Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Music: Not Just The Movie, "Blank Panther" Album Tops Billboard

Black Panther: The Album debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, launching with 154,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Feb. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 52,000 are in traditional album sales.
The set, which features music from and inspired by the blockbuster Marvel Studios film Black Panther, garners the biggest week for a soundtrack — in terms of total units earned — in a year-and-a-half. The last soundtrack to score a larger week was Suicide Squad: The Album, which bowed atop the Aug. 27, 2016-dated list with 182,000 units earned. Black Panther: The Album was released on Feb. 9 through Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope Records.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Feb. 24-dated chart (where Black Panther: The Album starts at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Wednesday (Feb. 21) — one day later than usual, due to the Presidents’ Day holiday in the U.S. on Feb. 19.

Business: Consolidation Fever Grips Retail Health

Albertsons Companies. plans to buy the rest of Rite Aid Corp. that isn’t being sold to Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. as retailers of all stripes scramble to respond to a rapidly changing consumer shopping landscape.
The companies together have a value of around US$ 24 billion. Rite-AID, comprising thousands of drug stores across the US and a benefits-management company with millions of members, has a market value of about US$2.5 billion, is in the process of selling a chuk of its business to an alliance between Walgreens and UK giant Boots.

Auto: BMW Marks 30 Years of "M" With Drop-Top 4

For three decades now, the open-top high-performance sports car from the BMW M GmbH has combined precise handling and exhilarating dynamics with a fascinating feeling of freedom. Exclusive design and equipment features showcase the edition model’s racing DNA.

M Cars

30 years ago, the BMW M GmbH complemented its model range for the first time with an open-top high-performance automobile. Just in time for the beginning of the summer of 1988, the BMW M3 Convertible offered motorsport fans the possibility to enjoy also in the open air the fascination of a sports car designed for everyday use, but with racetrack-proven engine and suspension technology. The current successor, the BMW M4 Convertible (combined fuel consumption: 9.5 – 8.7 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 218 – 203 g/km), is the latest interpretation of this vehicle concept. This model’s successful tradition and exclusiveness are now expressed in concentrated form in the BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre.

The edition model is being produced in a limited quantity of 300 vehicles and brought to the road featuring the M Competition Package. The open-top four-seater enthuses with 331 kW/450 hp, an M Sport exhaust system, adaptive M suspension with specific SPORT mode and an extremely sporty configuration of the stability control system DSC and the Active M differential. Specially developed design and equipment features provide for the exclusiveness of both the exterior and interior.

There is a choice of two tradition-steeped body colours for the BMW M4 Convertible Edition 30 Jahre. Macao Blue metallic gives reference to the open-top high-performance car’s debut 3 decades ago. Mandarin II uni is reminiscent of the colour Dakar Yellow, which was available for the second generation of the BMW M3 Convertible.
Standard features for the edition model include BMW Individual High Gloss Shadow Line trims for the BMW kidney grille surround, the M side gills, the model lettering and the forged M light alloys boasting a star-spoke design. The 20-inch wheels come in the colour Orbit Grey matt offered exclusively for the edition model.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Poetry: DROIDS

Not even missing
Mother's milk
could have so thoroughly
even low-born
of their
such that they might
in the crimson
from a child's breast and
as steel
stills yet another
not all memories
drift skyward
with the unhurried
ganja smoke
some - like the final pleading in
a dying child's eyes -

Sport: Bobsledder Harris Among 5 Named "Olympians For Life"

World Olympians Association (WOA) has unveiled the names of the five Olympians included in the winter edition of its Olympians for Life project.
The presentation and photo exhibition took place at a special reception hosted in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Olympic Club here and honoured Olympians who have made an incredible contribution to society.
Among the Olympians named are American freestyle skier Tracy Evans "for challenging gender stereotypes and championing the universal right to play" and Italian cross-country skier Manuela Di Centa "for always striving to surmount Everest in sport and in life".
Japanese Alpine skier Chiharu Igaya, Jamaican bobsledder Devon Harris and Norwegian speed skater Johann Koss have also been named.  
Igaya’s recognition is "for his efforts through a lifetime of giving back to sport", Harris’ is "for dreaming the impossible and inspiring others to never give up" and Koss’ is "for using the power of sport to change lives and build a better, more harmonious world".
First launched during Rio 2016, the exhibition recognises Olympians who have made a significant impact on the lives of others, both during and after their athletic careers.
It is claimed to illustrate that Olympians have the power and the responsibility to help create a better, more harmonious world.
The Pyeongchang 2018 edition was officially opened by WOA Patron Prince Albert II of Monaco along with IOC President Thomas Bach and other high-profile Olympians and IOC members in attendance.

Music: DJ [Calvin] Harris, Partynextdoor "Ready" for a Dancehall Hit

-Jamaica Observer

CALVIN Harris, EDM heavyweight DJ, songwriter, singer and producer, makes his foray into dancehall with his latest single Nuh Ready, Nuh Ready. The track, which features Canadian rapper/singer Partynextdoor, was released on February 8 by Sony Music.

