Parkland High students’ performance brings down the house at Tony Awards

Few dry eyes remained in Radio City Music Hall as a group of teenagers who survived a February school shooting in Parkland, Fla., took to the Tony Awards stage to sing the musical-theater classic “Seasons of Love” from “Rent.”

The students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were at the award show to honor their theater instructor, Melody Herzfeld, who was receiving the 2018 Excellence in Theatre Education Award. The award is given to a different theater educator each year. Herzfeld was given the award for her role in hiding 60 students in her drama class during the shooting, which killed 17 people and ignited a debate surrounding gun control in the U.S. Theater helped the students recover from the traumatic events in the months following the incident, Herzfeld said.

Read: Tony Awards 2018: Full list of winners

“It represents how much the arts and theatre can heal,” co-host Josh Groban said.

More Tonys coverage:
John Leguizamo uses Tony Awards speech to honor missing migrants, Puerto Rico

Andrew Garfield calls Trump administration ‘antithesis of the value system of the arts’

Robert De Niro drops f-bombs to bash Trump at Tony Awards

The students were introduced by Matthew Morrison, who previously played a theater teacher on the hit TV show “Glee.” Herzfeld used her speech to advocate for incorporating such classes into more regular school curricula.

“Imagine if arts were a core class in education,” she said. “We have all known the future of the world was about collaborative creativity, and here we are the future.”

Robert De Niro drops f-bombs to bash Trump at Tony Awards

Actor Robert De Niro did not mince words during his short time on stage at the Tony Awards on Sunday night.

“First thing’s first: F*** Trump,” he said, fists upraised as the audience gave him a standing ovation. “It’s no longer, ‘Down with Trump, it’s ‘F*** Donald Trump.’”

De Niro was at the Tony Awards to introduce a performance by Bruce Springsteen, who was receiving a special award for his autobiographical one-man show “Springsteen on Broadway.” His comments about Trump were censored on the CBS broadcast and livestream of the event.

Read: Tony Awards 2018: Full list of winners

The Oscar-winning actor, known for his roles in “The Godfather” and “Taxi Driver,” has never been one to hide his feelings about President Donald Trump. In January, he went on an expletive-laced rant at the National Board of Review awards gala about the president.

De Niro also unloaded on Trump during a speech to high school students from New York City on Thursday, saying the president is “spreading bulls***.”

Trump has gotten a largely negative reaction from Hollywood since he was elected in November 2016. Meryl Streep gave a long speech at the Golden Globe Awards in January 2017 slamming Trump for being a bully, which Trump responded to by calling her an “overrated actress.”

Also see: John Leguizamo uses Tony Awards speech to honor missing migrants, Puerto Rico

And: Andrew Garfield calls Trump administration ‘antithesis of the value system of the arts’

China Bought Enough U.S. Cotton Futures to Make 400 Million T-Shirts

China is re-emerging as a major consumer of U.S. cotton after years of stockpiling the fiber, a shift that together with poor growing conditions in Texas has sent prices surging to a six-year high.

The world’s most populous nation has purchased futures contracts covering more than 361,000 bales of U.S. cotton for 2019-20, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. That is enough to make 400 million T-shirts. China has never booked that much cotton that far in advance at this time of year, in data going back to 1998.

“It’s very unusual to have that many bales in the books,” said Peter Egli, risk manager at Plexus Cotton Ltd. “China is the biggest taker of forward sales.”

China’s return to global cotton markets is likely to mean a period of higher prices for a fiber used in most apparel, textiles and upholstery. It is also a boon to U.S. producers who have long labored under a market whose prices investors perceived to be capped by China’s cotton stores, which for years have accounted for more than half of all global stocks.

China announced this month that it intends to raise cotton import volumes, a move that could increase Chinese purchases of American fiber at a time when the Trump administration is calling for more imports from the U.S.

The shift has revived interest in markets that were until recently seen as being overshadowed by Chinese policy. Open interest has reached all-time highs for this time of year, according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. July cotton futures on the ICE Futures U.S. exchange closed at 94.94 cents a pound on Friday, the highest level for a front-month contract since February 2012.

Commerzbank said this week that a commitment from China to buy large quantities of U.S. cotton should create a lasting rise in price levels.

China last week offered to purchase nearly $70 billion of U.S. farm, manufacturing and energy products if the Trump administration abandons threatened tariffs on some $50 billion in Chinese imports across 1,300 categories of products. President Donald Trump has pressed China to commit to reduce the $375 billion U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China by $200 billion.

Cotton is the latest global commodity market held in sway by Beijing, whose policy decisions as a major purchaser and supplier of the world’s commodities often shift global markets.

