The tale charts the brothers’ different paths from the football pitches of Berlin.Kevin-Prince is an ex-Portsmouth, AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, now playing for Las Palmas in Spain.George became a rapper after a prison spell, while Bayern Munich defender Jerome won the 2014 World Cup with Germany.Bayern Munich’s defender Jerome Boateng arrives at the GQ ‘Men Of The Year’ awards ceremony in Berlin, on November 10, 2016 © dpa/AFP/File / Jörg CarstensenThe Boatengs made World Cup history at the 2010 finals in South Africa by becoming the first brothers to play each other when Kevin-Prince’s Ghana lost 1-0 to Jerome’s Germany in a group game.The siblings are sons of a German mother and Ghanaian father.But while George and Kevin-Prince were raised by their mother in Berlin’s working-class district of Wedding, Jerome lived with his father in the affluent suburb of Wilmersdorf.“It’s a bit of ‘Wedding meets Wilmersdorf’, the bad brothers against the good brother and how they actually became who they are,” director Nicole Oder told AFP.“We used dance to replace the football and we partly improvised on the basis of the book, which means we have developed a part-documentary, part-fictional story.”Despite Oder’s best efforts, the “Peng-Peng Boateng” team have never met the brothers.– Political storms –A mural of Boateng brothers, Jerome, George and Kevin-Prince, with a slogan reading ‘Grown on concrete’, seen on a house wall in Berlin © AFP/File / Christof StacheJerome, the youngest of the trio, is portrayed as the shy child who grew up to become a world champion, model and multi-millionaire.He has been held up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a model of integration and is one of the most recognisable faces in Germany.But he has also been dragged into political storms in the past.Alexander Gauland, deputy leader of the populist AfD party, said in June that “people think of him as a good footballer, but they do not want a Boateng as a neighbour” — comments which drew widespread condemnation.He is known for a strong work ethic and has become one of the world’s best centre-backs.In one scene, Jerome, played by actor Nyamandi Mushayavanhu, suffers in training, accepting the iron discipline needed to succeed in German football, living under draconian rules to win his coach’s confidence.– ‘Pigeon-holed’ –Italy’s Citadin Martins Eder (L) fights for the ball with Germany’s Jerome Boateng during their Euro 2016 quarter-final match, at the Matmut Atlantique stadium in Bordeaux © AFP/File / Georges GobetMeanwhile, his brothers show a tendency to rebel, but there is a danger in stereotyping the characters, says Mushayavanhu.“A lot had been heard about the brothers in advance and many people pigeon-hole them,” said Mushayavanhu.“George is the so-called bad guy, Kevin-Prince is the bad guy and Jerome is the good guy, but it’s not that simple when you look into it.”Tamar Aslan plays Kevin-Prince, the talented midfielder who had been a key member of Germany’s Under-21 team, but was thrown out of the squad, which later won the 2009 junior European title, after an ill-advised nightclub visit.On stage, the character is tormented by the sanction and, unable to accept his punishment, decides never to play for Germany again and opts instead for his father’s country Ghana.Las Palmas’ German-Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng (L) fights for the ball with Villarreal’s Mario during their Spanish La Liga match, at El Madrigal stadium in Vila-real, on October 23, 2016 © AFP/File / Jose Jordan“The character of Kevin is the most interesting,” said Aslan.“We really see the warrior in him.“‘Germany don’t want me? Ok, well I will play for Ghana, but I will continue to play’.”The actor says the cast read the original book and countless interviews with the brothers to get a feel for the characters they would be playing.Each performance, which lasts 90 minutes, is physically demanding for the actors, as the story revolves around football matches told through dance, leaving them as tired as after a typical football match.“It was a great challenge for us to bring the physical energy of football onto the stage and it was quite clear we could not play football,” admitted choreographer Raphael Hillebrand.“Every time someone plays football in our play, it’s a dance for us.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000(From L) Actors Nyamandi Mushayavanhu, Daniel Mandolini and Tamer Arslan pose after the premiere of the theatre play ‘Peng Peng Boateng’, in Berlin, on December 18, 2016 © AFP/File / Tobias SchwarzBERLIN, Germany, Jan 2 – The tale of the Boateng brothers Jerome, George and Kevin-Prince — two of whom made history by facing each other at a World Cup finals — has hit the stage in Berlin.The play ‘Peng-Peng Boateng’ (Bang-Bang Boateng) is based on the 2012 book ‘The Boateng Brothers’ by sports journalist Michael Horeni with dance scenes replacing football matches.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – First Nations as well as environmentalist groups officially launched lawsuits in Federal Court in Vancouver today against the Pacific NorthWest LNG project and the Canadian government.The groups held a press conference and filing ceremony in Vancouver this morning.Representatives from many northwest First Nations, UBCIC, and SkeenaWild commented on the lawsuits that are aimed to stop Petronas’ $11.4-billion Pacific NorthWest LNG project which is located near the Skeena River.“Once again, we are forced to ask courts to do what our politicians seem unable to do – to honour Canada’s obligations to its Indigenous communities, and to protect our environment from catastrophic harm,” said Chief Yahaan (Donnie Wesley), of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe.- Advertisement -Chiefs also made the point that Justin Trudeau had promised a better relationship with Indigenous people, something they say he hasn’t followed through on.“Despite repeated requests, the federal government has failed to properly consult with our people,” said Chief Malii (Glen Williams), Chief Negotiator for the Gitanyow. “Justin Trudeau promised a new relationship with Indigenous communities. Instead, he added insult to injury by ignoring us, and giving the green light to a project that will destroy our way of life.”Williams and Wesley both filed suits with the Federal Court. SkeenaWild Conservation Trust filed its own judicial review of the project approval.This brings back to mind a similar experience with the courts when they overturned federal approval of a permit allowing Enbridge to build its Northern Gateway oil pipeline in the same area as the Petronas project. The court found that the company and the federal government failed to consult with Indigenous communities along the pipeline route.“As with Enbridge, and despite repeated requests that they consult with us, Petronas and the federal government failed in their duty to listen to the ancestral owners of Lelu Island,” Yahaan said. “We have never been opposed to development. But we have always opposed industrial development on top of the most important salmon habitat we have on our coast.”The Federal government says they stand behind the decision to approve the project, issuing 190 conditions before the project moves forward.
Devil Rays: Outfielder Carl Crawford was suspended for two games and fined by the commissioner’s office after he was ejected earlier this week. Yankees: Roger Clemens received a cortisone injection in his sore right elbow. The pitcher was examined in Houston by Astros team physician Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “Anytime it’s one of your big guys, you get concerned,” Randolph said. The test results were announced as the Mets headed for the airport following a 7-0 loss to the Reds on Wednesday. They could play Shawn Green, Marlon Anderson and Jeff Conine, who was obtained from the Reds in a trade last month, at first base while Delgado heals. Around the leagues Orioles: The team purchased the contract of pitcher Rob Bell from triple-A Norfolk. Baltimore also gave right-hander Paul Shuey his outright release after he cleared waivers. Rangers: The team purchased the contract of right-hander Luis Mendoza from double-A Frisco. The Rangers also transferred reliever Akinori Otsuka from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. From news services Carlos Delgado will be sidelined for a week to 10 days with a strained muscle in his right hip, a significant blow to the New York Mets as they try to protect first place in the NL East. The slugging first baseman hurt himself on an awkward swing during an 11-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. Mets manager Willie Randolph and a trainer came out to check on Delgado, who stayed in the game and struck out. He was sent back to New York for an MRI exam Wednesday that detected a strained right hip flexor.
Striker: Divock Origi – 6 out of 10 – The Belgian lacks the creativity of his team-mates but did well holding up the ball against a tough West Brom defence. In front of goal he didnt appear to have his shooting boots on and his best moments came out on the right flank. Right-back: Nathaniel Clyne – 5 out of 10 – Starting to lose favour with Liverpool fans and didnt do his cause much good at the Hawthorns with a frustrating performance. 11 Centre-back: Dejan Lovren – 6 out of 10 – A touch sloppy from the Croatian to start and looked a little out of step with defensive partner Matip, especially as they attempted to catch opponents offside. Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet – 7 out of 10 – Click the right arrow above to see how we rated Liverpool’s players… – The Belgian goalkeeper is growing in confidence between the sticks. Not only did he deal with everything thrown his way, he also handled the aerial threat of the Baggies well. Left-wing: Philippe Coutinho – 5 out of 10 – Back in the starting XI, Coutinho looked frustrated playing against the Baggies and struggled to put in the kind of performance you would expect from a player with so much talent. 11 Centre-back: Joel Matip – 7 out of 10 – The Cameroonian is a solid and settling presence, with a fine eye for a pass. To have landed him on a free transfer was a brilliant move from the Reds. Matip also dealt well with West Broms aerial threat too. Left-back: James Milner – 5 out of 10 – Milner did well trying to block crosses, knowing it was where West Brom would create problems for his fellow defenders. He did, though, miss a great chance to make the score 2-0 just before the hour-mark. Central midfield: Georginio Wijnaldum – 6 out of 10 – Wijnaldum wasnt in the game early doors but grew into the match as it went on. He offered some creativity but not quite enough to get Liverpool a second goal. 11 Central midfield: Lucas Leiva – 6 out of 10 – Looked clumsy in places as he looked to dominate in front of his defence but a nice run saw him nod on the assist for Roberto Firminos opening goal. Booked in the second half, but was generally a solid presence. 11 11 Central midfield: Emre Can – 6 out of 10 – The German got to grips with the physicality of the game well and gave plenty of cover for Milner too. Deserves praise for a superb all-round showing against a tough side and is really beginning to stand out in a red shirt. 11 11 Liverpool have given their hopes of a top four finish a boost with a hard-fought 1-0 win over West Brom.The Reds players weren’t all at their best but put on enough of a display to see off Tony Pulis’ stubborn Baggies side.Roberto Firmino scored the only goal of the game, which, ironically, came from a set-piece, but who were the stars of the show at the Hawthorns.So how did we rate the performances of the Liverpool players? Click the right arrow above to find out… Right-wing: Roberto Firmino – 7 out of 10 – Quiet to start and dragged an early shot wide which he should have done better with, but got a key touch to stop Nacer Chadli scoring at the opposite end. Firmino took his goal well and his effort cannot be faulted. 11 11 11 11
Federal Aviation Administration records showed the plane was registered to Lidle, who had repeatedly assured reporters in recent weeks that flying was safe and that the Yankees – who were traumatized in 1979 when catcher Thurman Munson was killed in the crash of a plane he was piloting – had no reason to worry. “The flying?” Lidle, 34, told The Philadelphia Inquirer this summer. “I’m not worried about it. I’m safe up there. I feel very comfortable with my abilities flying an airplane.” “No matter what’s going on in your life, when you get up in that plane, everything’s gone,” Lidle told a Comcast SportsNet interviewer while flying his plane in April. The crash came just four days after the Yankees’ embarrassingly quick elimination from the playoffs, during which Lidle had been relegated to the bullpen. In recent days, Lidle had taken abuse from fans on sports talk radio for saying the team was unprepared. “This is a terrible and shocking tragedy that has stunned the entire Yankees organization,” Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said in a statement. He offered his condolences to Lidle’s wife, Melanie, and 6-year-old son Christopher. NEW YORK – A small plane carrying New York Yankee Cory Lidle slammed into a 40-story residential building Wednesday after issuing a distress call, killing the pitcher and a second person in a crash that rained flaming debris onto the sidewalks and briefly raised fears of another terrorist attack. A law enforcement official in Washington said Lidle – an avid pilot who got his license during last year’s offseason – was aboard the single-engine aircraft when it plowed into the 30th and 31st floors of the high-rise on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said both people aboard were killed. Lidle played high school baseball at South Hills High School in West Covina and lived with his wife and son in Glendora. His passport was found on the street, according to a federal official, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. It was not immediately clear who was at the controls and who was the second person aboard. There was no official confirmation of Lidle’s death from city officials. However, the New York Times reported Lidle said his regular instructor, whom he identified as Tyler Stanger of Walnut, was coming in to work with him on instrument training exercises. Officials said they believed Stanger was the second victim. The federal official said the plane had issued a distress call before the crash. The craft took off from New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport about 2:30 p.m. EDT and was in the air for barely 15 minutes, authorities said. Bloomberg said Lidle and his flying companion were sightseeing and were taking a route that took them over the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Empire State Building. The FAA said it was too early to determine what might have caused the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board sent investigators. How the plane managed to penetrate airspace over one of the most densely packed sections of New York City was not clear. The plane was unusual in that it was equipped with a parachute in case of engine failure, but there was no sign the chute was used. The crash rattled New Yorkers’ nerves five years after the Sept. 11 attacks, but the FBI and the Homeland Security quickly said there was no evidence it was anything but an accident. Nevertheless, within 10 minutes of the crash, fighter jets were sent aloft over several cities, including Los Angeles, New York, Washington, Detroit and Seattle, Pentagon officials said. The plane, flying north over the East River, along the usual flight corridor, came through a hazy, cloudy sky and hit The Belaire – a red-brick tower overlooking the river – with a loud bang. It touched off a raging fire that cast a pillar of black smoke over the city and sent flames shooting from four windows on two adjoining floors. Firefighters put the blaze out in less than an hour. At least 21 people were taken to the hospital, most of them firefighters. Their conditions were not disclosed. Large crowds gathered in the street in the largely wealthy New York neighborhood, with many people in tears and some trying to reach loved ones by cell phone. “It wasn’t until I was halfway home that I started shaking. The whole memory of an airplane flying into a building and across the street from your home. It’s a little too close to home,” Sara Green, 40, who lives across the street from The Belaire. “It crossed my mind that it was something bigger or the start of something bigger.” On Sunday, the day after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, Lidle cleaned out his locker at Yankee Stadium and talked about his interest in flying. He said he intended to fly back to California in several days and planned to make a few stops. Lidle had reserved a room for Wednesday night at the historic Union Station hotel in downtown Nashville, Tenn., hotel spokeswoman Melanie Fly said. Lidle discussed with reporters the plane crash that killed John F. Kennedy Jr. and how he had read the accident report on the NTSB Web site. Lidle, acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies on July 30, told The New York Times last month that his four-seat Cirrus SR20 was safe. “The whole plane has a parachute on it,” Lidle said. “Ninety-nine percent of pilots that go up never have engine failure, and the 1 percent that do usually land it. But if you’re up in the air and something goes wrong, you pull that parachute, and the whole plane goes down slowly.” Lidle pitched 1
Arsenal love it at Wembley – Arsenal have made 51 Wembley appearances, winning 27 times, drawing six games and losing 18 games. Two of the drawn games were settled by penalty shoot-outs, with one win and one defeat. 9 The last time Tottenham played Arsenal at Wembley – It has been 25 years since Spurs and Arsenal last met at Wembley. In 1993, Arsenal won an FA Cup semi-final game 1-0 thanks to a Tony Adams header. Paul Merson, above, celebrated the victory in a memorable way. 9 Wembley treble – The rivals have met at Wembley THREE times, with Spurs winning a memorable cup semi-final in 1991, the same year they drew 0-0 in the charity shield. Goal threat – Harry Kane is the Premier League’s top scorer this season with 22 goals, while Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal’s top scoring player has nine goals to his name. In all, both clubs have scored 51 Premier League goals. Years have passed since an away side last won a derby – There has not been an away win in the last seven league matches between the two sides. This came in March 2014 when Tomas Rosicky’s stunning strike secured a 1-0 win for Arsenal. There have been four draws in this time. Arsenal lead the way for wins – In the head-to-head record, Arsenal have won 76 north London derbies to Spurs’ 56. There have been 49 draws when the two sides have played each other in all competitions. 9 9 Attendance record – The Premier League attendance record of 81,978 was set by Spurs in their 2-0 win against Man United at Wembley this season. 9 9 Tottenham take on north London rivals Arsenal in Saturday’s Premier League lunchtime kick-off at Wembley. Tottenham v Arsenal is live on talkSPORT at 12:30pm (GMT) on Saturday 10 February.The reverse fixture saw the Gunners emerge 2-0 winners at the Emirates Stadium, however, Mauricio Pochettino’s side go into the game four points ahead of their local rivals. But what are the numbers behind this momentous fixture?Click the right arrow above to see some of the most intriguing north London derby stats. 9 Clean sheets – Spurs have kept 11 clean sheets this season, which is two more than Arsenal. 9 9 Arsenal won bragging rights last time – The Gunners ran out 2-0 winners in the first north London derby of this campaign. Goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez ensured the victory