Partynextdoor, whose real name is Jahron Anthony Brathwaite, is signed to Drake's OVO record label. His mother is from Jamaica and his father from Trinidad.

Last year, the Scotland-born Harris and Partynextdoor had a hit with Cash Out.

In an interview with Beats 1 radio, Harris spoke about working with Partynextdoor.

“I just know his pen, his voice, and his delivery is among the best in the world. I worked with him on my last album and I was aware that I underused him. I was embarrassed and ashamed,” he said.
Nuh Ready, Nuh Ready hears the 25-year-old Partynextdoor honouring his Jamaican heritage. The use of patois is prevalent on the track.

Partynextdoor, who performed on the December 2016 Major Lazer concert in Kingston, has released two albums and three EPs. He co-produced Wild Thoughts, a 2017 hit for DJ Khaled featuring Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. He also co-wrote the massive hit Work by Rihanna and Drake.

Among Partynextdoor's hits are Not Nice (which samples Vybz Kartel's Girl You Too Bad) that was certified gold in the United States and silver in the United Kingdom.

Harris has scored eight number one songs on the UK pop charts. Born Adam Richard Wiles, the 34-year-old has studio albums to his name.

His hits include Found Love and This is What You Came For (both featuring Rihanna), Sweet Nothing (featuring Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine), How Deep Is Your Love featuring The Disciples, Outside and I Need Your Love, both of which feature Ellie Goulding; as well as his solo Summer and Feels So Close.

Harris topped Forbes' list of highest-paid DJs in 2013 and 2014. In 2016 he was ranked number 27 on the Sunday Times' Rich List of British Millionaires in Music, with £95 million.

Business: Ireland Property's "Second Coming"


Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Ireland’s property market is buoyant once again, with interest from investors around the world. As a result many companies are examining whether to float new companies on the stock market in the hope they can tap into investor appetite in Irish property.

Last week, York Capital, a U.S. hedge fund, announced plans to float its Irish subsidiary, Core Industrial REIT, on the Irish ESM and U.K.-based AIM stock exchanges in March.  Other companies will be looking to follow the example of York, and those in the first wave of REITs like Green and Hibernia, while the economic forecast is positive for Irish real estate. 

One company being closely monitored as a potential initial public offering candidate is Sigma Retail Partners, owned by Bannon Properties. With eight major retail parks in their portfolio worth €300M, the company has a retail presence across Ireland.  Bannon Properties Managing Director Marcus Wren said, "There is a lot of speculation at the moment ... I can't confirm or deny it." 

Research from CBRE shows the retail industry performed well in 2017 with continued strong demand this year on the best retail high streets, shopping centres and retail parks throughout the country.

Ireland vs U.K. and Europe Giuseppe Milo / Flickr Grand Canal, Dublin The confidence and desire to invest in Dublin and Ireland can be seen with Green REIT and Hibernia REIT, both of which were floated on the stock market in 2013 and are now trading at an average discount to net asset value of about 5%.  According to listed company research specialists Green Street, U.K. listed companies trade at roughly 10% discount on average. 

For closer U.K. peers such as British Land, Landsec, Great Portland and Derwent London the average discount is about 18%. “Investors are posting more confidence in Ireland than the U.K.,” Green Street Managing Director Hemant Kotak said. In addition to trading at smaller discounts both REITs have better shareholder returns than the wider property market. 

According to Green Street Advisors, since 2013, Green REIT has generated 41%, Hibernia has generated 40% and the wider property sector has only managed 25%. “Dublin office REITs still have the edge 

over European peers with Hibernia and Green still in a NAV growth phase of approximately 5%,” Goodbody Analyst Colm Lauder said. Goodbody predicts NAV growth for Irish REITs will continue through 2018 and 2019 as development profits feed through. 

NAV growth will be further boosted by another year of stable rents and asset specific yield compression. “This prolongs growth in the cycle where previously we had expected a degree of moderation to occur,” Lauder said. Greg Clarke/Flickr Goodbody research also shows that Irish REITs NAV growth will be higher than European and U.K. counterparts with EPRA Europe generating 4.1% growth in 2018 and EPRA U.K. generating 1% growth in comparison to Green’s 4.7% and Hibernia’s 5.1%. 

According to Kotak, the benefits of going public are twofold; access to a constant stream of capital and the ability to trade at premiums when the market is doing well.  “Companies are then able to raise new equity at a premium, it has a positive impact on the NAV and it affords them the ability to grow,” Kotak said. 

Many concerns that investors would normally have are not a big concern in Ireland's property market. “There is volatility in the market but investors take comfort in the fact that institutional developers are less willing to develop speculatively and developers' leverage levels are nowhere near the levels we saw before the crash.”