Repo Commentary-6/28/18

Some of you, but probably not most of you, know that AVM, L.P. and I have mutually parted ways. My creation, Direct Repo is AVM’s service mark and their product. I still firmly believe in the direction of the securities financing market to ‘directed financing’ (which could be Direct Repo, peer-to-peer financing, all-to-all financing, CCP, etc.) between cash providers and collateral providers, whether they be traditional broker/dealers or non-dealers. After almost 36 years in the Repo & Securities Lending business and being one of the most outspoken leaders, I have no intention of leaving this business. So, I am exploring similar opportunities right now and will keep you posted.
In the meantime, I intend to write the Repo Commentary more regularly and just post it on my new website: http://www.repocommentary.com. I have tried to do a blast email to all 3,000 of you to inform you of that, but have been stymied by aol, gmail, and mailchimp, so I’ll do in lots of 1000 or so of you, until the word gets out. Apparently, over 6,000 of you viewed it when I posted my intention on LinkedIn (twice now), so I’ll keep that communication going too. If you need to get hold of me, my cell is 646-753-1300, my email for work will be jeffkidwell82@gmail.com (backup is jkid212@aol.com), and you can also hit me up on Bloomberg and LinkedIn.
Remember, since 1982, the Repo Commentary does not represent the views of any firm (well that’s easy to say at the moment, although that hopefully will be changing soon) and reflects only my opinion and includes only publicly available information. I make a strong effort to attribute any quotes or thoughts that are not my own, I do not make any marketing spiels, and I really am more interested (70-80%) in entertaining you than informing (20-30%) you. Hopefully, I’ll work out any kinks on this new Repo Commentary website and be able to automate some functions and news. I’m interested to see how the picture gallery displays. Feel free, as always, to send me information or pictures. Also, please send me feedback, as I want to make it better all the time. I think it may start a little light on content, as I get comfortable with my format and my resources, but hopefully it will become something even better than it was. And, most of all, thank you for being, as Stephen King would say, a ‘constant reader.’

Today’s Holidays or Events:
• Insurance Awareness Day
• International Body Piercing Day
• International Caps Lock Day (does that mean you are yell-texting everyone?)
• National Handshake Day
• National Bomb Pop Day
• Paul Bunyon Day
• Tau Day
• Ryan Moran day (first full moon in June)
• Engineer’s Day in Ecuador
• Independence Day in Seychelles (from United Kingdom)
• Veterans’ Day in Netherlands
Now that Summer has officially begun in the Northern Hemisphere (and Winter has begun in the Southern Hemisphere), 6/21 was the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, so now the days are already getting shorter.

Some Famous People Born Today in History:
• 1326-Murad I, Ottoman Sultan
• 1398-John II of Aragon and Navarre
• 1482-Maria of Aragon, Queen of Portugal
• 1798-Giacomo Leopardi
• 1858-George Washington Geothals-American general and engineer, who co-designed the Panama Canal
• 1861-William James Mayo-American physician and surgeon, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic
• 1901-Nelson Eddy-singer/actor
• 1911-Katherine DeMille-Canadian/American actress
• 1912-Jose Pablo Moncayo
• 1919-Slim Pickens-actor/rodeo performer
• 1936-Harmon Killebrew-baseball
• 1944-Gary Busey
• 1991-Kawhi Leonard-NBA
This Day in History:
• 226-Cao Pi died after an illness and his son Cao Rui succeeds him as Emperor of the Kingdom of Wei
• 1194-Sverre is crowned King of Norway
• 1444-Skanderberg defeated an Ottoman invasion force at Torvioll
• 1534-Jacques Cartier became the first European to reach Prince Edward Island
• 1613-The Globe Theatre in London burned to the ground
• 1644-Charles I of England defeated a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of the Cropredy Bridge
• 1659-at the Battle of Konotop, the Ukrainian armies of Ivan Vyhovsky defeated the Russians led by Prince Trubetskoy
• 1786-Alexander Macdonell and over 500 Roman Catholic highlanders leave Scotland to settle in Glengarry County, Ontario
• 1807-Russo-Turkish War: Admiral Dmitry Senyavin destroys the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Athos
• 1864-99 people were killed in Canada’s worst railway disaster, near St-Hilaire, Quebec
• 1874-Greek politician Charilaos Trikoupis publishes a manifesto in the Athens daily Kairol entitled “Who’s to Blame?” leveling complaints against King George. He is elected PM of Greece the next year
• 1880-France annexes Tahiti
• 1881-in Sudan, Muhammad Ahmad declares himself to be the Mahdi, the messianic redeemer of Islam
• 1888-George Edward Gouraud records Handel’s “Israel in Egypt” onto a phonograph cylinder, though for many years to be the oldest known recording of music
• 1889-Hyde Park and several other Illinois townships vote to be annexed by Chicago, forming the largest US city in area and second largest in population at the time
• 1915-the North Saskatchewan River flood of 1915 was the worst flood in Edmonton history
• 1927-the ‘Bird of Paradise’, a US Army Air Corps Fokker tri-motor, completes the first transpacific flight, from the mainland of the US to Hawaii
• 1945-Carpathian Ruthenia is annexed by the Soviet Union
• 1950-Korean War: US President Harry S. Truman authorizes the sea blockade of Korea
• 1974-Isabel Peron is sworn in as the first female President of Argentina (Evita)
• 1974-Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet
• 1975-Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer
• 1976-the Seychelles becomes independent from the United Kingdom
• 1995-Space Shuttle STS-71 Mission (Atlantis) docked with the Russian space station Mir for the first time
• 1995-the Sampoong Department Store collapses in the Seocho District of Seoul, South Korea, killing 501 and injuring 937
• 2002-naval clashes between South Korea and North Korea lead to the death of 6 South Korean sailors and sinking of a North Korean vessel
• 2007-Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone

Fun Fact of the Day:
By 400 BC, Persian engineers had mastered the technique of storing ice in the middle of summer in the desert.

Daily Affirmation/Thought/Pun/Quote:
“If you want to be a lion, you must train with lions.”–anonymous

International and Commodity Markets:
Oil closed yesterday at $72.76/barrel, about $7/barrel higher than when I last wrote. Yikes! My West Palm Beach gas station was at $2.64/ gallon today, back up 5 cents since I last wrote. I noticed that gasoline was as cheap as $2.54/gallon up in Orlando. The USD versus the Yen is trading at $110.56 today, up on the day. The USD is down slightly versus the Euro at $1.1562. The USD is up against the GBP at $1.3074. The USD is down versus the CAD on the day at 1.3269. Gold closed yesterday at 1,251.29/ounce, which is down since I last wrote. Bitcoin is trading today at $6,100, significantly lower than where it has been in the past month, and dangerously nearer the magic $6000 level. The Trump Administration has apparently abandoned a proposal to use emergency power granted by a little-known law to stop Chinese acquisition of US technology companies, according to Bloomberg. Treasury Secretary and Secretary of State reportedly persuaded President Trump to instead push for additional power for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, to curb Chinese investment.

Global Financial News:
ETFs have seen enormous growth in recent years. Inflows reached more than $476 billion in 2017, with assets surpassing $3.4 trillion. A global survey from SIFMA, SIFMA AMG, and other trade associations shows a number of asset managers are supporting the push toward alternative benchmarks to LIBOR, including the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR), which is now published by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. Cybersecurity questions and concerns are popping up, as the SEC announced the consolidated audit trail (CAT) to be implemented in November. MSRB has been receiving comments on its proposed advertising rules for municipal advisors and now SIFMA has asked for clarification on rules pertaining to social media and standards of content. They have also asked for clarification about advertising and exemptions, as well as RFP responses and correspondences with clients, according to The Bond Buyer. Results from a recent Invesco study show investors need help from their advisors “now more than ever”. Investors are “confused and overwhelmed”. Government representatives and industry executives report growing interest in the use of artificial intelligence to enhance cybersecurity, according to delegates at SIFMA’s recent Fintech Conference.

US Market News:
The Dow Jones is up 108.75 points today (Thursday 6/28) at 24,226.95, a far cry from where it closed, 24,700.21, when I last wrote. It has been volatile, following world news and economic news, maybe more so than earnings news. S&P 500 closed at 2763.50 on 6/19, but is trading today at 2714.89. Nasdaq closed at 7725.59 on 6/19, but is trading today at 7499.24. Wall Street is beginning to note that the bull market appears to be winding down. Some economists are predicting that the 10 years of economic expansion may top out in the coming months. However, the US Treasury market market has been benefitting from the troubles in equities, with 2years yield down to 2.52%, 3years down to 2.608%, 5years down to 2.728%, 7years down to 2.81%, 10years down to 2.847%, and 30years down to 2.979%, about a 5bp improvement across the board since 6/19.

Repo News:
We have a quarter-end coming up 6/30. Quarter-ends have always been crazy in the repo market, but with the addition of hundreds of regulations, suddenly month-ends also became important. The historical pattern of repo dealers grossing UP their repo matched book balance sheets in-between quarter-ends and then shrinking them for quarter-ends is long gone. Instead, CCAR, and other regulations and reporting have caused certain dealers to have to report balance sheets daily, monthly, or quarterly. Not everyone is on the same set of rules. It doesn’t help that we have Fed tightening expectations intertwined with quarter-ends. So, de-engineering what the GC Repo rate is pricing for quarter-end or for tightening becomes more difficult. Most people, as Scott Skyrm said, assume that the September FOMC Fed tightening of 25bp is almost assured. The market is also pricing another 50-60% of Fed tightening into the December FOMC meeting. So, with that all said, the GC repo rates have come down nearer to Fed Funds and don’t show a lot of pressure for 6/30 quarter-end. At least, at this point. Scott Skyrm notes that the month-end drop in the Fed Funds rate seems to have disappeared. He points to how European banks would borrow in the Fed Funds market, up to month-end and stop, and reinvest at the much higher IOER rate, capturing an arbitrage from the Fed and US taxpayers. But, because the Fed only raised IOER on 6/13 to 1.95% and Fed Funds have been higher because of US Treasury issuance, that arbitrage has been eliminated, wiping out the volatility at month-end of Fed Funds rate.

I see the Repo and Securities Lending market as having changed in many permanent ways. We traditionally had a credit intermediator, the broker/dealers (originally just the primary broker/dealers) and later prime brokers, who were the pipeline through their respective repo matched books for collateral providers to trade with cash providers, without the two sides ever knowing about each other or facing each other. That lack of knowledge of the other side of the repo matched book came at a couple of costs, first, the bid/offer spread that went to the dealers and second, the defaults of the Financial Crisis and the impact on some of the dealers that then cost their clients. Clearly, with that pipeline becoming severely crimped by post-Financial Crisis regulatory reforms, consolidation and bankruptcies, and the resulting drop of about 60% in balance sheets being used for broker/dealer respective repo matched books, new pathways/pipelines needed to be found for cash provider and collateral provider clients. AVM’s Direct Repo™ was the first of one of such pathways. Since then, other pathways to these markets have been created, including: the Federal Reserve’s RRP program with cash providers, peer-to-peer financing as reported on Treasury OFR’s website between MMFs and Insurance Companies, As Agent repo through seclending agents and now some prime brokers, direct lending from beneficial owner to hedge funds who are short, indemnified As Agent repo, buyside to buyside Triparty Repo through two international clearing organizations, electronic all-to-all repo on a few electronic trading platforms like Elixium and BNY DBVX, FICC’s sponsored repo and cleared repo products to entice certain sectors of the buyside into that CCP, and other Repo and/or Seclending CCPs (several still being worked on, particularly in Europe). I believe this evolution will continue and eventually we will see all of these pathways used, including the traditional pathway (to probably a lesser than historical degree) through the broker/dealers and prime brokers.

Upcoming Repo Industry Conferences:

• Crane’s will hold its Money Fund Symposium in Pittsburgh on 6/25-6/27. I am still thinking of attending, because I miss all of you.
• IMN will hold its 23rd annual European Beneficial Owners’ International Securities Finance & Collateral Management Conference in London, September 2018.
• IMN will hold its 24th annual ABS East Conference in Miami Beach, on 9/16-9/18.
• National Association of State Treasurers (NAST) will hold its Annual Conference in Scottsdale, AZ on 9/30-10/3.
• SIFMA-will hold its Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on 10/1-10/2.
• Risk Management Association (RMA) will hold the 35th annual RMA Conference on Securities Lending in Key Biscayne, FL on 10/8-10/11. I will be there, I don’t want to break my streak of attending every one of them!
• Finadium will hold its 2nd annual Rates & Repo conference in NYC in November.
• Association of Financial Professionals (AFP) is holding its annual Treasury & Finance conference in Chicago on 11/4-11/7.
• RISK USA will hold 24th annual conference in NYC, sometime in November.

Federal Reserve News:
Fed Funds, which trade mostly between some banks and GSEs, opened today at 1.90%.

The next FOMC meetings are: 7/26/17, 9/20/17, 11/1/17, 12/13/17, 1/31/18

The Federal Reserve’s Reverse Repo Facility (RRP), which has over 300 approved participants (16 banks, 14 GSEs, 101 money market funds from various fund families), is now set at the rate of 1.75%. The Fed is currently only repoing out US Treasuries from its portfolio and typically only Overnight. Remember when RRP was trading at year-end for $465 billion? Well, on 5/15, there was only $20 million in bids submitted. MMF cash and GSE cash has moved out of the Fed’s RRP and into the Repo market, but it hasn’t really brought down the GC repo rate, which is strange. Over month-end, RRP volume did pop up to $21.5 billion, but that’s one of the lowest month-end volumes in its history. I wonder which trades less volume now, Fed Funds or RRP?

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said interest rate hikes should continue, as the low unemployment and higher inflation numbers are supporting the case.

Earthquakes and Volcanoes
A new map by scientists of crustal stress cross the USA shows that the plate interior stress is variable and impacted by plate boundary stress, crustal collapse due to gravity, and more local and subtle changes to style, orientation, and earthquake rate.
6/21/18 6.1 WSW of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
6/18/18 5.7 SW of Guanagazapa, Guatemala
6/17/18 5.5 NNW of Hirakata, Japan

Weather
The Atlantic Hurricane Season began Friday, June 1st. For 2018, Colorado State University experts have predicted that this season will be a busy, above average hurricane season. They have predicted 14 named Tropical Storms, of which 7 will become Hurricanes. Both are above the averages of 12 and 6, respectively. But, remember, last year they were way off. Unfortunately, they were way off the wrong way, with way more storms. They had predicted 11 Tropical Storms, of which 4 would be Hurricanes. Instead, we had 17 Tropical Storms and had 10 Hurricanes. Here are the 2018 Storm names:
Alberto done
Beryl
Chris
Debby
Ernesto
Florence
Gordon
Helene
Isaac
Joyce
Kirk
Leslie
Michael
Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sara
Tony
Valerie
William
Hurricane forecasters are keeping a close eye on the US East Coast for the next few days, looking for any signs of development from a front. Researchers have been looking at hurricane data since 1851 and have found that the 10 worst hurricanes (based on estimated central pressure at the time of landfall, including 4 since 2005) show a dangerous trend, that the worst storms in recent decades have hit during ‘slower hurricane seasons’. Here are the 10 worst Atlantic Basin storms:
1. The Labor Day Storm. 1935-landfall at Andros Island in Florida Keys
2. Hurricane Camille, 1969-landfall in Cuba and again in southern US
3. Hurricane Gilbert, 1988-affecting the Caribbean, Central America, and the US
4. Hurricane Dean, 2007-affecting Jamaica and eastern Mexico
5. Hurricane Janet, 1955-affecting the Caribbean and Mexico
6. Hurricane Irma, 2017-affecting the Caribbean and Florida
7. Hurricane Katrina, 2005-affecting Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
8. Hurricane Maria, 2017-affecting Puerto Rico and northwestern Caribbean islands
9. Hurricane Andrew, 1992-affecting Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Louisiana
10. The Great Indianola Hurricane, 1886-affecting southeastern Texas
The Pacific Hurricane Season began on May 1st. They already had a system a week ago which developed into a Tropical Storm around Cabo San Lucas, but only amounted to a bunch of rain.
Let’s talk about weather, Florida continues to get a daily pummeling of heavy rain, floods, and low dangerous lightening. We are also now routinely hitting 94-98 degrees (depending on where in Florida), which is giving us a Heat Index of 100-110 degrees. The Heat Index across the southern and middle states today and tomorrow will reach close to 100 degrees. It will impact 44 million people. This weekend, the Heat Index will be higher and hit the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states as well. Breezes will save New England from the dangerous levels that Chicago, St. Louis, and NYC will see.

Sports News:

MLB:
The MLB season is nearly 50% done already! The Red Sox have played 80 games out of 162 games. The Red Sox and World Champion Astros have both now won 54 games to lead the Majors. However, the very pesky Yankees have kept up with the Red Sox, with their new Bronx Bomber lineup and were actually ahead of the Red Sox, until they ran into a 3-game sweep by the Rays. Tuesday night, the Yankees got back to winning, by beating the Phillies 6-0, with strong 7 shutout innings by ace Luis Severino (for his 12th win of the year), and the Sox beat the Angels 9-1, behind 3-for-4 hitting by slumping Jackie Bradley Jr. and 4 HRs. The Angels are still missing rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani, who is on the DL for at least another 3 weeks with an elbow injury. His rookie MLB season has been interrupted, but he had already thrown a pitch 101.1 mph, had already hit his first MLB home run, and was batting .342 when he went down with the injury. Last night, the Red Sox beat the Angels 9-6 with a late rally and the Bronx Bombers lost, so now the Red Sox are ½ game ahead. The Orioles have lost 56 games already this season and are now 30 games behind the Red Sox. In AL Central, the Indians are in first place and have stretched their lead to 8 ½ games over the Twins and 9 games over the Tigers. In AL West, the Astros are flying, 3 ½ games over the Mariners. Ichiro Suzuki was taken off the active roster on 5/3 and is now in the M’s front office. In the NL East, the Braves of yore are still in first place, but tenuously by 2 ½ games over the Phillies and 3 1/2 games over the Nationals. In the NL Central, as usual, it’s anybody’s season, with Brewers in first place, 2 ½ games ahead of the Cubs and 4 games ahead of the Cards. However, the lowly Reds just completed a 4-game sweep of the Cubs. In the NL West, the D-Backs are now ahead of the Dodgers by 2 ½ games, the Giants by 4 1/2 games, and the Rockies by 8 games. The Dodgers just tied an MLB record with 7 HRs in the same game, in beating the Mets. Tuesday night, Matt Carpenter hit 2 HRs and went 5-for-5 in the Cardinals 11-2 romp over the Indians and their ace Corey Kluber. Brewers starter Freddy Peralta gave up only one hit in 7 innings and struck out 10 to help the Brew-crew cruise 5-1 over the Royals. Mets LF Dominic Smith went 0-for-4 with 4 strikeouts in a loss to the Pirates. The Cubs have placed star Kris Bryant on the DL with shoulder inflammation. Yankees’ Giancarlo Stantion smashed a batting practice HR off the Citizens Bank Park tower. David Ortiz has signed a contract with Fox to join the booth, starting with the 2018 All-Star game. A body has reportedly been found inside walk-in freezer at Braves’ SunTrust Park. The Brewers have place OF Lorenzo Cain on 10-day DL. The Diamondbacks have put starter Clay Bucholtz on the DL. Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson is undergoing cancer treatment and is taking a leave of absence. Tigers’ Leonys Martin and Jose Iglesias have just become US citizens. Yu Darvish rehab start did not go ‘perfectly.’ Rays’ starter Blake Snell flirted with a no-hitter. Yankees’ Aaron Boone is telling catcher/slugger Gary Sanchez to be “proactive” in his rehab from a groin injury. He could be out 3-4 weeks. Mariners’ SS Jean Segura has returned to the lineup. The Tigers signed No.1 overall draft pick, Casey Mize. The Braves have put closer, Arodys Vizcaino on DL. Reds’ OF Adam Duvall is drawing interest from several teams. According to new report, Hanley Ramirez is not under federal investigation. Padres are interested in Phillies slugger Maikel Franco. Reportedly, the Rangers are willing to deal Adrian Beltre. Reds’ top prospect Nick Senzel to have season-ending surgery.

Golf:
John Daly said he will never play another USGA event, after being denied use of a golf cart. The Ryder Cup and WGC deadlines looming, Tiger Woods is really focused on this week’s Quicken Loans National tournament, at TPC Potomac in Maryland, which started today. Analysts are focused on his putting, which collapsed in the US Open, and noted that he used a mallet putter, for a change, in the pro-am round this week. Ariya Jutnugarn is focused on this week’s LPGA tournament, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, to possibly restore her to No.1. She will be up against the other top 4 players, Inbee Park, Lexi Thompson, Shenshen Feng, and So Yeon Ryu. The European Tour is taking on the HNA French Open, with Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, and Sergio Garcia.

Fighting:
6/22
Claressa Shields vs Hanna Gabriels-vacant IBF/WBA Women’s Middleweight titles
Christina Hammer vs. Tori Nelson-Hammer’s WBC/WBO Women’s Middleweight titles
7/14
Lucas Matthysse vs. Manny Pacquiao-Matthysse’s WBA Welterweight title
Moruti Mthalane vs. Muhammad Waseem-vacant IBF Flyweight title
Carlos Canizales vs. Bin Lu-Canizales’ WBA Junior Flyweight title
7/28
Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker-heavyweights
Kell Brook vs. Brandon Cook-junior middleweights
Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr.-WBC/IBF Lightweight title unification
8/4
Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez-Kovalev’s WBO Light Heavyweight title
Dmitry Bivol vs. TBA-Bivol’s WBA Light Heavyweight title
Sullivan Barrera vs. TBA-Light heavyweights
8/18
Carl Frampton vs. Luke Jackson-Frampton’s WBO interim Featherweight title
Tyson Fury vs. TBA-Heavyweights
MMA/UFC:
UFC 225 is estimated at 250,000 pay-per-view buys. It featured two title matches. The LA Times actually estimated the actual buys at a low 150,000, which has started a whole out-of-the-octagon controversy. Robert Whittaker faced Yoel Romero and Rafael dos Anjos faced Colby Covington as the two title fights. Undercards were strong, with Tai Tuivasa against Andrei Arlovski and crowd-favorite Holly Holm against former pro wrestling star CM Punk. Bellator has signed a 6-foot-8 heavyweight prospect. UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov has vowed to “destroy” Conor McGregor in their upcoming fight. 33-year-old Jake Ellengerger has lost 3 straight matches inside the Octagon but says he won’t retire.

Tennis:
The French Open has ended. They are at Eastbourne and Caroline Wozniacki is through, but Heather Watson is out. Meantime, Andy Murray beat Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne to win for the first time in a year, at the Nature Valley International. Kyle Edmund and Cameron Norrie fell in the quarterfinal matches. Karolina Pliskova was stunned by Aryna Sabalenka. Kerber triumphed over Kasatkina. Meanwhile, Roger Federer is taking it easy as Wimbledon approaches in July. Many are focused on Federer and Nadal for Wimbledon.

Racing:
Four-time graded stakes winner and course record-setter, 8-year-old Vyjack has officially been retired from racing to Machmer Hall in Kentucky. He can now pursue his second career. ‘Structural Injury’ has ended career of Arkansas Derby-winner, Magnum Moon. This has restarted the debate on whether 2-year-olds should even be racing, as some of their bones have not yet fused. Record-setting Alpha Centauri is aiming at Breaders’ Cup Mile. Fipke has been ordered to pay Rosario $110,000 over Breeders’ Cup Distaff rider change.

2018 NASCAR Schedule and results:
2/18 Daytona 500-Daytona Intl Speedway-won by Austin Dillon
2/25 Folds of Honor QuikTrip-Atlanta Motor Speedway-Kevin Harvick
3/4 Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube-Las Vegas Motor Speedway-Kevin Harvick
3/11 TicketGuardian 500-ISM Raceway-Kevin Harvick
3/18 Auto Club 400-Auto Club Speedway-Martin Truex Jr.
3/26 STP 500-Martinsville Speedway-Clint Bowyer
4/8 O’Reilly Auto Parts 500-Texas Motor Speedway-Kyle Busch
4/16 Food City 500-Bristol Motor Speedway-Kyle Busch
4/21 Toyota Owners 400-Richmond Raceway-Kyle Busch
4/29 GEICO 500-Talladega Speedway-Joey Logano
5/6 AAA 400 Drive for Autism-Dover International Speedway-Kevin Harvick
5/12 KC Masterpiece 400-Kansas Speedway-Kevin Harvick
5/19 Monster Energy Open-Charlotte Motor Speedway-AJ Allmendinger
5/19 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race-Charlotte-Kevin Harvick
5/27 Coca-Cola 600-Charlotte Motor Speedway-Kyle Busch
6/3 Pocono 400-Pocono Raceway-Martin Truex Jr.
6/10 FireKeepers Casino 400-Michigan International Speedway-Clint Bowyer
6/24 Toyota/Save Mart 350-Sonoma Raceway-won by Martin Truex Jr.
7/1 Overton’s 400-Chicagoland Speedway

NCAA Baseball:
The 2018 College World Series is closing in. The super-regionals are now done, leaving Oregon State, North Carolina, Washington, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Texas, Texas Tech, and Florida to battle it out in Omaha, NE. Florida is the defending champion and surprisingly the only Florida team left in the tournament. The CWS began Saturday, 6/16. The championship began 6/25. The Finals in Omaha will be between Arkansas and Oregon State, in a best-of-three series. Arkansas won Game 1, but Oregon State used some 9th inning magic to win Game 2 last night.

NCAA Basketball:
Anne Donovan, former basketball star and coach, has died at age 56. HOF Larry Brown has been hired to coach Italian professional basketball team. John Beilein will stay at Michigan, as Pistons’ courtship ends. HOF coach and administrator, C.M. Newton, has died at 88. Dan Hurley is attempting to rebuild UConn, which is coming off of back-to-back subpar seasons. He has learned from Auriemma and Calhoun.

NCAA Football:
College football season is still 70 days away, but who’s counting? Just a reminder, Alabama won the National Championship last season. It seems that I can never remember who won the previous season in any sport, despite investing a lot of time in watching them. Oklahoma has rewarded Lincoln Riley and staff with hefty pay raises. Josh Jackson will remain with Virginia Tech. Texas Tech has added a giant 7-foot offensive lineman. Fomer Oregon LB Fotu Leiato died in a car accident at age 21. Texas Tech starting WR Quan Shorts has been kicked off team after arrest. Maryland OL Jordan McNair has died after being hospitalized from workout.

NFL:
The NFL is still seeing some late off-season signings, just before training camp. Bucs’ QB Jameis Winston has been suspended as a result of an incident with an Uber driver for 3 games. This is a critical time for the young QB and his rebuilding team. Former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson has been fined $2.75 million for workplace misconduct. A body has reportedly been found at NJ home of Giants’ CB Janoris Jenkins. His brother has been charged with aggravated manslaughter. Michael Bennett’s arraignment hearing for Wednesday was postponed. The Vikings and Danielle Hunter agreed to a reported $72 million contract extension. There are rumors that CFL Tiger-Cats’ QB Johnny Manziel is about to become a dad. Saquon Barkley has fulfilled his childhood dream of buying a house for his parents. Wife of Broncos owner Pat Bowlen announced her own Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Analysts have 49ers’ QB Jimmy Garoppolo and Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson as the front-runners for the 2018 MVP award. RB Le’Veon Bell says he is now optimistic about getting a long-term deal done with the Steelers. NFL players voted on their top 100 current players and voted QB Tom Brady No.1 again. Packers WR Randall Cobb could miss start of training camp. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson said that only one team asked him to play WR. Falcons signed veteran safety Ron Parker.

Soccer:
In association football, the UEFA Champions League concluded with Real Madrid, led by man of the match, Gareth Bale, defeating Liverpool in the final to win their third consecutive title.
he entire world is now watching World Cup qualifying matches every day, seeing who will play for the World Cup in Moscow. Massive swarms of bugs have been invading the World Cup venues. President Vladimir Putin is reportedly carrying out a ruthless crackdown on hooligans. Meanwhile, FIFA has charged Mexico after its fans allegedly chanted anti-gay slurs during an upset win over Germany, and have begun disciplinary hearings against the country. Telemundo commentator’s excitement is still ringing in my ears, after Messi scored a late goal to push Argentina past Nigeria 2-1 last night. Looking at the standings,
GROUP A-Uruguay leads with 9 points over Russia with 6 points.
GROUP B-Spain is tied with Portugal with 5 points and Iran is just behind with 4 points.
GROUP C-France leads with 7 points, followed by Denmark with 5 points. They have both advanced, as they tied each other head-to-head. Peru defeated Australia 2-0.
GROUP D-Croatia is flying high with 9 points, but Argentina still has life with 4 points.
GROUP E-Brazil is tied with Switzerland with 4 points each, trailed closely by Serbia with 3 points. Switzerland tied Costa Rica 2-2 last night, which put them just behind Brazil, again, as Brazil beat Serbia 2-0, knocking Serbia out and completing the two to the quarterfinals: Brazil and Switzerland.
GROUP F-Mexico leads with 6 points, followed by a battle between Germany and Sweden who each have 3 points. But, last night Sweden beat Mexico straight up 3-0 and Germany was stunned by South Korea 2-0. So, Sweden will join Mexico. Germany, the defending World Cup champs have been eliminated.
GROUP G-England is tied with Belgium with 6 points each,
GROUP H-Japan is tied with Senegal with 4 points each and closely followed by Colombia with 3 points.
You’ll notice that team USA is not in any of the groups. It is very hard to keep up with all of the World Cup matches, as there seems to be one playing every hour of the day.

NHL:
The NHL regular season began on 10/12. It finally ended in June, with the Washington Capitals finally getting the monkey off their back and winning it all, defeating the brand new Las Vegas Knights. Alex Ovechkin, after 14 seasons, finally won a Stanley Cup. Nathan Walker became the first Australian hockey player to win the Stanley Cup. Despite the Caps finally winning the Stanley Cup, Barry Trotz is leaving the Caps, to coach another team, like the Islanders. The Islanders just fired coach Doug Weight. The Senators have traded Mike Hoffman amid cyberbullying allegations against his fiancée. Senators’ ‘rock bottom’ has hit new lows amid disturbing legal matters. Oilers have interest in Senators’ Erik Karlsson. The Canadiens acquired Max Domi from Coyotes for Alex Galchenyuk.

NBA:
The NBA Finals also mercifully ended in June, after starting that season in October. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers and sent LeBron James off to free agency. Enes Kanter’s father was sentenced to at least 5 years in Turkish prison. Puma basketball has reportedly announced Jay-Z as President. Puma also signed Zhaire Smith to endorsement deal. Rudy Gay is opting out of his contract with Spurs. Former NBA player J.J. Hickson has been arrested and charged in a home invasion. Jamal Crawford had declined option with Timberwolves and will also enter free agency. Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard is getting interest from Celtics, Lakers, Cavs, and 76ers. However, the Suns say they won’t trade their No.1 pick for Leonard. A San Francisco brewery is trolling Cavs’ star LeBron James with a beer called ‘. LiAngelo Ball reportedly worked out for the Warriors. What, he doesn’t want to play in Lithuania anymore for his father? Kings’ Zach Randolph’s brother was killed in a shooting in Indiana. Rockets forward, Trevor Ariza, is reportedly looking for a deal for $50-60 million in free agency. The NBA will honor Oscar Robertson with 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award. The Raptors have hired Nick Nurse to be the next coach. LeBron James is taking the sting out of losing in the NBA Finals, by living it up in a $75,000-a-week luxury beachfront villa on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla.

Travel News:
An overloaded tourist ferry capsized in Lake Toba, Indonesia, killing at least 3 people and leaving 193 others missing. Okay, this is my Florida Public Service Announcement: I know that only Florida kids have gotten out of school so far, but soon, the rest of the nation’s kids will get out of school and I just wanted to mention that DisneyWorld, to my surprise, is $145/per adult per day (by the way, it’s only $6 cheaper per day for a kid) AND it’s currently in the 90s with 90% humidity, so heat index kinda near 105 degrees. Just a PSA. That being said, I went to Disney World this past weekend and it was ridiculously uncomfortable, with temps hitting 98 degrees, humidity of 90%, and heat index to 115 degrees! The lightning storms were quite dangerous (oen bolt struck about 30 feet above my head) and the rain was Biblical at times. I still had fun, but this is a difficult time to visit, particularly with all the lines and kids. Another PSA: Magic Kingdom is a ‘dry’ park, no alcohol except in a few restaurants. Volvo says that its self-docking yacht will launch in 2020. I recently was looking at SUVs, for the first time, and noticed several that were more like high-performance sports cars, which also had, unfortunately, very high price tags. But, here are the top 10 most powerful SUVs (although I’m not sure why one would need this to tote kids and camping gear at 150 mph):
10. Mercedes AMG G63-563 hp, 561 pound-feet of torque, 5.5 liter V8 engine with twin turbochargers, that goes from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, top-ends at 130 mph, and costs $142,800.
9. BMW X5 M-567 hp, 553 lb-ft of torque, twin turbo 4.4-liter V8, 0-60 in 4.0 seconds, and costs $100,700.
8. Porsche Cayenne Turbo S-570 bp, 590 lb-ft of torque, twin turbo 4.8-liter V8, which goes 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, hits 176 mph, and costs $161,600.
7. Land Rover Ranger Rover Sport SVR-575 hp, 516 lb-ft torque, supercharged 5.0-liter V8, which goes 0-60 in 4.3 seconds, also hits 176 mph, and costs $133,600.
6. Mercedes AMG GLS 63-577 hp, 561 lb-ft of torque, with 5.5 liter twin turbo V8, which gets it 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, and costs $125,300.
5. Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S-577 hp, 561 lb-ft of torque, 5.5 liter twin turbo V8, which goes 0-60 in 4.2 seconds, and costs $102,550.
4. Bentley Bentayga-600 hp, 664 lb-ft of torque, 6.0-liter W12 twin turbo, which takes it from 0-60 in 4.0 seconds and top ends at 187 mph, but costs $235,000.
3. Tesla Model X P100D-fully electric, 603 hp, 713 lb-ft torque, takes it from 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds (quicker than a Corvette Z06), and costs $138,800.
2. Yet another Mercedes, the AMG G65-621 hp, 738 lb-ft torque, with a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, but a heavy 5,924-pounds, so it only does 0-60 in 5.3 seconds and top ends only at 143 mph, which costs $220,700.
1. Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk-(I actually tried to find one to test drive, unsuccessfully) 707 hp, 645-lb-ft torque, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8, which takes the heavyish (5,300-pounds) most powerful SUV ever made 0-60 in just 3.5 seconds, topping out at 180 mph, and costing a mere $86,995. That’s still a lot, but it’s the least on the list.

Health News:
McDonald’s reportedly will be introducing McMuffin tops. A new study has affirmed the success of a blood test for autism. Accurate measurements of sodium intake have confirmed relationship with mortality. A study of the 16:8 Diet has confirmed that daily fasting works for weight loss. A cranium of a 4-million-year-old hominin shows similarities to that of modern humans. A new drug in a study has shown partial restoration of hearing in mice. A new study confirms that dogs understand what’s written all over your face. True empaths. A possible link between diabetes and common white pigment has been found. Caffeine from 4 cups of coffee protects the heart with the help of mitochondria. Scientists are looking a mosquitoes closely to develop painless microneedles. It has been widely believed that tau protein stabilizes micro-tubules in neurons of the brain, new research suggests just the opposite. I’ve mentioned it before here, but this apparently is getting worse, an easily-concealed device, JUUL, designed to wean smokers off of tobacco, is turning up in classrooms all over the country, and kids are puffing the discreet device to get nicotine doses. A new study of 800-milliion Tweets has found distinct daily cycles in our thinking patterns. Less than 25% of American youths previously treated for anxiety disorders stay anxiety free. In-game purchasing systems, such as “loot boxes” in popular online games resemble gambling and may pose financial risks for vulnerable players, according to gambling psychology experts. Researchers have discovered that the process of copying DNA generates a brake signal that stalls cell division and think that this may be the key to finding a way to prevent cancer. A dietary supplement derived from glucose increased muscle-force production in the Duchenne muscular dystrophy mouse model by 50% in ten days, according to a new study.

Animal News:
Somehow, I missed this news item from last month. For the first time in 94 years, there was a fatality in the state of Washington from a mountain lion attack. Two mountain bikers, a 31-year-old male and a 32-year-old male were stalked by a mountain lion. They did what they were supposed to do, got off their bikes, faced the animal, shouted and tried to spook it. One of them even whacked it with his bike, which caused the cat to run off. But, something was wrong with this particular cat, and it came back. It attacked, biting one of hem on the head and shaking him. The other rider tried to jump on his bike to get away and the catamount turned and pounced on him, killing him, and then dragging him back by the neck back to what appeared to be its den. The rider who had been bitten on the head and who was bleeding profusely jumped on his bike and road 2 miles until he could get a cell signal and call 9-1-1. This rider was rescued and survived. Rangers took some time to find the first rider and finally found him in a den with the underweight cougar on top of him. Eventually, they chased it down with dogs and killed it, then matched its DNA to the bites on both men. An African flamingo was spotted in Texas, 13 years after escaping a Kansas zoo. California wants to protect the Humboldt marten, and adorable but ferocious carnivore, part of the weasel family, whose habitat is getting eaten up by marijuana farms. Spider eggs look like rock candy. That’s just great. In Australia, feral cats are devouring native reptiles, concerning conservationists. Scientists are saying that JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM is skimping on dinosaur science. Much has changed in the scientific knowledge about dinosaurs since the first JURASSIC PARK movie in 1993. For instance, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that fossilized evidence of feathers on non-avian dinosaurs began to appear. It turns out that not only velociraptors, but deinonychus, and microraptors should have some feathers that were glossy black and shimmered with iridescence. In 2014, hundreds of fossils were uncovered that showed plant-eating ornithischians, which were not closely related to birds, also included feathers. When evidence was brought to director Colin Trevorrow in 2013, while the movie JURASSIC WORLD was still in production, he simply tweeted “No feathers.” Wildlife experts have partially solved a murder mystery regarding the deaths of 13 bald eagles (and their raccoon dinner), but still don’t know who did it. They were poisoned with a deadly pesticide known as carbofuran, according to a six-month investigation in Maryland. The EPA banned the use of liquid carbofuran in food crops in 2009, as one granule of it can kill a small bird. The pellet form of the pesticide which looks like bird seed, was banned by the EPA in the mid-1990s. The pesticide once killed up to 2 million birds each year. California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has opened up a law-enforcement investigation after a large dead great white shark washed up on a Santa Cruz beach. Koko, the famous western lowland gorilla who used sign language, died in her sleep at age 46. Scientists have observed that wild chimpanzees have started using a new ‘tool-use’ gesture (leaf clip gesture) during an alpha male takeover. The gesture is only produced my adult male chimpanzees and is immediately preceded by their pant hoot vocalizations.

Entertainment News:
June 25th was the 9th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death. Prince has coped well, but Paris has struggled and attempted suicide multiple times. So, has original thought and creativity finally been depleted in Hollywood and TV, along with morals? This year, we already got the reboot of American Idol, but on ABC not on Fox, Battle of the Network Stars on ABC (which revived in 1988 on ABC and 2003 on NBC), Bridezillas but on WE tv since being gone 5 years, Bug Juice returned to the Disney Channel since the 1990s, CW brought back Charmed which had run from 1998-2006 on WB, Cold Justice revived Oxygen, Disney XD’s reboot of DuckTales, CW brought back the classic Dynasty, MTV brought back Fear Factor, they famously brought back the Roseanne show (until she famously killed it with a tasteless tweet) but it may be rebooted again starring a different character, and ABC brought back The Gong Show this week with Mike Myers as host. At the movies, all of the comic book character series have come back, multiple times, STAR TREK and STAR WARS have continued with sequels, FAST AND FURIOUS has hit No.7 or No.8 in sequels, and MISSION IMPOSSIBLE is about to be released with its 6th episode. JURASSIC PARK/WORLD continues. Even disaster movies like SKYSCRAPER (THE TOWERING INFERNO) and EARTHQUAKE continue to have re-makes. I just saw a preview for MOWGLI, which looks like the umpteenth reboot of THE JUNGLE BOOK. It looks good, by the way. A STAR IS BORN reboot is about to come out. MAMMA MIA 2 is finally coming out, this time with original cast AND Cher and Andy Garcia, to add more Abba songs. I’m surprised I haven’t seen an ad for DIEHARD 20 or ROCKY 37. Apparently, the TV networks are now looking at rebooting almost every 90’s TV sitcom, including The Nanny, Single Girls, Heathers from the 80s cult film, the animated Jetsons, Snoop Dogg soon hosting The Joker’s Wild, Love Connection with Andy Cohen as host (I think that already came back), Netflix bringing back The Magic School Bus Rides Again, once again Miami Vice with Vin Diesel producing, The Munsters produced by Seth Myers, CBS has given a 13-episode order for the revival of Murphy Brown with Candice Bergen again, MTV’s My Super Sweet 16, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (which just came back), Nickolodeon is bringing back Rocko’s Modern Life from 1996, Roswell has been rebooted by CW, Netflix has revived She’s Gotta Have It adaptation of Spike Lee’s 1986 debut film, Fox has revived Showtime at the Apollo, CBS is bringing back the TV Series Star Trek: Discovery, Amazon is rebooting the cult hit series The Tick, Syfy is reviving Tremors a TV adaptation of a Kevin Bacon movie from 25 years ago starring Kevin Bacon again, Total Request Live is returning to MTV, Twin Peaks returns, and Will and Grace just came back to NBC for 16 episodes with the original full cast and has already been renewed for a second season. Yesterday, Barry Gibb, was knighted by Prince Charles of England. Celine Dion is shocking fans, debuting a new blonde fringe hair style. Johnny Depp’s son, Jack, is said to have serious health problems. Hoda Kotb reflected the other day on Matt Lauer’s firing over sexual assault allegations, a rare bringing up of the subject, as she and Savannah Guthrie celebrated six months as Today Show co-anchors. Hoda said “it’s like picking at a scab…it hurts.” Wendy Williams revealed that her life “has completely changed” since her Graves’ disease worsened. Live Schreiber, 50, was seen hitting the beach in the Hamptons with girlfriend, Taylor Nelsen, 26. 50-year-old Julia Roberts has finally joined Instagram. 53-year-old Elizabeth Hurley was seen beautifully partying at Sir Elton John’s AIDS Foundation ball. Demi Lovato says she is “forever grateful” for her supportive fans, after a six-year sobriety relapse. Destiny Child’s LeToya Luckett and husband, Tommicus Walker, are expecting their first child. Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt have been seen doting on 9-month-old son Gunner Stone. Kevin Hart and wife Eniko Parrish have been seen together, apparently trying to work things out in their new marriage. The patriarch of the Jackson family, Joe Jackson, known for molding them into the famous Jackson 5 and soloists Janet, LeToya, and Michael, as well as known for allegedly whipping them if they missed a beat, has died at age 89, shunned by most of the family. However, daughter Janet and granddaughter Paris are both fighting to pay for the funeral. Priyanka Chopra is gushing over her beau, Nick Jonas. Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice, 46, is flaunting her bodybuilding physique with her 17-year-old daughter Gia. Long Island Medium star Theresa Caputo is getting divorced from Larry after a trial separation. He’s already reportedly moved on with someone else. I guess she didn’t see that coming. Lady Gaga has returned to her NYC Electric Lady Studios to record new music. Adele is reportedly back in the studio as well, preparing an album to be released in 2019. I heard that, due to her delicate voice and throat, that doctors advised that she no longer tour, but rather record in the studio. Kanye West has sold his remodeled apartment in the upmarket SOHO area to his neighbor for $3 million, making no profit on it. Toni Braxton’s TV show Braxton Family Values has gone on hiatus after cast demands big raise. Devastated XXXTentacion fans were in tears at his 6-hour open-casket viewing at 20,000 seat Forida BB&T arena. Police have named a second person of interest in his murder. Prince Charles has run up $1.3 million bill jetting around world. Eileen Davidson, 59, has quit Young and the Restless soap. Jared Leto is set to star in SPIDER MAN spinoff MORBIUS. 50 Cent said “people are so sensitive” and refused to back down after mocking Terry Crews’ sexual assault allegations. Victoria’s Secret model Sabrina Jales St. Pierre has sued Embassy Suites for bed bugs and claims she suffered “psychological trauma and nightmares.” The Justice Department has approved Disney’s $71.3 billion bid for 21st Century Fox assets amid bidding war with Comcast. There is one condition, that Disney must sell Fox’s 22 regional sports network. Director Patty Jenkins shared an image on Twitter of Kristen Wiig as Barbara Minerva, AKA ‘Cheetah’, the upcoming WONDER WOMAN villain. That’s going to be hard for the comedienne to pull off in my opinion. Kanye West is considering releasing 52 albums in 52 weeks. Prince’s estate has finally agreed to a music contract to release a previously unreleased album by the late artist. Azealia Banks has launched a GoFundMe page to sue Russell Crowe. Stanley Anderson, who played Judge Vandelay on Seinfeld, has died at age 78. Marvel CEO is revealing the logic behind superheroes’ deaths in INFINITY WARS movie. MSG Company is considering spinning off Knicks and Rangers. Vince McMahon thinks FOX and WWE are “perfect match”. Kelly Clarkson just bought a custom-built Southern California estate for $8.5 million. The apartment in NYC next to Cynthia Nixon is up for sale at $2.2 million.
After last week’s record opening for an animated movie for INCREDIBLES 2 (with $182.7 million), the summer began rocking at the box-office. This past weekend, JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM ripped No.1 from INCREDIBLES 2, with $148 million opening; INCREDIBLES 2 fell to No.2, but still managed and amazing $80.3 million, in its second week; last week’s No.2 OCEAN’S 8 fell to No.3, with $11.5 million, in its 3rd week; TAG also fell, from No.3 to No.4 with $8.3 million in its 2nd week; DEADPOOL 2 held on to No.5 with $5.3 million, yet in its 6th week, successfully totaling $304.2 million for a film that cost $110 million to make. Meanwhile SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY earned the No.6 spot, down from the No.4 spot with just $4.5 million (including my ticket). Still, it has made $202.6 million, although paltry compared to the other movies of the STAR WARS saga. Unfortunately, the Elvis documentary, THE KING, opened at No.40 with only $29k, but they only showed it at 2 theaters.
Movies opening this weekend are: THE CAKEMAKER, DARK RIVER, GAME CHANGERS, LEAVE NO TRACE, LOVE,CECIL, SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO, UNCLE DREW, SANJU, THIS IS CONGO, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS, and WOMAN WALKS AHEAD.
Technology & Space News:
Walmart launched 3D virtual online shopping. Google is set to unleash its strange AI upon the world. Twitter has launched “transparency center” for political ads. A new data breach may have exposed personal info on every US citizen, as Wired reported yesterday that a small Palm Coast, FL company, Exactis, which gathers marketing and data information, had exposed a database containing almost 2 terabytes of data, containing nearly 340 million individual records, on a public server. The database does not include credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, but does have phone numbers, email, snail mail addresses, as well as some 400 personal charateristics used for targeted marketing.

Political News:
An evangelical is predicting that President Trump’s next pick for the Supreme Court, to replace justice Anthony Kennedy who is stepping down, may lead to an eventual overturn of gay marriage rights and Roe vs Wade. Senate Democrats are demanding that Republicans wait until next year to confirm Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, because the GOP blocked Obama’s final election-year nominee. Peter Strzok was questioned for hours behind closed doors on Capitol Hill about messages the FBI agent sent to his Bureau lover vowing to ‘stop’ Trump becoming President. A former Fox News executive who was fired for dropping the ball on sexual harassment allegations there, is now expected to be named White House communications director.

US News:
Breaking news: multiple people have been shot dead in Annapolis, MD newsroom for the Capital Gazette. A suspect was apprehended after the shooting and a shotgun, reportedly used for the massacre, was also recovered. Did you know that a burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the US? Six of the ‘Dominican street gang members’ (Trinitarios) accused of stabbing and murdering a Bronx teen outside a bodega were marched into court shackled, just hours after the innocent victim was laid to rest. The gang is known to prefer violence with machetes rather than guns. Police believe the brutal stabbing/beating death was a gang retaliation incident to the wrong individual. Many celebrities have spoken out about the incident, in support of the victim’s family, including Carmelo Anthony. A 30-year-old mother leapt onto a subway track in the Bronx while holding her two-month-old son, in an apparent murder-suicide, but they both survived. A 35-year-old Utah cult leader told the court that he “wanted to grow old” with an 8-year-old girl that he considered his bride, but now admits that he was wrong, as he faces a second sentence of 15-years-to-life in prison. New footage show police waiting in hotel hallway during Las Vegas massacre. An ICE lawyer is facing 4 years in prison for stealing immigrants’ identities. A double apartment building on the SE corner of Broadway on the Upper West Side just sold for $66 million.

International News:
Saudi Arabia has officially lifted its ban on women driving vehicles. Canada has officially legalized the cultivation of cannabis for recreational use, effective October 2018, making it the second country to do so. Authorities arrested 40 people and seized millions of dollars worth of drugs, guns, and Bitcoin in a massive undercover operation which was carried out for a full year. The world’s 25 wealthiest families control $1.1 trillion in inherited money. 11 American families made the list. President Trump and President Putin are planning to have a summit in Finland. A German man is suspected of murdering 21 co-workers by poisoning their lunches, over a two decade period. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un ordered a high-ranking army officer executed after giving soldiers extra food. A private plane crashed in a crowded Mumbai area, killing at least 5 people. A British Columbia Supreme Court judge imposed conditional sentences of house arrest on two men who belong to an offshoot Mormon sect, after convicting them of polygamy, with 29 wives and 160 children between them. Pope Francis gave the Catholic church 14 new cardinals today. Ethiopia and Eritrea leaders will meet “soon” in a surprising diplomatic thaw between the two rival nations. US Secretary of Defense Jim Matthis reassured South Korea that the US will keep its current troop levels in South Korea. Angela Merkel has warned that migrant crisis could “make or break” EU ahead of crucial summit. Aid groups are urging Jordan to open border to fleeing Syrians.

Florida:
Breaking news: Palm Beach State College campus is currently in lockdown. Florida officials are warning of a sea lice outbreak at Pensacola beach that could cause skin rashes. A quick-moving wildfire that ravaged a north Florida coastal community and destroyed 36 homes was sparked by a controlled burn conducted by state-hired contractors, authorities said yesterday.

If you are interested in seeing concerts, there are many coming to Florida, perhaps when you will be visiting:
I am singing the National Anthem and “God Bless America” a Roger Dean Stadium baseball game and fireworks spectacular on July 3.
Charlie Daniels Band-Hollywood, FL, July 3
Barenaked Ladies, Better Than Ezra & KT Tunstall-St. Augustine, July 6
Erasure-St. Petersburg, July 7
Sam Smith-Miami, July 14
KC and the Sunshine Band-Hollywood, FL, July 20
Chicago & REO Speedwagon-West Palm Beach, July 20
Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton-Hollywood, July 21
Rascal Flatts, Dan and Shay & Carly Pearce-West Palm Beach, July 21
Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper-Hollywood-July 24
Smashing Pumpkins-Miami-July 24
Sugarland, Frankie Ballard & Lindsay Eli-Pensacola-July 26
Don McLean-Ponte Vedra Beach-July 27
Britney Spears-Hollywood-July 27-29
Dave Matthews Band-West Palm Beach-July 28
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town-West Palm Beach,-August 4
Pentatonix-West Palm Beach-August 7
Imagine Dragons-West Palm Beach, August 9
Shakira-Sunrise-August 15
Def Leppard & Journey-Sunrise, August 17
Shakira-Miami, August 17-18
Taylor Swift-Miami, August 18
Lindsey Stirling & Evanescence-Jacksonville, August 20
Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers & Ann Wilson-West Palm Beach, August 25
Paul Simons-Sunrise, September 8
Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker & Russell Dickerson-West Palm Beach, September 29
Ed Sheeran-Tampa, November 7
Willie Nelson-Estero, November 12
Elton John-Sunrise, November 23 (I’m there)
Elton John-Miami, November 24
Fleetwood Mac-Sunrise, February 20
Elton John-Sunrise, March 16


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