*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: ***British American Tobacco said on Friday that it had made a nonbinding offer to buy theremaining 57.8 percent of Reynolds American that it does not already own in a cash-and-share deal worth $47 billion. The deal would create the world’s largest publicly traded tobacco business based on net sales and combine companies, with brands that include Camel, Lucky Strike, Newport and Pall Mall. Besides a strong share of the market in the United States, the new company would have a significant presence in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America, British American Tobacco said. ***The scandal at Wells Fargo over the creation of unauthorized accounts shook its customers’ faith in the bank, but it took an even sharper toll on the company’s workers. A number of them say they faced a stark choice: Create new accounts by any means possible, or risk being fired for falling short of their sales goals. Several former Wells Fargo employees gave The New York Times firsthand accounts, by email or by phone interview, of how that pressure affected them, and of the ethical shortcuts they say they saw colleagues take. The following are excerpts. Some people asked to be identified only by their first name and last initial, to protect their future employment prospects. Wells Fargo responded by saying it did not have “specific comments on the team members involved” but wanted to reiterate that the bank had “made fundamental changes to help ensure team members are not being pressured to sell products, customers are receiving the right solutions for their financial needs, our customer-focused culture is upheld at all times and that customer satisfaction is high.”
*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER: ***Even Jay Z is sick of wildman rapper Kanye West — according to music insiders — after West seemingly ranted at a recent concert that Jay hasn’t been a good friend in the aftermath of West’s wife, Kim Kardashian, being robbed in Paris. At Wednesday’s gig at Seattle’s KeyArena, Kanye said, in what fans presumed to be a dig at Jay Z: “Don’t call me after the robbery and say, ‘How you feelin’?’ You wanna know how I’m feelin’? Come by the house . . . Bring the kids by the house like we brothers . . . Our kids ain’t never even played together.”
*LBN-NOTICED: ***Anderson Cooper at Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas. ***Patti LaBelle, Tamron Hall and Carla Hall with chef Joseph “JJ” Johnson at the Cecil in NYC. ***Miami billionaire Jorge Pérez celebrating his birthday at Fi’lia in his SLS Brickell Hotel. ***Padma Lakshmi at a J. Jill dinner at Avra Madison in NYC. *** Model Devon Windsor at Smartwater and Bandier’s one-off “Beyoncé dance class”. DESIGNER Adam Selman dancing at the Henry Street Settlement’s Cinematheque gala. ***A giant turn out last night the “Art of Wellness” event at Alchemie Spa on Main Street in Santa Monica. ***Actor Colin Farrell at the Starbucks in the Beverly Glen Center.
*Whoops! Joe Jonas had porn sent to his parents’ house:
*LBN-HEALTH WATCH: Yes, this — ahem — growing trend in male cosmetic surgery is exactly what you think it is. Men looking to make their testicles appear larger as well as decrease sweating and wrinkling in the area are shelling out between $1,500 and $3,000 for botulism toxin injections done directly into the skin of the scrotum. As with all Botox, effects last for three to six months.
*MY REVIEW: “Reading LBN in Europe gives me an extraordinary insight into America and my relationship with America.” —— Reginald V., an LBN reader from London, England.
*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Hillary Clinton, who has been in politics all her adult life, seems to have learned something from Michelle Obama, who has never run for public office. Clinton gave three masterful answers in the debateWednesday night that were totally different from her normal clichés. They were about Donald Trump’s alleged assaults on women, his refusal to respect the democraticprocess and the contrast between his years of “Celebrity Apprentice” experience and her own governing experience. Clinton’s answers were given in a slow and understated manner, but they were marked by moral passion, clarity and quiet contempt. They were not spoken from the point of view of a politician. They were spoken from the point of view of a parent, which is the point of view Michelle Obama frequently uses. The politician asks: What can I offer to win votes? The parent asks: What world are my children going out into when they leave the house? The politician is focused on individual interest, but the parent is interested in the shared social, economic and moral environment.
*LBN-COMMENTARY by MEREDITH ISAKSEN: I was 21 weeks pregnant when a doctor told my husband and me that our second little boy was missing half his heart. It had stopped growing correctly around five weeks gestation, but the abnormality was not detectable until the 20-week anatomy scan. It was very unlikely that our baby would survive delivery, and if he did, he would ultimately need a heart transplant. In the days that followed, after the poking and prodding, after the meetings with pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and geneticists, my husband and I decided to terminate our pregnancy. I was 22 weeks pregnant when they wheeled me into the operating room, two weeks shy of viability in the state of California. For us, the decision was about compassion for our unborn baby, who would face overwhelming and horribly painful obstacles. Compassion for our 2-year-old son, who would contend with hours upon hours in a hospital, missing out on invaluable time spent with his parents, and the death of a very real sibling. It was about compassion for our marriage. Perhaps most important, it was about our belief that parenthood sometimes means we sacrifice our own dreams so our children don’t have to suffer.
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