LBN – Special Report – Monday April 4, 2017

North Korean Defector Tells Lester Holt ‘World Should be Ready’

A senior North Korean defector has told NBC News that the country’s “desperate” dictator is prepared to use nuclear weapons to strike the United States and its allies.  Thae Yong Ho is the most high profile North Korean defector in two decades, meaning he is able to give a rare insight into the secretive, authoritarian regime.  According to Thae, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is “desperate in maintaining his rule by relying on his [development of] nuclear weapons and ICBM.” He was using an acronym for intercontinental ballistic missiles — a long range rocket that in theory would be capable of hitting the U.S.


Jared Kushner Makes Surprise Iraq Visit

Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner is in Iraq with Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, a senior administration official told The New York Times on Sunday. The source said only that Kushner was invited by Dunford and was traveling with him. Kushner, who has no previous diplomatic or military experience, has previously been touted by President Trump as “a natural” to solve the Israeli-Palestine conflict in the Middle East. Kushner’s visit to Iraq comes before either National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster or Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have visited the country. The visit was confirmed Monday by Dunford spokesman Capt. Greg Hicks, who added that Trump’s assistant for Homeland Security and counterterrorism, Thomas P. Bossert, also made the trip. “Gen. Dunford invited Mr. Kushner and Mr. Bossert to meet with Iraqi leaders, senior U.S. advisers, and visit with U.S. forces in the field to receive an update on the status of the counter-ISIS campaign in Iraq and Syria,” Hicks said in a statement.

South Carolina Claims First Women’s Basketball Championship

South Carolina captured its first women’s college basketball national title Sunday night, beating Mississippi State with a score of 67-55. Junior center A’ja Wilson led the Gamecocks to victory over the Bulldogs with a surge in the fourth quarter, scoring eight of her 23 points toward the end of the game. Shooting guards Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis also helped the team claim its historic win, with 18 and 10 points, respectively. The victory held special meaning for Coach Dawn Staley, who made the Final Four three times as a player for Virginia, but never won a title. Staley held the trophy high over her head and paraded it around on the court after the game, saying she “never gave up on winning” in her athletic career. “It means I can check off one of the things that had been a void in my career,” Staley said.



‘Boss Baby’ Beats ‘Beast’ at Box Office

DreamWorks Animation film The Boss Baby—which featuresAlex Baldwin as a talking, suit-wearing infant—bested Beauty and the Beast this weekend, surprising box-office analysts. It was nearly universally panned by critics, but The Boss Baby took in $49 million anyway with an exceptionally strong turnout all over the country. Beauty and the Beast had $47.5 million in ticket sales for its second week, and Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson, came in third place, taking in $19 million.

WHO READS LBN? Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino

Student Dies after Choking during Pancake-Eating Competition:

A 21-year-old college student — the daughter of a Port Authority cop killed on Sept. 11 — died after choking on pancakes during an eating competition at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, officials said. Caitlin Nelson, of Clark, New Jersey, who served as the vice president of community service at the school’s Kappa Delta sorority, was taking part in the Greek life eating contest last Thursday when she began choking after eating four or five pancakes, witnesses told police. “She starts to choke on pancake on someone recognized it – one of the nursing students at the competition – and she caught her and brought her slowly to the ground,” Fairfield Police Department Lt. Robert Kalamaras told The Post. “And then she began CPR, basic life support, until officers showed up less than two minutes after the emergency call was made by one of the nursing students.”


LBN – SPOTLIGHT: “Tiananmen West: Why Nixon Ordered the Kent State Massacre” is now available on Amazon in both e-book and paperback formats. It is a non-fiction study of the Nixon era. Author, Jenny Deason Copeland, pitched the screenplay for 20 years only to hear Hollywood execs suggest it be a book first. The heroine and villain parts were written with Sarandon and Nicholson in mind. Nixon confesses to ordering the massacre in his autobiography RN. After three decades of research using FOIA procedures, the book uncovers the possible motive behind the massacre. The FOIA results are available free at

LBN-R.I.P.: Gary Austin, founder of The Groundling Theatre in Los Angeles in 1974, died on Saturday at Cedars-Sinai after having cancer. He was 75. The Groundlings, of course, launched numerous SNL careers, beginning with Laraine Newman, and also was the place where the Elvira and Pee-wee Herman characters were born.


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***He put a ring on it! John Cena just proposed to longtime girlfriend Nikki Bella at WrestleMania 33. The proposal took place after the couple defeated The Miz and his wife Maryse during a tag team match. John and Nikki have been together for about five years, and the couple’s relationship has been well documented on Total Divas and Total Bellas.   ***Rupert Sanders, the director who was infamously snapped canoodling with Kristen Stewart while they were both in relationships with other people, says his affair with the young starlet was a “momentary lapse.” Sanders was married to Liberty Ross when the photos surfaced about five years ago. Stewart was in a relationship with her “Twilight” costar Robert Pattinson.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

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