Man heads home after 6 month battle with COVID

WEST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Thursday marked the first time Kevin McNamara hugged his kids in six months.

His family counted every, single day he was away. 174.

There were so many days when loved ones wondered if this day would ever come, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported.

Alyssa Applebaum, McNamara’s fiancée, was always sure he would kick COVID-19.

“For you to know who Kevin McNamara is, you know that he was gonna have this moment. You know it, that’s who he is,” Applebaum said.

Nobody would have blamed her if she did lose hope.

McNamara, a lawyer from Avon, NJ, spent 90 days – including his 60th birthday in April – on a ventilator.


“Did you realize along the way how sick you were?” Layton asked McNamara.

“No, I really didn’t. I though I was gonna go in there, take a couple puffs from the ventilator and be on my way. I didn’t realize it was gonna be such an ordeal,” McNamara said.

He was treated at three hospitals before spending six weeks at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation – working hard to regain strength and the basics of life.

McNamara, who was running four miles a day in March, is learning to walk again.

He had to learn how to talk again, too.

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“He was really able to make a huge, tremendous comeback,” said Danielle Diessner, a speech language pathologist.

“He still has a ways to go from a therapy standpoint,” said Dr. Jeremiah Nieves, a rehabilitation specialist, who believes McNamara will regain his pre-COVID health.

McNamara heads home knowing there is still a lot of intense therapy ahead. But, now he can do it with family right next to him.

FLASHBACK: N.J. Woman Shares Daily Struggle Of Not Seeing Her Hospitalized Fiancé

“It’s been six months so, there’s a lot to do,” said Bridget McNamara, his daughter.

“I just can’t wait for him to come to my football games,” said Cole McNamara, his son.

“I’m just excited to wake up in the morning and have morning coffee… do everything together like we used to,” Applebaum said.

“I just want to also say thank you to my family and friends. I wouldn’t be here without you,” McNamara said.

The couple may not have gotten married in August as planned, but they already know they’ll be at each other’s side in sickness and in health.

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Bundesliga transfer blog: Thiago heads for Liverpool

Latest moves

  • Thiago leaves Bayern for Liverpool
  • Cologne add Duda and Andersson
  • Paciencia moves to Schalke

Germany’s transfer window is open between July 15 and October 5.

Click here for a recap of all the Bundesliga transfer news and rumors from July 2020.

Click here for a recap of all the Bundesliga transfer news and rumors from August 2020.

September 17

Done deal: Thiago Alcantara — Bayern Munich to Liverpool

Bayern Munich announced on Thursday that the Bundesliga champions have agreed a transfer with Liverpool for Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

“I can confirm that FC Bayern have finally reached an agreement with Liverpool FC,” the club’s CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told German daily Bild.

The deal is reported to be for an initial fee of  about €22 million ($26 million) for the 29-year-old Spain international, who has one year remaining on his contract, with add-ons likely to follow.

Bayern head coach Hansi Flick congratulated Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on landing Alcantara, who he described as an “exceptional” player.

‘Kloppo’ is getting a top player and a great person,” Flick said.

Done deal: Ondrej Duda — Hertha Berlin to Cologne

A day after Jhon Cordoba moved from Cologne to Berlin, the Slovakia international will be headed the other way. Hertha attacking midfielder Ondrej Duda has completed his move to Cologne, signing a four-year contract until 2024. The Billy Goats will reportedly pay Hertha €7 million transfer fee. Duda is Cologne’s third signing of the summer after Ron-Robert Zieler and Sebastian Andersson.

September 16

Done deal: Jhon Cordoba — Cologne to Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin have officially signed Cologne’s Jhon Cordoba. The Colombian striker will move to the German capital in a deal reportedly worth €15 million. Cordoba, Cologne’s record signing, had asked to sit out the clubs German Cup game against Altglienicke on Saturday in anticipation of the transfer.

Done deal: Goncalo Paciencia — Eintracht Frankfurt to Schalke

Schalke have announced the signing of Goncalo Paciencia, a move that bolsters David Wagner’s attacking options. The 26-year-old striker struggled to nail down a starting place in Frankfurt since the arrival of Andre Silva and Bas Dost.

Done deal: Sebastian Andersson — Union Berlin to Cologne

Union have confirmed that Sebastian Andersson leaving the German capital for Cologne. The Swedish striker scored 12 goals and registered three assists in his only Bundesliga season with Union.

Done deal: Marcel Tisserand — Wolfsburg to Fenerbahce

The 27-year-old Congolese defender is leaving the Bundesliga after four years in Germany, moving to the Istanbul-based club for a reported €4 million fee. Tisserand moved to Wolfsburg from Ingolstadt in 2017 after spending a season with Ingolstadt.

Done deal: Florian Müller — Mainz to Freiburg (loan)

After losing backup keeper Mark Flekken to an elbow injury, Freiburg have brought in Mainz’s Florian Müller on a one-year loan. The 22-year-old started the last nine games for Mainz after starter Robin Zentner suffered a knee injury, but with Zentner back in the fold, Müller found himself once again in a reserve role.

September 13

Rumor: Jhon Cordoba — Cologne to Hertha Berlin

Cologne striker Jhon Cordoba sat out the team’s German Cup win against Altglienicke on Saturday as rumors persist that the Colombian will join Hertha Berlin for around €15 million. “Jhon approached us and asked not to play from the start because he is in negotiations with other clubs,” said Cologne coach Markus Gisdol.

September 10

Rumor: Milot Rashica — Werder Bemen to Aston Villa

With a deal to Leipzig not forthcoming, it appears a Premier League side may have muscled their way into neogtiations for a big-money signing of Werder Bremen’s Milot Rashica. According to Die DeichStube sources, the Kosovan could be set to join Aston Villa in a deal worth €25 million.

Done deal: Ivan Perisic — Bayern Munich to Inter Milan

Despite talk of the contrary, Bayern have confirmed that Perisic will not remain with the club beyond his one-year loan deal. The Croatian was an unsung hero of the Bavarians’ treble, chipping in with eight goals and ten assists in 35 appearances.  

Rumor: Marco Richter — Augsburg to Köln

Köln have had a first bid for forward Marco Richter turned down with reports in Germany suggesting the Augsburg are holding out for an eight-figure sum. The German Under-21 international, who has scored nine goals in 68 Bundesliga appearances, has a contract lasting until 2023 in Augsburg.

Rumor: Robert Andrich — Union Berlin to Freiburg

Intent on bolstering their ranks having lost two talismen in Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt, Freiburg still on then hunt for a holding midfielder. Having already had a bid for Baptiste Santamaria of Angers rejected, reports suggest the club are in concrete talks with Union Berlin’s Andrich, who featured 30 times in the top flight last season.

September 9

Done deal: Angelino — Manchester City to Leipzig

Leipzig have completed the re-signing of Manchester City full back Angelino on loan for another season after the Spaniard played a leading role in the German club’s run to the Champions League semifinals.

Unlike the loan deal that saw Angelino impress in the second half of last season, the new deal comes with an option to buy the Spanish left back under a contract through 2025, Leipzig said in a statement. 

Done deal: Daniel Baier — Augsburg to retirement

Daniel Baier has admitted on Instagram that he would have loved to end his career in Augsburg, but after his contract with the club expired at the end of July, the 36-year-old has decided to hang up his boots.  

“I’m unbelievably happy and proud to be able to call myself a child of the Bundesliga and will always look back fondly on that time. Even if it’s happened in a way I didn’t envision for myself, this is how it has to be.”

September 8

Done deal: Patrik Schick — Roma to Bayer Leverkusen

After selling Kevin Volland and Kai Havertz, Leverkusen have splashed some of the cash on 21-year-old Roma striker Patrik Schick. The Czech international spent last season on loan with RB Leipzig scoring 10 goals in 28 games.

“I am very happy that I can continue playing in Germany and for this club internationally,” he added with Leverkusen having qualified for the Europa League next season.

Done deal: Lazar Samardzic — Hertha Berlin to RB Leipzig

One of Germany’s brightest emerging talents has left the capital city for Leipzig in a deal reportedly worth €600,000.

“Lazar is one of the best German talents around. Although there was interest from abroad, we’ve been able to convince him to come here,” sporting director Markus Kroesche said.

Samardzic joined the Hertha Berlin youth academy aged seven in 2009 and made a few cameo appearances in the first team last season. But he’s now signed a five-year-deal with Julian Nagelsmann’s side.

“RB Leipzig is a great club for young, hungry players. The team has been playing attractive and attacking football for many years now and I think I will fit in well,” Samardzic said of his new club.

September 7

Rumor: Julian Draxler — Paris Saint-Germain to Bayer Leverkusen

Though he played 90 minutes in each of Germany’s Nations League matches, Julian Draxler has been urged by Joachim Löw to “take a step (towards a club) where he plays regularly” if he wants to stay in contention.

The 26-year-old looks to be in high demand with just a year left on his contract at Paris Saint-Germain. And Leverkusen appear ready to fill the holes left by the departures of Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland in recent days.

Rumor: Angelino — Manchester City to RB Leipzig

The marauding leftback spent the second half of last season on loan with Julian Nagelsmann’s side and the Red Bulls apparently want him back this term.

Angelino appears to be surplus to requirements at City and while Leipzig want an initial loan again, the Bundesliga club want a €20 million purchase option, according to German football magazine Kicker.

September 6

Rumor: Thiago — Bayern Munich to Liverpool

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said he’s resigned to losing Thiago, with Liveprool and Manchster United among his suitors, but the Spanish midfielder is not so sure.

“I have not said at any time that I am leaving,” Thiago told reporters ahead of Spain’s upcoming Nations League match against the Ukraine. “Every year you put me in a different team. I am on the sidelines, my future is tomorrow’s game right now. I neither care nor am I interested in what I know I talked.”

Jus a few days before, Thiago, who was bought to Bavaria by Pep Guardiola from Barcelona in 2013, had described how happy he was in Germany. “Bayern is my home and I am happy to be there,” the 29-year-old said.

September 5

Rumor: Julian Draxler — Paris Saint-Germain to Hertha Berlin

The former Schalke and Wolfsburg star is reportedly unhappy with his playing time at the Champions League finalists and will look to move on in order to stay in Joachim Löw’s Euro 2021 plans, according to reports in Germany.

Though he has just one year left on his contract, Hertha may be one of the few German sides who can realistically afford him and need a player of his profile. But, despite his star waning since moving to France, he’s unlikely to be short of offers.

Done deal Ritsu Doan — PSV to Arminia Bielefeld (loan)

The newly-promoted side have moved to snap up the right-sided winger for the season. 

Coach Uwe Neuhaus said in a statement on Saturday that Doan is “a very tricky winger with a lot of pace who shows his quality with goals and assists.”

Bielefeld have signed several players this summer but have yet to spend anything on transfer fees.


September 4

Done deal: Kai Havertz — Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea

This one is finally over the line, with both clubs announcing the deal on Friday night. Havertz has signed a five-year contract with the Premier League side but said he struggled to put in to words his feelings for Leverkusen, the club he joined as a boy.

He’ll link up with fellow German internationals Timo Werner and Antonio Rüdiger in Frank Lampard’s side and said he can’t wait to get started. Plenty more on that one right here. 

Rumor: Kai Havertz — Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea

The latest twist in a transfer saga that is becoming a running gag, but it may finally be coming to an end soon with reports in England and Germany suggesting confirmation of Kai Havertz’s long-awaited transfer to Chelsea is expected in the next 24 hours.

The 21-year-old has reportedly left the German national team camp to complete his medical and finalise the deal. Havertz was an unused substitute in Germany’s 1-1 draw with Spain on Thursday.  

Done deal: Guus Til — Spartak Moscow to Freiburg

Freiburg have bolstered their attacking options with the signing of Dutch midfielder Til on a two-year loan from Spartak that includes an option to buy. “The game is played at a high tempo in the Bundesliga which suits my style of play – I didn’t have to think long about the offer,” the 22-year-old told Freiburg’s website.

Done deal: Mike van der Hoorn — Swansea City to Arminia Bielefeld

Bundesliga newcomers Arminia Bielefeld have signed Dutch center-back van der Hoorn to a three-year deal on a free transfer. “Mike is a robust central defender who also has a good passing game,” Bielefeld coach Uwe Neuhaus told the club home page. “With his quality he will fit very well into our system of playing.”

September 3

Done deal: Vedad Ibisevic — Hertha Berlin to Schalke

Finding a reliable source of goals with limited funds is never easy, but Schalke have dipped into the free agent market in a bid to solve their problem. 36-year-old Ibisevic whose contract with Hertha ran out in the summer has scored 127 goals in 340 Bundesliga appearances to date and signs on a one-year deal.

Rumor: Benoit Badiashile — Monaco to Bayer Leverkusen

Having sent Volland the other way, Leverkusen were hoping to sign 19-year-old Badiashile to bolster their backline options with another up-and-coming center-back. However, reports in Germany suggest Bayer 04 have been priced out of a deal which could scupper any hopes of a summer move.

Rumor: Baptiste Santamaria — Angers to SC Freiburg

Despite rumors suggesting a deal was imminent, Ligue 1 side Angers publically announced that they have turned down an €11 million offer from Freiburg for Santamaria. The fee would have made the holding midfielder Freiburg’s record signing, but now there is a big question mark behind any potential deal.

Done deal: Robert Gumny — Lech Poznan to Augsburg

Augsburg have snapped up Polish Under-21 right-back Gumny from Lech Poznan on a five-year deal. “We’re delighted to have signed a young and talented right-back,” said sporting director Stefan Reuter. “We’re convinced he will play a part in us achieving our targets in the coming years.”

September 2

Done deal: Pernille Harder — Wolfsburg Frauen to Chelsea

Danish striker Pernille Harder has left the Women’s Bundesliga and joined Chelsea — the fee is reportedly a world record transfer in the women’s game.

Harder, 27, is one of the finest strikers in the world and departs Wolfsburg with a scoring record of 105 goals in 114 games. Her final game was the 3-1 defeat by Lyon in the recent Champions League final.

Wolfsburg Frauen sporting director Ralf Kellermann admitted it wasn’t easy to let Harder go. “Taking into account that we’re dealing with a world record fee, the fact that Pernille was only going to be with us for 10 more months and has just played in a Champions League final for us, we decided it was a fair solution all round.”

Done deal: Kevin Volland — Bayer Leverkusen to Monaco

Striker Volland has completed his first move outside of Germany, joining Ligue 1 side Monaco in a deal believed to be worth an initial €11 million plus add-ons having scored 50 goals in 148 games with Leverkusen.

“Kevin’s is a versatile striker who works hard for the team with statistics that show his goalscoring and selflessness. I am convinced that his energy and experience will be very positive assets for our group of players,” said Monaco’s sporting director Paul Mitchell.

Done deal: Philipp Max — Augsburg to PSV Eindhoven

Max has left Augsburg after five years after being snapped up by the 24-time Dutch champions on a four-year deal believed to be worth €10 million. “PSV’s style of football appeals to me,” Max said. “They want to win trophies and so do I.”

September 1

Rumor: Kai Havertz — Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea

First Timo Werner, now, finally Kai Havertz? Chelsea look to have sealed a deal for another German star in a busy transfer window for Frank Lampard’s men.

Several respected sources are reporting that the clubs have agreed a fee of €80m up front plus another €10m to follow and a further €10m payable if a variety of clauses are met. 

Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz is resigned to his star man’s departure and also that of Kevin Volland to Monaco. “I no longer expect Kevin Volland and Kai Havertz to train with us again,” he said.

Rise in head lice cases in Lincoln, NE

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – In the past few months, cases of head lice have gone up 25 percent across the United States, according to the Lice Clinics of America.

During the pandemic, lice infestations are affecting entire families, rather than mainly children. Since many families are spending more time at home together, lice removal experts are seeing “cluster cases” pop up.

The shocking fact: it takes less than three seconds for lice to transfer from one head to another.

“We’re seeing maybe a fifth grader with mom and dad, or mom and dad and sister or maybe, all of those people within their tight-knit groups,” said Misty Woodward, lice removal expert at Healthy Heads.

Some things experts say to look out for are an itchy scalp, especially around the hairline and around your ears. If you part your hair and see what appears to be excessive dandruff, it might actually be head lice.

“Rub it. If it moves easily and you’re able to just wipe it off the hair strand, usually within a half inch from the scalp. If it moves easily, it’s probably just dandruff or just dry skin. If it’s stuck to the scalp and does not want to move, it’s more than likely a nit,” Woodward tells 10/11.

Not sharing things like hairbrushes and headphones can help prevent family cases of lice. Seeking treatment from a professional, like those at Healthy Heads in Lincoln may be necessary.

In these cases, professionals will use an oil treatment and comb method to remove lice and stop new cases from occurring.

Lice removal experts want to remind you that having head lice is in no way connected to personal hygiene. They say anyone can get lice. It’s just important you seek treatment and remove them as soon as you see them.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

Brexit explodes: UK accuses EU of DELIBERATELY blocking deal – Barnier heads to London

The EU chief negotiator will meet Boris Johnson’s Task Force Europe head Lord Frost to try to kick start the deadlocked discussions. The pair are expected to hold informal talks in Downing Street ahead of the eighth round of formal negotiations in London next week.

Officials arranged tomorrow’s meeting to try to inject fresh momentum into the wrangle following despair on both sides at the lack of progress during last month.

And tensions rose yesterday when French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian blamed the deadlock on the “intransigent and unrealistic attitude of the United Kingdom”.

In an outburst to French ambassadors, he claimed the EU would not buckle to accept Boris Johnson’s demand for a free trade deal without guarantees of European fishing rights and commitments to obey a host of Brussels regulations.

“On Brexit we always showed unity and proved wrong those who saw signs of an overall implosion of Europe. It is in staying united that we can stick to our line of a global accord,” Mr Le Drein said.

British officials hit back, accusing the EU of making it “unnecessarily difficult to make progress”.

A spokeswoman said: “We have been clear from the outset about the principles underlying the UK approach: we are seeking a relationship that respects our sovereignty and which has a free trade agreement at its core, similar to those the EU has already agreed with like-minded countries.

READ MORE: EU rejects new UK plan to keep busy shipping routes open after Brexit

“However, the EU is still insisting not only that we must accept continuity with EU state aid and fisheries policy, but also that this must be agreed before any further substantive work can be done in any other area of the negotiation, including on legal texts, making it unnecessarily difficult to make progress.

“We will continue to work hard to reach agreement and look forward to the next round taking place next week.”

Kushner heads to Middle East looking to deliver peace deal ahead of election

The aim is to provide a bit of eleventh hour grandeur, to herald a rare foreign-policy win and help bolster President Donald Trump’s reelection efforts this November.

Several diplomatic and congressional sources told CNN that Kushner is courting multiple Arab countries to commit to attending a ceremony in Washington and that push is part of his trip to the region. They include Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain and Oman, according to two of those sources. Some of those countries are mulling over the possibility of making the trip and considering who they would send, the sources said.

As well as aiming to formalize the UAE-Israel agreement and secure the grand ceremony Trump has envisioned, Kushner. who is the President’s son-in-law, is also using the trip, alongside other top US officials, to pursue a series of normalization agreements between Israel and various Arab nations and strengthen efforts to counter Iran.

Kushner’s name and reputation have been inextricably linked to the flailing Middle East peace plan since the administration was in its infancy. Ivanka Trump said at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night that her father defied “all expectations” and “rewrote history again by making a peace agreement in the Middle East, the biggest breakthrough in a quarter century” as her husband smiled in the audience.

Kushner is widely perceived to have failed in his efforts to resolve the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict but there is a hope that these efforts could help resurrect his reputation as a diplomat. His task is daunting, however, and there’s skepticism from multiple sources that further normalization agreements can be agreed on between Israel and other Arab states. There are also complications that will need to be addressed over the agreement with the UAE.

But it’s significant that Kushner is leading a delegation that includes national security adviser Robert O’Brien, outgoing US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook, Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz and senior National Security Council officials Miguel Correa and Rob Greenway, according to a senior White House official.

Despite Kushner having had no foreign policy experience before his father-in-law appointed him, there is a wide belief in diplomatic circles that Kushner is the only person truly able to influence the unpredictable American President.

One senior administration official noted the significance of Kushner leading a delegation that includes the President’s national security adviser. “(John) Bolton and (H.R.) McMaster wouldn’t have agreed to that,” this person said, referring to O’Brien’s predecessors under Trump. “Jared is running the show.”

Shift in focus to Iran

The administration’s approach involves a shift in focus from aiming to establish peace between Israelis and Palestinians to creating a regional coalition among a somewhat random group of nations, aimed at balking Iranian aggression.

The fragile normalization agreement between the world’s newest bellwether allies, Israel and the United Arab Emirates — united in their mutual contempt for Tehran and their strong ties to the Trump White House — is being used as a model for other countries. The hope, according to two US and two foreign officials, is that in the short term, Bahrain, Oman, Sudan and Morocco will follow suit. Representatives from those countries did not respond to a request for comment.

Normalization for this particular group of countries isn’t a stretch, since most have had at least covert ties with Israel for years and have become increasingly tolerant of Israel as a regional business partner and major power in the region.

What Pompeo and Kushner are up to

Kushner will tell various nations that an anti-Iran coalition is their best bet and an effective insurance policy should former Vice President and Democratic hopeful Joe Biden pull off a win in the presidential election, according to several US and foreign officials.

The Trump delegation will first stop in Israel for meetings, after which it will escort a number of Israeli government experts from various sectors on the first-ever commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital, on Monday, a senior White House official told CNN. Other stops include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and possibly Oman and Morocco, the official said.

Ties between Washington, Israel and the Arab Gulf nations became strained under former President Barack Obama over the nuclear accord with Iran, which those countries viewed as a means of empowering Tehran. Since coming into office, Trump has withdrawn the US from the nuclear accord and worked to restore relations with Israel and the oil-rich Arab Gulf sheikhdoms.

But Iranian aggression, and the potential for renewed nuclear talks under a Biden administration, isn’t the only incentive for these countries to throw caution to the wind and normalize ties with Israel.

Aid for peace

One of Israel’s leading newspapers alleged this month that there was a “secret clause” in Israel’s deal to normalize relations with the UAE — one that would allow the UAE to buy billions of dollars in advanced military hardware from the US, including drones, F-35 stealth fighters and other weaponry.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu initially slammed reports of a possible stealth fighter jet deal as “completely fake news.” But then Kushner said last Sunday in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that the normalization agreement “should increase the probability” of an F-35 jet sale to the UAE.
Top US general tells Congress the military won't play a role in the 2020 election

Administration officials and experts agree that countries like Bahrain, Oman, Sudan and Morocco are intrigued by talk of military and economic aid for peace, and may be enticed by such a proposition.

The concept of aid for peace isn’t new. US aid to Egypt has historically been conditioned on its obligations under the 1979 Camp David treaty, which ended three decades of sporadic wars with Israel. As relations between the two countries have dithered, with particular low points since Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011, that funding has been seen as one of the treaty’s primary guarantees.

Similarly, Jordan’s efforts to begin peace talks with Israel in 1994 came, in part, in the hope that Israel could compel Washington to resume military aid and spare parts as well as delivery of a squadron of F-16 jet fighters for the Royal Jordanian Air Force.

But several administration officials and GOP congressional aides told CNN that Kushner’s ability to make guarantees regarding military aid is questionable, particularly since these matters particularly go through a robust interagency process and are typically also cleared by Congress.

Bumps in the road

While the hope is that these other countries may agree to establish formal diplomatic ties with Israel, the likelihood of getting there by Election Day remains uncertain. Sudan shunned the idea publicly ahead of a visit this week by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying it doesn’t have a mandate to pursue normalization with Israel.

Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Dine El Otmani also told reporters this week that “we refuse any normalization with the Zionist entity because this emboldens it to go further in breaching the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Administration officials acknowledged that the situation was too fluid and so hope for reaching additional agreements remains uncertain at best.

Even the UAE-Israel deal seemed to hit a snag almost as soon as it was announced. Both countries issued a flurry of contradictory statements about how the deal will impact Palestinians, who viewed the announcement as a sign of waning support among fellow Arabs.

UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed said on Twitter that an agreement had been reached to stop further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories, a threat Netanyahu had pledged to carry out this year. But later, in a televised address, Netanyahu confirmed that his annexation plans had only been “temporarily suspended,” adding that he was “still committed” to annexing parts of the West Bank.

Omar Ghobash, a top Emirati government minister, later confirmed that “we don’t have any guarantees as such” from Israel that it would not annex occupied Palestinian territory in the future.

As Laura heads east, hundreds of thousands are left with no power ahead of hot weekend

Across the Mid-South, the storm has left more than half a million people without power, according to That’s especially dangerous for communities in parts of Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas that are still reeling from the storm’s damage and under a heat advisory for this weekend.

Temperatures in areas across the three states are slated to reach the mid-90s Saturday but could feel close to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, according to CNN meteorologist Tyler Mauldin.

Laura, now a post-tropical cyclone, is moving east towards the Mid-Atlantic states with winds of about 25 mph. Although it’s weakened significantly since landfall, severe weather threats remain, including rain, strong winds and isolated tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.

The death toll Saturday was 13, authorities said.

Louisiana officials have confirmed 10 storm-related deaths. Gov. John Bel Edwards said on Twitter that five of those were from the use of portable generators indoors.

Edward reported earlier that at least four died due to falling trees.

In Port Arthur, Texas, three people died from carbon monoxide poisoning, a county official told CNN Friday.

They “had a generator working inside a building,” Allison Getz a public information officer for the Jefferson County Emergency Management told CNN.

Six others were taken to a hospital.

Facing Laura's devastation is 'like a bad science fiction novel,' mayor says, while 600,000 still lack power

In a separate incident, 17 people were transported to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Angie Hebert, a spokesperson for Medical Center of Southeast Texas.

In the immediate aftermath of Laura, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an advisory Thursday warning of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.

With power knocked out to thousands of homes and businesses, the CDC warned of the risks if people turn to “alternate power sources such as gasoline generators and may use propane or charcoal grills for cooking.”

“If used or placed improperly, these sources can lead to CO (carbon monoxide) buildup inside buildings, garages, or campers and poison the people and animals inside.”

No power for two months

The powerful storm devastated communities across Louisiana, stripping some neighborhoods down to scraps of wood and debris.

Hurricane Laura was strong enough to reverse the flow of Mississippi River water

In Cameron Parish, Louisiana, it could take up to two months to restore power, according to Ashley Buller, the Assistant Director of Parish Emergency Preparedness. There is also currently no running water in the area.

Despite the mandatory evacuation order, about 150 residents remained in the parish but appear to be OK, Buller told CNN.

“Just about everyone has been in contact with family and friends,” Buller said.

Emergency officials have not made it into the area yet to survey the damage and in some sections of the parish, the water remains high. The secondary offices for the sheriff’s department and emergency management have been “wiped out,” Buller said.

“If you can access your property, we will let you in,” says Buller. “We want people to be able to save their property.”

CNN’s Dave Alsup, Shelby Lin Erdman and Devon M. Sayers contributed to this report.

S&P 500 heads for best August since 1986 as stunning summer rally continues

It’s been a great August, up 6% for the S&P 500, the best August since 1986.

But then again, it was a great July.  And a great June. May was pretty good, too, and April was downright eye-popping.

The Summer Rally (S&P 500 Monthly Returns)

  • April: up 12.7%
  • May: up 4.5%
  • June: up 1.8%
  • July: up 5.5%
  • August (so far): up 6.6%

Five straight up months. What’s going on?

“August is going to come out looking like capital markets are endorsing a US cyclical recovery,” Nicholas Colas from DataTrek told clients in a recent note.

Colas freely admits that August’s outside return has a big asterisk: Apple’s 18% run-up.

“This meaningfully skews everything from Tech sector returns to Growth/Value performance spreads and even the S&P 500’s August return,” he said, noting that without Apple, the S&P would only be up 4.1% on the month, not 6.8%.

Still, it sure looks like the market is endorsing an economic rebound. The small-cap Russell 2000 is also up about 6% for the month.  High-yield corporate funds are outperforming all other bond market classes. If the trading community was worried about an imminent economic downturn, neither of those two sectors would be leading.

The market has held up on a combination of optimism on a treatment/vaccine, along with massive Fed stimulus. 

There’s still optimism on the vaccine front, but now that the Fed has announced its program to keep rates lower for longer and tolerate higher inflation levels ahead of its much-anticipated September 16th meeting, many are arguing the rally based on a Fed “put” (a floor below the market) has gone about as far as it can go.

“The Fed easy money story now priced into the market,” Alec Young, Chief Investment Officer at Tactical Alpha LLC, told me. “It’s buy the rumor, sell the news.” 

But even Young admits that may only suffice to pause, but not derail the rally. He also argues the market needs a pause in the relentless digital/work from home story: “It is not healthy to have the index dominated by a few technology stocks,” he said.

None of this means the market will drop, and there are still plenty of bulls who insist the market is going higher.

Jim Paulsen at Leuthold is one of them: he has been bullish and remains bullish, though he freely admits the market could see a 10% correction.

He also freely admits that tech stocks are extended, but insists the fundamentals for tech are rock solid and nothing like 2000.  Extended, he insists, does not mean they are waiting for a crash.

And he strongly disagrees with the popular notion that Wall Street has become disconnected from Main Street.

“It’s not just about the Fed put. People think there is no legitimacy to the rally, and they’re wrong.  Look at retail sales, or the ISM, or housing, or auto sales. Look at the improvement in unemployment claims. They’re all bouncing,” he said.

As for the narrow rally centered on tech, Paulsen believes the broader market is about to play catch-up.

How much? He said he would not be surprised if S&P corporate profits were $200 in 2021.  The current consensus is $165.

Profits 25% higher than consensus for 2021? That would go a long way toward justifying the rally. 

“We’ve had a 12% reduction in GDP, an all-time record,” he told me.  “But we may have an 18% improvement in GDP in the next 12 months, and that also would be an all-time high. That is going to bring in the broader market along with it.  You are going to have a major league shift in profitability into those cyclical names. When you thrust all those companies into a depression, and then you force them to get the most efficient they have ever been in their existence, and after all that, you give them a wartime boom?  Profitability is going to be maximized.”

Leuthold has told his clients to stay long: “I am going to own new-era tech, but I am going to own less of it going forward, and I am going to own more of the broader market–cyclicals, international, and small caps.”

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Tropical Storm Marco becomes a hurricane and heads toward U.S. Gulf Coast

An employee of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) monitors tropical storm Laura in Santo Domingo, on August 22, 2020.

Erika Santelices | AFP | Getty Images

Marco strengthened into a hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday on its way toward the Louisiana coast, according to data from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft.

Tropical Storm Laura, which the hit the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is also expected to develop into a hurricane and is headed toward the U.S. coast.

Laura could make landfall from Texas to Florida’s Gulf Coast by Wednesday afternoon and Marco could hit Louisiana or Mississippi Monday afternoon, according to National Hurricane Center projections. 

The National Hurricane Center warned of potentially life-threatening storm surge and high winds along the Gulf Coast as Hurricane Marco approaches. A storm surge of up to 6 feet was forecast for some areas on the Louisiana and Mississippi coast.  

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency on Friday and requested the Trump administration to grant federal emergency status to the state in preparation for the developing storms. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also declared a state of emergency and warned residents that space in evacuation shelters would be limited because of Covid-19.

This year’s hurricane season is on pace to become one of the worst in recorded history, in part because of hotter-than-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

The warmer ocean temperatures are driven by climate change, which has triggered more intense and frequent disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and heatwaves. California is currently battling more than 500 fires during the worsening coronavirus pandemic. 

“We are in unprecedented times,” Reeves said at a news conference Saturday. “We are dealing with not only two potential storms in the next few hours, we are also dealing with Covid-19.”

The hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30 and is forecast to have 19 to 25 named storms, with 7 to 11 of those storms expected to develop into hurricanes, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA forecasts there will be 3 to 6 major hurricanes with winds greater than 111 miles per hour. 

Hurricane Genevieve path: Major storm heads straight for Baja California – Latest maps

Genevieve is expected to become a major hurricane over the coming days, marking yet another storm in an unusually overactive hurricane season. The 2020 Pacific hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and covers areas in both the East Pacific Ocean and the Central Pacific. This season’s first named storm was Amanda, which developed near Central America and struck Guatemala, causing widespread damage and chaos in neighbouring El Salvador as well. Genevieve is the latest and 12th named storm in this year’s Pacific hurricane season.

As of 6am UTC on August 18, the system was packing minimum sustained winds of 100mph, and is located 750 miles off the southern tip of Baja.

Genevieve is currently passing over slightly warmer than average waters – estimated at 30C – making it an ideal environment for strengthening.

Statistic models have given Genevieve a 95 percent chance of attaining Category 3 strength, making it almost certain it will be a major storm.

The NHC said: “Rapid strengthening is forecast during the next 24 to 36 hours, and Genevieve is expected to become a major hurricane later today.

“Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).

READ MORE: Storm Kyle: Why this year’s Hurricane season could be most active yet

“The estimated minimum central pressure is 976 mb (28.82 inches).”

The storm is predicted to track mainly northwest, taking it close to the southern tip of Baja California by Thursday as it encounter cooler waters and drier air.

At the moment, forecasters are leaning toward a track that will take Genevieve just offshore from the area.

However, residents of Baja are advised to monitor the storm closely.

It could be that Genevieve draws close enough to the coast to bring high winds and heavy winds to the southern peninsula, causing widespread damage.

NHC forecasters said: “A turn to the northwest and a decrease in forward speed is forecast to occur on Tuesday and continue through to at least Thursday.

“Rapid strengthening is forecast to continue over the next day or so, and Genevieve will become a major hurricane on Tuesday.

“A weakening trend should begin on Wednesday.

“On the forecast track, the centre of Genevieve is expected to move parallel to, but well offshore, the coast of southwestern Mexico during the next couple of days.”

Hurricanes are the strongest weather systems on Earth, with the power to decimate coastlines and cities with sustained winds.

During its life cycle, one hurricane can release as much energy as 10,000 nuclear bombs.

Hurricanes always form over tropical waters in areas of high humidity, light winds, and warm sea surfaces, typically a temperature of 26.C or higher.

This year, forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict that anywhere from 13 to 19 major storms could have occurred by the time hurricane season is over.