LBN – Special Report – Monday

*Iraqi Forces Begin Fallujah Liberation

Iraqi military forces have commenced an operation to retake Fallujah, an ISIS stronghold in the country. Military operations began early Monday, just a few days after about 760 residents fled the region. “With God’s blessing we have launched the third phase of the operation to storm the center of Falluja city — by our heroes in the counter-terrorism forces, units of the Iraqi army and Anbar police,” a military spokesman said on Iraqi state TV. Shi’ite military forces and a U.S.-led air coalition are joining the effort.

*HERO? Former AG Holder: Snowden ‘Performed a Public Service’

Former Attorney General Eric Holder said NSA leaker Edward Snowden “performed a public service” by setting off an international debate over governments’ surveillance capabilities. “We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made,” Holder said on David Axelrod’s podcast, “The Axe Files.” But while he praised the former NSA contractor, Holder clarified that he still believes Snowden acted inappropriately and illegally, and “harmed American interests.” Therefore, Holder added, Snowden should return to the U.S. and face a trial. “I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done,” he said.

*Syria Negotiator Quits Over Failed Peace Talks

The lead peace negotiator for the Syrian opposition has resigned, citing failed talks to end the country’s bloody civil war. On Twitter, Mohammad Alloush said the international community has failed in preventing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from killing his own people.

*Levine: Just 1% of Russians Approve of U.S., Obama, Far Worse than Bush

President Obama’s 2008 campaign pledge to improve the image of the United States around the world hasn’t worked in Russia where a decade low of just 1 percent approve of American leadership, according to media expert and authorMichael Levine ( In fact, Levine said that Russia’s view of the U.S. is the lowest in the world and comes at a time when Moscow is flexing its military muscle in hotspots like Syria where Obama is struggling to use force. “The 1 percent Russian approval of the United States is below where it was when former President George W. Bush left office, at about 20 percent,” said Levine.

*WHO READS LBN? Power attorney Bruce Ramer

*Gary Johnson Wins Libertarian Nomination

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson on Sunday secured the presidential nomination from the Liberatarian party. Johnson, whose vice presidential running mate will be former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld, was also the party’s pick in the 2012 race.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Verizon reached a series of tentative agreements on Sunday and Monday with two major unions representing nearly 40,000 striking workers, most likely bringing an end to a six-and-a-half-week work stoppage. The deal is a retreat by Verizon on some of the major points of contention, including proposals for pension cuts and for greater flexibility to outsource work and transfer employees to different geographic areas.

*Rubio Apologized for Small Hands Remark

In an interview airing on CNN on Sunday, Marco Rubio said that he apologized to Donald Trump for his crude comment regarding the size of Trump’s hands. “I actually told Donald — one of the debates, I forget which one — I apologized to him for that,” Rubio said. “I said, ‘You know, I’m sorry that I said that. It’s not who I am and I shouldn’t have done it.’ I didn’t say it in front of the cameras, I didn’t want any political benefit.”


*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Former New York Rangers star Mark Messier at the Bowery Hotel for Answer the Call’s Red & Blue Soiree benefit — which raised nearly $115,000 for the families of New York firefighters, police officers and emergency medical service workers killed in the line of duty.   ***Rohan Marley and ESPN announcer Ray Lewis at the grand opening of Dream Hotel Group’s Time Nyack.   ***Chicago Bulls player Taj Gibson at Philippe in NYC.   ***Ivanka Trump at the opening night of Cirque du Soleil’s “Paramour” at the Lyric Theatre in NYC.   ***Media expert and author Michael Levine having dinner last night at the Lobster in Santa Monica.   ***Adam Sandler and Chris Rock showed their appreciation to the servicemen and women in town for Fleet Week. Sandler had a comedy show at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, promoting his Netflix film “The Do-Over,” and Rock performed as his opening act. “They were there to see Adam, and then Chris came out as a surprise guest. He did a mini stand-up set before introducing Adam,” a spy said.

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Frank Modell, a classically trained artist who contributed more than 1,400 cartoons to The New Yorker — customarily, he said, “of angry men and sexy women and dogs” — during an illustrious era for the magazine, died on Friday at his home in Guilford, Conn. He was 98. A friend, Florence Hammond, confirmed his death.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Michael Levine (Media expert and author): In his observations of World War I veterans, Sigmund Freud noticed that the men had a strange proclivity toward reenacting traumatic experiences. He also observed this tendency in young children who often play games that simulate unpleasant situations. To explain this, he introduced and later developed the concept of the death drive: a primitive impulse for destruction, decay, and death, manifested by a turning away from pleasure.


*LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Sex-swap clotheshorse Caitlyn Jenner has found her new fashion guru — Cher! “Caitlyn is obsessed with Cher and her glitzy, over-the-top style,” a source dished. “She’s already had her dressmaker try to copy some of her clothes. But she wants to feel like she is Cher, and that means dressing up in the actual sequined gowns the singer used for concerts and award shows!”   ***Johnny Depp’sformer longtime partner, French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis, has jumped to the star’s defense, insisting he could never hit a woman, a new report says. “Johnny Depp is the father of my two children, he is a sensitive, loving and loved person, and I believe with all my heart that these recent allegations being made are outrageous,” Paradis wrote in a handwritten letter in Los Angeles and dated Friday, according to TMZ, which revealed the note Sunday.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Marcelle Luna

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