There’s more bad news in the analysis of who’s being affected by the consumer’s growing lack of interest in picking up single copies. MagNet data shows that smaller titles whose newsstand sales had been holding up well against bigger ones are now feeling the squeeze. Whereas the top 25 and 50 titles had been experiencing larger declines, the latest data show that titles in the top 100 and top 1000 have pulled even. The percentage decline in sales is now more similar across all groups of titles through the top 1000, ranging from -1.4 percent for the top 25, to 3.2 percent for the top 1000. MagNet, though, puts a caveat on the comparison; the 2014 numbers may be overestimated both because numbers from Source Interlink Distribution dried up when it went out of business, and Barnes & Noble stopped providing data this year. That even despite publishers responding by paring back the number of hard copies distributed by 40 million over the same time period, but perhaps owing partly to an average 5 percent increase in cover prices. The latter move was factored into a dollar sales efficiency figure of 26.5 percent. Yet MagNet is confident enough in the numbers to suggest in its narrative on the data that a stabilization of newsstand circ doesn’t appear to be in sight. The decline began eight years ago and sales are approaching an inauspicious milestone. The newsstand tracker’s first-half 2015 numbers are in and they show that the key metric of sales efficiency hit what it says is an all-time low. Only 26.8 percent of the magazines publishers distributed to retail outlets actually sold, down from 31 percent in the first half of 2014. Newsstand performance comparison for U.S. and Canada, first half 2015 versus 2014. (Includes estimates for Barnes & Noble sales) Source: MagNet “We estimate that newsstand magazine sales will generate about $2.5 billion in 2015, just about half of what was generated in 2007,” the review reads in part. It’s getting to be old news now. Magazine newsstand sales are declining, according to the latest data from MagNet. But what is new, and worrisome, is that the declines are accelerating and the pain is spreading. MagNet’s outlook for 2015 looks even gloomier looking beyond the first-half numbers that are in the books. It says preliminary July and August numbers are tracking worse than those for the first half. Title rank comparison for U.S. and Canada, first half 2015 versus 2014. (Data does not include Barnes & Noble sales) Source: MagNet
Defending champions Australia start off their campaign to regain the world title against a relatively weak opposition in Afghanistan at Bristol on June 1. However, the Afghans have done enough in their brief ODI history to make the Aussies and every other team wary. They have a trump card in the form of Rashid Khan whose success or failure may well decide the course of the match.When and where to watchBeing the second match of the day, this contest will begin at 1:30 PM local time and 6 PM IST. It will be telecasted on Star Sports 3 and streamed online on Hotstar. PreviewA lot of people are interested in this match, but not because of what is expected to happen on the field. The curiosity relates to the kind of reaction David Warner and Steve Smith are expected to get when they make their return to international cricket, that too, in front of an English crowd.When Steve Smith scored a hundred in a warm-up game, he got booed by the people in attendance. While some English players have requested the fans to not be so uncharitable, the English crowds are known to have a mind of their own.But looking at the match, Australia should record an easy win. Their batting order was looking quite solid even before the re-emergence of Warner and Smith. Aaron Finch scored heavily in the last ODI series of his team while Khawaja has been pumping out runs with great prolificacy since the 5-match rubber in India.Now the question is: Where will Warner bat? He is bound to be in top-3. Smith would come at no. 4 and by his century in the practice game has proven that he hasn’t lost his value in ODI cricket. Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell might be next with Alex Carey finishing off the top-7. However, if Australia want a seamer as their fifth bowler, Marcus Stoinis may get in.The bowling would consist of Mitchell Starc, the hero of the last World Cup with his deadly speed and yorkers, and Pat Cummins, one of the very best in the World. Whether Aussies pick two spinners or one depends upon the nature of the wicket. If there is a bit of dryness, both Adam Zampa and Nathan Lyon would play. In case only one is needed, it will be tough to choose between Zampa and Lyon as both have done well. The former gives away runs but picks up wickets while Lyon is great for controlling the game through accurate bowling. The comeback of David Warner will be something keenly watchedDaniel Kalisz/Getty ImagesFor the third seamer’s spot, there are three options: Nathan Coulter Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson. None of the three have set the stage on fire but could be good as a partner with Cummins and Starc.On the Afghanistan side, the hopes would rest on Rashid Khan. But he won’t be alone among spinners. Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have been good in recent times. A collective effort would be required from all of them. The pace bowling department of Afghanistan would be followed closely to see how Hamid Hassan, making a comeback into the team does. Among their batsmen, hopes are high from Hazratullah Zazai, a dashing, aggressive batsmen who has played some great knocks in T20 cricket. The likes of Hashmatullah Shahidi and Asghar Afghan are also expected to rear up the Afghan innings. But they will have their task cut out against the Cummins and co.Essentially, we are looking at an easy win for the 5-time world champions. But who knows, there may be a surprise in store. The hope for Afghans lies in Rashid’s bowling. If he can bamboozle the batsmen in this match, they will have an opprtunity, if not, it’s a foregone conclusion. Players to watchDavid Warner: Away from international cricket for more than a year, Warner doesn’t seem to have lost his great ability. After performing well in the IPL, he might want to make a big statement in the World Cup.Hamid Hassan: When Afghanistan first appeared on the international scene in the 2010 World T20, Hassan was the most impressive performer. He could bowl genuinely fast, reaching speeds up to 140/kph+. It would be interesting to see if he has maintained that pace.Predicted XIsAustralia: Aaron Finch (C), David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell StarcAfghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad (WK), Hazratullah Zazai, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib (C), Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Hamid Hassan
Meghan Markle birthdayTwitterMeghan Markle may be finding it hard to find allies in the Royal Family apart from Prince Harry. And it is no secret how the Markle family feels about Meghan and her new Royal status. But despite all of that, there is apparently one family member who Meghan can still control.Meghan Markle could “get away with murder” when it comes to one particular family member who she could “twist round her little finger”, according to a royal biography.Reportedly, the Duchess of Sussex was doted on by her father Thomas Markle Snr while growing up, being much younger than his two other children – Samantha and Thomas Jnr. In fact, Samantha was already 17 years old when Meghan was born. According to the 2018 book ‘Meghan: A Hollywood Princess’, Meghan was the “apple of her father’s eye” and could do no wrong. There have been reports of Thomas Markle playing favourites with Meghan before.Royal biographer Andrew Morton asserted that her half-sister Samantha “often” claimed Meghan teased her that she was the favourite child and would receive the most expensive gift at Christmas from their father. Meghan Markle has had a falling out with the Markle family after joining the Royal Family. Mr. Morton wrote: “Meghan went to stay with her mother and did not even visit her father’s house to pick up her mail.” Meghan MarkleThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex Official Instagram (sussexroyal)Mr. Morton went on to write that it was a situation that perplexed her friends, as they knew that Meghan was the apple of her father’s eye and could get away with blue murder.However, claims by Samantha Markle need to be taken with a pinch of salt as she isn’t exactly a fan of the Duchess of Sussex. In fact, she has used Meghan Markle’s fame as a Royal to promote herself, cashing in by writing books on Meghan and making a media spectacle of herself.
By Tilesha Brown, Special to the AFROApril 4, 1968.It’s a date that will forever be remembered as the day Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot on the balcony of the Black-run Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee.On that day, he was on his way to Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles’ house for a soul food dinner when he was shot. Kyles was standing there as the gun went off and the bullet found Dr. King.One day before his death, King had spoken to a large crowd at the Mason Temple Church of God In Christ just a mile away. Bishop J. Louis Felton, the current pastor of Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ in Philadelphia, was there as part of the garbage workers’ strike that was going on in Memphis.Jacqueline Caldwell (left) and Bishop J. Louis Felton (right) recall their experiences in the after of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Courtesy photos)According to Felton, it was a cold and stormy day and everyone could tell that Dr. King was tired and emotionally drained. It was a well-known fact by the time he approached the podium that he hadn’t even planned to be there. And when King declared in that speech that he had seen the promised land, everyone in the place felt something.“You got the impression that he knew something was about to happen— you felt it,” Felton told the AFRO, “When you get this premonition that it’s showdown time, your whole mood changes.”In retrospect, Felton said that God actually had added another week to King’s life because his speech and that protest were actually scheduled for the last week in March. However, that year, Memphis was hit with an unusually heavy snowstorm that pushed everything to the first week in April.“God wanted King to live a few more days,” Felton said. “He lived right in the presence of death every day, but this night it was stronger than it had ever been.”He learned that detail from Kyles, whose family had cooked for King that night. King gave the distinct impression that he would not make it to see 40.“I may not get there with you,” King told the Kyles family. “But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.”When he walked out of that motel room at approximately 5:45 p.m., just moments passed before the shot rang out. And very shortly after his death, the rioting began.“It was like being in a state of war,” Felton recalls, “because we believed it was an act of war. I believe it was an act of terrorism.”It was a scene of disarray, he said, hearts were sunken everywhere. They had lost their leader, and according to Felton, they knew no one would ever fill that void.“King had something that no one else had,” he said.As the news hit the national press, unrest immediately broke out across the nation. And it didn’t take long for it to explode in Baltimore.Jacqueline Caldwell, president of the Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council, still lives in the same neighborhood that she lived in when the riots began on Monroe Street.“I was in second grade and I just remember thinking ‘Why is this happening in my neighborhood?’She remembers that it was on TV in black and white and people were crying profusely in her house. She wasn’t allowed to go outside, but she could see the violence clearly out of her window as it made its way through her neighborhood.Authorities had put a curfew into effect and there was rioting in the streets. The nation was in an uproar. According to both Caldwell and Felton, it took years for these cities to regroup.And that’s why Caldwell says it was difficult to see that kind of violence erupt again right in her face in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray.“I was shielded from it when I was a kid,” she says, “I only saw it from my window, but this time it was really upsetting to see it up close and in real time.”Bishop Felton agrees. But they also are both encouraged by people like King’s granddaughter who spoke at last weekend’s March for Our Lives Rally.“Her speech resonates with what King was about: nonviolent, proactive, and effective change,” Felton Says, “It means that the legacy of King not only survived but it thrives.It means that fifty years later, the dream is still alive.