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.

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*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

LBN – Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

*After Florida School Shooting, Russian ‘Bot’ Army Pounced:

One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate. The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counselRobert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. “This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this,” said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. “The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically.” One of the most divisive issues in the nation is how to handle guns, pitting Second Amendment advocates against proponents of gun control. And the messages from these automated accounts, or bots, were designed to widen the divide and make compromise even more difficult.

*SORRY, NO – Supreme Court Rejects Two Gun-Rights Appeals From California

The Supreme Court has rejected two appeals from gun-rights groups in California. Despite repeated calls for it to do so, the high court has not taken up a Second Amendment case since 2010. In Silvester v. Becerra, the plaintiff challenged the state’s 10-day waiting period to purchase a gun for those who already own firearms, and separately sought the court to use its “supervisory powers” to force the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stop resisting previous Second Amendment decisions.

*ANOTHER ONE – Mueller Charges Lawyer Linked to Ukraine With Lying to the Special Counsel

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged a new defendant in the Russia investigation. The latest target is a lawyer based in London, Alex Van Der Zwaan, who is accused of making false statements. He has a plea hearing scheduled for Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. According to the indictment, the false statements came when Mueller’s team was asking questions about Van Der Zwaan’s work representing the Ukraine Ministry of Justice. Van Der Zwaan was officially charged on Feb. 16 in federal court in Washington. Van Der Zwaan is also, according to the indictment, an associate of Richard Gates, a long-term business partner of Paul Manafort, the former manager ofDonald Trump’s presidential campaign. Gates will reportedly plead guilty to fraud-related charges in the coming days and has agreed to testify against Manafort. Van Der Zwaan is the son-in-law of Russian oligarch German Khan.

*DON’T FREAK OUT – READ LBN: Real information is power and LBN is a power-tool.

*Marco Rubio Calls for ‘Task Force’ to Examine Mass Shootings

In the aftermath of last week’s school massacre in Florida, Sen.Marco Rubio has called for a “task force of experts” to examine mass shootings, and told Politico that he is concerned that Congress bars federally funded research into gun violence. In a turnaround from his “A+” rating by the National Rifle Association, Rubio said he’d consider removing weapons from those accused of domestic violence, banning bump stocks, and improving pre-emptive moves like violence-prevention programs. Rubio’s proposed task force—which he says he understands that people will “roll their eyes at”—is reportedly in its early stages, but marks a different move for the Florida Republican and former presidential candidate.

*Trump Endorses Mitt Romney’s Run for Utah Senate Seat: 

President Trump said on Monday that Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and his frequent political adversary, had his blessing to run to replace Senator Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, who will retire at the end of the year. “He will make a great Senator and worthy successor,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, “and has my full support and endorsement!” The endorsement began yet another chapter in a fraught political relationship defined by bruising intraparty battles. Mr. Romney’s camp has privately mulled how far he should go to embrace a president whose candidacy he excoriated as bad for American democracy. And on Friday, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, publicly urged the president to support Mr. Romney.

*Brexit Chief: U.K. Won’t Be Plunged Into a ‘Mad Max-Style World’

A lot of promises were made during the campaign for the U.K. to leave the EU—millions of pounds for the country’s health service, bespoke trade deals, a renewed sense of national pride and sovereignty. One thing that wasn’t mentioned was the possibility it would turn the country into a lawless and dystopian hellhole. It’s curious, then, that the U.K. government minister in charge of Brexit has felt compelled to reassure Brits and Europeans that the country won’t turn into a “Mad Max-style world” after it begins the process of leaving the EU next year. MP David Davis said in a speech Tuesday that Britain will not be “plunged into a Mad Max-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction” as soon as it begins life outside of the EU and that fears about a “race to the bottom” are unfounded. Jolly good.

*LBN-INTEL FOR INFLUENCERS: LBN readers, in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries, are people who affect and change the way that other people behave. Deal with it!

*Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans: 

The tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law now has more supporters than opponents, buoying Republican hopes for this year’s congressional elections. The growing public support for the law coincides with an eroding Democratic lead when voters are asked which party they would like to see control Congress. And it follows an aggressive effort by Republicans, backed by millions of dollars of advertising from conservative groups, to persuade voters of the law’s benefits. That campaign has rallied support from Republicans, in particular. But in contrast with many other issues — including Mr. Trump’s job approval rating — it also appears to be winning over some Democrats. Support for the law remains low among Democrats, but it has doubled over the past two months and is twice as strong as their approval of Mr. Trump today.


  • The San, or Bushmen, created one of the earliest depictions of dancing in their rock art. Dating from 10,000 years ago in Africa, the art shows San shamans performing trancelike dances in an attempt to commune with the spirit world.
  • The youngest ballerinas ever to play leading roles were the “Baby Ballerinas” who danced with the Ballets Russes in 1933. Irina Baronova was just 13 years old,Tamara Toumanova was 14, and Tatiana Riabouchinska was 15.
  • In ancient Greek mythology, nine muses were associated with each one of the arts. Terpischore was the muse of dancing.
  • The most curtain calls ever for a ballet was 89, afterRudolf Nureyev and Margot Fanteyn performed their 1964 Swan Lake in Vienna.
  • Some pop singers create their own dances to fit their songs. For example, Michael Jackson created the “moonwalk” for his hit “Thriller” in 1982

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:  ***“Black Panther” is an official blockbuster at the box office, and its soundtrack is a hit too, opening at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. The soundtrack, put together in part by Kendrick Lamar, features Mr. Lamar, the Weeknd, SZA, Khalid and James Blake, and opened with the equivalent of 154,000 sales in the United States, according to Nielsen. Of that, 52,000 sales were made of the complete album, with streaming numbers dominating the rest.

*“An Incredible Value!” – “The Best Promotional Deal On The Web”  

Now YOU can tell YOUR unique story in the world-famous LBN E-Lert – – and communicate directly with LBN readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries. Amazing coverage with YOUR story, YOUR headline, YOUR photo and YOUR website. And then, of course, you can share this LBN story on all YOUR Social Media! And it’s really easy to do. Simply send your story (not to exceed 250 words) including a photo and link We will approve and run. The cost is a mere $250 payable via PayPal or credit card. This is (by-far) one of the best deals in the world of digital promotion and only available to LBN subscribers.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:    ***Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows that the standard prescription for weight loss is to reduce the amount of calories you consume. But a new study, published Tuesday in JAMA, may turn that advice on its head. It found that people who cut back on added sugar, refined grains and highly processed foods while concentrating on eating plenty of vegetables and whole foods — without worrying about counting calories or limiting portion sizes — lost significant amounts of weight over the course of a year. The strategy worked for people whether they followed diets that were mostly low in fat or mostly low in carbohydrates. And their success did not appear to be influenced by their genetics, a finding that casts doubt on the increasingly popular idea that different diets should be recommended to people based on their DNA makeup.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: In 2012, a prison in the South Korean city of Pohang became home to the world’s first robotic prison guards. The country also uses robots to guard the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea and as teachers.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:  ***Eater LA posted the rumored news on Monday: venerable Beverly Hills deli Nate ‘n Al, open since 1945, may be close to being sold. Of there may be no deal, or there may be a deal struck to keep Nate ‘n Al’s in its longtime location on North Beverly Drive. Whispers of a sale first appeared over the weekend, but so far there has been no confirmed report from the restaurant. Eater reached out to one of the owners directly, but has received no response back yet. Meanwhile a call in to the restaurant provided a terse “no comment,” though there is plenty of speculation happening on social media at the moment.  A potential sale would be a massive blow as one of LA’s most beloved, and longest-running restaurants. The first Nate ‘n Al Delicatessen opened in 1945, before expanding to multiple locations throughout Southern California over the years — including LAX. Now only the Beverly Hills restaurant prevails…  Founders Al Mendelsonand Nate Rimer met in Detroit, and opened a 30-seat restaurant that continued to expand significantly over the years to make room for wealthy Beverly Hills types and folks from the entertainment industry. Today, Nate’n Al Delicatessen is operated by Mendelson’s grandsons, Mark and David.


The “Best of Los Angeles Award” community, formed three years ago to spotlight the best people, places and things in Los Angeles, has now grown to over 3,800 members throughout Southern California. “This is a significant achievement for our community” said Aurora DeRose, coordinator for the “BoLAA” community. “We now have members from Malibu to Downtown, from Culver City to Studio City, from Pasadena to West Hollywood, from Encino to Koreatown, from Beverly Hills to Glendale. The “Best of Los Angeles Award”, whose slogan is “No Ads. No B.S. Only the Best.”, has now added “BoLAA” videos featuring hostess Jeannette Ceja to its community services. To join the “Best of Los Angeles Award” community, simply visit their page ( and click “Like”.

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***A day later, the tears were happy. French ice skaters Guillaume Cizeron and Gabriella Papadakis, who fought through a wardrobe malfunction Monday, took home the silver Tuesday with a record-breaking performance (a record that would last all of 15 minutes, broken by Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who won gold). “I was very emotional,” Papadakis told reporters, via Yahoo Sports. “I cannot really put a word on the way I felt. We just delivered an amazing performance at the Olympics. … We couldn’t have skated better. We did our best. Maybe more than our best.”

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Günter Blobel, a molecular biologist who was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that proteins in any living cell have virtual ZIP codes that guide them to where they can help regulate body tissues, organs and chemistry, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 81. A spokeswoman for Rockefeller University in Manhattan, where he was a longtime professor, confirmed his death, at NewYork-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. The cause was cancer.


Every life has a story. captures the most gripping, surprising and fascinating stories about famous people. The last fateful day. The decision that changed everything. The moment of cheating death. The biggest break. The defining opportunity. The most shattering failure. The unexpected connection. With over 7,000 biographies and daily features that highlight newsworthy, compelling and surprising points-of-view, we are the digital source for true stories about people that matter.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: This has been an emotional week. We greet tragedies like the school shooting in Florida with shock, sadness, mourning and grief that turns into indignation and rage. The anger inevitably gets directed at the N.R.A., those who support gun rights, and the politicians who refuse to do anything while children die. Many of us walked this emotional path. But we may end up doing more harm than good. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it is that guns have become a cultural flash point in a nation that is unequal and divided. The people who defend gun rights believe that snobbish elites look down on their morals and want to destroy their culture. If we end up telling such people that they and their guns are despicable, they will just despise us back and dig in their heels. So if you want to stop school shootings it’s not enough just to vent and march. It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points. There has to be trust and respect first. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war. So I’ve been thinking about a group that’s in the trust and respect business. Better Angels is a nonprofit led by David Lapp, David Blankenhorn and a prominent family therapist, Bill Doherty. The team members travel from town to town finding members of the Red and Blue Tribes and bringing them together for long, humbling conversations.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Roger Cohen: People are weak. They are susceptible. They are easily manipulated through their fears. They long to prostrate themselves. They can be led by the nose into the gutter. The angels of their better natures, if they’ve ever given a moment’s thought to them, are a lot less powerful than the devils of their diabolical urges. They lie, they exploit, they seek distraction at any price from the monotony of existence. The life of humankind, as Hobbes famously put it, is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Especially short: You no sooner begin to get the hang of it, learn a few useful tricks like lowered expectations, than it’s over. Poof! This is the basic setup. Society is an exercise in trying to offset horrors through law and convention. Every now and again, along comes somebody, or some new technology, or both, capable of taking this raw human material and shaping it into a crazed, baying, hypnotized mob that is convinced the Great Leader has come. Whatever this Messiah says goes. The moon is a balloon, if he says so; and entire communities with the wrong beliefs or shade of skin are chopped liver.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Albert Einstein: The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Mae West: You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:    ***There was high drama on the rough seas, we’re told, after a “Real Housewives of New York City” pleasure cruise ended with the cast awash in vomit and fearing for their lives as their boat caught fire and started sinking. Seagoing sources say that the ladies of the Bravo reality show were preparing for a day of sunning themselves on a luxury yacht during a visit to Cartagena, Colombia — but things sank quickly into chaos after they realized they’d been booked onto an old, decrepit vessel.   ***Don’t expect the United States’ curling team to watch “Look Who’s Talking Too” on their way home from PyeongChang, South Korea. After Kirstie Alleycalled the Olympic sport “boring” Monday night on Twitter, Team USA’s John Shuster fired back at the actress and her extensive filmography. “We’re not trying to be mean either but your movies weren’t exactly riveting theater Kirstie. #justsaying #curling #rockit #TeamUSA,” Shuster replied.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

LBN – Monday, February 19th, 2018

*White House: Trump Supports Improving Gun Background Checks

President Trump supports efforts to improve the federal system for background checks in the purchase of firearms, the White House said Monday. “While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” the White House said in a statement. Trump is said to have spoken to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Friday about legislation the lawmaker introduced to improve the background check process. Trump’s vow of support for the effort comes amid mounting calls for gun control in the wake of a school shooting in Florida last week that killed 17 people. Students who survived the attack have put the pressure on Trump personally, accusing him of staying silent on gun control because of his campaign’s backing by the NRA. Trump, who ran as a pro-gun candidate, also expressed an openness to banning bump stocks after a deadly Las Vegas shooting last fall, though no significant progress has been made on that front. Last year, Trump revoked an Obama-era regulation making it harder for people with mental illness to purchase firearms.

*Trump Dares ‘Very Insecure’ Oprah To Run In 2020

President Trump was up late Sunday night directing his fury towards Oprah Winfrey after watching her on 60 Minutes. Oprah led a discussion on the CBS show about Trump’s first year with voters from across the political spectrum—but clearly not to the President’s satisfaction. Trump tweeted: “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!” Oprah has previously ruled out running for office, saying in January that it’s “not something that interests me.”

*Russia to U.S.: Don’t ‘Play With Fire’ in Syria

A top Russian official has warned the Trump administration not to “play with fire” in Syria, accusing the U.S. of engaging in “very dangerous games” after more than 200 Russian mercenaries were reportedly killed by U.S. airstrikes earlier this month. The U.S. said the strikes were carried out in “self defense” after Syrian troops attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces, a predominantly Kurdish group backed by Washington. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said the “provocative” U.S. support for Kurdish-led forces in Syria “could lead to the dismemberment of the Syrian state.” “We are seeing attempts to exploit the Kurds’ aspirations,” he said at a conference alongside Iranian Foreign Minister MohammadJavad Zarif. Lavrov’s warning comes amid heightened tensions in the region, as U.S. support for a Kurdish-led border protection force in Syria pit Washington against Tehran and Moscow.

*LBN-SEE IT:...About a dozen people protested against what they called the threat of radical Islam at the Islamic Da’Wah Center in Houston in May 2016. They were met by a much larger crowd of counterprotesters. Both sides, it turned out, were organized by Russian groups.

*FL Survivors Reject Trump Invite, Tell Him to ‘Come to Us’

High school students who survived Wednesday’s deadly shooting rampage in Florida say President Trump has declined an invitation to speak at an upcoming town hall on gun violence, CNN reports. Instead, the White House has announced a “listening session” with students, though it is not clear if that event will include survivors of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were gunned down. “If Donald Trump wants to listen to us, he should have taken the first invitation,” survivor Alex Wind told CNN Monday. “We are not going to come to him. He is going to need to come to us,” he said. Emma Gonzalez, another survivor, said the “listening session” with students was just a way for Trump to avoid angry survivors. “The fact that he has organized this just proves that he’s scared of us and that he doesn’t want to have to face us,” she told CNN. Along with Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has also reportedly declined an invitation to speak at the town hall event on Wednesday. The event will feature survivors of the shooting and parents of the victims.

*The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election:

Thirteen Russian nationals have been charged with illegally trying to disrupt the American political process, according to an indictment filed by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. According to the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators created hundreds of social media accounts impersonating real and fictitious Americans — and they paid for ads promoting their posts. The Russians in the indictment acted as an organization, and employees who ran the accounts were directed to create “political intensity through supporting radical groups” and to criticize Hillary Clinton, but not Donald J. Trump or Bernie Sanders.

*WHO READS LBN? Congressman Adam Schiff, along with readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries.

*‘Black Panther’ Shatters Box Office Records With $218 Million Debut

Black Panther, Marvel Studio’s first black superhero film, was on track for a $218 million domestic debut over the four-day President’s Day weekend, giving it the fifth-biggest opening of all time. The film broke records across the board, claiming the biggest domestic opening ever for a film released in February and the second biggest debut for a Marvel Studios film. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, and Letitia Wright, Black Panther also clinched the biggest global debut ever for a film with a predominantly black cast, earning a whopping $169 million internationally. The only other films brave enough to open on the same weekend as Black Panther, the animated family film Early Man and Pure Flix’s Samson, failed to break into the top three this weekend, earning $4 million and $2 million, respectively. Holdovers Peter Rabbit and Fifty Shades Freed took second and third place, with $17.3 million and $16.9 million.

*Skater’s breast pops out mid-Olympic routine: 

The first notes of Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” had just played when Gabriella Papadakis suddenly became aware that people were about to see a whole lot more of her shape than she had planned. The French ice dancer’s glittering emerald costume at the Olympics had come unhooked at the neckline, and later in the routine, her left breast was exposed live on television. When the clasp became unhooked, the 22-year-old Papadakis was more worried about holding up her outfit than making sure her twizzles and rhumba were in sync. Her swinging short program with partner Guillaume Cizeron at the PyeongChang Olympics was threatening to go down in history alongside Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction during her halftime performance at the Super Bowl. “I felt it right away and I prayed,” Papadakis said. “That’s about what I could do.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: The top three most expensive Olympic sports in terms of training cost are shooting, sailing, and equestrian.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***There is an internal war brewing after it was claimed that Ronan Farrow has been banned by NBC News’ top exec Andy Lack. Farrow was booked on Rachel Maddow’s prime-time MSNBC show on Friday to discuss his story about Donald Trump’s alleged affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. But Farrow was bumped from the broadcast, and insiders said the decision was made by Lack, who is still fuming over claims that NBC killed Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein probe. NBC reps didn’t comment, but other insiders insist Farrow was bumped because of breaking Russia indictment news.

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*THINK FREELY – READ LBN: LBN readers, in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries, are people who thinks freely or independently : people who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority; especially : one who rejects or is skeptical of popular dogma

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Penn & Teller on Gun Control —

*LBN-NOTICED: Quincy Jones is done talking. On Fridaynight, at a star-studded 50th anniversary celebration of restaurant Mr. Chow in LA, press were told beforehand not to approach Jones, 84, for any interviews — and if they did, he’d take off! The edict came after the music mogul recently gave two jaw-dropping interviews dishing on taboo topics fromMichael Jackson’s ripping off “Billie Jean” to an alleged tryst between Richard Pryor and Marlon Brando. The party was hosted by famed restaurateur and artist Michael Chow to celebrate his eponymous eatery with guests including Al Pacino, Anjelica Huston, Stevie Wonder, Mickey Rourke, Chris Rock, Ricky Martin, Billy Idol, Heidi Klum, as well as artists Alex Israel, Paul McCarthy and Sterling Ruby. But Jones was apparently off-limits — although he was photographed appearing in good spirits, giving a thumbs-up and smiling in a stylish black blazer and colorful scarf. Meanwhile, at the A-list dinner, Chow showed off a new book, “Mr. Chow: 50 Years.” Also there were Mark Ronson, Adrien Brody, producer Jason Blum, Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn, Richard and Kathy Hilton, Rick Rubin, top agent Jim Berkus, and Chow’s kids Asia, China and Maximillian. A rep for Jones said their team did not issue the edict.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Bill Hicks, Its Just A Ride —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: Our democracy is in serious danger. President Trump is either totally compromised by the Russians or is a towering fool, or both, but either way he has shown himself unwilling or unable to defend America against a Russian campaign to divide and undermine our democracy. That is, either Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin — so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections — over the explicit findings of Trump’s own C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. chiefs. In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system — a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas R. Pickering and James Strountenberg: In September 1796, George Washington, weary of partisan combat just eight years after the ratification of the Constitution and the founding of the nation, wrote a farewell address explaining why he would not seek a third term. His message is worth remembering in our current political moment. In elaborate and thoughtful prose, Washington raised red flags about disunity, false patriotism, special interests, extreme partisanship, fake news, the national debt, foreign alliances and foreign hatreds. With uncanny foresight, he warned that the most serious threat to our democracy might come from disunity within the country rather than interference from outside. And he foresaw the possibility of foreign influence over our political system and the rise of a president whose ego and avarice would transcend the national interest, raising the threat of despotism. Washington certainly had great confidence, but in his address he didn’t brag about his accomplishments. On the contrary, he beseeched the Almighty to soften the impact of his errors and expressed hopes that the country would forgive them. He established a standard for presidential self-deprecation out of the fear that a president of grossly inflated ego could become a threat to democracy. He cautioned against both overly friendly alliances (lest another country’s interests and wars become our own) and excessive hatreds (lest we provoke unnecessary conflict and war with others). Forbearance in the use of power was another of his major themes. “A free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another,” he declared. Such encroachment, he said, would lead to the consolidation of power and create “a real despotism.”

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Norm Papernick:Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Entitlement Epidemic – Spoiled Generation – How to Turn it Around – Documentary —

*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:…This photo of Hitler was taken approximately two days prior to his death. He was standing outside of his Berlin bunker, surveying the damage a bomb had done.

*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Is it called “Bravo” because you could get a rousing “clap”? We’re told that the stars on a number of Bravo’s reality shows have to sign an “STD clause” promising not to sue the network if they get one or more of a long, enumerated list of itchy infections while filming. Sources familiar with the contracts say that Bravo washes its hands (thoroughly) of the potential diseases so that it doesn’t get sued if bed-hopping stars pick up something nasty while taking part in its shows. Network insiders, meanwhile, assure us that such provisions are common across all networks, especially on dating shows. We hear that the contracts also officially warn stars that their fellow combatants aren’t tested for sexually transmitted diseases.   ***Wedding bells rang for Jedediah Bilaover the weekend. The former “View” co-host tied the knot with TV business consultant Jeremy Scher on Saturday in Huntington, NY, according to Us Weekly. Bila, 39, wore a Rivini lace ballgown and earrings from Susan Hanover.   ***Alec Baldwin — who was ripped off in an art-forgery scam — is making a film about the sketchy world of fake art. In 2016, the “30 Rock” actor sued a gallery for selling him a counterfeit of what he believed to be a 1996 painting, “Sea and Mirror” by Ross Bleckner, for $190,000. Now sources say that he’s working on a film based on a 2012 Vanity Fair story, “A Question of Provenance,” by Michael Shnayerson.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord