I intend to write the Repo Commentary more regularly and just post it on my new website: http://www.repocommentary.com. You can also view it through LinkedIn and it will be linked to Global Investors Group (ISF Magazine) website. If you need to get hold of me, my cell is 646-753-1300, my email for work will be firstname.lastname@example.org (backup is email@example.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. 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. And, most of all, thank you for being, as Stephen King would say, a ‘constant reader.’
Monday’s Holidays or Events:
• Global Hug Your Kids Day
• National Corn Fritter Day
• National Fresh Spinach Day
• National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
• National Personal Chef Day
• Hot Dog Night
• World Snake Day
• Marine Day in Japan
• Engineer’s Day in Honduras
• Holocaust Memorial Day in France
Some Famous People Born Monday in History:
Well, 7/11 was my birthday. It was also my former partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, Tom Sapio’s birthday.
• 1796-Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot-painter/etcher
• 1821-Mary Baker Eddy-founder of Christian Science
• 1862-Ida B. Wells
• 1871-John Maxwell-golfer
• 1887-Shoeless Joe Jackson-baseball
• 1902-Mary Philbin-actress
• 1903-Carmen Lombardo-Canadian Singer/screenwriter
• 1907-Orville Redenbacher
• 1907-Barbara Stanwyck-actress
• 1911-Ginger Rogers-actress, singer, dancer
• 1924-Bess Myerson-model/actress
• 1936-Buddy Merrill-guitarist
• 1942-Margaret Court-tennis
• 1943-Jimmy Johnson-football
• 1948-Ruben Blades-singer/actor
• 1958-Michael Flatley-dancer/choreographer
• 1960-Terry Pendleton-baseball
• 1963-Phoebe Cates-actress
• 1964-Phil Hellmuth-poker
• 1965-Claude Lemieux-hockey
• 1965-Sherri Stoner-actress
• 1967-Will Ferrell-comedian/actor
• 1968-Barry Sanders-football
• 1971-Corey Feldman-actor
• 1980-Adam Scott-golfer
This Day in History:
• 622-the beginning of the Islamic calendar
• 1054-three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing and invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the even as the start of the East-West Schism.
• 1212-Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa-after Pope Innocent III called European knights to a Crusade, forces of Kings Alfonso VIII of Castile, Sancho VIII of Navarre, Peter II of Aragon, and Afonso II of Portugal defeated the forces of the Berber Muslim leader Almohad, thus marking a significant turning point in the Reconquista and in the medieval history of Spain.
• 1232-the Spanish town of Arjona declared independence and named its native Muhammad ibn Yusuf as ruler. This marked the Muhammad’s first rise to prominence; he would later establish the Nasrid Emirate of Granada, the last independent Muslim state in Spain.
• 1377-Richard II of England is crowned.
• 1661-the first banknotes in Europe were issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco.
• 1683-Manchu Qing dynasty naval forces under traitorous commander Shi Lang defeated the Kingdom of Tungning in the Battle of Penghu near the Pescadores Islands.
• 1769-Father Junipero Serra founded California’s first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcala. Over the following decades, it evolves in to the city of San Diego, CA.
• 1779-during the American Revolutionary War-light infantry of the Continental Army seized a fortified British Army position in a midnight bayonet attack at the Battle of Stony Point.
• 1790-the District of Columbia was established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.
• 1809-the city of La Paz, in what today is Bolivia, declared its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and forms the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.
• 1861-American Civil War-at the order of President Abraham Lincoln, Union troops began the 25-mile march into Virginia for what will become the First Battle of Bull Run, the first major land battle of the war.
• 1862-American Civial War-David Farragut is promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in the US Navy to hold and admiral rank.
• 1910-John Robertson Duigan made the first flight of the Duigan pusher biplane, the first aircraft built in Australia.
• 1915-Henry James becomes a British citizen to highlight his commitment to Britain during WWI.
• 1915-the first Order of the Arrow ceremony took place and the Order of the Arrow was founded to honor American Boy Scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law. I’m a member of the Order of the Arrow and an Eagle Scout.
• 1927-Augusto Cesar Sandino leads a raid on US Marines and Nicaraguan Guardia Nacional that had been sent to apprehend him in the village of Ocotal, but is repulsed by one of the first dive-bombing attacks in history.
• 1931-Emperor Haile Selassie signed the first constitution of Ethiopia.
• 1935-the world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
• 1941-Yankees’ Joe DiMaggio hits safely in his 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as an MLB record.
• 1942-Holocaust-the government of Vichy France ordered the mass arrest of 13,152 Jews who are held at Winter Velodrome in Paris before deportation to Auschwitz.
• 1945-WWII-the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis left San Francisco with parts of the atomic bomb “Little Boy” bound for the Tinian Island.
• 1945-Manhattan Project-the Atomic Age begins when the US successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, NM.
