LBN – Friday, February 23rd, 2018

*HELLO! RED FLAGS – Local Police Received 18 Calls About Cruz Before Shooting

Broward County officials received a total of 18 calls about Nicolas Cruz before the Parkland shooting from those close to him, including concerns that he “planned to shoot up the school.” At least five of those calls raised red flags about Cruz’s access to weapons—none of which led to any direct intervention. His neighbors called in February 2016, concerned that he had plans to conduct a school shooting—information that dispatcher notes indicate was passed on to school sheriff’s deputy Scot Petersen, who resigned Thursday after officials determined he remained outside and didn’t confront Cruz during the attack. Another caller claimed that he could be “a school shooter in the making.” This comes as the FBI has been receiving increased scrutiny after it had received tips about Cruz, and after local police visited where Cruz was staying three times in the three months before the shooting.

*SICK! – Secret Chat Logs Show Neo-Nazis Celebrated Gay Jewish Student’s Murder

Members of notorious neo-Nazi group the Atomwaffen Division celebrated the murder of a gay Jewish student, according to secret chat logs unearthed by ProPublica. Samuel Woodward, the man accused of killing 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein, was previously exposed by the website late last month as having trained with the Atomwaffen group. That report was shared among members of the neo-Nazi group in a secretive chat, with one member writing of the killing “I love this,” and another praising Woodward as a “one man gay Jew wrecking crew.” The neo-Nazis used voice and text app Discord to communicate and keep their chats secret, but around 250,000 encrypted messages were obtained by ProPublica, giving a rare glimpse inside the group. The logs suggest there are around 20 Atomwaffen cells across the U.S., that some members have taken part in weapons training, and show members praising Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof and Norwegian mass-murderer and white supremacist Anders Breivik. Bernstein’s was the fifth killing tied to the Atomwaffen group.

*Cross-Country Skier Jessie Diggins to Carry U.S. Flag at Closing Ceremony

Jessie Diggins, who—alongside her partner, Kikkan Randall—made history this week by being the first ever Americans to win Olympic gold in Cross-Country Skiing, will rack up another Olympic first Sunday when she becomes the only cross-country skier ever to lead out the U.S. team at the Closing Ceremony. Diggins, who was chosen for the honor by her teammates, will be flag-bearer for the event, which will also be attended byPresident Trump’s daughter Ivanka, who landed in South Korea on Friday. Diggins told the Today show, which announced the honor: “In my wildest dreams, I don’t think I could have imagined all of this, for sure. It’s been so much to process in the last 48 hours. It’s been overwhelming in the very best way. Getting to carry the flag is the absolute icing on the cake.”

*15-Year-Old Wins Russia’s First Pyeongchang Olympics Gold

Russia—or, to give the team its proper name in the wake of the doping scandal, Olympic Athletes from Russia—has finally won a gold medal in South Korea, and it came from a 15-year-old. The team—stripped of its name, flag, anthem, and dozens of athletes who were implicated in the scandal that tarnished the 2014 Games in Sochi—has won 14 medals in Pyeongchang, but teenager Alina Zagitova picked up the first gold in Women’s Figure Skating Singles early Friday morning. Zagitova is one of the 169 athletes from Russia who were allowed to compete as neutrals in the Winter Olympics despite Russia being banned from competing. Shortly after Zagitova’s triumph, a second athlete at the Games from Russia—bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva—tested positive for a banned substance.

*LAST MINUTE – Texas Inmate Spared an Hour Before Execution

A Texas inmate sentenced to die by lethal injection Thursday night for masterminding the 2003 killing of his mother and brother was spared just an hour before the planned execution. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he’d accepted a recommendation from the state parole board to grant clemency to the prisoner,Thomas “Bart” Whitaker, because of the efforts of the inmate’s father to save him. Whitaker’s father, Kent, was also injured in the 2003 shooting but went on to campaign for his son to be spared the death penalty. “Mr. Whitaker’s father, who survived the attempt on his life, passionately opposes the execution of his son. Mr. Whitaker’s father insists that he would be victimized again if the state put to death his last remaining immediate family member,” Abbott said late Thursday. Whitaker’s sentence has been commuted to life without parole. “I’m thankful not for me but for my dad,” he told prison officials, according to the Associated Press. His father said he was “humbled” by Abbott’s decision, which he said was “overpowering.”

*WHO READS LBN? James Beard Award-winner (and a champ of both ‘Top Chef’ and ‘Iron Chef’) Stephanie Izard, as well as readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries.

*Cruz blamed violent episode on adoptive mom’s death:  

Accused mass murderer Nikolas Cruz blamed one of his violent outbursts just months before the Valentine’s Day massacre at a Florida high school on the recent death of his adoptive mother — and said the family that took him in would “gut” him, according to a new report. Cruz admitted to losing his temper to a 911 dispatcher after a fight with Rock Deschamps, whose mother Rocxanne took Cruz and his younger brother in following Lynda Cruz’s Nov. 1 death.

*Disgraced deputy touted school cops at board meeting:  

The Florida sheriff’s deputy who resigned in disgrace after doing nothing during last week’s massacre is seen in a 2015 video touting the crime prevention skills of school resource officers — like himself. Scot Peterson stood by an entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for more than four minutes after the shooting started, but “he never went in,” Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters. The deputy was suspended without pay pending an investigation, then resigned. When asked what Peterson should have done, Israel said he should have “went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer.” But in 2015, Peterson urged Broward County schools to keep the jobs of school resource officers, who were provided lodging in trailers as part of their perks. “These colleagues work hard. We are crime prevention, an audit report will never show how much we prevent,” he said in response to a county official who cited an audit that discredited the program’s value, according to the Sun Sentinel.

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***It was announced Thursday that Joss Whedon exited Batgirl. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, he said, “Batgirl is such an exciting project, and Warners/DC such collaborative and supportive partners, that it took me months to realize I really didn’t have a story. I’m grateful to Geoff [Johns, DC President] and Toby [Emmerich, Warner Bros Picture Group President] and everyone who was so welcoming when I arrived, and so understanding when I…uh, is there a sexier word for ‘failed’?”  The statement is using enough but it highlights the fact that Whedon was brought on without a story just because he is Joss Whedon. It calls into question how much DC actually cares about Batgirl in general if they weren’t meticulous about finding a story they liked, or didn’t put Whedon through at least several rounds of story pitches. Once the heat turned up after Wonder Woman’s success and presumably after Black Panther, it appears that studios may be realizing that hiring a cool straight white male to direct a big-budget action movie is perhaps falling out of vogue. Was Whedon’s exit due in equal part to his not having a story and also DC not wanting extra scrutiny from the public if a man’s adaptation of a woman-led story failed?

*Rick Gates, Trump Campaign Aide, to Plead Guilty in Mueller Inquiry and Cooperate:  

A former top adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign indicted by the special counsel was expected to plead guilty on Friday, a move that signals he is cooperating with the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The adviser, Rick Gates, is a longtime political consultant who once served as Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman. The plea deal could be a significant development in the investigation — a sign that Mr. Gates plans to offer incriminating information against his longtime associate and the former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, or other members of the Trump campaign in exchange for a lighter punishment. The deal comes as the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has been raising pressure on Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort with dozens of new charges of money laundering and bank fraud that were unsealed on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. Mr. Mueller first indicted both men in October, and both pleaded not guilty. Mr. Gates is planning to plead guilty to participating in the financial conspiracy with Mr. Manafort, court documents released on Friday indicate. He is also expected to admit to lying to investigators earlier this month about the details of a 2013 meeting in Washington that Mr. Manafort had with a member of Congress and a lobbyist, during which there was a discussion about Ukraine, where the two men worked as political consultants.

*LBN-READER QUESTION: Guns. Let’s discuss. Share your 100 word commentary and we may use in LBN. Be read in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries. Send your comments to:

*Trump Administration to Open Embassy in Jerusalem in May:  

The Trump administration plans to formally move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May to mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state, two American officials said on Friday. The State Department will formally designate a facility in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood that currently used for consular affairs as an embassy, even as plans proceed to eventually build a new compound that could take several more years to open. President Trump on Friday boasted of his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel during a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, drawing enthusiastic applause.


*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Lisa Marie Presley claims her former business manager lost her $100 million fortune and left her with only $14,000. Elvis Presley’s daughter filed a lawsuit in which she alleged Barry Siegel of dissipating her wealth “through his reckless and negligent mismanagement and self serving-ambition.,” according to documents obtained by The Blast. She also claimed Siegel’s “hopes of attaining his own celebrity in the entertainment industry” led him to place her assets in “risky ventures.” In the documents, Presley claimed Siegel sold 85 percent of her interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises and used it to align himself with a famous investor, but it didn’t work out. He then allegedly began liquidating Presley’s assets in order to supplement her trust’s income. Presley also claimed Siegel’s business decisions left her with $500,000 in credit card debt.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  George Carlin on the NRA –

