Repo Commentary-7/25/18

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I intend to write the Repo Commentary more regularly and post it on my new website: http://www.repocommentary.com. I actually started writing this one on Monday, but have been pulled in a lot of directions, so I’m trying to keep up with the news as it happens. 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 jeffkidwell82@gmail.com (backup email 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. 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:

• Gorgeous Grandma Day
• National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
• World Sjogrens Day
• Hot Enough For Ya Day
• Yada, Yada, Yada Day
• Revolution Day in Egypt
• Birthday of Haile Selassie
• Children’s Day in Indonesia
• National Remembrance Day in Papua New Guinea
• Renaissance Day in Oman
Not to be forgotten though, today is National Tequila Day, which is coincidentally falling on Taco Tuesday. Uh oh!

Some Famous People Born Monday in History:
• 1301-Otto, Duke of Austria
• 1339-Louis I, Duke of Anjou
• 1503-Anne of Bohemia and Hungary
• 1614-Bonaventura Peeters the Elder
• 1649-Pope Clement XI
• 1885-Georges V. Matchabelli-created Prince Matchabelli perfume
• 1888-Raymond Chandler-novelist/screenwriter
• 1892-Haile Selassie-Ethiopian emperor
• 1894-Arthur Treacher-actor/TV personality
• 1895-Aileen Pringle-actress
• 1898-Red Dutton-hockey
• 1912-M.H. Abrams-author
• 1918-Pee Wee Reese-baseball
• 1925-Gloria DeHaven-actress/singer
• 1929-Danny Barcelona-drummer
• 1933-Bert Convy-actor/singer/game show host
• 1936-Don Drysdale-baseball
• 1940-Don Imus-radio host
• 1958-Ken Green-golfer
• 1961-Woody Harrelson-actor
• 1965-Slash-guitarist
• 1967-Philip Seymour Hoffman-actor/director
• 1968-Gary Payton-NBA
• 1968-Stephanie Seymour-model/actress
• 1969-Andrew Cassels-hockey
• 1970-Sam Watters-singer
• 1972-Marlon Wayans-actor/comedian/producer
• 1973-Nomar Garciaparra-baseball
• 1977-Shawn Thornton-hockey
• 1980-Michelle Williams-singer/actress
• 1989-Daniel Radcliffe-actor

This Day in History:

• 811-Byzantine emperor Nikephoros I plunders the Bulgarian capital of Pliska and captures Khan Krum’s treasury.
• 1319-a Knights Hospitaller fleet scores a crushing victory over an Aydinid fleet off of Chios.
• 1632-300 colonists bound for New France depart from Deippe, France
• 1677-Scanian War: Denmark-Norway captures the harbor town of Marstrand from Sweden.
• 1793-Kingdom of Prussia re-conquers Mainz from France
• 1829-in the US, William Austin Burt patents the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter.
• 1840-the Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union.
• 1862-American Civil War: Henry Halleck takes command of the Union Army.
• 1881-the Boundary Treaty of 1881 between Chile and Argentina is signed in Buenos Aires.
• 1885-President Ulysses S. Grant dies of throat cancer.
• 1903-the Ford Motor Company sells its first car.
• 1908-the Second Constitution is accepted by the Ottomans.
• 1914-Austria-Hungary issues a series of demands in an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia demanding Serbia to allow the Austrians to determine who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Serbia accepts all but one of those demands and Austria declares war on July 28th.
• 1921-the Communist Party of China is established at the founding National Congress.
• 1926-Fox Films buys the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound onto film.
• 1927-the first station of the Indian Broadcasting Company goes on the air in Bombay.
• 1929-the Fascist government in Italy bans the use of foreign words.
• 1936-in Catalonia, Spain, the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia is founded through the merger of Socialist and Communist parties.
• 1940-the US’ Under-Secretary of State Sumner Welles issues a declaration on the US non-recognition policy of the Soviet annexation and incorporation of three Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
• 1942-The Holocaust: the Treblinka extermination camp is opened.
• 1942-WWII: the German offensives Operation Edelweiss and Operation Braunschweig begin.
• 1942-Bulgarian poet and Communist leader Nikola Vaptsarov is executed by firing squad.
• 1943-the Rayleigh bath chair murder occurred in Rayleigh, Essex, England.
• 1943-WWII: the British destroyers HMS Eclipse and HMS Laforey sink the Italian submarine Ascianghi in the Mediterranean after she torpedoes the cruiser HMS Newfoundland.
• 1952-General Muhammad Naguib leads the Free Officers Movement (formed by Gamal Abdal Nasser, the real power behind the coup) in overthrowing King Farouk of Egypt.
• 1961-the Sandinista National Liberation Front is founded in Nicaragua.
• 1962-Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.
• 1962-the International Agreement on the Neutrality of Laos is signed.
• 1967-Detroit Riots: in Detroit, one of the worst riots in US history begins on 12th Street in the predominantly African American inner city. The riots ultimately kill 43 people, injure 342, and burn about 1,400 buildings.
• 1968-Glenville Shootout: in Cleveland, OH, a violent shootout between a Black Militant organization and the Cleveland Police Department occurs. During the shootout, a riot begins and lasts for 5 days.
• 1968-the only successful hijacking of an El Al aircraft takes place when a Boeing 707 carrying ten crew and 38 passengers is taken over by 3 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The aircraft was en route from Rome to Lod, Israel.
• 1970-Qaboos bid Said al Said becomes Sultan of Oman after overthrowing his father, Said bin Talmur, initiating massive reforms, modernization programs, and end to a decade-long civil war.
• 1972-the US launches Landsat I, the first Earth-resources satellite.
• 1974-the Greek military junta collapses, and former PM Konstantine Karamanlis is invited to lead the new government, beginning Greece’s metapolitefsi era.
• 1980-Pham Tuan becomes the first Vietnamese citizen and the first Asian in space when he flies aboard the Soyuz 37 mission as an intercosmos Research Cosmonaut.
• 1982-outside Santa Clara, CA, actor Vic Morrow and two children are killed when a helicopter crashes onto them while shooting a scene from TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE.
• 1983-13 Sri Lanken Army soldiers are killed after a deadly ambush by the militant Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
• 1988-General Ne Win, effective ruler of Burma since 1962, resigns after pro-democracy protests.
• 1992-Abkhazia declares independence from Georgia.
• 1995-Comet Hale-Bopp is discovered; it becomes visible to the naked eye on Earth nearly a year later.
• 1997-Digital Equipment Corporation files antitrust charges against chipmaker Intel.
• 1999-ANA Flight 61 is hijacked in Tokyo, Japan by Yuji Nishizawa.
• 2005-three bombs explode in the Naama Bay area of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, killing 88 people.
• 2015-NASA announces discovery of Kepler-452b by Kepler.
• 2016-Kabul twin bombings occurred in the vicinity of Deh Mazang when protesters, mostly from the Shiite Hazara minority, were marching against route changing the TUTAP power project. At least 80 people were killed and 260 were injured.

Fun Fact of the Day:

The Mythbusters once tested a combination of common materials that made an extremely powerful explosive. They deleted the tapes and swore to never release the information, then contacted DARPA and warned them about the possibility of misuse from the combination.

Daily Affirmation/Thought/Pun/Quote:

“Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.”—George Eliot

International and Commodity Markets:

Oil prices closed up slightly Tuesday at $69.52/barrel, after opening at $68.07/barrel on 7/17. Gasoline at my West Palm Beach gas station drifted lower this week to $2.71. However, it varies wildly in Palm Beach County from $2.64 to $3.35, so you have to be careful. The USD versus the Yen is trading at $110.78, down sharply from where it was on 7/17. The USD was at 1.1733 versus the Euro, unchanged from 7/17. The USD is up slightly against the GBP, at $1.32. The USD is down versus the CAD to $1.3034. Gold closed Tuesday at $1233.03/ounce. Bitcoin was trading 7/9 at $6,717.99 and at $6,669.97 on 7/17. Today, it has bounced back to $8185.21. China has filed a complaint with WTO over US plan for tariffs.

Global Financial News:

Fund managers remain cautious about emerging-market government bonds, despite a recover this month that actually made up more than half of the losses from the first half of 2018. The well-publicized trade disputes have not helped. According to the WSJ, Chinese investors have become net sellers of US commercial real estate for the first time since 2008, using data from Real Capital Analytics. In Q2, Real Capital saw that Chinese investors bought $126.2 million of US commercial real estate but sold $1.29 billion worth of property. Negotiators for the House and Senate have reportedly agreed on legislation to give regulators additional power to investigate and block foreign investment that could potentially endanger national security, in the form of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act. SEC nominee Elad Roisman has told the Senate banking committee during a confirmation hearing that it is important for the SEC to build investor confident through strong enforcement program. The CFTC has approved a proposal to update rules on position limits for securities futures products, giving exchanges more discretion in setting those limits. The proposal would likely increase the default limit to 25,000 contracts versus 13,500 contracts, to increase liquidity. Dan Berkowitz sailed through a Senate confirmation hearing and is close to making the CFTC a full commission for the first time in 4 years. The SEC has voted for simplified disclosure on some debt offerings.

US Market News:

The Dow Jones closed up on Tuesday 172.16 points to 25,414.10, almost 400 points above where it was on 7/17. S&P 500 was up 25.67 to 2846.07, much higher than where it was on 7/17. Nasdaq was also up 91.47 to 7932.24, much higher than where it was on 7/17. Since 7/17, US Treasuries are down (in price) up (in yield), with 2yr at 2.669% (up almost 7bp), 3yr at 2.754% (up almost 8bp), 5yr at 2.842% (up 9bp), 7yr at 2.93% (up more than 10bp), 10yr at 2.969% (up more than 11bp), and 30yr at 3.094% (up almost 13bp). The bond market has been bloodied by the success of the equity market and the curve has steepened.

Repo News:  

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.

The Fed is in its self-imposed 7-day blackout period on speeches and statements as the next FOMC meeting is tomorrow, 7/26.

Earthquakes and Volcanoes:

A series of 10 morning earthquakes off southern Oregon the other day included one of magnitude 5.6. Some experts are concerned about the Ring of FIRE. Some prognosticator thinks that a powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.0 or greater could strike this week due to the Super Moon and Blood Moon we will have. The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century will arrive 7/27 which will give the full moon a spectacular red tinge (hence Blood Moon). The combination of a Super Moon (20-30% larger/closer than normal) and Blood Moon (total lunar eclipse) occurred last in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. As all eyes are still on Hawaii’s Kilauea eruption, which geologists say could last for months, and the recent mishap of a tour boat that got to close and was hit with a lava bomb, some scientists are saying that Mount Ranier may be the most dangerous US volcano on the mainland. Another volcano, Erta Ale in Ethiopia, is seeing a lot of activity both at the summit and the 2017 flank.

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 done
Chris done
Debby
Ernesto
Florence
Gordon
Helene
Isaac
Joyce
Kirk
Leslie
Michael
Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sara
Tony
Valerie
William
The NHC sees no tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean at this time within the next 48 hours. However, some meteorologists in Florida are pointing to the fact that Atlantic Ocean water here is now up to 88 degrees and the daily storm flow has been East to West, which generally does not bode well for a quiet hurricane season.
The Pacific Hurricane Season began on May 1st. The NHC does not see any tropical cyclones forming in the Eastern North Pacific in the next 48 hours. Tropical Storm Son-Tinh caused flooding and mudslides and left 32 people dead and 17 others missing in Vietnam.
Let’s talk about weather, here in Florida, it is ridiculously hot, with temps in the mid-90s and ‘feels-like’ temps in the 105-110 range. Also, the water temperature is 88 degrees and the sand is really hot. And, we are having these spectacular frightening thunderstorms every afternoon. 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. An ‘extreme’ jet stream pattern has begun a week of wild weather in the US. The Northeast is expected to turn less humid this weekend.

Sports News:

MLB:

The MLB season is more than 50% over and we completed the All-Star Game (and its Homerun Derby). The Homerun Derby was won by Bryce Harper of the Nationals and the All-Star Game was won for 6th time in a row by the American League, 8-6 in 10 innings. There were 10 HRs in the game, including back-to-back dingers by Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer in the 10th inning on consecutive pitches for the AL. We are now approaching the 7/31 Trade Deadline. One of the biggest names, Manny Machado was traded for 5 players by the Orioles, not to the Yankees, but to the Dodgers. I watched the Marlins vs the Rays on Sunday, when Rays’ ace Chris Archer struck out 13, but was losing 4-2, until the Rays hit a walk-off grand slam HR off of the Marlins’ bullpen with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. Last night, the Marlins took a 16-hit beating 12-1 from the Braves. The Marlins are getting a lot of trade calls from other teams, mostly bout Justin Bour, Derek Dietrich, Dan Straily, Steckenrider, Barraclough, Brad Ziegler, and Realmuto. The Yankees are reportedly interested in Archer. The Astros were reportedly considered the best fit for Orioles’ closer Zach Britton, but the Yankees swooped him up on Tuesday, giving up 5 prospects, despite already having flamethrower closer Aroldis Chapman, effectively demoting him from closer after his last 4 rocky outings. The Brewers may be thinking about adding Royals’ Mike Moustakas and moving 3B Travis Shaw to 2B. They may also be looking at Robert Murray of the A’s and Royals’ Whit Merrifield. The Phillies are talking to the Blue Jays about Curtis Granderson. The Nationals and Rangers are discussing starter Cole Hamels. The Rockies, like many teams, are reportedly interested in adding starting pitchers and are looking at a couple of Orioles’ starters. There seems to be some interest in Reds’ starter Matt Harvey, perhaps from the Brewers and the Mariners. It appears that even the high-flying Red Sox want some bullpen help. Blue Jays’ pitcher J.A. Happ was scouted the other day by the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers. The Indians are reportedly looking for outfield help, as they are playing Melky Cabrera and Tyler Naquin more regularly. Bradley Zimmer was lost for the season to a shoulder injury. Lonnie Chisenhall has a calf strain. Michael Brantley is surprisingly not injured. Padres’ top prospect Tatis will miss the rest of the season. Met’s AA Binghamton star Tim Tebow is undergoing season-ending hand surgery. Mets’ ace Noah Syndergaard is going to DL with a viral illness. Phillies’ fans gave Chase Utley a standing ovation in his return to Philadelphia with the Dodgers, after announcing that he is retiring at the end of the season. Dodgers placed infielder Justin Turner on 10-day DL. Rays placed All-Star starter Blake Snell on 10-day DL. Mets are closely watching Yoenis Cespedes injury and consider heel surgeries a “last resort”. The Cubs and Javier Baez gave a young fan a signed baseball, after an adult stole a foul ball from him. Yankees’ slugging catcher, Gary Sanchez, is going back on the DL with a groin injury. The Blue Jays are now shopping their suspended closer, Roberto Osuna.
In the AL East, the Red Sox have not let up on the gas. They became the first team to reach 71 wins this season last night. They have won 9 out of last 10, putting them 6 games ahead of the Yankees, who have been 4-6 over the same stretch. The Orioles have lost 4 games in a row and 8 out of 10 to fall to 42 ½ games behind the Red Sox. The AL Central, is still being led by the Indians, who have gone 5-5 over the last 10, because the Twins, 8 ½ games behind them, have also gone 5-5. The Tigers are 12 ½ games back of the Indians, thanks to losing 7 out of their last 10. The Royals are now 30-69 and 24 games behind. In the AL West, the World Champion Astros are still in first place, but only 5 games ahead of the Mariners, and 7 1/2 games ahead of the A’s. If you are starting to think about the Wild Card, the Yankees are way ahead for the first Wild Card spot, but these two teams are in the running for the second Wild Card spot. In the NL East, the Phillies overtook the Braves, and are now tied. The Nationals are only 6 games behind the two teams. In the NL Central, the Cubs have somehow held on to first place, now 2 ½ games ahead of the Brewers. The Brewers did not help themselves by losing 7 out of the last 10, while the Cubs won 6 of their last 10. Meanwhile, the Pirates won 10 of their last 11 and are suddenly just 7 games behind the Cubs. The Cards have fallen to 8 ½ games behind the Cubs. The NL West is still a tight race, with the Dodgers precariously in first place, only 1 ½ games ahead of the Diamondbacks, 2 ½ games ahead of the Rockies, and only 5 ½ games ahead of the Giants. I’m not even going to try to figure out who is favorite at this point for the two NL Wild Card spots.

Golf:

The PGA Tour stopped for its third major at the British Open in Carnoustie Golf Links in Scotland. The course was very difficult, strewn with impossible pot bunkers, high fescue, burned fairways (that allowed for 400-yard drives), and relentless winds. It was a dramatic finish with some 9 players in striking distance, including Tiger Woods, but finally the only player who didn’t bogie and was the most consistent, Francesco Molinari, who was playing with Tiger, won with a -8. It was Molinari’s first major victory. He came in 2 shots ahead of Kevin Kisner, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele. Tiger Woods finished at -5. Molinari became the first Italian player to win a major.

Fighting:

WWE
The WWE announced its first-ever all women’s event, “Evolution”.
MMA
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.

Boxing
7/14
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
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
9/8
Danny Garcia vs Shawn Porter title fight.
9/22
Anthony Joshua (2012 Olympic gold medalist at super heavyweight and current IBF, WBA, and WBO heavyweight champ will face Alexander Povetkin in London

Tennis:

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. She is now looking forward to the next major, the US Open in Queens, NY. Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Rogers Cup, with his longevity in mind. Speaking of both, Serena Williams just got a wild card for the Rogers Cup.

Racing:

The Tour de France began and was interrupted by protesters and police with tear gas.
The German Gran Prix was 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.

NCAA Football:

College football season kickoff is in 31 days (8/25). Just a reminder, Alabama won the National Championship last season. College Football Playoffs have extended agreements with Cotton, Fiesta, and Peach Bowls. Former Alabama RB BJ Emmons announced that he will not be joining FAU for 2018 season. Ohio State’s head coach Urban Meyer just fired Zach Smith on Monday, right before the season begins, drawing a lot of attention to the Big-10 powerhouse. Smith had a protective order filed against him on Friday.
Here is Sporting News’ way-too-early Top 25 rankings:
1. Alabama
2. Clemson
3. Georgia
4. Ohio State
5. Oklahoma
6. Wisconsin
7. Washington
8. Auburn
9. Notre Dame
10. Penn State
11. Miami
12. Michigan
13. Michigan State
14. Stanford
15. USC
16. UCF
17. Virginia Tech
18. LSU
19. TCU
20. FSU
21. Oklahoma State
22. Texas
23. South Carolina
24. Mississippi State
25. Boise State

NFL:

The NFL preseason is only 16 days away (8/2). The 32 teams have opened their training camps. The NFL regular season is only 45 days away (9/6). Free agent Dez Bryant says he only wants to be with “contender” next season. Yet, Browns GM John Dorsey admits to ‘discussions’ with him. I’m not sure that I would consider the Browns, who were winless last year, as already ‘contenders’ this year. WR Julio Jones surprisingly won’t report to Falcons’ traiing camp. Tony Sporano, Vikings assistant coach, former Dolphins head coach, and interim Raiders head coach, died of a heart attack at home Sunday at age 56. He had been to a Minnesota hospital Friday complaining of chest pains, but was released after tests. Chargers rookie Derwin James was reportedly robbed at gunpoint. Saints punter Thomas Morstead did pull-ups challenge to raise money for charity. Former Rams LB Connor Barwin announced that he is signing with the Giants. Patriots are reportedly shopping WR Malcolm Mitchell. This is a little surprising, after the Pats traded Brandon Cooks to the Rams, lost Danny Amendola to free agency (Dolphins) and lost Julian Edelman to a 4-game suspension. But, before Pats’ fans panic, they still have Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, and Kenny Britt. More TO news, retired Terrell Owens has activated his 10-day clause with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. Darrell Revis has officially retired with the Jets. Earl Thomas says he is “done” with Seattle. The Rams signed RB Todd Gurley to a 4-year/$60 million extension, which is likely to rock RB Le’Veon Bell’s negotiations with the Steelers.

Soccer:

Well, now that you are hooked on soccer from the World Cup, the Premier League is about to begin its 2018/2019 season to take up the slack. The season gets underway on Friday, August 10th with Manchester United welcoming Leicester in Old Trafford. Since the end of last season, 4 Premier League clubs have changed their managers (Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, and West Ham). There are 3 teams who have been promoted to England’s Premier League, who actually played in the Premier League before (Fulham, Midlands, Cardiff). Arsenal’s new manager has signed 5 new players, including a goalkeeper. Liverpool signed Naby Keita. Man City landed Riyad Mahrez. Manchester United landed Fred and Diogo Dalot. Fulham surprised by signing Jean Michel Seri, as did West Ham by signing Felipe Anderson, Jack Wilshere, and Andriy Yarmolenko. The Premier Lego will have a new transfer deadline day this year, August 9. FIFA new rules state that each league must have a transfer window of at least 12 weeks, although the other European leagues have yet to implement that rule, allowing players to still leave for other clubs (not the English clubs though) until August 31. VAR (official replay) is still not going to be used for FIFA games (although it was prominent at the World Cup) but it will be tested again in FA Cup games and some Premier League games. In mid-September, Tottenham will be moving out of Wembley Stadium and into the new White Hart Lane Stadium. The Premier League will also be featuring a new ball, the Nike Merlin, for this season:

You will notice that the ball features only four panels, opposed to the traditional 32 panels, which means there will be far fewer seams and hard spots. Also, the new All Conditions Control (ACC) technology will help players identify more easily which way the ball is spinning, how fast it is going, and when it is likely to drop. One of the two best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo, made a sensational move to Juventus in Italy from Real Madrid in a deal worth EU 100 million.

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. The next preseason starts on 9/15. Capitals have named their new head coach, Todd Reirden. Predators’ Austin Watson pleaded no-contest in domestic assault case. Jets’ Trouba was awarded a one-year/$5.5 million contract in arbitration. Anaheim revealed a MIGHT DUCKS alternative jersey. Wild and Matt Dumba agree on 5year/$30 million. The Ducks signed Adam Henrique to a 5-year contract extension. Flames signed Elias Lindholm to a 6-year deal. The Golden Knights and US Army have ended their trademark dispute by agreeing to coexist. The Coyotes’ owner is looking to sell almost half the team that he values at $500 million. Former NHL goalie Ray Emery was found dead after presumed drowning. The Golden Knights and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury agreed to a 3year/$21 million deal. Jets’ goaltender parlayed best year into a 6-year/$37 million contract extension. Capitals have re-signed Brooks Orpik after trading him.

NBA:

The NBA Finals also mercifully ended in June, after starting their season in October. The Summer League is underway. Preseason will be upon us soon. The Jazz extended Dante Exum to a 3year contract worth $33 million. Akron, Ohio’s LeBron James declined his option for hometeam Cavaliers and then quickly signed with the Lakers for 4years/$154 million. Kevin Love has signed a 4-year extension with the Cavaliers for 4years/$120 million. Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard finally landed with the Raptors. After a falling out with San Antonio, he says he will “fall in love with Toronto”. He gets $20 million for this upcoming season and then will be eligible for a 5year/$190 million max extension next summer. If he doesn’t sign with the Raptors for that amount, the most he can get from a new team will be 4years/$141 million, significantly less money. The Raptors sent face-of-the-franchise DeMar DeRozan to the Spurs. The Warriors snatched up free agent DeMarcus Cousins for one year/$5.3 million. The Rockets snatched up Carmelo Anthony to a veteran/minimum deal. They also re-signed free agent Clint Capela. That followed their re-signing of star Chris Paul to a 4year/$160 million contract. But, they did lose Trevor Ariza to a one year/$15 million deal with the Suns when free agency began on 7/1. Dwight Howard says he wants to finish his career with the Wizards. Tobias Harris has reportedly turned down an $80 million extension offer from the Clippers. Dirk Nowitzki has re-signed with the Mavericks for 21st season and his set to break the NBA record. Reportedly, free agent Isaiah Thomas was open to returning to the Celtics. There are rumors that Dwyane Wade may be heading to China from the Heat. ESPN’s new power couple, Jalen Rose and Molly Qerim have gotten married in private. The Knicks reached agreement with Noah Vonleh.

Travel News:

I finally took the high-speed BrightLine train from West Palm Beach, FL to Fort Lauderdale, FL, and loved it! The train has been plagued by 6 deaths, some accidental as people have tried to beat the train at crossings, and some suicides. Nevertheless, it is an amazing service that currently runs from West Palm Beach to Fort Lauderdale (in 35 minutes for $16) and on to Miami. For an extra $4, you can ride in the luxury car and get free drinks (wine and beer too) and snacks. It was effortless and beat the traffic I would have had to endure (which would have taken much longer), allowed me to have a drink in Fort Lauderdale (and not drive under the influence), and was very pleasant and stress-free. I look forward to taking the train to Miami next. In the future, rails will be laid for the continuation from West Palm Beach north to Cocoa Beach, and then a spur from Cocoa Beach to Orlando. A Miami flight school has shut down after a fatal crash of two single-engine planes over the Everglades. A Southwest airlines employee accused of putting camera in lavatory has been charged with voyeurism. Meanwhile, a driver for both Uber and Lyft, who videotaped his riders and posted the videos on social media, has been fired and authorities are determining whether to charge him. There is still major fallout from MGM Casinos suing more than 1,000 victims and family members of the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, ostensibly to try to prevent those victims from suing the casino giant, even though MGM owns the property where the victims were attending a huge concert and owns the Mandalay Bay casino/resort, from which the sharpshooter was staying and fired all of the shots. In Branson, MO on Thursday, a tourist duck boat, Ride the Ducks Branson (drives on land and then enters the water amphibiously) capsized and sunk, claiming 17 lives, including 9 members of one family. On Monday, the duck boat was raised to the surface, up some 80 feet, of Table Rock Lake, by the Coast Guard. They will take to boat to a facility for further inspection. Officials of the Coast Guard, the NTSB, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol will also be looking at questions about the weather, life jackets, the boat itself and its canopy, and the actions of the crew. It appears that the amphibious vessel changed the route it took and was capsized as a storm and high winds lashed the lake. There is an early report that during a 2007 inspection of the boat, an inspector noted in a report that the exhaust was improperly in the front of the boat. So, if the exhaust went below the water line, the waves would have pushed water into the exhaust and shut down the engine. You may not have to remove liquids at the airport in the near future, thanks to new scanners. California’s Highway 1 has reopened after mudslide. US airlines are capitulating to China’s demands on “Taiwan”. The Department of Transportation’s latest reports shows that flight delays and cancellations have worsened. WOW Air has rolled out a $99 one-way fare to Iceland. Construction has begun on new giant Celebrity Cruises ships. Princess Cruises revealed plans for giant new ships. Amtrak is improving its meals for long-haul riders. A new report estimates that a single employee at DMV slept 3-4 hours daily at her desk since February 2014, totaling over 2,200 of work time and costing more than $40,000. What’s more impressive is that no one noticed until now!

Health News:

Now that Starbucks and McDonald’s have started a movement to stop using plastic straws, incorporating better sipping cups and/or paper straws, the two companies are also welcoming ideas from the public on new recyclable cups. So far, some 1,000 ideas have been submitted by the public. The manufacturer of several types of Goldfish crackers has recalled them due to possible salmonella contamination. Separately, Nabisco has recalled several flavors of Ritz crackers due to possible salmonella contamination. You can get a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts for $1 this Friday.

Animal News:

Twiggy, the water-skiing squirrel, has retired after his 40-year career. Six men have ben arrested following poaching incident at Thula Thula Private Game Reserve involving elephants. A Field Ranger was tragically killed by alleged rhino poachers in Kruger National Park. Animal Legal Defense Fund has rescued endangered animals from Deer Haven Mini Zoo in Maryland. Police shared unbearably cute photo of a trespassing bear taking a dip in a backyard swimming pool in Southern California (San Fernando Valley), during their heatwave. The bear, which was already red-tagged (meaning he had been caught in neighborhoods before), was tranquilized, captured and relocated in the Angeles National Forest. World Animal News reports that the 2018 quota of lion skeletons allowed to be exported from South Africa has been raised to 1,500, nearly double last year’s quota of 800. The new quota went into effect on June 7th, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs Minister. 292 crocodiles were massacred by angry villagers in Indonesia (Sorong, West Papua), following the funeral for a 48-year-old man who was killed by a crocodile after entering an area around a private breeding pond for protected saltwater and New Guinea crocodiles for preservation. Authorities are now questioning witnesses to determine if criminal charges will be filed against those responsible. 361 golden retrievers gathered with their owners at the estate of the 19th century aristocrat Lord Tweedmouth in Scotland to celebrate the breed’s inception 150 years ago. About 120 wild ponies and their foals were rounded up on Assateague Island off Virginia’s Atlantic coast to swim across the channel to Chincoteague Island, where some are sold at auction the next day, to make sure the island’s herd doesn’t overwhelm its environment. More than 100 turtles have been gathered from Sarasota County, FL waters, and another 66 have been found in Collier County, FL. Officials say that Red Tide is likely the killer. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a Red Tide area, which is common on the West Coast of Florida near Sarasota. I’ve experienced it there and in Cape Cod and it cause most people to get a tickle in their throat that makes them cough constantly. It’s very irritating to humans and lethal to animals. Officials say this is the worst Red Tide bloom since 2006 for southwest Florida beaches.

Entertainment News:

Porn star, Stormy Daniels, at the center of an alleged scandal with President Trump, is now getting a divorce from her husband. I guess he just had enough, after she was arrested for lewd behavior at an Ohio strip club. She was married? Today, on the Today Show, they posed a question to Kathie Lee Gifford, “would you rather give up wine or vacations forever?” and she said, “vacations forever.” Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has been given a one-year ban from his sport. It’s kind of funny though because he was caught having posted a Facebook video selfie of him getting an IV of allegedly vitamins. It turns out that, according to the rules, no athlete can get an IV of that volume, no matter what it is, right before a competition (the World Championship is just coming up). That was really dumb. A judge is set to rule if Bill Cosby will be classified as a “sexually violent predator,” after being found guilty on 3 counts of aggravated indecent assault. That classification would require him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and undergo treatment. There has been new information on Amelia Earhart’s last days, as a new analysis of her distress call may share insight into her final week. She was believed at the time to still be in her Lockheed Electra plane, surrounded by knee-deep water, marooned possibly on the reef of Gardner Island, with her seriously injured navigator, Fred Noonan. On July 2, 1937, she is believed to have sent out this distress call, “Plane down on an uncharted island. Small, uninhabited.” Apparently, the call was only heard by a Texas housewife who had stumbled upon the message while scanning her home radio. This is according to a new analysis of radio distress calls picked up by both area government agencies and the public in the immediate days after Earhart went missing. The 30-page report about all of the distress signals found (more than 100 in the week, of which 57 were determined credible by researchers) will be released today on what would have been Earhart’s 121st birthday. Dennis Quaid has opened up about his crippling former drug addiction. Million Dollar Listing New York’s star Ryan Serhant has been busy with his other reality show Sell Like Serhant. Former MTV game show winner and later TRL host, Jessie Camp, is currently missing. It is Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and Shaquille O’Neal is getting involved. They built a huge shark cage for him to get in and help film sharks in the wild, but made a mistake in construction, which had the bars too far apart, and a shark got into the cage with Shaq for a few frightening minutes. The rookie diver was unharmed, after being pulled out of the cage. Michael McDonald has a new summer tour and new album. Tom Cruise explained on James Corden’s show last night that he does his own stunts to provide realism to his films. He is all about entertaining the audience no matter what. HBO announced Game of Thrones final season will air in the ‘first half’ of 2019. HBO said it is happy with Westworld despite backlash, as an exec said “People love to hate it.”

This week’s box-office picked up, as two blockbusters battled it out. THE EQUALIZER 2 (with Denzel Washington) debuted with $36 million (having cost $62 million); which edged out No.2 debut film MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (with a huge cast) which made $35 million (having cost $75 million); this knocked last week’s No.2 film, th animated HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION to No.3 with $23.8 million, in its 2nd week; and pushing last week’s No.2 ANT-MAN AND THE WASP, down to No.4 with $16.5 million, in its 3rd week (total $165 million); and No.5 was the animated INCREDIBLES 2, which made $11.9 million in its 6th week (total $557.7 million). Another notable debut was UNFRIENDED: DARK WEB, which came in No.9 with $3.7 million in limited release. A disappointment was SKYSCRAPER (with Dwayne Johnson) which fell from No.3 to No.6 and has made a total of $47.1 million but cost $125 millon.
Movies coming out this week: the long awaited MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT; TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES; BLINDSPOTTING; DETECTIVE DEE: THE FOUR HEAVENLY; HOT SUMMER NIGHTS; PUZZLE; and SOCTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF.

Movie Reviews:

Technology & Space News:

NASA has detected water on Mars, raising the hope of finding life and Matt Damon on the Red Planet. NASA’s James Webb Telescope is reportedly still functioning. Officials say that 3D-printable and ‘downloadable’ handguns and automatic rifles will become available August 1. After a settlement between the State Department and a Texas-based firearm developer, Defense Distributed, the nonprofit will be able to release blueprints for guns online beginning that day. Not only is the AR-15 model going to be available, but since you can make them at home, the guns will be untraceable and one won’t need a background check. The concept to legally manufacture unserialized rifles and pistols in the privacy of your home, as long as you don’t sell them, isn’t new. Unfortunately, some criminals have started using ‘ghost guns’, as they are called, as a way to circumvent assault weapon regulations. The 3D printers needed to make the firearms can cost anywhere from $5000 to $600,000, according to Vice News. I don’t know enough about the subject yet, but this is worrying me. Mayfield Robotics, maker of Kuri robots, says it is ceasing production of the home companion.

Political News:

Okay, I’m already sick of all of the political ads for the upcoming mid-term elections. President Trump said the EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has resigned. President Trump is slamming media outlets over Melania facelift rumors. President Trump has offered farmers with aid who have been hurt by the escalating China trade war. Ivanka Trump is ending her fashion line, which she launched in 2011.

US News:

Mega Millions jackpot for Tuesday’s drawing was $522 million ($308 million cash) the 5th largest jackpot in its 16-year history. I did not win, so I will continue to write the Repo Commentary. However, someone in California did win, buying the ticket at a liquor store. A Tennessee woman was convicted of stealing over $162,000 in government funds intended to provide summer meals for children in “economically disadvantaged areas.” Former NJ Governor Christie has been named Executive Chair of Juno Beach, FL drug rehab. In Clearwater, Florida, the Stand Your Ground law is being questioned after a husband/father shoved a man down in a parking lot who was giving his wife grief in a parking lot and the shoved man pulled out a gun and shot the husband/father dead with one shot to the chest. Initially, police said that they would not be charging the shooter, due to Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law (a law that is now in effect in several other states too). The district attorney is now looking at the case. In Los Angeles, a police shootout with a suspect, who had crashed into a telephone pole and then shot many shots with an automatic pistol at 4 police officers, an innocent bystander in the Trader Joe’s was shot and killed by an errant shot by the police. The suspect has survived and is being charged with one count of murder, 4 counts of attempted murder on police officers, as well as other charges which may include taking up to 30 people hostage. That doctor for the US Olympic gymnastics team, Larry Nassar, who was convicted of 3 child pornography charges for which he was sentenced to 60-years in federal prison, and convicted of 10 sexual assault charges (out of 140 that were filed against him) for which he was sentenced to decades more in state prison, had filed a motion for a resentencing hearing and has demanded that the former judge be disqualified because she had made comments that she had already decided to impose the maximum allowed, and that he has already been attacked in federal prison by inmates in general population, blaming that on the judge. In sort of related news, the new CEO of the US Olympic Committee, Sarah Hirshland, rebuffed gold medalist and the face of the sex abuse scandal, Aly Raisman, in her first attempt to introduce herself, after a 2-hour Senate hearing. Afterwards, Hirschland emailed Raisman an apology. Co-founder of a self-improvement group that’s accused of actually branding some of its female members and forcing them into unwanted sex have pleaded not guilty.

International News:

US Secretary of State Pompeo sasy the US rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea. resident Trump is delaying his next meeting with President Putin. EU President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed the importance of the EU-US partnership, following a meeting with President Trump, attempting to ease trade tensions. President Trump took to Twitter to tweet to Iranian President Rouhani, “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” President Trump’s message was apparently in response to a speech on Sunday by Mr. Rouhani, who warned that US that any conflict with Iran would be the ‘mother of all wars,” per the NY Times. Iran’s FM Zarif responded on Monday to President Trump’s all-caps Twitter threat, “COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them –albeit more civilized ones—for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!” At least 80 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in wildfires in the Greek tourist town of Mati, not far from Athens. Some people jumped into the Mediterranean to escape. In the Syrian Civil War, an army offensive captures all opposition-held regions in the south of the country. A hydroelectric dam under construction in southeastern Laos collapsed, resulting in extensive damage and leaving more than 6,000 people displaced.

Florida:

Florida’s lobster mini-season begins today. Only a few months after a horrific police chase on I-95 in Boca Raton that led to a multiple car accident and several deaths, another police chase one exit south down I-95 in Boca Raton, on Palmetto Park Road, resulted in 8 cars wrecked. The speeding SUV that caused the crashes yesterday here sent 8 people to the hospital, including 6 riding in the 2005 Acura MDX, 5 of them juveniles. Boca Raton police said that they are all suspects and were taken to trauma centers. The 19-year-old driver is in critical condition. The police believe that all six people were involved in an armed robbery Monday morning on Federal Highway in Boca Raton. The weather in Florida each year seems to be either too much rain or too little rain, so we tend to cycle between years of drought and wildfires and floods and algae problems. I’m not sure that I’ve seen a year in the middle of the two extremes. We’ve had so much rain since May in Florida that Lake Okeechobee is way too high, which means it is covered with algae blooms, sucking up all the oxygen, and the Army Corps of Engineers has opened the main locks that feed the Port St. Lucie river, that then spills out to the inlet and kills many of the fish and the local tourism businesses. Today, the Army actually closed the locks, amidst major public outcry. There has been much debate for at least a decade of creating an overflow manmade lake for the runoff from Lake Okeechobee, rather than simply dumping it into the ocean and destroying that area. Today is the 3rd anniversary of the disappearance of the 2 Tequesta teenagers, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, nearby at the Jupiter inlet during a storm in a 19-foot boat. A search of more than 25,000 miles of ocean by scores of volunteers from across the nation and Coast Guard crews turned up the boat, but no sign of the missing boys. Amazon/Whole Foods has begun free food delivery to certain sections of Palm Beach County. A criminal investigation has begun surrounding a Miami 12-story downtown building that was supposed to be partially torn down, but the entire building collapsed Monday and injured a construction worker.
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 longer, more famous, concerts, there are many coming to Florida, perhaps when you will be visiting:
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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