LBN – Special Report – Monday

*Officer Acquitted on All Charges in Freddie Gray Case

A Baltimore officer was acquitted Monday of assault and other charges in the arrest of Freddie Gray, dealing prosecutors a significant blow in their attempt to hold police accountable for the young black man’s death from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van. A judge also found Officer Edward Nero not guilty of reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. As the verdict was read, Nero dropped his head down and his attorney placed a hand on his back. The courtroom was quiet. Nero stood up and hugged his attorney, and was visibly emotional.

*Obama: We Killed the Taliban Leader

A U.S. military drone strike in Pakistan killed Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour, President Obama confirmed Monday. Mansour was the leader of the Afghan Taliban, and his death is “an important milestone,” Obama said. The U.S. strike “removed the leader of an organization that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and coalition forces.” Speaking in Vietnam, he said: “The Taliban should seize the opportunity to pursue the only real path for ending this long conflict—joining the Afghan government in a reconciliation process that leads to lasting peace and stability.”

*U.S. Lifts Arms Embargo on Vietnam

The U.S. will fully lift its 40-year embargo on lethal arms sales to Vietnam, President Obama said Monday during a visit to the country. The president said the decision reflected an evolving relationship between the two nations, nearly four decades after the Vietnam War ended. Obama denied  the move was to help bolster the Vietnam’s security amid China’s increasing attempts to control the South China Sea and instead said the latest step “was based on our desire to complete what has been a lengthy process of moving towards normalization with Vietnam.” Obama added that the end of the embargo “will ensure Vietnam has access to the equipment it needs to defend itself and removes a lingering vestige of the Cold War.”


*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Shooting Deaths and Gun Control

1. Almost 2/3 of all murders in the United States involve guns.

2. The CDC Injury Prevention and Control Center notes that suicide firearm injuries were the 4th leading cause of injury deaths in the US in 2006. Motor vehicle accident injuries were the first leading cause of injury death in that year, followed by unintentional poisonings (2nd leading cause) and unintentional falls.

3. Among U.S. suicide deaths in 2007, firearms were used most often (50.7%), followed by hanging/strangulation/suffocation (23.1%) and intentional poisonings (18.8%).

4. Males most often committed suicide with firearms (56%), whereas females most often used poison (40.8%) followed closely by firearms (31.9%).

5. In 2007, homicide by firearms occurred most often (66.1%), and in homicides of both males (71.7%) and females (46.4%). Sharp instruments were the second-most used method of homicide overall (12.1%) followed by blunt instruments (5.8%).

6. Men are not only more likely than women to be the victims of gun homicides, but they are also more likely to be the perpetrators of homicides committed with a gun. However, firearm-related death rates for both sexes have decreased over the past few decades.

7. African American women had the highest death rate from firearm-related injuries than women of other ethnic groups. Asian or Pacific Islanders females had the lowest rate.

8. The proportion of the costs for medical treatment versus lost productivity is lower for self-inflected injuries than for assault injuries. This is because the death rate for self-inflected firearm injuries is higher than the death rate for firearm injuries due to assaults.

9. In some states, gun violence widely exceeds the rest of the country. For example, from 2001 to 2010 in Louisiana, there were 18.9 gun deaths for every 100,000 people, more than six times the rate in Hawaii.

10. Since 1982, there have been at least 61 mass murders carried out with firearms in 30 states. In most cases, the killers obtained their weapons legally.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Bayer of Germany said on Monday that it had offered $62 billion in cash to acquire Monsanto in a deal that would combine two of the world’s biggest companies in the businesses of crop seeds and pesticides. The transaction, if consummated, would create an industry giant whose products include antibiotics, genetically modified crops and pesticides. It would have a combined annual revenue of more than $67 billion.

*LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***Philippe P. Dauman, chief executive of Viacom, took the battle over the future ofSumner M. Redstone’s $40 billion media empire to court on Monday. In a lawsuit filed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Probate and Family Court, Mr. Dauman and George Abrams, a Viacom director, challenged their unexpected removals on Friday from the trust that will control Mr. Redstone’s media companies after he dies or is declared incompetent. The suit seeks to block that action and also invalidate their removal as directors of the theater chain company National Amusements, through which Mr. Redstone controls his media conglomerate.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Critics rave about the TV show — “Without Notes”: A intimate interview with legendary legal journalist Linda Deutsch:   —–

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***The Ramones will celebrate the 40th anniversary of their self-titled punk masterpiece with a 3CD/1LP deluxe edition packed with unreleased demos, a pair of concerts and a new mono mix.   ***Forget those rumors about Jay Z and Beyoncé’s marriage — after all the wild speculation set off by “Lemonade,” the power couple has secretly recorded an album together. Sources confirmed that Jay and Bey’s surprise album is complete, and it will drop on his streaming service Tidal very soon. One source told us, “Jay and Beyoncé were never going to do an interview to address all the questions that came up after ‘Lemonade.’ It’s more their style to respond through music.”   ***Stevie Wonder joinedMadonna for a tribute to Prince at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night following outrage that she would be the only artist involved in the performance. After it was announced that Madonna would deliver the tribute, a petition circulated slamming the choice. Some fans were upset that a black artist wouldn’t be part of the performance, and others said that more musicians, in addition to Madonna, should be involved.

*UNIQUELY, LBN: Commercial realtor Jason Froelich, an LBN reader from Los Angeles, California.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Michael Levine (Media expert and author In 1969, just under half of American children walked or biked to school. By 2009, the walkers and bikers have dropped to 13%. Because the school bell coincides with rush hour, the shift to driving home from school adds to traffic at the worst possible time of day.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Paul Krugman: If Hillary Clinton wins in November, Bill Clinton will occupy a doubly unique role in U.S. political history — not just as the first First Husband, but also as the first First Spouse who used to be president. Obviously he won’t spend his time baking cookies. So what will he do? Last week Mrs. Clinton stirred up a flurry of comments by suggesting that Mr. Clinton would be “in charge of revitalizing the economy.” You can see why she might want to say that, since people still remember the good times that prevailed when he was in office. How his role might be defined in practice is much less clear.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by John Stossel: I write this from the hospital. Seems I have lung cancer. My doctors tell me my growth was caught early and I’ll be fine. Soon I will barely notice that a fifth of my lung is gone. I believe them. After all, I’m at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. U.S. News & World Report ranked it No. 1 in New York. I get excellent medical care here. But as a consumer reporter, I have to say, the hospital’s customer service stinks. Doctors keep me waiting for hours, and no one bothers to call or email to say, “I’m running late.” Few doctors give out their email address. Patients can’t communicate using modern technology. I get X-rays, EKG tests, echocardiograms, blood tests. Are all needed? I doubt it. But no one discusses that with me or mentions the cost. Why would they? The patient rarely pays directly. Government or insurance companies pay.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   **David Hasselhoff is hoping the third time’s the charm after a recent engagement to his much-younger fiancée. The former “Knight Rider” and “Baywatch” stud is a whopping 27 years older than bride-to-be Hayley Roberts — who must be marrying for love instead of money after his claims of being stone broke.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Marcelle Luna

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