Repo Commentary-7/9/18

commentarycontentnew3-1Most of you now know that, after exactly 10 years there, AVM, L.P. and I have mutually parted ways. My creation, Direct Repo is AVM’s service mark and technically their product, so I may not use that brand in the future. But, I am not restricted on working in the same sector with all of my clients, and I still firmly believe in the direction of the securities financing market to this ‘directed financing’ (which could be Direct Repo, peer-to-peer financing, all-to-all financing, sponsored repo, as agent repo, electronic trading platform, repo exchange, 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 its most outspoken leaders, I have no intention of leaving this business. So, I am exploring a dozen 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 am still trying to find a way to do ONE email blast to the more than 3,000 of you constant readers, but have yet succeeded. There will only be one email blast to tell you where the Repo Commentary is, no further blasts to tell you when I’ve updated it, nor PDF attachments, to clog up your Inbox. Apparently, over 7,000 of you viewed it when I posted my intention on LinkedIn (twice now), and also saw when I update it, 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 jeff@repocommentary.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.’

Sunday’s Holidays or Events:

• Barn Day
• Be A Kid Again Day
• Math 2.0 Day
• National Ice Cream Sundae Day
• National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day
• SCUD Day (Savor the Comic, Unplug the Drama)
• Video Game Day
• Coca Cola Day (although the actual date when Coca Cola was invented is unknown. This is the birthdate of the inventor)
• Air Force and Air Defense Forces Day in Ukraine

Some Famous People Born Today in History:

• 1478-Gian Giorgio Trissino
• 1819-Francis Leopold McClintock
• 1830-Frederick W. Seward
• 1831-John Pemberton (chemist, pharmacist, and inventor of Coca-Cola)
• 1838-Eli Lilly
• 1838-Ferdinand von Zeppelin
• 1839-John D. Rockefeller
• 1885-Hugo Boss
• 1906-Philip Johnson
• 1908-Louis Jordan
• 1908-Nelson Rockefeller
• 1914-Billy Eckstine
• 1917-Faye Emerson
• 1918-Craig Stevens
• 1926-Martin Riesen
• 1930-Jerry Vale
• 1934-Marty Feldman
• 1935-Steve Lawrence
• 1940-Joe B. Mauldin
• 1942-Phil Gramm
• 1948-Ruby Sales
• 1949-Wolfgang Puck
• 1951-Alan Ashby
• 1951-Anjelic Huston
• 1952-Jack Lambert
• 1958-Kevin Bacon
• 1961-Toby Keith
• 1962-Joan Osborne
• 1968-Billy Crudup
• 1970-Beck

This Day in History:

• 1099-some 15,000 starving Christian soldiers began the siege of Jerusalem by marching in a religious procession around the city as its Muslim defenders watch
• 1497-Vasco da Gama set sail on the first direct European voyager to India
• 1579-Our Lady of Kazan, a holy icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, was discovered underground in the city of Kazan, Talarstan
• 1592-Imjin War: At the Battle of Hansan Island, the Korean Navy, led by Yi Sun-sin, Yi Eok-gi, and Won Gyun, decisively defeated the Japanese Navy, led by Wakisaka Yasuharu
• 1663-Charles II of England granted John Clarke a Royal charter to Rhode Island
• 1709-Peter I of Russia defeated Charles XII of Sweden at the Battle of Poltava, thus effectively ending Sweden’s status as a major military power in Europe
• 1716-the Battle of Dynekilen forced Sweden to abandon its invasion of Norway
• 1730-an estimated 8.7 earthquake caused a tsunami that damaged more than 620 miles of Chile’s coastline
• 1758-French forces held Fort Carillon against the British at Ticonderoga, NY
• 1760-British forces defeated French forces in the last naval battle in New France
• 1775-the Olive Branch Petition was signed by the Continental Congress of the Thirteen Colonies of North America
• 1776-church bells (many believe also the Liberty Bell) were rung after John Nixon delivered the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence of the United States
• 1808-Joseph Bonaparte approved the Bayonne Statute, a royal charter intended as the basis for his rule as King of Spain
• 1822-Chippewas turned over a huge tract of land in Ontario to the United Kingdom
• 1859-King Charles XV & IV acceded to the throne of Sweden-Norway
• 1874-The Mounties began their March West
• 1876-white supremacists killed 5 Black Republicans in Hamburg, SC
• 1879-sailing ship USS Jeannette departed San Francisco carrying an ill-fated expedition to the North Pole
• 1889-the first issue of the Wall Street Journal was published
• 1892-St. John’s, Newfoundland was devastated in the Great Fire of 1892
• 1932-the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22
• 1937-Turkey, Iran, Iran, and Afghanistan signed the Treaty of Saadabad
• 1947-reports were broadcast that a UFO crash landed in Roswell, NM in what became as the famous Roswell UFO incident
• 1960-Francis Gary Powers was charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union
• 1962-Ne Win besieged and dynamited the Rangoon University Student Union building to crush the Student Movement
• 1966-King Mwambutsa IV Bangiriceng of Burundi was deposed by his son Prince Charles Ndizi
• 1968-the Chrysler wildcat strike began in Detroit, MI
• 1970-Richard Nixon delivered a special congressional message enunciating Native American self-determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975
• 1972-Israeli Mossad assassinated Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani
• 1982-an assassination attempt against Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Dujail
• 1988-the Island Express train traveling from Bangalore to Kanyakumari derailed on the Peruman Bridge and fell into Ashtamudi Lake, killing 105 passengers and injuring over 200 more
• 1994-Kim Jon-il began to assume supreme leadership of North Korea upon the death of his father, Kim li-sung
• 2011-Space Shuttle Atlantis was launched in the final mission of the US Space Shuttle program
• 2014-Israel launched an offensive on Gaza amid rising tensions following the kidnapping and murder of 3 Israeli teenagers

Fun Fact of the Day:

In England, it is permitted to shoot deer from an aircraft, as long as the vehicle is not moving or the engine is switched off.

