LBN – Special Report – Saturday, July 22nd, 2017


Mexico murders up with deadliest month in at least 20 years!: Mexico’s spiraling violence reached new heights with 2,234 murders in June, the country’s deadliest month in at least 20 years, according to government data. Killings rose in states ranging from the tourist haven of Baja, California to the Gulf coast state of Veracruz and even in Mexico City, long considered a relative oasis from drug gang violence. For the first six months of 2017, authorities nationwide recorded 12,155 homicide investigations, or 31 percent more than the 9,300 during the same period last year. Just Friday, the same day the report was released, a marine and four other people were killed when armed forces moved against the leader of the principal fuel-theft ring in the central state of Puebla.

*Mattis: ‘I Think Baghdadi Is Alive’

Defense Secretary James Mattis said on Friday that he believed the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was still alive. “I’ll believe otherwise when we know we have killed him. We are going after him,” he told reporters at the Pentagon. The Russian military said last month that it had struck a meeting of ISIS leaders in May and possibly killed Baghdadi. The British-based monitoring organization, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, then said it had obtained information from senior ISIS commanders confirming Baghdadi’s death.
*Trump Says He Has ‘Complete Power’ to Pardon: 
President Trump on Saturday asserted the “complete power to pardon” relatives, aides and possibly even himself in response to investigations into Russia’s meddling in last year’s election, as he came to the defense of Attorney General Jeff Sessionsjust days after expressing regret about appointing him. In a series of early morning messages on Twitter, Mr. Trump suggested that he had no need to use the pardon power at this point but left the option open. While presidents have the authority to pardon others for federal crimes, legal scholars debate whether a president can pardon himself. Mr. Trump’s use of the word “complete” seemed to suggest he did not see a limit to that authority. “While all agree the U.S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us,” he wrote on Twitter. “FAKE NEWS.”
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*Indonesian President Tells Police to Shoot Drug Traffickers

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered police officers to shoot drug traffickers amid the country’s “narcotics emergency.” In a speech delivered late Friday, Widodo urged the law enforcement community to “be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest.” “Shoot them because we indeed are in a narcotics emergency position now,” he said, according to Reuters. Widodo’s comments come a week after police fatally shot a Taiwanese man accused of trying to smuggle crystal methamphetamine into the country. The national police chief responded to that incident by telling officers not to hesitate in shooting drug dealers who resist arrest.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Joseph Rago, a 34-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal, was found dead at his home on Thursday evening. Police officers discovered Mr. Rago’s body at his apartment in Manhattan at around 8 p.m. after a request to check on him, a spokeswoman for the New York Police Department said. “It is with a heavy heart that we confirm the death of Joseph Rago, a splendid journalist and beloved friend,” Paul Gigot, the editor of The Journal’s editorial page, said in a statement. “Joe and his family are in our thoughts and prayers, and we will be celebrating his work in Saturday’s paper.”

*LBN-R.I.P.: Actor John Heard was found dead Friday in a hotel in Palo Alto according to family sources. Heard, most well-known for his role as Kevin McAllister’s dad in the Home Alone movies, was 72. The cause of death was not immediately known, but Heard was reportedly recovering from “minor back surgery” that he underwent on Wednesday. Heard also featured in the iconic 80s films Big and Beaches, and had roles in Miami Vice and The Sopranos more recently.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Guns N’ Roses took the stage on Thursday at the landmark Apollo Theater in NYC in front of Sofía Vergara and Joe Manganiello, John McEnroe, Tony HawkNoah Syndergaard and Jill Kargman for an intimate concert to celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Appetite for Destruction.” The band, with original members Axl Rose, Slash, and bassist Duff McKagan, played three hours of hits during the private SiriusXM concert, including “Welcome to the Jungle,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine,” and in a more somber moment, covered the recently deceased Chris Cornell’s Soundgarden hit “Black Hole Sun.”   ***Domestic assault and terrorizing charges against “American Pie” singer-songwriter Don McLean have been dismissed after he met the terms of a plea agreement, including staying out of trouble for a year. The charges in Maine were dismissed Thursday. McLean also paid a $3,000 fine to settle three other charges that remain on his record: domestic violence criminal threatening; criminal restraint and criminal mischief.

*MY REVIEW: “LBN is an impressive, unbiased, independent news and information source that I reply on daily.” —- George G., an LBN reader from Manchester, England.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: VIDEO PROOF – Dancing & celebrating after hearing about 9/11 (CNN news) ACTUAL NEWS FOOTAGE  —- These Muslims clapped their hands and handed out candy in the streets in celebration when learning about the death of American civilians.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Legendary music executive Clive Davisat Primola in NYC.   ***Malibu Times columnist Burt Rosshaving a drink last night at Ollo in Malibu.   ***Rod Stewarthaving lunch at Nello with wife Penny Lancaster and their kids, plus daughter Kimberly and son Sean (from his marriage toAlana Stewart), and son Liam and daughter Renee (from his marriage to Rachel Hunter), celebrating his sold-out world tour and drinking rosé from a 6-liter bottle of Domaine Ott.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Meghan Daum: Marriage takes work. We know, we know! But how do you tell the difference between the work required of any committed relationship and a life sentence of hard labor? A realist might say that if you’re happy 51 percent of the time then you’re ahead of the game, though anyone who’s faced such a conundrum knows it’s hard to apply a metric to domestic despair — or bliss, for that matter. This summer, two memoirs about marriages that take abrupt and chaos-inducing turns may instill a new appreciation for the placidity (or monotony) of your own partnership.

*LBN-VIDEO LINKBarack Obama on Connie MartinsonTalks Books  — A young Barack Obama discusses his memoir “Dreams from My Father” in this 1995 interview.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Arthur Brooks: Back in the late 1980s, Dana Carvey of “Saturday Night Live” used to do a funny impression of President George H. W. Bush, in which the character would justify his own supposed timidity by muttering “wouldn’t be prudent” to himself about every small risk. The impression neatly captured the contemporary notion of prudence: faintheartedness, caution and a general bias against action. So perhaps it seems odd that this is my advice for young people heading out of school and into the world: Be prudent. Yes, it sounds boring, but it may turn out to be a more radical suggestion than most graduates hear. I thought prudence was not my cup of tea. When I quit college to go on the road as a musician, I was being imprudent. When I quit music to go back to school in my 30s, it was imprudent. When I left a tenured professorship for an unsecure job? You guessed it —imprudent.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Lizzie Crocker: They’ve designed high-end bondagewear for the likes of Madonna and Marina Abramović, and are credited for popularizing the fetish aesthetic in fashion. Now, the design duo known as Zana Bayne is giving the public a chance to see their sculptural creations up close with a new exhibition at the Museum of Sex in New York City.  There, in a dimly lit dungeon of sorts, Zana Bayne and her co-creative director Todd Pendu greet me beside the exhibition’s centerpiece: four mannequins in red leather bodysuits, adorned with black harnesses and leashes that extend up to the ceiling in an intricate web. A handful of bespoke pieces worn by their famous clients are displayed like Batman’s suits along the left wall of the museum’s basement:Beyoncé’s cone-shaped leather bra from her “Lemonade” video; the full-body black harness Lady Gaga wore in her 2011 “You and I” music video; the pentagram-shaped white harnessDebbie Harry rocked over a black tee at Glastonbury in 2014, and other custom designs worn by Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Gwen Stefani, and Katy Perry.  Bayne left high school at 15, and enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute to study fine arts. She also worked at a high-end boutique, but her true passions were visible in her blog, Garbage Dress, in which she captured the fashion and folk of clubland in Berlin, New York, and San Francisco (where she lived until 2009 when she moved to New York full-time). “It was about documenting everyone and everything around me. I was in the Mission, Tenderloin, Castro, wherever the party was: everything from drag shows to noise shows and punk.”