Hello folks. Welcome back. It’s officially March, which is nice. February was a snowy disaster, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We got several inches last night in Boston and we’re expecting another 6-12 over the next couple days. Exciting stuff.
But that’s weather. This is The Skinny. Let’s do it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington yesterday. He’ll deliver a speech to Congress tomorrow that is ruffling feather’s in the nation’s capital. The White House is pissed, both because Netanyahu is giving the speech and because Congress has invited him without Obama’s blessing.
A couple dozen Democrats are skipping the speech, including VP Biden who will be in Guatemala.
ISIS released 19 Assyrian Christian hostages over the weekend. This is turning heads, as the group usually decapitates or burns alive hostages.
18 of the 19 hostages were among more than 200 captured after ISIS attacked Christian villages in northern Syria. Why they were released is unknown, but speculation suggests the group is attempting to show they follow the rules and procedures of Sharia Law.
North Korea has responded to South Korea and the U.S. conducting joint military drills by firing missiles into the Sea of Japan. They did this last year too, firing over 90 missiles in response to South Korean/U.S. military drills.
As is tradition, North Korea publicly spewed wild paranoia on the issue, with officials calling the drills “nothing but a smokescreen” for a “surprise” U.S.-South Korea invasion.
A widely known opponent of Russian president Vladimir Putin, Boris Nemtsov, was shot and killed near the Kremlin on Friday night. He was supposed to be part of a rally condemning Russia’s policies in Ukraine over the weekend; instead, a vigil was held in his honor, with thousands gathering outside the Kremlin.
Nemstov was shot dead while walking home from dinner. Putin condemned the killing and ordered and investigation, but many suspect Putin supporters are responsible.
LA Police Shooting
Bystander video captured police shooting and killing an LA man yesterday. The man appears to be tased, then shot dead.
Economy (last week)
Dow: 18,133 -7 (-0.0%) S&P 500: 2,105, -6 (-0.3%)
All in all, February was pretty good. Despite being down a few points last week, stocks ended February with the biggest percentage gain since 2013.
Monster, Target and Starbucks had good weeks while JC Penney, Hewlett-Packard and SeaWorld struggled.
Late week reports showed that U.S. housing data is strong, but the GDP didn’t meet expectations. Subsequently, we had a slow finish to the week.
Golf – The boys are conducting a pillow fight in the final round of the Honda Classic this morning. In a Monday finish, due to serious rain delays, the leaders are dropping balls in the water left and right. 21-year-old rookie Daniel Berger is in the clubhouse at -6, which might get it done. The final group is on 17 right now.
NHL – The Rangers traded for defenseman Keith Yandle yesterday, making a statement about their goal to win a Stanley Cup this year.
NBA – LeBron choked over the weekend, prompting a ridiculously emo Instagram post that many people (people like me) are making fun of.
Bieber turned 21 over the weekend. That must have been fun for him.
The Design Team and I saw Kingsman: The Secret Service over the weekend; it was surprisingly fantastic.
Super Important Fact
Pirates wore eye patches so they could see better in dark conditions. When they would go under deck, they would remove the eye patch, thus having one eye that did not need time to adjust to the dark.
Happy Monday. Spring is RIGHT around the corner. See it. Believe it. Have a day.