COCO GAUFF

Cori “Coco” Gauff, the 15-year old American tennis phenom, headed home on Tuesday after losing in the 4th round to 7th-seed Simona Halep (6-3, 6-3), but what an incredible run she had…Imagine knocking out five-time champion Venus Williams in the first round? And becoming the youngest tennis player to win a match at Wimbledon since Jennifer Capriati – nearly 30 years ago? As for what’s next, per “teenage burnout” rules, Gauff can only play in a few more tournaments before her 16th birthday next March–one of which is the US Open, which begins in about six weeks (Text us if you’ve got courtside seats and/or box, Jon ).

SPACE RACE

A couple of days ago, we learned that Richard Branson is taking Virgin Galactic public by the end of the year. It would be the first spaceflight company to be publicly-owned. Who’s paying attention to the liftoff beyond NoPo, astronauts, and the markets? Billionaire of privately-held competing companies like Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (SpaceX), as well as celebrity customers like Leo DiCaprio, Ashton Kutcher, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. They’re just four of the 600 people who’ve already reserved spots on flights–at a cost of about $200,000-$250,000/seat–putting down a collective $80 million in deposits. Virgin Galactic, which needs more $$$$ beyond the > billion it has already raised since its founding, plans to start flying passengers in the first half of 2020.

EPSTEIN-BARR(ED)

On Monday, hedge fund manager (millionaire? multi-millionaire? billionaire?) Jeffrey Epstein pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges. The 66-year old predator was arrested over the weekend (as the Feds raided his home, and found all sorts of bad stuff). Prosecutors allege Epstein paid teenage girls from disadvantaged backgrounds – some as young as 14 – to have sex with him at his Manhattan and Palm Beach homes between 2002 and 2005. They also say he paid victims to recruit other girls for him to abuse. Epstein is now behind bars, where he will remain until his bail hearing on the 15th. He pleaded not guilty to one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. If convicted of both counts, Epstein faces up to 45 years in prison.

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