SANTA CLARITA – ‘Tis the season of giving, or is it? A national survey says that while 98 percent of Americans want to give to a “greater good,” just 48 percent have done so in the past six months. The survey also said people blame lack of guidance from local government and the news media as reasons they don’t volunteer. City officials say Santa Clarita must be the exception to this study. This time of year, the community really comes out to help with raising money and collecting food and toys for families who need help. “I find this city to be extremely generous with food and goods,” said the Rev. George McLeary, pastor of said Church of Hope. He said the city’s winter shelter for the homeless, set to open next week, is drawing many offers from potential volunteers. Last year, volunteers provided all the shelter’s meals. Belinda Crawford, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, said 400 turkeys were collected in a Thanksgiving food drive. The problem is, Crawford said, there is always more work to be done. “We are feeding about 3,000 Santa Clarita residents this holiday,” Crawford said. “That is great, but it is only about 14 percent of those living in the valley who are living at or below 150 percent (of the) poverty level.” Betty Romero, a young volunteer at the Valley Worship Center in Newhall, said some people just need a nudge. “Many business owners in this area will help, but they just don’t know we are here,” Romero said. Newhall business owner Roger Hasper planned a Thanksgiving feast in his Newhall bike shop for local low-income families. He was pleased with the offers from volunteers, but disappointed with their limits. “I told a couple of people that I was good on volunteers and they could go to the downtown missions or Ventura, but they didn’t want to go out of their way,” Hasper said. “People want to help, but don’t want to go out of their way to help and that to me isn’t really stepping up. It’s like riding a bike. It’s always easy to come up with excuses but if you want to ride, you just get on the bike and ride.” firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’“Santa Clarita is definitely not represented in that study,” said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz. “Here at City Hall, giving and nonprofit charity work is the foundation of our culture.” Ortiz is one of a number of city employees who actively volunteers time to local nonprofit groups. She volunteers her services as a publicist to various groups and is on the boards of the Child and Family Center and the Domestic Violence Center. “In the city of Santa Clarita, there is a huge – no, an enormous amount – of work that people from all walks of life give and donate,” Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean said. “We are so lucky to have such a giving community.” McLean, a 30-year resident, still has time to work on raffles and bake sales for her favorite charities.
The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Half of U.S. adults use social media. That is, they do according to the latest findings from Universal McCann’s “Media in Mind” study, an ongoing research effort that analyzes how consumers relate to media and products in their daily life. However, it’s worth noting that in this particular study “social media” includes text messaging. Combined with blogging and social networking, these three technologies are used by 50% of U.S. adults for communication purposes. Wait, What Are You Calling “Social Media”?In the 18-34 year-old demographic, the numbers of social media users are even higher: 85% of rely on one of the three platforms to stay in touch with others. Of course, the increase in those who are now texting could be pushing these overall numbers up. It seems that more adults are texting than ever before. Those adults who say that they’ve never sent a text message fell to 41% from 49% last year. Says Graeme Hutton, SVP-Director of Consumer Insights: “We’re definitely seeing continual shifts. The great unwashed – those people who have never sent a text message – is getting smaller all the time.”Side Note: Personally, I find the terminology “the great unwashed (masses)” a little demeaning. The fact is that those at the lower end of the technology-use spectrum don’t use things like text messaging and the internet as much because they are usually economically disadvantaged – an unfortunate condition that has numerous causes including everything from poor educational resources to lack of job opportunities in their geographic region. Lumping this lower-income group into one “great unwashed” group was an unnecessarily cruel way to address those not participating in the social media revolution. That aside, there are still plenty of valuable findings that have surfaced because of this study, including the following new data:1 out of 10 U.S. adults now publish blogs (up from 5% last