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Exploring New Mexico: A travel guide to the Land of Enchantment

New Mexico, often called the Land of Enchantment,...

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Exploring New Mexico: A travel guide to the Land of Enchantment

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New Mexico, often called the Land of Enchantment, is a stunning vacation destination, celebrated for its diverse landscapes and Native American, Spanish and Anglo-American cultural influences. 

Before European colonization, the region was shaped by the traditions of Hispanic and Native American people.

Today, the state’s compelling history is a main attraction for visitors often awestruck by its rugged and varied terrain.

NEW JERSEY TRAVEL GUIDE TO EXPLORE SPARKLING BEACHES, THEME PARKS AND MORE

From the local food and art to the overall character, New Mexico reflects the convergence of cultures to define this unique state.

Another reason visitors come to New Mexico is the alluring landscapes, ranging from dry deserts to lush forests. 

Vintage card reading, "Greetings from New Mexico."

The rich history involving Native American, Hispanic and Anglo influences is reflected in the state’s art, architecture, festivals and cuisine. (Nextrecord Archives/Getty Images)

Many people often imagine red rocks, vast deserts and distinctive rock formations of the Southwest when they think of New Mexico. 

What might surprise new visitors is the white sand dunes, river gorges and dense, evergreen woodlands included in the state’s natural diverse landscape.

Here are some of the top locations to put on your New Mexico itinerary: 

Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the oldest capital city in the United States. Inhabited in 1607, it was officially settled between 1609 and 1610, according to the city’s official website. Originally established with European-style dwellings, the city is full of historical sites and experiences. 

A visit to Sante Fe can include a trip to the historic Santa Fe Plaza, exploration of the oldest church in America and a visit to one of the many museums, such as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, where the 20th century artist’s love for Northern New Mexico and Santa Fe is on display. 

5 TRAVEL ESSENTIALS TO PACK FOR YOUR SUMMER GETAWAY

Families visiting the city will enjoy the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Santa Fe Southern Railway and the Museum of International Folk Art. 

Albuquerque

Albuquerque’s rich history and resulting culture are reasons it is a popular city to visit. 

Albuquerque was established in 1706, but the city was originally inhabited by Native Americans. Following its establishment, the city became an important trading center. Although Albuquerque has become an area known for its high-tech industry, its historical significance has been preserved. 

Hot air balloons in New Mexico during annual festival

For a unique experience, visitors can explore historical pueblo sites or attend events like the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. (Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

Beyond the historical significance of Albuquerque, the city attracts visitors with its family-friendly attractions, such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which is a yearly hot air balloon festival. Another activity that families visiting New Mexico can enjoy is a trip to the ABQ BioPark, where they can explore the zoo, botanic garden and aquarium. 

Visitors of all ages can also enjoy a scenic ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway, North America’s longest aerial tram ride. For those not afraid of heights, the tram offers fresh mountain air and incredible panoramic views of New Mexico. 

Taos

Taos is best known among ski enthusiasts. Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near New Mexico’s high desert, the small town offers ski opportunities for those who enjoy the popular winter sport. 

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Taos is also a haven for the arts. The Taos art colony was founded in Taos, New Mexico, because of the creative culture of the Pueblo people. The area celebrated a diverse range of artistic mediums, including furniture and tin work. 

Taos received a modern artistic makeover in the early 20th century, and there are more than 70 galleries in Taos, according to Taos.org.

Taos Pueblos in New Mexico featuring a multi-story adobe complex

Taos Pueblo in Taos, N.M., has been designated both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark. (obert Alexander/Getty Images)

Taos is also home to the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest inhabited sites in the country. For context, other UNESCO-recognized historical cultural landmarks include the Taj Mahal in India and the Grand Canyon in the United States. The pueblo features 1,000-year-old adobe homes that exemplify the early history of the village. Travelers to northern New Mexico are welcome to visit the pueblos. 

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The caverns of Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, located in the Guadalupe Mountains, is a large underground system formed over 4 million years ago, according to the National Park Service (NPS). The park consists of more than 100 limestone caves formed through a complex geological process involving acid dissolving the Capitan limestone, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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One of the most notable cave chambers in North America, because of its size by volume and ease of accessibility for visitors, is located in Carlsbad Caverns. 

The Big Room is a 1.25-mile trail that takes around an hour and a half to walk, according to NPS.

White Sands National Park

White Sands is a national park in New Mexico. Originally designated as a national monument in 1933, it was redesignated as a national park in 2019, according to the NPS. The White Sands National Park preserves a large portion of the unique white gypsum sand dune field and the plants and animals that live there. 

Not only is it a remarkable place to see, the park offers a full day’s worth of activities. After an exciting dune sledding adventure, families and friends can sit down for a relaxing picnic enjoying the tranquil views. The day can end with a sunset stroll around one-half mile long, according to the NPS.

