LBN – Friday, June 15 , 2018

*Leader of the Pakistani Taliban Killed by U.S. Drone Strike, Say Afghan Officials:

The leader of the Pakistani Taliban was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan on Thursday, according to a senior Afghan defense ministry official. Fazlullah, who had a U.S. bounty of $5 million, claimed responsibility for the killing of more than 140 pupils and teachers at the Army Public School in Peshawar in December 2014. He also reportedly ordered the shooting ofMalala Yousafzai, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that same year. According to the reports, which have yet to be confirmed by the U.S., Mullah Fazlullah, the head of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed along with four other TTP commanders who have been identified as Abu BakarUmar,Imran, and Sajid. They were attending an Iftar party, where theRamadan fast is broken.

*Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges:

Paul Manafort will be jailed after being accused of witness tampering while awaiting trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges brought by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. The order to imprison President Trump’s former campaign manager came Friday in a federal court hearing after Manafort had been asking to post a $10 million bond and end seven months of home detention. It was not immediately clear when Manafort would be imprisoned or where. Proceedings before U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the District of Columbia were ongoing.

*Trump Calls Justice Dept. Report ‘Total Disaster’ for Fired F.B.I. Director: 

President Trump said on Friday that a new internal Justice Department report proved there had been F.B.I. bias against him ahead of the 2016 presidential election, citing “vicious” texts between investigators and findings that he said illustrated “criminal” behavior by the bureau’s former director. In a wide-ranging interview on Friday morning with “Fox and Friends,” Mr. Trump said that he did not want to get involved in Justice Department matters but that what the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey had done “was a terrible thing to the people.” “I would never want to get involved in that,” Mr. Trump said when he was asked if Mr. Comey should be “locked up.” “Certainly he, they just seem like criminal acts to me. What he did was criminal.” He added: “What he did was so bad in terms of our Constitution, in terms of the well-being of our country. What he did was horrible.”

*Trump on Kim Jong Un’s Killings: ‘I Can’t Speak to That’:

President Trump says he is unable to “speak to” North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s infamous legacy of mass executions, assassinations, and killings of his own people. During a lengthy, at-times-rambling Friday morning conversation with Fox & Friends, the president boasted of his meeting with Kim earlier this week: “I got along with him great. We have a great chemistry together. That’s a good thing.” Fox News host Steve Doocy asked: “What about the people he’s killing?” And the president replied: “I can’t speak to that. I can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement and it’s great and going to be great for them too because now North Korea can develop and North Korea can become a great country economically.” The comment registered as odd considering Trump featured prominently in his 2018 State of the Union address a defector who escaped the North Korean regime’s brutality. Moments after ending the Fox News interview, Trump was asked by a media-scrum reporter: “How can [Kim] love his people if he’s killing them?” The president once again replied: “I can’t speak to that.”

*STRIKE OUT! – Major League Baseball Sees a Sharp Drop in Attendance:

With the regular season approaching the halfway point, it seems safe to say that this is baseball in 2018: lots of home runs, even more strikeouts—and, relatively speaking, not a lot of people in the stands to see them. League-wide attendance entering Friday of 27,328 per game is down 6.6% from this date last year and 8.6% overall, according to Stats LLC. The sport hasn’t seen an attendance drop of more than 6.7% in a single season since 1995, when the average crowd fell nearly 20% following the player strike that canceled the 1994 World Series. MLB attendance has remained consistent throughout this decade, never changing more than 1.9% in either direction. While unwelcome to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, small decreases in attendance aren’t unusual or cause for alarm. Crowds sank 0.7% last year and 0.8% the year before that. But this season has been more than a minor dip, raising legitimate questions about what is happening.

*Stephen Hawking to Be Buried Between Darwin and Newton:

A memorial service for renowned physicist Stephen Hawkingis to be held at Westminster Abbey on Friday and will see his ashes buried alongside other great British scientists likeCharles Darwin and Isaac Newton. His remains will be marked with a stone plaque featuring the equation that bore out his most famous discovery: that black holes aren’t entirely black after all, and instead emit a glow that became known as Hawking radiation. The service will feature readings fromBenedict Cumberbatch, who played Hawking in a BBCdrama, and astronaut Tim Peake. Hawking’s words have also been set to an original score by composer Vangelis, which will be beamed into space toward the nearest black hole after the service. Hawking died in March after decades of coping with a rare motor neuron disease.

*Trump Hits China With Tariffs on $50 Billion Worth of Goods:

Twenty-four hours after claiming he had secured peace on the Korean Peninsula, Donald Trump declared the start of a trade war with China. The president slammed crippling 25 percent duties on a raft of Chinese products. “The United States can no longer tolerate losing our technology and intellectual property through unfair economic practices,” Trump said. China will impose tariffs of “equal scale, equal intensity” on U.S. products, according to Beijing’s commerce ministry website. Trump will impose even more tariffs if China retaliates, according to a statement emailed to Bloomberg News.

“Then you better start swimmin’, or you’ll sink like a stone. For the times they are a-changin’. ” ~Bob Dylan

After 16 years of bringing you fearless independent DAILY (7 days a week, 365 days a year) news and information, the time has come to change both the format and delivery rate of LBN not the mention its name. Starting Wednesday, July 4th, 2018,LBN E-lert will officially begin with a BANG by changing its name to LBN Examiner. It also changes its circulation schedule to weekly instead of daily. If you’re already a loyal LBN subscriber, don’t worry about not being included. You are still on the list!

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: IQ scores have been steadily falling for the past few decades, and environmental factors are to blame, a new study says. The research suggests that genes aren’t what’s driving the decline in IQ scores, according to the study, published Monday. Norwegian researchers analyzed the IQ scores of Norwegian men born between 1962 and 1991 and found that scores increased by almost 3 percentage points each decade for those born between 1962 to 1975 — but then saw a steady decline among those born after 1975.

*MY REVIEW: “I am submitting this photo of myself along with my praise for LBN, which I have been reading daily for years. In a world of dis-information, LBN has proven itself independent and unbiased. I feel my mind enlarged by reading LBN.”—– Sofia G., an LBN reader from Rome, Italy.


1. Beer is the third-most popular drink on Earth, after water and tea.
2. Beer is by far the most popular alcoholic drink in the world. In 2016, people consumed nearly 50 billion gallons of beer worldwide.
3. Beer is as old as human history. Beer brewing and drinking predate written language.
4. In 2017, the average U.S. citizen over 21 consumed 26.9 gallons of beer. However, the United States doesn’t even make the top 10 in terms of overall beer drinking.
5. The Czech Republic consumes the most beer per capita of any country in the world, and China consumes the most overall.

*WHO READS LBN? Veteran Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Jon Perlman

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:  ***AT&T announced it had completed its $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner on Thursday, shortly after the Justice Department said it would not seek an injunction to stop the deal. The merger gives AT&T a vast media and entertainment portfolio belonging to Time Warner, including HBO and CNN, rights to major sports leagues and valuable film franchises such as “Harry Potter.”   ***The re-emerging Four Seasons Restaurant has parted ways with its veteran executive chef Pecko Zantilaveevan as the place preps to reopen at 280 Park Avenue in NYC. A New York Times report last week said the eatery had hired Diego Garcia as chef de cuisine and Bill Yosses as executive pastry chef, but that Zantilaveevan would continue in the role he had held at the spot when it left its famous location in 2016.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***A surprising segment of the population is turning to plastic surgery to sculpt, smooth, and shape their dream bodies into reality: men. According to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 1.3 million men have gotten plastic surgery in the last year, accounting for 8 percent of all plastic surgeries—and that number isn’t even at its peak yet. What is striking is the fact that men are overwhelmingly signing up for body contouring surgeries. The number one procedure in 2017 for men was breast reduction, with 300,378 cases and a 30 percent increase from the year before; close behind were liposuctions and tummy tucks. Penile augmentations are fast rising in popularity, as are pectoral implants and operations to help create muscles in arms and legs.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: The English chocolate companyCadbury made the first chocolate bar in the world in 1842.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Barry Manilow has pulled out of a sold-out Las Vegas performance after being hospitalized and diagnosed with a bronchial infection Thursday. “I can’t believe this is happening,” Manilow, 74, said, according to the singer’sFacebook page. “Our new show is ready, we’re all ready, and we were all looking forward to tonight.” The “Copacabana” crooner, who was set to perform at West Gate Las Vegas for his “Manilow Las Vegas — The Hits Come Home” show, is expected to recover quickly and be released from the hospital in a few days.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Sofia Coppola and daughters checking out the desserts at the Sofia Coppola and Lael Cakes pop-up in Brooklyn, N.Y.   ***Clive Davis, Related mogul Stephen Ross,Jean Shafiroff, and interior designers Tony Ingrao and Randy Kemper at separate tables at Harry Cipriani in NYC.   ****Tamera Mowery from The Talk and her husband, Fox News reporter Adam Housley were spotted grabbing coffee atCoffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Southwest’s LAX Terminal 1 a week ago.

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has reached a deal with Spanish tax authorities to “serve” two years in prison and pay an 18.8 million euro — $21.8 million — fine in a tax evasion case, newspaper El Mundo reported on Friday. In reality, Ronaldo is unlikely to serve any time in jail under the deal because Spanish law states that a sentence of under two years for a first offense can be served on probation.   ***Boris Becker, the former tennis star, hails from Germany, lives in England, and has had homes in, among other places, Switzerland, Monaco, Spain and the United States. But now, he says, he represents (wait for it) the Central African Republic. Mr. Becker, 50, is trying to fend off creditors who forced him into bankruptcy last year, but instead of the usual debtor’s defense of insolvency, he is claiming diplomatic immunity.


*LBN-R.I.P:    ***Dorothy Cotton, a confidante of the Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. who was the only woman in his inner circle of aides, marched in perilous civil rights demonstrations and was a driving force in getting Southern black people to vote, died on June 10 at a retirement home in Ithaca, N.Y. She was 88. A friend, Bonnie Harrison, confirmed the death but did not give a cause.   ***Anne Donovan, a 6-foot-8 center who was one of the most dominating players of the early 1980s in women’s college basketball and who later won championships as a coach in the W.N.B.A. and the Summer Olympics, diedon Wednesday at her home in Wilmington, N.C. She was 56. Her brother John said the cause was a heart ailment.   ***D. J. Fontana, whose simple but forceful drumming behind Elvis Presley helped to shape the early sound of rock ’n’ roll, died on Wednesday at a hospital in Nashville. He was 87. His death was confirmed by his son David, who said Mr. Fontana had been in poor health since breaking his hip in a fall last year.   ***British actor Leslie Grantham, best known for playing rogue “Dirty” Den Watts on the long-running BBC soap “EastEnders, has died. He was 71. The actor, who also co-hosted the UK version of French gameshow “Fort Boyard,” appeared on “EastEnders” from 1985 to 1989 and returned to the BBC One series from 2003 to 2005.   ***“Midnight Cowboy” actressGeorgann Johnson died June 4 in Los Angeles. She was 91. With a career spanning six decades, the Iowa native first appeared on television in 1950s commercials, later appearing opposite James Dean in TV drama “Life Sentence” (1953).

*LBN-COMMENTARY by James Comey (Mr. Comey is the former F.B.I. director): The Department of Justice’s independent watchdog, the inspector general, has released a report that is critical of my decisions as F.B.I. director during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email account. The report concludes that I was wrong to announce the F.B.I.’s completion of the investigation without coordinating with the attorney general and that I was wrong to inform Congress in late October that we had reopened the investigation. In both situations, the inspector general’s team concludes, I should have adhered to established norms, which they see as mandating both deference to the attorney general on the public announcement and silence about an investigation so close to an election. I do not agree with all of the inspector general’s conclusions, but I respect the work of his office and salute its professionalism. All of our leaders need to understand that accountability and transparency are essential to the functioning of our democracy, even when it involves criticism. This is how the process is supposed to work.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The most important lesson from 83,000 brain scans | Daniel Amen | TEDxOrangeCoast —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks:   ***One of the lessons of a life in journalism is that people are always way more complicated than you think. We talk in shorthand about “Trump voters” or “social justice warriors,” but when you actually meet people they defy categories. Someone might be a Latina lesbian who loves the N.R.A. or a socialist Mormon cowboy from Arizona. Moreover, most actual human beings are filled with ambivalences. Most political activists I know love parts of their party and despise parts of their party. A whole lifetime of experience, joy and pain goes into that complexity, and it insults their lives to try to reduce them to a label that ignores that. Yet our culture does a pretty good job of ignoring the uniqueness and depth of each person. Pollsters see in terms of broad demographic groups. Big data counts people as if it were counting apples. At the extreme, evolutionary psychology reduces people to biological drives, capitalism reduces people to economic self-interest, modern Marxism to their class position and multiculturalism to their racial one. Consumerism treats people as mere selves — as shallow creatures concerned merely with the experience of pleasure and the acquisition of stuff. Back in 1968, Karol Wojtyla wrote, “The evil of our times consists in the first place in a kind of degradation, indeed in a pulverization, of the fundamental uniqueness of each human person.” That’s still true.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings – SNL 


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Asia Argento is doing just “fine” following the death of her celebrity chef boyfriend Anthony Bourdain. The Italian actress posted the message Thursday in an Instagram story that she tagged in Berlin. It showed a card reading “I’m a f—ing mess inside” that’s crossed out and replaced with “I’m fine” underneath. Argento shared another photo, captioned “Berlin Sisterhood,” of herself and a friend and a Spanish prayer that reads, in part, “May your holy spirit enlighten me in every step, decision and action that I make, in every word that comes out of my mouth.”.   ***Val Chmerkovskiy and Jenna Johnson are one step closer to going from dance partners to life partners. The “Dancing with the Stars” pros announced they got engaged Thursdayevening.   ***Two suspected burglars were being soughtThursday after eluding officers following a break-in at the estate of longtime entertainer Wayne Newton, police in Las Vegas said. Officers responded a little before midnight Wednesday to a burglary call at Newton’s home several miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip, police Officer Jacinto Rivera said. The Newtons were not injured, and Rivera said police were investigating if anything was taken.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Renee Preston