• 1948-following token resistance, the city of Nazareth, revered by Christians as the hometown of Jesus, capitulates to Israeli troops during Operation Dekel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
• 1948-the storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific Airways, marked the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane.
• 1950-the Chaplain-Medic massacre occurs, in which American POWs were massacred by a North Korean Army.
• 1951-King Leopold III of Belgium abdicated in favor of his son Baudouin I of Belgium.
• 1956-Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closes its last “Big Tent” show in Pittsburgh, PA due to changing economics. All future circus shows will be held in arenas.
• 1965-the Mont Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opens.
• 1969-Apollo 11, the first mission to land astronauts on the Moon, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, FL.
• 1979-Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigned and was replaced by Saddam Hussein.
• 1983-Sikorsky S-61 helicopter crashed of the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities.
• 1990-the Parliament of the Ukrainian SSR declared state sovereignty over the territory of the Ukrainian SSR.
• 1999-John F. Kennedy Jr., piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, died when his plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. His wife and sister-in-law are also killed.
• 2007-an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 and 6.6 aftershock occurs off the Niigata coast of Japan, killing 8 people, injuring at least 800, and damaging a nuclear power plant.
• 2013-as many as 27 children die and 25 others are hospitalized after eating lunch served at their school in eastern India.
• 2015-four US Marines and one gunman died in a shooting spree targeting military installations in Chattanooga, TN.
Fun Fact of the Day:
The Netherlands and France share only one land border. It’s in the Caribbean on Saint Martin. It is the smallest inhabited island divided between two countries.
“We are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love.”—Sigmund Freud
International and Commodity Markets:
Oil prices were unchanged Monday, after opening at $68.07/barrel. This was significantly lower than the $77.71/barrel it closed at on 7/9. However, I saw no relief at my West Palm Beach gas station, where gasoline went from $2.64/ gallon 7/9 to $2.78/gallon yesterday. The price of oil fell on Mnuchin talk of easing sanctions on Iranian oil. The USD versus the Yen is trading at $112.29 today, up sharply from 7/9. The USD was at 1.171 versus the Euro, up a bit from 7/9. The USD is up slightly against the GBP, at $1.3235. The USD is also up versus the CAD to $1.3138. Gold closed 7/9 at $1262.38 and today at $1240.78. Bitcoin was trading 7/9 at $6,717.99, but at $6,669.97 today. Japan had a holiday Monday.
The U.S. fired back at lawsuits other countries have filed with the World Trade Organization over Trump steel and aluminum tariffs, escalating a trade dispute with some of America’s closest allies. The U.S. on Monday filed separate claims against China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey—the latest stage in tit-for-tat retaliations prompted by President Donald Trump’s decision to pursue tariffs earlier this year, citing national security interests and unfair trade practices. WSJ
A messy tangle of regulatory requirements and growing tax burden in Canada continues to hinder private sector productivity, with policy dysfunction weighing particularly heavily on small businesses, according to a new study. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released a report Monday that found “stagnating productivity and weak business dynamism are a concern” in Canada, due to a host of regulatory and financing shortfalls. So-called “entrepreneurial dynamism” refers to the ability for new small businesses to enter the market and force out older and weaker firms. The OECD found that Canada has the highest number of older firms among 15 other developed countries, with business dynamism gradually waning since the 1980s.Financial Post
Global Financial News:
In the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook report, it estimates that ongoing trade disputes could reduce global growth by 0.5% in 2020 or $430 billion, and warns that the US could be “especially vulnerable” and “the focus of global retaliation.” BlackRock’s assets under management dipped to $6.3 trillion Q2, compared to $6.32 trillion in Q1, representing the lowest point since late 2015, according to WSJ. Deutsche Bank announced that its Q2 profits will comfortably beat analysts’ forecasts, causing a surge in share price. The results will be known 7/25. Foreign banks are switching business from intermediate bank holding companies to bank branches in the US to avoid the expense of annual stress tests and the Supplementary Leverage Ratio requirements under the Fed’s enhanced prudential standards for foreign banking organizations. The ECB has begun search for a new bank supervisory chief (ironically, while I am a free agent), as Daniele Nuoy is due to step down on 12/31. The US House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on a package of 32 bills aimed at encouraging capital formation. The JOBS and Investor Confidence Act of 2018 has the support of House Financial Services Committee Chairman Hensarling. The US CFTC Market Risk Advisory Committee has expressed concerns over the migration from LIBOR to the SOFR, noting “the reality today is more nuanced.” They see the need to develop a term structure in the SOFR futures market so that market participants can use these contracts to hedge rate exposures going out for years.
US Market News:
The Dow Jones closed up on Monday 45 points to 25,064.36. S&P 500 was down 2.88 to 2798.43. Nasdaq was also down 20.26 to 7805.72. US Treasuries were down somewhat, with 2yr at 2.597%, 3yr at 2.677%, 5yr at 2.752%, 7yr at 2.825%, 10yr at 2.858%, and 30yr at 2.962%. All of it a very flat curve with only a 36bp spread at its widest.
