LBN – Special Report – Saturday, May 20th, 2017

*Trump Presented With Saudi’s Highest Civilian Honor
Saudi King Salman on Saturday presented U.S. PresidentDonald Trump with the kingdom’s highest civilian honor, the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud. Photos showed the Saudi king placing the collar around Trump’s neck at a ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh. Trump received the honor for “his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world,” the king said. The move comes after Trump received an elaborate welcome upon his arrival in Riyadh, with trumpets played and soldiers standing at attention as he approached the Royal Court. The president’s visit to Riyadh is his first stop on a nine-day tour that will see him Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, the Vatican, and Belgium. It’s also his first foreign trip as president.

*Trump to Russian Officials: Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Probe ‘Pressure’

President Trump reportedly told Russian officials on May 10 in the Oval Office that firing “nut job” ex-FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him, according to The New York Times. “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump allegedly said, based on a document read to the Times by an official. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,” Trump continued, the day after firing Comey. “I’m not under investigation.” The conversation, according to the Times, reinforces the theory that Trump fired him largely over the bureau’s probe into possible collusion between Russian operatives and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The report indicates that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the account. Following the Times story’s publication, Spicer released a statement claiming that Comey created “unnecessary pressure” on the White House’s ability to engage and negotiate with Russia. “The real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”
*Comey Agrees to Testify in Open Senate Hearing

The Senate Intelligence Committee announced on Friday that former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify in an open session. The committee announced that it is planning on scheduling the hearing after Memorial Day. “The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” said Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

*SLOW TRAIN COMING – Huma Abedin Files for Divorce From Anthony Weiner

Huma Abedin has filed for divorce from former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner. Abedin brought an anonymous-versus-anonymous action in Manhattan Supreme Court just hours after Weiner pleaded guilty to sending sexually explicit text messages with a 15-year-old on Friday morning. Abedin has reportedly asked the court to seal the case.

*Times Square Suspect: I Wanted to ‘Kill Them All’

The 26-year-old man charged with murder after slamming his speeding sedan into pedestrians in Times Square—killing one person and injuring 20 others—told police that he wanted to “kill them all.” Bronx man Richard Rojas reportedly told cops that he smoked marijuana laced with PCP. Police said that when he was taken into custody he had “glassy eyes, slurred speech, and was unsteady.” He told police that he was “hearing voices” and expected to die in the incident. “He began screaming, no particular words but just utter screaming. He was swinging his arms at the same time,” said a security supervisor at a nearby Planet Hollywood who tackled Rojas before he was arrested. Officials are still waiting for toxicology results. An 18-year-old tourist from Michigan, Alyssa Elsman, was killed in the crash. Her 13-year-old sister, who was standing nearby, was among those injured. At least three of the injured victims were still in critical condition with head injuries on Friday.

*LBN-WHERE THE ELITE AND UNDERDOGS MEET:

*LBN-SEE IT: Actress Fagun Thakrar was invited by the Cannes Film Festival to attend the opening night gala. Invited as a result of her recent work in international films in which she is gaining critical acclaim.


*Bernie Madoff’s Closest Prison Pal is a Crime-Family Boss:

Shortly after Bernie Madoff arrived in prison, at the start of a 150-year sentence, the mastermind behind the largest fraud in financial history was slapped across the face. Madoff was closely following the way his case was being reported in the media and had gone to the jail’s TV room to watch “60 Minutes.” When he changed the channel—in defiance of the prison’s unwritten rules, he soon learned—another inmate objected and wanted it changed back. There was a scuffle, and then a smack on the cheek. It was then that Carmine John Persico Jr., the notorious boss of the Colombo crime family, known as “The Snake,” who has been serving his own century-plus sentence at the same prison, intervened. “Carmine sent his boys over, or his ‘friends,’ rather, to ‘have a talk’ with the guy who delivered the slap,” recounted Steve Fishman, a journalist who has covered Madoff for years. Persico’s men “issued what Madoff called ‘an extraordinarily stern warning,’ and talked it all out. After that, Bernie got to watch” whatever he wanted. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship between a pair of notorious, geriatric inmates (Madoff is just shy of 80 and Persico is 83) serving what amounts to life in prison.

