BUCKLE UP! Trump Breaks Protocol, Calls Taiwan:
spoke on the phone with Tsai Ying-wen
, the president of Taiwan on Friday, risking a diplomatic dispute with China prior to his inauguration. It is believed to be the first contact between a president-elect in the United States and the leader of Taiwan since diplomatic relations were cut in 1979. “The Chinese leadership will see this as a highly provocative action, of historic proportions,” said Evan Medeiros
, former Asia director at the White House national security council. A previous report alleged that Trump was interested in expanding business in Taiwan. In a statement later Friday, Trump’s transition team confirmed that the call took place. “During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties exists [sic] between Taiwan and the United States,” the statement said. “President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year.”
China Lodges Complaint Over Trump’s Taiwan Call:
China’s Foreign Ministry has lodged an official complaint with the U.S. over President-elect Donald Trump
’s phone conversation with Taiwan’s president, a move which went against decades of diplomatic protocol. Trump’s controversial decision to accept a call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen
sparked major controversy Friday, as the U.S. has viewed Taiwan, a renegade province, as part of China since 1979, with no formal diplomatic relations between the two. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
labeled the phone conversation a “shenanigan from the Taiwan side,” hinting that it could damage U.S.-China relations. A statement Saturday from China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang
echoed that sentiment. “I must point out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory … We urge the relevant side in the US to adhere to the ‘one China’ policy, abide by the pledges in the three joint China-US communiques, and handle issues related to Taiwan carefully and properly to avoid causing unnecessary interference to the overall China-U.S. relationship,” the statement said.
Duterte Says Trump Wished Him Good Luck With Drug Crackdown:
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says President-elect Donald Trump wished him luck with his controversial campaign against drugs, a campaign which international bodies say includes extrajudicial killings. According to Duterte, the conversation occurred late Friday, when he called Trump to offer congratulations. The talk, in which both sides invited the other to visit, was described by one of Duterte’s aides as a “very engaging, animated conversation,” the Associated Press reported. A video released by Duterte’s aide showed the strongman leader smiling while on the phone with Trump, talking about enhancing bilateral ties. In a part of the conversation that wasn’t aired, however, Duterte says Trump “was wishing me success in my campaign against the drug problem.” “He understood the way we are handling it and I said that there’s nothing wrong in protecting a country,” Duterte said, commenting on his heavy-handed tactics. “It was a bit very encouraging in the sense that I supposed that what he really wanted to say was that we would be the last to interfere in the affairs of your own country,” he said. It was unclear whether Trump explicitly said he approved of Duterte’s tactics, and Trump has yet to confirm Duterte’s account of the conversation. More than 4,000 suspected drug dealers have turned up dead since Duterte launched a crackdown on the country’s drug trade, and the EU, UN and U.S. State Department have all raised concerns about Duterte’s violent methods. The issue has frayed relations between Obama and Duterte, with a recent meeting between the two canceled after the latter launched into a curse-ridden tirade against the U.S. president.
Suspect Arrested for Fatal Stabbing of USC Faculty Member:
Police have a suspect in custody for the fatal stabbing of a 25-year-old man on campus of the University of Southern California on Friday. The identity of the suspect has not yet been released, but Los Angeles police said Friday that the campus was secure and there were “no outstanding suspects” in the brutal attack. The attack occurred at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, and the victim was announced dead at the scene shortly after police arrived. The victim’s identity has not yet been disclosed but the school’s paper, The Daily Trojan, identified him as a psychology instructor. Police say the attack was not random, though they have yet to reveal what the motive was.
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CNN Apologizes for Producer Joke About Trump’s Plane Crashing:
CNN apologized on Friday after one of its producers was caught on video joking off-air about President-elect Donald Trump
’s plane crashing. “An unfortunate and inappropriate remark was made by one of our producers off camera yesterday,” CNN said in a statement. “We have apologized to the Trump transition team, and the producer has been disciplined.” The woman was speaking with correspondent Suzanne Malveaux
, who was on-camera waiting to do a live hit on the network. The initial video was obtained by FTV Live.
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Stephen Hawking Hospitalized in Rome:
British physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking
has been hospitalized in Rome after feeling ill, though a spokesman said his condition is not thought to be serious. The 74-year-old, who suffers from motor neurone disease, was taken to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on Thursday night after attending a conference at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and meeting Pope Francis
earlier in the week. A source in the Vatican told Reuters that Hawking’s plans to leave on Saturday have not changed, and he is not thought to be suffering from anything serious.
LBN-SEE IT:…. Angelina Jolie is “stressed out” over her bitter divorce battle with Brad Pitt — and the rail-thin actress is smoking up a storm, horrified friends report. Shockingly, Angie’s smoking through her crisis despite undergoing surgeries to avoid the same agonizing cancer death her mother suffered.
Anthony Weiner too broke to stay in sex rehab:
Anthony Weiner is apparently so broke that he had to cut short his rehabilitation for sexting addiction at a Tennessee ranch.“His family wanted him to stay 90 days, but he had to leave because he ran out of money,” one source told me.It is believed Weiner — known as Carlos Danger by some crotch-shot recipients — was billed $25,000 for the 35-day program at the Recovery Ranch. “His parents took out a mortgage on their house to pay for his rehab,” my source said. The former congressman is unemployable and potentially in debt. The New York Post reported Friday he’s been hit with $65,000 in fines for improper use of campaign funds — money it sounds like he doesn’t have. Weiner returned last week to the Upper East Side apartment he still shares with his wife Huma Abedin, who announced their separation in August, and their son Jordan, 4. Abedin is believed to be getting a steady paycheck from the Clinton Foundation, where she has worked before.
***Airbnb has capitulated to the demands of lawmakers over its operations in New York City, the company’s largest market in the United States, agreeing to drop a lawsuit in which it was pushing back against a newly passed state law that it said could have hurt its business. The short-term home rental service on Friday settled the lawsuit that it filed against New York City two months ago. The suit challenged a New York law that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
signed in October. That law called for fines of as much as $7,500 for illegally listing a property on a rental platform such as Airbnb. The company had said the large fines could have deterred hosts and impaired its revenue in New York City. Hosts in the city generated about $1 billion in revenue last year, and the company took a cut of that in fees.
LBN- SITE OF THE DAY:
“The CIA Museum supports the Agency’s operational, recruitment and training missions and helps visitors better understand CIA and its contributions to national security. The Museum’s staff works with Presidential libraries and other major museums and institutions for display in public exhibitions. These collaborations help promote a wider understanding of the craft of intelligence and its role in the American experience.”
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Charles Krauthammer: Liberals’ Excuses for Hillary’s Loss Are ‘Ridiculous’ —- https://youtu.be/-NYrNN6683M
LBN-COMMENTARY by Mohammed Hanif: Pakistan was recently mesmerized by a bottle of Scotch whisky. On Oct. 30, as hundreds of supporters of the opposition party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (P.T.I.) were making their way to the capital Islamabad, with the declared intent of shutting down the city, the police searched the car of a P.T.I. politician and discovered a bottle of Johnny Walker Double Black. Most Pakistanis had not seen a bottle of whisky in the news in a long time. Although there’s no ban on showing alcohol in the media, the subject rarely comes up in TV news. But this one bottle of whisky, waved around by a policeman, was broadcast on a loop. It became an emblem of the opposition’s immorality. The politician claimed it contained honey. Yet later that evening, on a current affairs TV show, he put a sobering question to the other guests, “Which one of you doesn’t drink?” Complete silence. If they said yes, they’d be implicating themselves. If they said no, nobody would believe them. For Muslims in Pakistan, drinking alcohol is prohibited and talking about it is taboo. Drinking and denying it is the oldest cocktail in the country.
LBN-COMMENTARY by Matt Taibbi: “The folksiness will irk some critics … But criticizing Friedman for humanizing and boiling down big topics is like complaining that Mick Jagger used sex to sell songs: It is what he does well.” –John Micklethwait, review of Thank You for Being Late, in The New York Times. With apologies to Mr. Micklethwait, the hands that typed these lines implying Thomas Friedman is a Mick Jagger of letters should be chopped off and mailed to the singer’s doorstep in penance. Mick Jagger could excite the world in one note, while Thomas Friedman needs 461 pages to say, “Shit happens.” Joan of Arc and Charles Manson had more in common.
LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….Lauren Bacall:
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