Chinese strategic cotton reserves are likely to run low by the end of August, according to analysts. China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in its monthly report on May 10 that while the government sell down of cotton stocks will continue in 2018-19, the domestic supply of high quality lint is insufficient and cotton imports are expected to increase.

Overbooked auctions and surging futures prices in China recently led the country to limit merchant participation in daily cotton auctions.

China’s move to begin hoarding the fiber eight years ago pushed cotton prices above $2 a pound in 2011, bankrupting some mills and merchants globally. When prices spiked, remaining mills substituted cheaper, synthetic fibers into fabrics. The amount of cotton used in apparel imported to the U.S. dropped 12% between 2010 and 2011—and while prices had fallen back below 70 cents a pound by 2012, mills didn’t increase their cotton purchases, according to U.S. trade data.

With China holding half the world’s cotton in storage, some speculators were wary to return to a market they knew could see a downturn if China decided to unleash its stockpiles. China began auctioning off cotton in 2013 due to shortages among its mills and increasing global competition. China at one point held 67 million bales of cotton in storage, enough to meet all its needs for about two full years.

Market participants were always wary that China could suddenly unleash those stocks in earnest.

“They kept our prices artificially low as they were selling those bales on our market,” said Wayne Boseman, president of Carolinas Cotton Growers Cooperative, Inc.

Demand is starting to spring back. In May, the USDA projected cotton consumption would reach its highest level ever in 2018-19, with global mill use at 125.4 million bales. That is in a year when world production is expected to drop to 121.2 million bales from 122.4 million bales last year. The largest year-over-year changes to cotton imports are forecast for China.

Growers in Texas—the largest U.S. growing region—are meanwhile struggling to get crops in the ground during a deepening drought.

Despite that, Kress, Texas grower Barry Evans planted his cotton acres. Now he is worried he won’t have a crop to export. The quarter-inch of rain that fell earlier this month was just enough, he said, to settle the dust.

“Every day we get on the calendar without rain gets close to the point of no return,” said Steve Verett, executive vice president at Plains Cotton Growers Inc. in Lubbock, Texas. “Farmers want to grow a crop, especially with prices like they are now.”

Write to Julie Wernau at

Appeared in the June 11, 2018, print edition as ‘China Turns Cotton Buyer.’

The New York Post: Trump rips Canada, NATO in Singapore tweetstorm

President Donald Trump started his day in Singapore on Monday blasting the Canadian Prime Minister and slamming NATO just after meeting with the U.S. allies at the G-7 meeting in Quebec.

“Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal,” Trump tweeted Monday morning in Singapore. “According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%. Then Justin acts hurt when called out!”

Trump was referring to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the tweet.

The president has accused Canada of taking advantage of American workers through their trade practices.

Read: ‘Special place in hell’ for Canada’s Trudeau, Trump’s top trade adviser says

According to the U.S. trade representative, however, there was an $8.4 billion U.S. trade surplus with Canada on goods and services in 2017.

Trump also took aim at NATO for relying too heavily on the U.S. for their security.

“The U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade (they pay only a fraction of the cost-and laugh!),” Trump tweeted. “The European Union had a $151 Billion Surplus-should pay much more for Military!”

The U.S. pays 22% of NATO’s budget — higher than any other nation.

Also: Trump reportedly told Macron that EU was ‘worse than China’

The U.S. has pushed NATO member nations to spend at least 2 percent of their GDP — a benchmark some have been unable to meet.

Trump was in Singapore preparing for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“Great to be in Singapore, excitement in the air!” Trump wrote.

This report originally appeared on

Why Using Payment Apps Can Hurt Your Relationships

Online exchanges of money among friends and family are a great convenience. But users face a hidden risk: Paying someone exactly what you owe them could damage your relationship.

Back in the 20th century, if you paid for a shared meal that cost $20.04, your friend technically owed you $10.02. Rather than force your friend to fish around for two pennies, however, you might have been happy to accept a $10 bill and “call it even.”

That kind of rounding, up or down, is no longer necessary with the rise of money-exchange apps. We can now transfer exact amounts owed in a matter of seconds. In fact, when we asked a group of people with Venmo accounts to detail their most recent transactions, we found that more than half of the transactions between friends and family included precise amounts, like a payment of exactly $27.31 for a shared meal.

Here’s the problem with being so precise: In a series of experiments, we have discovered that making such exact payments can signal unlikable pettiness.

We asked people to evaluate two imaginary individuals based on past online transactions with a friend: One person had sent three precise payments (for example, $9.99, $34.95 and $20.06), while the other had sent three round payments ($10, $35 and $20). Even though the total amount exchanged was the same, 81% of the people we asked said they would rather befriend the person who had paid round amounts. They told us that when precise numbers are involved, the payment feels impersonal—too much like a business transaction.

Such precision pettiness extends beyond money. In another experiment, we gave online daters information on potential matches and asked them who they would most want to date.

For example, we told them that one potential match had responded to a friend’s request for help with moving by offering two hours of assistance, while another had offered precisely an hour and 56 minutes. A total of 62% of would-be daters indicated interest in the match who had offered two hours of help, while 45% were interested in the match who had offered 1 hour and 56 minutes.

But it wasn’t just about shorting a friend four minutes. We added a third potential match who had offered a friend two hours and four minutes of help. Even though this candidate was objectively the most generous, only 44% of would-be daters were interested, because this person was perceived as petty.

Pettiness plays out in existing romantic relationships as well. Are you dating, or have you ever dated, someone who keeps strict tabs on who paid for what when out for dinner, or tracks grocery bills down to the last cent?

According to a survey we conducted with people in romantic relationships, those dating someone who behaves this way were less satisfied and less committed. Not only were they more likely to think that they would break up in the near future, they also felt they would be less upset about it. That’s a pretty steep price to pay for precision.

Dr. Kim is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Dr. Norton is a professor at Harvard Business School. Ting Zhang, a postdoctoral research scholar at Columbia Business School, contributed to this article. Email

Appeared in the June 11, 2018, print edition as ‘The Hidden Social Risk Of Using Payment Apps.’

Asia Markets: Asian markets cautious as Singapore summit prepares to kick off

Asian stocks traded cautiously early Monday, with investors showing little reaction to the weekend’s G-7 meeting and hack of a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange. Following Friday’s broad regional declines, the Kospi
SEU, +0.56%
  and the Nikkei were each up around 0.3% as the yen strengthened a bit since the end of Friday’s local stock trading.

With the Trump-Kim summit Tuesday and the world’s three most-important central banks — the Fed, European Central Bank and Bank of Japan — all meeting this week, investors are liable to do much more nibbling than eating for at least the next few days.

Japan’s Nikkei
NIK, +0.30%
  rose slightly, though shipping stocks were taking a hit. That sector was down 2.8% amid continued trade tensions among some of the world’s biggest industrialized nations. Elsewhere, Sekisui House
1928, -6.41%
  was the worst big-cap performer early on with a 6.4% slide after a big profit drop last quarter due to a slump in domestic housing businesses. But domestic-focused demand stocks were outperforming, with medical-information platform operator M3
2413, +1.69%
  up 2% and beverage maker Yakult Honsha
2267, +2.11%
  climbing 2%.

Hong Kong stocks started the week gingerly. The Hang Seng
HSI, +0.43%
  was off 0.2% in early trade after rising 1.5% last week. Energy was a noted laggard, with Cnooc
0083, -0.42%
  sliding about 1%. But financial and tech shares were slightly up, with heavyweight Tencent
0700, +1.25%
 advancing 1.1% and Hang Seng Bank
0011, +1.00%
  up 1%.

The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP, -0.26%
  was down 0.6% but the Shenzhen Composite
399106, -0.08%
  was just 0.3% lower. Some put part of the selling to the looming start of Chinese depositary receipts and need for investors to raise money to put into such equities.

Singapore’s stocks rose in early action as attention turns to the Trump-Kim summit the city-state will host. The Straits Times Index
STI, +0.14%
  was up 0.3%, led by gains in commodities and banking stocks.

New Zealand’s benchmark
NZ50GR, -0.15%
  was off 0.3% after being the one index in Asia Pacific to rise on Friday. Australia’s markets are closed for a holiday.

With Fox Deal, Comcast and Disney Wish Upon a Star in India

As Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp. gear up for a possible bidding war over a big chunk of 21st Century Fox , both companies are interested in Fox’s marquee Hollywood franchises like “The Simpsons,” “Avatar” and “X-Men.”

But among the most desired assets is Indian media conglomerate Star India, which is fully owned by Fox, people familiar with the situation said.

Comcast and Disney, neither of which has a big presence in India, each view Star India as an important piece in their plans to challenge Netflix Inc. and tap growth in emerging markets, the people said.

Star India reaches 700 million customers a month, with 60 channels in nine different languages; owns rights to air popular cricket tournaments; and has a stake in a production company that makes Bollywood movies.

Perhaps its biggest selling point now is Hotstar, a mobile-first streaming service that features its content and has 150 million active monthly users.

Around 80% of the content is free on Hotstar, with the company charging as little as 199 rupees ($2.95) a month for Hollywood movies and shows or 299 rupees for a year of live sports. The service, which also is available in the U.S. and Canada, has benefited from an explosion of mobile data usage by Indian consumers as prices have fallen in the past two years.

“Hotstar is setting the agenda for the future,” Star India Chief Executive Uday Shankar said.

Wall Street research firm MoffettNathanson estimated Star will make earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $826 million by 2020, a 91% jump from this fiscal year. Fox, which had $7.17 billion in adjusted operating income on $28.5 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year, has said it believes Star will earn $1 billion in Ebitda by 2020.

Mumbai-based brokerage Edelweiss Securities pegged Star’s value at $14.3 billion as of 2016.

Disney in December reached a $52.4 billion all-stock deal with 21st Century Fox. Cable giant Comcast said last month that it is in the advanced stages of preparing a rival, all-cash bid.

The assets for sale include the Twentieth Century Fox film and television studio, various cable networks and Fox’s stake in the streaming service Hulu. But among the most compelling assets—especially for Comcast—are the international ones, Star India and Fox’s interest in European pay-TV operator Sky PLC.

21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal-parent News Corp share common ownership.

Buying Star would come with some risks. Sports rights deals, if they follow the course of the U.S. and Europe, could become much more expensive upon renewal. And there could be new competition from the telecom companies driving India’s wireless data boom, including Jio, as they start offering their users content.

While user cancellations of cable and satellite TV service are plaguing the U.S. pay-TV industry, “in India, cord-cutting is absolutely a nonissue” and pay-TV is still expanding, said Abneesh Roy, senior vice president of research at Mumbai-based Edelweiss Capital Ltd.

Over the past 10 years, Star India CEO Mr. Shankar has expanded Star’s distribution. It now reaches nine out of 10 Indian homes.

Star’s programming includes everything from prime-time soaps to dance competitions and highlights of international sports events. It has worked to add content in languages other than Hindi and English. As the economy grew, people who spoke regional dialects had more purchasing power and more appeal for advertisers. “Not plugging into that change would have been a loss of opportunity,” Mr. Shankar said.

It agreed last year to acquire the global TV and digital rights to India’s wildly popular annual cricket competition, the Indian Premier League, in a deal valued at $2.42 billion at current conversion rates. Star fended off a bid by Facebook Inc. for the digital rights.

Last month, 160 million people watched the final on Star TV networks and 51 million watched it on Hotstar, up from 121 million on TV and 21.6 million on Hotstar a year before.

Hotstar is geared to run on mobile devices, targeting the many people who rely on cellphones for entertainment.

Avadh Narayan, a 26-year-old construction worker in Mumbai, doesn’t have a television but uses his mobile phone to watch Hotstar. “TV is not available everywhere,” he said. “So it’s easy to watch your favorite match wherever you want.”

The service is second to YouTube for streaming-video iPhone and Android downloads in India, according to analytics company App Annie.

“In this country, for many people, their first experience of screen is with a mobile screen,” Mr. Shankar said.

Write to Corinne Abrams at, Debiprasad Nayak at and Shalini Ramachandran at

Appeared in the June 11, 2018, print edition as ‘A Coveted Fox Asset In Any Deal: Star India.’

Now the Fed Must Reckon With Long-Term Strategy

The big question heading into the Federal Reserve’s meeting this week isn’t whether officials will raise interest rates—they will—but rather how to frame their policy plans for the rest of the year.

The central bankers haven’t resolved a debate over how much to raise rates this year to ensure the rapidly expanding U.S. economy doesn’t overheat, according to interviews and public comments from Fed officials.


Bitcoin Falls Sharply After Another Cryptocurrency Exchange Is Hacked

A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange said it suffered a “cyberintrusion,” prompting bitcoin prices to fall sharply toward year lows.

Bitcoin dropped more than 10% over the weekend, falling below $6,700, according to research site CoinDesk. The largest cryptocurrency has lost more than half its value this year, falling by nearly two thirds from its record high near $20,000 in December. Its low for the year came in February at less than $6,000.

Other large cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, ripple and bitcoin cash have all fallen more than 11% over the past 24 hours. EOS, the token backed by startup which has raised more than $4 billion, is down 20%, according to research site

The latest declines came after a small exchange called Coinrail said Sunday several so-called alt coins—alternative versions of bitcoin—appeared to have been stolen in the attack. Coinrail said 70% of its digital assets have been moved to what is known as a cold wallet—storage that isn’t connected to the internet—and that it is working with authorities on finding the lost assets.

