LBN – Saturday, May 19, 2018


1. The word “influenza” comes from the Italian influentia because people used to believe that the influence of the planets, stars, and moon caused the flu—for only such universal influence could explain such sudden and widespread sickness.

2. The English adopted the word “influenza” in the mid-eighteenth century, while the French called it la grippe from gripper, meaning “to grasp or hook.” There is also a similar-sounding phrase in Arabic, anf-al-anza, which means “nose of the goat,” used because goats were thought to be carriers of the disease.

3. Annual flu viruses (not including flu pandemics) infect up to 20% of Americans, put 200,000 in the hospital with flu-related complications, and kill about 36,000 people.

4. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that between three and five million people worldwide get a serious case of the regular flu each year; tens of millions get milder cases. Between 250,000 and 500,000 people globally die of the flu every year.

5. There have been four major global flu pandemics since 1900. The most recent pandemic is the current swine flu (officially named “Novel H1N1 Influenza A”). The last global pandemic was the Hong Kong flu (1968-1969) which killed approximately one million people. The Asian flu pandemic (1957-1958) originated in China and is estimated to have killed between one and four million people. The Spanish flu pandemic (1918-1919) killed between 50-100 million people worldwide.

6. Flu viruses mutate each year

7. Flu viruses can live up to 48 hours on hard, nonporous surfaces such as stainless steel and up to 12 hours on cloth and tissues. They can remain infectious for about one week at human body temperature, over 30 days at freezing temperatures, and indefinitely at temperatures below freezing.

8. Scientists believe that flu pandemics occur two or three times each century.

9. The single deadliest flu pandemic in history was the Spanish flu pandemic during 1918-1919. Occurring in the three waves of increasing lethality, the Spanish flu killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS did in 24 years. It also killed more people in one year than smallpox or the Black Plague did in 50 years.

10. At the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, any student caught without a mask during the Spanish flu was automatically suspended, and a town in Arizona passed a law forbidding people to shake hands.

11. The Spanish flu was sometimes called “the purple death” because the worst symptom, signally certain death, was known as “heliotrope cyanosis,” when the lungs were starved of oxygen and the patient would turn purple, black, or blue.

*Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney Among Royal Wedding Guests:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were declared husband and wife Saturday at St. George’s Chapel in a star-studded ceremony attended by celebrities including George and Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey, among others. Tennis star Serena Williams was also in attendance, along with sports legend David Beckham and his wife Victoria. Singer James Blunt and actor Idris Elba were among the other big names to watch the pair walk down the aisle. Hundreds of fans of the royal couple camped out outside Windsor Castle overnight to see the newlyweds in their horse-drawn carriage. “I’m here for that 10 seconds when that coach goes around the corner,” Canadian royal-watcher Bernadette Christie told theAssociated Press. More than 2,000 members of the public were invited to attend the ceremony, which saw Queen Elizabeth II name Prince Harry as the Duke of SussexEarl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Markle has also gained a new title, the Duchess of Sussex.

*NFL Star J.J. Watt to Pay for Funerals of Santa Fe Victims:

Houston Texans’ star J.J. Watt has offered to pay for the funeral services of all 10 people killed Friday in a mass shooting at Santa Fe High School. The Houston Texans confirmed the news late Friday, according to ABC 13. Watt has been mostly mum on the massacre, apart from a solemn two-word tweet Thursday in which he called the events “absolutely horrific.” In addition to the 10 people killed, another 10 were injured after 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis allegedly opened fire on classmates using a shotgun and .38-caliber pistol. He has been jailed without bond and faces a capital murder charge. Watt, a defensive end for the Texans, has been known to come to the aid of the Houston community in times of crisis. He raised millions of dollars for hurricane relief afterHurricane Harvey left a trail of devastation throughout Houston last year.

*Court Docs: Texas School Shooter Spared Students He Liked So He Could ‘Have His Story Told’:

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the 17-year-old suspected shooter arrested after killing 10 and wounding 10 others at Santa Fe High School in Texas on Friday, admitted to the shooting, according to police. In court documents, reported on by theHouston Chronicle, Pagourtzis reportedly said he spared some students’ lives whom he liked in order to “have his story told.” He was charged with capital murder and jailed without bond.

*Pair of teachers among victims of Santa Fe school shooting:

An exchange student from Pakistan, an art teacher and three students attending her class were among the 10 people savagely gunned down in Friday’s mass shooting at a Santa Fe High School in Texas. Sabika Sheikh — who was scheduled to head home to Pakistan next month — was in a State Department-sponsored program to better link the US to the Muslim world, the Pakistani Embassy said Friday night. The manager of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Abroad, which hosted Sheikh, was “devastated” by the girl’s death.

*Hundreds of Apps Can Empower Stalkers to Track Their Victims:

KidGuard is a phone app that markets itself as a tool for keeping tabs on children. But it has also promoted its surveillance for other purposes and run blog posts with headlines like “How to Read Deleted Texts on Your Lover’s Phone.” A similar app, mSpy, offered advice to a woman on secretly monitoring her husband. Still another, Spyzie, ran ads on Google alongside results for search terms like “catch cheating girlfriend iPhone.” As digital tools that gather cellphone data for tracking children, friends or lost phones have multiplied in recent years, so have the options for people who abuse the technology to track others without consent. More than 200 apps and services offer would-be stalkers a variety of capabilities, from basic location tracking to harvesting texts and even secretly recording video, according to a new academic study. More than two dozen services were promoted as surveillance tools for spying on romantic partners, according to the researchers and reporting by The New York Times. Most of the spying services required access to victims’ phones or knowledge of their passwords — both common in domestic relationships.

*Here Are the Mugshots of the Guys Who Allegedly Run (And Why They Were Booked):

The alleged owners of have been charged and arrested. These four men–Sahar SaridKishore Vidya BhavnanieThomas Keesee, and David Usdan–only removed a person’s mugshot from the site if this individual paid a “de-publishing” fee, according to the California Attorney General on Wednesday. That’s apparently considered extortion. On top of that, they also face charges for money laundering, and identity theft. If you read a lot of articles about crime, then you’re probably already familiar with the site (which is still up as of Friday afternoon). They take mugshots, slap the url multiple times on the image, and post it on the site alongside an excerpt from a news outlet that covered the person’s arrest. According to the AG’s office, the owners would only remove the mugshots if the person paid a fee, even if the charges were dismissed or if the suspect was only arrested because of “mistaken identity or law enforcement error.”

*Hitler definitely died in 1945, according to new study of his teeth:

French researchers claim to have put an end to conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Adolf Hitler, after a study of his teeth proved he definitely died after taking cyanide and shooting himself in the head in Berlin in 1945. The researchers reached their conclusion after they were given rare access to fragments of Hitler’s teeth which have been held in Moscow since the end of World War II. “The teeth are authentic, there is no possible doubt. Our study proves that Hitler died in 1945,” said professor Philippe Charlier.

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER: Netflix has canceled its Friday premiere of the second season of 13 Reasons Why, following the school shooting in Sante Fe, Texas, on Friday. The new season reportedly has a plot line involving a school shooting that was thwarted. “Our hearts are with the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting, and with all victims of gun violence. In light of today’s tragedy, we are canceling the 13 Reasons Why S2 premiere event tonight,” Netflix said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***To rein in emergency medicine costs, Anthem is reviving an old, contentious tactic: pushing back on patients who visit the emergency room for ailments deemed minor. Anthem denied thousands of claims last year under its “avoidable E.R. program,” according to a sample of emergency room bills analyzed by the American College of Emergency Physicians. The program, which Anthem has been rolling out in a handful of states in recent years, reviews claims based on the final diagnosis of patients. Emergency room physicians say that, last year, the company did not routinely request medical records for denied patients, and therefore could not review the symptoms that brought them to the emergency room. Anthem says it is now reviewing such records before issuing denials. The company says the policy goal is to reduce use of the emergency department, one of the most expensive places to receive medical care. Anthem recommends that patients with sprains and upper respiratory infections instead consider a visit to a primary care doctor or an urgent care center.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Studies show that yoga reduces the risk of heart disease by improving arterial flow. Similarly, studies show that yoga also helps treat diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma.

*DARE TO BE BOLD – READ LBN: Now you can share LBNwith your friends, family, and associates (if they’ve got the guts) by telling them to go to


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*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Richard Pipes, the author of a monumental, sharply polemical series of historical works on Russia, theRussian Revolution and the Bolshevik regime, and a top adviser to the Reagan administration on Soviet and Eastern European policy, died on Thursday at a nursing home near his home in Cambridge, Mass. He was 94. His son Danielconfirmed the death.   ***Joseph Campanella, a versatile actor whose television career began in the 1950s on anthology series and continued for decades on shows like “Mannix,” “The Bold Ones” and “One Day at a Time,” died on Wednesday at his home in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 93. His wife, Jill Campanella, said the cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Shmuel Rosner (Mr. Rosner is a contributing opinion writer and the political editor at The Jewish Journal): It is customary to adopt an apologetic tone when scores of people have been killed, as they were this week inGaza. But I will avoid this sanctimonious instinct and declare coldly: Israel had a clear objective when it was shooting, sometimes to kill, well-organized “demonstrators” near the border. Israel was determined to prevent these people — some of whom are believed to have been armed, most apparently encouraged by their radical government — from crossing the fence separating Israel from Gaza. That objective was achieved. Of course, the death of humans is never a happy occasion. Still, I feel no need to engage in ingénue mourning. Guarding the border was more important than avoiding killing, and guarding the border is what Israel did successfully. Why so many thousands of Gazans decided to approach that fence, even though they were warned that such acts would be lethal, is beyond comprehension. Excuses and explanations are many: The event was declared a “march of return,” supposedly an attempt by Palestinian refugees to return to their places of origin within Israel; it was tied in many news reports to the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem; it was explained by referring to undesirable living conditions in Gaza and the lack of prospects for improvement; it was explained as related to intra-Palestinian political conflict and to the need ofHamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza, to divert the attention from its many failures. All of those things may have some degree of validity, but they don’t explain why people joined these demonstrations.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: THE BEST OF “WITHOUT NOTES” TV’S REVEALING INTERVIEW SHOW —- Without Notes – Former FBI chief hostage negotiator Chris Voss.- Chris Voss Pt. 3 —

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros‘ lawsuit against the network is over. The complaint was dismissed Friday in the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, after the judge issued a blistering ruling. Tantaros sued Fox in April 2017. She claimed the network spied on her, hacked her personal electronic devices, and used proxy social media accounts to harass her online. Co-president Bill Shine, former CEO Roger Ailes (who Tantaros previously claimed sexually harassed her), and other execs were named as defendants. In the amended complaint, she said Ailes surreptitiously had a close-circuit TV system record female Fox employees as they changed on the premises. In his new ruling, Judge George B. Daniels picked apart Tantaros’s complaint for lacking evidence.

*THINK FREELY – READ LBN: Make up your own (damn) mind.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Andrew Sullivan: In one respect, it seems to me, the presidency of Donald Trump has been remarkably successful. In 17 months, he has effectively erasedBarack Obama’s two-term legacy. I don’t want to say or face this. I still want to believe my colleague, Jonathan Chait, whose thesis is that the changes Obama made in his difficult but tenacious eight years in office are too great to reverse. And there are a couple of shifts that do indeed seem to be as permanent as anything is in politics: marriage equality and legal cannabis. But neither, one recalls, was a signature goal of Obama. He began as an alleged opponent of marriage equality, even though, of course, he was bullshitting. He wouldn’t touch the marijuana issue in his entire term and even at one point dismissed it as trivial. As for the rest, in specific policy terms, Trump and the Republican Congress have succeeded in undoing Obama’s work to an extent I barely anticipated.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Shields and Brooks on Jerusalem embassy conflict, Mueller investigation takeaways   —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Extremism is naturally contagious. To fight it, whether at home or abroad, you have to answer the angry shout with the respectful offer. It feels unnatural. But it’s the only way.


LBN E-Lert Edited By Renee Preston