LBN – Special Report – Friday, March 10, 2017


Court Documents: NFL Knowingly Abused Painkillers:

The National Football League has knowingly violated federal drug laws on a regular basis by giving its players painkillers and anti-inflammatories—and dismissing DEA guidance about distributing controlled substances, a Washington Post investigation has found. The Post obtained sealed court documents filed by former players that reveal many teams’ unhealthy and illegal relationship with prescription drugs in order to keep its hurting players on the field. The filing claims that “every doctor deposed so far… has testified that they violated one or more” federal drug laws “while serving in their capacity as a team doctor.” Some of the records indicate a blatant disregard for the law, including an August 2009 email from Cincinnati Bengals head trainer Paul Sparling, in which he wrote, “Can you have your office fax a copy of your DEA certificate to me? I need it for my records when the NFL ‘pill counters’ come to see if we are doing things right. Don’t worry, I’m pretty good at keeping them off the trail!” Internal NFL records reportedly show that in 2012 the average NFL team prescribed about 5,777 doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. “It sounds like an incredible amount of intervention with some pretty risky drugs, some of which, in the case of Vicodin, have a high addiction potential,” said Arthur Caplan, who co-founded the NYU Sports and Society Program. “It makes you think, are the physicians looking out for the health of the players, or are they just trying to keep them on the field?” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the allegations contained in the court filing “are meritless and the league and its clubs will continue to vigorously defend these claims.”

235K New Jobs in 1st Full Trump Measure:

U.S. employers added a strong 235,000 jobs in February—the first full month measured under the new Trump administration. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7 percent, and average hourly wages increased 0.2 percent. Initial jobless claims reached a 44-year low last week, and economists see the market as very close to full employment. The report, which slightly exceeded analysts’ expectations, is viewed as the final go-ahead for the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate when it convenes next week.

South Korean President Removed From Office:

South Korean President Park Geun-hye was formally impeached and removed from office early Friday, after months of tumult over a bribery scandal. Seoul’s constitutional court unanimously upheld a parliamentary motion to dismiss her and Park could now face criminal charges. Two people died in violence that erupted shortly after the verdict was announced, as supporters and protesters took to the streets, and 30 police and activists were injured. Elections for a new president must now be held within 60 days; progressive candidate Moon Jae-in is a favorite to win. The scandal surrounding Park stems from her involvement with lifelong friend Choi Soon-sil. Choi is accused of getting bribes from companies like Samsung in return for using her relationship with Park to get favorable treatment for companies. Prosecutors recommended 13 charges against Park including abuse of power, coercion of donations, and the sharing of state secrets.


LBN-INVESTIGATES: Prior to Howard Schultz‘s refugee comments, 30 percent of consumers said they would consider buying from Starbucks the next time they made a coffee purchase, that fell to a low of 24 percent and now stands at 26 percent, according to a YouGov spokesman. “Consumer perception dropped almost immediately,” said YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli, who added that the statistically significant drop in purchase consideration data showed that consumers became less keen to buy from Starbucks.

Investigators: Threats to Jewish Groups in U.S. and U.K. Are Linked:

More than a hundred bomb threats made to Jewish groups in the U.S. and U.K. since Jan. 7 are believed to be linked, investigators said Thursday. Scotland Yard and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are collaborating to probe the threats, which have reportedly been made over the phone by men and women with American accents using an electronic scrambler to distort their voices. At least 140 such threats have been made to Jewish centers in the U.S. alone, Jewish community leaders told Reuters. Although the callers claim there is an improvised explosive outside the building in each call, no bombs have been found in either country’s facilities. Jewish community centers, schools, and national organizations in numerous cities have been bombarded with the menacing phone calls, often prompting evacuations. Hours later, those phone calls have been followed by similar threats against organizations in Britain, Jewish community leaders said. Although Manhattan prosecutors say former journalist Juan Thompson was behind at least eight phoned-in threats in the U.S., Jewish community leaders do not think Thompson’s alleged threats were part of the wider campaign against Jewish organizations.

China Slams U.S. for ‘Terrible Human Rights Problems’:

In response to recent criticism from the U.S. in a human-rights report, China turned the tables Thursday with a reported devoted to “human rights problems” in the U.S. Beijing’s report condemns U.S. authorities for “wielding ‘the baton of human rights’” and criticizing other countries’ track records while “paying no attention to its own terrible human-rights problems.” Among those problems, the report singled out “worsening racialdiscrimination” and a presidential election that was “full of lies and farces.” “There were no guarantees of political rights” during the 2016 election, the report says, noting that the outcome was determined by “money politics and power-for-money deals.” “With the gunshots lingering in people’s ears behind the Statue of Liberty, worsening racial discrimination, and the election farce dominated by money politics, the self-proclaimed human-rights defender has exposed its human rights ‘myth’ with its own deeds,” the report said. Last week, a U.S. report on human-rights abuses in 200 different countries warned of “repression and coercion” of civil society groups in China.

UNIQUELY, LBN: Legendary legal journalist Linda Deutsch, an LBN reader from Hollywood, California.

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Employers added 235,000workers to their payrolls in February, the government reported on Friday, a hefty gain that clears the path for the Federal Reserve to raise its benchmark interest rate when it meets next week. The official jobless rate fell to 4.7 percent, from 4.8 percent in January, while average hourly earnings grew by 0.2 percent in a report that overlaps with PresidentTrump’s first full month in office. “They’re ready to go,” saidDiane Swonk, founder and chief executive of DS Economics, referring to the central bank’s expected vote next week to raise rates from their historically low levels.

LBN-VIDEO LINK: A revealing TV interview with the world’s most famous dominatrix —“Without Notes” with Isabella Sinclaire – Episode 3: Creating a Brand –

LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***Nick Jonas has signed with WME in all areas. He previously was with CAA. The former Jonas Brothers multi-instrumentalist has made a successful transition out of adolescence and into careers as an actor and solo artist.   ***A story about re-incarnation has just been pre-emptively picked up by 20th Century Fox and Miracles From Heaven producer DeVon Franklin to develop as a feature film. The studio optioned movie rights for the Cathy Byrd book The Boy Who Knew Too Much for Franklin Entertainment. Hired on to adapt is Trouble With the Curve‘s Randy Brown, who now returns to the world of baseball for in the true story about a 2-year-old baseball prodigy named Christian Haupt who began sharing vivid memories of a life he never lived: that of a baseball player in the 1920s and ’30s.

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Billy Bush having lunch at chef GeoffreyZakarian’s Georgie at the Montage Beverly Hills.   ***Woody Allen, Soon-Yi Previn and ICM Partners’ Jennifer Joel andJohn Burnham seeing David Mamet’s off-Broadway play “The Penitent” in NYC.   ***LeBron James partying at Liv and Komodo in Miami.   ***New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and wife Mary Pat celebrated their wedding anniversary with dinner at Scarpetta and dessert at Junior’s Times Square in NYC. The pair had a table for two at Scarpetta, spies said, then headed to Junior’s to meet daughter Sarah, a junior at Notre Dame who’s also a manager of the men’s basketball team in town for the ACC tournament.

LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Charlie Rose returns to television on Monday, following a recovery from heart surgery he says his doctors told him has been “exemplary.” One of three anchors on “CBS This Morning,” Rose had a heart valve replaced on Feb. 9. His return was announced on the show Friday.   ***Megyn Kelly grew tired of combative hard news reporting and now wants “to help people the way Oprah did” on her new NBC show, sources say. After signing a deal with NBC worth between $12 million and $15 million, Kelly’s plans for her new show have been shrouded in secrecy. NBC brass are interviewing executive producers in the hopes that Kelly will debut in September at either 9 or 10 a.m. in front of a live studio audience.

Acclaimed Photographer Jimmy Steinfeldt Releases Second Volume of Book, “Rock ’N’ Roll Lens”®

In Rock ‘N’ Roll Lens Volume II, renowned photographer Jimmy Steinfeldt has included fifty of his best black and white photographs, as well as commentary attributed to the stories behind them from his celebrity friends. Contributors include Lou Gossett Jr., Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, Clem Burke of Blondie, Slim Jim of the Stray Cats, Apollonia of Purple Rain, and more. Steinfeldt has worked with everyone from Miles Davis to the Ramones in his prominent career. His book is meant to be a tangible art form, different from today’s photos, paintings and drawings that are seen on a computer screen. Jimmy Steinfeldt’s Second Edition Rock ‘N’ Roll Lens features photographs of AC/DC, Alice Cooper, The Clash, Van Halen, Ringo Starr, Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Idol, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others. Jimmy is a self-taught photographer who has only to squint through the lens for inspiration. Jimmy cites photographer Richard Avedon and cinematographer Karl Freund among his strongest influences. Jimmy’s unique photographic style conveys the personality of his artist-musician subjects while conveying the story of their music.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Business Leaders Confirm “Broken Windows Theory” For Business Works —–

LBN-R.I.P.:    ***Howard Hodgkin, a British artist whose lush, semiabstract paintings, aquiver with implicit drama, established him as one of the most admired artists of the postwar period, died on Thursday in London. He was 84. The Tate Galleries announced his death but did not specify a cause.

LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: The Republican health care bill could represent the moment when the old order of American politics completely cracks up, the end of a certain era in American politics. That era began around 1974, when Ted Kennedy introduced a bill to supplement America’s employer-based insurance system with a government program. The Democratic dream of universal coverage continued through Hillary Clinton’s time as first lady and reached a partial culmination with the passage of Obamacare. Combating government health care was a central Republican preoccupation through all that time, and the passage of Obamacare provoked the Tea Party reaction and final arrival of Goldwaterite populist conservatism. By 2010, however, both the Obama administration and the Tea Party opposition were out of step with the times. They both still thought the big political issues in American life were universal health care and the size of government.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Governor John Kasich: Americans are relying on leaders in Washington to fix health care, not engage in yet another unproductive partisan standoff. In 2010, one side of the political aisle in Congress, the Democrats, chose to “fix” health care unilaterally, without bipartisan support. The result was Obamacare, which has run up government spending while failing to drive down the cost of health care. Now, with the political tables turned in Washington, the Republicans are starting down the same unilateral path, a course that can only further divide the nation. A true and lasting reform of the health insurance system must be accomplished by bringing the two sides together, not by replacing one divisive wedge with another. Throughout my career, I’ve learned that meaningful change happens only with bipartisan support. When I was chairman of the House Budget Committee in the 1990s, we were able to make over Pentagon spending, revamp welfare and balance the federal budget for the first time in decades because Democrats and Republicans made a commitment to work together. We disagreed and debated, but in the end we agreed to changes that strengthened our country.


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ favorite role: proud parent. On Thursday, the “Veep” star watched as sonCharlie Hall and the Northwestern Wildcats took on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the Big Ten Tournament. Louis-Dreyfus and husband Brad Hall, both Northwestern alums, cheered on their youngest child as he entered the game with a little over a minute to go in the Wildcats’ blowout win. Rising from her seat, the nine-time Emmy winner captured the moments on her phone, all the while smiling with glee as Hall grabbed a rebound.   ***Despite some wild rumors, Richard Simmons is “perfectly fine,” according to the Los Angeles Police Department, which recently performed a wellness check on the now-reclusive fitness guru. “There was something about his housekeeper holding him hostage and not allowing people to see him and preventing him from making phone calls and it was all garbage and that’s why we went out to see him. None of it is true,” detective Kevin Becker said. “The fact of the matter is we went out and talked to him he is fine, nobody is holding him hostage. He is doing exactly what he wants to do. If he wants to go out in public or see anybody he will do that,” the detective continued. “He is perfectly fine and he is very happy. I don’t know what he is going to do, but right now he is doing what he wants to do and it is his business.” Simmons, 68, has reportedly not been seen outside his home since February 2014.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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