McConnell blasted for letting trial run past SOTU; even Chris Wallace calls Dems ‘petty’ and ‘spiteful’ for it

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Because of pressure mostly from Senate Democrats but also from some of his colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed late Friday to postpone President Donald Trump’s acquittal vote until next Wednesday.

The decision provoked frustration in some, though for different reasons.

Here is the McConnell-Schumer Senate deal which extends impeachment to next Wednesday. Story first reported by @OANN pic.twitter.com/b2pKhBma2i

— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 1, 2020

Chris Wallace, one of Fox News’ most vocal Democrats, responded by blasting the Democrats for being so “petty” and “spiteful.” The remarks came after fellow FNC contributor Dana Perino opined about the Democrats’ motivation for pushing for a delay.

“I think one of the things that the Democrats want, and I don’t know why they think this would be helpful, is to be able to have the headline say, ‘An impeached president gives State of the Union,’” she said.

The president’s SOTU address is scheduled for Tuesday, a day before Trump is to be formally acquitted.

“I think it is so petty on the part of the Democrats and spiteful,” Wallace promptly chimed in. “End this. Land the plane!”


(Source: Fox News)

Others aimed their criticism at McConnell instead, including Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs and frequent FBN guest Ed Rollins, the co-chairman of the Donald Trump Great America PAC.

“Why in the world would the majority leader agree to run this thing through the state of the union address?” Dobbs asked in exasperation late Friday.

“He won, and the bottom line is that he should have shut it down tonight. And who cares if it’s in the middle fo the night? The whole thing is in the middle of the night,” Rollins replied.

“So what’s the profit in him doing this?” Dobbs pressed.

“There’s not,” Rollins replied. “There’s a danger to it because you have another whole weekend of the co-conspirators — The New York Times — leaking more Bolton stories and raising more hell. He’ll be on all the talk shows.”

Listen:


(Source: Fox Business Network)

Shortly before the Senate began the process of voting on whether or not to allow witnesses to testify in the president’s trial, the Times dropped yet another Bolton “bombshell.”

This one alleged that the “president asked his national security adviser last spring in front of other senior advisers to pave the way for a meeting between Rudolph Giuliani and Ukraine’s new leader.”

Within an hour of the “bombshell” dropping, the Democrat impeachment managers began making closing arguments that reportedly contained quotes from that very story.

“[T]he House managers begin their closing arguments, and guess what? They’ve got charts, they got graphs, they got quotes from the New York Times leak!” conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh noted at the time.

“It’s the playbook, and it is now so obvious, it’s become a joke. Every senator in that room knows exactly what’s going on here. We’re listening to closing arguments that are a coordinated, last-gasp, hail Mary for witnesses or what have you, that the New York Times found somebody to leak ’em something else from the manuscript of Bolton’s book.”

Dovetailing back to Dobbs, he shared his concerns on Twitter, as did other notable conservatives.

Look:

Why in the world would Senate Majority Leader McConnell allow this Radical Dem assault on @realDonaldTrump and the nation to run through the State of the Union and go on Wednesday when he could wrap it up tonight or at least tomorrow? #MAGA #AmericaFirst #Dobbs

— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) January 31, 2020

Get the vote done Tuesday.

Exonerate the President BEFORE the State of the Union Address Tuesday so America can officially and symbolically turn the page from this duplicitous impeachment.

Tuesday night needs to be @realdonaldtrump‘s. https://t.co/koYyhxOQOv

— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) February 1, 2020

Why is McConnell pushing this now to Wednesday?

— Jeremy Frankel (@FrankelJeremy) January 31, 2020

Someone needs to ask all those ‘muh Cocaine Mitch’ people why McConnell is cutting deals with Schumer to extend the impeachment trial. Weird!

— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) January 31, 2020

Reports have emerged suggesting that “Cocaine Mitch” may have delayed the acquittal vote for his own personal benefit.

“A joint fundraising committee allied with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is hosting a fundraiser in the Miami area over Super Bowl weekend,” The Hill has confirmed.

“McConnell for Majority Leader, a joint fundraising committee, has scheduled a fundraiser at 4 p.m. Saturday at a ‘South Beach Miami Location Provided Upon RSVP,’ according to an invite obtained by The Hill.”

While it’s not clear whether the majority leader will attend the event, some have speculated that his scheduled presence at the event would certainly explain his inexplicable decision to delay the president’s acquittal vote.

So is this why McConnell didn’t force a vote tonight or tomorrow? Cause that would be bad https://t.co/n19AMOVDYg

— jim manley (@jamespmanley) February 1, 2020

To be fair, however, the president himself reportedly signed off on the delay.

“Before agreeing to the delay, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) phoned Trump to get the president’s approval, according to a source familiar with the conversation. Trump then signed off on the decision,” Politico reported.

It’s not clear what the strategy here is, though knowing the president, there is indeed most likely some sort of strategy at play.

Senior Staff Writer

V. Saxena is a staff writer for BizPac Review with a decade of experience as a professional writer, and a lifetime of experience as an avid news junkie. He holds a degree in computer technology from Purdue University.

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Photo Of Nigerian Man Who Beat His Own Wife To Death Over Food On Christmas Day

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Photo Of Nigerian Man Who Beat His Own Wife To Death Over Food On Christmas Day

The man has been arrested

Wednesday, 25 December, 2019 was a day of joy and celebration for all people irrespective of religious affiliation.

But the day went sour for the family of Sonola in Ijeun Titun area of Abeokuta South local government area of Ogun state, as the 37-year old Mutiu Sonola reportedly beat his wife Zainab to death after a short argument over food.

Late Zainab, 34 years old, was a mother of one before her untimely death, she was a trader in Kuto market; she deals with foodstuffs and other things.

According to an eyewitness, Bankole Soluade, a resident of the area where the couple resided, narrated how Sonola Mutiu usually beat Zainab repeatedly and how they normally intervened to stop him from the act.

Soluade said: “On that fateful day, the story changed as Sonola Mutiu popularly known as Alfa Mutiu was reportedly beat Zainab to coma. When he discovered that the woman was almost dead, he rushed her to Ogun State Hospital at Sokenu road, Ijaiye, Abeokuta for treatment but Zainab could not survive the beating as she gave up the ghost in the hospital”.

He added that “the hospital management then instructed Mutiu to carry the remains of his wife when she was finally confirmed dead.”

Mutiu then took the corpse of his late wife to his family house at Oke-Yeke in Abeokuta, where the policemen attached to Ibara police station was called upon to arrest him with the corpse.

“Mutiu was habitually beating his wife at any slightest provocation and that the latest assault leading to the woman’s death was triggered by a “minor disagreement which was on food.”

On her part, an old woman who identified herself as Mrs. Aileru, said Mutiu has two wives. She said Zainab was the second wife.

She said, both Mutiu and Zainab used to have quarrels to the extent that whenever there was quarrel between them, Mutiu will beat Zainab blue black.

“Family members and neighbors had settled issues for both of them on several occasions. Even there was a time Zainab packed her belongings and moved out of Mutiu’s house, we settled the quarrel then and came back”.

“I was surprised when Mutiu called her around 11am that his wife has been rushed to the hospital after minor disagreement between the two of them and he later called back around 11:30am to tell her that his wife is dead.

“Mutiu started beating his wife in the morning on Christmas Day over a minor disagreement, despite series of warning by neighbours that he should desist from further assaulting his wife, a furious Mutiu kept hitting her with blows until Zainab slumped and slipped into coma.”

The spokesperson for the Ogun State command, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said preliminary investigation revealed that Mutiu was fond of beating the deceased at the slightest provocation and that the incident, that resulted in her death, was a minor disagreement.

Kidnapped monarch’s wife, daughters, driver regain freedom

Oyeyemi said: “The corpse of the deceased has been deposited in the General Hospital, Ijaiye mortuary for autopsy.”

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Don’t let Church failings distance you from God ― Pope Francis

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Pope Francis
Pope Francis

Pope Francis led the world’s 1.3 billion Roman Catholics into Christmas on Tuesday, urging them not to let the Church’s failings lead them away from accepting God’s love.

Francis celebrated a solemn Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for thousands of people as hundreds of others watched on large screens outside.

As is customary on Christmas Eve, the 83-year-old pope weaved his sermon around the spiritual and personal significance of the night that Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

“Christmas reminds us that God continues to love us all, even the worst of us,” Francis, presiding at the seventh Christmas season of his pontificate, said in his sermon.

“You may have mistaken ideas, you may have made a complete mess of things, but the Lord continues to love you. How often do we think that God is good if we are good and punishes us if we are bad. Yet that is not how he is.”

ALSO READ: Pope Francis urges change in pastoral mentality

Without mentioning them specifically, Francis also referred to recent Church troubles, including its attempts to come to grips with continuing sexual abuse scandals around the world and financial irregularities closer to home at the Vatican.

“Let us contemplate the Child and let ourselves be caught up in his tender love. Then we have no further excuse for not letting ourselves be loved by him,” Francis said.

“Whatever goes wrong in our lives, whatever doesn’t work in the Church, whatever problems there are in the world, will no longer serve as an excuse. It will become secondary, for faced with Jesus’ extravagant love, a love of utter meekness and closeness, we have no excuse,” he said.

In his latest attempt to confront a sexual abuse scandal, Francis last week announced sweeping changes to the way the Church deals with them, abolishing the rule of “pontifical secrecy” that previously covered them.

Advocates for the victims of a scandal that has rocked the Church for nearly two decades applauded the move.

On Wednesday, Francis will deliver his twice-yearly “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message and blessing from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica to thousands of people in the square below.

Unlike that on Christmas Eve, the Christmas day message is typically more about the significance of the Christmas message amidst the wars and conflicts of contemporary society.

[Reuters]

The post Don’t let Church failings distance you from God ― Pope Francis appeared first on Vanguard News.

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Omo Sexy remakes Nollywood, music industry into money machine | P.M. News

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Omotola Jalade Ekeinde

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde is trying to reorganise Nollywood and Nigeria’s music industry to become a money making machine for all the stakeholders as she staged an entertainment fair TEFFEST. Will she succeed?

International Business Times zeroes in on her effort in this feature by AFP:

Fake eyelashes fluttered, bespoke suits were on display and slick music videos played at the inaugural edition of The Entertainment Fair and Festival in Nigeria’s economic hub Lagos in late November.

But behind the glitter, the reality of the film and music sectors in Africa’s most populous nation can often be far less glamorous: wages are low, there are no social protections and copyright law is rarely enforced.

That comes despite the country boasting the second most productive film industry in the world and some of Africa’s biggest pop stars.

Hits by singers like Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido play non-stop on stations across the continent and Nollywood churns out some 2,500 movies each year.

Despite the successes, revenues from Nigeria’s entertainment and media sector in 2018 lagged well behind that of the continent’s other leading economic powerhouse South Africa at $4.5 billion compared to $9.1 billion, PwC said.

That difference is not down to output or demand as Nigeria produces more, exports more and has a domestic market of some 200 million people, four times bigger than South Africa.

Instead industry insiders insist it is a problem of organisation.

South Africa has better systems for ensuring royalty payments for artists, stronger legal protections and more modern facilities such as film studios, concert venues and cinemas.

In a bid to help remedy the issues facing the industry, veteran Nollywood star Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde came up with the first entertainment business fair, known as TEFFEST.

It is aimed at bringing together actors, singers, producers, insurers, lawyers and managers to better organise the sector.

“The entertainment industry has grown without structures, without a roof,” Jalade-Ekeinde, nicknamed “Omo Sexy”, told AFP.

“For decades, we were not taken seriously and the big corporation companies didn’t consider us.”

The situation has changed as the industry has grown and now companies like Netflix are looking to step up their involvement in Nollywood and international labels attempting to tap Afropop stars.

“We produced, we grew, we became something suddenly and now the corporate world is trying to understand how we work and how they can deal with us,” Jalade-Ekeinde, AKA “the Queen of Nollywood”, said.

But the problems riddling the industry means it is often difficult to invest.

“There is nothing to celebrate here,” said Efe Omoregbe, manager of singer 2Face and former board member of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON), which was dissolved by the government due to an internal conflict.

“We should be fixing and addressing major structural issues (…) We live in a culture of abuse when it comes to copyrights.”

PwC estimates that 80 percent of the pirate CDs globally can be found in Nigeria and singer Brymo says that in almost 20 years performing he has never received any money from his songs playing on local radio stations.

“Internationally, we make money through digital distribution platforms that have taken over rapidly, but locally it’s mostly with gigs or endorsement deals,” he said.

Lawyer Simeon Okoduwa said he tries to insist on artists signing a contract with producers before working with them.

“Too many film shoots or recordings are still done based on promises and handshakes,” he said.

This is an issue that leading actor Michelle Dede knows only too well.

The star always demands a written contract before starting her next film — and says the largest production companies now do offer written contracts as standard.

“Before producers thought I was being pretentious,” she said.

Despite the improvements she still decries the lack of protections for performers or a minimum wage for actors and others involved in the industry such as make-up artists, cameramen and technicians.

Nollywood is a vast employer in Nigeria — with some estimates saying it offers jobs to one million people — but much of that is very precarious.

“We make more money on building a brand than acting,” said Dede.

“But I shouldn’t be focusing on how many likes I get on Instagram, I should be working on my roles.”

Despite the drawbacks, the entertainment industry is still a major draw in a country where almost half the population live in extreme poverty.

But Dede said she still has no regret of leaving her job in marketing in London to launch herself in Nollywood.

“Nothing makes me happier than acting,” she said.

“Even though the pay is not good, there is no way I would give up on that.”

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Week in Review: Apple’s rebirth as a content company has a forgettable debut – TechCrunch

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Hey everyone. Thank you for welcoming me into you inboxes yet again.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. After dodging your inboxes for a couple weeks as I ventured off to China for a TechCrunch event in Shenzhen, I am rested up and ready to go.

If you’re reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox here, and follow my tweets here.

The big story

When Apple announced details on their three new subscription products (Apple TV+, Apple Arcade and Apple News+ — all of which are now live) back in March, the headlines that followed all described accurately how Apple’s business was increasingly shifting away from hardware towards services and how the future of the company may lie in these subscription businesses.

I largely accepted those headlines as fact, but one thing I have been thinking an awful lot about this week is how much I have loved Disney+ since signing up for an account and just how little I have thought about Apple TV+ despite signing up for both at their launches.

It’s admittedly not the fairest of comparisons, Disney has decades of classic content behind them while Apple is pushing out weekly updates to a few mostly meh TV shows. But no one was begging Apple to get into television. The company’s desires to diversify and own subscriptions that consumers have on their Apple devices certainly make sense for them, but their strategy of making that play without the help of any beloved series before them seems to have been a big miscalculation.

At TechCrunch, we write an awful lot about acquisitions worth hundreds of million, if not billions, of dollars. Some of the acquisitions that have intrigued me the most have been in the content space. Streaming networks are plunking down historic sums on series like Seinfeld, Friends and The Big Bang Theory. The buyers have differed throughout these deals, but they have never been Apple.

That’s because Apple isn’t bidding on history, they’re trying to nab directors and actors creating the series that will be the next hits. And while that sounds very Apple, it also sounds like a product that’s an awfully big gamble to the average consumer looking to try out a new streaming service. Why pick the service that’s starting from a standstill? Apple has ordered plenty of series and I have few doubts that at least one of the shows they plan to introduce is going to be a hit, but there isn’t much in the way of an early favorite yet and for subscribers that haven’t found “the one” yet, there’s very little reason to stick around.

Other networks with a half-dozen major series can afford a few flops because there’s a library of classics that’s filling up the dead space. Apple’s strategy is bold but is going to lead to awfully high churn among consumers that won’t be as forgiving of bad bets. This is an issue that’s sure to become less pronounced over time, but I would bet there will be quite a few consumers unsubscribing in the mean time leaving those on freebie subscriptions responsible for gauging which new shows are top notch.

Apple has also made the weird move of not housing their content inside an app so much as the Apple TV’s alternative UI inside the TV app. One one hand, this makes the lack of content less visible, but it also pushes all of the original series to the back of your mind. If you’re a Netflix user who has been subconsciously trained never to use the TV app on your Apple TV because none of their content is housed there, you’re really left forgetting about TV+ shows entirely when using the traditional app layout.

We haven’t received any super early numbers on Apple News+, Apple Arcade or Apple TV+, but none of the three appears to have made the sizable cultural splashes in their debuts that were hoped for at launch. Apple’s biggest bet of the three was undoubtedly TV+ and while their first series haven’t seemed to drop any jaws, what’s more concerning is whether the fundamentals of the service have been arranged so that unsatisfied subscribers feel any need to stick around.

Send me feedback
on Twitter @lucasmtny or email
lucas@techcrunch.com

On to the rest of the week’s news.

Image via AMY OSBORNE/AFP/Getty Images

Trends of the week

Here are a few big news items from big companies, with green links to all the sweet, sweet added context:

GAFA Gaffes

How did the top tech companies screw up this week? This clearly needs its own section, in order of badness:

Disrupt Berlin

It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of the year again, but we just announced the agenda for Disrupt Berlin and we’ve got some all-stars making their way to the stage. I’ll be there this year, get some tickets and come say hey!

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Mo Abudu tears up during Screening of “Òlòtūré” at Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia

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EbonyLife blockbuster film was selected to screen at the world famous JCC Carthage Film Festival 2019 in Tunisia.

The festival was attended by executive producer, MO Abudu alongside some casts of Oloture, Omoni Oboli, Sharon Ooja and Omowunmi Dada.

The Oloture actors and producer arrived Tunisia earlier this week and the movie was screened yesterday.

Shortly after the screening of Oloture, MO Abudu tearfully gave a speech of how the movie emotionally affects her, as she announced that the entire profit gotten from Oloture will be used to help vulnerable ladies who have been victims of human trafficking.

Set in Nigeria, Òlòtūré is the story of a young, naïve Nigerian journalist who goes undercover to expose the shady underworld of human trafficking.

See the photos below

Watch MO Abudu’s speech below

View this post on Instagram

Good morning beautiful people and a happy new month. Every single time I watch Oloture it makes me cry. I hold back and fight back the tears, but I still find I cannot hold them back. Òlòtūré is a beautiful film, but it’s a hard-hitting film that deals with the harsh reality of human trafficking and prostitution. I have pledged to put our box office revenue back into fighting this horrid crime. I would like to thank the Carthage Film Festival for sharing our story with the world at the historical LE 4 EME ART last night. On stage here at the end of our screening with our director @KennethGyang and some of our lead cast @OmoniOboli, @SharonOoja and @Omowunmi_Dada. We release our full official trailer at 4pm today. Please lookout for it. We will commence our cinema run at some time end of 1st quarter next year. #OlotureTheMovie #ComingSoon #CarthageFilmFestival #Tunisia __ #SlideLeft to see the full video

A post shared by Mo Abudu (@moabudu) on

The post Mo Abudu tears up during Screening of “Òlòtūré” at Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.

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Hotel Owners Look To Bring In Local Restaurateurs To Boost Revenue

Want to get a jump-start on upcoming deals? Meet the major D.C. players at !

Hotels in D.C. have struggled to increase revenue from rooms as a surge of incoming supply adds competition to the market, and hoteliers are increasingly focusing on opening quality restaurants that appeal to locals as a way to bring in more money. 

GKA’s Sarah Vining Crisafulli, Dream Hotel Group’s Judy Chen, Chef Robert Wiedmaier and Streetsense’s Jay Coldren

“Our food and beverage in most of our properties contributes a bulk of total revenue,” Dream Hotel Group Development Director Judy Chen said Wednesday at Bisnow’s Hotel Leadership Investment & Management Summit in D.C. 

Dream’s Hollywood Hotel, for example, brings in about 75% of its revenue from its restaurants and nightlife offerings, she said. The company does not own a hotel in D.C., but Chen said Dream has been touring the city and is actively seeking to open one.

Chen has spent time visiting D.C. hotels with strong food and beverage components to find out what type of demand exists in the market. She said she was impressed with the crowded food and drink offerings at Adams Morgan’s Line Hotel, and thinks there is room for more similar concepts in the District. 

“There is clearly a demand for something of a certain caliber, and clearly the demand is under-met,” she said. “We love the [D.C.] market, and I think there is a lot of room for opportunities.” 

CSI DMC’s Amberlee Huggins, EDSA’s Ryan Clifton, Forrest Perkins’ Deborah Lloyd Forrest, Trump Hotels’ Kathleen Flores and Papadopoulos Properties’ Tom Papadopoulos

While it has come under scrutiny since its founder became president, The Trump Organization’s Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue has also brought in significant revenues from its food and beverage offerings, Trump Hotels Executive Vice President Kathleen Flores said. 

The hotel, a redevelopment of the Old Post Office Building, features a BLT Prime by David Burke, Sushi Nakazawa, Benjamin Bar & Lounge and a Starbucks, all of which Flores said have been successful. 

“Most of what we do maximizes guests experiences and revenues from locals,” Flores said. “The lobby programming is robust, and there is something going on in the lobby every afternoon and every night.”

Flores confirmed last week’s reports that the company is exploring a sale of the hotel, but she did not discuss it in detail. 

Dream Hotel Group’s Judy Chen and Chef Robert Wiedmaier

RW Restaurant Partners Executive Chef Robert Wiedmaier said the D.C. restaurant scene has shifted in recent years to have more high-quality dining options in hotels that bring in customers that are not staying at the property. 

“Now you’re seeing a change that a lot of the good restaurants are in hotels,” Wiedmaier said. “Hotels have spent the money to bring in talent to give their guests, and the outside guests more importantly, a good dining experience.”

Wiedmaier, who has opened several restaurants in D.C.-area hotels, said attracting locals is critical to making them successful. 

“The key is to open restaurants that aren’t considered hotel restaurants and are going to drive people into the hotel,” he said. “If you have to rely on people staying in the hotel to make a restaurant successful, you’re going to lose.” 

Big-name celebrity chefs can add a level of cachet to a hotel, but Wiedmaier said he is seeing a shift toward more local operators. 

“What happens is a lot of times you bring in a celebrity chef and then see them four times; I think that’s going to die out a bit,” he said. “Local chefs from the area that are in hotels will drive more business than bringing somebody from across the water.”

Forrest Perkins’ Deborah Lloyd Forrest, Trump Hotels’ Kathleen Flores and Papadopoulos Properties’ Tom Papadopoulos

Papadopoulos Properties principal Tom Papadopoulos, a broker who has worked on restaurant deals in hotels, also sees the trend toward more local chefs.

“The celebrity chef thing may be coming to an end in some respect,” he said. “Just because somebody puts his name on the door and you don’t see him again, it doesn’t really work out. Here in town some of the hotels with the most successful F&B have well-known local guys.”

