LBN – Special Report- Friday

Donald Trump Selects Senator Jeff Sessions for Attorney General:

President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Senator Jeff Sessions, a conservative from Alabama who became a close adviser after endorsing him early in his campaign, to be the attorney general of the United States, according to officials close to the transition. Mr. Sessions was also under consideration for secretary of defense, creating debate within the Trump transition team over which job he should fill.

Trump Taps U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA Director:

President-elect Donald Trump has reportedly offered the position of CIA director to U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, of Kansas. Pompeo has accepted the position, according to reports.

Obama, With Angela Merkel in Berlin, Assails Spread of Fake News: 

In his strongest public comments since the election, President Obama on Thursday sharply criticized the spread of fake news online and said that President-elect Donald J. Trump would not remain in office for long if he failed to take the job seriously. Mr. Obama made his remarks at a news conference in Berlin beside the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, one of his closest allies on the Continent, calling the pair “veterans” of the international political stage. Ms. Merkel was unusually sentimental. “It is hard to say goodbye,” she said. But instead of basking in the glow of his valedictory tour of Europe, Mr. Obama used the moment to make a passionate and pointed attack on bogus news stories disseminated on Facebook and other social media platforms, twice calling such false reports a threat to democracy in his hourlong news conference.

Trump Nears Fraud Settlement:

Despite earlier claims that he would refuse to settle the Trump University fraud case, President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly nearing a settlement. The New York Daily News reports that Trump is likely to pay between $20 million and $25 million to settle the issue before his inauguration. The agreement, which may be announced as soon as Friday, will not require the mogul-turned-politician to admit any wrongdoing, according to reports.

Kanye: I Would’ve Voted for Trump:

Kanye West told fans in San Jose, on the second leg of his “Saint Pablo” tour, that he would’ve voted for Donald Trump if he’d cast a ballot. “I said something that was kind of politically correct. I told y’all I didn’t vote, right? What I didn’t tell you… If I were to have voted, I would have voted on Trump,” he said. West has repeatedly said he plans to run for president in 2020, and he reportedly restated that intent on Thursday evening. “I got some ideas about the way we should connect our ideas,” he went on. The audience booed for most of his political monologue, with the crowd at points yelling “Shut up!” and throwing things at the rapper. Kanye responded to the crowd by saying: “Specifically to black people, stop talking about race so much.”


*LBN-INVESTIGATES: When people go to the emergency room, they are often stunned to discover that doctors who treated them are not employed by the hospital and bill their insurance company separately. These doctors negotiate separate deals with insurance companies for payment. If the doctor and the insurance company never strike a deal, the visit is billed at much higher out-of-network rates. While the insurance company sometimes pays the higher amount, unlucky patients can be caught in the crossfire. They receive care and have no idea what it will end up costing them. New research published in The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday found that more than one in five patients visiting the emergency room may face the same financial shock. The study looked at billing data from one large national insurer and found that 22 percent of the time, patients who went to a hospital covered by their plan still received a bill from a doctor who was not in the insurance company’s network. The average such bill cost more than $900, though there was a wide range; the highest was for more than $19,000. This is not the first time researchers have examined surprise medical bills, but it’s the broadest analysis to date of the problem nationwide.

Girl, 14, Cryogenically Frozen After Cancer Death:

A 14-year-old British girl who died of cancer has beencryogenically frozen after a judge granted her wish. The girl’s parents, who are divorced, reportedly could not agree on whether to grant her desire, so she asked a High Court judge to consider the case. The landmark ruling was based on the premise that she will be “woken up” and cured in the future. “I don’t want to die but I know I am going to… I want to live longer… I want to have this chance,” JS, who cannot be identified, wrote in a letter to the court. JS died Oct. 17. She is the only British child to have ever been cryogenically frozen. Her body was transported to a facility in the U.S.

Nick Gordon to Pay $36M to Bobbi Kristina’s Family:

Bobbi Kristina Brown’s ex-boyfriend, Nick Gordon, was ordered Thursday to pay her family $36 million for her wrongful death. Gordon for months ignored the civil suit filed by the family of the late Whitney Houston’s daughter, though in September he was found “legally responsible” for her death. He failed to appear in court for many of the proceedings. Brown died in July 2015, about six months after she was found face down in a bath at her Atlanta home. She was 22 years old.

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Volkswagen has broken a longstanding taboo on job cuts, conceding on Friday that it needs to become more profitable to survive what could be a major shift toward electric cars. But the cuts outlined on Friday were probably not deep enough to close a chronic productivity gap with Toyota and other rivals. As it seeks to recover from an emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen said it would cut about 30,000 jobs worldwide, including 23,000 in Germany, as part of a deal with its powerful labor representatives to improve low profitability at its largest unit.

LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***Kim Basinger had spent the past several months fearing that Prince was about to rip the covers off their sex secrets. The legendary rock star was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park complex in Minnesota on Thursday. The famously eccentric performer had recently announced an upcoming memoir entitled “The Beautiful Ones” — and Kim was convinced that she’d be one of the beautiful ones exposed in the tell-all.

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Anna Kendrick at Club Monaco on Fifth Avenue in NYC to launch her book, “Scrappy Little Nobody”.   ***Michael Douglas at Nello in NYC.   ***John Legend at Lavo in NYC.   ***Miami club vet Dave Grutman having a backyard barbecue with “Top Chef” Spike Mendelsohncooking for guests including Shep Gordon and Michael Bay.   ***Pharrell Williams at American Cut in Atlanta.   ***Patti LuPone having an early dinner at Oceana in NYC with two male friends. ***Legendary comedy writer, Mel Brooks and Judd Apatow having lunch at Izzy’s Deli in Westwood.


LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Ruth Gruber, a photojournalist and author who documented Stalin’s gulags, life in Nazi Germany and the plight of Jewish refugees intercepted by the British on the infamous passage of the Exodus to Palestine in 1947, died on Thursday at her home in Manhattan. She was 105. Her son, David Michaels, confirmed her death.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: The Best-Selling P.R. Book Of All-Time ——

LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Over the past few days we’ve seen what happens when you assign someone a single identity. Pollsters assumed that most Latinos would vote only as Latinos, and therefore against Donald Trump. But a surprising percentage voted for him. Pollsters assumed women would vote primarily as women, and go for Hillary Clinton. But a surprising number voted against her. They assumed African-Americans would vote along straight Democratic lines, but a surprising number left the top line of the ballot blank. The pollsters reduced complex individuals to a single identity, and are now embarrassed. But pollsters are not the only people guilty of reductionist solitarism. This mode of thinking is one of the biggest problems facing this country today.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Paul Krugman: During the campaign, Donald Trump often promised to be a different kind of Republican, one who would represent the interests of working-class voters who depend on major government programs. “I’m not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid,” he declared, under the headline “Why Donald Trump Won’t Touch Your Entitlements.” It was, of course, a lie. The transition team’s point man on Social Security is a longtime advocate of privatization, and all indications are that the incoming administration is getting ready to kill Medicare, replacing it with vouchers that can be applied to the purchase of private insurance. Oh, and it’s also likely to raise the age of Medicare eligibility. So it’s important not to let this bait-and-switch happen before the public realizes what’s going on.


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Model Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber are selling their remodeled estate in Malibu, CA, for the sky-high price of $60 million. It’s currently the most expensive listing in the posh beachside community. The two-story, 5,254-square-foot house is Malibu chic with a huge great room with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that lead to a wraparound terrace and breathtaking views. The open kitchen features a breakfast bar.   ***The iconic, jaw-dropping dress that screen goddess Marilyn Monroe famously wore to sing her sultry rendition of “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962 has sold for a record $4.8 million. The skin-tight, nude-colored Jean Louis sequin gown was sold Thursday night at a Los Angeles auction dubbed “The Collections of Marilyn Monroe” to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, the Beverly Hills-based Julien’s Auctions said in a statement.   ***As speculation circulates over how Donald Trump’s family could fit into his presidential plans, we’re told Marla Maples — his second wife, who was spotted at Trump Tower on Wednesday — is angling for a UN ambassador gig. We’re told the model and actress “has been very interested in philanthropy for a long time,” and that she has her eye on an assignment somewhere in Africa.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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