Daily Affirmation/Thought/Pun/Quote:

“You often feel tired, not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.”–anonymous

International and Commodity Markets:

Oil prices are up today, as increased global demand and US efforts to shut out Iranian output with sanctions outweighed increased drilling. It closed 6/27 at $72.76/barrel, but was up this morning at $77.71/barrel, much higher. My West Palm Beach gas station was at $2.64/ gallon again today, unchanged for the last week. The USD versus the Yen is trading at $110.69 today, unchanged from 6/28. The USD is down significantly since 6/28’s $1.1562 versus the Euro, now at $1.1758. The USD is also way down against the GBP, which closed at $1.3074 on 6/28, and is now at $1.3264. The USD is also down versus the CAD, from 6/28 at 1.3269 to now $1.3073. Gold closed 6/27 at 1,251.29/ounce, but today is at $1262.38. Bitcoin was trading 6/28 at $6,100, right on top of $6000 support. Today, it has bounced off that support and is trading at $6,717.99. China and the United States have imposed additional tariffs on $34 billion of each other’s goods. Friday marked an escalation in the trade war between the US and China. European leaders who gathered in France over the weekend are not happy with the Trump tariffs either. A group of their companies have already been hit by the latest duties. The EU warned the US of $300 billion in tariffs. The World Bank said this spate of tariffs and trade dispute could have major consequences, including re-creating the global trade crisis. It feels that global trade could decline by 9% if the tariffs are raised to the permissible maximum, which is nearly the same as the decline of the Financial Crisis. I may have to bring back the Brexit section of the Repo Commentary, as harmony in the UK government lasted only 48 hours this weekend. By Sunday evening, Brexit Secretary David Davis and his deputy resigned, as did Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in protest at British PM Theresa May’s plans for a soft exit from the EU. Then, a junior minister also resigned. The weekend started with May saying that she had unified the cabinet around a Brexit plan that would have kept the UK tied to EU rules for goods and would have adopted close customs arrangements with the other 27 member countries. German industrial production beat all estimates for May. In emerging markets, currencies moved towards their biggest advances since January, led by the Turkish Lira and the Polish Zloty, as the USD weakened. Gold, copper, and aluminum all traded higher. Bank of Canada will be making a monetary policy announcement Wednesday morning. Most people are expecting a 25bp rate hike to 1.50%.
“Canadians divided over whether to aid auto makers in event of Trump tariffs…About half of those surveyed told a Nanos Research poll for The Globe and Mail that they would support, or somewhat support, government financial aid for auto companies in the event of protectionist U.S. tariffs. Seventeen per cent said they would support it and 34 per cent said they would somewhat support it.” Globe and Mail.
“Jockeying Begins to Take European Central Bank’s Reins From Draghi: The decision on who will succeed Mario Draghi as European Central Bank president is still a year away, but the jockeying for position is already under way. The 19 countries that use the euro are preparing for a delicate political dance that will decide who will steer the eurozone economy away from years of easy-money policies. The favorite, Jens Weidmann, the conservative president of Germany’s central bank, risks becoming a lightning rod for criticism of the nation’s dominance of the $14 trillion currency bloc.” Wall Street Journal

Global Financial News:

German bankers are suggesting vintage Porsches as alternatives to investing in bunds. Iceland is moving to fix its pay gap. Vanguard is broadening commission-free ETF trades. Xiaomi shares fell as much as 6% after an IPO, giving the company a valuation of $54.3 billion, compared with a target of $100 billion, disappointing the market. JPMorgan Chase says it does not plan to acquire a stake in rival Deutsche Bank. The industry is calling for more information vendors to begin offering data services which represent the regulatory changes under Europe’s revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFIDII) for the mostly OTC fixed income, currency and commodity markets, addressing its frustration with the quality and usability of available data, according to Alte Group. Nasdaq has developed a pilot-stage Artificial Intelligence (AI) system to help detect criminal activity and write financial reports. BlackRock and Citi are making plans to expand Paris operations, according to FT, no doubt with an eye on Brexit impacts. A CNBC survey shows that affluent Americans have shifted from stocks to cash. The Federal Reserve has received a request from 9 regional banks to change a proposal to base capital requirements on stress test results. They feel there should be a relaxation for their sector similar to the relaxation of the Dodd-Frank Act for small and midsize banks.
Stock Buybacks Are Booming, but Share Prices Aren’t Budging. U.S. companies are buying back record amounts of stock this year, but their shares aren’t getting the boost they bargained for. S&P 500 companies are on track to repurchase as much as $800 billion in stock this year, a record that would eclipse 2007’s buyback bonanza. Among the biggest buyers are companies like Oracle Corp., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Wall Street Journal
Many States Are Likely Unprepared For Next Downturn. Many U.S. states have been slow to improve their finances nine years into the economic expansion. That raises a risk they won’t be prepared when another downturn hits, making them susceptible to big spending cuts that make that next recession worse. Wall Street Journal,

US Market News:

With the beginning of earnings season, focus has shifted in the equity world from Brexit and trade wars, to actual earnings reports. The US jobs report was above 200,000 again, also helping S&P 500 close up for the 3rd day in a row. One contradictory point though is that the increase in labor force participation led to a big pop in the unemployment rate. The Dow Jones closed at 24,684.84, up 228.36 points on Friday, much higher than 24,226.95, where it closed 6/28 when I last wrote the Repo Commentary. 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:  

Quarter-end is finally over, along with the hangover effect. 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. So, although this quarter-end looked like it would be pretty tame, cash dried up and GC shot up to well over 2%. However, it is slowly returning, as last week rates went from 2.11% down to 2.02%. As more cash returns to the repo market, the GC rate may come down further, but we do have another $112 billion in new Treasury supply coming, which should put a lower limit on how low that rate can go.

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: 
 

• 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?

The Fed is considering dropping the yield curve for recession forecasts, according to the NY Times. The Fed will release its Monetary Policy Report to Congress on Friday.

Fed Officials Debate Signal From Flattening Yield Curve: Is This Time Different?Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and some of his colleagues are laying the groundwork to slow down the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate increases if they foresee a bond-market development that has traditionally been a harbinger of recession. Wall Street Journal,

Earthquakes and Volcanoes:

5.9-30km SE of Ohara, Japan 7/7/18
6.1-28km WSW of Port-Villa, Vanuatu 6/21/18
France’s green volcanoes just received UNESCO World Heritage status.

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 current
Chris current
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, as we have two tropical disturbances currently. Tropical Storm Chris with winds of 45mph is stationary off the Carolina coast. Tropical Storm Beryl is moving faster towards the Lesser Antilles and is also 45mph, but is expected to deteriorate to a Tropical Wave. Puerto Rico, however, has issued a State of Emergency for the island for this storm, as a large percentage of the island is still without power from last year’s Hurricane Maria.
The Pacific Hurricane Season began on May 1st. They are looking at a major monsoon right now.
Torrential rai and landslides killed at least 81 people in western Japan, leaving dozens more missing, after more than 2,000 people were rescued Sunday.
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 Southwest is in a heatwave, registering temps above 100 degrees. Southern California is smashing heat records and thousands of people have been without power. A California fire has burned 30,500 acres and destroyed 72 structures. The Spring Creek wildfire in Colorado transformed overnight into a fire tsunami. The Midwest and Northeast have come off their 90s of last week. During our 7/4 celebrations here in Florida, from 9-12pm that night, God put on a major fireworks display of his own with huge bolts of lightning and deafening thunder. With the rain, it made it challenging for people to go out to see the fireworks. I have 3 pictures in West Palm Beach of the lightning and fireworks that night in the Photo Gallery below.

Sports News:

MLB:

The MLB season is more than 50% completed already! Just as PSA, the MLB season is 162 games, but lasts from Spring Training in February until early November. That’s 9 months long! Even if you don’t include the Spring Training part, it starts at the beginning of April, so that’s 7 months long. The NBA and NHL regular seasons start in October and their Finals end in early in June, so both about 8 months long. Now, the NFL pre-season starts in September and the Super Bowl is in early February, so that sport only lasts less than 5 months, even less if you remove the preseason. Well, for those football fans out there, July is the last month you have to go without football, as college football returns at the end of August.
Knee pain sent Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman out of a game Saturday after facing one batter, although the Yankees won the game. Rays’ RHP and twice Tommy John survivor, who just missed a no-hitter last week and used to play for the Yankees, is catching the Yankees attention again. The Orioles have the worst record in MLB at 24-64 and are 35 ½ games out of first place. Their perennial slugger, Chris Davis, who crushed 53 HRs in 2013, only needs one more strikeout to pass Cal Ripken Jr. for the most strikeouts in team history. The Orioles have received offer from 7 teams for superstar 3B Manny Machado. According to the media, the Dodgers have offered the most and Diamondbacks are in second place. The other teams in the running are Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Indians, and Cubs. The Astros and Indians have shown interest in Orioles closer Zach Britton. The Phillies are interested in acquiring Royals’ infielder Whit Merrifield. The Mets no longer are actively looking to deal Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard. The Red Sox are reportedly interested in 41-year-old Twins’ closer Fernando Rodney. Slugger Jose Bautista is fitting in with the high-flying Braves, as he launched a grand slam HR against the Rays for his first career walk-off HR. On Thursday, the Nats fell behind the Marlins 9-0, but managed to rally back to win, 14-12. Mariners’ star Dee Gordon exited a game with a hip injury. Braves first-round pick Carter Stewart has gone unsigned. Cardinals OF Dexter Fowler and manager Mike Matheny barely speak now. Previously ‘permanently banned’ pitcher Jenrry Mejia has been cleared to return to MLB in 2019. Red Sox ace David Price did not look like an ace again on Saturday, continuing his struggles, giving up runs early and hitting 3 batters, but once he settled down, he struck out 9 Royals, and the Red Sox bats came alive to score 15 runs to win easily. Padres’ Wil Myers hit 3 home runs in a game against the Diamondbacks, leading to a 20-5 romp, for the Diamondbacks. It turns out that that it broke two records, the most runs scored by Diamondbacks in franchise history and the most lopsided MLB game whichever had a 3-HR hitter.
In the AL East, the Red Sox became the first team to win 61 games on Saturday, and finally put themselves ahead of the Yankees by 2 games. In the AL Central, the Indians have opened up a 10 ½ game lead over the Twins and an 11 game lead over the Tigers. This is causing both teams to consider possibly trading some assets to begin rebuilding. The Royals are in last place and 24 games behind the Indians. In the AL West, the World Champion Astros, who have won 60 games, are leading the nearly as hot Mariners by 3 ½ games. The Rangers are in last place and 20 ½ games behind the Astros. In the NL East, the Phillies and Braves are knotted in first place and the Nationals have gotten out of their slump and trail by only 5 ½ games. Meanwhile, the Marlins are in last place and 15 games behind. In NL Central, the Brewers are in first place, just 1 ½ games ahead of the Cubs and 6 ½ games ahead of the Cardinals. The Reds are in last place, 14 games behind the Brewers. Lastly, in the NL West, the Diamondbacks continue to battle Dodgers, currently one game ahead of them. The Rockies are only 3 games behind the D-Backs and the Giants are only 4 games behind the D-Backs. So, this is indeed the Wild Wild West this year!

