LBN – Special Report – Sunday

* Pakistan PM to Have Open-Heart Surgery

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will undergo his second open-heart surgery next week, family and officials said. The surgery, which will take place in London, comes as Sharif faces mounting pressure over his family’s wealth. Sharif, who is 66, has struggled with heart problems for the past five years.

*WHO READS LBN? Columnist and author Maureen Dowd

*LBN-SPORTS INSIDER:   ***Amid the steady drumbeat of an arena rooting for him to fail, Klay Thompson refused to let the Golden State Warriors fade away. With his team facing elimination from the N.B.A. playoffs for the second time in three nights, Thompson spotted up from the 3-point line and carried his team. On Saturday night, the Warriors prolonged their season-long quest for a second straight N.B.A. championship by defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder, 108-101, in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals.

*LBN-POLITICAL INISDER: Donald Trump’s campaign is considering booking one of Cleveland’s big sports venues for his acceptance speech in July, two GOP sources familiar with the planning of the upcoming GOP convention say. The sources said First Energy Stadium, home of the Cleveland Browns, and Progressive Field, home of the city’s Indians baseball team, are the two sites under consideration for Trump’s acceptance speech on the final night of the convention.

*LBN-DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that 17 members of the staff of the New York Public Library read LBN daily?


1. The term “abortion” is from the Latin abortus (ab- “amiss” + oriri- “appear to be born, arise”).

2. The Egyptian Kahun Papyrus (1850 B.C.) suggests crocodile feces either for preventing conception or as an abortifacient. In Arabic medicine, elephant feces were frequently recommended. The Ebers Papyrus (1550 B.C.) contains several recipes that “cause a woman to stop pregnancy in the first, second, or third period.” One recipe for a vaginal suppository includes combining the unripe fruit of Acacia, colocynth, dates, and 6/7 pints of honey and pouring the mixture onto a moistened plant fiber.

3. Modern Arabic women still take colocynth as an abortifacient, though one woman who took 120 grains in a powder died 50 hours later.

4. While there has never been complete agreement about when a fetus becomes a person, the major sentiment in ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Roman thought was that there could be no living soul in an “unformed” and/or “unquickened” body and, hence, the law of homicide could not apply if a fetus was aborted before that time. However, other scholars, such as Basil, the bishop of Caesarea in Asia Minor (c. A.D. 330-379), called feticide murder at any point of development.

5. Aristotle suggests that the conceptus had a “soul” after 40 days from conception if a male and 90 if female (for a similar differentiation, see Leviticus 12:1-5 in the Bible). Later, Aristotle says that the fetus develops “little by little” and that one cannot make fine judgments.

6. The Stoics thought the soul came when the fetus was exposed to cool air, although the potential was present at conception. Plutarch and Tertullian both ridiculed that idea because babies born in hot climates or in warm rooms were certainly alive.

7. Ancient Hebrew religious law regarded a woman pregnant at 40 days after conception and, therefore, abortion before that could not be considered criminal.

8. There was an endless list of oral drugs to abort a fetus from before the time of Hippocrates (460 B.C.) and into the Middle Ages. A few examples include clover mixed with white wine, Edderwort mixed with vinegar and water, mountain rue, birthwort mixed with pepper and mint, white hellebore, shepherd’s purse, squirting cucumber, stinking iris, pomegranate, and even a poisonous fish the color of a hare.

9. Ancient physicians also used pessaries, or vaginal suppositories, as abortifacients. They were usually more potent than oral drugs and included substances like the juice of the wild fig, a “milky liquid” which caused irritation, soap-wort, myrrh, myrtle, lupine, cedar-oil mixed with water, wine, or hot oil. Physicians also recommend smearing on the uterine opening goose fat, mashed leek and celery, rose oils, pine resin, copper scum, boiled honey, sodium carbonate, and even mouse dung.

10. Some ancient pessaries were similar to Utus paste, a substance injected directly into the uterus as a method of abortion in Europe and the United States until the 1960s, but eventually condemned as unsafe. Use of Utus paste to terminate pregnancy, however, can still be found in many developing countries.

*LBN-MY REVIEW: “LBN floats my boat. It is news with an attitude. Massively thought-provoking.”—–Amber Z., an LBN reader from New Orleans, Louisiana

*LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***An upcoming book about Howard Stern by celebrity biographer Ian Halperin will include a bizarre claim that Frank Sinatra ordered a hit on the shock jock — but that goons may have murdered the wrong person by mistake. The exposé, which Halperin is still writing, will claim that Ol’ Blue Eyes was furious because Stern went after his children in an on-air rant in the early 1990s. “He criticized Frank Jr. and Nancy, and Frank lost his cool,” Halperin — who first revealed the tale on the “Anthony Cumia Show” podcast — told Page Six. “And everybody who ever knew Frank knew he was a nice guy, but you don’t want to piss him off. He had a big temper. And Frank ­allegedly put a hit on [Stern]. I have extreme corroboration on this.”

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Do You Want To Build YOUR Brand? —–

*LBN-COMMENTARY by ALAIN de BOTTON: It’s one of the things we are most afraid might happen to us. We go to great lengths to avoid it. And yet we do it all the same: We marry the wrong person. Partly, it’s because we have a bewildering array of problems that emerge when we try to get close to others. We seem normal only to those who don’t know us very well. In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?” Perhaps we have a latent tendency to get furious when someone disagrees with us or can relax only when we are working; perhaps we’re tricky about intimacy after sex or clam up in response to humiliation. Nobody’s perfect. The problem is that before marriage, we rarely delve into our complexities. Whenever casual relationships threaten to reveal our flaws, we blame our partners and call it a day. As for our friends, they don’t care enough to do the hard work of enlightening us. One of the privileges of being on our own is therefore the sincere impression that we are really quite easy to live with. Our partners are no more self-aware. Naturally, we make a stab at trying to understand them. We visit their families. We look at their photos, we meet their college friends. All this contributes to a sense that we’ve done our homework. We haven’t. Marriage ends up as a hopeful, generous, infinitely kind gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they cannot conceive of and have carefully avoided investigating.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Liza Minnelli — who sold her New York apartment last year and moved to a rental in Los Angeles — is quietly selling her collection of Andy Warhol paintings. A list I obtained of the 22 artworks includes four portraits of Liza, three of her mother, Judy Garland, and three of her father, Vincente Minnelli. Cindy Crawford said husband Rande Gerber’s tequila does wonders for their sex life. She made the remark at an event thrown by the Heart Foundation honoring Discovery Land Co.’s Mike Meldman, a partner in Casamigos Tequila. When asked if the hooch was good for the heart, she said, “I don’t know . . . but it’s definitely good for your sex life.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Marcelle Luna

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