New Mexico flag next to American flag

New Mexico has a high altitude and dry climate. Visitors should remain hydrated, wear sunscreen and be prepared for temperature changes. (Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

What to know before your New Mexico visit

When considering when to visit the state, some ideal times are from May to October, when the temperatures are warm enough to enjoy hiking and other outdoor activities. Skiers can still enjoy the snow-capped mountains in the spring without the freezing temperatures, according to travelandleisure.com. 

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Winter months are ideal for travelers on a budget or those hoping to avoid the crowds of tourists. 

No vacation is complete without partaking in the gastronomic culture of the location visited. New Mexico’s cuisine blends Native American, Spanish and Anglo dishes. The state’s signature dishes are reminiscent of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine with a distinctive flair. A main ingredient that sets New Mexico’s cuisine apart is chile, an ingredient indigenous to North America. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews/lifestyle

Visitors to New Mexico should take full advantage of the rich culture by exploring the activities and events available during their stay, such as those at museums, art galleries and historic locations.

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Newsom attacks democracy in California, but wants to take that national

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It is better to have tried and failed than to have not tried at all. So goes the old adage. But is it always true? Does that maxim apply when trying something nefarious? Something undemocratic? Something that hurts the people you’re charged with protecting? 

That’s our reality in California, where our Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom has spent the last few months trying and – thankfully – failing to subvert the will of the people, usurp direct democracy for personal political gain, and protect public policies that have led our state to lawlessness and degeneration. 

A far cry from the “shining city on a hill” he proclaims it to be while jet-setting about the country on his presidential exploratory tour masquerading as a Joe Biden campaign cheerleader. California is in the throes of a colossal crime wave that has frayed the very seams of our society. 

SACRAMENTO CITY ATTORNEY REPORTEDLY THREATENED TO FINE TARGET STORE FOR REPORTING THEFT CRIMES

Crime in California continues to cause widespread distress for those of us in big city neighborhoods and small towns, though not for those like Newsom, who reside in ivory towers and sprawling coastal vineyards. 

Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom doesn’t like it when citizens oppose his policies. (AP Photo/José Luis Villegas, File)

Each year, more than 5,000 Californians die from fentanyl poisoning. Californians are 36% more likely to become victims of violent crime than the U.S. average and 45% more likely to fall victim to property crime. Our unsheltered homeless population represents about half the U.S. total and Newsom’s policies have made resolving any of these issues impossible by hamstringing police and prosecutors throughout our state. 

It has become such a flashpoint that this year a million Californians signed a petition to put public safety reform on the ballot in November. Enter Newsom, so attached to the soft-on-crime policies he ran on and so afraid to admit he was wrong, he immediately launched a full-frontal assault against the people’s crime-stopping initiative. 

Under the pretense of his self-proclaimed equitable social justice values, he first took aim at a package of bipartisan legislative proposals meant to crack down on serial thieves and fentanyl dealers, inserting poison pills that ensured if the voters approved their ballot initiative, these other improvements to public safety would be completely repealed. 

That attempt received strong public backlash and objection from legislative Republicans and Democrats alike. It is very unusual in this day and age when both Republicans and Democrats land on the same policy agreement.  

When he failed to gain support even within his own party for that transparently hostile endeavor, he introduced a competing ballot measure aimed at splitting the vote on Election Day and keeping his criminal-coddling policy in place. It even went so far as to explicitly state that if his new ballot measure passed with more votes, the citizen’s initiative would be voided entirely. 

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He tried, but failed again. 

It should be a cause for celebration. Newsom tried, and failed, to obstruct the voters’ ability to take control of their own destiny and enact real and much-needed public safety reforms. And it is, but it’s also chillingly disturbing. 

The simple fact he tried these ethically bankrupt, undemocratic tricks against the people he represents in the first place is hair-raising. 

The cause for terror is twofold – at least. First off, he’s demonstrated his willingness to do whatever it takes to get his way, everyday citizens be damned. He’ll no doubt try again and likely figure out new and creative ways to exert his will on the people. This recent assault on the will of everyday Californians illustrates his desire for complete dictatorial control. 

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Second, but no less dread-inducing, he’s no longer content doing this only to Californians. No, he wants to do it to Floridians, Texans, New Yorkers, Ohioans … to all Americans. Newsom is after all, at this very moment, out vying for support for a presidential run despite his masquerading as a mere surrogate for a president unwilling – or unable – to appear publicly on his own behalf. 

Newsom failed to interfere in this coming California election. He failed to dilute the democratic processes outlined in our state constitution. He failed to achieve complete totalitarian rule over his subjects. But he tried, and he’s not done. And this is one case where we’d all certainly be a little better off and a lot less scared if he simply never tried. 

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Shooter's perch at Trump rally an 'obvious threat,' rooftop was a 'no-brainer' to secure: expert

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Security experts are questioning why the building whose roof served as a shooter’s perch for the assailant responsible for Saturday’s assassination attempt on former President Trump appeared to not have been secured in advance by law enforcement officials.