year)1 out of 5 18-34-year olds publish blogs (up from 10% last year)22% of U.S. adults use IM (up from 9% last year)21% of 18-34-year olds use IM (up from 14% last year) But are these numbers showing a true shift in sheer numbers of users or really just a change in awareness? Hutton says, “Two years ago, asking people about blogs, people were shaking their heads. I think now it’s taking off because social networks are taking off…People may have been doing it before, but may not have realized it. Now they’re recognizing it for what it is.”Although these numbers look promising for our favorite genre, social media, they should probably be taken with a grain of salt. While we do believe that text messaging is an important method of communication, it doesn’t quite fit with what the standard definition of social media is: blogging, social networking sites, and other web properties that engage collective groups of people to drive their content. We would like to see how the numbers really break down among the three “social media” activities they measured, but that data was not immediately available. Source: MarketingVOXUpdate: After contacting Universal McCann to clarify whether or not they really believed that text messaging counted as “social media,” I received this response: “The Media in Mind research bulletin we issued was in fact about emerging media not social media. I think the article took a broad over-arching view of the emerging media reviewed by the MiM research which might lead to that possible reading of the article to put all three media you mention together as “social media”. However, that said, I think your query raises an interesting point. I think we would typically define social media as online applications that aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users.In exploratory qualitative research, we have undertaken indicates the consumer might take a broader view of what social media might mean. For example, it could be taken by consumers to mean any digital form of personal communication that helps enable peer collaboration and sharing. This softer, less-structured definition is possibly useful in determining possible future growth areas of personal social P2P media from a consumer-centric POV.” sarah perez Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Features#Social Web#Trends#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
Tags:#Apple#gaming#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App john paul titlow Hulu Plus, the paid subscription offering from the premium video streaming site Hulu, will be available on the Nintendo Wii console and 3DS handheld system by the end of the year, the company announced. Hulu Plus joins Netflix as the second video streaming service available on Nintendo gaming consoles. Both are already available on competing gaming systems like Microsoft’s XBox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3. But the real threat, as Nintendo of America’s own president has admitted, is not the traditional gaming console manufacturers. It’s Apple. Since launching the iPhone and later the iTunes App Store, Apple has become major, if somewhat unexpected player in the videogame market. Its mobile devices, which are in the hands of millions of consumers, double as handheld gaming consoles, with some games seeing millions of downloads and generating real revenue for their developers. The list of top paid apps in the App Store is routinely dominated by games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Words With Friends, among others. A handful of games originally made famous by Nintendo, such as Tetris and Megaman, have iOS apps that have done quite well. Few doubt that the company could make serious money from iOS versions of classics like Super Mario Bros, but so far they’ve refused to do it. Mobile Gaming is Huge, But iOS is a Risky Move For Nintendo It’s a tough decision for Nintendo. The video game company has traditionally used its popular game titles like Super Mario Bros and the Legend of Zelda to help fuel demand for its own hardware, such as the Wii and handheld 3DS. Those characters haven’t even shown up on competing consoles , which gives Nintendo a unique advantage over systems that often have superior graphics and more robust features. Suddenly making those beloved games available on iPads and iPhones runs the risk of cannibalizing the company’s core business. Indeed, their latest handheld gaming system, the Nintendo 3DS, was met with lackluster sales when it launched, despite the fact that its first console to include 3D graphics that don’t require special glasses. The company slashed the price of the 3DS significantly, which improved sales somewhat. But is the dedicated handheld gaming device inherently doomed? Serious gamers and hardcore Nintendo fans can probably be counted on to keep snatching up devices the company releases, but general consumers increasingly use their smartphones to play video games, and most people probably don’t want to carry around a second device just for games. It’s not just Apple that’s moving in on this space. Android is growing rapidly as well, and the forthcoming Kindle Fire tablet will have access to Amazon’s own Android app store, videogames and all. Features like the ability to stream movies and TV shows via Hulu and Netflix are certainly nice additions to video game systems, but it may not be enough to minimize the damage done by the growing smartphone and tablet markets. After all, those devices already have Netflix and Hulu, plus countless other content sources, not to mention hundreds of thousands of other mobile apps. Photo by William Warby. Related Posts
The Senate Finance Committee (SFC) held a July 18 hearing entitled “Comprehensive Tax Reform: Prospects and Challenges.” All four witnesses who testified before the committee had held the position of assistant secretary of Treasury for tax policy in prior administrations. According to Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, each witness has front-line tax experience that would help lawmakers address the shortcomings of the tax code, as well as the political divisions that could hamper tax reform efforts.“What’s needed is bipartisan tax reform that focuses on progressivity, helping the middle class, cleaning out flagrant tax loopholes, fiscal responsibility, and giving everybody in America the chance to get ahead,” ranking member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said during opening statements. “Tax reform that drives economic growth by putting money in the pockets of wage-earning Americans only works if tax reform is lasting and bipartisan,” he added.Hatch, too, spoke of his hopes for bipartisan tax reform. “Indeed, the negative impact of the status quo falls on Republican and Democratic voters alike. So, we should all be willing to work toward solutions,” Hatch said.All four witnesses encouraged Congress to act now on tax reform. “There is a window of opportunity now, and it is important to act before that window shuts,” Eric Solomon testified.Jonathan Talisman, in his testimony, cautioned taxwriters against letting policy debates and differences impede tax reform efforts, and said that lawmakers should not worry about solving all problems at once.” Incremental progress will be a significant accomplishment,” he testified. In particular, debates over more fundamental tax reforms should not delay or preclude meaningful reforms to improve the current code that will provide relief to individuals and help stabilize the global tax environment and improve competitiveness for businesses operating in the U.S., he added.Pamela F. Olson, currently U.S. deputy tax leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and leader of PwC’s Washington National Tax Services practice, also provided lawmakers with advice on approaching tax reform. “To the maximum extent possible, Congress should resist the urge to write narrow targeted rules in favor of broadly applicable provisions,” she testified.Winners and LosersMost tax reform proposals have winners and losers, so to speak. The notion is well-known among taxwriters, as Olson noted in her testimony. “As the members of this committee are well aware, revenue-neutral tax reform produces vocal losers and largely silent winners,” she said. “The base broadening that permits further rate reduction on a revenue-neutral basis is unpopular with those whose base is broadened, but the greater the rate reduction, the more palatable the base broadening will be, and the greater the benefit will be for the U.S. economy because taxes will have a reduced effect on decisions to work, save and invest,” she added.According to Mark Mazur, currently director at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, a key challenge of business tax reform is that, by removing (as seen with a consumption tax) or lowering the corporate tax rate, such reform could potentially remove a significant revenue source for the federal government. The corporate income tax raises between $300 billiion and $400 billion a year, Mazur noted, adding that it is an important revenue source for the U.S. Treasury.” Maintaining this revenue source while addressing its most glaring inefficiencies is a key challenge for business tax reform,” Mazur said.Olson testified, however, that many economists “across the political spectrum” have concluded that consumption-based taxes are a more efficient way of raising revenue than the corporate income tax. According to Olson, the House GOP tax reform blueprint represents a repeal of the corporate income tax and a replacement with a domestic consumption tax.“As I look out into the future, we have a rising difference between what we expect to be collecting in revenues, and what we expect to be spending, and we have to find some way in addition to making tax reform easier, to close that gap, and a consumption tax seems to me to be something that is a very viable alternative and should be carefully considered by the committee,” Olson said.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News StaffSFC Press Release: Hatch Statement at Finance Hearing Regarding Comprehensive Tax Reform: Prospects and ChallengesSFC Press Release: Wyden Statement at Finance Committee Hearing on Tax ReformStatement of Jonathan Talisman, Former Treasury Assistant Secretary For Tax PolicyStatement of Pamela F. Olson, Former Treasury Assistant Secretary For Tax PolicyTestimony of Eric Solomon, Former Treasury Assistant Secretary For Tax PolicyTestimony of Mark J. Mazur, Robert C. Pozen Director, Urban Brookings Tax Policy Center, and Former Treasury Assistant Secretary For Tax Policy