Golf:

The PGA played this weekend at the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV, in A Military Tribute tournament. Leading at -14 on Sunday were Harold Varner III and Kelly Kraft, both looking for their first PGA Tour wins ever. But, lurking just behind were Kevin Na and 2017 champion Xander Schauffele. Not far back is Bubba Watson. Bubba has already won this year at the Genesis Open, the WGC-Match Play Championship, and the Travelers Championship. He is probably leading in the running of 2017-2018 PGA Tour Player of the Year Award. In the end, Kevin Na won the tournament at -19. On the heels of his bizarre rule violation last month at the US Open, when Phil Mickelson struck his own putt as it was in motion on a green, Phil was hit with another 2-stroke penalty during Sunday’s final round of the Greenbrier tournament. He was on the 7th tee at A Military Tribute when he tamped down some grass in front of the tee box. Although probably unintentional, it technically improved his line of play. The weird thing is that he could have simply then moved the teed ball elsewhere on the tee and avoided the penalty. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning a $10 million match play showdown. Wow! LPGA pro Beatriz Recari’s whiff with a driver has gone viral and is just the latest example of how tough golf can be. Team USA, made up of 12 male and female college golfers won 17 of the 24 singles matches and halved two others to crush their international counterparts and win the Arnold Palmer Cup at Evian Resort in France.

Fighting:
MMA
UFC 226 results showed 39-year-old Daniel Cormier knocking out defending champion Stipe Miocic in first round for heavyweight title, joining elite company with his 2nd division title in UFC. He called out former heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar for a showdown. The only other MMA fighter to hold two titles at the same time was Conor McGregor. Speaking of whom, he is working on getting reinstated in MMA, just as Floyd Mayweather is planning on joining MMA. UFC President Dana White sad that there is “no way” that Max Holloway fights anytime soon.
Boxing
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

Tennis:

Wimbledon is under way, entering Week 2. Serena Williams is looking stronger as the tournament progresses. So is Roger Federer. Mladenovic gave Serena a challenge, but Williams escaped in two close sets. Bertens ousted Venus Williams. Novak Djokovic beat Kyle Edmund, a crowd favorite, ending British hopes, and criticized the ‘unfair’ Wimbledon crowd during the match. Novak is now in the 4th round. Su-Wei Hsieh upset No.1 Simona Halep. Nick Kyrglos is leading an Australian charge at Wimbledon. Gulbis upset Zverev in fives sets. Upsets are all the rage this year, as Cilic, Wozniacki, and Murray all became spectators. Defending champ Muguruza was also upset. Isner nearly was upset, but used 64 aces to hold on to win.

Racing:

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-won by Kyle Busch.
7/7 Coke Zero Sugar 400–Daytona International Speedway-won by Erik Jones

NCAA Baseball:

The 2018 College World Series was won by Oregon State over Arkansas. In case you thought that the baseball powerhouses in college ball are all in Florida, Oregon State also won the national title in 2006 and 2007. After winning the College World Series, star Nick Madrigal signed a minor league contract with the White Sox, that included a $6.4 million signing bonus. The junior batted .367 with 8 doubles, 6 triples, and 4 homers, to go with 34 RBIs.

NCAA Football:

College football season is coming in August. Just a reminder, Alabama won the National Championship last season. Michigan State college football star DB Jalen Watts-Jackson has decided to forego going into the NFL and join the US Air Force.

NFL:

The NFL preseason is less than 2 months away. The 32 teams open their training camps soon. The petition to remove Ray Lewis statue from Ravens stadium has passed. Raiders’ Gareon Conley has filed a lawsuit against woman who accused him of rape. Late 49ers legend Dwight Clark’s ashes were buried next to goal post from “The Catch”. Arizona Cardinals GM Steve Keim was arrested on DUI charge on 7/4. Jarvis Landry says Browns WR Josh Gordon will be “unstoppable”. Eagles’ Super-Bowl winning QB/MVP Nick Foles’ autobiography will debut on best-seller lists. Super Bowl champ Barry Cofield allegedly arrested on charge of heroin possession. 49ers’ Marquise Goodwin bought a new house for his mom and disabled sister. Former Steelers RB star Jerome Bettis said to Le’Veon Bell “you’re not as good without Steelers.” Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette helped an LSU student cover tuition. Patriots WR Julian Edelman’s 4-game suspension has been upheld. Packers’ Aaron Jones has been suspended for 2 games for substance abuse violation. Rams OL Jamon Brown has been suspended 2 games. 49ers LB suspended Reuben Foster 2 games. Terrell Owens has revealed celebration plans for Hall of Fame induction. Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor announced his retirement via Twitter. Eagles’ LB Nigel Bradham has been suspended for season opener by NFL. Colts’ RB Robert Turbin suspended for 4 games for PED violation. A judge has denied bail for Kellen Winslow Jr. There are reports that Bucs’ QB Jameis Winston could be just one violation away from a permanent ban from the NFL. He has been given a 3 game suspension for his latest incident.

