LBN – Special Report – Monday, May 8th, 2017

*Emmanuel Macron Vanquishes Marine Le Pen to Become President of France
Emmanuel Macron has been elected the next president of France, defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Penand ending, for now, what had seemed a tidal wave of populism and nativism sweeping the West. Macron won by a landslide according to official counts, with 65.68 percent of the valid ballots versus 34.32 percent for Le Pen. Trump favored Le Pen’s anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, closed-border protectionist positions, which would have gone a long way toward destroying the European Union and NATO as we know them. He called Le Pen the “strongest” candidate on security issues, as he sees them. (Trump tweeted his congratulations to Macron in unusually stiff language, and the White House offered formal felicitations, while Germany’s Angela Merkel, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and Britain’s Theresa May spoke with Macron directly within minutes of the announced results.)  The president-elect supports reforms on immigration issues, including much stronger European borders, and he takes a tough stand on terrorism, of course, but it is untainted by the thinly disguised racism integral to the history of Le Pen’s National Front party. Macron supports reforms to the European Union, not its dissolution and destruction, and is also a firm believer in the North Atlantic Alliance, which Trump used to call “obsolete,” then decided it was no longer so.

*EPA Cuts Half of Advisers on Key Panel

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitthas dismissed half of a key 18-member scientific-review board, citing his desire to make a “clean break” with the Obama administration. The cuts are the first step in the agency’s new effort to change the process for evaluating regulations under the Trump administration. The Board of Scientific Counselors advises the agency’s scientific arm about whether certain research has sufficient integrity. Each of the members who were cut were reportedly nearing the end of a three-year term, but those terms are frequently renewed rather than ended entirely. J.P. Freire, an EPA spokesman, said “no one has been fired or terminated” but that Pruitt just decided he’d bring in new advisers. “We’re not going to rubber-stamp the last administration’s appointees. Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool,” Freire said. “This approach is what was always intended for the board, and we’re making a clean break with the last administration’s approach.” The news came as a surprise to the dismissed members, who were told in January that they would be kept on for another term.

*Texas Gov. Signs ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Ban on Facebook Live

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed “sanctuary cities” ban Senate Bill 4 into law Sunday night, broadcasting via Facebook Live without a press conference or notifying the media. Dubbed a “Show Me Your Papers” law, the measure threatens law-enforcement officials with jail time if they don’t cooperate with federal agencies in cracking down on undocumented immigrants, and allows police to inquire about a person’s immigration status even for a minor traffic stop. It has been condemned by Democrats and human-rights groups as legalized discrimination; a similar law, Arizona SB 1070, was partly struck down in 2012 by the U.S. Supreme Court. Abbott, by himself, gave a five-minute speech on Facebook Live around 7 p.m. “Texas has now banned ‘sanctuary cities’ in the Lone Star State,” he said. “Now let’s be clear, the reason why so many people come to America is because we are a nation of laws. And Texas is doing its part to keep it that way.” A spokesman for the governor said Abbott chose to use Facebook Live “for the page views,” the Texas Observer reported. Local Democrats have said they will challenge the legislation before it takes effect Sept. 1.

*Hunger Strike Leader Secretly Ate

A surveillance video purporting to show a Palestinian hunger-strike leader secretly eating food in his prison cell in Israel is fueling accusations of hypocrisy—as well as charges it is a fake. Israel’s prison service released a video that purports to show Marwan Barghouti, who was convicted on murder charges in 2004, eating cookies inside his cell on April 27, and then another item on May 5. Barghouti’s wife disputed the authenticity of the footage, calling it a fabrication intended to discredit those taking part in the hunger strike—nearly 900 prisoners who are demanding better conditions. “This hunger strike was never about the conditions of the convicted terrorists, which meet international standards,” said Gilad Erdan, Israel’s public-security minister. “Barghouti is a murderer and hypocrite who urged his fellow prisoners to strike and suffer while he ate behind their back.” Qadoura Fares of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club told the Associated Press that Israel was waging “psychological warfare” against those participating in the hunger strike.

*Bill Clinton, James Patterson Writing Novel Together

Former President Bill Clinton and author James Pattersonare writing a novel together, two top publishing companies announced Monday. The book, The President Is Missing, will be released in June 2018. According to Publishers Weekly, Clinton and Patterson have been friends since they met on a golf course a decade ago, and the book idea originated withBob Barnett, an attorney in Washington, D.C. “Working on a book about a sitting president—drawing on what I know about the job, life in the White House, and the way Washington works—has been a lot of fun,” Clinton said. Patterson said it has been “the highlight of my career” to work with Clinton. “Having access to his firsthand experience has uniquely informed the writing of his novel,” he added.


*Coach to Buy Kate Spade in $2.4 Billion Deal

Coach announced Monday that it will buy rival luxury-goods maker Kate Spade in a $2.4 billion deal. The boutique retailer and design house will purchase the popular bag and accessory-maker at $18.50 per share and will create a combined “leading luxury lifestyle company.” According to a statement, the two have a “significant expertise in handbag design, merchandising, supply chain and retail operations.” In the release, Coach CEO Victor Luis said “Kate Spade has a truly unique and differentiated brand positioning with a broad lifestyle assortment and strong awareness among consumers, especially millennials.”

*Yankees-Cubs Break Single-Game Strikeout Record

The Chicago Cubs at least have something to show for their 18-inning loss to the New York Yankees early Monday morning: two marks in Major League Baseball’s record books. A new single-game strikeout record of 48 was set during The Game That Would Not End, which, at 6 hours and 5 minutes, was MLB’s longest interleague game ever in terms of innings. The Yankees ended up beating the Cubs 5-4, to finish a sweep at Wrigley Field. “We’re going to grind out games,” said YankeeAaron Hicks, who struck out four times and yet came through with a huge play in the final inning. “We’re going to fight to the end.” Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo said, “I know we lost, but you’ve got to try to have fun with it.”


Zap2it: What to Watch. Where to Watch It

“Visit Zap2it for TV listings, Nielsen ratings, TV show guides and news about your favorite TV shows, plus movies, movie times, theaters, trailers, photos and more.


First Female Cadet Graduates from The Citadel (1999)

For more than 150 years, only male cadets were allowed to attend the Citadel, an elite military college in South Carolina. The first female cadet gained the right to enroll after a legal battle in 1995, but she left after less than a week. The next year, Nancy Mace, the daughter of US Army Brigadier GeneralEmory Mace, enrolled, along with three other women. Mace graduated in three years, becoming the first female graduate of the Citadel.



LA Power attorney Konrad Trope having dinner at the Palomino restaurant in Westwood.

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