The young man ended up on the morgue’s examining table in two parts. He had been seized for selling cigarettes, a crime usually punished by flogging by the Islamic State group extremists who had occupied Mosul. But while he was being whipped, he shouted a curse insulting religion. On the spot, they cut off his head for blasphemy. Sameh al-Azzawi, the 35-year-old medical assistant examining him, was sick of seeing Mosul’s youth butchered for the slightest reason. The man was a newlywed. His family was waiting outside; it was one of the occasional times when the fanatics allowed the return of someone killed by the group. So al-Azzawi violated the rules: He picked out some thick thread and quickly sewed the man’s head back on, then zipped him up in the body bag. He could sew a head back on a body in four minutes. The family quietly thanked him.
*Security Council Tightens Economic Vise on North Korea, Blocking Fuel, Ships and Workers:
The United Nations Security Council placed new sanctions on North Korea on Friday that significantly choke off fuel supplies and order North Koreans working overseas to return home, in what may prove the last test of whether any amount of economic pressure can force the isolated country to reverse course on its nuclear weapons program. The sanctions, proposed by the United States and adopted by a vote of 15 to 0, were the third imposed this year, in an escalating effort to force the North into negotiations. China and Russia joined in the vote, in a striking display of unity, but only after the Trump administration agreed to soften a couple of the provisions. Under the new sanctions, the amount of refined petroleum North Korea can import each year will be cut by 89 percent, exacerbating fuel shortages. Roughly 100,000 North Korean laborers who work in other countries, a critical source of hard currency, will be expelled within two years. Nations will be urged to inspect all North Korean shipping and halt ship-to-ship transfers of fuel, which the North has used to evade sanctions.
*Report: Saudi Authorities Demand $6 Billion From Detained Billionaire Prince
Saudi authorities have demanded at least $6 billion from Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal to free him from detention, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Prince al-Waleed, one of dozens of royals and government officials rounded up last month in a purported corruption crackdown, is reportedly fighting the government’s demand in a bid to save his financial empire. He also fears handing over the money would be seen as an admission of guilt, according to the report. With a net worth estimated at $18.7 billion and large stakes in several Western businesses, including Twitter, the prince is reportedly negotiating to surrender a large piece of his conglomerate, Kingdom Holding Co., in lieu of the money. The Saudi government accuses Prince al-Waleed of money laundering, bribery, and extortion, though few details have been released on the charges. His arrest came as part of a major shakeup of Saudi society by 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi officials have said they expect to receive tens of billions of dollars from settlements reached with those arrested.
*FLY HIGH – READ LBN: Now you can tell YOUR unique story in the world-famous LBN newsletter! Reach influencers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries. Doing so is really simple. Simply send your story (do not exceed 250 words), including a photo and link, to LBNElert@timewire.net. We will approve and run. The cost is a mere $250 payable either via PayPal or credit card. This is by-far one of the best deals in digital promotion and only available to LBN subscribers.
*Comey: FBI Officials Under Attack for ‘Partisan Gain’
Former FBI director James Comey has accused the agency’s current leadership of breaking under political pressure with its recent reassignment of the top FBI lawyer. “Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain,” Comey wrote on Twitter late Friday. “James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better,” he wrote. Comey’s comments, which come shortly after President Trump assailed the FBI for supposedly being “tainted,” appear to be in response to reports earlier this week that Baker is being “reassigned” following several political controversies at the agency. Baker was reportedly recently caught up in an internal investigation into leaks on surveillance methods. He is also reportedly under scrutiny by House Republicans for allegedly being in contact with a Mother Jones reporter shortly before the outlet broke the story of a disputed dossier revealing purported ties between Trump and the Kremlin.
*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: ***Apple has been slapped with a series of lawsuits since it admitted Thursday that it deliberately slows down the performance of older iPhones in order to save battery juice. Three class-action complaints, brought by customers in Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and California, claim that Apple fraudulently hid from consumers the fact that certain iPhones exhibited lower performance over time. If those customers went to an Apple Store to inquire about their sluggish phones, they were encouraged to simply buy a new iPhone rather than replace the battery, the suits charge. ***Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said on Friday that it planned to recall about 1.8 million Ram pickup trucks that could be shifted out of park without the driver’s foot on the brake. The company initiated the action after gathering reports of seven people suffering minor injuries and a “small number” of crashes that might be linked to the problem.
*Trump Gives Presidential Challenge Coin a Makeover, and It Shows:
What’s big and shiny and gold and features Donald J. Trump’sname splashed across the front? No, it’s not a new development on the West Side of Manhattan. It’s the redesigned presidential challenge coin. A custom dating back 20 years, presidential challenge coins have traditionally been handed out to service members in commemoration of special achievements and milestones. President Trump’s coin, which many saw on Friday for the first time, is unmistakably different from its predecessors. Gone is the national motto, E pluribus unum, meaning “out of many, one.” In its place appears the president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” which the administration has also used on official White House documents. The traditional presidential seal has been replaced by an eagle looking rightward, with President Trump’s signature beneath it. Instead of holding the customary 13 arrows representing the original states, or an olive branch, the eagle is perched behind a red, white and blue shield, with 13 stars around its wings. Many social media users expressed outrage, calling the coin “tacky” and a disgrace.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: “Without Notes” with Susan Estrich – Episode 5: That Was Then, This Is Now. — https://youtu.be/gpq8aT3a5cU
*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER: ***Mariah Carey is returning to the scene of her 2016-2017 New Year’s Eve debacle — Times Square in New York City — for a “redemptive” performance, Variety has confirmed. The singer, who famously suffered a major technical malfunction during her previous performance for “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest,” and spent her airtime vamping for the camera without singing a note, will once again take the stage at 11:45 p.m. This time, she’s expected to have a grand production more in line with her Las Vegas residency with a full band and dancers. Production company Dick Clark Productions made the ask of Carey, who is now being managed by Roc Nation, and she agreed without hesitation, says a source.
*LBN-NOTICED: ***Bruce Springsteen, Sting and Paul McCartney at lunch with a big table of friends at Marea in NYC. ***Disgraced anchor Charlie Rose at Harry Cipriani in NYC on Thursday night, this time with a male friend.. ***Marla Maples and daughter Tiffany Trump at a Focus Features/Bryan Bantry screening of Daniel Day-Lewis’ final film “Phantom Thread” at Loews Lincoln Square. ***Elon Musk debuted on Friday the first images of his Tesla Roadster that SpaceX will send to Mars — so perhaps he might be irked that the media appears to be rather more fixated on a different shot that appeared to show he and former girlfriend Amber Heard are reconciling. Musk and Heard — the ex-wife of Johnny Depp — were spotted emotionally kissing goodbye as they left a Los Angeles restaurant on Thursday.
*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER: ***Amy Robach will replace Elizabeth Vargas as anchor on ABC News’ “20/20” when Vargas officially steps down in May, according to sources. “Nothing is etched in stone yet, but she will be juggling [‘Good Morning America’] and ‘20/20.’ She’s the frontrunner, but it’s not official,” an insider told us. ***The iconic political panel show, “The McLaughlin Group” is set to return to the airwaves on Jan. 7, according to an announcement by Washington, D.C., ABC affiliate WJLA. Tom Rogan, a mentee of the late legendary host John McLaughlin, will be taking over as moderator. Longtime panelists Eleanor Clift, Pat Buchanan and Clarence Page will also be returning to the program.
*WHO READS LBN? Nationally acclaimed security expertKent Moyer:
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: “The Godfather 1” Best Scene HD — https://youtu.be/HiCnnsHfadU
*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:
The Moth is dedicated to promoting the art & craft of storytelling. The Moth’s stories are true, first-person narratives told live, and without notes in front of them. The Moth presents a wide range of theme-based storytelling events across the United States and abroad, often featuring prominent literary and cultural personalities.
*LBN-COMMENTARY by Mandy Stadtmiller: Who and what is a “sharent” exactly? If you have both a child and a smartphone, it’s probably you. Sharenting, a term to describe parents who actively share their kids’ digital identities online, is rampant in the United States, with 92 percent of toddlers under the age of 2 already having their own unique digital identity. As 2017 comes to a close, it appears to be a phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing down. “When I first started looking into the topic, I was wrestling with the issue as a mother myself,” says Stacey Steinberg, one of the most noted researchers on the issue and the author of “Sharenting: Children’s Privacy in the Age of Social Media.” “The more I looked into it, the more I realized, this isn’t just a moral issue, this is actually a public health issue.” It’s no surprise then that international child advocacy organization UNICEF released a report this month lamenting the dangers of the “bedroom culture” which is leading to reckless sharenting—one that can have profound implications on safety and psychological welfare, not to mention a child’s right to privacy now, or later in life, their right to be digitally erased.
*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by John Adams:Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.
*LBN-R.I.P.: ***Bruce McCandless, the first person to fly untethered in space and whose journey into the dark void above Earth was preserved in an iconic photograph, died on Thursday. He was 80. NASA announced his death in a statement on Friday but did not provide more details. **Matt Damon‘s father has lost his battle with cancer. A rep for the actor confirmed Kent Damon’s passing. He was 74. ***Jordan Feldstein, longtime manager of Maroon 5 and the brother of actor Jonah Hill, has died. He was 40. The cause of death is as yet unconfirmed but according to a source, was a heart attack. The Los Angeles coroner confirmed Feldstein’s death.
*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….
LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord