LBN – Saturday, February 17th, 2018

*Report: Florida Shooter Spewed Violent Racism in Private Chat

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old man who confessed to killing 17 people at a Florida high school this week, left a trail of racist comments and threats of violence in a private Instagram chat group, CNN reports. After joining the group in August 2017, Cruz reportedly talked about killing Mexicans, keeping blacks chained up, and suggested gays should be shot “in the back of the head.” He also reportedly railed against Jewish people and white women in interracial relationships in the group, named “Murica (American flag emoji) (eagle emoji) great.” Cruz left hints about his plans to commit a shooting, posting a video of himself shooting a rifle out a window and discussing his plans to buy body armor. When asked by another member of the group about his interest in body armor, Cruz said he was curious because “school shooters.” At one point, he blatantly said, “I think I am going to kill people” before dismissing the comment as a joke, according to CNN. Cruz also bragged about sending a letter to President Donald Trump and receiving a response, though that claim has not been confirmed.

*Paul Manafort Accused of Bank Fraud in New Court Documents

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, already indicted on charges of money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent in the ongoing Russia probe, has been accused of bank fraud in new court documents. The “additional criminal conduct” came to light in a new bail package Manafort submitted in a bid to change his bail conditions, prosecutors said in a filing released Friday. Manafort allegedly submitted false information including “doctored profit and lost statements” to Federal Savings Bank to secure a $9 million mortgage on a property in Fairfax, Virginia he is now trying to pledge as security for his release. Prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team have rejected the newest bail offer, saying it is “deficient” in light of the “criminal conduct” involved. “That criminal conduct includes a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies, including criminal conduct relating to the mortgage on the Fairfax property, which Manafort seeks to pledge,” the document reads. It was not immediately clear if Mueller’s office intends to file new criminal charges against Manafort over the alleged bank fraud.

*Czech Snowboarder Stuns to Claim Olympic Skiing Gold

In one of the biggest upsets of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, a Czech snowboarder captured an Olympic gold in Alpine skiing Saturday, beating U.S. ski racer Lindsay Vonnand other ski champions to claim the super-G title. The stunning run by 22-year-old Ester Ledecka—completed in 1 minute, 21.11 seconds—left even her a bit confused. “How did that happen?” she asked after seeing her time. Ledecka is primarily a snowboarder who dabbles in skiing on her off days. Throughout all of 19 World Cup skiing races in her entire career, Ledecka only once managed to finish as high as seventh. No one ever suspected she could claim gold in skiing, said Justin Reiter, her coach in snowboarding. “She just wanted to come here and be the first person ever to ski and snowboard race,” he said. Ledecka went up against superstar Vonn, who tied for sixth and called Ledecka’s win “definitely shocking.” Austria’s Anna Veith claimed silver in the race, andTina Weirather of Liechtenstein took the bronze.

*McMaster Says Russian Election Interference Now Undeniable

President Trump’s national security adviser says the indictment of 13 Russians announced Friday makes evidence of Russian election meddling “incontrovertible.” At the Munich Security Conference on SaturdayH.R. McMaster also dismissed any chance of the U.S. working with Russia on cybersecurity, saying a “cyber dialogue” is only possible “when Russia is sincere about curtailing its sophisticated form of espionage.” The comments came shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the recent indictments against Russians “just blabber.” The federal indictment announced Friday accuses Russia’s Internet Research Agency—commonly referred to as the “troll farm”—and several Russian citizens of engaging in fraud and identity theft in an intricate conspiracy to influence U.S. elections in favor of Trump. The indictment is widely seen as raising the stakes in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and dealing a major blow to those, including the president, who dismissed concerns about Russian meddling as “fake news.”

*Man Who Accused Ex-Seattle Mayor of Sex Abuse Found Dead

A man who effectively ended former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s career with sexual abuse allegations last year was found dead in a motel on FridayDelvonn R. Heckard, 47, died in the Seattle suburb of Auburn, though the official cause of death has not yet been determined, the King County Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday. Auburn Assistant Police Chief Bill Pierson said officers responded to reports of an apparent drug overdose at the hotel, adding that they found “some type of medication in the room, as well as some illicit drug paraphernalia.” Heckard was open about his struggles with drug addiction last spring when he accused Murray of repeatedly paying him for sex as a teenager. Those allegations, which Murray has denied, prompted other accusers to allege sexual abuse against the then-mayor, leading to his resignation in September. Heckard had recently received a $100,000 payout as part of a settlement with the city in his lawsuit against Murray.

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*Unnamed 14th Co-Conspirator in Mueller’s Russia Indictment

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment names 13 Russians as conspirators in election interference. But there is an unnamed 14th. The indictment lists an anonymous, unindicted man as a “co-conspirator” who joined with the named Russians who applied for American visas under false pretenses. The co-conspirator made it into the country. Months after Krylova and Bogacheva’s road trip, this anonymous Internet Research Agency operative spent five days in Atlanta and sent colleague Sergey Polozov “a summary of his trip’s itinerary and expenses.”

*DOJ: Three Men Charged For Illegally Exporting Drone Parts To Hezbollah

The Department of Justice announced on Friday evening that it had charged Usama Darwich Hamade, 53, Samir Ahmed Berro, 64, and Issam Darwich Hamade, 55, with conspiring to “illegally export goods and technology” from the United States to Lebanon and to Hezbollah. Usama Hamade and Issam Hamade, according to the DOJ, are in custody in South Africa, while Samir Ahmed Berro is at large. The goods they tried to export, according to the indictment include “inertial measurement units (IMUs) suitable for use in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a jet engine, piston engines and recording binoculars.”

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The Most Beautiful Shots In Movie History —

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: North Korea is slightly smaller than Mississippi. It constitutes almost 55% of the Korean Peninsula, covering 46,540 square miles (120,538 km.) of the peninsula’s 85,052 square miles (220,283 square km.).

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*LBN-VIDEO LINK: I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left – Megan Phelps-Roper —

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by Eugene McCarthy: It is dangerous for a national candidate to say things that people might remember.

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LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord