Welcome to The Free Press Report’s Monday Digest. This week a lot has happened – Hillary Clinton spread conspiracy theories, monkeypox threatens the U.S and Europe, and politicians in Nigeria are causing a currency crisis. Read on for more of the stories you might have missed
Biden botches name of heroic ex-cop who died in Buffalo mass shooting. Aaron Salter Jr served 30 years in the Buffalo Police Department before becoming a security guard in the Tops Friendly Market where the shooting took place. Salter died after firing multiple rounds at the attacker. But speaking at the Public Safety Officers’ Medals of Bravery ceremony, President Biden fumbled over the pronunciation of Salter’s name, calling him “Salder” and “Slater”. Later in his speech, Biden forgot the name of Rep. Adriano Espaillat, a Democratic congressman from New York. In response to the gaffe, Biden admitted “I stumbled again” (GWN)
Hillary Clinton personally approved spreading discredited conspiracy theories about former President Donald Trump during their 2016 election contest, according to campaign manager Robby Mook. During a trial of an ex-campaign lawyer, Mook admitted that campaign employees “weren’t totally confident” about the now disproven theory that Donald Trump had secret communications with a Russian bank, but Clinton gave the go-ahead to spread the story in the media in an attempt to discredit her opponent (BBG)
George Bush’s “senior moment” sees him confusing Ukraine with Iraq. The former President, who ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, spoke at an event in Dallas where he criticized Putin’s regime. But “history's greatest Freudian slip” resulted in him condemning the “unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq", before insisting that he had intended to say “Ukraine”. On Twitter, former senator Nina Turner celebrated that the former president “told the truth for once” – even if only by accident (CNBC)
U.S surpasses China in economic growth for first time since 1976. Bloomberg economists expect U.S real GDP to grow by 2.8% this year, a significant drop from last year’s 5.7% thanks to inflation fears and supply chain issues. But hindered by draconian lockdown measures, China’s economy is expected to grow just 2.0% (BBG)
Monkeypox outbreak sparks health crisis in 14 countries, including the U.S, the UK, Israel and Switzerland. Monkeypox is most common in Africa, but has now spread globally, with over 80 cases confirmed in Europe, North America and Oceania. Because of the low transmission rate, scientists were unprepared for the outbreak. There is no vaccine for monkeypox, but some countries are stocking up on smallpox vaccines, which are believed to be 85% effective as a substitute (CNBC)
Labor Party wins Australian elections, with cleaner’s son set to become Prime Minister. Anthony Albanese, who is from a working class background, lead his party to victory in a closely contested general election against the Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party, which had been in power since 2013. In a speech after his victory, Albanese promised to “change the way that politics operates in this country” (Reuters)
Sons of Panama’s former president sentenced in bribery case. Ricardo and Luis Martinelli, whose father ruled between 2009 and 2014, were found guilty by a U.S court of laundering millions of dollars worth of bribes paid by a Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht to a Panamanian official. Each will each serve 3 year prison sentences (Reuters)
Campaign spending causes Nigerian currency crash, as the naira fell to its lowest level ever against the dollar. Africa’s most populous country will hold primary elections to determine legislative and presidential candidates in June. Politicians from both major parties are stocking up so many dollars to pay for campaign costs that the naira is facing official devaluation (BBG)
Social and Business
Allianz subsidiary guilty of criminal securities fraud relating to the collapse of investment funds in early 2020. The Germany financial services conglomerate will pay $6 billion in fines after it was found to have mislead investors including pensions funds for teachers and religious groups by understating its portfolio risk. Former chief investment officer Gregoire Tournant and two other portfolio managers were found guilty of fraud, conspiracy and obstruction, and related charges (Reuters)
Big-box retailers miss earnings, causing hundred billion dollar selloff. Shares in Walmart and Home Depot fell 19.6% and 2.3% respectively after they issued disappointing financial reports this week. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon blamed “unusual environment” for the company’s poor performance. Economists use retail earnings as a bellwether for the U.S economy, and these results underline the country’s continued struggle with inflation (CNBC)
Covid resurgence in NYC may see return of mask mandates. The city is averaging over 4,000 new cases every day, with 55 deaths reported in the past week. If over 10% of hospital beds are occupied by covid patients, the CDC may upgrade the city to a higher alert level, allowing officials to impose lockdown measures including a mask requirement (BBG)
Cross-border drug smuggling tunnel discovered in San Diego. The passage, which runs the length of six football fields and is equipped with rail systems, ventilation and reinforced walls, passes beneath the Otay Mesa border between Mexico and the United States. Investigators seized 1,762 pounds of cocaine, 165 pounds of methamphetamine and 3.5 pounds of heroin, but admitted it is impossible to know the true amount of drugs that had been smuggled into the U.S through the tunnel (NBC)
‘Godfather’ director launches Web3 funding platform. Decentralized Pictures will launch a blockchain-backed film financing application in collaboration with best-picture winning director Francis Ford Coppola’s production company. The platform, which will go live during this week’s Cannes film festival, will operate similarly to a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), using native tokens to encourage collaboration on film project proposals (Decrypt)
Justice department cracks down on bitcoin, claiming that cryptocurrency was used to circumvent sanctions. An unnamed defendant has been accused of sending more than $10mm in BTC from the U.S to an I.P address in a sanctioned country. Judge Faruqui wrote: “like Jason Voorhees, the myth of virtual currency’s anonymity refuses to die” (Decrypt)
Disclaimer: The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. All statements and expressions herein are the sole opinion of the author or paid advertiser.
The Free Press Report is a publisher of financial information, not an investment advisor. We do not provide personalized or individualized investment advice or information that is tailored to the needs of any particular recipient.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS INVESTMENT ADVICE, AND DOES NOT PURPORT TO BE AND DOES NOT EXPRESS ANY OPINION AS TO THE PRICE AT WHICH THE SECURITIES OF ANY COMPANY MAY TRADE AT ANY TIME. THE INFORMATION AND OPINIONS PROVIDED HEREIN SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS SPECIFIC ADVICE ON THE MERITS OF ANY INVESTMENT DECISION. INVESTORS SHOULD MAKE THEIR OWN INVESTIGATION AND DECISIONS REGARDING THE PROSPECTS OF ANY COMPANY DISCUSSED HEREIN BASED ON SUCH INVESTORS’ OWN REVIEW OF PUBLICLY AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT RELY ON THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN.
No statement or expression of opinion, or any other matter herein, directly or indirectly, is an offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell the securities or financial instruments mentioned.
Any projections, market outlooks or estimates herein are forward looking statements and are inherently unreliable. They are based upon certain assumptions and should not be construed to be indicative of the actual events that will occur. Other events that were not taken into account may occur and may significantly affect the returns or performance of the securities discussed herein. The information provided herein is based on matters as they exist as of the date of preparation and not as of any future date, and the publisher undertakes no obligation to correct, update or revise the information in this document or to otherwise provide any additional material.
The publisher, its affiliates, and clients of the a publisher or its affiliates may currently have long or short positions in the securities of the companies mentioned herein, or may have such a position in the future (and therefore may profit from fluctuations in the trading price of the securities). To the extent such persons do have such positions, there is no guarantee that such persons will maintain such positions.
Neither the publisher nor any of its affiliates accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss howsoever arising, directly or indirectly, from any use of the information contained herein.