LBN- Special Report- Monday December 26, 2016


Weakened Militarily, ISIS Still Has Power to Sow Deadly Mayhem:

In the past few weeks, the Islamic State has sustained a string of military defeats: ousted from its refuge on the Libyan coast, struggling to maintain its hold on the Iraqi city of Mosul, and losing ground in Syria. Yet as the deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin made clear, those losses do not diminish the group’s extraordinary power to inspire terrorist mayhem around the world, and may even help fuel it. In just the past year, even while under near continuous bombardment by the American-led coalition, the Islamic State has claimedresponsibility for more than three dozen attacks, stretching across 16 countries on four continents. That figure does not include the organization’s home terrain in Syria and Iraq, where it has lost 50,000 fighters in the past two years, according to the Pentagon — nearly as many dead as the United States lost in the Vietnam War. Many of the attacks beyond the Middle East were carried out by assailants who cited their inability to reach the group’s Syria refuge, its self-proclaimed caliphate, as a motive for acting at home. At the core of the Islamic State’s global success — and vulnerability — is a peculiar blend of theological boldness and criminal opportunism, something Al Qaeda, its predecessor and rival, never achieved.

SHOCK! George Michael Dies:

Pop star George Michael has “passed away peacefully in his home,” his publicist told the BBC Sunday. The singer, bornGeorgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, had previously battled alcohol and drug addiction and was “touch and go” after a 2011 bout with pneumonia. Michael sold over 100 million records as a member of the group Wham! and then as a solo artist, with his 1987 debut “Faith” — in which he recorded and wrote every track, and played most of the instruments —winning the Grammy for album of the year and elevating him into one of the iconic stars of the 1980s.   Michael, who publicly came out as gay after a 1998 arrest in Beverly Hills for “lewd behavior,” later told the BBC that hiding his sexuality made him feel “fraudulent” and speculated this the arrest had been a subconscious way to reveal his true self. Michael’s death came ahead of a new film featuring Stevie Wonder, Elton John and several of the supermodels who’d appeared in his videos intended to accompany the reissue of his 1990 album Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1.

Pakistan’s Defense Minister Threatens Nuclear War Over Fake News:

Pakistan’s defense minister threatened to launch a nuclear attack on Israel after being duped by fake news over theweekend. In response to a made-up story published by AWDNews on Friday, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif tweeted, “Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh (Islamic State). Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.” He was responding to a bogus report that the Israeli defense minister had threatened to “destroy” Pakistan with a “nuclear attack” if the country sent ground troops into Syria. The Israeli Defense Ministry later confronted Asif on Twitter to stop the unnecessary showdown, clarifying that Israel had not in fact threatened Pakistan with nuclear weapons.


LBN-INVESTIGATES: The Indonesia 9.0 earthquake in 2004 released more energy than all the earthquakes on the planet in the last 25 years combined. A segment of seafloor the size of the state of California moved upward and seaward by more than 30 feet, displacing huge amounts of water.

MY REVIEW: “Let’s be honest – today, information is power and LBN is a power tool! It makes me smarter and more engaged with the world. It gives me an edge to think, to speak, to soar.” —–Carl H., an LBN reader from Princeton, New Jersey.

Russia Says It Found Mass Graves in Aleppo:

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Monday said it found mass graves of civilians that had apparently been tortured in Aleppo. Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said the graves included “several dozens of Syrians who suffered atrocious torture and massacre.” Some had gunshot wounds, he said, while others showed signs of mutilation. It was not clear who was behind the mass graves, but human rights groups have previously recorded instances of three different parties carrying out massacres of civilians – opposition forces, the Islamic State and government forces. Konashenkov also said booby traps and mines had been discovered throughout the city, for which he blamed rebel fighters.

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***The American Kidney Fund is one of the largest charities in the country, with an annual budget of over $250 million. Its marquee program helps pay insurance premiums for thousands of people who need dialysis, a lifesaving and expensive treatment for kidney failure. The organization has earned accolades for its efficient use of the money. Under an agreement with the federal government, the Kidney Fund must distribute the aid based on a patient’s financial need. But the charity has resisted giving aid to patients at clinics that do not donate money to the fund, an investigation by The New York Times has found. The actions have limited crucial help for needy patients at these clinics. The agreement governing the relationship between the group and the companies forbids choosing patients based on their clinic. In multiple cases, the charity pushed back on workers at clinics that had not donated money, discouraging them from signing up their patients for assistance. Until recently, the Kidney Fund’s guidelines even said clinics should not apply for patient aid if the company had not donated to the charity.

LBN-VIDEO LINK: Michael Levine- Interview  with Host Lisa Haisha :

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Comedians Paul Rodriguez, Tom Dressen and radio broadcaster Frank Mottek serving food yesterday to the needy at the Laugh Factory’s 37th annual free Christmas feast and toy giveaway   ***Michael Moore dining at West Bank Cafe in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC.   ***“Teen Mom”Farrah Abraham at a party at Headquarters “gentlemen’s club” in NYC being told by a guy in a Santa suit she was “on his naughty list.”   ***Gwyneth Paltrow and ex-husband Chris Martin celebrated the holidays in New York with their two children. The “consciously uncoupled” couple dined at Ralph Lauren’s starry Polo Bar in NYC on Friday night, a few tables over from Charlie Rose and, also nearby, President-electDonald Trump’s pick for commerce secretary, Wilbur Rosswith his wife, Hilary Geary Ross. Spies said Paltrow was dressed down with no makeup and shared a low-key dinner with her family.

DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that LBN is read by 12 members of the White House staff daily?

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: How Can We Help You Make Your Computer Work – Faster, Better, Cheaper, Smarter? Winner – Best Computer Consultant “Best of Los Angeles Award” Three (3) Years In A Row. – Mr. David Slon —- (310) 788-3480

LBN-COMMENTARY by Paul Simon (Legendary songwriter):In a year in which one might consider retreating into a world of literature — if only to escape the ugliness of the presidential campaign — I found it harder to immerse myself in a good book than to turn off the lights and go to bed early. I read less, but still found pleasure in Don DeLillo’s “Zero K” and Billy Collins’s new book of poems, “The Rain in Portugal.” However, the book that provided a powerful — indeed inspirational — experience was Edward O. Wilson’s “Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life.” I heard Wilson speak 10 years ago at a TED conference. Something he said during his talk concerning our ecological problems stayed with me ever since. Its glistening optimism gave me hope, although I must admit I did little to implement his advice. Paraphrasing what he said: This planet has the potential to be a paradise by the next century if we act now to preserve it. A paradise!

LBN-COMMENTARY by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Basketball legend): Reading has an urgency for people of color, immigrants and the poor that isn’t there for more privileged groups. For many, reading is a pathway to a better education and therefore a better life, so the stakes are much higher than for those whose pathway to abundant opportunities is already assured. One reason knowledge through reading is more important to people in these groups is because it’s portable. Minorities are always at risk of losing what they’ve built depending on the whims of politics. Despots and zealots and bigots can take away your homes and businesses, but you can start over because you still have your knowledge. For that reason, I always valued my reading as highly as I did my basketball skills. In college and in the N.B.A., I read at every opportunity. When age diminished my basketball skills and I retired, I still had everything I’d learned through reading: knowledge of the world and its history and an aptitude for critical thinking and the ability to write.


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so you know what that means: a lavish Kardashian holiday party. The entire family celebrated at their annual Christmas Eve bash surrounded by friends, loved ones and tons and tons of holiday cheer. The sisters made sure to Snapchat from inside the party showing them getting down on the dance floor while lip syncing to Beyoncé and posing for pics. Kim Kardashian was seen in a gold evening gown while sporting a lip ring and a black choker. KourtneyKardashian ramped up the glam with a white gown and matching fur coat.   ***Liam Hemsworth knows the way to his leading lady’s heart. Miley Cyrus showed off one of her Christmas gifts from her man and her selfie proves she’s already in love with her present. Cyrus posted a pic of her multicolored earring and wrote, “I [heart] my rainbow moon my dude made for me.”   ***Pop star Ricky Martin thanked his fans Saturday for their support following the hospitalization of his father, Enrique Martin. The singer issued a statement saying that he is “close to his father along with his nuclear family.” Martin asked that people allow the family to deal with the illness in a private manner.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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