Monthly Archives: May 2016

LBN – Special Report – Tuesday

*Report: 1,000+ Migrants Died in Past Week

The International Organization for Migration claims that more than 1,000 refugees died over the past week in the Mediterranean. Officials have called the past eight days “one of the deadliest periods yet” in the migration crisis, which has lasted nearly four years. Overcrowded, poorly built boats have capsized, deflated or tanked under the weight of its occupants, many of whom don’t know how to swim. UN refugee agency spokesman William Spindler said this year has been “particularly deadly” in the Mediterranean, with 2,510 lives lost so far (compared to 1,855 during the same time period last year).

*Stephen Hawking: ‘Trump Is a Demagogue’

Even Stephen Hawking says he’s baffled. The theoretical physicist and noted smart person told ITV’s Good Morning Britain he doesn’t understand the widening appeal of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in the U.S. Despite his seminal work on black holes, quantum mechanics, space, and stars, Hawking said he just doesn’t get it. “I can’t. He’s a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

*N. Korea Praises Trump Over Hillary

A North Korean state-media outlet praised Donald Trump on Tuesday, calling him “wise” and “far-sighted.” The editorial contrasted Trump’s philosophy with “dull Hillary.” The outlet, DPRK Today, welcomed Trump’s proposal to hold talks with Kim Jong Un. “There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies,’” said Han Yong Mook, a reported Chinese North Korean scholar. “Trump said he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North—isn’t this fortunate from North Korea’s perspective?” Though the editorial wasn’t officially from Pyongyang, its origin was likely from inside the regime, several sources claimed. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has said he would drastically change U.S. policy in the region. The orange-hued mogul suggested in March that he would withdraw U.S. military forces from South Korea if that country did not ramp up its defense spending.

*WHO READS LBN? Acclaimed author Larry Grobel

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood just became the father of twins — one day before turning 69 on June 1! And judging from a recent statement, the babies’ births came as a birthday surprise to the aging rocker. Sally Humphreys, 38, gave birth to twin girls early in the morning of May 31. Just last week, however, Ronnie went to social media to declare: “I’m getting excited about the arrival of my twin girls sometime in the next few weeks.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Bears have been known to eat almost anything, including snowmobile seats, engine oil, and rubber boots.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***Worldwide, up to 70 million workers are at risk for computer vision syndrome, and those numbers are only likely to grow. In a report about the condition written by eye care specialists in Nigeria and Botswana and published in Medical Practice and Reviews, the authors detail an expanding list of professionals at risk — accountants, architects, bankers, engineers, flight controllers, graphic artists, journalists, academicians, secretaries and students — all of whom “cannot work without the help of computer.” And that’s not counting the millions of children and adolescents who spend many hours a day playing computer games.

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***The Polish government said on Tuesday that it would revive an effort to extradite the filmmaker Roman Polanski, whom the American authorities have wanted for decades. He pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl but fled to Europe the following year, on the eve of his sentencing. The announcement is the latest twist in a long-running legal battle that, at least in Poland, seemed to have ended.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Leo DiCaprio, wearing a N.Y. Mets cap, buying a waterproof speaker at the Mobile Spa on Bleecker Street in NYC on Friday.   ***Dina Lohan talking proudly about her daughter Lindsay’s new life in Europe with her fiancé, Egor Tarabasov, at the Southampton Inn summer kickoff barbecue.   ***Billy Joel was seen dining at Chazz Palminteri Ristorante Italiano in Midtown in NYC over the weekend before he performed at Madison Square Garden. Spies said Joel met up with a pal and “enjoyed a lunch of shrimp scampi and broccoli raab.”

*LBN-LEGAL INSIDER:   ***Chambers and Partners has recognized managing partner Thomas Ajamie in Chambers USA 2016: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. In the guide, Chambers says that Mr. Ajamie “receives plaudits from a range of sources for his acumen in court and for the breadth of his experience in litigation proceedings. ‘Tom has a great, instinctive style with juries and combines that with a real understanding of the law and the ability to keep a great rapport with the judge,’ according to commentators.”

*LBN-R.I.P.: Surfer Blood guitarist Thomas Fekete died Monday after battling a rare, aggressive form of cancer, his wife, Jess, wrote on the musician’s GoFundMe page to cover medical expenses. He was 27.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: The new book “Wikipedia As A Marketing Tool” by Mike Wood —–

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Ever since the days of ancient Greece, philosophers have distinguished between the beautiful and the sublime. Beauty is what you experience when you look at a flower or a lovely face. It is contained, pleasurable, intimate and romantic. Sublime is what you feel when you look at a mountain range or a tornado. It involves awe, veneration, maybe even a touch of fear. A sublime thing, like space or mathematics, over-awes the natural human dimensions and reminds you that you are a small thing in a vast cosmos. Recently neuroscientists have shown that the experiences of beauty and awe activate different parts of the brain. The distinction between the beautiful and the sublime is the distinction between the intimate and the transcendent. This sort of distinction doesn’t just happen in aesthetics, but in life in general. We have big and little loves. The soldiers who we honored on Memorial Day were animated by a big love — serving their country — and by a little one — protecting their buddies. Religious people experience a love of God that is both big and little.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by John Densmore (Member of the rock group “The Doors”): Certainly, we are all on the shoulders of those who fought for our country. But the first peoples of this land justifiably might feel bitterness. I am of the Vietnam generation; therefore, I feel mistrustful of the military. I can’t forget the 3 MILLION Vietnamese who died, as well as our 60,000 soldiers. I do think if we had a draft again, the United States would embark on fewer wars.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Katie Couric has apologized for the “Under the Gun” documentary that aired on EPIX, saying she regrets the editing process that was “misleading.” The documentary came under scrutiny when it first seemed like a group of gun rights activists were stumped by her question about background checks, taking eight seconds to respond: “If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from walking into, say, a licensed gun dealer and purchasing a gun?” Audio recordings revealed they, in fact, responded right away.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Marcelle Luna

LBN E-Lert Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN E-Lert accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN E-Lert is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.

LBN – Special Report – Monday

*Iraqi Forces Begin Fallujah Liberation

Iraqi military forces have commenced an operation to retake Fallujah, an ISIS stronghold in the country. Military operations began early Monday, just a few days after about 760 residents fled the region. “With God’s blessing we have launched the third phase of the operation to storm the center of Falluja city — by our heroes in the counter-terrorism forces, units of the Iraqi army and Anbar police,” a military spokesman said on Iraqi state TV. Shi’ite military forces and a U.S.-led air coalition are joining the effort.

*HERO? Former AG Holder: Snowden ‘Performed a Public Service’

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said NSA leaker Edward Snowden “performed a public service” by setting off an international debate over governments’ surveillance capabilities. “We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,” Holder said on David Axelrod’s podcast, “The Axe Files.” But while he praised the former NSA contractor, Holder clarified that he still believes Snowden acted inappropriately and illegally, and “harmed American interests.” Therefore, Holder added, Snowden should return to the U.S. and face a trial. “I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done,” he said.

*Syria Negotiator Quits Over Failed Peace Talks

The lead peace negotiator for the Syrian opposition has resigned, citing failed talks to end the country’s bloody civil war. On Twitter, Mohammad Alloush said the international community has failed in preventing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from killing his own people.

*Levine: Just 1% of Russians Approve of U.S., Obama, Far Worse than Bush

President Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to improve the image of the United States around the world hasn’t worked in Russia where a decade low of just 1 percent approve of American leadership, according to media expert and authorMichael Levine ( In fact, Levine said that Russia’s view of the U.S. is the lowest in the world and comes at a time when Moscow is flexing its military muscle in hotspots like Syria where Obama is struggling to use force. “The 1 percent Russian approval of the United States is below where it was when former President George W. Bush left office, at about 20 percent,” said Levine.

*WHO READS LBN? Power attorney Bruce Ramer

*Gary Johnson Wins Libertarian Nomination

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson on Sunday secured the presidential nomination from the Liberatarian party. Johnson, whose vice presidential running mate will be former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, was also the party’s pick in the 2012 race.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Verizon reached a series of tentative agreements on Sunday and Monday with two major unions representing nearly 40,000 striking workers, most likely bringing an end to a six-and-a-half-week work stoppage. The deal is a retreat by Verizon on some of the major points of contention, including proposals for pension cuts and for greater flexibility to outsource work and transfer employees to different geographic areas.

*Rubio Apologized for Small Hands Remark

In an interview airing on CNN on Sunday, Marco Rubio said that he apologized to Donald Trump for his crude comment regarding the size of Trump’s hands. “I actually told Donald — one of the debates, I forget which one — I apologized to him for that,” Rubio said. “I said, ‘You know, I’m sorry that I said that. It’s not who I am and I shouldn’t have done it.’ I didn’t say it in front of the cameras, I didn’t want any political benefit.”


*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Former New York Rangers star Mark Messier at the Bowery Hotel for Answer the Call’s Red & Blue Soiree benefit — which raised nearly $115,000 for the families of New York firefighters, police officers and emergency medical service workers killed in the line of duty.   ***Rohan Marley and ESPN announcer Ray Lewis at the grand opening of Dream Hotel Group’s Time Nyack.   ***Chicago Bulls player Taj Gibson at Philippe in NYC.   ***Ivanka Trump at the opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour” at the Lyric Theatre in NYC.   ***Media expert and author Michael Levine having dinner last night at the Lobster in Santa Monica.   ***Adam Sandler and Chris Rock showed their appreciation to the servicemen and women in town for Fleet Week. Sandler had a comedy show at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, promoting his Netflix film “The Do-Over,” and Rock performed as his opening act. “They were there to see Adam, and then Chris came out as a surprise guest. He did a mini stand-up set before introducing Adam,” a spy said.

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Frank Modell, a classically trained artist who contributed more than 1,400 cartoons to The New Yorker — customarily, he said, “of angry men and sexy women and dogs” — during an illustrious era for the magazine, died on Friday at his home in Guilford, Conn. He was 98. A friend, Florence Hammond, confirmed his death.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Michael Levine (Media expert and author): In his observations of World War I veterans, Sigmund Freud noticed that the men had a strange proclivity toward reenacting traumatic experiences. He also observed this tendency in young children who often play games that simulate unpleasant situations. To explain this, he introduced and later developed the concept of the death drive: a primitive impulse for destruction, decay, and death, manifested by a turning away from pleasure.


*LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Sex-swap clotheshorse Caitlyn Jenner has found her new fashion guru — Cher! “Caitlyn is obsessed with Cher and her glitzy, over-the-top style,” a source dished. “She’s already had her dressmaker try to copy some of her clothes. But she wants to feel like she is Cher, and that means dressing up in the actual sequined gowns the singer used for concerts and award shows!”   ***Johnny Depp’sformer longtime partner, French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis, has jumped to the star’s defense, insisting he could never hit a woman, a new report says. “Johnny Depp is the father of my two children, he is a sensitive, loving and loved person, and I believe with all my heart that these recent allegations being made are outrageous,” Paradis wrote in a handwritten letter in Los Angeles and dated Friday, according to TMZ, which revealed the note Sunday.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Marcelle Luna

LBN E-Lert Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN E-Lert accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN E-Lert is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.

LBN – Special Report – Sunday

* Pakistan PM to Have Open-Heart Surgery

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will undergo his second open-heart surgery next week, family and officials said. The surgery, which will take place in London, comes as Sharif faces mounting pressure over his family’s wealth. Sharif, who is 66, has struggled with heart problems for the past five years.

*WHO READS LBN? Columnist and author Maureen Dowd

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***Amid the steady drumbeat of an arena rooting for him to fail, Klay Thompson refused to let the Golden State Warriors fade away. With his team facing elimination from the N.B.A. playoffs for the second time in three nights, Thompson spotted up from the 3-point line and carried his team. On Saturday night, the Warriors prolonged their season-long quest for a second straight N.B.A. championship by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-101, in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.

*LBN-POLITICAL INISDER: Donald Trump’s campaign is considering booking one of Cleveland’s big sports venues for his acceptance speech in July, two GOP sources familiar with the planning of the upcoming GOP convention say. The sources said First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, and Progressive Field, home of the city’s Indians baseball team, are the two sites under consideration for Trump’s acceptance speech on the final night of the convention.

*LBN-DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that 17 members of the staff of the New York Public Library read LBN daily?


1. The term “abortion” is from the Latin abortus (ab- “amiss” + oriri- “appear to be born, arise”).

2. The Egyptian Kahun Papyrus (1850 B.C.) suggests crocodile feces either for preventing conception or as an abortifacient. In Arabic medicine, elephant feces were frequently recommended. The Ebers Papyrus (1550 B.C.) contains several recipes that “cause a woman to stop pregnancy in the first, second, or third period.” One recipe for a vaginal suppository includes combining the unripe fruit of Acacia, colocynth, dates, and 6/7 pints of honey and pouring the mixture onto a moistened plant fiber.

3. Modern Arabic women still take colocynth as an abortifacient, though one woman who took 120 grains in a powder died 50 hours later.

4. While there has never been complete agreement about when a fetus becomes a person, the major sentiment in ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Roman thought was that there could be no living soul in an “unformed” and/or “unquickened” body and, hence, the law of homicide could not apply if a fetus was aborted before that time. However, other scholars, such as Basil, the bishop of Caesarea in Asia Minor (c. A.D. 330-379), called feticide murder at any point of development.

5. Aristotle suggests that the conceptus had a “soul” after 40 days from conception if a male and 90 if female (for a similar differentiation, see Leviticus 12:1-5 in the Bible). Later, Aristotle says that the fetus develops “little by little” and that one cannot make fine judgments.

6. The Stoics thought the soul came when the fetus was exposed to cool air, although the potential was present at conception. Plutarch and Tertullian both ridiculed that idea because babies born in hot climates or in warm rooms were certainly alive.

7. Ancient Hebrew religious law regarded a woman pregnant at 40 days after conception and, therefore, abortion before that could not be considered criminal.

8. There was an endless list of oral drugs to abort a fetus from before the time of Hippocrates (460 B.C.) and into the Middle Ages. A few examples include clover mixed with white wine, Edderwort mixed with vinegar and water, mountain rue, birthwort mixed with pepper and mint, white hellebore, shepherd’s purse, squirting cucumber, stinking iris, pomegranate, and even a poisonous fish the color of a hare.

9. Ancient physicians also used pessaries, or vaginal suppositories, as abortifacients. They were usually more potent than oral drugs and included substances like the juice of the wild fig, a “milky liquid” which caused irritation, soap-wort, myrrh, myrtle, lupine, cedar-oil mixed with water, wine, or hot oil. Physicians also recommend smearing on the uterine opening goose fat, mashed leek and celery, rose oils, pine resin, copper scum, boiled honey, sodium carbonate, and even mouse dung.

10. Some ancient pessaries were similar to Utus paste, a substance injected directly into the uterus as a method of abortion in Europe and the United States until the 1960s, but eventually condemned as unsafe. Use of Utus paste to terminate pregnancy, however, can still be found in many developing countries.

*LBN-MY REVIEW: “LBN floats my boat. It is news with an attitude. Massively thought-provoking.”—–Amber Z., an LBN reader from New Orleans, Louisiana

*LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***An upcoming book about Howard Stern by celebrity biographer Ian Halperin will include a bizarre claim that Frank Sinatra ordered a hit on the shock jock — but that goons may have murdered the wrong person by mistake. The exposé, which Halperin is still writing, will claim that Ol’ Blue Eyes was furious because Stern went after his children in an on-air rant in the early 1990s. “He criticized Frank Jr. and Nancy, and Frank lost his cool,” Halperin — who first revealed the tale on the “Anthony Cumia Show” podcast — told Page Six. “And everybody who ever knew Frank knew he was a nice guy, but you don’t want to piss him off. He had a big temper. And Frank ­allegedly put a hit on [Stern]. I have extreme corroboration on this.”

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Do You Want To Build YOUR Brand? —–

*LBN-COMMENTARY by ALAIN de BOTTON: It’s one of the things we are most afraid might happen to us. We go to great lengths to avoid it. And yet we do it all the same: We marry the wrong person. Partly, it’s because we have a bewildering array of problems that emerge when we try to get close to others. We seem normal only to those who don’t know us very well. In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?” Perhaps we have a latent tendency to get furious when someone disagrees with us or can relax only when we are working; perhaps we’re tricky about intimacy after sex or clam up in response to humiliation. Nobody’s perfect. The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with. Our partners are no more self-aware. Naturally, we make a stab at trying to understand them. We visit their families. We look at their photos, we meet their college friends. All this contributes to a sense that we’ve done our homework. We haven’t. Marriage ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Liza Minnelli — who sold her New York apartment last year and moved to a rental in Los Angeles — is quietly selling her collection of Andy Warhol paintings. A list I obtained of the 22 artworks includes four portraits of Liza, three of her mother, Judy Garland, and three of her father, Vincente Minnelli. Cindy Crawford said husband Rande Gerber’s tequila does wonders for their sex life. She made the remark at an event thrown by the Heart Foundation honoring Discovery Land Co.’s Mike Meldman, a partner in Casamigos Tequila. When asked if the hooch was good for the heart, she said, “I don’t know . . . but it’s definitely good for your sex life.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Marcelle Luna

LBN E-Lert Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN E-Lert accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN E-Lert is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.