The $126 Million Phone Call That Went Unanswered for 17 Years
The inside story of how a major league pitcher's record-breaking contract spurred an investment alternative 17 years in the making. It may be just the opportunity YOU are looking for...
In December 2006, the phone rang in a small office in Alexandria, Virginia.
On the other end of the line was a man whose son, a Cy Young-winning pitcher, had just signed a $126 million contract with the San Francisco Giants.
Terrific news, right? But the guy had a problem. All of a sudden, creepy characters were circling his family. And he didn't particularly like the financial advisors the players' union had recommended...
So he was calling to see if famed investor Tom Gardner would manage his son's fortune.
Tom felt compelled to decline his request, pointing out that he'd spent years arguing that the best person to look after your financial future is YOU -- while criticizing Wall Street and the "professional money managers" unmercifully.
"That's the point," the man said. "I don't trust them. I trust you!"
This wasn't the first time Gardner had struggled with this. He'd heard similar requests from people who liked what he and his colleagues had to say about investing in the world's best companies for the long term, but didn't really have the time or energy to manage their own money...
For years, Tom Gardner had been dodging this call. But it always nagged at him. Because if such a thing were possible, a homegrown, Foolish mutual fund could help investors like you build their long-term wealth...
Well, at last we believe we've put together a fund that can do just that.
You may know Tom as...
You may already know Tom Gardner as the CEO and co-founder of The Motley Fool, the trusted investor education company that The Economist has called "an ethical oasis."
And you've probably heard about how Tom and his brother David started The Motley Fool in their parents' garage in 1993, with the simple goal of building the world's greatest investment community.
The part of the story you haven't heard is even more fascinating...
It's this: after hearing directly from that concerned father, Tom set out to answer the world's greatest investment community's top request... and surprised investors like you with a bold alternative.
The real great American pastime
Do you believe America's best days have passed? That investing in this country is a losing game from here on out, and that there's no hope for individual investors seeking market-beating returns?
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"The new normal" is a good catch phrase.
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When you invest with us at Motley Fool Great America Fund, we won't just shovel your money into Apple or Ford -- or any other S&P 500 company, for that matter.
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First, we believe that most investors are already far too exposed to familiar large-cap names like Apple and even Ford (they're not called "widely held" for nothing, right?)...
After all, while the S&P 500 is referred to as "the market"... and while 500 companies does seem like a lot... every single one of those is a large company. In other words, investors who think they own "the market," often really don't.
Making matters worse, the S&P 500 is what's called "market-cap weighted" -- which means, among other things, that investors who hold the index are even more HEAVILY exposed to a handful of the world's largest companies than they might suppose.
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Another reason we look beyond the S&P 500...
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You are pitting your wits against the most educated, highly paid analysts in the world -- thousands of them! We believe this explains why years of data compiled by Ibbotson Associates indicates that, as a group, small- and mid-cap companies have historically outperformed their large-cap peers.
But size is not our only criteria. We'll only invest in what we believe are well-managed companies with strong financial positions -- operating in industries our investing team truly understands.
Our portfolio manager Bill Mann will dissect each company's strategy, competitive position, operations, and performance before investing... and carefully review all pertinent public documents and official communications.
And while the market offers no guarantees, it is our stated mission to buy these companies at meaningful discounts to what we consider their fair values.
A different kind of mutual fund company
Just as Motley Fool CEO and co-founder Tom Gardner intended, Motley Fool Funds is not your typical mutual fund company.
Our entire staff occupies just one unassuming corner of the first floor of the old Time-Life building in Alexandria, Virginia -- a world away from the massive Wall Street banks and huge financial-services conglomerates whose skyscrapers you see advertised on TV.
We don't have a bustling trading desk, or a seat on the exchange. Nor do we hobnob with investment bankers or hedge-funders.
Frankly, we're small. And we keep things simple. So be aware...
When you invest with us at Motley Fool Funds, you are investing in partnership with a small, dedicated team of stock analysts and a value-obsessed manager whose sole mission in life is to dig up the market's hidden opportunities.
In other words, the kind of investment opportunities that we're convinced can help YOU build your wealth and get you securely on the road to reaching your long-term financial goals.
You already know Bill Mann
For years, he was among the most widely followed of all of The Motley Fool's independent stock analysts. He was read regularly by investors worldwide.
In 2001, he went to bat for the individual investor before Congress, where he let loose on the stomach-churning abuses of Ken Lay's gang of white-collar crooks at Enron, among others.
Yet for all his work championing the individual investor, Bill Mann is first and foremost a dedicated stock analyst with a passport full of stamps from six continents and years of business and investing experience. We believe this is a fortunate combination indeed.
But we're not the only ones who've been convinced! In fact Bill Mann was just named a "Rising Star" by Institutional Investor, which cited Motley Fool Funds' asset growth, performance, and investing style...
This is your opportunity to invest with a "Rising Star" -- and an analyst who combines a deep understanding of the market with an unshakeable temperament and a lifelong commitment to you, the individual investor.
A fee structure that truly serves shareholders
There's another way Motley Fool Great America Fund is a little bit different from your typical mutual fund...
For starters, Motley Fool Great America Fund is a no-load fund. That means you never pay an up-front sales charge or commission to invest with us. You aren't made to pay so-called 12b-1 fees to help us market the fund, either.
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If we don't outperform our benchmark, we make less. That's because we've opted for an unusual compensation model that allows our fees to increase or decrease depending on the fund's performance.
In the industry, this is called a "fulcrum fee" structure. You can learn more about how it works by reading the fund prospectus. (To see other fees associated with the fund, you may also consult the fund prospectus.)
This unusual component of our fee structure gives us the incentive to earn the highest possible return relative to the market, not merely pump up the fund's assets the way many other funds do.
Just as important, our award-winning portfolio manager, Bill Mann, is a meaningful shareholder in the fund... So he's investing right along with you.
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The full Fool Funds experience
Here are a few more features and benefits you can always count on receiving from Motley Fool Funds...
Unwavering temperament: Because investing for your future is a marathon, not a sprint, we don't try to time the ups and downs of the market. We don't get rattled in rocky waters... or chase the latest Wall Street fad.
We invest your money with confidence -- comfortable in the knowledge that if we've done our homework and bought great companies at good prices, the market may eventually see it our way.
Frank, friendly communications: We don't hide from you if things get tough. We'll talk to you frankly, in plain English, like a trusted partner.
At Motley Fool Funds, we hope you'll look forward to hearing from us -- as we will certainly look forward to hearing from you.
Fair, performance-based fees: At Motley Fool Funds, we have a financial incentive to help you do better than the market. We've chosen a compensation model that allows our fees to increase or decrease depending on the performance of the fund.
In other words, our interests are aligned with yours. For more on our unusual performance-based "fulcrum fee" structure, please read the fund prospectus.
21st-century convenience: The Motley Fool is an Internet success story, after all. Now, thanks to our secure, interactive website, FoolFunds.com, getting invested and managing your account has never been easier or more convenient.
A Word About Risk
Of course, any investment comes with risks. We don't promise that you'll make money with the fund. Over any given time period, no matter how hard or how long the fund's investment advisor works, the value of the fund could go down and you could lose money, including principal. We endeavor to find companies that are both great businesses and great investments, but there can be no guarantee that we will succeed. Keep in mind that Motley Fool Great America Fund is new, without a long-term track record.
And because the fund invests in small- and mid-cap companies, some extra risk may be involved. Small- and mid-cap companies may lack the management experience, financial resources, product diversification, and competitive strength of larger companies. These stocks tend to be more volatile and less liquid than their large-cap counterparts.
Also, "value style" investing entails its own risks. "Value stocks" can continue to be undervalued by the market for long periods of time, and the Fund could perform poorly if the investment advisor's assessment of a company's true value or prospects is inaccurate.
The fund is not for everyone. If you're seeking something other than long-term capital appreciation -- for example, current income to live on -- or if you're not comfortable with the risks, or if you expect to need your money back soon, this is not the fund for you. We strongly encourage you to read more about the fund's strategies and risks in its prospectus.
Are you ready to invest? Hold on! Don't send us a penny unless...
As a member of the Fool Funds community, you know the routine. We're looking for patient, long-term investors. Shareholders whose investing temperament matches our own.
Frankly, we'd rather not take on investors who are tempted to pull out when stocks temporarily go on sale -- in other words, precisely when WE are most eager to go shopping for bargains.
Plus, unlike what we believe many U.S. mutual funds are doing, we intend to be long-term, buy-and-hold investors. And not just because it makes life easier for our portfolio manager.
We firmly believe -- and the vast preponderance of evidence shows -- that attempts at market timing put YOU at a grave disadvantage and greatly reduces your chances of out-performing the market over the long term.
For this reason, and to help keep the fund's expenses low, we discourage small accounts and short-term trading by assessing a $24 annual fee on accounts of less than $10,000 in value, as well as a 2% redemption fee on shares redeemed within 90 days of purchase.
So, while we hate to turn investors away, if you're not a patient, long-term investor, Motley Fool Great America Fund may not be for you.
After all, not only are you trusting us with your hard-earned money -- an honor we take very seriously, I assure you -- our friends and family will be investing right alongside you...
In fact, The Motley Fool has invested $1 million of the company's own money!
Get invested now!
If YOU believe in America as we do and if you are a patient, long-term investor, then Motley Fool Great America Fund may be right for you.
We hope you'll join us in this exciting venture! Taking the next step is easy...
You can get invested in Motley Fool Great America Fund right now. Simply click the link to get started. You'll have the chance to look over our Fund prospectus. You'll also have the chance to purchase shares...
Here's to "Great America"!
Director, Retail Funds
Motley Fool Asset Management
P.S. You can now invest in Motley Fool Great America Fund (TMFGX) directly through your broker! Including Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Scottrade, USAA, and Vanguard -- making it even easier to take the first step toward achieving your financial goals. Please contact your brokerage firm to find out if it offers the Great America Fund.
Mutual fund investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal. There is no guarantee that the Fund will meet its stated objective. Please consider the charges, risks, expenses, and investment objectives carefully before you invest. Please consult the Motley Fool Great America Fund prospectus for this and other information. Read it carefully before you invest or send money.
The investment adviser for Motley Fool Great America Fund is Motley Fool Asset Management, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Motley Fool Holdings, Inc., which is a multimedia financial-services holding company. Shares of the fund are distributed by Foreside Funds Distributors LLC, Berwyn, PA. a registered broker-dealer not affiliated with The Motley Fool.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Chevron Faces Shareholder, Union and Community Revolt at Annual Meeting, says Rainforest Action Network
Rep from Brazil's Largest Union Denied Access to Meeting; No Mention of Brazil and Nigeria Liabilities; Record Votes for Separation of CEO and Chairman
SAN RAMON, Calif., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, more than 150 protested at Chevron's annual shareholder meeting, joining a unique group of union members, shareholders and community leaders. Every year, Chevron faces opposition at its shareholder meeting, but today's drew a larger and more diverse crowd galvanized by the oil giant's year of legal problems, oil spills and fines for reckless practices.
"CEO Watson's fraudulent omission of the current liabilities the company is facing in Brazil, Ecuador and Nigeria once again highlights his gross negligence when it comes to worker safety, environmental health and human rights. This was reflected in record high votes for the resolution calling for separation of chair and board," said Ginger Cassady of Rainforest Action Network.
Chevron faces more than $43 billion in actual and potential fines: $22 billion for oil spills off the coast of Brazil, $18 billion for oil contamination in Ecuador, $3 million for gas explosions off the coast of Nigeria, and $27 million for tax-dodging in Richmond.
Joao Antonio de Moraes, National Coordinator of the United Federation of Oil Workers in Brazil, the country's largest union, was denied access to the meeting based on a supposed paperwork error: "I traveled across the globe to call on Chevron to increase the safety of its oil rigs and refineries. Being refused access to the meeting underscores the lack of respect Chevron has for the communities where it operates."
The United Federation of Oil Workers filed suit in March to demand the cancellation of all Chevron oil and gas concession contracts in Brazil.
Seven shareholder resolutions were presented to address Chevron's risky operations, including a call for the separation of CEO and chairman that received 38 percent of the vote (double previous years). New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli joined with 39 other investors, with a combined total of $580 billion in assets under management, called on Chevron to settle its two-decade-long legal battle in Ecuador.
"Chevron needs to put its pants on, start acting like a grown up and accept responsibility for its mess in Ecuador," Luz Trinidad Andrea Cusangua, plaintiff in the Ecuador case, said to CEO Watson.
SOURCE Rainforest Action Network
CONTACT: Kerul Dyer, +1-415-866-0005
Web Site: http://www.ran.org
Historically Low Growth in Healthcare Spending Expected in 2013, Projects PwC Health Research Institute
Experience James Cameron's Epic Masterpiece Like Never Before When TITANIC Comes Home For The First Time Ever On Blu-ray(TM) 2d And 3d
Steven Spielberg and USC Shoah Foundation Institute to Honor Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company
President Jonathan’s 2015 Political Desperation To MAUL UNILAG
Thousands of students and alumni of the world famous University of Lagos (UNILAG) woke up on May 29, to suddenly hear that their beloved citadel of academia has been renamed Moshood Abiola University, Lagos (MAUL) by the dictatorial civilian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as one of the dividends of the unpopular Democracy Day enforced his corrupt ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He said he has changed the name of UNILAG to MAUL to immortalize the late Chief MKO Abiola, the martyr of the presidential election of June 12, 1993, which he won, but was annulled on June 23, 1993 by the military fiat of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babaginda who actually had the right to annual the presidential election after he had earlier cancelled the presidential primaries of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC), two political parties formed by his military regime.
General Ibrahim Badamsi Babaginda's Botched transition to civilian rule
In 1989 Babangida legalized the formation of political parties, and after a census was carried out in November 1991, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced on January 24, 1992 that both legislative elections to a bicameral National Assembly and a presidential election would be held that year.~ From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibrahim_Babangida
Babangida banned all political parties and formed two political parties by himself, namely the SDP (Social Democratic Party) and NRC (National Republican Convention) and urged all Nigerians to join either of the parties, which the Late Chief Ajibola Ige famously referred to as "two leper hands." The two-party state had been a recommendation of the 17-member Political Bureau.
The legislative elections went ahead as planned, with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) winning majorities in both houses of the National Assembly, but on August 7, 1992, the INEC annulled the first round of presidential primaries, alleging widespread irregularities. January 4, 1993 saw the announcement by Babangida of a National Defense and Security Council, of which Babangida himself was to be President, while in April 1993 the SDP nominated Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) as its presidential candidate, with the National Republican Convention (NRC) choosing Bashir Tofa to run for the same position. On June 12, 1993, presidential elections were finally held, but the results were held back although it was announced in some states that Abiola had in fact won 19 of the 30 states, and therefore the presidency.
Rather than allow the announcement of the results to proceed, Babangida decided to annul the elections. Babangida then issued a decree banning the presidential candidates of both the NRC and the SDP from running in new presidential elections that he planned to have held. Widespread acts of civil disobedience began to occur, particularly in the Southwest region from which Abiola hailed, resulting in the killings. On July 6, 1993, the NDSC issued an ultimatum to the SDP and NRC to join an interim government or face yet another round of elections, and Babangida then announced that the interim government would be inaugurated on August 27, 1993. On August 26, amidst a new round of strikes and protests that had brought all economic activity in the country to a halt, Babangida declared that he was stepping aside as head of the military regime, and handing over the reins of government to Ernest Shonekan. Within 3 months of the handover, General Sani Abacha seized control of the government while Babangida was on a visit to Egypt
The 1993 presidential election was not free and fair as claimed by the purported winner Chief MKO Abiola, because both political parties rigged the election and the more affluent Abiola defeated his only opponent Alhaji Bashir Tofa who was relatively an unknown politician from Kano and obviously no match for the financial and political machinery of the billionaire MKO Abiola who was one of the richest people on earth at the time.
I was employed as an attaché to the Director of Publicity for the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur Presidential Campaign, therefore was an insider who was fully briefed on all the political developments in the country as the SDP and NRC campaigned for the presidential election. But when the late retired Major-General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua the main presidential candidate of the SDP was leading the presidential primaries by a very wide margin ahead of the presidential candidates of the NRC, the military regime of Gen. Babaginda suddenly cancelled the primaries. I tore my ID card and resigned immediately, because I knew that the whole political shenanigans of Gen. Babaginda and his ruling mafia would end up in a political fiasco. The presidential election was a hoax masterminded by Gen. Babaginda to hoodwink the ignorant Nigerians and the rest of the world. And he really fooled them, including his bosom “friend” MKO Abiola who went along with the so called transition to democracy plan. Then two new presidential candidates suddenly emerged to replace the previous ones and the late Chief MKO Abiola who was a very powerful associate and friend of Gen. Babaginda and his military regime suddenly became the presidential candidate of the SDP and Alhaji Bashir Tofa became the presidential candidate of the NRC after the intrigues of the political power brokers.
As far as I am concerned the whole June 12 Crisis was a power tussle of the corrupt Nigerian ruling class and the ignorant masses were used as pawns in the gambit of the power brokers and hundreds lost their lives in the end. But the same corrupt power brokers divided on two opposing sides have been using the MKO Abiola phenomenon for their political campaigns and those from the same south western region as MKO Abiola have been using it to sway the political passions of the masses to favour their political ambitions. But God knows that the late Chief MKO Abiola was never as great as the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, one of the leading founding fathers of modern Nigeria who deserves all the honours given to him for his unprecedented achievements in the political development of the western region and the nation building of a New Nigeria in the leadership of Africa.
President Goodluck Jonathan and his ruling cabal in the PDP are scared of their loss of many states in the southwest at the Election Tribunal and the unpopularity of their party among the majority of Yorubas. Therefore, the only way to prevent losing the 2015 presidential election to the main opposition party the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) is to do the most desperate thing by using MKO Abiola to sway the Yorubas to favour the PDP's presidential election master plan for 2015.
They also want to preempt the plan of the ACN to name a new university after MKO Abiola before 2015.
Chief MKO Abiola was a first calss graduate of Glasgow University in accountancy and later worked as a senior accountant at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, before going into private practice and becoming a business mogul and a billionaire. He was the undisputed Pillar of Sports and the National Stadium in Lagos would have been more befitting to be named after him as the same President Goodluck Jonathan renamed Liberty Stadium to Obafemi Awolowo Stadium on November 12, 2010 during his maiden working tour of Ogun State.
Imagine renaming Harvard, Yale or Columbia after the late Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. or any of the past presidents of America?
The University of Lagos is as important to Nigerians as Harvard, Yale or Columbia.
It is greater than the personality of any Nigerian living or dead. It is an academic institution that is a timeless heritage of the citadel of knowledge; the legacy of the Nigerian intelligentsia.
President Jonathan can name one of the new nine federal universities after MKO Abiola and leave the University of Lagos alone as the flagship of academia in Lagos, the former federal capital of Nigeria.
Infact, President Jonathan would have even won the support of the majority of Nigerians if he declared June 12 as the MKO Abiola Day.
~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Author of Children of Heaven, Scarlet Tears of London, Bye, Bye Mugabe, In the House of Dogs and other books.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
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Jonah Peretti, founder & CEO of BuzzFeed, previously cofounded the Huffington Post and is a graduate of the MIT Media Lab.
30 May 2012 15:30 Africa/Lagos
Allah Save The Queen, say Muslims
LONDON, May 30, 2012/PRNewswire/ --
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community unveils national Jubilee programme
A British Muslim community has set out plans to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee with street parties, lighting up of mosques throughout the UK, feeding the homeless and a launch of 200 special Diamond Jubilee buses across London - a unique contribution to this historic event.
(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120530/535675 )
Ahmadiyya Muslims will play the national anthem in street parties across 30 towns and cities from London to Glasgow. In Birmingham for example the celebrations will feature the Royal Navy band playing the national anthem at the mosque and congratulatory messages being read out in 60 languages by local community representatives.
There will also be special prayers for The Queen at 100 mosques and prayer halls belonging to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - one of the oldest Islamic groups in Britain.
The community has also launched a special edition of the book 'A Gift for the Queen' written by their founder, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, on the occasion of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
The National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, Mr Rafiq Hayat said:
"In the history of the British monarch there have only been two diamond Jubilees, and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have been involved with both.
"We share in our country's pride and joy at Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. It is our heartfelt prayer that may God continue to protect the Queen and we look forward to the festivities of the Jubilee weekend and to make them as inclusive as possible.
"As Muslims, we are duty bound to serve Queen and country and we regard this as an important part of our religion as we were taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that loyalty to one's country is a part of faith."
In addition, Ahmadi Muslims will:
- Take part in the Big Lunch on 3rd June
- Light up all its mosques across the UK
- Say special prayers for the Queen on 1st June
- Feed the Homeless - 10,000 will benefit from this endeavour
- Hold charity walks to raise GBP400,000 for the Queen's charities
- Fundraise through the community's women's network
- Organise blood donation sessions
- Hold interfaith symposia throughout the UK
A charity walk by thousands of community members around the Tower of London has already raised tens of thousands of pounds for the Queen's Jubilee charities.
London buses with the special Diamond Jubilee poster also feature the peace campaign website for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community http://www.MuslimsForPeace.org.uk
Basharat Nazir, email@example.com , Tel +44-7703-483-384
OR, Mahmood Rafiq, Tel +44-7971-060-962
Source: Ahmadiyya Muslim Association UK
30 May 2012 12:00 Africa/Lagos
From Universal Studios Home Entertainment: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
IN CELEBRATION OF UNIVERSAL STUDIOS' 100TH ANNIVERSARY, ONE OF THE MOST BELOVED FILMS OF ALL TIME COMES TO BLU-RAY™ FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL
STEVEN SPIELBERG'S UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURE DEBUTS IN A DIGITALLY REMASTERED 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK WITH BLU-RAY™, DVD, DIGITAL COPY & ULTRAVIOLET™ OCTOBER 2012
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial , Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg's magical adventure, celebrates its 30th Anniversary with its first-ever release on Blu-ray™ this October. Featuring an all-new, digitally remastered picture that delivers six times the resolution of DVD, as well as all-new 7.1 surround sound, the E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes the 1982 theatrical movie, an all-new interview with director Steven Spielberg, and "The E.T. Journals" which features an hour of never-before-seen footage from the set of the film. The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack also includes UltraViolet™, a DVD and a Digital Copy of the film, offering fans a chance to relive the mystery, laughter and wonder of the iconic movie anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice.
In 1982, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial became the biggest blockbuster of the year, ranking #1 over 16 different weekends. Even today, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial remains the fourth most successful movie of all-time(1) in the United States. Nominated for nine Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Writing and Best Screenplay, the film took home four statuettes for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Sound and Best Music for John Williams' (Jaws) memorable score. The unforgettable cast includes the adorable Drew Barrymore (He's Just Not That Into You, Charlie's Angels), Henry Thomas (Dear John, Legends of the Fall), Dee Wallace (10, "Sons and Daughters") and Peter Coyote ("Law & Order: LA," Jagged Edge).
"When E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial premiered in 1982, it captured the imaginations of people young, old and everyone in between in a way that was unparalleled in modern movie history," said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. "A global cultural phenomenon—and the biggest box-office blockbuster of its day—E.T. brought out the child in all of us. We are thrilled audiences will now be able to experience the film in the astounding quality of Blu-ray™."
BONUS FEATURES ON THE E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL ANNIVERSARY EDITION BLU-RAY™:
The E.T. Journals: In this all-new bonus feature, retrace the day-to-day experience of creating E.T from never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage shot by Academy Award®-winning cinematographer John Toll. This piece will give viewers a unique feeling of being on the set and living the excitement of what it was like to make E.T.
Steven Spielberg & E.T.: Watch an all-new interview with Steven Spielberg, as he reflects back on the film and discusses his experience working with the actors, as well as his overall and current perspective on E.T.
Deleted Scenes: Two scenes from 2002 version of the film.
A Look Back: A special insider's look into the making of E.T. featuring interviews with Steven Spielberg, the cast, and others intimately involved with the film.
The E.T. Reunion: The cast and filmmaker reunite to discuss their thoughts on the impact of the film.
The Evolution and Creation of E.T.: From idea to screenplay, through casting and making the film.
The Music of E.T.: A Discussion with John Williams: Interviews and footage focused on the long-standing relationship between John Williams and Steven Spielberg.
The 20th Anniversary Premiere: Composer John Williams played the score of E.T. live at the Shrine Auditorium for the re-release premiere of E.T. This featurette gives us a behind the scenes look at this presentation.
Original Theatrical Trailer
Special Olympics TV spot
Designs, Photographs and Marketing
E.T. Designs by Production Illustrator Ed Verreaux
E.T. Designs by Carlo Rambaldi
Spaceship Designs by Ralph McQuarrie
Designs by Production Illustrator Ed Verreaux
UltraViolet™: The revolutionary new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows, store them in the cloud, and instantly stream and download to computers, tablets and smartphones. Consumers can now truly enjoy their movies anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice. Currently available in the United States only.
Digital Copy: The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack includes a digital copy of the film compatible with iTunes®, iPad®, iPhone®, iPod™, iPod™ touch, Android or online retail partners.
pocket BLU™ App: The popular free pocket BLU™ app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad®, Android™ tablets, PC and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices' larger screens and high resolution displays.
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BONUS FEATURES ON THE DVD:
Steven Spielberg & E.T.
A Look Back
The E.T. Reunion
When an imaginative boy meets a lost alien, it is the beginning of one of cinema's most endearing friendships, as Elliot (Henry Thomas) helps the marvelous creature he calls E.T. find his way back home before government agents can capture him.
Cast: Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore, Henry Thomas
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: Melissa Mathison
Produced By: Steven Spielberg & Kathleen Kennedy
Edited By: Carol Littleton
Director of Photography: Allen Daviau
Production Designer: James D. Bissell
Music By: John Williams
Street Date: October 2012 – actual date TBD
Copyright: 2012 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61123439
Running Time: 114:27
Aspect Ratio: 1:85
Technical Info: English Dolby Digital 7.1 and 2.0, Spanish and French Dolby 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Copyright: 2012 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Selection Numbers: 61119825
Running Time: 114:27
Technical Info: English Dolby Digital 7.1 and 2.0, Spanish and French Dolby 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
About Universal Studios Home Entertainment
In honor of its Centennial anniversary, Universal Pictures proudly salutes 100 years of unforgettable films that have entertained audiences and touched the hearts of millions around the globe. In celebration of our first 100 years, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is proud to present a selection of our many beloved movies as part of an extensive year-long program that underscores the studio's rich cinematic history and indelible cultural impact.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment is a unit of Universal Pictures, a division of Universal Studios ( www.universalstudios.com ). Universal Studios is a part of NBCUniversal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.
(1) Adjusted for inflation.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Vice President, Publicity
SOURCE Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Web Site: http://www.universalstudios.com
Otter 501 is a feature film in theaters now! See our Facebook events page for openings. When an adventuresome young woman discovers a sea otter pup stranded on the beach and in desperate need of a second chance, an entire species' survival gets personal.
A storm grows, a sea otter pup is separated from her mother, and a young woman bound for adventure blows in to town. On a wild, windswept beach these lives collide and an entire species’ survival gets personal. Offering a fresh take on the familiar nature documentary format, Otter 501 combines stunning natural history footage with clever, digital age storytelling. Through Katie’s eyes you will see our playful pup, otter number 501, get an amazing second chance at life in the wild. As the two learn to navigate the opportunities and risks of life without anchor we see the incredible efforts people have undertaken to return sea otters from the brink of extinction. Framed against the strikingly beautiful Monterey Bay coastline, the last stronghold of these iconic animals, Katie discovers just how serious this threat remains. Their adventure, unexpected as it was, illustrates what we can do to contribute to the growing movement to protect the southern sea otter…and ourselves.
MONTEREY, CAat the Osio Cinema
SANTA CRUZ, CAat the Nickelodeon
SAN DIEGO, CAOpening weekend at the Gaslamp Stadium!
For a limited time you can watch OTTER 501 on Prescreen!
SEBASTOPOL, CAOpening June 1 at Rialto Cinemas Sebastopol
PORTLAND, OROpening June 1 at the Fox Tower
DURANGO, COOpening June 8 at the Back Space Theatre
SANTA BARBARA, CAOpening June 8 at the Metro 4 Cinemas
CORAL GABLES, FLOpening June 8 at the University of Miami Cosford Cinema
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLOpening June 15 at the Cinema Paradiso
TEMPE, AZOpening June 15 at the Valley Art Theater
GLOUCESTER, MAOpening June 13 at the Cape Anne Community Cinema
BOULDER, COOpening June 22 at the Boedecker Theater
Presidential Speech on Democracy Day Short on Police and Prison Matters
~ John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D.
President Jonathan’s address to the nation in celebration of the democracy day on May 29, 2012 showed a profound touch on several areas like visa procurement, credit rating, foreign exchange, seaports readiness and cassava growth. While all these aspects are essential in regards to building and enriching our institutions as well as moving towards true democratic governance the inadequate attention to police and prison matters make the movement towards a stable democracy almost impossible.
Despite the continued institutional problems faced by the police and the prisons, and the despair faced by many serving police and prison officers as well as the poor optimism the Nigerian people have about our criminal justice institutions, the poor consideration given to these issues is problematic as it is not a good way to promote better ways to a functional civil society.
The President spoke of the armed forces in terms of their steadfast subordination to civil authority and addressed the judiciary as a problem-driven place that needs improvement but the two main agencies—police and prisons that are responsible for social stability remain almost absent in the speech.
The state of our criminal justice engine is currently clogged by mistrust, low morale, and psychologically the people continue to have low positive regard for our courts, the police and the prisons in particular.
The international world sees our criminal justice system in regards to the police and the prisons as centers of disorganization and ineptitude, and this is partly because those in uniform suffer from many challenges among which are poor remuneration, poor psychological readiness, poor residential environment, and collectively many have become more patriotic to the spirit of self-preservation at all cost, as such many of them see nothing unusual to committing themselves to a world of corruption, to a performance of carelessness and to an unwavering zeal for indifference to matters of public safety.
The President should have uttered words of support for the good works of some men and women in the police and prisons who in spite of all the challenges faced by their institutions have been known for committing their lives to the duty of protecting lives and properties.
Mr. President there is huge challenges facing the criminal justice system, and your administration need to help strengthen and bring the police and the prisons as well as the courts to the steps of professional and democratic standards.
Mr. President it is unhealthy for our young democracy to see our police and prison environments full mostly of unhappy and dejected men and women as the people will be the ultimate bearer of this systemic unhealthiness.
A presidential commitment to several, strong and wavering issues in the police, penal and judicial systems will in fact strengthen every other institution including all the ones you focused on as the absence of full safety and protection of all of them will mean danger to our democracy.
Mr. President it is time that the Nigerian criminal justice system to go through a psychological revolution the type that will reduce a myriad of huge issues.
We need bold mandates, programs and initiatives to drive a sustainable growth in the criminal justice system and there is need for the training of our police and prison officials using the tools of up-to-date psychology which will help bring in new knowledge in form of good attitude and full productivity.
Mr. President, we need to do more than strengthen the management of law enforcement agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
In order to better re-position these agencies for more effective service delivery it could have being very nice if you had used this august opportunity like you did in the case of changing the name of University of Lagos to voice bold modifications in our police and prison systems in particular.
Mr. President, henceforth and as part of the next Democracy Day hopefully you will inform the Nigerian people that the lives of our uniform men and women will be marked with pronounced positive improvements.
In this regard we will no longer hear of officers commercializing their duties, and there will be a reduction of justice for sale, a reduction in arbitrary detention in police cells and prisons, a reduction of highest bidder-oriented freedom, a reduction of police stations as business centers, a reduction of police squads as land speculators, a reduction of complainants turning into instant suspects, and a reduction of dilapidated police training centers.
In the area of prison challenges, future Democracy Day speech would evidence full blown reduction in prison conditions in regards to noticeable problems like congestion caused by persons awaiting trial. We will hear of a clear reduction in detentions without trial, a reduction of inadequate psychological treatment, a reduction of costly or inadequate feeding, a reduction of inadequate accommodation, a reduction of general overcrowding, and a reduction of dilapidated prison buildings.
We will hear from you a line of reductions in regards to poor sanitary, communicable diseases, and poor amenities like electricity, clothing, portable water, and communication system as well as in regards to the issue of prison outbreaks.
Mr. President, the reduction of many of the noted issues will make our criminal justice system, the Nigeria Police and prison institutions in particular more responsive organizations to public needs.
Mr. President it could have been major news in your speech to declare empowerment for our uniform and security detectives by announcing a new and higher salary structure, broadcasting a new and better accommodation allowance and revealing new training centers with established psychological and technological standards.
Mr. President these are the type of stuffs that could lead our officers to optimal performance in their duties and make them less tempted to ill-driven operational acts like criminal actions, indifference, chronic frustration, indiscipline, and selfishness.
Mr. President, the pursue of the rule of law and the formation of good institutions in an upcoming democracy like Nigeria can only occur if the Nigerian police, prison and court systems become full of men and women with the right training, the right resources, the right environment and the right attitude with the safety and security of the people always in their minds.
~ John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is an Abuja-based Forensic/Clinical Psychologist. Jos5930458@aol.com 08126909839.
29 May 2012 15:29 Africa/Lagos
Manchester United Named Most Popular Soccer Team In The World
New International Survey Finds 19-Time League Champions Have 659 Million Followers
MANCHESTER, England, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A new global survey released today – the largest soccer survey ever conducted – named Manchester United the world's most popular soccer franchise, featuring 659 million followers worldwide.
The survey was carried out by leading market research agency, Kantar, and gathered 54,000 respondents from 39 countries around the world. Manchester United, which Forbes recently named the most valuable franchise in world sport, was identified as the favorite team of 659 million followers around the world. Kantar also found that soccer remains the world's most popular sport, with 1.6 billion followers globally, reinforcing the results of a recent FIFA survey which produced a similar figure.
"Manchester United is built on a tradition of iconic players, iconic teams and iconic achievements – Beckham, Busby, Benfica '68," said Richard Arnold, Commercial Director, Manchester United. "Now our games are broadcast to 1.15 billion households globally, to an audience of over four billion a year. Manchester United resonates with followers all over the world, and it's their passion and support that means year after year we can continue doing what matters most to everyone at the Club: playing attacking football and competing for trophies."
"The growth in our followers since 2007 correlates with what we have seen as we have rolled out our new approach to reaching fans. From the increase in TV viewership from two to four billion last season, to the demand from millions of media subscribers in 72 countries through our media partnerships, to the way the footage of Wayne's overhead kick echoed around the world on social media, we can see that the connections to the club are growing exponentially."
"With the DHL Champ19ns Trophy tour we have seen that passion from our community of followers face to face in 38 cities across the globe, and there does not seem to be a beach or street in the world where you do not see the Aon and Nike shirt."
"This survey shows that our family of followers is going from strength to strength."
+44 (0) 161 868 8148
Manchester United Ltd
SOURCE Manchester United Ltd
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Internet Searching. Photo Credit: Autism Daddy.
29 May 2012 16:39 Africa/Lagos
76% of People Conduct Online Searches in Two or More Languages
LONDON, May 29, 2012/PRNewswire/ --
It might be assumed that not many people conduct online searches in more than one language. However, results from a global survey undertaken by leading independent digital marketing agency, Greenlight [http://www.greenlightdigital.com ], suggest quite the opposite, that a significant 76% do. Occupations one might most readily associate with the Internet - IT and Marketing - topped the list of those who are most likely to search in more than one language.
Greenlight's global "Search & Social Survey (2011-2012) [http://gossip.greenlightdigital.com/media/4028357/greenlight_-_search___social_survey_2011-2012_-_final.pdf ] " asked 500 people - from students, law enforcement professionals, medical staff, accountants, lawyers to the unemployed, how they engage with online advertising, search engines, and social networks, in order to glean insight into how consumers engage with marketers today, and to formulate views on what the future might hold.
Italy and Spain top multi-lingual search
Some of the countries topping Greenlight's chart are not entirely surprising - Belgium, for example, has three official languages. However, others, namely Italy and Spain, are not so obvious.
"The fact that Italy and Spain top the chart with 100% of respondents claiming to search in multiple languages, despite reasonably homogenised language use, is possibly a testament to the position of English as the quasi-official language of Europe and the relative prevalence of English language web pages," says Adam Bunn, director of search engine optimisation (SEO), at Greenlight.
Bunn points to data compiled by Greenlight in 2010. It showed the UK produced the most web pages per head [http://gossip.greenlightdigital.com/blog/the-uk-contributes-more-pages-to-the-internet-than-any-other-european-country ] in Europe at 17 pages per person, compared to ten per person in Spain and just six per person in Italy. "Presumably as well as there being more English spam on the web, this also means there is more high quality English content to be searched for by Europeans as well," says Bunn.
So what if English is used to conduct an online search in Spain?
Search engines use the domain extension to help them determine the geographical relevance of a site, so while a .co.uk domain stands an increased chance of ranking within the search engine results pages (SERPs) in the UK, it will count against it when people are searching in another country. Consequently, this behaviour may warrant the creation of multiple language sites for a brand or business. This of course runs counter to traditional SEO logic which states that duplicate content is bad - which it is - so this would have to be undertaken with some caution, ensuring that all content is properly localised so that search engines know that one version is intended for region A, the other for region B.
"The point here is that proper research, beyond just gathering a few keywords from the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, really does help to inform SEO [http://www.greenlightdigital.com/search-engine-optimisation ] strategy. The first step to deciding whether to progress an opportunity is to define the size of that opportunity. This data does give some food for thought."
Greenlight is a leading independent digital marketing agency, providing Search and Social Media services. With over 100 blue-chip clients including Santander, New Look, Sky and ghd, Greenlight is a leader in the digital marketing space, and is recognized worldwide for its commitment to delivering record ROI for its clients and investing in the future.
Greenlight is considered the premier thought leader in the sector, publishing widely read industry reports, original research, speaking at trade events, and delivering a highly respected digital marketing training programme via the Greenlight Academy. Founded in 2001, Greenlight is headquartered in London, with offices in New York. http://www.greenlightdigital.com [http://www.greenlightdigital.com ]
Notes to Editors: Adam Bunn is available for interview. For further information about Greenlight's report "Search & Social Survey (2011-2012)" or to arrange an interview, please contact: Krishna Rao, T: +44-(20)-3326-6232, E: firstname.lastname@example.org.
29 May 2012 08:00 Africa/Lagos
Four Million Football Fans to buy a new TV Ahead of Euros
LONDON, May 29, 2012/PRNewswire/ --
One in ten Brits plan to buy a new TV
Despite the current squeeze on household finances, around four million* football fans are planning to pick up a new TV ahead of the European Championships.
Research from leading shopping website VoucherCodes.co.uk reveals three quarters of consumers will be following Euro 2012 at home and almost one in ten (nine per cent) will be purchasing a new TV to watch it on.
These findings are reinforced by analysis from VoucherCodes.co.uk that showed a 30 per cent increase in traffic from savvy shoppers looking for discounts on TVs over the past week. With retailers traditionally offering the deepest discounts in the run up to major sporting events, the leading shopping site predicts television sales to soar as retailers fight it out for Brits' hard earned cash.
The research shows Brits will spend an average of GBP570 - more than enough cash to purchase a 42 inch 3D TV - while 13 per cent plan to spend over GBP1,000. Around a third (30 per cent) say they'll cover the cost with a credit card, but nearly half (48 per cent) say this is a planned purchase and have been saving money especially to buy a new TV for the summer of sport that kicks off with the European Championships.
Duncan Jennings, co-founder of VoucherCodes.co.uk says: "Over the last few years we have noticed demand for TVs rising sharply ahead of major sporting events. We're expecting the two weeks before the championships to be a very busy period for Britain's retailers as consumers look to pick up a bargain ahead of the Euros."
"In the weeks leading up to the 2010 World Cup, we saw a whole host of incredible deals on TVs, with some stores dropping prices by up to 30 per cent. However, it's worth remembering that offers like this tend to pop up suddenly and disappear once the tournament has started, meaning consumers need to move quickly as they only have a small window to secure the deepest discounts."
Top TV deals:
GBP10 Cash for Every England Euro 2012 Goal with TV and Laptop Orders Over GBP549 at
Up to GBP200 off Selected Televisions at Argos
Up to 20% off Selected Plasma, LCD and LED TVs at Comet
Notes to editors:
OnePoll surveyed 2,000 UK adults between 1 and 3 May 2012. The survey was carried out online.
*8.95% (no. of respondents who plan to purchase a new TV) of adult population that will watch the games (45.7million) = 4 million
About VoucherCodes.co.uk [http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk ]:
VoucherCodes.co.uk brings together the best voucher codes, 2-for-1 restaurant vouchers, printable vouchers, deals and sales for hundreds of leading online stores to help save you more money.
VoucherCodes.co.uk works with the UK's favourite retailers and restaurants, so no matter what our customers are looking for we're likely to have a great voucher code to help save them money.
Over five million smart money savers subscribe to our weekly newsletter. Sent out every Tuesday morning, it brings together a handpicked selection of the twenty best voucher codes packed with exclusive codes for a huge range of stores and activities.
About WhaleShark Media, Inc.
WhaleShark Media, Inc. (http://www.whalesharkmedia.com) is the world's leading marketplace for online coupons and deals. The company's websites enable consumers seeking to save money to find hundreds of thousands of offers from retailers across the globe. WhaleShark Media experiences more than 400 million consumer visits to its sites every year.
The WhaleShark Media portfolio of coupon and deal websites includes http://www.RetailMeNot.com, the largest online coupon site in the United States; http://www.VoucherCodes.co.uk, the largest online coupon site in the United Kingdom; http://www.Deals.com in Germany; http://www.Deals2Buy.com; http://www.CouponSeven.com; and http://www.CouponShare.com.
WhaleShark Media is a fast-growing, profitable company funded by venture capital firms Austin Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Adams Street Partners, Google Ventures, J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and Institutional Venture Partners (IVP).
For further information please contact:
Clare Ridley / Katie Bawler / Antonia Harrison
Muslims pray while Christians form a protective human chain around them during a protest against the elimination of a popular fuel subsidy that has doubled the price of gas in Nigeria's capital Abuja, Jan. 10, 2012. Photo Credit: Christian Post.
29 May 2012 10:49 Africa/Lagos
Delegation to Nigeria Hopes for “Transformed Reality”
GENEVA, May 29, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- A high-level international delegation of Christian and Muslim leaders issued a joint statement at the end of their visit to Nigeria on 25 May, expressing hope for their “visit to demonstrate an international model of Muslims and Christians working together in inter-religious engagement aimed at fostering peace and harmony between people of different religions.”
The delegation was coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC), led by its general secretary, Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, and Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, chairman of the Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought.
The statement was issued at a press conference of the delegation in Abuja, Nigeria's capital. It expressed concern over the violence in the country and stressed the need for the religious communities to work together for peace and conflict resolution.
“We believe that both Christianity and Islam are religions which long for peace, and that in both our faiths love of God and love of our neighbour must belong together,” the statement read.
The delegates met with government officials, religious leaders, traditional rulers and the families of victims of violence during their visits to Abuja, Kaduna and Jos. In their statement they expressed their hope in the transformation of the situation in Nigeria.
“In hearing the pain of those who have spoken to us we also caught a glimmer of their dreams, and the hopes of many, both religious leaders and ordinary people, that a transformed reality is possible.”
The delegation will be making further recommendations for joint inter-religious initiatives of working for dialogue and peace in Nigeria at a later stage.
Source: World Council of Churches (WCC)
|Releases displayed in Africa/Lagos time|
|29 May 2012|
|10:49||Delegation to Nigeria hopes for “transformed reality”|
|09:26||General Yakubu Gowon calls upon Basotho for a peaceful election|
|05:57||Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Elects New President and Vice Presidents|