

[video] Bush Says He’s Not Insulted By Shoes Thrown at Him, Says Reporter Was Looking for 15 Minutes of Fame

via TLF

This dude needs his own sitcom when he leaves office. Admit it, you’ll miss him because he’s become such an in-grown part of the fabric of not only American politics but our daily dose of humor. He’s a hilarity when he’s not even trying.  He’s actually saying he doesn’t know what this dudes “beef” was. This is obviously a man who is in serious denial.