Trump Signs Executive Order for ‘Extreme Vetting’ of Refugees:
President Donald Trump
on Friday signed an executive order that would institute “new vetting” measures aimed at preventing “radical Islamic terrorists” from entering the U.S. Speaking at the Pentagon after swearing in new Defense Secretary James Mattis
, Trump said “we only want to admit those into our country who support our country.” The order temporarily suspends the refugee program for 120 days, and the Syrian refugee program indefinitely, according to the text released by the White House. Additionally, no new visas will be issued for 90 days to individuals coming from countries linked to terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. “We are a compassionate nation and a country of immigrants. But as we know, terrorists are dead set on using our immigration and refugee programs as a Trojan Horse to attack us,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul
, praising the order as helping “prevent jihadists from infiltrating the United States.” “President Trump is slamming the door on the world’s most desperate refugees,” said Rep. Eliot Engel
, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “He’s building a wall and banning a religion, actions that won’t keep us any safer, but will send a message that if you aren’t a certain color, or don’t speak a certain language or worship a certain way, you don’t have a place in America.”
Trump’s Refugee Ban Sparks Outrage Among Dems:
After President Donald Trump
on Friday signed an order banning refugees from seven Muslim countries, leading Democrats have vowed to take him to task for the move. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer
said the “tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty,” denouncing Trump’s executive order as “backwards and nasty.” Sen.Elizabeth Warren
called the ban a “betrayal of American values.” Sen. Cory Booker
called the move “fundamentally un-American.” Others noted that it would most likely backfire in the war on terrorism. Sen. Chris Murphy
wrote in Huffington Post that Trump had just “handed ISIS a path to rebirth.”
Nikki Haley Puts U.N. on Notice: U.S. Is ‘Taking Names’:
The American ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki R. Haley
, issued a stark warning on Friday to allies and rivals abroad, saying in her first remarks at the headquarters of the world body that the Trump administration would hold to account those who do not back the United States. “You’re going to see a change in the way we do business,” Ms. Haley said. “Our goal with the administration is to show value at the U.N., and the way we’ll show value is to show our strength, show our voice, have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our back as well.” “For those who don’t have our back,” she added, “we’re taking names; we will make points to respond to that accordingly.”
Russians Charged With Treason Worked in Office Linked to Election Hacking:
Ever since American intelligence agencies accused Russia of trying to influence the American election, there have been questions about the proof they had to support the accusation. But the news from Moscow may explain how the agencies could be so certain that it was the Russians who hacked the email of Hillary Clinton
’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Two Russian intelligence officers who worked on cyberoperations and a Russian computer security expert have been arrested and charged with treason for providing information to the United States, according to multiple Russian news reports. As in most espionage cases, the details made public so far are incomplete, and some rumors in Moscow suggest that those arrested may be scapegoats in an internal power struggle over the hacking. Russian media reports link the charges to the disclosure of the Russian role in attacking state election boards, including the scanning of voter rolls in Arizona and Illinois, and do not mention the parallel attacks on the D.N.C. and the email of John Podesta
, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman. But one current and one former United States official, speaking about the classified recruitments on condition of anonymity, confirmed that human sources in Russia did play a crucial role in proving who was responsible for the hacking.
Serena Williams Beats Sister Venus to Win Record 23rd Grand Slam Title:
beat her sister Venus
on Saturday to claim her 23rd Grand Slam singles title in the Australian Open. The 35-year-old tennis star won 6-4 6-4 to top Steffi Graf for a Grand Slam record. The win came after an intense battle against her own sister, with whom she has played in nine Grand Slam titles throughout her career. “She’s an amazing person, there’s no way I would be at 23 without her,” Serena said of Venus after the win. “There’s no way I would have anything without her. She’s the only reason the Williams sisters exist, so thank you for inspiring me to be the best that I can be,” she said. Venus, who was the oldest finalist in Melbourne for the competition at 36, offered similar praise for Serena. “Serena Williams, that’s my little sister, guys,” she said. “Your win has always been my win, you know that,” she said.
Trump and Mexican President Speak by Phone Amid Dispute Over Wall:
Amid the diplomatic showdown over President Trump
’s order to build a border wall — and who should pay for it — Mr. Trump and President Enrique Peña Nieto
of Mexico spoke by telephone for an hour on Friday and agreed to proceed with negotiations on a range of bilateral issues, both leaders said. The presidents made an effort to say that the call had been productive, implying that tensions had cooled, but they stood their ground on their positions, with no suggestion that the conversation had resolved their disagreement over fundamental issues, most notably the payment for construction of a wall between the United States and Mexico. “With respect to payment for the border wall, both presidents recognized their clear and very public differences in their stances on this very sensitive issue, and agreed to solve these differences as part of a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the bilateral relationship,” according to a statement issued by Mr. Peña Nieto’s office. The statement added: “The presidents also agreed for now not to speak publicly about this controversial issue.”
WHO READS LBN? Author Roxane Gay:
Top scientists stand up to Trump:
As Donald Trump cracks down on the EPA and USDA, saying their public-facing documents will be under review,astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us when it comes to science, “If you base policy on things that are not objectively true . . . it’s a recipe for disaster.” An outlook like that is “the unraveling of all that drives the growth of wealth in our nation and in the world,” he told us Wednesday. “Ever since the Industrial Revolution we have known that innovations in science and technology are the engines of tomorrow’s growth economy,” Tyson said. “If you don’t recognize that . . . you are undermining the future wealth of the nation. If there is no science happening here, other countries . . . will pass us by, and that’s inconsistent with the idea of making America great again.”
Screen Legend John Hurt Dead at 77:
In a strange bit of irony, just as the surreality of the Trump administration has pushed George Orwell
’s dystopian novel 1984
to No. 1 on the Amazon charts, the star of the filmadaptation, John Hurt
, has passed away after a fight with pancreatic cancer. He was 77. Born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK, Hurt was the son of an actress and a vicar, and, after training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), made his film debut in 1966’s A Man for All Seasons
. With his pained British voice and poignant stare, the actor would make an indelible impact on cinema, earning his first Academy Award nomination as Max, a heroin addict trapped in a Turkish prison, in Midnight Express
, before performing one of film’s most memorable death scenes in Ridley Scott’s Alien
. His next two films, as the severely deformed and chastised John Merrick in The Elephant Man
(Oscar-nominated for Best Actor) and Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate
, cemented his status as one of the greats, and marks a stellar 4-film run.
WEIRD – Lindsay Lohan Meets With Turkey’s Erdogan:
on Friday met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
and Syrian refugee and blogger Bana Alabed
in Istanbul. The meeting appeared to be aimed at drawing attention to the plight of Syrian refugees. Bana, who shot to stardom while tweeting about her and her mother’s day-to-day troubles in besieged Aleppo, posted a photo of the group’s meeting on Twitter, writing that she was meeting with Lohan and Erdogan “to support the people of Syria.” In a separate video of Lohan, she wrote, “Look who I am with. I have a new friend Lindsay Lohan.” Lohan offers a message in the video: “We want to send to all of the people in Syria and Aleppo suffering, and to all the refugees, we are here supporting you and you can hang on and be strong. Just like Bana has,” she said. The ‘Mean Girls’ star Lohan is rumored to have converted to Islam recently, and she has appeared on Turkish television praising Erdogan’s rule. The implausible meeting between the child refugee, strongman Turkish leader and former Hollywood wild child came as U.S. President Trump
signed an executive order banning Syrian refugees from the U.S., along with refugees from six other countries.
Awash in overdoses, Seattle creates safe sites for addicts to inject illegal drugs:
Officials in Seattle on Friday approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year. The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe. Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities, including Boston, New York City and Ithaca, N.Y.
LBN-WHERE THE ELITE AND UNDERDOGS MEET:
Report: Trump Sought to Scrap Electoral College:
President Donald Trump reportedly floated the idea of scrapping the Electoral College, according to The Wall Street Journal. In a meeting with congressional leadership at the White House this week, Trump reportedly told the lawmakers he wanted to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shot down the idea, pointing specifically to the costly Florida recount in 2000 and the potential headache it could cause if such a recount were conducted on the level of the entire country. Trump’s reported consideration of scrapping the Electoral College comes despite having lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton, and still won the presidency because of the required 270 electoral vote threshold he crossed. After losing the popular vote by several million ballots, Trump has called for an investigation into alleged widespread voter fraud, for which there is no evidence.
Cleveland Indians Owner Discussing Logo Change With MLB:
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred
and Cleveland Indians owner Paul Dolan
have reportedly discussed a logo change for the team. The current “Chief Wahoo” logo, which has been in use since the 1940s, has been criticized as being offensive to Native Americans. The spotlight on the team has increased, however, as it is set to host the 2019 All-Star Game, and played in the World Series last season. “I’m not going to speculate about what I want the end of the process to be,” Manfred said, although he has said he “understands” why the logo is viewed as offensive. “I think that Paul has been fantastic about engaging in conversations. I want those conversations to continue, and I think we’ll produce a result that will be good for the Indians and good for baseball.” Manfred added that it would be premature to speculate on a potential outcome or agreement between the league and the Indians. While the logo remains in use, the team often wears caps displaying a red “C” rather than the “Wahoo” logo.
LBN-NOTICED: ***Selena Gomez and The Weeknd are taking their romance to a different continent. The couple traveled to the Italian city of Florence, where they dined at Trattoria Borgo Antico for lunch. Plenty of pictures have popped up on social media, showing Selena and The Weeknd in the airport and getting into a car in an Italian piazza. ***Former Republican nominee hopeful Jeb Bush and ex-Secretary of State John Kerry had a near run-in at New York restaurant ‘21’ on Thursday night. Both politicos were dining at separate tables at the popular eaterie — a regular haunt of President Donald Trump as well as former presidents including Bill Clinton. ***Acclaimed security expert Kent Moyer held his 4th annual security lunch this week at the Beverly Hills Hotel featuring author Zudhi Jasser as a guest-speaker. ***Veteran entertainment industry attorney, Reid Nathan having lunch at Milo and Olive on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.
LBN-MEDIA INSIDER: ***NBC’s shock cancellation of the third hour of “Today” has anchors shaking in their boots about further changes at 30 Rock. The 9am hour has been axed to create a spot for former Fox News star Megyn Kelly. Now strong rumors are swirling that Kelly is being groomed to take over Savannah Guthrie’s anchor spot on the flagship show. Kelly will first take over either the 9 a.m. hour from Tamron Halland Al Roker, or will replace Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford at 10 a.m.
LBN-BOOK NEWS: ***For six decades, she has been the silent woman linked to one of the most notorious crimes in the nation’s history, the lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy, keeping her thoughts and memories to herself as millions of strangers idealized or vilified her. But all these years later, a historian says that the woman has broken her silence, and acknowledged that the most incendiary parts of the story she and others told about Emmett — claims that seem tame today but were more than enough to get a black person killed in Jim Crow-era Mississippi — were false. The woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, spoke to Timothy B. Tyson, a Duke University professor — possibly the only interview she has given to a historian or journalist since shortly after the episode — who has written a book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” to be published next week. In it, he wrote that she said of her long-ago allegations that Emmett grabbed her and was menacing and sexually crude toward her, “that part is not true.”
LBN-R.I.P.: ***Barbara Hale, the Emmy Award-winning actress who typified the ideal mid-20th-century secretary as the beautiful, loyal, confident but soft-spoken Della Street on the television series “Perry Mason,” died on Thursday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94. Her death was confirmed byJacqueline Stander, the agent for the actor William Katt, Ms. Hale’s son. ***Chuck Stewart, who could not master the piano but succeeded indelibly with a camera, becoming a fixture in the jazz world with his photographs of John Coltrane,Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington and many others, died on Jan. 20 in Teaneck, N.J. He was 89. His death was confirmed by Kim Stewart, his daughter-in-law.
LBN-COMMENTARY by Charles Krauthammer: The flurry of bold executive orders and of highly provocative Cabinet nominations (such as a secretary of education who actually believes in school choice) has been encouraging to conservative skeptics of Donald Trump. But it shouldn’t erase the troubling memory of one major element of Trump’s inaugural address. The foreign policy section has received far less attention than so revolutionary a declaration deserved. It radically redefined the American national interest as understood since World War II. Trump outlined a world in which foreign relations are collapsed into a zero-sum game. They gain, we lose. As in: “For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries” while depleting our own. And most provocatively this: “The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.” Bernie Sanders believes that a corrupt establishment has ripped off the middle class to give to the rich. Trump believes those miscreants have given away our patrimony to undeserving, ungrateful foreigners as well.
LBN COMMENTARY by Michael Levine (media expert and author): Memo to politicians – If you occasionally display honest self-appraisal and even moments of remorse, you’d have the world rooting for you, not against you. ***Firing people is brutal even when it is totally necessary. ***Politicians who make soaring, poetic promises are dominating a game we are no longer playing.
LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….
LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu
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