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Mark Twain: Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Gov. Wallace Defends Segregation on TV In 1968 —

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: MEET ONE OF HARVARD’S MOST DYNAMIC THINKERS –  Without Notes with Dr. Srini Pillay – Episode 2: Inception of the Book –

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Samantha Allen:  The television reboot of Heathers opens with a guidance counselor asking the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Veronica whether or not she is “a hermaphrodite”—the implication being that even though she has a 4.2 GPA and a high SAT score, Veronica needs some sort of marginalized identity to get accepted anywhere other than her safety school. In short, the new Heathers opens with an unnecessary slur against intersex people—and it only goes downhill from there. If you believe that kids these days are fragile “snowflakes,” that political correctness is running amok, and that LGBT people are now society’s true bullies, this new Heathers is the show for you.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Neel V. Patel: Between two and two-and-a-half million people in the world suffer from multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease that degrades the protective coverings of nerves, disrupting communication lines between the brain and body. MS wreaks havoc on the central nervous system, and is responsible for the the deaths of about 18,000 people annually. One of the most unusual features of the disease that could hold the crucial key to a cure is that it manifests in women at  about four times the rate it does in men. It’s a mystery that has plagued researchers—until now. A recent study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences highlights a mechanism in female biology that finally accounts for women experiencing higher rates of MS. The secret? Testosterone. MS is an autoimmune disease, where immune cells enter the brain and spinal cord and mount an attack on the myelin sheath, the outer membrane that insulates the nerves and helps facilitates proper nerve signal conduction throughout the body. As a result, MS patients suffer from sensory disturbances, problems in cognition, and loss of proper motor control. Scientists have known for some time that females are more susceptible than men to developing MS (and autoimmune disorders in general), but testosterone’s role is only recently becoming apparent.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet says he has written a new play about Harvey Weinstein that is expected to head to Broadway, the Chicago Tribune reports. “I was talking with my Broadway producer and he said, ‘Why don’t you write a play about Harvey Weinstein?’ And so I did,” Mamet told the Tribune in an interview published late Thursday. Mamet gave no further details about when to expect a Broadway production about the disgraced movie mogul or on what the play would focus on. He explored the matter of sexual harassment decades before Weinstein’s downfall, in his 1992 play Oleanna, and said he is still struck by how society grapples with such issues today. “Every society has to confront the ungovernable genie of sexuality and tries various ways to deal with it and none of them work very well. There is great difficulty when you are switching modes, which we seem to be doing now. People go crazy. They start tearing each other to bits,” he told the Tribune.   ***British actor and comedian Stephen Fry says he’s undergone treatment for an aggressive prostate cancer. In a video posted on his website—named “mischievous” after his doctor’s description of his initial test results—Fry said he was diagnosed with a late-stage prostate cancer around Christmas time and underwent surgery to remove his prostate last month. Fry described his cancer as “a rather aggressive little bugger” but said his surgery appears to have been successful pending further medical tests, and said that he’s currently “fit and well and happy.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

LBN – Thursday, February 22nd, 2018

*Trump Says Armed Teachers Must Go on the ‘Offensive’ Against School Shooters

President Trump attempted to dismiss “fake news” reports that he wants to arm U.S. teachers to fight back against school shooters this morning—but then immediately went on to double-down on his claims that a well-armed team of teachers would deter school shooters. On Wednesday, Trump met survivors of the Florida shooting where 17 people died and floated the idea of giving teachers guns. However, in a series of tweets Thursday morning, he claimed it was wrong to report that he wanted to “give teachers guns,” saying he only suggested the possibility of giving concealed guns to “gun adept teachers with military or special training experience.” The president said such a plan would act as a deterrent to would-be shooters and allow teachers to fire back immediately if a student opened fire. “A ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people,” he said. He argued that going on the attack was the solution. “Cowards won’t go there… problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!”

*NRA’s Dana Loesch: ‘Many In Legacy Media Love Mass Shootings’:

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said Thursday that the media exploits mass shooting to capitalize on ratings. “Many in legacy media love mass shootings,” Loesch said after walking on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to a standing ovation. “I’m not saying you love the tragedy, but you love the ratings. Crying white mothers are ratings gold.” Her comments echoed a video that NRATV released Wednesday, which slammed the mainstream media for being the “casting call for the next mass shooting.” Loesch also said she is debuting a one-hour show on NRATV next month to combat the mainstream media. Her comments at CPAC were also reminiscent of some President Donald Trump has made. The president regularly claims that news outlets such as CNN and NBC News spread mistruths about him and his administration in order to boost ratings.