Soccer:

The entire world is now watching World Cup matches every day. Even I have been getting up early to watch these amazingly suspenseful games.
In the Round of 16 on Tuesday:
Sweden beat Switzerland 1-0
England beat Colombia 1-1, 4-3 in penalty kick tiebreaker
In the quarterfinals Friday:
France beat Uruguay 2-0
Belgium beat Brazil 2-1 (despite about 30 opportunities for Brazil)
In the Quarterfinals Saturday:
England beat Sweden 2-0
Host country Russia fell to Croatia on Saturday in an incredible match 2-2, losing 4-3 in penalty kick tiebreaker.
So, in the Semifinals (with FIFA rankings before the tournament):
No.7 France takes on neighbor No.3 Belgium at 2pm ET on Tuesday
No.20 Croatia takes on No.12 England at 2pm ET on Wednesday

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. Trade winds are swirling again around the Senators and superstar Erik Karlsson. Golden Knights re-signed Colin Miller. Canadiens’ Shea Weber out 5-6 weeks after knee surgery. Blue Jackets gave Boone Jenner a 4year/$15 million extension. Hurricanes agreed to 4year deal with Calvin de Haan. Islanders signed goalie Robin Lehner from the Sabres to 1year deal. Maple Leafs improved their chances dramatically by signing superstar John Tavares from the Islanders. The Sharks and Tomas Hertl agreed to a 4year contract. The Sharks also re-signed Joe Thornton to a one year contract. Slava Voynov’s domestic violence record has been expunged and he is ready to return to NHL. Flames signed James Neal to a 5year deal. Sabres traded Ryan O’Reilly to Blues for Patrik Berglund. The Sharks and Logan Couture agreed to an 8year/$64 million extension. Lightning signed Ryan McDonagh to 7year extension. James van Riemsdyk signed 5year deal with Flyers. Kings and Drew Doughty agreed to 8year contract extension. Capitals have named their new head coach, Todd Reirden.

NBA:

The NBA Finals also mercifully ended in June, after starting that season in October. The Summer League has already gotten underway. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers and sent LeBron James off to free agency. I now have a lot to catch up here on free agency. Stephen Curry and his wife Ayesha welcomed birth of first son. Had to get that out of the way first. The Jazz extended Dante Exum to a 3year contract worth $33 million. So, LeBron James declined his option for hometeam Cavaliers and then quickly signed with the Lakers for 4years/$154 million, sending Cleveland fans to the bonfires with his jersey, again. TUMS actually ran an ad that they would provide heartburn medicine to Cavs’ fans if he left. Shaquile O’Neal doesn’t think LeBron James is enough to get struggling Lakers to beat the Warriors. LaVar Ball’s latest bluster probably shows why the Lakers should trade his son Lonzo Ball and get away from the looney family. The Warriors snatched up free agent DeMarcus Cousins for one year/$5.3 million. The Warriors reportedly were going after DeAndre Jordan. Free agent Carmelo Anthony would prefer to go to the Lakers. Kings rookie Marvin Bagley III was injured in summer league game. Nets’ Allen Crabbe made a big donation to save high school his grandfather attended. Kawhi Leonard still wants out of the Spurs, but they don’t feel the Clippers have enough to offer. Celtics’ free agent Marcus Smart is likely to accept his qualifying offer of 1year/$6.1 million from the team. Devin Booker signed max contract extension with Suns, 5years/$158 million. Bismack Biyombo is likely returning to Hornets. Hornets guard Malik Monk will likely be out 6-8 weeks after breaking his thumb in summer league play. Jonas Jerebko plans to sign with Warriors. Jusuf Nurkic will re-sign with the Trail Blazers for 4years/$48 million. Kyle Anderson will likely sign with the Grizzlies for 4years/$37.2 million. Zach LaVine signed an offer sheet with the Kings for 4years/$78-80 million and the Bulls will likely match. Tony Parker will likely sign with the Hornets for 2 years/$10 million. Ian Clark will re-sign with the Pelicans for one year. Kyle O’Quinn will sign with the Pacers for one year/$4.5 million. Nemanja Bejelica will sign with the 76ers for one year/$4.4 million. Amir Johnson will re-sign with the 76ers for one year. Raymond Felton will re-sign with the Thunder for one year/$2.4 million. Kevin Looney will re-sign with the Lakers for one year. Dante Exum will re-sign with the Jazz for 3years/$33 million. Dwight Howard signed with Wizards for one year/$5.4 million. Seth Curry will sign with Trail Blazers for 2years. Julius Randle signed with the Pelicans for 2years/$18 million, after the Lakers renounced him. They also renounced Rajon Rondo, but then re-signed him for one year/$9 million. Raul Neto will re-sign with Jazz for 2years/$4.4 million. There is a rumor that the Nuggets will trade Wilson Chandler to the 76ers. Tyreke Evans signed with the Pacers for one year/$12 million. Jeff Green signed with the Wizards for one year/$2.5 million. Michael Carter-Williams signed with the Rockets for one year. Avery Bradley signed with the Clippers for 2 years/$25 million. Mike Scott is signing with the Clippers for one year. Anthony Tolliver is signing with Timberwolves for one year/$5.75 million. Jose Calderon signed with Pistons for one year/$2.4 million. Derrick Favors re-signed with the Jazz for 2years/$36 million. Nerlens Nole signed with the Thunder for two years. JJ Redick will re-sign with the 76ers for one year/$12-13 million. Elfrid Payton signed with Pelicans for one year. JaVale McGee signed with the Lakers for one year/minimum salary. Lance Stephenson signed with the Lakers for one year/$4.5 million. Aaron Gordon re-signed with the Magic for 4years/$84 million. Mario Hezonja signed with the Knicks for one year/$6.5 million. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope re-signed with the Lakers for one year/$12 million. Wow, I take my eyes off the NBA for a few weeks and look what happened!

Travel News:

Union workers are picketing in Vegas, worried about pay and security. San Francisco now tops list of most expensive rentals in the world. A train derailment killed at least 10 people, injuring 73 in Turkey. The FBI has suggested that the best way to store your car keys at night is by putting them in a coffee can. And, the best way to protect cars from theft during the day, according to an ex-FBI agent is to wrap car fobs in aluminum foil. Travel experts say you should be skeptical of “one room left” alerts on hotel booking sites. A vacationing couple, who are professional acrobats, is being criticized for pulling “stupid” stunt in Saint Martin on the airport approach path over a beach, one year after a woman died on the same beach. The Maho Beach is famous for low-flying planes, which barely have enough runway to land. Last year, a 57-year-old New Zealand tourist died after being blown back and suffering serious head injuries from a jet blast. Did you know that 2-3 tourists every year die from falling into the Grand Canyon?

Health News:

A Beverly Hills surgeon is explaining at home fix for dark spots and uneven skin tones on the skin. President Trump announced Saturday that it will suspend insurance payments under an Obamacare program following a federal ruling temporarily. Over 200 people have been sickened by a Del Monte vegetable parasite. An HIV vaccine is showing promising results in trials. Compounds found in green tea and red wine may block formation of toxic metabolites. A new study suggests that the vibrations certain cars make actually make drivers sleepy. Another study has affirmed the success of a blood test for autism. A new study shows that e-cigarettes increase cardiovascular risk as much as cigarettes do. Gene therapy in a new study is being shown to cure Type 2 diabetes and obesity in mice. Doctors are warning people with compromised immune systems not to get tattoos. A new study shows that parents who had severe trauma, stresses in childhood, are more likely to have kids with behavioral health problems. Did you know that Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 25 years ago, has raised over $800 million for research for a cure for the disease? A Canadian Task Force on Pregnancy is now recommending first-trimester screening of pregnant women for asymptomatic bacteriuria (higher than normal bacterial levels without symptoms of bladder infection.) A new study has identified 40 genes related to aggressive behavior in humans and mice. A study of National School Food Policies says they have the potential to improve health now and later, by providing free fruits and vegetables and limiting sugary drinks in schools. Researchers have discovered several biomarkers that can accurately identify hypervirulent K. pneumonia, a pathogen that infects completely healthy people and can cause blindness in one day. Researchers have shown that higher levels of Palsmodium falciparum antibodies are protective against severe malaria in children living in Papua, New Guinea.

Animal News:

There have already been 12 large great white sharks spotted and photographed off of Cape Cod this season. A University of Finland group said it has discovered a new species of wasp in the Amazon that has a giant stinger. A man tried to smuggle 19 raptor eggs through Heathrow Airport and 2 of them, vultures, hatched. Here is karma for you…three poachers illegally entered the Sibuya Game Reserve in South Africa, 7/1 or 7/2, with a high powered rifle with silencer, wire cutters, and an axe to kill a herd of rhinos and hack of their valuable horns, but a pride of 6 lions attacked, mauled and killed the poachers before they could even fire a shot. The lions left partly-eaten body parts over a large area, which were found by game reserve officials. In 2017, poachers killed 1,028 rhinos in South Africa, compared to 13 in 2007. Fossils now show that ancient dogs of the Americas were wiped out by European human colonization. Two weeks ago, a teenage girl rafting in a creek got a huge scare, when an alligator early as long as two grand-size pianos chased her up a tree in Florida’s Ocala National Forest. Someone just killed one of the last remaining jaguars in the US. Yo’oko, a male jaguar, once known to roam the Huachuca mountains in southern Arizona was believed to have been killed by a mountain lion hunter. A JetBlue crew member used oxygen mask to save French bulldog’s life on flight from Florida to Massachusetts. Canada’s cruelty-free cosmetics act has just passed the Senate and is one step closer to becoming law. Alleged rhino poaching kingpin, Dumisani Moyo, was just released on bail. A hero 6-month-old golden retriever puppy saved his human mom from rattlesnake bite. Authorities are asking the public for help in apprehending criminals that poisoned 6 lions, brutally butchering 4 of them (cutting off their heads and paws), at a wildlife park (Mystic Monkeys & Feathers Wildlife Park) in South Africa.

Entertainment News:

Mental health and suicide are not topics that we discuss much and don’t hear about much. We don’t talk about the on average 23 US veterans who take their lives every day. It’s like more casualties of war to us. Ironically, the hit series and movie M*A*S*H* had as its them song “Suicide is Painless”, but not many people know that. I went to a University that has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of suicides for undergraduates in the world. The first year I was there, 19 students committed suicide, typically by ‘gorging out’, jumping off a bridge 300 feet into two feet of water. But now, because of Hollywood and TV, the subject is in the forefront of the media, for a change. Now, that fashion designer Kate Spade, actor/chef Anthony Bourdain, actor Verne Troyer, producer Tony Scott (Ridley Scott’s brother), and producer Brian Gerber, have recently all committed suicide, maybe the subject of mental health and what drove people in the public eye who seemed to have it all to end it all and to consider suicide an option. It’s terrible that that discussion has had to wait until some public figures committed suicide, just for the public to notice, but these are the people that the public, and especially the children emulate and copy. So, we need to deal with this now. David Foster is now engaged to singer Katharine McPhee. Twilight star Ashley Greene has tied the knot. Chris Brown was arrested on felony battery charge just before a concert.
Justin Bieber announced Sunday that he got engaged to Stephen Baldwin’s daughter (Alec Baldwin’s niece), Hailey Baldwin. Selena Gomez appears unfazed by Justin Bieber engagement news. Caitlyn Jenner put on an affectionate display with rumored 21-year-old girlfriend Sophia Hutchins during night out in Malibu. “Damn Yankees!” star Tab Hunter has died at age 86. Tyler Perry gifted Tiffany Haddish a new Tesla. Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty and has been released on bail today. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have completed sending thank you notes after the royal wedding. Halsey broke down in tears on stage after her breakup with G-Eazy. In and interview on NBC, Robin Wright broke her silence on Kevin Spacey scandal. Demi Lovato has sent out a mysterious shade-filled tweet. 50 Cent has doubled down on mocking Terry Crews’ sexual assault claim. Anthony Bourdain’s will leaves most of his estate to his 11-year-old daughter. Eric Church’s younger brother, Brandon, has died at age 36. Miss America insiders are clashing over new direction for the pageant, removing the bathing suit section. Taylor Swift just took a quick trip to Turks & Caicos with new boyfriend Joe Alwyn. Comcast is lining up buyers for the Fox sports net in preparing for new deal. Disney and Fox set a 7/27 date for vote on $71 billion deal.
After last week’s big weekend, this week was almost as big, ANT-MAN AND THE WASP made $76 million in its debut at No.1; INCREDIBLES 2 held on to No.2, with $29 million, it its 4th week; JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM tumbled from No.1 to No.3, with $28.6 million in its 3rd week; THE FIRST PURGE debuted at No.4 with $17.2 million; and SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO fell from No.3 to No.5, with $7.3 million in its 2nd week.
Movies opening this week are: SWINGERS WEEKEND, BADLANDS/BLOOD SIMPLE, 350 DAYS-LEGENDS, ATTACK ON TITAN: SEASON 3 WORLD, DAVI’S WAY, GLEAMING THE CUBE/NORTH, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3, DOLONG COURTYARD: KUNG, PUZZLE, SHOCK AND AWE (Rob Reiner, Woody Harrelson, Jarmes Marden, Tommy Lee Jones, Jessica Biel, Milla Jovovich), SIBERIA, SKYSCRAPER (with Dwayne Johnson), SOORMA, SORRY TO BOTHER YOU, THE DEVIL’S DOORWAY, THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD.

Movie Reviews:
CHAPPAQUIDICK-it turns out that what I remember growing up about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and how he couldn’t fill the shoes of his two brothers, John and Robert, was more accurate than I realized. When he and the tragic family were faced with another horrible accident, the death of MaryJo Kopeckni, they chose a path to deal with it that probably John and Robert wouldn’t have chosen. The movie is almost a documentary, trying to explain what is still hard to explain about the car accident that Sen. Kennedy had that led to the death of one of the secretaries of both of his brothers’ administrations. It is well-acted and hard to watch, as it makes you uncomfortable. But, that’s what it’s supposed to do. I think it left some questions unanswered, perhaps being kind. I would give it a 6 out of 10.
JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM-I read all of Michael Crichton’s books and watched the other 4 Jurassic movies (JURASSIC PARK-1993, THE LOST WORLD-JURASSIC PARK-1997, JURASSIC PARK III-2001, JURASSIC WORLD-2015), so I’m a big fan, just so you know. I was hesitant about this movie because I felt that the last one was a little too corny and too campy. However, I was wrong. This one was probably the most true to the first movie and did a great job keeping the storyline straight through all the movies and nodding back to the previous ones. It also was the scariest of the 5 movies. I even added an element of surprise by getting D-Box seats which rumble and roll with the sound, particularly the stomps and roars of the dinosaurs. It took me two glasses of wine an hour after the movie to stop shaking. The special effects were amazing, the plot much more complicated and interesting, and acting was great. Some scenes will just take your breath away. I would say that this was the best of the 5 movies. I would give it an 8.5 out of 10.
SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY-i thought about protesting this movie, like other Star Wars freaks, now that the movies were being done by Disney and Disney had clearly diverted from the plot path set by George Lucas in the 160 or so books and many movies. The previous 2 movies had had major deviations from the whole Star Wars story. Yet, this particular movie was much better. This did a really good job of going through the history of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca, as well as the history of the Millenium Falcon. It had some great action scenes and new creatures, and sets the stage for the story that followed in the movies. So, this is sort of a prequel. I would give it a 7 out of 10.
OCEAN 8-I was a little reluctant to check this one out, although I really like Sandra Bullock and Kate Blanchett. It turned out to be quite entertaining. The female criminal group just like the other Ocean movies with the male criminal groups. Sandra plays the part of Danny Ocean (George Clooney) sister, who has the same genes as the rest of the family for pulling off major cons. The setting for this movie is the Met Gala in NYC and the cast, including Rihanna is great. There were several cameos of other great celebrities and some of the cast of the other OCEAN movies, which made it very cool. I would give this a 7 out of 10, as the plot was clever, but maybe not as complex as the other Ocean movies.

Technology & Space News:

The Japanese sample-return spacecraft Hayabusa2 arrived at the asteroid 162173 Ryugu. Twitter stock is down 8.4% after report of mass suspensions. Groupon is reportedly looking for a buyer, according to Recode. TiVo CEO is exiting to take chief technology job at Liberty Global. IBM has completed a $740 million deal to supply Australia. Boeing and Embraer have established an aerospace partnership. The Feds have expanded their data probe into Facebook, pushing shares of the company down. Acxiom sold the bulk of the company to Interpublic for $2.3 billion. Dell stock is up 13.6% on tracking stock purchase. Pharmacy and drug distributor stocks are down on Amazon’s PillPack acquisition. Shopping malls are getting much quieter.

Political News:

An AP blogger is being accused of breaking the cardinal rule of journalism for revealing a source to the FBI and giving the Feds the code to Manfort storage locker. President Trump says that he is close on Supreme Court pick, choosing between 4 frontrunners. Rumors have emerged that Hillary Clinton is planning a 2020 comeback to take on Donald Trump for President. Protesters confronted Mitch McConnell outside restaurant. A woman who climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty to protest the separation of migrant families was charged with 3 federal counts and could face up to 18 months in prison.

US News:

A NYC subway argument turned violent when a rider beat a stranger with a pipe. Did you know that there is a system in place, based on the current Amber Alert system, in the US that allows the President of the United States to text everyone in the country on their cellphone? It has just never been used before. A Wisconsin councilman posted a video of a wanted man punching a female George Webb restaurant employee in Milwaukee, asking the public to find the suspect. Also on the video is a picture of the woman’s co-worker, with a concealed-carry permit, pointing a gun at the attacker. A gunman at Maryland high school has died, after an armed school officer intervened. Two other people were injured. A toddler died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in California. A 29-year-old man is being credited with saving numerous lives during Tennessee Waffle House shooting.

International News:

Former Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges. Twelve Thai boys and a man trapped in Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non flooded cave were found alive after 10 days missing by two British divers. One of the 5 Thailand’s elite Navy SEAL rescuers, drowned in the ongoing rescue attempt. There are also 13 foreign divers in the rescue team. Rescuers have been able to get them food and medical attention and blankets. However, things could get much worse as a monsoon is now bearing down on the area. On Sunday, 4 of the children from the soccer team were rescued. Another daring and dangerous dive was executed this morning (Monday) for the remaining 8 boys and their coach, and 4 more children were rescued. That leaves still 4 boys and their coach. For this dive, officials needed 10 hours to prepare and coordinated the movements of about 90 divers, 50 of whom were foreigners. 13 medical teams have been stationed outside the cave, each with its own helicopter and ambulance. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected President of Mexico. A man in Paraguay thought to be dead walked into his own wake and shocked his family. Syrian state media reported that their air defenses hit an Israeli plane, supposedly thwarting a missile strike. International officials believe that diplomatic ‘sonic attacks’ are on the rise in various countries. In Cuba, 200 illnesses due to those attacks have been reported. A British woman poisoned by the nerve agent given to a Russian spy and his daughter, likely accidentally touched, has died. Recent protests in the capital of Haiti have been followed by looting. Although President Trump was very positive about his sit down with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un two weeks ago, it now looks like getting the regime to give up its nuclear weapons is going to take more face time with the President. Secretary of State Pompeo said his 27 hours in the North Korean capital was “productive” but the regime itself called the visit “regretful.” A North Korean FM spokesman in a 1200-word statement published after Pompeo’s visit pointee out that the US “never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, which is essential for defusing tension and preventing war.”

Florida:

I will be performing as Elvis Presley in full jumpsuit and blackened hair on 8/16 (the anniversary of his death) at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, FL.
If you are interested in seeing concerts, there are many coming to Florida, perhaps when you will be visiting:
I sang the National Anthem and “God Bless America” at Roger Dean Stadium Single-A baseball game and fireworks spectacular on July 3rd. The video is on YouTube and on LinkedIn of my “God Bless America”.
3 Doors Down and Collective Soul-Boca Raton, July 10
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 28-29
Dave Matthews Band-West Palm Beach-July 27-28
Lauryn Hill-Miami, July 31
Counting Crows-West Palm Beach, August 1
Miranda Lambert & Little Big Town-West Palm Beach-August 4
Janet Jackson-Miami-August 5
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-West Palm Beach, August 18
Memories of Elvis-Fort Lauderdale, August 18
Jeff Beck, Paul Rodgers & Ann Wilson-West Palm Beach, August 25
Rick Springfield-Pompano Beach, August 28
Beyonce and Jay-Z-Miami Gardens, August 31
K.D. Lang-Fort Lauderdale-September 7
Paul Simon-Sunrise, September 8
Christine Aguilera-Hollywood, September 25
Lady Antebellum, Darius Rucker & Russell Dickerson-West Palm Beach, September 29
Phil Collins-Sunrise-October 5
Kid Rock and Brantley Gilbert-West Palm Beach, October 13
Nikki Minaj with Future-Miami-October 19
Alice in Chains-Hollywood-October 28
Toto-Pompano Beach-October 28
Simple Minds-Miami, November 8
Willie Nelson-Estero, November 12
Elton John-Sunrise, November 23 (I’m there)
Elton John-Miami, November 24
Brian Wilson-Hollywood, December 12
Kansas-Fort Lauderdale-December 15
Fleetwood Mac-Sunrise, February 20
Pink-Sunrise-March 1
Paul Anka-Fort Lauderdale-March 4
Elton John-Sunrise, March 16

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