LBN- Special Report – Friday December 30, 2016

BUSTED! FBI Analysis Fingers Russian Spy Agencies For U.S. Election Hacks: 

The FBI squarely blamed Russian intelligence services onThursday for meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, releasing the most definitive report yet on the issue, including samples of malicious computer code said to have been used in a broad hacking campaign. Starting in mid-2015, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, the FSB, emailed a malicious link to more than 1,000 recipients, including U.S. government targets, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a 13-page report co-authored with the Department of Homeland Security. While the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence had said Russia was behind the hacking in October, the report is the first detailed technical analysis provided by the government and the first official FBI statement.

LBN-INVESTIGATES: In its last full month in office, the Obama administration has admitted 1,307 more Syrian refugees – pushing the 2016 calendar year total to 15,479, a 606.1 percent increase from the numbers resettled in the U.S. in 2015. Of the 15,479 Syrian refugees admitted by the end of Thursday: –15,302 (98.8 percent) are Muslims – 15,134 Sunnis, 29 Shi’a, and 139 other Muslims –125 (0.8 percent)are Christians – 32 Catholics, 32 Orthodox, five Protestants, four Jehovah’s Witnesses, and 52 refugees described only as “Christian” in State Department Refugee Processing Center data –43(0.27 percent) are Yazidis –eight are “other” religion and one is described as having “no religion” –3,904 (25.2 percent) are males between the ages of 14 and 50 –3,521 (22.7 percent) are females aged 14-50 –7,428 (47.9 percent) are children under 14, of whom 3,824 are boys and 3,604 are girls. Last year’s intake of Syrian refugees was considerably smaller – 2,192 in total – although the religious ratio was similarly skewed: 2,149 Muslims (98 percent) and 31 Christians (1.4 percent).

Obama Strikes Back at Russia for Election Hacking: 

President Obama struck back at Russia on Thursday for its efforts to influence the 2016 election, ejecting 35 suspected Russian intelligence operatives from the United States and imposing sanctions on Russia’s two leading intelligence services. The administration also penalized four top officers of one of those services, the powerful military intelligence unit known as the G.R.U.

Putin: I Won’t Expel U.S. Diplomats:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has rejected a proposal to kick out 35 U.S. diplomats from the country, despite a recommendation to that effect by his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. “While we reserve the right to respond, we will not drop to this level of irresponsible diplomacy, and we will make further steps to help resurrect Russian-American relations based on the policies that the administration of D. Trump will pursue,” Putin said in a statement. Lavrov had proposed to kick out the officials in response to the U.S. decision to expel the same number of Russians—announced just one day earlier. Putin’s statement also wished Obama, Trump, and all Americans a happy new year, and he invited “all the children of American diplomats accredited in Russia to the new year and Christmas tree in the Kremlin.” The Obama administration decision was largely based on the belief by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia ordered cyberattacks on American political and government organizations in order to influence the 2016 presidential election. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reacted angrily to the U.S.-imposed measures, calling the Obama administration “foreign policy losers.”

McCain, Graham Want Stronger Sanctions:

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham responded to the announcement that the Obama administration would be imposing sanctions on Russia as a result of their hacking in the presidential election, by saying that they would seek to impose even tougher restrictions. “The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama administration today are long overdue. But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy. We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia,” the senators said in a joint statement Thursday.

IT’S LIKE THAT – Run-DMC Sues WalMart, Amazon for $50M:

Seminal rap group Run-DMC has filed a $50 million lawsuit that accuses WalMart, Amazon, and other stores of selling items using its trademarked name and logo without permission.Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is listed as the suit’s plaintiff. The lawsuit claims the retailers mentioned in the filing have not only improperly profited from such sales but also diluted the Run-DMC brand. The case was filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York, and it alleges that hats, T-shirts, patches, glasses, and wallets were all illegally sold using the group’s trademarked name.

WHO READS LBN? Actress Lindsay Lohan:

WOW! Obama unleashes 3,853 regs, 18 for every law, record 97,110 pages of red tape:

President Obama‘s lame duck administration poured onthousands more new regulations in 2016 at a rate of 18 for every new law passed, according to a Friday analysis of his team’s expansion of federal authority. While Congress passed just 211 laws, Obama’s team issued an accompanying 3,852 new federal regulations, some costing billions of dollars. The 2016 total was the highest annual number of regulations under Obama. Former President Bush issued more in the wake of 9/11. The proof that it was an overwhelming year for rules and regulations is in the Federal Register, which ended the year Friday by printing a record-setting 97,110 pages, according to the analysis from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Ukraine Accuses Russia of 6,500 Cyberattacks:

Ukraine’s president on Thursday said Russian hackers have conducted 6,500 cyberattacks on Ukrainian institutions over the past two months. “The investigation of a number of incidents indicated the complicity directly or indirectly of Russian security services waging a cyberwar against our country,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told security and defense officials. “Acts of terrorism and sabotage on critical infrastructure facilities remain possible today,” he warned. Ukraine’s government institutions have frequently been targeted by hackers throughout the conflict in the country’s east. This month, the defense and finance ministries were hit, as well as the state treasury. Late last year, electricity was knocked out for thousands of residents in western Ukraine in an attack on a power grid, which authorities believe Russia was responsible for. Poroshenko’s warning came on the same day the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russian officials and expelled dozens of diplomats over cyberattacks and hacking during the U.S. presidential election.

Former NFL Player Keion Carpenter Dies at 39:

Former NFL safety Keion Carpenter died Thursday at a hospital in Miami. He was 39 years old. Carpenter had suffered an accident while on a recent vacation with family, according to The Baltimore Sun. He “hit his head and slipped into a coma,” his cousin, Jamila Smith, was cited as saying. A Baltimore native, Carpenter began his football career in 1999 with the Buffalo Bills. He played three seasons with them before playing another four seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. After retiring from football, Carpenter went into philanthropy, setting up a foundation for low-income children in Baltimore. He leaves behind a wife and four children.

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***A restaurateur who started his career as a dishwasher at the famed Carnegie Deli is doubling his offer to buy the doomed institution to $10 million. Carnegie Deli owner Marian Harper Levine, 65, announced in September that she planned to shutter the iconic pastrami palace on Dec. 31. Sammy Musovic, whose first job after emigrating from then-Yugoslavia 30 years ago was washing dishes for $3 an hour at Carnegie, now owns uptown Manhattan restaurants Sojourn, Vero and Selena Rosa. He was so devastated by the closure news, he offered $5 million to buy the deli, which was rejected by the Levine family. Now he is doubling the offer. A rep for the family said “We have not received a serious offer from Musovic. There is no interest in discussing the sale of Carnegie Deli on Seventh Avenue.”

LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***In the wake of this week’s tragic deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, HBO has moved up the premiere of its documentary about the Hollywood icons. “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds” will debut on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8/7c, the cabler announced early Friday. The film tells the “story of a family’s complicated love,” offering an “intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty in all its eccentricity.”


LBN-NOTICED:   ***Hoda Kotb shopping at Publix in Palm Beach, Florida. ***Hugh Grant with his girlfriend at Chanel on Sloane Street in London.   ***Katharine McPhee at the Blue Note in NYC.   ***Rod Stewart lunching at Via Flora in PalmBeach, Fla.    ***Ja Rule dining at Shay & Ivy in NYC with his wife and manager.   ***Milk Bar chef and owner Christina Tosigiving out 3,000 free cookies in 40 minutes to workers at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas ahead of her new shop opening.   **Model Nakel Smith trying on Diakka watches in LA.    ***Plastic surgeon Dr. Jon Perlman having dinner last night at a packed Baltaire restaurant in Brentwood.   ***Things are going well with Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark on “Game of Thrones.” The couple was spotted Wednesday at cocktail bar Baby Jane in Miami with Nick Jonas and another family member.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “When you reach the top, keep climbing.”—–

LBN-R.I.P.: Barbara Tarbuck, a stage and screen actress who played Jane Jacks on “General Hospital” and Mother Superior Claudia on “American Horror Story: Asylum,” has died. She was 74. Tarbuck died Monday at her Los Angeles home, said her daughter, producer Jennifer Lane Connolly. Tarbuck suffered from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disorder, a rare, degenerative brain disease, Connolly said Thursday.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Adam Christing (Comedian, author):A Poem to Millennials. When I play Call of Duty (Yes, even at my age). Let’s not make conversation. I don’t personally engage.  Don’t leave a VM message. What is this…2002?
If I want to communicate . I’ll send a text to you.  When I’m disconnected.   Share your WiFI code with me. So I can post on Instagram.  And download songs for free. Left to my own devices.  I tend to take selfies.  Ugh, my cell phone’s dying.  Can I use your charger please?

LBN-COMMENTARY by Marianne Williamson (Author): The daughters of God don’t brake for jerks.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Peggy Noonan: I want to end this dramatic year writing of a man whose great and constructive work I discovered in 2016. He is the photojournalist Chris Arnade. I follow him on Twitter, where he issues great tweet-storms containing pictures and commentary about America.(His work has also appeared in the Guardian and the Atlantic.) He has spent the past year traveling through much of the country taking pictures of regular people in challenging circumstances and writing of their lives. He is politically progressive and a week before the election angered his side, and some media folk, by foretelling the victory of Donald Trump. The people he met were voting for him. Many saw the America they’d grown up in slipping away. They wanted a country that was great again. They experienced elite disdain for Trump as evidence he might be the one to turn it around.
LBN COMMENTARY by Larry Grobel (Author): My reaction is a bit stunned, because I hadn’t heard that Carrie Fisher had died. It doesn’t surprise me that a pop star died at 53–that’s already older than Michael Jackson, Jimmy Hendrix, Janice Joplin, Buddy Holly, Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis, Rimbaud…..the list goes on. Death comes when it comes, which is why you should live life as if the Grim Reaper was approaching. In other words,  live a full life and leave Death a bag of bones.


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