Streetsense Managing Director Jay Coldren said hotels are increasingly searching for restaurants that create buzz throughout the city that will keep them crowded. 

“The way to think about it is ‘how do I create a local base of business first, and make amenities for travel guests second,'” Coldren said. 

The retail amenities that can bring money into hotels are not just limited to bars and restaurants, Forrest Perkins founder Deborah Lloyd Forrest said. Retailers like bookstores, such as the one that opened at a Dallas hotel her company designed, can also bring people in and create activity throughout the day. She said hotels are increasingly looking for concepts that can bring in revenue outside of the rooms. 

“The rooms are not secondary, but they are less important in a way,” she said. “You have to sleep, but we want you downstairs spending money.”

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It’s a Buyers’ Market for Two-Bedrooms – The New York Times

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By most measures, it would be absurd to call $1,515,000 for four walls of Sheetrock a bargain.

And yet.

In Manhattan’s flagging real estate market, that was the median sale price of a two-bedroom apartment last quarter — an 8 percent drop from the same period last year, and the largest discount among studio to three-bedroom co-ops and condos, according to the brokerage Douglas Elliman. Only the four-bedroom-and-up market fell further, with a 17 percent drop.

After years of softness at the top, it is finally becoming a buyers’ market for people who intend to actually live and work in New York. Case in point: deep bargains across the wide spectrum of two-bedrooms, the most common apartment for sale in the city.

Median Sales Price by Size

Manhattan’s two-bedroom market had the largest discount among studio to three-bedroom co-ops and condos last quarter.

Q3 2018

Source: Douglas Elliman

By The New York Times

Yes, prices are still out of reach for many New Yorkers, but there are increasing options for first-time and move-up buyers at far lower prices than the median sales price suggests. Coupled with historically low interest rates, two-bedroom buyers are stretching their dollars further with everything from income-restricted co-ops to shiny new condos.

Since the city’s real estate sales market peaked around 2016, observers have focused on the shrinking price tags of ultraluxury three- and four-bedroom apartments, thousands of which remain vacant and unsold. The causes are many: investor speculation, oversupply, shrinking tax breaks, rising transfer taxes, economic uncertainty and downright hubris.

The current declining prices in smaller apartments, though, represents a significant shift and the return of more reasonable pricing. Two-bedrooms made up 31.5 percent of Manhattan’s for-sale inventory last quarter, the most of any category, according to the Elliman report, and has long been the bread-and-butter of both developers and agents. The two-bedroom market accounted for half of all sales at one point in the 1990s, but in more recent years, the ultraluxury condo boom in Manhattan has prompted a move to bigger and more lavish apartments — many of which were targeted to investors and second-home buyers, said Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants and author of the report.

Still, upgrading from a smaller apartment to a two-bedroom remains cost prohibitive for many New Yorkers, Mr. Miller said. Last quarter, it cost a median $685,000 more to move up from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom in Manhattan.

Those forces — too expensive for many move-up buyers, too small for the affluent jet set — have squeezed the two-bedroom market into an awkward position for many sellers, said Tyler Whitman, an agent with Triplemint and cast member on the reality series “Million Dollar Listing.”

“Twenty-five hundred options in the city is a lot of options,” he said, referring to an estimate of how many two-bedrooms are listed in Manhattan. Owners of standard cookie-cutter two-bedrooms would face the toughest challenge, he said.

Of course, the lower prices may be discounts without distinction for many New Yorkers. The median household income in Manhattan was $79,781 in 2017. Assuming a 20 percent down payment and spending 35 percent of their monthly income on a mortgage and additional housing costs, such a buyer could comfortably afford a $358,896 apartment, according to StreetEasy. Citywide, the household income was $57,782, enough for a $259,933 home.

To highlight potential bargains across the extensive two-bedroom market, we looked at income-restricted units for first-time buyers, prewar co-ops with deep discounts, new condos with back-end sweeteners, and options beyond Manhattan.

Prewar Bargains

Many look to the glut of new high-rise, luxury condos for what ails the city’s real estate market, but ambitious pricing at the top also set unrealistic expectations in the comparatively modest co-op market.

“Sooner or later what was happening in the luxury market was likely to catch up with the two-bed market,” said Frederick Warburg Peters, the chief executive of Warburg Realty, who added that one-beds and small two-bedrooms have “sunk into the doldrums” since about four months ago.

Compared to the same period in the previous year, the median price of co-ops declined for the first time in 13 straight quarters, according to the Elliman report.

Frances Katzen, an agent with Douglas Elliman, recently listed in Sutton Place, on the east side of Manhattan, a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with plenty of natural light and prewar bona fides for $599,000 — a 20 percent markdown from its previous price of $750,000. Two years ago, it listed and languished on the market with another brokerage for $995,000.

“People are cannibalizing each other, to usurp a buyer from one another,” said Ms. Katzen, who believes the true value of the apartment is around $625,000 — but she listed lower in the hopes of standing out from a growing number of co-ops for sale.

The biggest discounts for two-bedroom resale apartments were downtown, south of 14th Street, where the median sales price fell 15 percent to $1,568,750 compared to the same quarter last year, according to the brokerage Halstead. Midtown had the second deepest discount for resales in that period, a 10 percent drop to $1,217,500.

Income-Restricted

Even among apartments specifically reserved for middle-income buyers in Housing Development Fund Corporation co-ops, prices have softened.

In Upper Manhattan’s Hamilton Heights, Allison Jaffe and Linda Mancini listed in October a $325,000 two-bedroom, one-bath apartment, 24 percent less than when it was listed earlier this year for $430,000 with another brokerage.

Because the apartment is in an H.F.D.C. co-op, there are income limits for buyers (up to $57,600 for a family of two, $67,200 for three or more), as well as restrictions at resale designed to keep the unit affordable.

“The phone’s been ringing every day,” said Ms. Mancini, who is an agent with Key Real Estate Services. So far they have had about 18 showings and six offers, she said.

The lower price was well advised. Upper Manhattan just had the fewest third-quarter sales of co-ops and condos in a decade, said Mr. Miller, the appraiser, in part because of a surge of new expensive inventory and ambitious resale pricing that followed.

One of the difficulties with H.D.F.C co-ops is that the income caps can leave buyers little room to save for a down payment. But with the price cut, they hope to have expanded the buyer pool for their listing, Ms. Jaffe said.

The city has about 28,500 H.D.F.C. units across 1,333 buildings, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. But there were only 230 income-restricted apartments listed for sale in the five boroughs as of late October, according to StreetEasy.

Beyond Manhattan

Two-bedrooms need not be million-dollar investments in New York, especially outside of Manhattan. In the Kingsbridge Heights section of the Bronx, Daniel D’Amico of Damico Group Real Estate, is listing an 878-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment in a 2006 condo for $349,000.

“What we’re seeing right now, in the Bronx at least, is the market is super hot,” Mr. D’Amico said. “If it’s priced right, it’s going to sell in the first week or so.” The apartment was listed in late September and already has an accepted offer, he said.

While sales volume is down across the city and prices are down in Manhattan, prices have been steadily rising in the other boroughs. In Queens, the number of sales dropped 7 percent compared to the same period last year, but the median sales price rose to $600,000, a record since at least 2003, according to a Douglas Elliman report. In Brooklyn, despite rising inventory and falling prices in the luxury segment, co-ops sold for a median $485,000, a new third-quarter record.

None of the major brokerages release boroughwide sales reports for the Bronx, the most affordable borough in the city, but its perception is changing, with a major development boom underway and a growing share of market-rate housing for sale.

New Development

Some of the most attractive deals for two-bedrooms can be found in new buildings, and for good reason: a glut of empty luxury condos. About 4,100 of 16,200 condo units completed since 2013, roughly one in four, remained unsold in September, according to an analysis of StreetEasy data.

Developers are loathe to lower their prices directly, in part because of obligations to lenders and for fear of devaluing the rest of their stock. Instead, buyers are getting discounts on the back end.

In East Harlem, Patricia Weber, a bio-tech start-up consultant, recently closed on a two-bedroom apartment at 1399 Park, a new 23-story condo tower, for $995,000. That was, ostensibly, the full asking price, but Ms. Weber’s agent, Rob Taub with CORE, also negotiated that the developer pay for her transfer taxes, a discount of about $25,000.

Image

Ms. Weber, who is moving from Bucks County, Pa., had been considering a New York purchase for a decade, but only started looking in earnest six months ago. There was no shortage of choices, she said, but she and her husband liked the East Harlem building because of its attended lobby, its proximity to transit, and the neighborhood’s culture and restaurants. She will use the second bedroom as an office, because she works remotely.

The price is also notable, because it falls just short of triggering the so-called “mansion tax” on the purchase price of homes over $1 million. In July, the flat 1 percent tax was changed to a staggered rate of 1.25 percent for $2 million sales, and up to 3.9 percent above $25 million.

The changes spurred many buyers to close their purchases before the summer deadline, and as a result the pace of sales in the latest quarter plummeted, especially for larger, more expensive apartments. But the two-bedroom market was also affected, in part because they can cost well above $2 million, and even those below the new tax threshold suffered from negative market sentiment, agents said.

“I think, potentially, we’re near the bottom of the market for everything,” said Shaun Osher, the chief executive of CORE.

Stefano Ukmar for The New York Times

Elsewhere, new projects are offering far more than closing cost rebates. At One Manhattan Square, a new 815-unit skyscraper south of Chinatown, the developer Extell recently offered to pay for seven years of common charges on the purchase of a two-bedroom apartment. Two-beds make up about 40 percent of the inventory and prices for those now start around $2.1 million, which would mean more than $100,000 of forgiven common charges, paid for by the developer.

That promotion is no longer being offered, said Raizy Haas, a senior vice president with Extell, but “the truth is, we’re reasonable.” The developer is now testing a rarely seen model in luxury condos: rent-to-own plans, in which a tenant can apply the rent toward the purchase of the unit.

As of Oct 24., there were 209 closed sales at the building, or about a quarter of the total inventory, according to an updated StreetEasy analysis. Ms. Haas said there were “hundreds more that have not yet closed.”

How a discount is derived can vary, but increasingly, it’s becoming the rule in new development, said Mr. Peters of Warburg Realty.

“There’s practically nowhere where you can’t negotiate the price, and the transfer taxes, and the mansion tax, and the legal fees, and who knows what else,” he said. Where to draw the line in the sand is another thing.

“I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a client say ‘O.K., if I drop the price, can you guarantee me a quick sale?’ And my response is no,” he said. “All I can guarantee you is no sale, if you don’t.”

For weekly email updates on residential real estate news, sign up here. Follow us on Twitter: @nytrealestate.

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Oldham’s infamous nightclub Tokyo is reopening – and giving a new home to Whittles – Manchester Evening News

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One of Oldham’s most beloved nightclubs is set to reopen later this month.

Tokyo Oldham – known to most simply as ‘Tokes’ – will be relaunching on Roscoe Street with four rooms of music.

The ground level, which was turned into German-style Bierkeller in 2015, will become the new 480-capacity home for live music venue Whittles.

Whittles was forced to close in September this year, after the landlord sold the building to be developed into apartments.

At the time, the venue’s management posted on Facebook: “We are obviously all upset more so because it’s the end of an era for this iconic live music venue.”

There’ll be two rooms of music upstairs in the relaunched nightclub, as well as an outdoor yard area with a live DJ.

Tokyo Project

Known as Tokyo Project when it first opened back in 1997, the club was a fond favourite of locals in its heyday and hit national headlines several times.

Who could forget the time a local teen went for a night out in Tokes and woke up in Paris, posting selfies of himself on Snapchat in front of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe?

Or the time a particularly rowdy New Year’s Eve party saw clubbers pull the ceiling down ?  

The venue was integral in the formation of Inspiral Carpets, with late drummer Craig Gill and keyboardist Clint Boon both regular DJs.

It’s also where Oasis played some of their earliest gigs.

Arc de Triomphe

The venue came under fire in 2010 with its all-you-can-drink for £5.99 deal, which sparked parliamentary review after an M.E.N. investigation saw revellers brawling and vomiting outside the club. 

But Tokes closed back in 2016, following what the new operators Element Industries described as ‘a series of unfortunate events’.

Since announcing the news of the reopening on its Facebook page , fond memories from across the decades have been flooding in.

One person wrote: “How many people can say they’ve seen Jason Donovan and Orville the duck in the same club?”

Several have shared memories of Pele, the toilet attendant in the gents’ loos who warranted his own fan account on the platform.

The venue’s treacherous old staircases have apparently been shored up ahead of the relaunch, with many posting memories such as: “ALWAYS falling down the 6391 stairs on the way out that place was hazardous” and “can’t wait to go just to fall down the stairs”.

Tokyo will reopen at 57 Roscoe Street in Oldham on November 29, and will be open Fridays to Sundays until 4.30am.

Follow CityLife

We have a dedicated Facebook page for all the latest on where to drink, eat, shop, go out and events across Greater Manchester.

From the best food and drink deals to exclusive looks at new restaurants and bars, gig reviews and weekend plans – we’ve got you covered.

You can follow the page here for all the latest news.

We also have Facebook groups specialising in eating out around Manchester and going out .

You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram .

To stay up to speed with everything going on in the city centre, you can follow our new, dedicated Facebook page too , where we’ll be bringing you all the latest news, reviews, transport, music, dining and loads more.

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8 Reasons How Sage X3 can Spice Up the Food and Beverage Industries in Africa

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and Beverage Industry” > Top 10 reasons Sage X3 can be a boon for your company Lot. traceability and Recall Management Genuine time Lot.
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