LBN – Special Report – Saturday, July 15th, 2017

*ISIS Leader in Afghanistan Is Killed by Drone, Pentagon Says:

The leader of the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan, Abu Sayed, was killed by an American drone strike this week, the Pentagon said on Friday. The strike, on Tuesday, targeted the militants’ headquarters in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. Other members of the group were also killed in the operation, the Pentagon said in a statement, which asserted that the attack would “significantly disrupt the terror group’s plans to expand its presence in Afghanistan.” The Islamic State, however, has proved its resilience by replacing its leaders soon after they are killed.
*Dropping the Bluster, Trump Revives Banter With Reporters:

The Donald J. Trump who turned up in the press cabin of Air Force One on Wednesday evening, as his plane crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the way to Paris, was starkly different from the one who publicly pillories the news media but surprisingly familiar to reporters who know him well. The president had taken off his tie but kept on his jacket — a wardrobe change that for him qualifies as casual Friday — and he was in a happy-hour frame of mind. Expansive, engaging, even at times ebullient, Mr. Trump held forth for an hour, addressing reporters by name and alighting on topics as different as Chinese history and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. It was a loose, good-humored side of Mr. Trump that the public rarely sees amid the fusillade of angry speeches and venomous tweets that have characterized the president’s first six months in the White House. And it came to light only because he retroactively put the session on the record, asking a reporter the next morning why she had not quoted his remarks. White House aides say they see more of this side in the Oval Office, where the president has debated advisers about issues like sending more troops to Afghanistan. Diplomats say their bosses see more of it in meetings, where Mr. Trump has engaged even those who are deeply skeptical of his views, like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
*BACK TO COURT — Trump Admin to Appeal New Travel Ban Challenge

The Trump administration will appeal a new challenge to the president’s travel ban to the Supreme Court, Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions said Friday. The high court ruled last month that parts of the president’s initial ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority nations could go into effect, but on Thursday a federal judge in Hawaii narrowed the application of the ban. When the new ban went into effect, “close” relatives of those living in the U.S. were exempt. But that definition did not include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others. U.S. District JudgeDerrick Watson ruled that those family members also be exempt from the ban.
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*Report: Don King Still Advises President Trump

According to an interview published in Politico Magazine on Friday, the famous boxing promoter Don King is still advising his old friend, President Donald Trump. “I call my connection to him, if I want to get a meeting or whatever it is,” King, who was a celebrity campaign-trail surrogate for Trump last year, said. “But I can talk to him every day through his assistant. And if it’s something that’s got to be of urgency, I can get him.” King—who says he can “be like a Tillerson without the portfolio because I’ve been around the world”—told the magazine that Trump “wanted to get my estimation of what’s going on [and] he said, ‘What you think about me firing [National Security AdviserMichael] Flynn?’ I said, ‘With all due respect, Mr. President, Flynn fired himself.’ … Trump’s loyal to a fault.” One White House official confirmed to The Daily Beast that King and Trump still keep in touch and remain “close friends” with “deep respect and admiration” for one another. A former Trump campaign official noted that King is “one of [Trump’s] favorite people” who Trump “loved talking about” during the 2016 campaign.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Idaho achieved a notable distinction last year: It became one of the hardest places in America for someone to quit a job for a better one. The state did this by making it easier for companies to enforce noncompete agreements, which prevent employees from leaving their company for a competitor.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: The vanishing bus benches were Anaheim’s response to complaints about the homeless population around Disneyland. Public work crews removed 20 benches from bus shelters after callers alerted City Hall to reports of vagrants drinking, defecating or smoking pot in the neighborhood near the amusement park’s entrance, officials said.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:  ***The “Double Fantasy” album that John Lennon signed for his killer Mark David Chapmanjust five hours before he was assassinated is up for sale for $1.5 million. One of the most gruesome artifacts of rock history is up for sale through dealer Moments in Time. On Dec. 8, 1980, just hours before Lennon’s death, Chapman was photographed approaching the Beatle outside his home at the Dakota building to get him to sign the record. When Lennon returned home later with his wife, Yoko Ono, from a recording session, he was shot dead by Chapman.


*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Power Foods for the Brain | Neal Barnard—–

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: During the 1872 election, presidential incumbent Ulysses S. Grant ran against a corpse. His opponent, Horace Greeley, died before the election was finalized. Grant won the election.

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***After struggling with the burden of winning her first Grand Slam singles title, Garbiñe Muguruza now must cope with the reality of winning a second. She triumphed at Wimbledon on Saturday by defeating the five-time champion Venus Williams, 7-5, 6-0. At 23, Muguruza is 14 years younger than Williams, the American star who was playing in her first Wimbledon singles final since 2009.   ***For the first time since 2013, the public will see O.J. Simpson live next week when he appears at a televised parole hearing. The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. PT on Thursday, July 20, from Nevada and will be broadcast in a video pool, with networks including ESPN airing it live.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Shields and Brooks on fallout fromDonald Trump Jr.’s emails, GOP health care reform   —– Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including President Donald Trump’s trip abroad, fallout over a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer, and the latest version of a GOP Senate health care bill.——


Daily Overview
Showing Earth from above to inspire the Overview Effect, highlight human impact, and change the way you see our planet.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: How To Make Yourself Go To Sleep Fast —–

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Ray Phiri, the South African guitarist who reached an international audience backing Paul Simon on the albums “Graceland” and “The Rhythm of the Saints” and who founded Stimela, a widely acclaimed, long-running band that confronted apartheid, died on Wednesday at a clinic in Nelspruit, South Africa. He was 70. A family friend and spokesman, Paul Nkanyane, announced the death and said that the cause was lung cancer.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Bret Stephens: Liu Xiaobo, the dissident writer who became China’s first Nobel Peace laureate when he won the prize in 2010, died in state custody on Thursday, having spent almost the last nine years of his life in prison. His death is a tragedy and an outrage. It’s also a warning to his jailers. To wit: No nation that defames and imprisons its best people is going to become great. No country that is afraid to let a man such as Liu speak freely can possibly be described as strong. Regimes that are fearsome are brittle, too. That’s a thought that ought to vex those China enthusiasts who for years have been predicting that the country’s rise to global primacy is merely a matter of time. This is geopolitical analysis by way of grade-school math: If the United States, with a gross domestic product of $18.6 trillion, continues to grow at its current sub-2 percent rate a year, and China, with a G.D.P. of $11.2 trillion, grows at its plus-6 percent rate, then China will overtake us in about a decade. Tick-tick-tick.