Americans Renouncing Citizenship Hits All-Time High:
The number of Americans renouncing their citizenship has hit arecord high, according to U.S. government data. The total number of individuals expatriating rose 26 percent from 2015, to 5,411 in 2016. While it’s tempting to point to the exhausting 2016 election season as a reason for many to renounce, Bloomberg News points out that the increase largely stems from tax laws that in 2010 were made tougher for U.S. citizens banking overseas. Because America taxes people based on nationality, under the recent rules its citizens are liable for U.S. taxes even when living abroad. Since the new compliance regulations went into effect, Bloomberg noted, the number of expatriations has reached a new high each year.
Charles Oakley Banned for Life from MSG:
Former New York Knicks superstar Charles Oakley
has been banned from Madison Square Garden for life. The decision, which was first reported by ESPN’s Michael Kay
and later confirmed by the New York Post
, comes two days after Oakley was involved in a physical clash with security officials at the arena. Earlier Friday, it was reported that the venue’s security chief was fired. Oakley allegedly shouted at James Dolan, the Knicks owner, before shoving security officials in a heated incident that was caught on camera. Oakley was subsequently arrested.
Detroit Tigers, Red Wings Owner Mike Illitch Dies at 87:
, the owner of the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings franchises, died on Friday. He was 87. Illitch purchased the teams in 1992 and 1982, respectively, after establishing the Little Caesars pizza chain in 1959. He and his family amassed a net worth of more than $6 billion. “He made such a positive impact in the world of sports, in business and in the community, and we will remember him for his unwavering commitment to his employees, his passion for Detroit, his generosity to others and his devotion to his family and friends,” his son Christopher Illitch
said in a statement.
Bruce Springsteen’s Unused ‘Harry Potter’ Song Leaks:
Last year, Bruce Springsteen
confirmed that he once wrote and recorded a song for a Harry Potter
film, only for it to go unused. On Friday, a Springsteen bootleg collector released to a torrent site 13 never-before-heard tracks from The Boss, including the Potter
song, titled “I’ll Stand by You Always.” The mellow song features Springsteen singing in a slightly higher range over an atmospheric synth reminiscent of his other songs written for film—namely “Streets of Philadelphia” and “Secret Garden.” When he first revealed that the song exists, Springsteen told BBC Radio that it was a “big ballad” written for his eldest son, Evan (b. 1990), and that it is “very uncharacteristic of something I’d sing myself.”
Report: Russia Eyes U.S. Snowden Return:
According to an NBC News
report, U.S. intelligence has collected information indicating that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden
to the United States as a “gift” to President Trump. Trump, in the past, has referred to Snowden as a “traitor” who deserves to be executed. The report alleges that the Russian deliberations over Snowden amount to an attempt to “curry favor” with Trump. Snowden’s ACLU lawyer, Ben Wizner
, told NBC News:
“Team Snowden has received no such signals and has no new reason for concern.” Snowden also responded to the story on Twitter.
Trump Considering New Executive Order on Immigration:
President Donald Trump
says he is mulling whether to take new executive actions on immigration, following a legal dispute over his initial directive which banned travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a block on the executive order, prompting a forceful response from Trump: “SEE YOU IN COURT.” Speaking with reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday, Trump said if he loses a court battle, “we also have a lot of other options, including just filing a brand new order.” A new executive order, Trump said, would not be that different from the original one. “We need speed for reasons of security,” he added. “So it could very well be that we do that.” CNN reported later Friday that the White House is not currently planning to appeal the 9th Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court.
LBN-INVESTIGATES: Sinister things are known to happen deep in the deep web, that mysterious internet dark space that remains hidden from search engines and traditional browsers. It’s a haven for deviant and high-risk behavior, and it is a place where terrorists from the so-called Islamic State are alleged to be buying authentic British passports from a Neapolitan factory that will fool even the tightest security systems. During an investigation into the growing illegal document trade that thrives in Neapolitan Camorra crime country, Italy’s agency for information and external security, known as AISE, found a fairly banal advertisement in the deep web that it traced to a Neapolitan firm that has such sophisticated equipment it can provide biometric passports that are easily read when entering the U.K. They are also able to register the fake passports on the national system, implying a connection to a U.K.-based criminal network. The ad makes no bones about the criminal intent: “We are selling original UK Passports made with your info/picture. Also, your info will get entered into the official passport database. So it’s possible to travel with our passports. How do we do it? Trade secret! Information on how to send us your info and picture will be given after purchase! You can even enter the UK/EU with our passports, we can just add a stamp for the country you are in. Ideal for people who want to work in the EU/UK. 2000 G or 4.113 Bitcoin”
WHO READS LBN? Comedian Ricky Gervais:
***Former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett
has signed with CAA.
LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “The only way out is through.” —– www.TheExcelCommunity.com
LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks:
If you could give Donald Trump the gift of a single trait to help his presidency, what would it be? My first thought was that prudence was the most important gift one could give him. Prudence is the ability to govern oneself with the use of reason. It is the ability to suppress one’s impulses for the sake of long-term goals. It is the ability to see the specific circumstances in which you are placed, and to master the art of navigating within them. My basic thought was that a prudent President Trump wouldn’t spend his mornings angrily tweeting out his resentments. A prudent Trump wouldn’t spend his afternoons barking at foreign leaders and risking nuclear war. “Prudence is what differentiates action from impulse and heroes from hotheads,” writes the French philosopher André Comte-Sponville. But the more I thought about it the more I realized prudence might not be the most important trait Trump needs. He seems intent on destroying the postwar world order — building walls, offending allies and driving away the stranger and the refugee. Do I really want to make him more prudent and effective in pursuit of malicious goals?
LBN-COMMENTARY by Dennis Prager: In the Audi Super Bowl ad, a male voice in grave tones says:“What do I tell my daughter? “Do I tell that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? “That her dad is worth more than her mom? “Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than everyman she ever meets? “Or maybe … I’ll be able to tell her something different.” If there was ever a more mendacious or socially destructive ad during the Super Bowl, let alone on television, I am unaware of it. As a believer in the free market and the free exchange of ideas, I have rarely advocated for or participated in a boycott of a company for the political positions of its owners or directors. I eat Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream despite the fact that I have opposed every left-wing political and social position Ben and Jerry have ever advocated. It’s a free country. And I want to keep it free. But Audi crossed a line. It should pay an appropriate price.
LBN-COMMENTARY by Randy Thomas (Acclaimed Voice-Over Artist): Bugs, Bart, Spongebob, Stewie, Daffy, Dora, and Baby Huey. Where do all those crazy and creative voices come from? What is it about the simplistic nature of a cartoon world in which characters and creatures interact that captures our hearts as children and adults? For many, it never lets go. The question is: Can you turn those spot-on impressions and quirky voices to a profit? So how do you create a character? ***Sketch it out. ***Hone in on the way it sounds. ***Walk a mile in its shoes. ***Sing a little.
LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Post-Valentine meeting Feb. 15 of Book Publicists of So. Calif on how to romance the media…book-lovers everywhere are invited — call Irwin Zucker at 323-461-3921 for dinner info/reservations.
LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….
LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu
LBN E-Lert Disclaimer: 1.) The LBN E-Lert accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. The LBN E-Lert is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.