*Late Response – Security Camera’s Tape-Delay May Have Let Florida Shooter Escape the School

The police response to the Florida school shooter was delayed because officers thought the security-camera images they were watching were live—but they were nearly half an hour old. The Sun-Sentinel reported that 26 minutes after Nikolas Cruz put down his rifle and fled Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, police were still watching images of him inside the building, believing it was showing his real-time location. An officer was heard via a radio transmission at 2:56 p.m. saying Cruz was on the second floor of the school but the local sheriff’s official report says he left the school at 2:28 p.m., seven minutes after he began shooting at his schoolmates. Cruz was eventually apprehended more than an hour later. Coral Springs Police Chief Tony Pustizzi said the images were “delayed 20 minutes and nobody told us that.” He denied it hampered efforts to rescue students but admitted that the confusion “made it harder to identify where the guy was.”

*LBN-INTEL FOR INFLUENCERS: What does it mean to be an influencer in 2018? There isn’t a simple answer to this question. But the best place to start is by considering the definition of influence: “The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others.” Influencers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries read LBN daily. Now you can invite your friends, family and associates to receive LBN. Simply go to: 

*Border wall work begins in downtown Calexico:

The federal government began work Wednesday to replace a section of border wall in California, the first wall contract awarded in the Trump administration outside of eight prototypes that were built last year in San Diego. Customs and Border Protection is replacing a little more than two miles in downtown Calexico, a sliver of the president’s plan for a “big, beautiful wall” with Mexico. A barrier built in the 1990s from recycled metal scraps and landing mat will be torn down for bollard-style posts that are 30 feet high, significantly taller than existing walls. The administration is seeking $18 billion to extend the wall. Efforts to pay for it as part of a broader immigration package that would include granting legal status for people who came to the county as young children failed in the Senate last week.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: One in five Americans say they have more credit-card debt than they do in emergency savings, according to a report published Thursday from the personal-finance company Bankrate. Another 12% said they had no credit card debt, but they also had no savings. Bankrate surveyed 1,000 people during early February.

*Anti-bacterial wipes pointless as bugs grow back in 20 minutes, scientist says: 

Anti-bacterial wipes only eradicate bacteria from kitchen surfaces for 20 minutes and using them to keep germs at bay is “an absolutely redundant” exercise, a scientist has said. Dr Clare Lanyon, a biomedical scientist from Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, said consumers may be wasting money on antibacterial wipes and sprays because common germs, which can replicate themselves in just 20 minutes, quickly recolonize back to original mass even if just one single cell is left over. She said bar soap was found to be more effective at destroying bacteria because they tended to contain ingredients that broke down cell walls.

*‘Inexcusably Insensitive’ – NYU Served Watermelon Water and Kool-Aid for Black History Month

The president of New York University has apologized for an “inexcusably insensitive” menu that was created to honor Black History Month and included barbecue ribs, corn bread, collard greens, Kool-Aid, and watermelon-flavored water. The crass menu was flagged by sophomore Nia Harris, who shared the menu—and the initial dismissal of her complaints—in a Facebook post titled: “This is what it’s like to be a black student at New York University.” Within 24 hours, NYU President Andrew Hamilton posted an apology on the university website and blamed food-service provider Aramark, which has since suspended an employee. “We were shocked to learn of the drink and food choices that our food service provider—Aramark—offered at the Weinstein dining hall as part of Black History Month,” said Hamilton. “It was inexcusably insensitive.”

*DRAMATIC FINISH – U.S. Wins Ice Hockey Gold Against Canada After Shootout

The U.S. women’s ice-hockey team ended a 20-year gold drought by winning the Winter Olympic final in a dramatic sudden-death shootout against Canada. The U.S. last picked up gold in the event in 1998 in Nagano, Japan—the first ever Women’s Ice Hockey final at the Olympic Games. Early on Thursday morning, the scores were level after five rounds of penalty shots, but Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson scored an impressive triple-deke goal in the sixth round followed by a save from Maddie Rooney to win 3-2. “I can’t put it into words,”said defenseman Kacey Bellamy. “This whole year is for everyone that came before us. This is for Julie Chu [former USA captain] and for all our families at home, the schools that we went to, everyone supporting us.”

*Breakthrough? – These Scientists Say They’ve Proven Anti-Depressants Actually Work

A major scientific study—which involved nearly 120,000 people—claims to have settled the debate over how effective anti-depressants are by proving that they do actually work. The study, published by The Lancet on Thursday, claims to have proven that the 21 common anti-depressants used in the project were all more effective at treating acute depression than placebo pills. The scientists reached their findings by analyzing data from 522 trials including 116,477 people. However, the study did show different types of anti-depressant were more effective than others, with some just one-third more effective than placebos and others being more than twice as effective. The Royal College of Psychiatrists told the BBC that the study “finally puts to bed the controversy on anti-depressants.”


*LBN-INVESTIGATES: While the London Games promised that it would use the Olympic Games to jumpstart the renewal of East London (a historically low socio-economic area), it had to bulldoze several local businesses to make way for the new venues. And despite the commitment that 20,000 Olympic jobs would go to locals, fewer than half actually did.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***There was a crush of private jets at the Montego Bay airport for a big week at Round Hill Hotel, as the resort held a series of events leading up to its annual Sugar Cane Ball. Josef Forstmayr hosted the black-tie dinner dance on the beach for guests including Ralph Lauren and wifeRicky, Vanessa Noel, Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Va., Jim Mitchell and White House social secretary Rickie Lloyd.   ***Tom Ford supplied the booze at Joan Collins’ housewarming party in LA Tuesday night. “Tom brought her three magnum bottles of Champagne to the housewarming and, of course, we opened it. He’s so adorable,” a pal of Collins said. And George Hamilton brought the entertainment. “He had everyone in hysterics. He was so funny. He was just amusing and so handsome. He said he’s going back to being [KFC’s] Colonel Sanders. He has six more commercials,” the spy said. Barbara Davis, Stefanie Powers, Nikki Haskell, Piers Morgan and Alana Stewart were also there celebrating Collins’ new Wilshire Avenue pad.


NIH: Calculate Your Body Mass Index

Standard Body Mass Index calculator. Body mass index (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  The last survivor of Hitler’s bunker —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by France Berman: Gun control laws should most certainly have many strict regulations around which one buys a gun, however, I haven’t heard discussion being set forth about the person who sells the gun in the first place. I wonder if the gun shop owners and sales personnel take an oath to honor all restrictions mandated by law. I’d like to know more about how a gun shop owner gets their license and how it is they’re entrusted with so many weapons of mass destruction. It would also be interesting to know where the money comes from that helps them stay open for business.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Patricia Gandara: I was dismayed, once again, to see LBN, a media outlet that prides itself on being “fiercely independent and non-partisan” disseminating the fear-mongering report on MS13 by the anti-immigrant “fake news” Center for Immigration Studies. The CIS was founded by a white nationalist, is deeply anti-Semitic, and has been listed by the venerable civil rights law firm, Southern Poverty Law Center, as a hate group. For actual facts about immigration go to an organization like Migration Policy Institute, USC’s Immigrant Integration project, or UCLA’s Civil Rights Project that are staffed with researchers and funded by mainstream foundations, not hate groups. Immigrants are not our enemies; hate groups are.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by W. Somerset Maugham: People ask for criticism, but they only want praise.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Robert A. Heinlein:Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***On Wednesday, talk show host Wendy Williams announced on her show that she had been diagnosed with Graves’ disease and related hyperthyroidism. Williams planned to take a three week hiatus beginning Thursday to help ease her symptoms. “My doctor has prescribed—are you ready?—three weeks of vacation,” Williams said during the show’s taping. “I was pissed. Encore performances, really?” Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid gland, located in the neck, and responsible for metabolic regulation, growth, and development. The disease is caused when the body creates antibodies for the thyroid’s stimulating hormones, chronically flooding the body with the hormone thyroxine and leading to hyperthyroidism.   ***Chevy Chase tracked down a truck he says cut him off, but when he tried to confront the driver he ended up getting booted to the ground … according to a police report. Chevy claims he was traveling over NY’s Tappan Zee Bridge on February 9 when a black pickup cut him off. He told cops he thought the truck hit his car, so he flashed his high beams and followed it until the driver pulled over. According to police docs … Chevy realized there was no damage to either vehicle, but approached the driver to “speak to him about his reckless driving.” He claims there were 3 other people in the truck, and one of ’em flipped him off. Apparently not “Fletch” or “Caddyshack” fans.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

LBN – Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

*DISGRACE! MS-13 spreads to 22 states, fed by 300,000 illegals, DACA recipients, tied to 207 murders:

The vicious MS-13 gang, stifled under former President George W. Bush, exploded during the Obama era fueled by 300,000 illegals, including those given amnesty under the DACA program, and has now been linked to crimes in 22 states, according to a new report. Since 2012, 207 murders have been tied to the gang called “Mara Salvatrucha,” and there are over 500 cases nationwide of MS-13 members being charged in major crimes, according to the report from the Center for Immigration Studies. But it can sometimes be hard to deport the illegals involved because about half of the crimes detailed in the report occurred in so-called “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. President Trump has pledged to crack down on the gang and deport those in the United States illegally, and report author Jessica M. Vaughan suggested that it can’t happen soon enough. Detailing how the gang rebuilt itself under Obama’s open-border immigration policies, she said, “this resurgence represents a very serious threat to public safety in communities where MS-13 has rebuilt itself. The resurgence is directly connected to the illegal arrival and resettlement of more than 300,000 Central American youths and families that has continued unabated for six years, and to a de-prioritization of immigration enforcement in the interior of the country that occurred at the same time.”

*Trump: Why Didn’t Obama Do Something About Russia Meddling?

President Trump took to Twitter to lash out against his attorney general for not investigating the Obama administration for its role in the Russia election meddling. “Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation?” the president tweeted Wednesday morning. “Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? AskJeff Sessions!” The missive comes after special counsel Robert Mueller indicted Alex van der Zwaan, a lawyer who had contact with former Trump campaign associate Rick Gates, as well as 13 Russians working at the country’s Internet Research Agency. Van der Zwaan pleaded guilty to the chargesTuesday afternoon. Trump has attacked Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation in the past, but Sessions has stood by his decision. The attorney general recently told Fox News that he believes he “did the right thing” by recusing himself.

*LEGACY – Evangelist Billy Graham Is Dead at the Age of 99

The Rev. Billy Graham, an evangelist preacher who changed American politics, has died at the age of 99, multiple outlets report. After 60 years as a constant fixture on TV and radio, he retired in 2005. His work promoting Christian evangelical views was taken on by his son Franklin Graham, who remains influential within the Republican Party.

*THINK FREELY – READ LBN: Information is power and LBN is a power tool. Reading it makes your smarter, more informed and ahead of your completion. Stay ahead, read LBN daily and tell your friends, family and associates to sign up to receive (if they’ve got the guts). Go to:

*Trump Moves to Regulate ‘Bump Stock’ Devices:  

President Trump — under pressure from angry, grieving students from a Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last week — ordered the Justice Department on Tuesday to issue regulations banning so-called bump stocks, which convert semiautomatic guns into automatic weapons like those used last year in the massacre of concertgoers in Las Vegas. A day earlier, Mr. Trump signaled that he was open to supporting legislation that would modestly improve the national gun background check system, and on Tuesday night, he posted on Twitter that Democrats and Republicans “must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!” But Mr. Trump’s first embrace as president of any gun control measures was dismissed by gun control supporters as minor. The National Rifle Association supports the background check legislation and also backs bump stock regulation, although not an outright ban.

*Betrayed – One of Netanyahu’s Closest Aides ‘Will Testify Against Him’

One of Benjamin Netayahu’s closest aides has reached a dramatic deal to help implicate the Israeli prime minister in corruption charges, according to local media. Haaretz reported that Shlomo Filber, the former director of the communications ministry under Netanyahu, reached a deal to testify after he was arrested as part of a police investigation into government ties with telecommunications company Bezeq. Filber is reportedly suspected of having given financial benefits to the largest shareholder of Bezeq, on behalf on Netanyahu, in return for positive news coverage on a website that he also owned. Filber, who will reportedly avoid jail time, has now promised to to tell police everything he knows about Netanyahu’s involvement in the case—which would make him the first member of the prime minister’s inner circle to break rank. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any allegations of wrongdoing against him but Aluf Benn, the editor in chief of Haaretz, said: “These are the final days of Benjamin Netanyahu’s rule.”

*North Korea Dropped Out of Meeting With Pence at Last Minute, U.S. Says:  

Vice President Mike Pence had planned to secretly meet with a high-level delegation of North Korean leaders while he was at the Winter Olympics in South Korea this month, but the North Koreans canceled at the last minute, according to the State Department. “We regret the failure to seize this opportunity,”Heather Nauert, the department’s spokeswoman, said Tuesday. The canceled meeting is the latest twist in the evolving American strategy to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear and missile programs, which Western intelligence agencies say will soon be able to threaten the continental United States.

*The U.S. Wins Its First Olympic Cross-Country Skiing Gold

Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins have made history by winning the first ever U.S. Olympic gold in cross-country skiing. The only other American to ever win a medal in the sport was Bill Koch, who took silver at the Innsbruck Games in Austria in 1976. In a surprise result, Randall and Diggins sneaked just ahead of runners-up Sweden by 0.19 seconds, and Norway won bronze almost three seconds behind the gold-medalists. The U.S. now has six golds and holds fifth in the medal table, with Norway out in front with 12 overall.

*Temperature in Denver Drops 72 Degrees in 40 Hours

Denver residents enjoyed a pleasant temperature of 69 degrees Sunday only to be plunged into the bitter cold just 40 hours later—when it fell to minus 3. The temperature swing has been ranked among the top 20 such weather changes for Denver since records began in 1872, according to the National Weather Service. It also tied for the eighth biggest temperature drop seen in a period of less than two days.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Several Newsweek staffers threatened to resign earlier this week, accusing the company of attempting to muzzle the publishing of a story further detailing internal turmoil at the magazine and ties to a controversial Christian college. On Tuesday evening, Newsweek published a story about previously unreported ties between Newsweek Media Group (which also owns International Business Times) and Olivet University’s efforts to develop a campus in upstate New York. Olivet, which is affiliated with a mysterious religious sect called “The Community,” has numerous connections to former leaders of NMG. But not before several reporters and editors made it clear to management that they would quit if Newsweek did not publish the story.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Sade is releasing her first new music since the 2010 album “Soldier of Love.” The icon is contributing an original song to Ava DuVernay’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: How does the adult entertainment industry feel about artificial intelligence (AI) technology that makes it possible to easily doctor porn videos, and exchange the faces of adult film actresses with those of Hollywood stars and other celebrities? The answer, in one word: conflicted. That’s not just because their X-rated clips are at the center of the Deepfake AI porn phenomenon, which has been making waves online in recent weeks. The adult entertainment industry has also been both benefiting from and struggling with the impact of new technologies, and learned the hard way how challenging it can be to put the genie back in the bottle. “I think it’s f***ed up,” said Adam Grayson, chief financial officer of adult production company Evil Angel when asked about the Deepfake phenomenon. “Everything we do at Evil Angel and in the core of the adult industry is built around the word consent. Deepfakes by definition runs contrary to consent.”

*LBN-NOTICED:    ***Andrew Garfield taking a yoga class at hot Upper East Side studio Five Pillars Yoga in NYC.   ***Huma Abedin, Chris Evans and Judith Light all stopping by to see “Hamilton” director Thomas Kail’s “Kings” at the Public Theater in NYC   ***Cicely Tyson seeing “Once on This Island” on Broadway in NYC.   ***Heidi Klum and Adrien Brody? A spy at Mr. Chow’s 50th anniversary celebration tells us Oscar-winner Brody showed up at the LA fête solo, “but spent a lot of the night flirting, mutually, with Heidi.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Some animals possess the amazing ability to turn white during the winter: the arctic fox, arctic hare, ptarmigan, barren-ground caribou, and ermine all change colors.


The Creation of the Peace Symbol (1958)

Historically, the idea of peace has been represented by symbols that attempt to transcend differences of culture, such as the white dove, the olive branch, and the broken rifle. The now-familiar line-drawing of a crow’s foot in a circle was created specifically for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament by British artist Gerald Holtom, but it quickly caught on as a general, international sign for peace.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Kent Moyer (International security expert): So help me to understand this? We have major homeless problem. The Mayor wants more money but California spends 50 billion on illegals & protecting them. Ca. is about to release thousands of criminals out on the street which translates to more homeless. What is wrong with this idiots? Liberal leadership failure at it best.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Nick Schager: Annihilation is a story about transformation and obliteration, which is fitting considering that it synthesizes various genre predecessors into something wholly unique while simultaneously laying to waste the stolid conventions that now dominate franchise-blockbuster moviemaking. An intellectually ambitious, formally striking, and altogether out-there odyssey, Alex Garland’s film begins conventionally before spiraling into ever-more-hallucinatory realms, its every element in perfect harmony with its larger themes—all of which resound not as definitive statements but as haunting questions that linger long after the credits have rolled. In just about every respect, it’s the finest cinematic sci-fi in years—or, at least, since Garland’s prior Ex Machina. That 2015 gem, in which Domhnall Gleeson’s computer whiz is tasked by Oscar Isaac’s reclusive CEO to administer a Turing test to Alicia Vikander’s robot (in order to deduce whether she has genuine artificial intelligence), was a more realistic sort of future saga. As has so often been the case in the illustrious career of Garland—the scribe of 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go and the exceptionally awesome DreddAnnihilation finds the writer/director pendulum-swinging back toward trippier territory, which in this case is a loose adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel (the first part of his “Southern Reach” trilogy). Devoid of gadgets and gizmos that might be on our semi-distant horizon, the filmmaker’s latest is a slow, suspenseful slide into the vast unknown—or, to be precise, into the deep, dank origins of creation.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Nathaniel Horwitz: Despite better diagnostics and new drugs, cancer continues to kill 8 million people every year. While certain cancers are caught early and treated effectively, many others go undetected and—once discovered—resist every available treatment. The ability of these cancers to resist our current arsenal of drugs is, in many ways, the final frontier of the war on cancer. In December, I left my senior year at Harvard to launch Nivien Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup that is taking a novel approach to fighting these cancers based on exciting new research from Harvard Medical School. The discoveries at Harvard focused on pancreatic cancer, one of the worst treatment-resistant cancers: By the time you show symptoms (jaundice, nausea, abdominal pain), it’s almost always too late. Pancreatic cancer will kill a projected 44,000 people in the U.S. during 2018. Only one in 20 patients are alive five years after diagnosis because the standard chemotherapy adds just five weeks to average post-diagnosis survival, which is about 6 months.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: Cameron Kasky, a 17-year-old at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who survived last week’s mass shooting, wrote a beautiful essay for that declared: “At the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience — our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools. But this time, my classmates and I are going to hold them to account. This time we are going to pressure them to take action. This time we are going to force them to spend more energy protecting human lives than unborn fetuses.” Cameron, God bless you for that sentiment. But just one piece of respectful advice: If your generation and mine want to get serious about a gun control crusade, we all need to get out of Facebook and into someone’s face: the N.R.A.’s. This fight can’t be won on Twitter or Instagram. They do get people into the streets. But social media have created a world of faux activism — “Hey, I tweeted about it” — that the bad guys take advantage of. The N.R.A. is not just in the chat rooms. It’s in the cloakrooms of Congress and state legislatures. And it’s there with bags of money and votes it uses to reward lawmakers who do its bidding and hurt those who don’t. I loved seeing the 100 students from your high school taking buses Tuesday to Florida’s capital to directly press lawmakers. That’s a great start. I hope every high school follows.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Carl Richard: You are not your spending thoughts. Spending without thinking about the long-term consequences is a problem. And by the long term, I mean just 30 days from now when the credit-card statement arrives. Some people label this type of spending “impulsive.” Others use the word “urge” to describe the feeling that comes just before they whip out the plastic. There is no shortage of tips and tricks to help you control spending. You can cut up the credit cards, or just use cash and avoid having a debit card. You can even wear a wristband that will hit you with a little electric shock if you overspend. All of these tactics focus on fighting the desire to spend, which might work for you. But I’ve found it even more helpful to concentrate on what’s taking us on this psychological journey in the first place.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Groucho Marx chatting up female guests (1950s) —

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Jeffrey Bell, a conservative theorist who transformed his relentless campaign for tax cuts into a stunning primary upset that toppled a liberal fellow Republican, United States Senator Clifford P. Case of New Jersey, died on Feb. 10 in Annandale, Va. He was 74. The cause was cardiac arrest, his wife, Rosalie O’Connell, said.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: THE MAKING OF A BEST-SELLING BOOK —-  Without Notes with Dr. Srini Pillay – Episode 2: Inception of the Book –

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Benjamin Franklin: All human situations have their inconveniences. We feel those of the present but neither see nor feel those of the future; and hence we often make troublesome changes without amendment, and frequently for the worse

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Thomas Friedman’s ‘Code Red’ Warning About Donald Trump | The Last Word | MSNBC   —


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Sometimes, social-media fairytales do happen, and this would be a marriage made in Instagram heaven. Selena Gomez—the world’s most followed individual on Instagram, with 133 million followers and rising—and Justin Bieber (not too shabby himself with 100 million fans) were photographed kissing, hugging and embracing, and generally making no secret of their revived romance at his father’s wedding in the Caribbean this week, which has led to a rash of speculation that the two might be considering tying the knot themselves.   ***Tavis Smiley filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing PBS of using a sham investigation into sexual misconduct complaints as a pretext to suspend his long-running talk show. In the complaint, Smiley states that his relationship with the public broadcaster had been rocky for years, and that he was not viewed as a “team player.” He also accuses PBS of racial bias in its oversight of his program, saying that the network criticized his controversial black guests but not the controversial white ones.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord