Brooks Koepka holds off Tiger Woods, Adam Scott to win PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka secured his status as one of the best golfers in the world Sunday as he won his third major in 14 months at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis. Koepka, who successfully defended his U.S. Open title at Shinnecock Hills in June, shot a final-round 66 to hold off Tiger Woods (64) by two shots. Adam Scott shot 67 to finish alone in third, a shot behind Woods. Koepka is the first man to win two majors in the same calendar year since Jordan Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open in 2015. He is the first man to pull off the U.S. Open-PGA Championship double since Woods in 2000. His 72-hole score of 264 set the PGA Championship scoring record and matched the major championship record set by Henrink Stenson at Royal Troon in the 2016 British Open. The 28-year-old Floridian also joined Jordan Spieth, Woods, Nicklaus and Tom Watson as the only players with three majors before turning 30 since World War II. Koepka had started the final round two shots ahead of Scott, who was playing with a heavy heart after fellow Australian pro Jarrod Lyle died of cancer earlier this week. The Florida native appeared to be in command halfway through the round, weathering bogeys at 4 and 5 to take a three-shot lead over Scott at the turn. But Scott rallied at the same time that Koepka’s touch with the putter deserted him. The Australian birdied 10, 12, and 13, while Koepka missed short birdie putts at 12, 13, and 14. With Koepka stuck in neutral, Woods put on a charge and sent the galleries into a frenzy when he birdied the par-4 15th to get within a shot of the lead after sticking his second shot within a foot of the flagstick. However, Koepka regained control of the championship on the 15th hole, when he drilled a 10-foot birdie putt into the center of the cup to take a one-shot lead. He added to his advantage at the par-3 16th, when he stuck his tee shot to inside seven feet of the hole, then drained the ensuing birdie putt. Scott had one last chance to force some drama on the last hole, but a six-foot birdie putt on the 17th green that would have put him within one shot of Koepka curled wide of the cup. He then bogeyed the final hole to slip out of a tie for second. Woods’ 64, which included two bogeys, is his lowest final-round score in any major. It was his seventh runner-up finish and first since the 2009 PGA Championship. Woods and Koepka played nine holes of a practice round on Wednesday, and the 14-time major champion knew what he was up against. “It’s tough to beat when the guy hits it 340 down the middle,” Woods said. “What he did at Shinnecock, just bombing it, and then he’s doing the same thing here. … And when a guy’s doing that and hitting it straight, and as good a putter as he is, it’s tough to beat.” Koepka never imagined a year like this. He missed four months at the start of the year when a partially torn tendon in his left wrist, causing him to sit out the Masters. He outlasted good friend Dustin Johnson at Shinnecock Hills to become the first back-to-back U.S. Open champion in 29 years. And now this. Koepka joked about working out in a public gym this week with Johnson and not being recognized. He has been motivated by more serious moments, from being left off the “notable scores” section of TV coverage at tournaments and even last week, when he was not summoned for a TV interview to preview the PGA Championship. He now is No. 2 in the world, with a shot at overtaking Johnson in two weeks when the FedEx Cup playoffs start,

Tiger came close…but no purse!  Congrats to Brooks!  Over 55,000 fans were in attendance and the players were impressed with the politeness and positive attitude of the St. Louis fans.  Excellent!!  To see some pics and videos from Bellerive Country Club, just click on the text above.    🙂

Facebook scams are on the rise, new report says

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is the latest to chime in with a recent alert about scammers who use Facebook Messenger to trick victims. In its Scam Tracker alert, the BBB said it has “received dozens of reports” about scammers using Facebook Messenger to promote phony grants. The key to the scam is the seeming familiarity of the sender: a friend, family or relative. The scammers often do two things, according to the BBB. They will either hack into your account or create a “lookalike profile” by stealing your photos and personal information. “Either way, scammers are banking that you will trust a message that appears to come from someone you know,” the BBB said. Echoing the BBB alert, this week, Beth Anne Steele with FBI’s Portland office wrote about a personal experience with Facebook messenger. In her post, Steele said that she got a message that looked like it came from a friend. The message included a video link that read: “Hey I saw this video. Isn’t this you?” She didn’t click on the link but was contacted the next day by the friend who said the scammers had hacked his account and that the link contained a virus. There are variations on these friend-and-family scams on Twitter and other social networks. On Twitter, for example, a scammer will send you a tweet purportedly from a person you follow that uses phraseology such as “someone is saying bad things about you” or “someone is spreading rumors about you.” “Scammers use two rules of thumb to lure victims. The first is to gain the confidence of their target through lent credibility…a friend, authority figure, or organization that the victim is likely to trust. The second rule of thumb scammers use is to create a sense of urgency; they want you to act now,” James Lerud, head of the behavioral research team at cybersecurity firm Verodin, said..

Just another reason I don’t use FB..  For more, click on the above..

‘Star Trek’ star Nichelle Nichols diagnosed with dementia: report

“Star Trek” star Nichelle Nichols has reportedly been diagnosed with dementia. According to Nichols’ conservatorship documents, obtained by TMZ, the actress, 85, has “moderate progressive dementia.” Per the documents, Dr. Meena Makhijani, who’s been treating Nichols for the last several years, says she has a “major impairment of her short-term memory and moderate impairment of understanding abstract concepts, sense of time, place and immediate recall.” “There’s no apparent impairment,” however, when it comes to Nichols’ “long-term memory, orientation of her body, comprehension, verbal communication, concentration, recognition of familiar people, as well as ability to reason logically and plan actions,” the report claimed, citing the documents. A rep for Nichols did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. In 2015, Nichols, who is best known for playing Lieutenant Uhura in “Star Trek,” was rushed to a hospital after reportedly suffering a mild stroke.

Sad news..

Opinion: ‘Hate speech’ is sneaky leftist censorship, not law

Leftists have been particularly crafty about clamping down and chilling conservative thought lately, boldly going where milder-mannered censors have previously feared to tread and managing to make several righteous-sounding cases, at least among their circles of progressive types, for the booting of deemed hate speakers from social media. But their censorship argument dangles precariously on the meaningless claim that in America there’s no room for hate speech. And I say meaningless because first off, nobody can define what constitutes hate speech and second off, even if they could, there are no criminal laws against speaking one’s mind in this country — except in cases of inciting riots or falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, the latter of which is not really speech at all. Yet the shrill accusations of hate speech continue. There are political strategies behind all this screeching. This whole anti-hate speech call has been a tremendous boon for the left’s successes in shuttering conservative rhetoric, whether online, on college campuses or in the media world. The best lies and deceptions, after all, are the ones that ring of truth. The truth: In America, morally speaking, philosophically speaking, sensibly speaking — of course there’s no room in America for hate speech. Only a radical nut would see or say otherwise. But speaking of morality is not the same as speaking of legality. Morally speaking, no citizen should spew vicious, racist, misogynistic, ugly, hateful words. Legally? For the most part, have at it. Also the truth: The First Amendment was penned in part to protect primarily political speech — to preserve as a God-given right the ability of citizens to say as they will, to petition as they want, to seek redress for grievances as they ought. Some of these pursuits can get pretty rancorous. Sometimes, people get offended. The Founders knew that. That’s the beauty of the First Amendment — to protect those who would offend. But the left, unable to withstand fact-based scrutiny of its ridiculously anti-American progressive policies, and unable to legislatively advance anti-American progressive policies without the wings of emotionally charged discourse, has been trying to circumvent the spirit of free speech for some time. Why? To shut down the fact-finders and truth-tellers. The left would like nothing more than to see hate speech etched into law as a punishable offense because that would make the job of censoring conservative thought and statements so much the easier. The First Amendment and America’s long and cherished history of allowing for the lively exchange of ideas gets in the way of this goal, however. So the desperate left has advanced a public relations campaign that sees hate speech being talked about with rising frequency — as if it’s a thing. As if it’s an American concept. As if it’s a real crime, like stealing somebody’s car or punching somebody in the face in a bar. The left’s hope is to talk it up enough so it doesn’t sound odd or out of place — so people stop wondering every time they hear it, “what? What is that?” Then come the actual hate speech laws. Then go the conservatives, too chilled to speak. It’s like this: The Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panther Party, Louis Farrakhan, David Duke and a long list of others may all speak in ways that strike a large portion of the public as offensive. But fact is, they pretty much have the legal and natural right to speak as they will. The discomfort of either the few or the many does not justify the stripping of their God-given rights — or of anyone’s God-given right to speak freely. It’s a pretty good system of governance that allows both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, haters and do-gooders alike, equality of expression. Here in America, let’s keep it that way. All discussions of hate speech should include mention of the fact no such laws in this country exist.

Agreed!  Thanks to Cheryl Chumley for that spot-on op/ed.     🙂

State Department Takes Strongest Steps Yet to Combat Human Trafficking Abroad

Human trafficking, a form of modern slavery, has existed for thousands of years and is still a serious problem in many countries throughout the world, particularly with the resurgence of extremist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS). This year’s Trafficking in Persons’ Report, released by the State Department, is arguably stronger than it has been in previous years and is providing renewed hope for non-profits that are seeking to end these heinous crimes against humanity. Kari A. Johnstone, Acting Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP) at the State Department told Breitbart News, in an email, that since the report was first published in 2001, it has been the organization’s “principal diagnostic tool to assess government efforts across what we call the three Ps of prosecuting traffickers, protecting and empowering victims, and preventing future trafficking crimes.” She noted that many countries are taking steps to address the trafficking conditions in their nations and the “TIP Report offers concrete recommendations for improvements for every country in the book. The recommendations serve as a country-specific roadmap to better combat trafficking, to make real institutional change that can put more traffickers behind bars, better find and assist victims, and prevent exploitation of the vulnerable.” Approximately 40 million people in the world today are in modern slavery. And an additional 152 million children are in child slavery. One of the most troubled countries with the human trafficking issue is Iraq, which has been on TIP’s Tier 2 watchlist for the second year in a row. While trafficking had existed in Iraq before the conflict there, the presence of ISIS has only exacerbated it. The State Department noted in its report, “The Government of Iraq does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.” TIP also reported that Iran, which is listed as a Tier 3 country for trafficking, “is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor” and noted that “Iranian women, boys, and girls are vulnerable to trafficking in Iran, Afghanistan, the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), Pakistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Europe.” The Iraq government passed an anti-trafficking law in 2012. According to the State Department, “The government also established an anti-trafficking department in the interior ministry, which collected human trafficking law enforcement data and operated the newly established anti-trafficking hotline.” Currently, the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government) is looking at passing its own anti-trafficking law, and the United States has been very supportive in the fight against human trafficking. One NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), based out of Iraqi-Kurdistan has been on the front lines of this effort and helping to rehabilitate victims of human and sex trafficking, particularly victims of the Islamic State. The SEED Foundation, which was started in 2015, began with a focus on Yazidi and other survivors of Daesh, or the Islamic State, including rehabilitating victims of the jihadist group’s sexual violence and exploitation and survivors of war, and child soldiers. SEED’s President and Executive Director Sherri Kraham Talabany praised this year’s TIP report…

For more, click on the text above.

Top U.S. Gen. Warns: Islamic State in Afghanistan ‘Harboring Intentions’ to Attack West

The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) branch in Afghanistan has become a significant menace against the West despite the fall of the group’s caliphate in Iraq and Syria, a top American commander warned this week. In June, Brig. Gen. Lance R. Bunch, the top U.S. air commander in Afghanistan, noted that the ISIS wing has attempted to “establish” its own “caliphate” twice this year alone in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar along the Pakistan border, considered the group’s primary stronghold in the region. U.S.-NATO-assisted Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have so far managed to thwart the ISIS attempt to establish a caliphate in Afghanistan, Gen. Bunch declared. Gen. Joseph Votel, the chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), charged with overseeing the war in Afghanistan, warned Pentagon reporters on Wednesday the American military is “concerned” ISIS in Afghanistan intends to attack the West. “I think we always have to be concerned about ISIS, whether it’s ISIS-K or whether it’s any of the other branches of it, harboring intentions to operate, you know, much more globally or externally from the areas in which they’re operating. And so, you know, we do have that concern about them,” Votel said. The ISIS branch in South Asia, which primarily operates in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is known as the Khorasan Province (ISIS-K). Asked whether the U.S. military is aware any links between ISIS-K and outside groups that would potentially carry out attacks in Europe or against the United States, Gen. Votel responded: “I think in general ISIS does have that intention.” When pressed to describe any actual plots by ISIS-K on the West, the top commander added, “I think there probably has been, but I can’t cite a specific example to you.” Back in October 2016, the U.S. military acknowledged that ISIS was “very focused on trying to establish their caliphate, the Khorasan caliphate, inside Afghanistan.” ISIS officially announced its presence in Afghanistan in early 2015, less than a year after the United States declared its combat mission over at the end of 2014. The U.S. has been assisting the Afghan forces in their fight against ISIS in their stronghold of Nangarhar. “We have killed numerous ISIS-K fighters this year,” Gen. Votel told reporters Wednesday. “The military campaign against ISIS has been both continuous and effective.” The general stressed that U.S. efforts towards “reconciliation” between Kabul and the Taliban, the primary goal of American President Donald Trump’s strategy to end to the nearly 17-year-old war, are separate from the fight to annihilate ISIS. “It is important to recognize that while we apply military pressure against the Taliban to bring them to the table of reconciliation, we harbor no illusion about reconciliation with ISIS-K; our mission is to destroy this organization,” he declared. Citing U.S. officials and the latest American intelligence estimates, Voice of America (VOA) reported this week that efforts to root out and decimate ISIS-K have “so far failed to prevent the terror group from maintaining a foothold in the country.” “IS-Khorasan is thought to have more than 1,000 fighters, most of them located in Afghanistan’s southern Nangarhar province, with a small number operating in the country’s eastern Kunar province,” VOA added. The ISIS branch reportedly reached a peak of 3,000 fighters in Afghanistan. According to a report from the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), ISIS-K was behind more than 50 percent of civilian casualties in the war-ravaged country through the first half of 2018. The University of Maryland’s renowned National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) listed ISIS-K among the 10 top prolifically deadliest terrorist group’s in the world last year, separate from core Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Last year, ISIS-K carried out 197 attacks, killing 1,302 people, the study revealed.

So, we’re VERY glad to hear GEN Votel say that his mission is “to destroy this organization.”  Outstanding!!  Having spent some time in Afghanistan myself, I’m thrilled to hear that we’re going on the offense again there.  Excellent!!     🙂

Trump Admin Names First Female Border Patrol Chief

For the first time in the agency’s 94-year history, the U.S. Border Patrol will have a female chief, Carla Provost. The new chief’s service record places her in border sectors in Texas, Arizona, and California. Provost will take the reigns as the 18th chief after decades of active service in several positions. She first came on duty in January 1995 as a member of Class 277. Her initial station was in Douglas, Arizona, part of the Tucson Sector. She quickly rose up the ranks in 1998 with a promotion to Supervisory Border Patrol Agent and then Field Operations Supervisor in 2001. By 2006, Provost was transferred to the Yuma Sector as an Assistant Chief Patrol Agent. She was agent in charge of the Welton Station in Yuma in 2009 and later served as Deputy Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector in 2011. Two years later, she led 1,200 employees in the California El Centro Sector. Shortly before her ultimate promotion, she worked as the Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Internal Affairs and Acting Chief. Provost won numerous awards throughout her tenure and also served as a firearms and post-academy law instructor. The new chief hopes her role will encourage more women to join the green line, according to AZ Central. “The Border Patrol has been at about 5 percent of women my entire career … But I can tell you we are seeing more and more women rise through the ranks and into senior positions. And I believe that this will help with the recruitment.” Before the Border Patrol, Provost was a police officer in Manhattan, Kansas. She holds a master’s degree in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University and a bachelor of science in criminal justice from Kansas State University. Chief Provost will assume full command amid a spike in illegal border crosser apprehensions along the southwestern U.S.-Mexico Border.

Indeed..  We wish Chief Provost all the best in her new promotion!     🙂