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Daily Horoscope for June 03, 2024

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 21:00
General Daily Insight for June 03, 2024

Our minds may move faster than our hearts on a day like this. The emotional Moon begins things by stepping into slow and steady Taurus for the next two days, grounding us in our feelings and creature comforts. Our ideas sparkle with fresh energy, however, when Mercury enters Gemini at 3:37 am EDT, supporting us all as we collaborate and share our thoughts and observations. The need to connect will be especially strong when the Moon squares Pluto in communal Aquarius.

Aries

March 21 – April 19

Get ready to hit the ground running! The pace is picking up speed as chatty Mercury rolls into your 3rd House of Neighbors, giving you plenty of things to do and people to talk to. For the next couple of weeks, Mercury is highlighting the delights of socialization and connection. Even if you normally tend to stick to your own company, you’ll be ready for a change of scene. Make a point to circulate and you’ll make the most of this cycle.

Taurus

April 20 – May 20

Your finances could use a little attention. Fortunately, that shouldn’t be too difficult as messenger Mercury marches into your 2nd House of Income, turning your focus toward your monetary situation for the next couple of weeks. This is very good for ferreting out new ways to earn some cash. If you’re not looking for extra income, then consider possible investment opportunities or other ways to put your money to work for you. Think about working smarter so you don’t have to work harder.

Gemini

May 21 – June 20

Your mental prowess is positively off the charts! This special uptick is thanks to your sign’s ruler, clever Mercury, entering your sign for its annual visit. You’ve got an extra special touch of inspiration and genius that can shine a spotlight on your talents. There’s no need to be shy about speaking your mind! If any neat ideas come to you, be sure to give them proper attention — they could turn out to be worth their weight in gold down the line.

Cancer

June 21 – July 22

Daydreaming can add extra magic to your day. You’ve got cosmic clearance to check out from reality and float along as Mercury slips into your 12th House of the Subconscious, casting a veil over the world. Things may feel a little fuzzy during this cycle, but that’s okay — you can make the most of this by letting go and releasing outdated modes of thinking and behavior, rather than trying to initiate anything. Think of this as an opportunity for a much-needed mental detox.

Leo

July 23 – August 22

This is no time to take life on all by yourself. There is a big emphasis on coming together with people near and far as Mercury enters your 11th House of Global Networks. With Mercury boosting your community voice, this is a great time to expand your social horizons and strengthen your current bonds. These connections could lead to terrific opportunities. Even if you normally prefer to stand out from the herd, there’s nothing wrong with blending in for the time being.

Virgo

August 23 – September 22

This is your moment to put your best foot forward, Virgo. Your ruler Mercury is entering your 10th House of Career, acting as a lens to magnify exactly what you want and how you can achieve it. This is a terrific time for initiating exciting projects, but it is also good for debuts and showing off any work you’ve been doing behind the scenes. A VIP or other supervisor could prove especially effective, so don’t be shy about asking for advice.

Libra

September 23 – October 22

The world is about to start calling your name in countless dialects, so you may need to turn on the subtitles. Messenger Mercury is flying into your 9th House of Travel, broadening your horizons and reminding you the world is unbelievably full of opportunity and life! It would be a shame to miss out on that, so take this nudge from the stars to push yourself into undiscovered territory — literally or metaphorically. You deserve time to appreciate your world and its wonders.

Scorpio

October 23 – November 21

Go on and don your detective’s cap! Your world has just become a film noir thriller as Mercury enters your secretive 8th house, magnifying your ability to read between the lines and ferret out the facts that might otherwise be hidden from view. It’s terrific to have your senses sharpened like this, but make sure to keep one foot firmly in reality, or else you could wind up suspicious of others without any good reason. There’s a difference between sleuthing and being shady.

Sagittarius

November 22 – December 21

Two minds are generally better than one, and that is especially true right now. Mental Mercury is zipping into your relationship sector, clarifying and progressing your connections with peers and pals of all sorts. You might notice more copacetic moments with specific loved ones, romantic or not. On top of that, this is excellent for business matters as this sector deals with professional bonds and contracts. You can trust that people will probably be ready to reciprocate whatever you offer them.

Capricorn

December 22 – January 19

The energy around you is flowing with fresh efficiency. Mercury is bounding into its home territory of your 6th House of Daily Work, bringing with it a positive buzz that can boost you through the tasks in front of you with delightful speed. This can also bring lots of helping hands out of the woodwork, so don’t be surprised if clients or co-workers volunteer to pitch in and make your job easier than usual. You can accomplish a lot when you stay organized.

Aquarius

January 20 – February 18

You’ve got more ideas than you can shake a stick at! This newfound inspiration is thanks to Mercury zooming into your 5th House of Creativity, giving you an extra special spark of artistic genius. It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself quite gifted in this realm or almost never let your expressive side out to play. Let your Muse take the wheel and guide your hand — music, drawing, or writing — anything goes at this time. Your talent will speak for itself.

Pisces

February 19 – March 20

There’s an extra buzz stirring up under your roof, Pisces. Chatty Mercury is entering your domestic 4th house, bringing with it fresh energy and ideas that can make your home feel more like a clubhouse, rather than a private space. This can be frustrating if you want to be alone, but if you’re in the mood to host a gathering or two, then people should be more than happy to come and enjoy your hospitality. Get a charcuterie spread and welcome mat ready!

Panthers will play Edmonton Oilers in longest-distance Stanley Cup Final

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 19:42

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — For the Edmonton Oilers, the journey from worst to first in the Western Conference is complete. And now a chance at the Stanley Cup is their reward.

Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist in the opening period to get Edmonton going, Stuart Skinner stopped 34 shots for his hometown team and the Oilers capped an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Dallas Stars 2-1 on Sunday night.

Zach Hyman also scored — like McDavid, on a first-period power play — and Evan Bouchard had two assists for the Oilers, who won the Western Conference final in six games and will play for the Cup for the first time since 2006.

They’ll be heading to Florida for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, that series set to open on Saturday night. The Panthers are playing in the title series for the third time, after getting swept by Colorado in 1996 and losing to Vegas in five games last year.

“When the horn went off, that’s the loudest I ever heard it,” McDavid told Sportsnet amid the on-ice postgame celebration as Edmonton fans chanted “We want the Cup” over and over. “Special place to play, honestly. So much history. And these fans, it was great to hear their support.”

Mason Marchment scored midway through the third period and Jake Oettinger stopped eight shots for the Stars, who finished the regular season with the second-best record in the NHL — 113 points, just one behind the New York Rangers in the race for the Presidents’ Trophy.

But the Stars, just like the Rangers, let a 2-1 lead in the conference finals get away. Dallas scored five goals in Game 3 to take the series lead; the Stars managed four goals, total, in the next three games.

Oettinger went to the bench with about 2:20 to go, but the Stars got only two shots the rest of the way, their desperate tries to tie the game and extend the series coming up short.

“Proud of our group, proud of our fight, proud of our battle,” Stars coach Peter DeBoer said. You’re just gutted. They did leave everything out there. We should be going to play a Game 7, we’re not. You have to give Edmonton credit. Their power play particularly over the last two games was good, their goaltender was good. It’s fine lines when you get to this point of the year, and they were on the right side of it. … It’s tough to swallow.”

Just by getting to the Cup final, Edmonton has done something truly extraordinary — making the title series after finding itself 10 points out of a playoff spot during the regular season. Entering games on Nov. 24, the Oilers were 5-12-1, 10 points back of Seattle and St. Louis for the final wild-card spot in the West and 19 points behind Vegas for the top spot in the conference.

Those days are long forgotten now.

That’s when the Oilers — a couple weeks after Kris Knoblauch took over as coach for Jay Woodcroft, who was dismissed following a 3-9-1 start — went on an eight-game winning streak and began the long climb out of the NHL’s basement.

Starting with that eight-game win streak, the Oilers — who had a 16-game winning streak not long after the eight-game run ended — were the best team in the NHL for the remainder of the regular season. They were 44-15-5 the rest of the way, leading the league in goals (239) and goal differential (plus-76) in that span.

And now, the final awaits. Much like the Panthers on Saturday night, the Oilers didn’t touch the conference championship trophy in the postgame celebration. It’s the bigger trophy that they’re seeking.

“We’re not done here. This is just one step in the right direction for us,” Edmonton’s Mattias Ekholm said.

Edmonton is just the third team in NHL history to make the final after being 10 points or more out of a playoff spot; the others were Toronto in 1958-59 and St. Louis in 2018-19. The Blues won the Cup that season.

The Oilers had only three shots in the first period of Game 6. They were enough.

McDavid opened the scoring with a spectacular goal, weaving through traffic before beating Oettinger up high for a 1-0 lead.

“Connor McDavid, doing Connor McDavid things,” Skinner said.

Added Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl: “There’s one player in the world that can make things like that happen.”

McDavid then found Hyman in the slot for another power-play score late in the first; the shots at that point were 6-3 Dallas, but the score was 2-0 Edmonton and the Oilers were on their way. The Oilers finished with only 10 shots on goal, the fewest by a team in a playoff win since 1990.

“We hung in there. We got it done,” McDavid said. “Everyone deserves it.”

___

AP NHL playoffs: https://apnews.com/hub/stanley-cup and https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL

Knights pick up commitment from 3-star Tampa offensive lineman

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 13:51

UCF’s Bounce House Weekend is already paying big recruiting dividends after the Knights received a verbal commitment from 3-star offensive lineman Gavin Blanchard.

The 6-foot-3, 305-pound Blanchard, who transferred from Tampa Jesuit to Wiregrass Ranch High School, is the No. 59-ranked interior offensive lineman in the 2025 recruiting class, according to composite rankings by 247Sports, and the No. 114th-ranked player in the state.

Blanchard was among over two dozen recruits officially visiting UCF this weekend as the program hosted its annual Bounce House Weekend.

1000000% COMMITTED Ready to get to work@CoachGusMalzahn @CoachHand @UCF_Football @TeamKamMartin @JerisMcIntyre @CoachHinshaw @CoachB_Blackmon @CoachGroneqb @UCF_Recruiting @UCFSports @ChrisBoyleDBNJ @DFaulk_23 @Rivals @CSAPrepStar @PrepstarFlorida @On3sports pic.twitter.com/oreqsHJsfl

— Gavin Blanchard5⃣1⃣ (@GavinBlanchard9) June 2, 2024

“What stood out to me was how much effort they put into it,” Blanchard told the Orlando Sentinel. “That means something, and I just appreciate that they took care of us.”

Blanchard said his decision to commit to UCF was influenced by several factors, including his relationship with offensive line coach Herb Hand.

“I feel like he gives me the best chance to make it to that next level, which is the NFL,” he said. “He’s put so many guys in the league and if I follow his blueprint and stick to what he says, I should have a good shot as anyone to do so.”

Blanchard also credits his family for his commitment to the Knights. He has several cousins who already attend the school and several more interested in enrolling.

His decision to commit early was apparently somewhat of a surprise to the UCF coaching staff.

“Coach Malzahn knew I was considering UCF, but he didn’t know how much I was considering it,” said Blanchard. “He asked me what other OVs I had, and right then, I just told him I canceled all of my other visits, and I wanted to commit; he fainted. It was the funniest thing.

“Coach Hand and Jeris McIntyre [director of high school relations] jumped on me, and coach Malzahn stood up and gave me a big hug, and so did Miss Kristi, his wife.”

His pledge gives UCF 10 commitments for its 2025 recruiting class, which ranks No. 23 in the latest 247Sports composite rankings. Blanchard becomes the sixth player from the Sunshine State and the second offensive lineman in the class.

All verbal commitments are non-binding but can become official during the early signing period in December.

Matt Murschel can be reached at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com

Pompano Beach fire officials respond to brush fire, discover charred body

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 13:40

Pompano Beach Fire Rescue responded to a large brush fire Sunday morning and discovered a charred body.

Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue were called to the fire at 3161 N. Dixie Highway about 11 a.m. Drivers along North Dixie Highway reported the fire, according to the Pompano Beach Fire Rescue.

As firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, they discovered a body so badly burnt they were unable to confirm the gender. They also found numerous encampments in the wooded area. It is believed the body belongs to someone who had been living in the encampment, but that is not confirmed at this time.

The cause of the fire and subsequent death is being investigated by the City of Pompano Beach Fire Investigators, the State Fire Marshal, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Marlins shut out for second straight game, lose series to Rangers

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 13:34

MIAMI (AP) — Andrew Heaney threw six scoreless innings, Adolis García homered and singled and the Texas Rangers beat the Miami Marlins 6-0 on Sunday.

Jacob Latz, David Robertson and Grant Anderson pitched an inning each to finish the Rangers’ second consecutive shutout win. It is the first time since September 2016 that the Rangers have back-to-back shutout wins.

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager singled in five at-bats to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. Seager also has a 25-game on-base streak.

Marcus Semien had three walks and singled, while Josh Smith had two hits for the Rangers.

“If we play our game and pitch like we’re capable of pitching, we can play with anybody,” said Rangers manager Bruce Bochy, whose club has won five of six. “And they believe that. They’re world champions.”

Heaney (2-6) allowed four singles and struck out seven. It was his longest outing since also going six innings against Oakland on May 6.

“That’s the best I’ve felt in a long time,” Heaney said. “Mechanically, I felt everything was coming out of the same slot, same tunnel. Everything was direct toward the plate and staying on the plate for a long time. It was a good feeling.”

The Marlins dropped to an NL-worst 21-39. They haven’t scored since the eighth inning of their series-opening win on Friday.

“Obviously, back-to-back shutouts is not ideal,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “Just not too much offensively today. We lacked the big hit the last couple of games.”

Texas got its offense going against Miami starter Trevor Rogers (1-7) with a three-run first inning. Robbie Grossman and García hit RBI singles before Grossman scored from third on a double play grounder.

“That’s the characteristic of this club — to score runs early,” García said. “We try to remain aggressive and that’s how we’re defined.”

García’s leadoff shot in the sixth made it 4-0. The blast landed in the left-center field seats for his 13th homer.

The multi-hit game was Garcia’s first since May 15. Garcia also ended a seven-game homerless streak.

“I always have a winning mentality and when things are not going well, it affects me sometimes,” García said. “This is a good club and I try to do the best for my teammates.”

The Rangers increased their lead on Leody Taveras’ run-scoring single and Travis Jankowski’s RBI groundout in the ninth.

After giving up four consecutive singles to start the game, Rogers settled down. He allowed four runs and six hits and struck out three.

“At that point it was all about survive and advance, giving my team every opportunity to stay in the ball game,” Rogers said of overcoming the first inning. “I was very happy to get through six innings today.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: Right-hander Max Scherzer (back surgery, thumb soreness) is hopeful of throwing batting practice next after his bullpen session Saturday.

Marlins: Placed right-hander Sixto Sánchez (right shoulder inflammation) on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Saturday and recalled Emmanuel Ramírez from Triple-A Jacksonville.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (2-2, 2.84) will start the opener of a three-game series at Detroit on Monday. Left-hander Tarik Skubal (7-1, 2.01) will go for the Tigers.

Marlins: Left-hander Jesús Luzardo (2-2, 4.18) will start the opener of a two-game home set against Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Right-hander Ryan Pepiot (3-2, 3.88) is scheduled to start for the Rays.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

UCF’s season ends with blowout loss to FSU in Tallahassee Regional

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 13:08

UCF baseball’s season ended in disappointment on Sunday night in the elimination game in the Tallahassee Regional.

The Knights gave up 9 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as top-seeded Florida State broke open a close game and went on to win 12-4 at Dick Howser Stadium.

UCF (37-21) faced 13 batters in the half-inning, which lasted over 50 minutes and featured three pitching changes.

Things started strong for the Knights as right fielder Jack Zyska continued his hot hitting in the regional by hitting a 2-run homer run off FSU starter Conner Whittaker.

It was the second homer of the day for the redshirt senior, whose 2-run shot in the seventh inning helped propel the Knights past Stetson.

In his seventh appearance but first start of the season, Tyler Kozera held FSU’s offense to just one hit through three innings. However, the freshman ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth after an error and hit-by-pitch put two FSU runners on base.

Reliever Najer Victor (0-3) came with one out and got out of the jam.

Whittaker settled down and pitched three scoreless innings before being lifted in the top of the fifth inning for reliever Connor Hults (2-1).

Florida State (45-15) broke it open in the fifth as Cam Smith started things off with a 2-run homer to tie the game.

UCF pitcher Tyler Kozera delivers a pitch during the Knight’s elimination game against Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional Sunday night at Dick Howser Stadium. (Photo by UCF Athletics/ Noah Van Dick)

Kyle Kramer replaced Victor after walking right fielder James Tibbs III. Marco Dinges singled and scored on a 2-RBI double by Jaime Ferrer to give FSU the lead at 4-2.

Chase Centala replaced Kramer after intentionally walking first baseman Daniel Cantu. The bases were loaded on a fielder’s choice by Alex Lodise, setting up a 2-RBI double by catcher Jaxson West that made it 6-2.

Two pitches later, center fielder Max Williams crushed a 3-run homer for a 9-2 lead.

UCF tacked on a run in the top of the sixth inning and one in the top of the seventh on an Andrew Sundean homer, but the Knights could not mount much of a comeback.

FSU scored three more runs in the bottom of the seventh to push the advantage to 12-4.

The Knights advanced to Sunday night’s game with a 5-2 win over Stetson earlier in the day.

Tied at 2 apiece in the bottom of the seventh inning, Zyska drove a 1-1 pitch from Hatters reliever Cole Stallings (3-1) over the left field wall for the Knights’ first lead of the game, 4-2.

Zyska finished the regional batting .600 (9 for 15) with 2 home runs, 3 doubles and 8 RBIs.

Stetson (41-22) wrapped up a season in which the Hatters won the Atlantic-Sun Conference title while earning a spot in a regional tournament for the first time since 2018.

Matt Murschel can be reached at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com

May in South Florida was hottest on record. What will June bring?

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 11:31

The heat, humidity and hot ocean temperatures hit South Florida hard in May, and the National Weather Service confirmed Saturday what most residents already knew: 2024 in South Florida broke all records for the warmest May.

So what can we expect in June? Will Florida hold its spot obtained in May as the second in the U.S. for 911 emergency calls for heat-related illnesses?

With scattered showers over the weekend, the first week of June in South Florida should bring some relief from the record-breaking heat and lower the risk of heat-related illnesses. Extreme heat can lead to heat stroke, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, dehydration and even death.

Feels-like temperatures in South Florida are forecast to stay below 100 degrees this week, making it more comfortable and less of a health risk for most people to exercise outdoors or merely take a walk on the beach. Staying hydrated remains important for everyone but even more so for people with health issues such asthma or heart conditions.

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Here is what the week ahead looks like based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Heat and Health Tracker. (You can check your ZIP code).

In Broward County, in cities like Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Plantation and Weston: The heat health risk is expected to be moderate through Thursday, which means people who are outside for a long time, or who are sensitive to heat, could have health impacts.

The risk becomes major on Friday and Saturday. On those days, the CDC advises if you have to be outside, stay in the shade as much as possible. The agency also reminds residents “even a few hours in a cool location can lower your risk for health impacts from heat.”

On Friday and Saturday, when the risk is expected to rise to major, the chances of calls for emergency response and visits to hospital ERs for heat-related illness increases.

On Sunday, the feels-ike temperature measured 93 degrees in these Broward cities. Heat can make the air quality worse, however, on Sunday the air quality in these cities was moderate, meaning most people are OK spending time outside.

The CDC’s new Heat Health Risk Tracker forecasts the week ahead. In Broward, the risk for heat-related illnesses increases next weekend.

Cities in Palm Beach County such as Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and Delray Beach: The heat health risk in these areas is expected to be minor through Wednesday, indicating most people should be fine doing outdoor activity — if they stay hydrated. The risk rises to moderate Thursday through Saturday, indicating you should do outdoor activities during the coolest parts of the day or evening, if possible.

“Today is a good day to be outside for most people,” the CDC advised on Sunday based on the heat health risk.

The feels-like temperature on Sunday in these Palm Beach cities was 93 degrees, a significant difference from the feels-like temperature of over 100 degrees that the area reached a multiple days in May.

In Miami-Dade, in cities like downtown Miami, Surfside and Aventura: The heat health risk is minor on Monday indicating a good day to be outside for most people. But for the rest of the week the risk is moderate, requiring people who are outside for a long time or who are sensitive to heat to stay hydrated and take extra precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses.

On Sunday, the feels-like temperature measured 94 degrees and the air quality in most Miami communities registered at moderate, which means most people are OK spending time outside — but the air quality may affect those who are sensitive to air pollution.

While it’s too early to know how many scorching hot days lie ahead this summer, usually, the hottest time of the year in South Florida is the first and second weeks of August. Summer 2023 was the hottest on record in the tri-county area.

Sun Sentinel reporter Cindy Goodman can be reached at cgoodman@sunsentinel.com.

CAMERA.org: CNN PROMOTES ONE-SIDED ‘NAKBA’ NARRATIVE AND REPEATS FALSE CLAIM IT HAS ALREADY CORRECTED THREE TIMES

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 10:02

Mohammad Zarqa, an 88-year old Palestinian man from Ein Karem who now lives in New Jersey, inadvertently revealed the crux of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict when he told a CNN reporter, as quoted in a May 15 article online, “We will never stop wanting to return.”

Palestinian leaders rejected offers of independence and statehood in 2000, 2008, 2014 and 2020, in part because those offers did not permit them to use the Palestinian refugee issue to turn the world’s only Jewish-majority state into the world’s 57th Muslim-majority state. Of course, it was also Palestinian and other Arab leaders that created the refugee issue to begin with in 1948 when they refused to accept partition of Mandatory Palestine into one Jewish and one Arab state. But CNN’s Alaa Elassar omits both of these facts, in her quest to promote the narrative of a “catastrophe” that the Jews brought upon the Palestinian Arab people. (“From one generation to the next, Palestinians aim to keep the history of al-Nakba alive,” May 15, 2024.)

Like the demand for a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, the demand for “return” to Israel of millions of descendants of refugees is a non-starter in peace talks between Israel and representatives of the Palestinians. Indeed, Jewish refugees from Arab countries who were expelled in the wake of the founding of Israel, whose descendants now make up about half of the Jewish population of Israel, were long ago integrated into the country, rather than retaining perpetual refugee status and nursing unrealistic hopes of return.

In 1947 a much larger population exchange occurred in India and Pakistan, displacing 15 million people. Europe, too, saw mass expulsions in the wake of Word War II. Yet Elassar quotes a UN official calling the Palestinians “the world’s longest-standing protracted refugee crisis,” seemingly without a trace of irony or of knowledge of these other world events. Again, the vast majority of other refugees resettled and moved on with their lives. That is why only the Palestinian refugee “crisis” lives on.

Though Elassar’s piece is not labelled “opinion,” it contains several unfalsifiable claims based on personal recollections of events that happened many decades ago. Such claims can make for riveting reading, regardless of whether they are true or not. So it is with CNN’s retelling of Zarqa’s account of the events of 1948 in Deir Yassin.

But, as CAMERA has noted before, in 1998, the Telegraph, a British outlet, has quoted another individual who also claimed to be an eyewitness to the events, stating:

The Arab radio talked of women being killed and raped, but this is not true… I believe that most of those who were killed were among the fighters and the women and children who helped the fighters. The Arab leaders committed a big mistake. By exaggerating the atrocities they thought they would encourage people to fight back harder. Instead they created panic and people ran away.

In addition, as CAMERA previously quoted from a 1998 article in the Jerusalem Report:

In a BBC television series, “Israel and the Arabs: the 50 Year Conflict,” Hazem Nusseibeh, an editor of the Palestine Broadcasting Service’s Arabic news in 1948, describes an encounter at the Jaffa Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City with Deir Yassin survivors and Palestinian leaders, including Hussein Khalidi, the secretary of the Arab Higher Committee (the representative body of the Arabs of British Palestine).

“I asked Dr. Khalidi how we should cover the story,” recalled Nusseibeh, now living in Amman. “He said, ‘We must make the most of this.’ So we wrote a press release stating that at Deir Yassin children were murdered, pregnant women were raped. All sorts of atrocities.”

A Deir Yassin survivor identified as Abu Mahmud, said the villagers protested at the time. “We said, ‘There was no rape.’ [Khalidi] said, ‘We have to say this, so the Arab armies will come to liberate Palestine from the Jews.’”

The events at that location have been highly contested, including in a recent book by Eliezer Tauber. But CNN’s readers would have no way to know that, as Alaa Elassar provides only one version of the story, with no countervailing claims, as if it were a known fact.

Nor is Elassar’s account of more recent events free from distortion. To make her case, Elassar relies on some common red herrings, such as the false claim that “the International Court of Justice says it’s “plausible” Israel is committing genocide,” – a claim that CNN itself has already corrected three times. She also points to comments made by Minister of Agriculture Avi Dichter, who described the war as “the Nakba of Gaza 2023,” though it’s not clear why she would think the Minister of Agriculture would set the agenda for the conduct of a war.

She writes, “Israel launched its war in Gaza after Hamas’ brutal attack in Israel on October 7, in which 1,200 people were killed and hundreds of others taken hostage, Israeli officials say.” (Emphasis added.) She continues, “In the seven months since that attack, Israel’s bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, mostly women and children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. It also has imposed a siege and razed entire communities, rendering nearly 90% of the population displaced and everyone food insecure.” Of course, there has not been anything remotely resembling a siege since October 18, and her dutiful recitation of Hamas’s casualty statistics ignores that 15,000 of those killed have been Hamas fighters.

But most importantly, what she ignores about the current war is the same thing she ignores about the 1948 war: none of it had to happen. Had Israel not been attacked, beginning with Palestinian Arab militias in late 1947, leading up to the invasion by five (not, as Elassar claims, three) Arab armies, and then again on October 7, 2023, none of it would have happened. And, still today, Hamas could end the war in Gaza immediately if it returned the hostages and surrendered.

May 24, 2024 Update: 

After hearing from many of CAMERA’s members, CNN removed the false claim that “the International Court of Justice says it’s ‘plausible’ Israel is committing genocide” – a claim that CNN had previously corrected three times. However, they substituted a quote from Francesca Albanese, whose antisemitic comments have made her notorious. When she was first appointed to her position as the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territory, the Times of Israel reported:

A review of her past social media posts, media appearances and talks with activist groups found that aside from inveighing against a “Jewish lobby,” she has also sympathized with terror organizations, dismissed Israeli security concerns, compared Israelis to Nazis and accused the Jewish state of potential war crimes. … She rarely acknowledges Palestinian terrorism.

More recently, the U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Human Rights Council, Michèle Taylor, has said of Albanese, “Francesca Albanese has a history of using antisemitic tropes. Her most recent statements justifying, dismissing, & denying the antisemitic undertones of Hamas’ October 7 attack are unacceptable & antisemitic.”

Although CNN removed the false claim about the International Court of Justice, they have arguably made the article even worse by including the words of someone well-known for her anti-Israel bias.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) is an international media-monitoring and educational organization founded in 1982 to promote accurate and unbiased coverage of Israel and the Middle East. CAMERA is a non-profit, tax-exempt, and non-partisan organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. To learn more or receive our newsletters please visit CAMERA.org.

‘Garfield,’ ‘Furiosa’ repeat atop box office charts as slow summer grinds on

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 08:46

By LINDSEY BAHR (AP Film Writer)

It was a quiet weekend at North American movie theaters, dominated once again by Sony’s “The Garfield Movie,” Warner Bros.’ “ Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga ” and a slew of holdovers. Flipping the script from their Memorial weekend openings, the animated orange cat crept ahead of the wasteland warrior in their second outing.

The Garfield Movie ” earned a chart-topping $14 million in ticket sales while “Furiosa” settled into third place in a close race with “IF,” according to studio estimates on Sunday. Both “IF” and “Furiosa” are estimated to have earned $10.8 million, with “IF” getting the slight edge.

“Garfield” fell only 42% in its second weekend in North America. It also topped the global box office adding $27 million from international territories, bringing its running worldwide to $152.2 million. The animated pic featuring the voice of Chris Pratt will essentially have the market to itself until “Inside Out 2” arrives on June 14.

“Furiosa,” meanwhile, fell 59% from its first weekend, adding just under $10.8 million from 3,864 locations in the U.S. and Canada. That puts its running domestic total at $49.7 million and its global sum at $114.4 million against a $168 million production budget.

There were several new releases that opened on over 1,000 screens this weekend: Sony/Crunchyroll’s anime “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle”; IFC’s horror “In a Violent Nature”; Roadside Attractions’ Diane Keaton-Alfre Woodard-Kathy Bates comedy “Summer Camp”; And Bleecker Street’s father-son drama “Ezra.” None managed to crack the top five, however.

Disney also released the well-reviewed “ Young Woman and the Sea,” starring Daisy Ridley as the first woman to swim the English Channel, but did not report its ticket sales. Likewise, Richard Linklater’s “ Hit Man ” is currently playing in select theaters around the country before it comes to streaming next week, but Netflix does not release box office numbers.

Second place went to Paramount’s “ IF,” with $10.8 million in its third weekend. John Krasinski’s imaginary friends fantasy starring Ryan Reynolds and Cailey Fleming has now made over $80.4 million domestically and $138 million worldwide. Disney/20th Century Studios’ “ Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes ” landed in fourth place in its fourth weekend with $8.8 million. It has now made $140 million domestically and $337.1 million globally.

And the Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt action-comedy “ The Fall Guy, ” which is currently available to purchase at home, rounded out the top five with $4.2 million, bringing its domestic total to $80.3 million. Globally, the Universal release has made $157.9 million.

“Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle,” based on the Japanese high school volleyball series, made an estimated $3.5 million from 1,119 locations. The slasher “In a Violent Nature” opened to $2.2 million from 1,426 locations (a massive release for IFC Films and Shudder). And, “Ezra,” about a stand-up comedian (Bobby Cannavale) and his autistic son, earned $1.2 million from 1,320 screens.

The 2024 box office is struggling compared to both last year (down 23.9%) and pre-pandemic standards (down 42.2% from 2019 and 46.4% from 2018), according to data from Comscore. On this weekend last year, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” opened to $120.7 million while “The Little Mermaid” was still pulling in over $41.4 million in its second weekend. This year has yet to have any film open to over $100 million domestically.

While “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” had yet to storm theaters at this point last year, there had been several substantial hits including “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” ($1.36 billion global total), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” ($845.5 million) and “Fast X” ($704.7 million).

“It should come as no surprise given the nature of this year’s trajectory that we are running this far behind,” said Paul Dergarabedian, the senior media analyst for Comscore. “I understand why people are concerned about where this year is going, but it’s never too late to get things running again.”

“It’s a momentum business,” he added. “The attention right now is focused on what will be the big movie to get the summer moving in the right direction.”

That big summer movie could arrive in the form of “Inside Out 2,” which could open to over $85 million according to early projections, and propel other juggernauts like “Despicable Me 4” (July 3) and “Deadpool & Wolverine” (July 26).

Dergarabedian also noted that absent a big superhero movie, it’s the family-oriented films that have been resonating recently. They might not open to the biggest numbers, but as “IF” and “The Gafield Movie” have proven, they have staying power.

The top-grossing movie of this year remains “ Dune: Part Two,” which Warner Bros. released in early March and has made over $711 million globally. Its domestic take of $282.1 million represents 10.5% of the overall box office for 2024.

“Dune” filmmaker Denis Villeneuve over the weekend said that he was “disappointed to still be number one” while at the Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto where he was collecting an award.

“I hope soon that there will be other successes at the box office,” Villeneuve said, as reported by Yahoo. “I hope sooner or later that this summer box office will be much better.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “The Garfield Movie,” $14 million.

2. “IF,” $10.8 million.

3. “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga,” $10.8 million.

4. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes,” $8.8 million.

5. “The Fall Guy,” $4.2 million.

6. “The Strangers: Chapter 1,” $3.6 million.

7. “Haikyu!! The Dumpster Battle,” $3.5 million.

8. “In a Violent Nature,” $2.1 million.

9. “Ezra,” $1.2 million.

10. “Sight,” $1.1 million.

Trump joins TikTok and calls it ‘an honor.’ As president he once tried to ban the video-sharing app

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 08:24

By JILL COLVIN, WILL WEISSERT and MEG KINNARD (Associated Press)

Donald Trump has joined the popular video-sharing app TikTok, a platform he once tried to ban while in the White House, and posted from a UFC fight two days after he became the first former president and presumptive major party nominee in U.S. history to be found guilty on felony charges.

“It’s an honor,” Trump said in the TikTok video, which features footage of him waving to fans and posing for selfies at the Ultimate Fighting Championship fight in Newark, New Jersey, on Saturday night. The video ends with Trump telling the camera: “That was a good walk-on, right?”

By Sunday morning, Trump had amassed more than 1.1 million followers on the platform and the post had garnered more than 1 million likes and 24 million views.

“We will leave no front undefended and this represents the continued outreach to a younger audience consuming pro-Trump and anti-Biden content,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement about the campaign’s decision to join the platform.

“There’s no place better than a UFC event to launch President Trump’s Tik Tok, where he received a hero’s welcome and thousands of fans cheered him on,” he added.

Democratic President Joe Biden signed legislation in April that could ban TikTok in the U.S., even as his campaign joined in February and has tried to work with influencers.

Trump received an enthusiastic welcome at the fight at Newark’s Prudential Center, where the crowd broke into chants of “We love Trump!” and another insulting Biden with an expletive.

It was Trump’s first public outing since a jury in New York found him guilty Thursday on 34 charges of falsifying business records as part of a scheme to illegally influence the 2016 election by covering up hush money payments made to a porn actor who claimed she and Trump had sex. Trump has maintained he did nothing wrong and plans to appeal the verdict. He will be sentenced on July 11.

Throughout his campaign, Trump has used appearances at UFC fights to project an image of strength and to try to appeal to potential voters who may not closely follow politics or engage with traditional news sources. It’s also part of a broader effort to connect with young people and minority voters, particularly Latino and Black men.

TikTok, owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is another opportunity to reach those potential voters. The platform has about 170 million users in the U.S., most of whom skew younger — a demographic that is especially hard for campaigns to reach because they shun television.

As president, Trump tried to ban TikTok through an executive order that said “the spread in the United States of mobile applications developed and owned” by Chinese companies was a national security threat. The courts blocked the action after TikTok sued.

Both the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission have warned that ByteDance could share user data such as browsing history, location and biometric identifiers with China’s government. TikTok said it has never done that and would not, if asked.

The platform was a hot topic of debate during the 2024 GOP primary campaign, with most candidates shunning its use. Many, including former Vice President Mike Pence, called for TikTok to be banned in the U.S. due to its connections with China

Trump said earlier this year that he still believes TikTok posed a national security risk, but was opposed to banning it because that would help its rival, Facebook, which he continues to criticize over his 2020 election loss to Biden.

“Frankly, there are a lot of people on TikTok that love it. There are a lot of young kids on TikTok who will go crazy without it,” Trump told CNBC.

The legislation signed by Biden gives ByteDance nine months to sell the company, with a possible additional three months if a sale is in progress. If it doesn’t, TikTok will be banned. Biden barred the app on most government devices in December 2022.

His reelection campaign nonetheless uses the app, which it joined the night of the Super Bowl in February. Aides argue that in an increasingly fragmented modern media environment, the campaign must get its message out to voters via as many platforms as possible, including TikTok as well as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Biden’s “bidenhq” account currently has more than 330,000 followers and 4.5 million likes.

Trump’s appearance at Saturday’s fight came after he had sat down for an interview with Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends Weekend” that aired Sunday.

In that appearance, Trump said he was “OK” with the prospect of potential jail time or house arrest, saying it was “the way it is.’’’

But he again suggested the public might not accept such a punishment for a former president now running to return to the White House.

“I don’t know that the public would stand it, you know. I’m not sure the public would stand for it,” he said. “I think it would be tough for the public to take. You know, at a certain point there’s a breaking point.”

Trump, as he has throughout the trial, maintained his innocence, saying he “did absolutely nothing wrong.”

He was asked how his wife, former first lady Melania Trump, has taken the news.

“She’s fine. But I think it’s very hard for her. I mean, she’s fine. But, you know, she has to read all this crap,” he said.

She did not appear with Trump in court at any point during his seven-week trial.

___

Colvin reported from Annapolis, Maryland, Weissert from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and Kinnard from Chapin, South Carolina.

To save democracy, vote defensively | Letters to the editor

South Florida Local News - Sun, 06/02/2024 - 02:00

“Democracy is on the ballot” is an oft-heard phrase. But those who say it, and the media covering them, don’t do a good job of explaining what this highfalutin phrase means, so here’s an attempt to fill the information gap.

Democracy is a system of government in which supreme power is vested in the people, exercised through elected representatives, with the emphasis on “the people.” It’s not hard to foresee the adverse, democracy-weakening effects of any or all of the following:

  • Real threats to the fairness of future elections at local, state and federal levels (look at the trend in voter-suppression laws since 2016).
  • Heightened attacks on freedom of the press, using federal power (investigations, tax audits, changes to libel and defamation laws) to suppress or unduly influence the information available to voters.
  • A widening gap between what the people want and what government delivers. Think reasonable gun control, abortion rights, progressive tax policies and better environmental protections.

There’s more, but if readers don’t get the point by now, there’s not much more to say. The antidote lies in the power of the people to vote, a power we still possess but must protect.

This is a time for defensive voting, to help ensure survival of our fragile democracy, even if it means voting for a less-than-ideal candidate. Then voting in 2028 can return to normal choices between candidates who at least support and don’t threaten democracy. That’s what is on the ballot.

David Feller, Boynton Beach

Not in Israel’s interests

It’s very important to make the distinction that criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist, far-right government is not antisemitism.

As a long-time supporter of Israel, I can state positively that the Netanyahu government is counterproductive to the state of Israel. The arrogance and brutality of Netanyahu’s IDF is creating far more terrorists than it is killing, and Israel’s reputation is being trashed worldwide.

The only solution that will bring long-term peace to Israel is a two-state solution, which Netanyahu has said he will never accept.

Netanyahu has to go. Saying so is not antisemitic — it is pro-Israel.

Frederick Mitchel, Fort Lauderdale

In plain sight in Tamarac

Re: That foul smell in Tamarac isn’t the garbage, Editorial, May 30

Once again, Broward County’s inspector general seems to be on a weather-related siesta, even though high temperatures and humidity create an unholy stench.

Tamarac’s District 1 Commissioner Marlon Bolton is at it again, pillaging City Hall to further his political goals, this time by accepting large campaign contributions from Coastal Waste & Recycling, a bidder on the city’s garbage contract.

Zero ethics. No moral compass. Frankly, he has no familiarity with the word “integrity.” And the District Four commissioner, Kicia Daniel, is content to bathe in the water left in the wake of Bolton’s quixotic pursuit of making Tamarac his cashbox. I guess his pursuit of personal benefit from the “Shakedown Village” affair has not whetted his appetite nor opened Daniel’s eyes.

The watchdog of Broward County, whose entire portfolio is to ferret out dishonesty, has so far failed to act on what is in plain sight. I beseech Broward County Inspector General Carol J. Breece to wake up and smell the roses in Tamarac for once.

Barney M. Agate, Tamarac

A Bronx jeer Donald Trump held a campaign rally at Crotona Park in the Bronx on May 23.

I recently watched Donald Trump’s rally and speech to a crowd in the Bronx.

I was raised there. These Bronx neighborhoods have not changed for the last 60 years. They were depressed then and are no better now.

A photo-op and rally won’t make a difference without concrete changes. Trump was president for four years. What programs did he provide to change these neighborhoods? His promises are no better than his predecessors.

Actions speak louder than words. The last four or five presidents said the same things over and over and nothing was done.

Leonard Farbowitz, Boca Raton

Dave Hyde: ‘We’re not done yet’ — Panthers are back in Stanley Cup Final

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 21:12

SUNRISE — As the seconds ticked down, the players on the Florida Panthers bench all stood up, not moving, just taking quick glances from the puck moving harmlessly around the ice to the scoreboard clock.

Four … three … two .. one …

Another chapter’s done.

The story continues.

“We are not done yet,’’  star Matthew Tkachuk said after the Panthers’ 2-1 win closed out the New York Rangers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. “We’re very happy the way these playoffs have gone. But there’s work to be done.”

The Panthers have been clear about that after each playoff series this spring. Heck, they’ve been saying since the first day of practice last fall how they’re out to atone for losing in the Stanley Cup Final last spring.  Atone? South Florida wanted to thank them for having that surprising season. Now they’re having a more dominant one. And now just getting back to this high point isn’t enough.

“We want the Cup!” fans began to chant after the game.

The Final starts Saturday. Where and against whom might be decided Sunday night. If Edmonton beats Dallas in Game 6 to win the Western Conference finals, the Stanley Cup Final opens next Saturday night in Sunrise. If Dallas comes back to win the West, the next series starts Saturday in Dallas.

“We want the Cup!” the chant kept going.

It’s been a while since South Florida celebrated a title, hasn’t it? The last local championship was the Miami Heat winning their second championship of The Big Three Era in 2013. The Heat have been to three championship series since then. The Panthers lost to Vegas in the Final last year.

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But no team looks more ready to win one since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh won that Heat title.

“Nothing like playing hockey in June,’’ Tkachuk said.

The Panthers got their first goal Saturday when Rodrigues grabbed a loose puck from the Rangers’ Kaapo Kakko near center ice and skated it into the New York zone. He passed the puck to Bennett, who put in the kind of perfect, just-under-the-crossbar shot needed to beat Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin.

There was the story of the series. The Panthers opportunistic play. Their stars coming through. And, yes, their defense-first system clamping down on the Rangers.

“They win with their defense,’’ as New York coach Peter Laviolette said.

The defense was everyone doing everything. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky stopped Jack Roslovic on the goal’s doorstep. Gustav Forsling dove to stick-swat the puck and prevent an Artemi Panarin breakaway. And when Vladimir Tarasenko took a pass from Anton Lundell midway through the third period and fired into an wide-open net they were 10 minutes from the Final.

“Ig-or,’’ fans mock-chanted.

Laviolette tried everything this final game. He changed his lines. He changed some positions. But after an even first period, the Panthers slowly took over the game, just as they seemed to each game as it lengthened. The Rangers scored with less than two minutes to go to add some suspense to the end.

“It was difficult to score, generating the equality we wanted to generate,’’ Laviolette said. “We knew it coming in, knew it from the last round, knew how they finished the season. They weren’t giving up much.”

The Panthers killed 14 off 15 Rangers’ power plays in the series.

“The Rangers were not able to impose their will at any point in this series,’’ ESPN’s Mark Messier said after the first period.

It only went six games because the Rangers won two in overtime. The Panthers defense held the Rangers’ big guns like Artemi Panarin and Mike Zibanejad scoreless. Now, possibly, there may be Edmonton’s bigger guns like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

They ran through a potent Eastern Conference of Tampa Bay, Boston and New York. Can they do the same against the champs of the West?

“They came back to camp with an eye on where they wanted to go and we’ve seen that all year,’’ Panthers coach Paul Maurice said.

They’re back in the Final. Now the countdown starts anew. They’re four games from getting what they really want.

 

Daily Horoscope for June 02, 2024

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 21:00
General Daily Insight for June 02, 2024

Rare and wonderful blessings are showering upon us all! Luna is moving through Aries, and will conjoin both tender Chiron and brave Mars, driving us to better ourselves and learn from old mistakes. The skies positively pulsate with power when bountiful Jupiter in Gemini makes a harmonious trine to transformative Pluto at 8:13 pm EDT! Just about anything will seem possible — and that could be true under such an alignment. Mercury will close things out with a softer sextile to dreamy Neptune.

Aries

March 21 – April 19

People have the ability to change your life for the better — if you let them. Jupiter in your 3rd House of Communications is linking up with Pluto in your 11th House of Global Networks, inspiring you to grow and connect with others in order to feel more truly aligned with your reality. The people you’re meeting could have a profound impact on your life as you learn over time, as they’ll offer unique and valuable paths for you to become your future self.

Taurus

April 20 – May 20

You can manifest almost magical progress today. An incredibly influential trine between Jupiter in your income sector and Pluto in your career sector is opening up a major portal for you to leap through, knowing accomplishment and success are waiting on the other side. The work you do now could boost you along for years to come, so be willing to roll up your sleeves and put in the effort. Doors like this don’t open very often, so make the most of it.

Gemini

May 21 – June 20

You’re spreading your wings and flying further than ever before! A fabulous trine between Jupiter in your sign and Pluto in your 9th House of Expansion is cheering you on as you break free from any old habits or limiting behavior. You’re showing up to wholeheartedly embrace the person you are becoming. The chance to move beyond your past could arrive in the form of travel or chances to further your education, so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to broaden your horizons.

Cancer

June 21 – July 22

Pressure creates diamonds, and you likely feel like you’re caught in that process at this time. During this intense alignment between Jupiter in your 12th House of Endings and Pluto in your 8th House of Transformation, you’re reminded of the benefits that come when you release old baggage. Once freed from past trauma, you’ll be able to reach a lighter, happier future. Gather your gumption to get through this — and remember that there’s a brilliant life waiting for you on the other side.

Leo

July 23 – August 22

Your closest relationships could undergo a massive transformation very soon. There is a beautiful trine between fortuitous Jupiter in your 11th House of Community and Pluto in your 7th House of Partnerships, bringing refreshing and positive connections your way. This can positively impact all kinds of connections — personal and professional. Simply put, as long as you’re focusing on the people in your life, then you can’t go wrong on a day like this. Make a point to grow in tandem with others.

Virgo

August 23 – September 22

You can take hold of the reins of responsibility with terrific aplomb. You’re primed for success, thanks to Jupiter in your 10th House of Professional Prowess collaborating with potent Pluto in your effective 6th house. With these powerhouses on your side, you can make progress in both your immediate reality and long-term future. Don’t be shy about taking charge with your impressive abilities. When it comes down to it, you have everything you need to reach the finish line with flying colors.

Libra

September 23 – October 22

There’s no limit to life’s pleasures — or the distance you’ll go to discover them. The skies are shimmering with a special trine between Jupiter in your 9th House of Adventure and Pluto in your 5th House of Joy, giving you a positively epic opportunity to chase after the things that make you happy. Whether it’s romance, travel, artistic expression, or spending time with your family, there’s fun to be had and life to be lived. By all means, live it!

Scorpio

October 23 – November 21

Your depths reach further than even you may realize. You can discover a few of the wondrous multitudes you contain as Jupiter in your 8th House of Intimacy trines Pluto in your 4th House of Feelings, emboldening you to tap into your inner reserves with a heroic level of power. Don’t be scared of doing some serious reflection and self-inspection! You could make some revelations that change your life and your outlook for the better — it should feel like a blessing.

Sagittarius

November 22 – December 21

Having someone by your side can make all the difference to how you handle life. The planets are calling you to partner up as bountiful Jupiter in your relationship sector makes a supportive trine to Pluto in your communications sector. When you’ve got someone there to face the world with you, you’ll be able to take in so much more of its beauty. Be willing to indulge curiosity with others, because there are fantastic discoveries waiting for you to make them.

Capricorn

December 22 – January 19

Your efforts are worth their weight in gold right now. Thanks to a special trine between Jupiter in your work sector and Pluto in your income sector, you can take comfort in the fact that you’re setting yourself up for a major win. The projects and tasks you occupy yourself with could have a huge payoff, so make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and acting with your noblest intentions. These are the sort of results you won’t want to miss out on.

Aquarius

January 20 – February 18

This is no time to hide your light from the world. You’re practically the star of the show as Jupiter in your expressive 5th house trines Pluto in your sign, encouraging you to step into the spotlight. This is not the time for being shy or for playing the wallflower, whether you’re literally performing onstage or not. Perhaps you’ll be the most interesting person at a gathering or must take charge of a group project. Either way, get comfortable with having an audience!

Pisces

February 19 – March 20

Your emotions are growing and changing in ways you may not even realize. You’re shedding your old self as Jupiter in your emotional 4th house trines Pluto in your subconscious 12th house, strengthening you to abandon modes of existence which no longer suit you. There is a bright, shining future just waiting for you, but you have to cleanse yourself of some old dregs before you can fully embrace it. Don’t hesitate to go ahead and make those necessary releases now!

UCF has no answers in loss to FSU in Tallahassee Regional

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 20:14

Florida State pitcher Jamie Arnold struck out 12 UCF batters through seven innings as the Knights lost to the Seminoles 5-2 in the winners bracket of the Tallahassee Regional at Dick Howser Stadium on Saturday.

UCF (36-20) will face Stetson in an elimination game on Sunday at noon. The Hatters (41-21) advanced with a 4-0 win over Alabama after pitchers Aric McAtee and Anthony DeFabbia combined to pitch a 5-hitter.

FSU (44-15) awaits the winner of UCF-Stetson in the championship game (6 p.m.).

The regional games were delayed 3½ hours due to weather, with the first pitch for the night contest coming at 8.

Arnold (11-3) struck out five of the first seven UCF batters he faced, including an immaculate inning in the second when he struck out three batters. A first-team All-ACC selection, the sophomore entered this weekend’s regional tournament ranked fifth in the nation in strikeouts (146).

Stetson pitcher Anthony DeFabbia is congratulated after closing out the Hatters’ 4-0 win over Alabama in the Tallahassee Regional at Dick Howser Stadium on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Stetson Athletics/Steve Simoneau)

Back-to-back singles by center fielder Max Williams and third baseman Cam Smith set up designated hitter Marco Dinges for an RBI single that first put FSU on the scoreboard. After left fielder Jaime Ferrer reached on a fielder’s choice, first baseman Daniel Cantu singled to bring in another run for a 2-0 lead.

UCF starting pitcher Ben Vespi (4-4) went three innings before being replaced in the top of the fourth after giving up a lead-off double to Jaxson West. Reliever Spencer Bauer entered the game and immediately surrendered a 2-run homer to Smith. It was the 15th homer of the season for the third baseman.

FSU continued its assault on Bauer, picking up a run on a RBI double by Ferrer to stretch the lead to 5-0.

UCF made a dent in the lead in the bottom of the fourth after first baseman Lex Boedicker, who was hit by a pitch, scored on an RBI double by right fielder Jack Zyska.

Bauer pitched into the sixth inning before being replaced by Kyle Kramer with one out. The right-handed reliever struck out the side.

In the seventh inning, Arnold walked catcher Danny Neri, gave up a single to Braden Calise and hit pinch-hitter Andrew Sundean to load the bases with no outs. Mikey Kluska ground into a double play that scored a run to cut the lead to 5-2 before a groundout by Andrew Brait ended the threat.

Arnold went seven innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 12 batters.

Kramer pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four before being lifted for Chase Centala in the seventh inning. Centala pitched into the ninth inning before being replaced by Najer Victor, who got the final out.

UCF’s postseason hopes hinge on beating Stetson. The Knights split a home-and-home series with Hatters, winning 7-1 in Orlando on March 13 and dropping a 5-3 decision in DeLand on April 10.

Matt Murschel can be reached at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com

Panthers take down Rangers 2-1, clinch trip to second straight Stanley Cup Final

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 19:46

SUNRISE — Paul Maurice has coached more games than anyone in NHL history without winning a Stanley Cup. He tried and came up just short in the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights last year.

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He will get another bite at the apple now.

The Panthers beat the Rangers, who were this season’s Presidents’ Trophy winners, 2-1 at Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise on Saturday, clinching a second straight trip to the championship round. Florida will face the winner of the Dallas-Edmonton Western Conference finals in the Stanley Cup Final, which begins on Saturday.

“We expected to be back here,” Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk said. “Obviously, nothing is guaranteed, but we were expecting this. The way we’ve been working, the way we’ve been dialed in, detailed. Right now, we’re very happy to be back, but we were going to be pushing for this and kind of expecting it, the way we put in all the work. So we’re very proud to be here, we’re very happy, but the job’s not finished.”

Both New York and Florida had good chances in the first period, but it was the Panthers who struck first. Sam Bennett won the puck back in the neutral zone and passed it to Evan Rodrigues. Rodrigues passed back to Bennett, who fired a one-timer over Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin’s left shoulder to put Florida up 1-0 in the final minute of the first period.

The Panthers clung to that lead through the second period as both teams had good opportunities to score. After giving up the first-period goal, Shesterkin returned to the stellar form that has carried the Rangers through the playoffs, making several high-level saves.

“I haven’t seen a series by a goaltender like that since Jose Theodore in 2002,” Maurice said. “(He) won the Hart Trophy (as the NHL’s MVP) that year.”

Shesterkin could not defend his net forever. About midway through the third period, center Anton Lundell fed Vladimir Tarasenko a pass directly in front of the net, and Tarasenko netted his third goal of the postseason to give the Panthers an insurance goal.

The insurance was needed, as Rangers star Artemi Panarin netted New York’s lone goal with 1:40 left in the third period. But it was too little, too late for New York.

Other than the late goal, Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was stellar like he has been for most of the postseason. He made 23 saves on 24 shots on goal.

“It is a luxury for sure,” Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov said. “Hardest-working guy I’ve ever seen. You just know when a guy works that hard. He’s also super calm every single day at practice. He’s having fun. Morning skate, he’s having fun. Warmups, all that kind of stuff, you see him being in the zone. You just know he’s going to be on top of his game. He’s been unbelievable.”

Last year, the Panthers held the Prince of Wales Trophy after winning the Eastern Conference, going against superstition. This time around, Barkov made sure to keep the team from handling it.

“We touched it last year, and it didn’t work for us,” Bennett said. “So we thought we’d try something different this year.”

 

Messi scores 12th goal of season, MLS-leading Inter Miami rally from Suarez own goal to tie St. Louis

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 19:10

By ALANIS THAMES (AP Sports Writer)

FORT LAUDERDALE — Lionel Messi scored his 12th goal of the season in his last Major League Soccer match before the Copa America, and MLS-leading Inter Miami came from behind to tie St. Louis City 3-3 on Saturday night.

Miami (10-3-5, 35 points) took a two-point lead atop the Eastern Conference standings and in MLS overall, ahead of second-place Cincinnati (10-3-3, 33 points), which did not play Saturday.

Luis Suárez also scored his 12th goal for Inter Miami, and Jordi Alba had the tying goal in the 85th minute.

Suárez and Messi are now tied for the team lead in goals, and are one shy of the MLS lead behind Cristian Arango of Real Salt Lake and Christian Benteke of D.C. United, who both have 13. Messi’s 12 have come in four fewer games than Arango (16 games) and three fewer than Benteke.

Chris Durkin and former Inter Miami player Indiana Vassilev scored in the first half for St. Louis. Suárez had an own goal in the 69th minute that looked to seal the win for St. Louis until Alba tapped in a goal that was originally called back for offside, but overturned after video review.

Messi dribbled seamlessly through St. Louis defenders in the first half and sent a pass to Alba, who fired it back to Messi for a shot that tied it at 1 early on.

Messi exited the field to cheers.

Messi will join Argentina next week on a quest to defend the Copa America title it won in 2021, when the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner tearfully lifted his first major trophy for his national team, filling in one of the biggest gaps in his decorated career.

Messi — and potentially Suárez, who could represent Uruguay — could miss at least five Inter Miami matches during the tournament. Copa America runs from June 20 through July 14. And after Copa, Inter Miami could lose players again when national teams call for the Paris Olympics, which run from July 26 to August 11.

The next month without Messi and potentially other stars will be important if Miami hopes to remain atop the standings. Cincinnati missed a chance to take over first place when it lost to Nashville SC on Wednesday, snapping a seven-game win streak that started April 20. Inter Miami plays at Cincinnati on July 6.

Inter Miami is seeking its first postseason berth since 2022 and its second in club history. The club won its first trophy in Messi’s first season, with the 36-year-old leading the way to a Leagues Cup championship. They missed the postseason though, as injuries and wear and tear from a packed schedule took a toll late in the season. A leg injury forced Messi to miss much of the team’s late-season MLS slate.

Miami is trying to avoid that happening again. The team has been cautious with the minutes of Messi and his veteran teammates, especially with Messi battling injuries early this season. He, Suárez and Sergio Busquets did not travel with the team on a recent trip to face the Vancouver Whitecaps, drawing the ire of fans eager to see the soccer star play.

“We obviously understand the frustration of the people wanting to watch these players play,” said coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino last month. “We as coaches sometimes have to make these very difficult football decisions. But we always have to keep in mind the players’ health first.”

Those three have combined for 3,324 minutes through the first half of the season; Messi with 945 minutes, which is the eighth-most on the team, Busquests with the second-most at 1,313, and Suárez fourth with 1,066.

They played the whole game Saturday.

___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Fins Weekend fishing tournament, attended by its creator, Jimmy Johnson, a success once again

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 16:51

COCONUT GROVE —  Fish tales, a few of them true, were abundant Saturday afternoon at the 25th annual Fins Fishing Weekend at Grove Harbour Marina, such as the one about the 50.1-pound blackfin tuna, an unofficial world record, caught aboard the Miss Britt 34 Express.

And Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson, the former Dolphins coach, was front and center for all the action, occasionally sipping on his Heineken Light on ice.

“How many of us like warm beer?” Johnson, a longtime beer on the rocks drinker, quipped. “I don’t like warm beer.”

The Dolphins start their mandatory three-day minicamp next week, and they made news recently by signing wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to a three-year, $84.7 million contract with $76 million guaranteed.

But Johnson, the Hall of Fame NFL coach who also won a national title at the University of Miami, was still a main event as the guest of honor at the two-day charity event that he started in 1996.

Johnson spent part of Saturday taking pictures and telling stories with ex-players, current players, fans and fishermen.

Johnson, of course, also took some time to talk about last year’s Miami Dolphins, this year’s Miami Dolphins, the University of Miami, and the Fins Fishing Weekend.

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Johnson, who won two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys before becoming the Dolphins head coach (1996-99), had good things to say about Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel, who is entering his third season and has a 20-14 regular season record with two playoff appearances.

“I did an interview a year or so ago with Mike, and I was so impressed with his intelligence, and I was impressed with how he relates to the players,” said Johnson, who serves as a NFL analyst for the FOX network. “The players really play hard for him. The players respect him. I think, as far as a head coach you’ve got to have credibility, which he’s got, your players have got to respect you, and they’ve got to play hard for you. And I think he motivates the players, he gets him to play hard.

“He’s got a vision about what he wants on the football team, and I think along with (general manager) Chris Grier, they’ve been able to bring in the talent.”

Fins Weekend has been a mainstay since 1996, save for a break from 2019-22.

Johnson started the fishing event, which included players and members of the community, to benefit Scott Chait, who was a communications staff member battling cystic fibrosis. Proceeds went to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Unfortunately, Chait passed away before the initial event.

Since then, Fins Weekend has continued and it has benefited a number of charitable causes in its existence.

“Now we raise money for Baptist Health Foundation and it helps trainers and health programs in all of South Florida at some of the high school programs,” Johnson said. “So it’s really for a charity event as much as anything else. But also it brings the players and Dolphins fans, everybody together in something that we all love and that’s fishing.”

Johnson, who will turn 81 next month, said he doesn’t do as much fishing nowadays as he did years ago. Saturday was a windy day, resulting in a choppy day on the water.

A few players, such as defensive tackle Zach Sieler, defensive tackle Brandon Pili and rookie linebacker Cam Brown, went out on the boat and didn’t lose their lunch.

“I think all three of us did pretty good,” Sieler said. “No one to my knowledge was overboard doing anything crazy. It was a great day…it’s an awesome event and a great fundraiser for the kids and the high schools.” 

Sieler, who is a native of Michigan and an outdoorsman, said he does some fishing in Marathon with Big Dawg Sportfishing.

But Pili, a native of Alaska, said it took him a couple of hours to gain his sea legs. Pili said he’d mostly done his fishing from the shore in Alaska.

Even the ex-players kept it together.

Shawn Wooden, the former Dolphins safety, was on the boat with Sieler, Pili and Brown. Wooden, who noticed Johnson walking behind him, said he had to keep it together on the boat or Johnson would have benched him.

Johnson was asked what he liked about Wooden as a player.

“He would knock your ass off,” Johnson said, before adding, “And I liked it!”

Wooden, a Dolphins sixth-round pick out of Notre Dame in 1996, was equally as gracious about Johnson.

“That man gave me a chance — sixth-round pick coming in the league with the knee surgery and back surgery and they told me I would never be able to play,” he said. “That man gave me a chance and I was able to make it nine years.”

Johnson had good things to say about what McDaniel, Grier, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle have done.

“I think what McDaniel and Chris Grier have done is they’ve excited the Dolphins group again,” Johnson said. “I mean, they’re an exciting football game. You look at Tua and Waddle and Tyreek. They’re an exciting football team and had they not had the injuries that they had defensively last year, I think they would have gone even further. But I enjoy watching him play.”

Johnson also likes Tagovailoa, and so does Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw.

“Tua has a great touch on the football,” Johnson said. “He can anticipate throws. And one of my best friends, Terry Bradshaw, he studies those quarterbacks and we go out to L.A. almost every weekend, especially during our show.

“And I’ll watch the team, (but) Terry, he watches those quarterbacks. And from Day One, he said, ‘Tua has got it.’ He loves Tua. And I think with the supporting cast that Tua’s got, he’s going to be extremely successful.”

As for the University of Miami, Johnson said he’s encouraged that coach Mario Cristobal is excelling at the lifeblood, or former lifeblood, of the program — recruiting.

“One thing Mario Cristobal is doing is one thing that you have to do in college football, is recruit,” Johnson said. “He’s bringing in good players. And so at times I was disappointed a year ago but they’re bringing in a lot of good players and I think that gives them the chance.

“I know with college football right now it would be a nightmare for me with the NIL and the transfer portal. It’s got to be extremely frustrating. But as long as you’ve got good players, you’re going to have an opportunity to win.”

As for the Dolphins’ outlook in 2024, Johnson seems optimistic.

He thinks the Dolphins have a high ceiling if they stay healthy.

“I was a little bit disappointed with the defense last year, but the injuries had a lot to do with it,” Johnson said. “But they made a run. I thought they were going to go a little bit further in the playoffs. I think they’ll go further this year, and who knows if they stay healthy?

“They’re as good as anybody.”

 

Marlins pitchers get 16 strikeouts, but Rangers still roll to 7-0 win

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 16:13

MIAMI (AP) — Corey Seager singled twice and doubled to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and the Texas Rangers beat the Miami Marlins 7-0 on Saturday.

The star shortstop, who also has an on-base streak of 24 games, is 19 for 51 during the stretch that began on May 14.

Marcus Semien also had two singles and a double, while Robbie Grossman doubled and singled for the Rangers, who finished with 13 hits despite striking out 16 times.

“Offense — what a great job they did,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “Throughout the order we had better swings. They did a good job of attacking the baseball.”

Michael Lorenzen (3-3) threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings for his first win since April 21. The right-hander allowed five hits and walked two.

The Marlins stranded base runners in scoring position against Lorenzen in each of the first three innings. Lorenzen then had one batter reach the remainder of his outing.

“Pitching is all about problem solving,” Lorenzen said. “You go into a game reading swings and seeing what they’re doing. You have an approach to them but they also have an approach to you. That all happens as the game goes on. I think my adjustments get better and I get better at solving that puzzle.”

Signed as a free agent, the 32-year-old Lorenzen has been a valuable addition to the rotation after the departure of Jordan Montgomery to free agency in the offseason and a groin injury that sidelined Nathan Eovaldi for four weeks in May.

“He’s one of those guys who’s a horse on the staff,” Bochy said. “It’s a big sign for us. Amazing that he was available. Competes so well. Good poise out there.”

Marlins starter Ryan Weathers struck out a career high 11 in six innings. Weathers (3-5) gave up four runs and nine hits.

“Six innings, 11 punchouts and four runs, I’ll take that all day,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “Ryan gave us a shot to win the game. There just wasn’t much offense today.”

José Leclerc, Jacob Latz and Gerson Garabito followed Lorenzen and got the final eight outs to complete the shutout.

Grossman’s RBI double and Adolis Garcia’s sacrifice fly against Weathers in the third put Texas ahead 2-0.

The Rangers padded their lead in the fourth, when Wyatt Langford scored from third on Miami right-fielder Jesús Sanchez’s throwing error after fielding Josh Smith’s single. Smith advanced to third on a groundout and then scored on Andrew Knizner’s sacrifice fly.

Grossman made it 5-0 with his run-scoring single off reliever Andrew Nardi in the seventh and Langford added a two-run single in the ninth.

“We had things go our way,” Grossman said. “We got some timely hits. It was a good day for the Rangers.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Max Scherzer (back surgery) threw a bullpen session before the game. The three-time Cy Young award winner has not pitched this season and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on May 15.

Marlins: Placed catcher Christian Bethancourt on the bereavement list and selected the contract of catcher Jhonny Pereda from Triple-A Jacksonville. … OF Avisaíl García (left hamstring strain) tripled in five at-bats during a rehab game with Jacksonville on Friday.

UP NEXT

LHP Andrew Heaney (1-6, 4.49 ERA) will start the series finale for the Rangers on Sunday while the Marlins will go with LHP Trevor Rogers (1-6, 5.65).

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Another year removed from Achilles tear, Nik Needham can give Dolphins a versatile DB

South Florida Local News - Sat, 06/01/2024 - 08:46

MIAMI GARDENS — Nik Needham has made his mark with the Miami Dolphins as a nickel cornerback since he first made the team as an undrafted rookie in 2019.

He’s been a valuable member of the secondary, capable of moving from covering the slot to going out to the boundary and even once playing safety when one was needed.

A torn Achilles in October of 2022 put his production for the Dolphins on hold for a while.

He was still recovering through training camp ahead of last season and wasn’t activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list until late October, about a full calendar year from his placement on injured reserve the previous season.

He saw action in 10 games after that, but all in very limited snap counts off the bench, along with some sporadic work on special teams.

Miami, this offseason, could’ve felt Needham’s time with the franchise had run its course, but the Dolphins brought him back to compete for reps in what will be a little bit of a new-look secondary with new veteran starters in cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Jordan Poyer slotted to slide in for Xavien Howard and DeShon Elliott, respectively.

As the team shifts defensive coordinators, from Vic Fangio to Anthony Weaver, Needham, 27, was viewed as someone who can still contribute given a fair chance another year removed from the Achilles tear.

“A whole 180 in the mindset,” Needham said at organized team activities the past week of being a healthy participant in offseason workouts this year. “Last year coming off injury, battling, keep getting injured while I was trying to come back, it was just messing my head up. I was kind of down and just wasn’t in the right headspace.

“This year, I’m back to myself, I feel confident. I’m not out hurting.”

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And he is not limited to merely playing cornerback this year.

Needham has progressively seen more practice reps at safety this offseason, presenting another backup option there behind Poyer and Jevon Holland, alongside special teams standout Elijah Campbell.

“At corner, it’s really your physical abilities,” Needham said. “It’s one-on-one, you verse the guy right in front of you. When you move to safety, you kind of control the whole defense. You have to understand how to put guys in certain positions and in certain situations what to do. I think that’s probably the hardest part, but I feel like I’m a capable guy and versatile enough that I can handle the workload and play corner, safety, nickel, linebacker.

“Whatever they need me to play, I’m going to play.”

Needham isn’t entirely new to safety. He played it some in 2021 after multiple injuries on the unit. Upon his return from rehab in 2023, he practiced at the position but would’ve only played it in a game in the case of an emergency.

Poyer, who comes over after 11 NFL seasons, the past seven with the rival Buffalo Bills, has been a resource for Needham in learning safety.

“He’s helped tremendously,” Needham said. “I told him he’s one of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met in the league. Our first day, he was super open, wants everyone to learn from him. He’s not trying to act like, ‘I’m the big 12-year vet.’ He’s very open.”

Needham revealed that Poyer actually had the defensive backs over to his house for a dinner Memorial Day weekend.

“We haven’t done that as a DB group since I’ve been here,” Needham said. “Having that, I feel like, will create more camaraderie and have us be successful on the field, because we’ll really know each other. It’s not just going out and playing and, ‘see you at work.’ We can actually create a bond, and he’s the one that started that with everybody.”

At safety, the Dolphins also drafted rookie Patrick McMorris out of California in the sixth round. They have undrafted free agents Mark Perry (TCU) and Jordan Colbert (Rhode Island) competing for a roster spot.

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