LBN – Special Report – Monday, May 21st, 2017

*MORE – MORE – MORE: North Korea Tests Mid-Range Ballistic Missile
North Korea has fired a mid-range ballistic missile in its latest test launch, South Korean and U.S. authorities said Sunday. The missile was fired from Pukchang in the country’s South Phyongan Province and landed in the Sea of Japan, according to the U.S. Pacific Command. It flew about 310 miles, showing a shorter range than the missiles used in Pyongyang’s most recent test launches. “South Korea and the United States are closely analyzing the launch for further information. Our military is closely monitoring the North Korean military for any further provocation and maintaining readiness to respond,” South Korea’s Joint Chief of Staff said in a statement. The test launch comes after Pyongyang said on Friday that it would not be prepared to hold joint talks over its nuclear program until the U.S. drops its “hostile policy” toward the country. The U.S. has been pushing China to use its influence over Pyongyang to put a halt to the country’s nuclear ambitions, with South Korea and Japan also calling for measures to be taken in response to a spate of recent missile tests. North Korea prompted widespread alarm last weekend, when it said a medium-long-range missile it tested was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
*Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations:
The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward. Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved. But there was no disagreement about the damage. From the final weeks of 2010 through the end of 2012, according to former American officials, the Chinese killed at least a dozen of the C.I.A.’s sources. According to three of the officials, one was shot in front of his colleagues in the courtyard of a government building — a message to others who might have been working for the C.I.A.


*Trump Takes Part in Saudi ‘War Dance’

President Donald Trump joined in a traditional Saudi sword dance after signing a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi King Salman on Saturday. The all-male ceremonial dance, described as “the war dance” by one Saudi royal, took place outside the King Abdulaziz Historical Center in Riyadh before a lavish state dinner in Trump’s honor. Video of the dance shows First Lady Melania Trump looking on as Trump grins and sways to the beat of the drums, brandishing a sword along with Saudi King Salman and other Saudi royals. After finishing, Trump described the dance as “so beautiful.” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Rossalso linked arms with Saudi royals to participate in the dance.
*Iran’s Rouhani Wins Second Term

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won a second term by a wide margin on Saturday, claiming 57 percent of the vote. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli announced the election results in a televised news conference, saying Rouhani won 23.5 million votes out of 41.2 million ballots. The announcement came after 99 percent of the ballots were counted, with authorities expected to announce the final results later on Saturday. In a speech after his win, Rouhani said his re-election would show Iran is ready for warm foreign relations “based on mutual respect and its national interests.” But he also added that the country will not tolerate “humiliation and threats,” a warning he aimed at “world powers.” Rouhani’s victory came as no surprise to most Iranian voters, with even one of his rivals predicting his win before the final election results were announced. Mostafa Hashemitaba, a pro-reform candidate, called to congratulate the Iranian president on his second four-year term early Saturday. “Rouhani will apply his ever-increasing efforts for the dignity of Iran,” Hashemitaba said in his congratulatory statement. Rouhani’s closest opponent, hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi, trailed behind with 38 percent of the vote. Rouhani, widely seen as a moderate in Iran, had railed against hard-line policies during his campaign, calling for more liberal policies.
*MY REVIEW: “I am a proud liberal but appreciate the independent, unbiased news and information I receive from LBN. I don’t always agree and have been known to scream at something I read from time to time but I have to say LBN is unique, brilliantly executed newsletter. I makes me smarter and more engaged.”—– Gloria D., an LBN reader from Harrisburg, PA.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have spent a day hiking around Mount Katahdin in Maine and talking with local residents on their anniversary weekend. Zuckerberg said they met Saturday with former mill workers, teachers, small business owners, a librarian and a trucker in the town of Millinocket. He said in a Facebook post that he was struck by their commitment to rebuild their community after the closing of paper mills that once drove the local economy. Zuckerberg has been traveling the country with a goal of visiting all 50 states.   ***“It’s like 2002 flashback!” exclaimed a guest looking around a Madison Avenue in NYC book party for Plum Sykes’ new mystery, “Party Girls Die in Pearls.” Fellow attendees included Anna Wintour, Harvey Weinstein, Indré Rockefeller, Lucy Sykes, Euan Rellie, Meredith Melling, Lauren Remington Platt and author/explorer Paula Froelich. Several actually asked Sykes, “Is it autobiographical?” “Yes! Completely!” she replied. “I hope the murder isn’t,” said a pal. Plum shot back, “Oops.”

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Hallelujah Cold Open – SNL  — DonaldTrump (Alec Baldwin), Kellyanne Conway (Kate McKinnon), Mike Pence (Beck Bennett), Eric Trump (Alex Moffat), Donald Trump Jr. (Mikey Day), Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant), Melania Trump (Cecily Strong) and Ivanka Trump (Scarlett Johansson) perform “Hallelujah.”– .

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that 37 Professors from Harvard University read LBN daily?

*LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***Roger Ailes was a genius long before he turned Fox News into the top cable-news channel. As a 28-year-old working on Richard M. Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign, Ailes — who died Thursday — got the rock-ribbed Republican onto NBC’s “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.” Susan Silver, casting director on the top-rated comedy, relates in her memoir “Hot Pants in Hollywood” that Ailes “manipulated us into booking Nixon . . . We thought it was a coup for us. In reality, it was one of his genius strokes to ‘humanize Nixon.’”

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: The Five Pillars of A Successful Business —– The five key areas of a successful business. Each area is just as important as the other and is vital to growing and sustaining the success of any operation. Stay engaged and take note of each aspect and apply this knowledge to your business or working environment.  ——-

*LBN-COMMENTARY  by Ambassador Ido Aharon (Global Distinguished Professor for International Relations at New York University): Why was the “boycott conversation” adopted so readily by leading American decision-makers? Simply because they took their cue from their Israeli counterparts. The boycott conversation is alive and kicking mostly in Israel and it serves a domestic political need. It was eagerly embraced by almost all political parties. Israelis live in constant fear of isolation and so everybody in Israel is fighting the boycott — alas the wrong one. Instead of dealing with the real problem, the unfair treatment by intellectuals and academics, they fight powerless fringe elements thus helping them to amplify their messages. The real effort should take place in the realm of ideas, academic research and the intellectual sphere. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is credited for the famous quote, “Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy.” For any American leader, to take their cue from the cacophony of Israel’s internal intense political debate, is highly inadvisable.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***A very pregnant Beyoncé stripped down to a bikini top and long skirt during her Beverly Hills baby shower Saturday — with no qualms about showing off her twin-sized baby bump. The 35-year-old mega-celebrity, who has yet to reveal the gender or due date of the babies-to-be, has decorated her massive belly with a large henna tattoo, as these photos from her star-studded shower show. Guests included La La Anthony and tennis goddess Serena Williams, who is also pregnant.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

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