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s jersey he wore while protesting the National Anthem in 2016 were donated to the Smithsonian.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Veteran personal manager Josh Silverhaving lunch yesterday at the popular Izzy’s Deli on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica.   ***Billy Bush having breakfast at the Harvard Club in NYC.   **Mick Jagger and girlfriend Melanie Hamrick at Amaranth restaurant in NYC.   ***Hugh Jackmanat Bobby Van’s Times Square in NYC.   ***Dr. Oz at Il Gattopardo, where Matthew Rhys, Swizz Beatz and artistsDustin Yellin and José Parlá were separately attending a MoMA event in NYC thrown by Master & Dynamic and Dom Pérignon.   ***Sandra Bernhard, Mario Cantone, Irene Gandy, Janet Mock and George Faison at Chinese Tuxedo in NYC for Bevy Smith’s SAGE Table dinner party.

*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:

American Library Assoc: Great Websites for Kids
“Great Websites for Kids is a compilation of exemplary websites geared to children from birth to age 14. Suggested sites are evaluated by the Great Websites for Kids Committee using established selection criteria. The committee is made up of members of the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.”

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT:

Broken Windows, Broken Business: How the Smallest –Amazon.com —- https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Windows-Business-Smallest…/dp/0446698482 —— Once every few years a book comes along with an insight so penetrating, so powerful – and so simply, demonstrably true -that it instantly changes the way we think and behave.

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ****Stanley Greene, whose visceral and brutally honest images of conflict and his fearlessness in the most perilous of places made him one of the leading war photographers of his generation, died on Friday in Paris. He was 68. A founding member of the photographer-owned agency Noor Images, Mr. Greene, who lived in Paris, had been treated for liver cancer for several years, associates said.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Do You Want To Be Part of The “Best of Los Angeles” community? It’s simple. Visit this link and simply click “Like” —–https://www.facebook.com/BestofLosAngelesAwards/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Bret Stephens: Friends and colleagues who knew Roger Ailes better than I did attest that he was a nicer and more considerate man than most liberal obituarists will ever give him credit for. They add (and the same obituarists concede) that the creator of Fox News understood the art of political messaging better than just about anybody in the last 50 years. And they claim, without contradiction, that nobody did more than Ailes to broaden the reach of conservative ideas among the American public, at least nobody since Ronald Reagan. Except in this respect: If Ailes broadened, he also debased. The man who did so much to engineer the ascendancy of conservative media paved the way to its moral and intellectual decline — much as his own accumulation of vast corporate power created openings for his abuse of it. Many are the milestones along this long and winding road. One that stands out for me came in November 2015, in a revealing exchange between Washington Post columnist George Will, the scholarly senior statesman of conservative punditry, and Bill O’Reilly, Fox News’ lord of hosts.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Peggy Noonan: Here’s an idea.  It would be good if top Hill Republicans went en masse to the president and said: “Stop it. Clean up your act. Shut your mouth. Do your job. Stop tweeting. Stop seething. Stop wasting time. You lost the thread and don’t even know what you were elected to do anymore. Get a grip. Grow up and look at the terrain, see it for what it is. We have limited time. Every day you undercut yourself, you undercut us. More important, you keep from happening the good policy things we could have done together. If you don’t grow up fast, you’ll wind up abandoned and alone. Act like a president or leave the presidency.” Could it help? For a minute. But it would be constructive—not just carping, leaking, posing, cheering and tweeting but actually trying to lead.  The president needs to be told: Democracy is not your plaything.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: The revealing conversation continues…..”Without Notes” with M. Zuhdi Jasser M.D. – Episode 2: The American Dream —-https://youtu.be/xjCOe2TTw6U .

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Jackie Wilson: The Black King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. —- http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jackie-wilson-doug-saint-carter/1126392721?ean=9780966942538– This book is about the life and times of the great singer, Jackie Wilson, known for hits like, “Higher & Higher,” Lonely Teardrops,” and “Baby Workout.” No one before or since has out performed Mr Excitement when it comes to the combination of vocalist and performer. He’s a Rock, Pop, and R&B icon who was the eleventh artist inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He’s the black counterpart to the artist of the 21st Century/The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley. Read the book and you’ll wonder why there’s never been a movie about this King.

*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:….

*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Steve Harvey is being sued by his second ex-wife Mary Shackelford, for upwards of $60 million dollars. According to court documents, the comedian’s ex claims that her life has never been the same following their divorce in 2005.   ***Alan Cumming revealed he likes to Google naked pictures of any co-stars he’s scripted to share sex scenes with. The “Good Wife” star, 52, said he liked to see what he was working with if the material was available on the web.   ***The Cannes Film Festival started with a bang again this week, after a press screening of Netflix’s “Okja” was interrupted by loud booing. Some attendees were infuriated by Netflix’s refusal to abide by the new festival rule that all movies should be shown in French cinemas. Then the film — which stars Tilda Swinton and Jake Gyllenhaal — was stopped because of a technical glitch, and restarted again without explanation, which led to further jeers.

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