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. Okay, I thought GC funding rates would go higher or at least stay above 2%, however, despite heavy July issuance, GC dropped down to 1.95%. It appears that dealers are having no problem digesting the large Treasury issuance. Now, with 7/16 tax date approaching, it is possible we will see more cash and an even lower rate in the Repo market.
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?
I used to discuss the various rates in RRP, Fed Funds, repo rates, peer-to-peer OFR rates, sponsored repo rates, Direct Repo rates, and foreign CB RRP rates. I’ll have to get back to that in future Repo Commentary. I just wanted to note something that Scott Skyrm picked up yesterday, that central bank ‘facility’ with the Fed has increased dramatically recently, to $260 billion in cash from central banks in repo at the Fed. Now, the rate is not the US RRP rate and its also not the dealer GC offer rate, but somewhere in-between.
Fed Chair Powell heads to Congress to start a two-day testimony on the state of the economy with Congress today, after holding one-on-one talks with 18 lawmakers and calls 8 more in the first 4 months of his tenure.
Earthquakes and Volcanoes:
A new more detailed and higher resolution map of the Rodgers Creek Fault in Sonoma County, CA has been produced. A lava bomb crashed through a tourist party boat near Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, injuring at least 23 people. The volcano is forming a new island West of the Big Island.
6.4 7/13/18 72km NNW of Isangel, Vanuatu
3.6 7/10/18 6km SE of Ontario, CA
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:
The NHC sees not tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean at this time.
The Pacific Hurricane Season began on May 1st. They are looking at a major monsoon right now.
The NHC also sees not tropical cyclones in the Eastern North Pacific at this time.
Let’s talk about weather, here in Florida, it is ridiculously hot, with temps in the 90s and ‘feels-like’ temps in the low 100s. Also, the water temperature is 87 degrees and the sand is really hot. But, I’m not complaining. Shark attacks, however, are on the rise. Temps and heat indexes are above 100 degrees in the West, Southwest, Texas and Plains states.
The MLB season is more than 50% over and we are coming up on the All-Star Game (and its Homerun Derby). The Homerun Derby was last night (Monday) and the All-Star game is today (Tuesday). There were only 8 participants in this year’s Homerun Derby, probably because previous participants have felt that the 150 or so pitches that each must swing at with an uppercut swing, negatively affects their performances for the rest of the regular season, and even increases their chances of injuries. Hometown hero, Bryce Harper of the Nationals won the Homerun Derby, in his home park. Indians’ Yan Gomes will replace Rays’ Wilson Ramos on the AL roster. Mets’ starter Jacob deGrom wants to start for the NL in the All-Star Game. In the MLB Futures Game 2018, USA (managed by Torrii Hunter) continued its dominance, beating the World Team (managed by David Ortiz) 10-6, Sunday at Nationals Park. The Americans won for the 8th time in 9 years. Hunter Greene, Reds pitching prospect, threw pitches at an average speed of 101.3 mph, with one going 103.1 mph.
The Cardinals, despite being above .500 at the time, have fired manager Mike Matheny. Granted, he had alienated everyone on the team with an in-house snitch, fining players he felt were not playing up to par, and not speaking to many of the players, including his $88 million star Derek Fowler. There are at least 5 candidates to replace Matheny, including Joe Girardi, Carlos Beltran, Raul Ibanez, Jose Oquendo, Jason Giambi. Tim Tebow, who played in the AA All-Star game (getting a leadoff double) says he has found love and is dating Miss Universe, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Astros’ Justin Verlander and Kate Upton are expecting their first baby. The Cubs are hoping starter Yu Darvish will return “by next weekend.” Angels’ superstar Albert Pujols is on the 10-day DL with left knee inflammation. Mariners’ ace James Paxton has been placed on the 10-day DL. The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on DL. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is expected to return after the All-Star break. Dodgers’ Chase Utley announced that he is retiring after 2018 season. With 7/31 trade deadline approaching, trade rumors are heating up. The Tigers are exploring deals for OF Nicholas Castellanos. The Phillies traded pitcher Hoby Milner to the Rays. The Nationals are reportedly revisiting their prior interest in Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto. The Yankees appear to be moving on from the Orioles’ 3B Manny Machado sweepstakes, which is now reportedly being led by the Phillies and the Brewers. Yankees’ CF Jacoby Ellsbury remains on the DL and has yet to resume baseball activities. Here’s a strange stat from last Wednesday, with the Indians leading the Reds 17-0 through 4 innings (ultimately winning 19-4) and the Rockies leading the Diamondbacks 18-1 through 4 innings, the two teams set a new MLB record, as there had never been a day when two teams held a 17-run lead through 4 innings. Don’t look now, but there’s another Clemens ballplayer coming up the ranks, Roger’s son, 23-year-old Kacy, playing for the high-single A Dunedin Blue Jays, after an impressive college career, first as a pitcher for Texas, then after a shoulder injury, as a hitter playing 1B. The Red Sox No.4 starter, Eduardo Rodriguez has gone on the DL with a serious ankle injury. He has had a great comeback season with an 11-3 record up to now. The Red Sox may be pushed to add another starter before the trade deadline. One starter that may become available is Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman, after a tirade in front of the media, in which he called the Blue Jays “a terrible team.” Of course, the Yankees, with a stacked lineup of HR sluggers, is still thin on starting pitching with solid Luis Savarino and not-so-thin CC Sabathia. So, they are also looking for a starter, having just checked on Padres starter Tyson Ross. The Braves and Red Sox are rumored to be considering trading for Royals superstar infielder Mike Moustakas, although with their infield pretty full, I’m not sure where the Red Sox intend to play him. The Phillies and Giants are among teams who have expressed interest in Mets closer Jeurys Familia. Yankees and 8 other teams have checked on Mets starter Zack Wheeler. The Yankees have also checked on Tigers’ starter Michael Fulmer. The Mariners are interested in Tigers starter Matthew Boyd. The Yankees are rumored to also be interested in Angels’ starters Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney. Astros are interested in Rays catcher Wilson Ramos.
So, since we are past the halfway point, about 95-98 games of the 162-game regular season, and the All-Star Game, let’s take the Standings temperature.
In the AL East, the Red Sox have not let up on the gas. Coming of a 10-game winning streak, they had a loss and began another 3-game winning streak, propelling them to the MLB’s best record (68-30) and putting them 4 ½ games ahead of the Yankees. The Orioles are now 28-69 and 39 ½ games behind. Exit Manny Machado and Zach Britton. The AL Central, which was fairly close, has seen the Indians widen the gap, in first place by 7 ½ games over the Twins. The Royals are now 27-68 and 25 games behind. In the AL West, things are a little closer, with the World Champion Astros still in first place, but only 5 games ahead of the Mariners, and 8 games ahead of the A’s. The Rangers are now 41-56 and 22 games behind. In the NL East, the Phillies overtook the Braves, but only by ½ game, and the Nationals are only 5 ½ games behind the Phillies. The Marlins and Mets are both in the cellar, 13 ½ games behind the Phillies. In the NL Central, the Cubs have somehow held on to first place, only 2 ½ games ahead of the Brewers. The Brewers did not help themselves by losing a 5-game sweep to the Pirates. The Cards have fallen to 7 ½ games back of the Cubs and the Pirates have fallen to 9 games behind. The NL West is still the tightest race in MLB, with the Dodgers precariously in first place, only ½ game ahead of the Diamondbacks, 2 games ahead of the Rockies, and only 4 games ahead of the Giants.
The PGA Tour stopped for its final tuneup before the British Open at the John Deere Classic. 2013 College Player of the Year, Michael Kim, fired a final round 66 to win at TPC Deere Run, 8 shots ahead of 4 players, his first Tour win. The British Open begins Thursday at Carnoustie. It is expected to be very challenging and ultra-firm. Brandt Snedeker tweeted a photo of his practice round 427-yard drive on 18. John Daly has been replaced by Keegan Bradly at the British Open, as Daly has withdrawn with a right knee injury. The nagging injury forced him to request a golf cart for the US Senior Open last month, a request which was denied, pushing him to withdraw from that tournament. Carnoustie was where in 1999, Jean Van de Velde had that memorable collapse hitting from a greenside pond at 18. No.1 in the world, Dustin Johnson is this year’s favorite at 12:1. Last year’s winner, Jordan Spieth, took this weekend off and went to Cabo, like he did last year. Tiger Woods needs his first top-10 finish in 5 years, in order to qualify for the final WGC at Firestone CC. Tiger has been testing a TaylorMade GAPR LO prototype driving iron for Carnoustie. Tommy Fleetwood holds the course record of 63 at Carnoustie. Jordan Spieth just had to return Monday the British Open Claret Jug for this year’s tournament. Matt Kuchar has additional pressure to win this major, as he has a pact with his sons that if he wins a major, the Kuchars can get a dog.
UFC Boise saw Dos Santos beat Ivanov after 5 rounds. In Bellator 203, Patricio Freire retained title in a split decision. After his Belator 202 injury, just 58 seconds into a fight with Michael MacDonald, Eduardo Dantas needs emergency surgery on his broken leg. Nick Diaz is calling out Cormier, saying his and Brock Lesnar’s WWE antics were embarrassing at UFC 226. An MMA fighter who pleaded guilty to raping a college student got 7 years in jail and lifetime probation. There are mixed feelings in the media about Chuck Liddell coming out of retirement to face Tito Ortiz for Golden Boy.
Lucas Matthysse vs. Manny Pacquiao-Matthysse’s WBA Welterweight title. Pacquiao won the fight, his 69th time fighting professionally, although it looked like his opponent was soft, falling on two weak uppercuts and finally taking a knee to quit. Sadly, the fight was merely streamed on ESPN+, a falloff from just 3 years ago when he was involved the biggest pay-per-view of all time with Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Moruti Mthalane vs. Muhammad Waseem-vacant IBF Flyweight title
Carlos Canizales vs. Bin Lu-Canizales’ WBA Junior Flyweight title
Dillian Whyte vs. Joseph Parker-heavyweights
Kell Brook vs. Brandon Cook-junior middleweights
Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter Jr.-WBC/IBF Lightweight title unification
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
Carl Frampton vs. Luke Jackson-Frampton’s WBO interim Featherweight title
Tyson Fury vs. TBA-Heavyweights
Anthony Joshua (2012 Olympic gold medalist at super heavyweight and current IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champ will face Alexander Povetkin in London
Wimbledon is completed. For the first time since the Open era in 1986, in a Major tennis tournament, male or women, there were no top-10 ranked players in the women’s side. In fact, when the quarterfinals completed, it left No.25 Serena Williams, No.11, No.12, and No.13 ranked players. Serena Williams lost Saturday to Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-3 in the Finals. After Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, he then beat 6’6” South African No.8 Kevin Anderson in the Finals on Sunday. The Serb had been struggling coming back from a 2016 injury to regain his form and fitness, falling out of the top 20 rankings earlier this year. But, he found it just in time to stop Nadal and then to win his 4th Wimbledon title out of 5 attempts, and his 13th major overall. Britain’s Jamie Murray failed in the Finals in his attempt to retain the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Belarusian partner Victoria Azarenka, falling to No.11 seeds Alexander Peya and Nicole Melichar. The other British Murray, Andy Murray, just fell to No.839 in the world rankings. Serena Williams was very gracious in her loss and acknowledged her astounding accomplishment to make it that far, 9 months after giving birth and after many serious complications.
German Gran Prix will be on Sunday 7/22.
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
7/14 Quaker State 400-Kentucky Speedway-won by Martin Truex Jr.
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. Former Cal WR Demetris Robertson is transferring to Georgia. Louisville has removed Papa John’s name from stadium. College Football Playoffs have extended agreements with Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach Bowls.
Here is Sporting News’ way-too-early Top 25 rankings:
4. Ohio State
9. Notre Dame
10. Penn State
13. Michigan State
17. Virginia Tech
21. Oklahoma State
23. South Carolina
24. Mississippi State
25. Boise State
The NFL preseason is only 52 days away. The 32 teams open their training camps soon. Despite the controversy and reduced viewing audience over the past two years, the NFL, ratings are up for the NFL in relation to general TV viewership trends and the NFL distributed more than $8 billion, a new record, in revenue sharing in 2017, per ESPN. That was an increase of 4.9% over 2016. The petition to remove Ray Lewis statue from Ravens stadium has passed. Ironically, he may be the most famous No.52 of all-time in the NFL. 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. Jags QB Blake Bortles says he is modeling himself after Pats QB Tom Brady at the negotiating table. Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence is expected to play 2018 under a franchise tag. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said that he’d love to play to 40-year-old and preferably as a Packer. Eagles’ RB Darren Sproles said he plans to retire after next season. Titans’ RB DeMarco Murray is retiring from the NFL after 7 seasons. Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones was involved in a fight at Atlanta airport. Last month, Terrell Owens announced his intention to pass on the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He unveiled plans to host his own HOF ceremony at his alma mater, University of Tennessee. The Hall of Fame has decided that it won’t mention Terrell Owens at its induction ceremony and he won’t receive his gold jacket at the ceremony, but instead will receive it by mail the day after. The inductees who will get their gold jackets and be honored at the Pro Football HOF this year are: Randy Moss, Brian Dawkins, Brian Urlacher, Ray Lewis, Robert Brazile, Bobby Beathard, and Jerry Kramer. Raiders fans will have to pay a huge price for new Vegas stadium club PSLs.
The entire world was watching World Cup matches every day, considered one of the best World Cups ever. Even I was getting up early to watch these amazingly suspenseful games. 64 matches were played, involving 32 teams (31 that qualified and the host team, Russia). A total of 44.5 million people tuned in to watch the BBC’s television coverage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. A record 66.8 million match requests, including live and on demand, on the BBC Sport website and iPlayer. England’s quarter-final win over Sweden saw the highest peak TV share of the tournament at 89%. Don’t look now, but he next World Cup final will be 7 days before Christmas, four years from now.
In the Semifinals (with FIFA rankings before the tournament):
No.7 France took on neighbor No.5 Belgium at 2pm ET last Tuesday and beat them 1-0.
No.20 Croatia came from behind against No.12 England on Wednesday and beat them 2-1.
In the Third Place playoff/consolation game, Belgium beat England 2-0.
In the Finals, France overwhelmed Croatia 4-2 to win an exciting match and their second-ever World Cup. It was fun watching Croatia’s president cheering on her team. No.10 Luka Modric of Croatia was named best player of the tournament. The Adidas Golden Glove award went to Thibault Courtois of Belgium. The FIFA Young Player award went to Kylian mBappe of France.
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.
The NBA Finals also mercifully ended in June, after starting that season in October. The Summer League is underway. The Jazz extended Dante Exum to a 3year contract worth $33 million. So, Akron, Ohio’s 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. Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is also dissing King James. 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! Former NBA star Charles Oakley has been reportedly arrested for cheating at a Las Vegas casino. He allegedly tried to take back a $100 chip he had wagered, after realizing he was going to lose. If he is convicted of fraud at a gaming establishment, he could face one to six years in prison.
MGM Resorts International has filed federal lawsuits against more than 1,000 Las Vegas mass shooting victims in an effort to avoid liability in the horrific massacre. MGM owns Mandalay Bay (where the shooter fired from) and the Route 91 Harvest festival venue (where the victims attended a concert). MGM is not seeking money from the victims, but is asking a judge to decide that it is not liable to them. A rash of random NYC subway attacks has commuters very concerned. A 23-year-old woman lost control of her SUV, avoiding an animal in the road, and drove off a 250-foot cliff on 7/6, crashing to the rocks below near Big Sur, CA. She managed to stay alive, despite multiple injuries, even using a hose from the car to sip water at a spring, before two hikers heard her cries for help and discovered her one week later. The crash caused a brain hemorrhage, 4 fractured ribs, both collar bones fractured, a collapsed lung, ruptured blood vessels in both eyes, and intense sunburns on her hands, feet, and face.
A UK ethics body, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, says changing the DNA of a human embryo could be “morally permissible” if it is in the child’s best interests. CDC Chief says that fentanyl almost killed his son, so “it’s personal.” The CDC says that synthetic opioids are even more deadly than natural opioids. A new study implies that urgent care centers (I call them doc-in-a-box because I’m old and remember Jack-in-the-Box toy and fast-food chain) overprescribe antibiotics. The Johnson & Johnson talcum powder verdict seems to go against what is known about cancer, according to NBC News. A Missouri jury awarded 22 women $4.6 billion in a joint lawsuit last Thursday, supporting their claim that it caused their ovarian cancer. A federal judge in California said today that cancer victims and their families could present expert testimony linking the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The American Cancer Society itself draws a distinction between talc which contains asbestos and talk that is asbestos-free. Talc with asbestos is not used in modern consumer products, according to ACS. The FDA has also said that it has found no asbestos in any of the talcum products it has checked out. The ACS said that “all talcum products used in homes in the US have been asbestos-free since the 1970s.” The American Cancer Society said that cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the US and kills more than 600,000 each year. The US is now fast-tracking the approval of at-home flu tests.
There have already been 12 large great white sharks spotted and photographed off of Cape Cod this season. The warm water in Florida (averaging 87 degrees) has brought in the sharks and there were 2 shark attacks this past weekend with minutes of each other on the same beach near St. Augustine, FL. Scientists announced the discovery of stone tools dating to 2.1 million years ago in Shangchen, China, the oldest evidence of hominins outside of Africa. Scientists are trying an experiment to save the vanishing rhinos, by creating test-tube rhinos.
Porn star, Stormy Daniels, at the center of an alleged scandal with President Trump, was arrested at an Ohio strip club where she was performing for lewd behavior with 3 plains clothes detectives. The cops claim that they were actually there investigating a human trafficking case. Rapper T.I. has been charged with 3 misdemeanors after being arrested for public drunkenness. A new film reveals that the late Robin Williams had a “real connection” with the military before his death, beyond just Oscar nominated GOOD MORNING VIETNAM. Maurizio Gucci’s ex-wife says she was “very happy” after 1995 slaying and “I am not guilty, but I am not innocent.” Meghan Markle’s father continues to frustrate Meghan and Prince Harry with paid stories to the tabloids and anti-royals remarks. Showtime is fighting claims from Sarah Palin and other critics who say Sacha Baron Cohen posed as a disabled veteran, ‘stealing valor’, in order to perform a satirical stunt on Republicans in his new series Who is America? Actress Scarlett Johansson was supposed to play a transgender person in an upcoming film, but has quit the role after LGBT activists attacked her for not leaving the role to a transgender actor. Farrah Abraham has been charged with battery and resisting police after Beverly Hills Hotel arrest. Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson are in couples therapy. Cardi B shared a sweet photo of her with Offset at a doctor’s visit with their daughter Kulture. Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas had a double date with Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner in London. Britney Spears says she would “definitely” be up for a Mickey Mouse Club reunion with Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguillera. Eli Roth and Lorenza Izzo announced divorce after 6 years. Katharine McPhee’s father Daniel has died. RUGRATS is coming back with a revival TV series and live-action movie. Ladies of London reality series star Annabelle Neilson is dead at age 49. Forbes magazine has come out with their list of the world’s 100 highest-paid entertainers:
1. Floyd Mayweather (boxer)-$285 million
2. George Clooney-$239 million
3. Kylie Jenner-$166.5 million
4. Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy)-$147 million
5. Dwayne Johnson-$124 million
6. U2-$118 million
7. Coldplay-$115.5 million
8. Lionel Messi (soccer)-$111 million
9. Ed Sheeran-$110 million
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer)-$108 million
11. Bruno Mars-$100 million
12. Conor McGregor (MMA)-$99 million
13. Neymar (soccer)-$90 million
14. Howard Stern-$90 million
15. Ellen DeGeneres-$87.5 million
16. James Patterson-$86 million
17. LeBron James-$85.5 million
18. Rush Limbaugh-$84.5 million
19. Katy Perry-$83 million
20. Robert Downey Jr.-$81 million
21. Taylor Swift-$80 million
22. Dr. Phil McGraw-$77.5 million
23. Roger Federer (tennis)-$77.2 million
24. Stephen Curry-$76.9 million
25. Jay-Z-$76.5 million
26. Ryan Seacrest-$74 million
27. Guns N’ Roses-$71 million
28. Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)-$68 million
29. Matt Ryan (NFL)-$67.3 million
30. Kim Kardashian West-$67 million
20-year-old Kylie Jenner made the infamous Forbes wealthiest celebrities list and magazine cover, as she now approaches $1 billion for her growing cosmetics fortune. The cosmetics business is worth about $800 million and she rakes in another $100 million from endorsement deals and pay for her her family’s reality TV show. Harvey Weinstein denies admitting he offered “acting jobs in exchange for sex.” Ewan McGregor’s daughter Clara calls actor’s girlfriend a “piece of trash.” Johnny Depp has reached a settlement agreement with former business managers he had accused of stealing $25 million from the actor. Demi Lovato has sent out a mysterious shade-filled Tweet. Robert Wolders, star of Laredo, and longtime Audrey Hepburn companion, has died at 81. Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, has died at age 101. Prince William has revealed that he’s trying to get George and Charlotte to play tennis and soccer. Amanda Seyfried said her husband had ‘issues’ with her MAMMA MIA reunion with ex Dominic Cooper. Meryl Streep and Cher, reunited for MAMMA MIA, kissed at premiere in London. Cher plays Meryl’s mother in the movie, even though the actresses are only 4 years apart in age. CNN host Christiane Amanpour and husband have split after 20 years.
After the last two weeks’ big weekends, this week was much tamer. Animated HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION debuted at No.1 with $44.1 million, unseating ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, which made $29.1 million in its second week, falling to No.2; SKYSCRAPER debuted at No.3 with $24.9 million; animated INCREDIBLES 2 fell from No.3 to No.4, with $16.3 million in its 5th week (but its total is $535.9 million); and JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM tumbled from No.2 to No.5, with $16.2 million in its 4th week (but its total is $364 million).
Movies coming out this week: EQUALIZER 2 (with Denzel Washington)-I must see, MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (with Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Christine Baranski, Cher, Andy Garcia)-I must see, UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB, BLINDSPOTTING, DAMASCUS COVER, FAR FROM THE TREE, GENERATION WEALTH, McQUEEN, TEEFA IN TROUBLE, THE THIRD MURDER. There is a lot of chatter and hoopla about he upcoming MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, in which Tom Cruise reprises his famous role for the sixth time and also famously does most of his own stunts. It was widely reported that he broke his foot on one such stunt, jumping from one building to another, and it appears from the featurette for the movie that the stunt and injury actually made it into the final cut of the movie. It appears that there are several other stunts he performs, some in which he gets injured, that will also be in the movie. With a $113 million budget and six years of production, the most expensive Chinese film ever made, fantasy film ASURA, has become the largest flop in Chinese history, with an opening weekend of $7.3 million box-office, forcing producers to pull this first instalment in an epic trilogy, based on Tibetan Buddhist mythology, after just one weekend in the theaters. It is still only the 5th-largest flop in worldwide movie history, behind SINBAD: LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SEAS which suffered loss of $125 million.
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:
Thousands of Amazon workers are reportedly going to go on strike around the world on Prime Day, to protest workers’ conditions. Prime Day began yesterday and goes through 3am ET Wednesday. Netflix stock plummeted after missing big on subscriber growth. Shares wer down 12% in after-hours trading. Tesla shares fell after British diver says he is mulling over legal action over Elon Musk’s baseless ‘pedo guy’ claim. European regulators are expected to hit Google with a multibillion fine on Tuesday or Wednesday. The fine stems from the company’s policy of requiring Android device makers to set Google’s own search and web browsers as the default offerings. In the other Forbes list of 2018 top 15 billionaires, CBS reports:
1. Jeff Bezos, $112 billion
2. Bill Gates, $90 billion
3. Warren Buffett, $84 billion
4. Bernard Arnault and family, $72 billion
5. Mark Zuckerberg, $71 billlion
6. Amancio Ortega, $70 billion
7. Carlos Slim Helu and family, $67.1 bilion
8. Charles Koch, $60 billion
9. David Koch, $60 billion
10. Larry Ellison, $58.5 billion
11. Michael Bloomberg, $50 billion
12. Larry Page, $48.8 billion
13. Sergey Brin, $47.5 billion
14. Jim Walton, $46.4 billion
15. S. Robson Walton, $46.2 billion
During a press conference with President Putin, President Trump attacked Mueller for damaging US-Russia relations. The infamous baby blimp Trump likeness balloon which hovered over protests in London, while the President made his first official to the UK, may be coming to the US now. CNN analyst last night wondered out loud when “almost a shadow government” will come out against Trump. Newt Gingrich said that President trump committed “most serious mistake of his Presidency” at Putin summit.
Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, embroiled last year with the NFL as one of its main sponsors and vocal opponent on the NFL’s lack of policy on kneeling during the National Anthem, has been shunned by his company, removied from chairmanship, and evicted from his offices. He has also been prohibited from speaking to the press. The company removed him from the CEO and Chairman (although he is still a 30% owner and on the Board), created a special committee of independent directors to evaluate the relationship and arrangements between the company and the founder, which then ordered the termination of Schnatter’s “Founder Agreement”, removing him as the face of the company’s advertising and marketing. It also asked the Board to end Schnatter’s sublease agreement to use office space in its headquarters in Kentucky. This is all after he continued to make several media blunders, including using discriminatory language. MSNBC’s Jim Cramer thinks Papa John’s is in trouble and “falling apart” when compared to rival Domino’s. Mega Millions jackpot has hit $340 million. An SUV at a Texas Marriott hotel was broken into overnight in March 2017. Apparently, the vehicle had been parked there by two security experts from the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory who drove to San Antonio to retrieve dangerous nuclear materials from a nonprofit research lab there. They brought with them radiation detectors and small samples of dangerous materials to calibrate them: a plastic-covered disk of plutonium and another of cesium. They left the two disks on the back seat of their rented SUV overnight in a high-crime area in two valises. When they awoke the next morning, the window was smashed and the valises gone. The materials, an example of other military grade plutonium that has gone missing over the years, were never recovered. Houston police are warning of a “possible serial killer.” A 41-year-old Texas woman is facing an assault charge after allegedly biting off and swallowing a large chunk of the bridge of a nose of a 28-year-old female neighbor whom she allegedly attacked when the latter told her to leave her residence.
On Monday, President Trump arrived in Helsinki, Finland for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Puttin. Trump outlined a long list of items for their 90-minute agenda (which wound up being 4 hours total and 2 hours private), which did not include a discussion about Crimea, Syria, or Presidential election tampering. Many Congressmen and US intelligence community were outraged at President Trump’s public admonishment of their treatment of Russia in the election hacking investigation, in which Mueller has indicted 12 Russians and 3 Russian companies. There was a general feeling among political analysts that President Trump was much tougher on Europe and UK than on Russia. For his part, President Putin agreed to let Mueller and investigators come to Russia and investigate the election tampering alongside his investigators. Putin called the election meddling charges “utterly ridiculous”. In Pakistan, at least 154 people were killed and more than 220 others injured in multiple bombings in Mastung and Bannu. In Germany, the National Socialist Underground trial ended after more than 5 years, with the sentencing of the main defendant, Beate Zzchape, to life in prison. Scientists just unearthed an eye-opening hoard of diamonds, at least quadrillion tons buried in the ‘cratonic roots’ in continents. The ‘catch’ is that they are buried 100 miles down, much deeper than any drill has ever penetrated, according to researchers from MIT. Cratonic roots are the most ancient sections of rock under tectonic states, shaped like upside-down mountains. A ton of diamonds is roughly 50,000,000 carats, each carat worth roughly $4000. So, ironically, diamond may not be an exotic mineral, but actually relatively common, but very hard to reach. The scientists believe that an anomaly in seismic data is likely being caused by 1-2% of diamonds in the ‘cratonic roots.’ In London, a man was knifed in front of shocked shoppers. Japan’s growing plutonium stockpile, ironic given my previous story, is beginning to fuel fears. As Nazi leaders approach their 90s, Germany has intensified its search for war criminals.
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
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
Paul Anka-Fort Lauderdale-March 4
Elton John-Sunrise, March 16