Coinrail didn’t say how much was stolen in terms of value, but it is possible that more than $40 million worth of alt coins were taken, according to a wallet address that some have said belongs to an attacker.

South Korea is a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading. But Coinrail is small relative to its competitors. Before the attack, Coinrail ranked near the bottom of the 100 biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by trading volume, according to data from

South Korean regulators have taken a tough stance in trying to tame the cryptocurrency market, which is one of the world’s busiest as measured by trading volume. Exchanges in South Korea have a history of being hit by cyberattacks.

Hacking has been a problem for the cryptocurrency market world-wide in recent years. In January, Japanese exchange Coincheck Inc. was attacked and a small Italian exchange called BitGrail was hit in February. Since 2014, exchange hacks have cost investors at least $1.4 billion, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

Write to Steven Russolillo at

The Wall Street Journal: Bitcoin drops more than 10% after South Korean exchange hacked

A South Korean cryptocurrency exchange said it suffered a “cyberintrusion,” prompting bitcoin prices to fall sharply toward year lows.

BTCUSD, +1.10%
  dropped more than 10% over the weekend, falling below $6,700, according to research site CoinDesk. The largest cryptocurrency has lost more than half its value this year, falling by nearly two thirds from its record high near $20,000 in December. Its low for the year came in February at less than $6,000.

Other large cryptocurrencies like Ethereum
ETHUSD, +1.94%
 , Ripple
XRPUSD, +3.08%
  and bitcoin cash
BCHUSD, +3.06%
  have all fallen more than 11% over the past 24 hours. EOS, the token backed by startup which has raised more than $4 billion, is down 20%, according to research site

The latest declines came after a small exchange called Coinrail said Sunday several so-called alt coins — alternative versions of bitcoin — appeared to have been stolen in the attack. Coinrail said 70% of its digital assets have been moved to what is known as a cold wallet — storage that isn’t connected to the internet — and that it is working with authorities on finding the lost assets. Coinrail didn’t say how much was stolen in terms of value, but it is possible that more than $40 million worth of alt coins were taken, according to a wallet address that some have said belongs to an attacker.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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2018 Tony Awards: Andrew Garfield calls Trump administration ‘antithesis of the value system of the arts’

More than 20 years have passed since epic eight-hour play on the AIDS crisis, “Angels in America,” first premiered in 1993, but the LGBTQ community it honors continues to face struggles, said Andrew Garfield on Sunday while accepting a Tony Award for his role in the show.

“This is for the countless LGBTQ people who have fought and died for the right to live and love as we are created to,” he said. “We happen to be in a political time when the LGBTQ community are having to fight for their rights in a more intense way than in the past 25 years, perhaps since the AIDS crisis.”

For more: Tony Awards 2018: Full list of winners

This was the second nomination for Garfield and his first win; previously he was nominated for his role in “Death of a Salesman” in 2012. ”Angels in America,” set in 1980s New York City, explores themes such as homosexuality, politics, civil rights, death and AIDS. Garfield said his role in the show, as a gay man who contracts HIV, is an important character for the LGBTQ community.

“This play is for all of us, but it’s really for anyone who has felt like they don’t belong, or ostracized by their culture or have been told by religion or society somehow they were created wrong,” he said. “We are all sacred, and we all belong, so let’s just bake a cake for whoever wants a cake to be baked.”

Garfield was referring to the Supreme Court decision announced last Monday, in which the court sided with a baker who refused to make a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. LGBTQ advocates say the decision will allow businesses to discriminate in other realms in the future.

Also see: John Leguizamo uses Tony Awards speech to honor missing migrants, Puerto Rico

In the 500-plus days since Trump was elected president, a number of decisions have put gay rights in jeopardy. The Trump administration banned transgender people from the military, reversed an Obama administration policy protecting transgender workers from discrimination and another protecting workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation. The Census Bureau announced it would no longer track people based on sexual orientation in 2020 but reversed the decision after public backlash. North Carolina saw intense controversy over the “bathroom bill,” a law that forbade transgender people from using restrooms that corresponded with their gender identities. The law was reversed after public backlash.

Garfield said culture wars like these are why the play, which is grossing more than $600,000 a week in its current run, is so successful despite being written during the 1980s.

“It speaks to this epidemic of disconnection from each other, and a lack of connection to genuine community,” he said. “The current administration represents the antithesis of the value system of this play and the antithesis of the value system of the arts in general — so it feels very important right now to be telling this story.”

John Leguizamo uses Tony Awards speech to honor missing migrants, Puerto Rico

John Leguizamo had some choice words for President Donald Trump as he accepted his Tony Award on Sunday: “I am a human, not an animal,” he said, referencing the president’s controversial comments about Latino gang members in May.

The “Latin History for Morons” actor, who was born in Colombia, used his emotional speech to highlight the importance of diverse representation in media and theater, noting that Latinos are “the least-represented minority in Hollywood.” Latinos are the minority with the fewest speaking roles on film and TV despite making up 17.4% of the U.S. population, a 2016 study found.

“This stops here,” he said, noting that there is a huge demand for these roles. “Thousands upon thousands of Latin people showed up and paid unreasonable prices to see themselves reflected back and see someone like themselves talking about them to them. My hope is one day our stories won’t be the exception, but the rule.”

More Tonys: Tony Awards 2018: Full list of winners

As Leguizamo said, diversity can be big business. Walt Disney Co.’s
DIS, +1.47%
  “Black Panther,” one of the first black superheroes to hit the big screen, made more than $650 million domestically, becoming the highest-grossing superhero film and the third-highest-grossing film of all time. 2017’s “Get Out,” a thriller featuring a largely black cast, grossed $254.7 million at box offices worldwide on just a $4.5 million production budget.

Leguizamo’s show, “Latin American History for Morons,” was also a successful portrayal of diverse stories, recouping its capitalization in just 15 weeks to become the first play of the 2018 Broadway season to turn a profit.

In addition to underscoring the success of diverse casting and importance of telling Latino stories, Leguizamo used his speech to make an emotional plea to viewers to “never forget the 1,500 missing Latin American babies in detention,” referencing the nearly 1,500 unaccompanied minors who were apprehended at the border and the government lost track of, according to recent reports from the Department of Health and Human Services. He also implored viewers, through tears, to never forget the estimated 4,645 Puerto Ricans who died in Hurricane Maria.

Nasdaq Expands Hong Kong Presence with Data Center Connections

HONG KONG and NEW YORK, June 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) today announced that it is establishing connectivity to three data centers in Hong Kong to increase its service to the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region through a Nasdaq Point of Presence (POP), helping to provide more efficient, cost-effective access to Nasdaq financial data in the region.

In July, Nasdaq will begin to offer easy access to data from the U.S. financial markets via POP services in the following Hong Kong data centers: HK1 Equinix, Mega-i, and HKEx. The Nasdaq POP is designed to enable firms to access market data and trading applications, as well as APAC financial web portals, with real-time U.S. equity and index/ETF information from a local center. This new, cost-effective service provides firms low latency connectivity in a resilient and secure environment.

“Nasdaq prides itself on being the premier provider of cutting-edge products to the world’s most forward-thinking investors,” said Tomas Franczyk, a Hong Kong-based Managing Director for APAC with Nasdaq’s Global Information Services. “With closer proximity to the centers that supply market data to investors, Nasdaq will be able to deliver faster service to Hong Kong, China, and the entire Asia-Pacific region.”

The new Nasdaq POPs make available quote and trade data for all U.S.-listed equities via the industry-leading Nasdaq Basic product while also offering firms the benefit of utilizing Nasdaq Last Sale, which has the added benefit of unlimited distribution to the general investing public. It also makes available Nasdaq Global Index Services (GIDS), which disseminates real-time values for 40,000+ Nasdaq indexes, including such well known indexes as the Nasdaq 100, Nasdaq Composite, and Nasdaq Biotech.

Closer data centers means Asia Pacific investors will have more cost-effective access to products and services that provide transparency to financial markets and empower individual investors to achieve greater insights into these markets. Nasdaq continues to explore new ways it can better serve investors in the important APAC region.

About Nasdaq: 
Nasdaq (Nasdaq:NDAQ) is a leading global provider of trading, clearing, exchange technology, listing, information and public company services. Through its diverse portfolio of solutions, Nasdaq enables customers to plan, optimize and execute their business vision with confidence, using proven technologies that provide transparency and insight for navigating today’s global capital markets. As the creator of the world’s first electronic stock market, its technology powers more than 90 marketplaces in 50 countries, and 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Nasdaq is home to approximately 3,900 total listings with a market value of approximately $13 trillion. To learn more, visit:


Nasdaq Media Contact:
Matthew Sheahan
(212) 231-5945

Chinese, Russian Presidents Lead U.S. Criticism at Regional Summit

QINGDAO, China—China’s President Xi Jinping warned against unilateralism and trade protectionism as he, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Central Asian leaders used a regional meeting to criticize U.S. policy.

At the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization this weekend, Messrs. Xi and Putin and others pledged their support of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal from which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. last month.

“China is willing to work with Russia and other countries to preserve the JCPOA,” said Mr. Xi.

Mr. Trump has criticized the Iran accord and several international trade agreements as bad deals for the U.S. and pledged to renegotiate them.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, who attended as an observer, praised China and Russia for supporting the deal. He warned of “destructive consequences” if it falls apart.

The well-choreographed summit of the China- and Russia-led security bloc played out in contrast to the Group of Seven meeting in Quebec on Saturday. The G-7 gathering ended in disarray when Mr. Trump refused to endorse the final communiqué and called for Russia to be let back into the group. Russia was suspended from the group in 2014 for its annexation of Crimea.

Mr. Putin on Sunday dismissed the G-7 as wrought by internal disagreements, and praised the SCO as representing nearly half the world’s population.

China’s SCO summit went off with barely a hitch, something Beijing took pains to ensure. Swaths of Qingdao were turned into a ghost town and traffic paralyzed. A strict ban on knives and alcoholic beverages was placed on summit hotels, despite beer being the city’s most famous export.

The SCO members toasted each other with traditional Chinese baijiu liquor and watched fireworks on Qingdao’s balmy seaside.

Founded in 2001 by China and Russia to resolve border disputes with their neighbors, the SCO also includes India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Belarus are observers.

Messrs. Xi and Putin criticized U.S. trade policy, casting themselves as upholders of free trade and multilateralism.

“We have reaffirmed our readiness, our willingness, to go with the rules of trade that exist in the current world,” Mr. Putin said. “This is a very important statement.”

India was the only SCO member to decline to endorse China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative at the summit. The country’s opposition is based partly on a major project that runs through territory claimed by both Pakistan and India.

Write to Eva Dou at

Appeared in the June 11, 2018, print edition as ‘Xi, Putin Fault U.S. At Summit In China.’

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. delivers first 1,000 flamethrowers to customers

Turns out, it wasn’t a joke.

Six months after Elon Musk raised the eyebrows of sane people everywhere by announcing his Boring Co. would sell flamethrowers for $500 a pop, the first 1,000 deliveries were made Saturday for customers who showed up at the company’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.

The flamethrowers went like, well, flaming hotcakes when they went on sale in late January, selling out in just four days. In all, 20,000 were sold, raising about $10 million in revenue for Musk’s tunnel-boring startup. The devices, technically called “Not a Flamethrower” to skirt federal shipping regulations, shoot a two-foot flame.

Musk, the CEO of Tesla Inc.
TSLA, +0.50%
  and SpaceX, hopes to use the Boring Co. to dig a network of tunnels beneath Los Angeles and create an underground transportation system to get around the region’s freeway gridlock.

Read: Elon Musk’s Boring Company envisions $1 rides underneath Los Angeles

Despite concerns about the wisdom of allowing personal flamethrowers in wildfire-prone California, state legislators last month shelved legislation that would have required them to come with a safety warning.

Musk on Saturday tweeted the less-than-serious terms and conditions that come with the flamethrower.

“Flamethrower obv best way to light your fireplace/BBQ. No more need to use a dainty ‘match’ to ignite!” Musk tweeted.

2017 was California’s most destructive wildfire season ever, with more than 9,000 fires burning acreage the size of Delaware and killing at least 46 people. The National Interagency Fire Center has warned that this fire season in California and much of the West is expected to be worse than normal.

Tony Awards 2018: Full list of winners

Larry Busacca

Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, co-hosts of the 72nd Annual Tony Awards

It’s Tony time!

The 72nd Tony Awards, Broadway’s equivalent of the Oscars, take place from 8PM (EST) tonight.

Hit shows from the record-breaking 2017-18 theater season, including “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” “The Band’s Visit,” “Once on This Island,” “Mean Girls,” “Angels in America” and “Frozen” will compete at New York’s theater equivalent of the Oscars.

Stars nominated include Amy Schumer, Andrew Garfield, Tina Fey and Denzel Washington. Bruce Springsteen and Andrew Lloyd Webber will be receiving special awards and the Boss, whose own music show electrified Broadway this season, will be performing together with several of the nominated shows.

The Tonys are taking place at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall and are hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban with Kerry Washington, Robert De Niro and Claire Danes among the guest presenters.

The Tony Awards are being be televised on CBS.
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and MarketWatch will have full coverage of the winners as they are announced.

Best Actor in a Play:

WINNER: A ndrew Garfield, “Angels in America”

Tom Hollander, “Travesties”

Jamie Parker, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Mark Rylance, “Farinelli and The King”

Denzel Washington, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

Best Scenic Design of a Play:

WINNER: Christine Jones, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Miriam Buether, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and The King”

Santo Loquasto, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

Ian MacNeil and Edward Pierce, “Angels in America”

Best Costume Design of a Play:

WINNER: Katrina Lindsay, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Jonathan Fensom, “Farinelli and The King”

Nicky Gillibrand, “Angels in America”

Ann Roth, “Three Tall Women”

Ann Roth, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Costume Design of a Musical:

WINNER: Catherine Zuber, “My Fair Lady”

Gregg Barnes, “Mean Girls”

Clint Ramos, “Once on This Island”

Ann Roth, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Musical:

“The Band’s Visit”


“Mean Girls”

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical”

Best Play:

“The Children”

“Farinelli and The King”

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”


“Latin History for Morons”

Best Revival of a Musical:

“My Fair Lady”

“Once on This Island”

“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Best Revival of a Play:

“Angels in America”

“Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

“Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

“Lobby Hero”


Best Actress in a Musical:

Lauren Ambrose, “My Fair Lady”

Hailey Kilgore, “Once on This Island”

LaChanze, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Katrina Lenk, “The Band’s Visit”

Taylor Louderman, “Mean Girls”

Jessie Mueller, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Best Actor in a Musical:

Harry Hadden-Paton, “My Fair Lady”

Joshua Henry, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Tony Shalhoub, “The Band’s Visit”

Ethan Slater, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Actress in a Play:

Glenda Jackson, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

Condola Rashad, “Saint Joan”

Lauren Ridloff, “Children of a Lesser God”

Amy Schumer, “Meteor Shower”

Best Book of a Musical:

“The Band’s Visit”, Itamar Moses

“Frozen”, Jennifer Lee

“Mean Girls’, Tina Fey

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”, Kyle Jarrow

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre:

“Angels in America”, Adrian Sutton

“The Band’s Visit”, David Yazbek

“Frozen”, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“Mean Girls”, Jeff Richmond and Nell Benjamin

“SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”, Various Contributors

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical:

Norbert Leo Butz, “My Fair Lady”

Alexander Gemignani, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Grey Henson, “Mean Girls”

Gavin Lee, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Ari’el Stachel, “The Band’s Visit”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical:

Ariana DeBose, “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical”

Renée Fleming, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Lindsay Mendez, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Ashley Park, “Mean Girls”

Diana Rigg, “My Fair Lady”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play:

Susan Brown, “Angels in America”

Noma Dumezweni, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Deborah Findlay, “The Children”

Denise Gough, “Angels in America”

Laurie Metcalf, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play:

Anthony Boyle, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Michael Cera, “Lobby Hero”

Brian Tyree Henry, “Lobby Hero”

Nathan Lane, “Angels in America”

David Morse, “Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh”

Best Direction of a Musical:

Michael Arden, “Once on This Island”

David Cromer, “The Band’s Visit”

Tina Landau, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

Bartlett Sher, “My Fair Lady”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical:

Dane Laffrey, “Once on This Island”

Scott Pask, “The Band’s Visit”

Scott Pask, Finn Ross & Adam Young, “Mean Girls”

Michael Yeargan, “My Fair Lady”

David Zinn, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Best Lighting Design of a Play:

Neil Austin, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Paule Constable, “Angels in America”

Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, “The Iceman Cometh”

Paul Russell, “Farinelli and The King”

Ben Stanton, “Junk”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical:

Kevin Adams, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, “Once on This Island”

Donald Holder, “My Fair Lady”

Brian MacDevitt, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Tyler Micoleau, “The Band’s Visit”

Best Direction of a Play:

Marianne Elliott, “Angels in America”

Joe Mantello, “Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women”

Patrick Marber, “Travesties”

John Tiffany, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

George C. Wolfe, “The Iceman Cometh”

Best Choreography:

Christopher Gattelli, “My Fair Lady”

Christopher Gattelli, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Steven Hoggett, “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two”

Casey Nicholaw, “Mean Girls”

Justin Peck, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Best Orchestrations:

John Clancy, :Mean Girls”

Tom Kitt, “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical”

Annmarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin, “Once on This Island”

Jamshied Sharifi, “The Band’s Visit”

Jonathan Tunick, “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel”

Allergan’s Oral CGRP Receptor Antagonist Atogepant Demonstrates Robust Efficacy and Safety in Episodic Migraine Prevention in a Phase 2b/3 Clinical Trial