“It’s a no-brainer,” Kevin Maloy, a former retired special agent with the State Department, told Fox News Digital. “Anybody with a security mindset looked at this and goes, ‘What were they thinking? Why was no one there?’”

Thomas Matthew Crooks, 20, fired his weapon at the 45th president from a rooftop about 150 yards away from where Trump was speaking. Crooks pierced the former president’s ear, killed one attendee and critically injured two others before a U.S. Secret Service sniper took him out. Security professionals were baffled why the building in Butler, Pennsylvania, which seemed to pose such an “obvious threat,” hadn’t been secured. 

PHOTO GALLERY: ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP

Donald Trump at a campaign rally

Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“For an elevated shooting platform within 130 or 150 yards of the podium to not be posted or guarded by a policeman or Secret Service person, or at least, access to that platform be restricted, [is a] clear, fundamental failure of the most simple, rudimentary aspects of a security advance,” Maloy said. “The security advance is where it all happens. That’s where you do your planning. You lay down your requirements for what is needed to secure the venue.”

The Secret Service did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

Local authorities were alerted to a suspicious individual by attendees of the rally but could not locate Crooks before he climbed onto the roof and opened fire, Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said on Sunday.

When Secret Service agents first saw the gunman, he was already on the roof firing, according to Guglielmi. At that point, “a Secret Service Counter Sniper neutralized him,” Guglielmi said.

But experts said they were perplexed about how Crooks was able to climb on top of the roof in the first place. 

HOW SECRET SERVICE PROTOCOL HAS CHANGED AMID PRESIDENTIAL ASSASSINATION ATTEMPTS THROUGH THE YEARS

Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally,

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is surround by U.S. Secret Service agents at a campaign rally, Saturday, July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“Normally you would have had somebody posted on either that roof, because of proximity and everything – putting extra bodies on those buildings would have been a normal protocol,” a former White House advance associate told Fox News Digital in an interview. “Or you would have had, what they were probably thinking was, that they had those areas secured by locals because it was far enough out of the bubble.”

Normal presidential advance protocol involves Secret Service leadership reviewing and approving security plans, the associate added.

Ken Cuccinelli, the former deputy secretary of Homeland Security, explained that while several law enforcement agency partners are often collaborating to secure campaign rallies and other types of events involving presidential figures, “the Secret Service is always in charge of the protection of their protectees. They don’t cede that authority to anyone else, and the law is consistent with that.” 

EMOTIONAL GRAHAM DELIVERS MESSAGE OF ‘LOVE’ FOR TRUMP, SAYS US NEEDS ‘SOUL-SEARCHING’

Donald Trump onstage at a rally

The Secret Service tends to Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump onstage at a rally on July 13, 2024, in Butler, Pennsylvania. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

“But,” he said, especially ahead of the GOP convention, the agency is under a lot of “manpower demands.”

“There is a major manpower ramp up in presidential campaign years,” Cuccinelli said. “They are also occupied preparing and being responsible preparing this national convention.”

He added, “I do not understand why that roof wasn’t secured. It’s too close right to the platform. I don’t know why there weren’t police officers, not Secret Service agents, but police officers on that roof.”

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Gary Seidman, a former Green Beret chief warrant officer, told Fox News Digital that the operation appeared to be a “botch in security of preparation and defense of exterior perimeters.”

“The guy that did the actual shooting obtained high ground,” Seidman said. “The Secret Service did not do proper assessment and exterior assessment.”

He continued, “When some guy with a long gun, meaning not a pistol, climbs up a building and everybody sees it but the Secret Service, that is wrong. And there’s something drastically wrong with that.”

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Argentina Scores Extra-Time Goal to Win Copa America Final Over Colombia

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We’ve had more than 600 comments on our discussion page for this match, and here are a few of the choice ones reacting to Argentina’s victory.

Carlos M.: I think Colombia was the best team of the tournament. But Argentina knows how to win these games. The fact that Colombia had one less day of rest and had a tougher semifinal game than Argentina really showed beginning in the 75th minute.

Caroline C.: Lautaro!!! I’m so glad he scored and decided it after a confidence diminishing World Cup (for him). I’m so happy Paredes came in too. The De Paul, Lo Celso, Paredes midfield is class. Though credit to Mac Allister and Enzo for playing great too. Fair play to Colombia. You guys played really well and my heart rate won’t recover for a while. It was an even game. We’ll see you for qualifiers.

Jose A.: Was this a Colombia bottle job or Argentina rising to the occasion, again? Colombia arguably played the best football in the tournament, with James doing a true comeback MVP performance, but LOS MUCHACHOS have so much experience at this, they can limp though a tournament like this and still have the resources to get it done. Much more impressive is that this one was won with Messi being sub-par for long stretches of the Cup, with injury problems to boot in the final.

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Without a border, immigrant crime can hit everywhere

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The radical anti-borders contingent insists that illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. On its face, that assertion is false. Entering the U.S. without inspection and authorization by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a crime under 8 U.S. Code Section 1325.  

After committing the crime of improper entry, most illegal aliens then go on to commit a number of fraud offenses, banking and tax code offenses in order to work illegally, open a bank account, rent an apartment, etc. 

However, even putting aside immigration offenses, labor violations and tax crimes, honest analysts have maintained that illegal aliens engage in inordinately high levels of criminal activity.  

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT SUSPECTED IN MARYLAND MOM RACHEL MORIN’S MURDER FACES MAXIMUM PENALTY IF CONVICTED

Research conducted by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) found that “illegal aliens are incarcerated up to five and a half times as frequently as citizens and legal immigrants.” And a study by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) found that while foreign-born individuals make up “15.4 percent of the nation’s population” they “comprise 20 percent of inmates in prisons and jails.” 

Murder victim Jocelyn Nungaray

A memorial to Jocelyn Nungaray. (Getty Images)

Those findings seem to be borne out by the events of last year. Communities across the U.S. have recently seen a wave of crime equal to that experienced by New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles in the 1970s. Here are just a few examples: 

  • The Massachusetts State Police recently arrested a Colombian national wanted for drug trafficking in Spain. He was apprehended after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and then released by DHS.
  • On June 26, 2024, Oved Bernardo Mendoza Argueta, an illegal alien from El Salvador, was arrested in Irving Texas and charged with murder after allegedly shooting two people in a Chick-fil-A.
  • Jhon Moises Chacaguasay-Ilbis, an illegal alien from Ecuador, has been charged in upstate New York with choking Joselyn Jhoana Toaquiza to death on June 18, 2024, her 21st birthday.
  • Police in Houston arrested two illegal aliens from Venezuela for the murder of 12-year-old Jocelyn Nungaray. One of the suspects was apprehended while illegally crossing the border and was released into the United States because he wished to apply for asylum.
  • In February of 2024, Jose Ibarra, an illegal alien from Venezuela was arrested in Athens Clarke County for allegedly murdering nursing student Laken Riley.

And these aren’t simply aberrations. According to police in New York City, robberies in the Big Apple are up 300%. And they say the increase is directly attributable to the mass influx of illegal aliens who have been treated to luxury hotel rooms at taxpayer expense while they rob, rape and pillage their way through the five boroughs. 

Correlation isn’t direct evidence of causation. However, in this case, there is a clear link between crime and migration. The current administration has allowed a record number of foreign nationals into the United States and in all the states where those migrants have gone, they have left a trail of felonious acts. And most of those crimes were drug offenses, sex offenses and/or violent crimes.  

Honduran national Connecticut

ICE arrests an illegal immigrant who is a Honduran national and charges him with a sex crime. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

It doesn’t take a genius with a Ph.D. in higher mathematics to figure out what is going on here. Murderers, rapists, thieves and drug dealers are now streaming across our non-existent borders where they simply have to say the magic words – “I want asylum.”  

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The federal government then transports them to the interior, where they are released to prey upon American communities, safe in the knowledge that the police in sanctuary jurisdictions won’t cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  

The American government is responsible for ensuring the safety of U.S. citizens and those lawfully present in the U.S. But it can’t do that if it waives foreign criminals across the border and then protects them from deportation.  

It is time to stop the insanity. Every one of the crimes referenced above was, by definition, 100% preventable – because, if the immigration laws of the United States had been enforced, the perpetrators would have been turned around at the border, or rapidly detained and deported. As such, they wouldn’t have been present in the United States to murder, rape and rob. Secure borders mean secure communities. But no border means no country and no safety. 

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Tom Homan is a senior fellow at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Matt O’Brien is the director of investigations at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the co-host of IRLI’s podcast “No Border, No Country.” He is a former U.S. immigration judge. 

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Matt O’Brien is the director of investigations at the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the co-host of IRLI’s podcast “No Border, No Country.” Immediately prior to working for IRLI he served as an immigration judge. He has nearly 30 years of experience in immigration law and policy, having held numerous positions within the Department of Homeland Security.

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5 convention goals for Trump to make the event a huge success

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The Republican National Convention is a huge, sprawling, multi-day event. Thousands of delegates and alternates – and even more thousands of spectators, news media, donors, activists and support people – will be there. 

There are hours of speeches for four straight days culminating in the nomination of the party’s candidate for president. 

This process began in December 1831, when the National Republicans met in Baltimore. At that time, 155 delegates chose Sen. Henry Clay to oppose incumbent President Andrew Jackson. While the processes have changed over time, the national convention has been a key part of the American presidential selection process ever since. In Milwaukee, former President Donald J. Trump will be nominated for the third time to be his party’s nominee.  

TRUMP LEADS BIDEN BY DOUBLE DIGITS ON THREE KEY ISSUES: PEW RESEARCH SURVEY

The startling exposure of President Joe Biden’s cognitive collapse has dominated recent political discussions. So, Trump enters this convention with a significant advantage in the general election. He was already ahead of Biden before the debate.  He is now much stronger going into the fall campaign. 

Donald Trump handicaps his top contenders for running mate

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump smiles during a campaign rally at Trump National Doral Miami, Tuesday, July 9, 2024, in Doral, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

In this unusual circumstance, there are five goals Trump should set for maximizing his opportunity to communicate to all Americans at the convention. 

1. The VP Pick 

First, former President Trump must introduce his choice for vice president. That person must then work the various delegations and build a sense of excitement that this is the winning ticket.  

2. Stay Positive 

Second, Trump should be enthusiastic and positive. He should seize the moment, bask in the enormous affection of his party, and communicate a positive approach that lets people share the joy of work well done.  

A national convention is like a giant family reunion. Many of the delegates have been coming for years. All the participants like politics and enjoy the experience of a great convention. There is always a sense of history. It always feels like something big is happening. 

The spiritual and psychological leader of the reunion is Trump. Everyone will look to him for validation that things are going well, our prospects are good, and it is just plain fun. 

3. Relax 

Third, given that environment of convention – and the reality of Biden’s and the Democrats’ almost unsolvable problems – Trump should relax and enjoy himself. If you have witnessed his great rallies, you know that Trump likes people and loves interacting with them. He is a natural entertainer, and his rally events are part campaign and part vaudeville. Milwaukee will be the ultimate opportunity for his most faithful supporters to see him enjoy himself. A happy, relaxed nominee is more accessible and likable than an angry, aggressive one.  

In many ways, Trump’s personal interactions with people are as important as the acceptance speech. They can help build energy and commitment among his strongest supporters at a personal level. 

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4. The Right Speech 

Fourth, the acceptance speech is a real opportunity to focus on a positive, better future. The speech should be 10% about what the first Trump administration achieved, 35% about how bad Biden and the left are, and 55% about the kind of dynamic, prosperous, free, and safe America we are going to create together. He needs to channel the optimism and sense of hope of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan – not the dour negativism of Barry Goldwater and Jimmy Carter.  

Americans are tired of high prices, crime, illegal immigration, wars around the planet, cultural fights and a depressingly incompetent and often corrupt Washington. They yearn for a leader who is going to lift them up and give them hope for a better future. They want America to be brought together rather than driven apart.  

If Trump can convince them he has a positive vision, that success will bring us together, and that working with his leadership we can achieve success, then he will have captured the convention and the country. The electrifying impact of Reagan’s impromptu convention speech in 1976 led people to believe they had nominated the wrong guy.  

Four years later, Reagan’s sunny optimism overwhelmed Carter’s pessimism and Reagan won the largest electoral college victory against an incumbent president in American history. Trump has the opportunity to match or exceed that remarkable victory. 

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The spiritual and psychological leader of the reunion is Trump. Everyone will look to him for validation that things are going well, our prospects are good, and it is just plain fun. 

5. Help the Whole Republican Team 

Finally, Trump must move to elevate and elect the whole team. To achieve the progress of which he dreams, Trump must have a House and Senate that will work with him. This is not a Trump-only campaign. This is a Trump-led campaign to make America great again. Every race matters. Every candidate matters. Every victory is a step toward saving America. This must be the ultimate appeal. 

If President Trump meets these five goals, he will have an historic convention and be on the road to an historic victory. 

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M.L.B. Draft: Guardians Select Second Baseman Travis Bazzana With No. 1 Pick

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Below are the second-round results for the 2024 MLB Draft:

Pick 40: Oakland Athletics — Tommy White, IF, LSU

Pick 41: Kansas City Royals — David Shields, LHP, Mt. Lebanon (PA) HS

Pick 42: Colorado Rockies — Jared Thomas, OF, Texas

Pick 43: Chicago White Sox — Caleb Bonemer, SS, Okemos (MI) HS

Pick 44: Washington Nationals — Luke Dickerson, SS, Morris Knolls (NJ HS

Pick 45: Los Angeles Angels — Chris Cortez, RHP, Texas A&M

Pick 46: New York Mets — Jonathan Santucci, LHP, Duke

Pick 47: Pittsburgh Pirates — Wyatt Sanford, SS, Independence HS (Frisco, TX)

Pick 48: Cleveland Guardians — Jacob Cozart, C, NC State

Pick 49: Detroit Tigers — Owen Hall, RHP, Edmond (OK) North HS

Pick 50: Boston Red Sox — Payton Tolle, LHP, TCU

Pick 51: Cincinnati Reds — Tyson Lewis, SS, Millard West HS (Omaha, NE)

Pick 52: San Diego Padres — Boston Bateman, LHP, Adolfo Camarillo HS (Camarillo, CA)

Pick 53: New York Yankees — Bryce Cunningham, RHP, Vanderbilt

Pick 54: Chicago Cubs — Cole Mathis, IF, College of Charleston

Pick 55: Seattle Mariners — Ryan Sloan, RHP, York Community HS (Elmhust, IL)

Pick 56: Miami Marlins — Carter Johnson, SS, Oxford (AL) HS

Pick 57: Milwaukee Brewers — Bryce Meccage, The Pennington School (Pennington, NJ)

Pick 58: Tampa Bay Rays — Émilien Pitre, 2B, Kentucky

Pick 59: Toronto Blue Jays — Khal Stephen, RHP, Mississippi State

Pick 60: Minnesota Twins — Billy Amici, 3B, Tennessee

Pick 61: Baltimore Orioles — Ethan Anderson, C, Virginia

Pick 62: Atlanta Braves — Carter Holton, LHP, Vanderbilt

Pick 63: Philadelphia Phillies — Griffin Buckholder, OF, Freedom HS (South Riding, VA)

Pick 64: Arizona Diamondbacks — Ivan Luciano, C, El Shaddai Christian Academy (Puerto Rico)

Pick 65: Texas Rangers — Dylan Dreiling, OF, Tennessee

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Man's Greek restaurant in backyard honors late immigrant father: 'This is for him'

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A man is celebrating the success of his small restaurant after opening for the 10th summer in a row — in his backyard. 

Panikos Panayiotou, 44, is a father of three from Walsall, England, who runs and operates a Greek restaurant out of a semi-detached structure in his backyard. 

The sports development manager by day opened Lakis Greek Kitchen in 2014 — an idea that originated from his late father, Lakis Panayiotou.

RETIRED COUPLE FROM VIRGINIA IS TRAVELING TO EVERY ONE OF THIS RESTAURANT CHAIN’S LOCATIONS IN THE USA

The elder man was in the process of building his own backyard Greek restaurant when he passed away due to small cell lung cancer in 2012, according to SWNS. 

Panayiotou told Fox News Digital that to honor his father and his Greek heritage, he decided he would make this happen himself. It took five months, he said via email.

Panayiotou outside Lakis Greek Kitchen

Panikos Panayiotou, pictured here, opens the Lakis Greek Kitchen for six weeks of the year and donates most of the proceeds to charity.  (SWNS)

“I built it in memory of my father, who passed away from cancer. He tried to start it — [but he] built half a restaurant in his garden [and then] passed away before it could be finished,” he also said to SWNS. 

SOUTH DAKOTA BAR SNACK CHISLIC, ROOTED IN PIONEER TRADITION, ENJOYS MODERN AMERICAN MAKEOVER

He added, “My father always wanted to run a traditional Greek taverna from his home, and so it’s a way of keeping his memory alive and raising much-needed money for charity.”

He told Fox News Digital that what makes the restaurant special to him is “the ability to serve people through the love of food in memory of my father and to help local people in need.”

Lakis entrance sign

Panayiotou said he opened the restaurant to honor his late Greek father, who always had a dream to do just that.  (SWNS)

Since the start, the Panayiotous have donated nearly $70,000 to local charities.  

Panayiotou keeps the restaurant — which can hold about 75 customers — open for six weeks each year. 

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He and his wife, Michelle, volunteer their time and efforts to prepare for the crowd while a volunteer chef from a local hotel comes in to cook the food. 

Panayiotou also told Fox News Digital that his three children, ages 13, 12, and 8, also help out at the restaurant. 

People eating in the restaurant

People will visit the restaurant from the United States, the owner said, and book a table two months out   (SWNS)

“My daughter is in the kitchen. My boys run an LGK (Lakis Greek Kitchen) shop, which sells Greek oil, olives and other produce that helps with our fundraising,” he said. 

Their signature dish is lamb kleftiko. 

Additionally, his children also help with prep and serving the customers. 

Their signature dish is a lamb kleftiko dish. The marinated lamb and potatoes are slowly cooked for 8 to 12 hours, according to SWNS. 

The restaurant also serves desserts such as baklava, coconut cake and a Greek chocolate rock cake called Doukissa. 

Greek food

Lakis Greek Kitchen makes and serves authentic Greek food to honor a family member who has passed on.  (SWNS)

Panayiotou told SWNS that the restaurant opens its reservations two months in advance and within a few hours, the tables are about 80% full. 

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“We try and cater for walk-ins, too [and] we can end up with people all over the back garden,” he said. 

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Panayiotou said that luckily his neighbors don’t mind the large crowds — and that some visitors even come from the United States to visit the unique restaurant. 

Man outside restaurant and Greek food

A man opened a restaurant in his backyard as a nod to his late Greek father. He’s now been running it for 10 years and gives most of his profits to charity.  (SWNS)

“Our traditions are to have a relationship with your loved ones in the afterlife, so you do good deeds in memory of them,” he told SWNS. 

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He added, “And this is what we do here every year. This is for him.”

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The race to float tourists to the edge of space is heating up

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Are you ready to sip cocktails at the edge of space? Imagine gazing at the curvature of the Earth from nearly 25 miles up, all without the need for a rocket or a spacesuit. This is the promise of EOS-X Space, a Spanish company that’s about to revolutionize the rapidly growing space tourism industry.

Set to launch in 2025, EOS-X Space is offering adventurous travelers the chance to float to the stratosphere in a luxurious balloon capsule. 

With the space tourism market projected to soar beyond $9 billion, this venture is poised to make your space dreams much closer to reality.

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Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

A new player in the space tourism game

While companies like Space Perspective have been developing similar concepts, EOS-X Space is rapidly finalizing its own unique offering. The company’s pressurized carbon-fiber capsule, dubbed EOS-X, will carry seven passengers and one pilot to an impressive altitude of 131,234 feet.

race to space 2

Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

ELON MUSK WANTS TO SELL YOU INTERNET ACCESS FROM SPACE

The EOS-X experience: More than just a flight

The journey begins at dawn with a two-hour ascent followed by two hours of cruising at altitude, offering breathtaking views of Earth’s curvature and the blackness of space. The experience concludes with a gentle one-hour descent.

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Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

Inside the capsule, passengers will enjoy ergonomic seats, panoramic windows, mood lighting, an onboard bar and, of course, a lavatory.

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Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

SUIT UP FOR THE STARS: SPACEX’S NEW ERA OF FASHION

Luxury beyond the stratosphere

EOS-X Space isn’t just selling a flight. They’re offering a complete luxury experience. Plans include a SpaceHub Complex on Isla de la Cartuja in Seville, Spain, where passengers will stay at a high-end hotel and participate in activities like zero-gravity plane rides and VR space mission simulations before their actual flight.

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Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

BEST AMAZON PRIME DAY 2024 EARLY DEALS

EOS-X Space’s global ambitions

While initial flights are planned from Seville and Abu Dhabi, EOS-X Space has its sights set on global expansion. The company is in talks with Dubai Tourism about potentially making the emirate its global space hub, with ambitious plans for an $85.6 million to $107 million launch site.

It’s worth noting that EOS-X Space’s expansion plans demonstrate their commitment to becoming a global player in the space tourism industry. The potential investment in a Dubai launch site underscores the company’s ambitious growth strategy and their aim to establish a significant presence in the Middle East, complementing their existing plans for operations in Spain and Abu Dhabi.

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Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

Sustainable space tourism

One key differentiator for EOS-X Space is its focus on sustainability. The capsules are propelled by non-polluting helium balloons, offering a more environmentally friendly approach to space tourism.

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Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

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How much will this space adventure cost?

As you might expect, a ticket to the edge of space doesn’t come cheap. The price tag for this extraordinary adventure ranges from approximately $160,550 to $214,060 per person. That’s right, you could buy a house in some parts of the country for the cost of this five-hour journey.

But for those with deep pockets and a passion for pushing boundaries, EOS-X Space argues that the experience is worth every penny. After all, how many people can say they’ve sipped champagne while gazing at the curvature of the Earth from the stratosphere? This hefty price point not only reflects the cutting-edge technology and safety measures involved but also ensures that space tourism remains an exclusive club – at least for now.

As company CEO Kemel Kharbachi puts it, “This is the democratization of space travel. In the next decade, it will be more affordable, and we will be there for that.” So, while it may be out of reach for most of us today, EOS-X Space is betting that the allure of space will continue to captivate our imaginations – and our wallets – for years to come.

space race 8

Luxurious balloon capsule (EOS-X Space)

BEST AMAZON PRIME DAY 2024 EARLY DEALS

Kurt’s key takeaways

The race to commercialize space tourism is intensifying, with EOS-X Space emerging as a serious contender. Their blend of luxury, sustainability and accessibility could potentially reshape the industry. As validation tests are set to begin soon in collaboration with Spain’s National Institute for Aerospace Technology, we may be on the cusp of a new era in space travel. Whether EOS-X Space will successfully democratize space travel remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: The view from 40,000 meters up promises to be out of this world.

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Would you be willing to fork over $160,550 to $214,060 for a five-hour journey to the edge of space and the bragging rights of being among the first space tourists? Or would you rather keep your feet firmly on the ground? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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Tale of two conventions: GOP united behind Trump while Dems in disarray

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The 43rd Republican National Convention kicks off Monday. Since the first, in 1856 at a concert hall in Philadelphia, the Grand Old Party has picked the winner 24 times. Delegates are bullish this year will mark the 25th.

Their confidence and unity entering the big week contrasted sharply with the party of the sitting president even before Saturday’s deadly assassination attempt. By Monday morning, even those Republicans on the fence over the Democrats’ lawfare against Donald Trump will be prepared to crawl over broken glass for their man. A mountain-cry away sit the Democrats, who begin the week afraid, angry, suspicious and unsure about what the summer will bring.

President Joe Biden was supposed to be the man. While his age and stamina were issues on the 2020 primary trail, Democrat leaders had seen in the former vice president a safe alternative to the radicalism gripping his fellow candidates. These party officers, led by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), rallied black and southern voters to the man primary voters in Iowa and New Hampshire had rejected, winning a string of victories from South Carolina on, and sealing the job for the oldest nominee in major party history.

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All that mattered was beating then-President Donald Trump. No one was thinking four years down the road. Well, four years down the road, they’re paying for it.

When Biden took the stage two hours late Friday night to talk about NATO, dozens of House and Senate Republicans had statements calling for his withdrawal ready to fly. While he mixed up names, sank into his strange stage whisper a couple of times, and yelled like an angry old man a few others, his command of the details and ability to hold court with reporters for a full hour held the onslaught at bay. Elected Democrats watching from their airplane rides back to their home states weren’t elated, however. Many would have preferred a decisive disaster — and the certainty that “Joe must go” it would bring.

Instead, barring a rumored surprise announcement during the president’s Monday trip to Austin, the party rebellion continues in guerrilla form, planned on Signal threads and fought through polls, leaks, and anonymous quotes. While the chatter suggests the resistance has finally begun to come to grips with the reality that Vice President Kamala Harris is the only workable replacement, there’s little chance Democrats return from their week’s vacation with an actual plan of action.

 … barring a rumored surprise announcement during the president’s Monday trip to Austin, the party rebellion continues in guerrilla form, planned on Signal threads and fought through polls, leaks, and anonymous quotes. 

It’s difficult to imagine this chaotic scene contrasting more vividly than it does with the Republicans in Milwaukee.

That’s not to say there haven’t been hiccups. No nominee since then-President Richard Nixon in 1972 has exercised such imperial control of the platform process as Trump has. Party delegates were vetted for loyalty before they met last week, and once on site, were forced to surrender their phones while the campaign brushed away subcommittees and amendments to create a dramatically shortened platform, personally edited by Trump to reflect his political preferences.

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While there’s much for conservatives to cheer in the new, shortened platform, the process and the loyalists were abused — and decades-old planks defending traditional marriage and the sanctity of life were erased or watered down. Any looming threat of a convention conflict was snubbed on a field in Pennsylvania on Saturday, however. The image of the former president raising his fist, his face splattered with blood and his lips curled in defiance, calling for his supporters to “Fight!” will dominate everything. Nothing brings a family together like the proximity of death and the realization that we’re all in this together. A party is no different.

Even before the rally in Pennsylvania, there was no comparison to the last time tens of thousands of Republican faithful met in person — in Cleveland, Ohio eight years prior. Then, the D.C. rumor mills swirled with ridiculous plots to somehow replace the insurgent nominee before it was too late. This nerdy convention-coup fantasy crested with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s call for delegates to “vote your conscience.” He was loudly booed, and the rest is history. There will be no such plotting this year.

President Richard Nixon

(Original Caption) Washington, DC. President Richard Nixon makes victory speech at a rally shortly after being elected to serve a second term by a landslide in the November 7th Presidential election.
(Bettmann/Getty Images)

It’s been more than half a century since the parties entered the summer with more different optics than 2024. You have to go back to 1968, when Democrats last held their convention in Chicago. While Republicans confidently nominated former Vice President Richard Nixon in Miami Beach, the story was different for the incumbents. The year had begun with a deeply unpopular president, Lyndon B. Johnson, declining to run for re-election after an unexpected near loss in the New Hampshire primary. In the ensuing months, young Robert F. Kennedy was gunned down after winning the major California primary. His brother had been assassinated just a few years prior. Both men had died on TV.

In the closing days of August, the bloody smell from the nearby stockyards hung over the International Amphitheater where Democrat delegates rejected the preferences of their anti-war primary voters, and nominated Vice President Hubert Humphrey, despite his never having even entered a state primary. Outside, hippy rioters raged against the police and the Vietnam War and the Democrat Party in general. Democrat Mayor Bill Daley didn’t flinch to order the mounted police into the fray, cracking heads amid the tear gas and television cameras. In the TV studios, playwright Gore Vidal and and National Review’s Bill Buckley nearly came to blows, as an incensed Buckley sneered invectives at a drunken, smirking Vidal. The ratings were killer, and TV political debate was born. All in all: Peak experience.

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Will the Democrats relive the past this August in the Windy City? They’re asking for it in their actions, and tempting the fates with their chosen city. We’ve now seen images reminiscent of the violent ‘60s no our television screens. You can make your wagers we’re in for another chaotic summer on the campaign trail.

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