LBN – Special Report – Sunday, May 14th, 2017

*North Korea Tests Ballistic Missile

North Korea tested a ballistic missile early Sunday that landed close to Russia, U.S. Pacific Command said. The missile was launched from a western part of the country and landed in the Sea of Japan, just 60 miles off the coast of Vladivostok in eastern Russia. According to the Japanese defense ministry, the projectile was airborne for 30 minutes and reached an altitude of 1,240 miles. U.S. Pacific Command does not believe it was an intercontinental ballistic missile, adding that it did not pose a threat to North America. “With the missile impacting so close to Russian soil—in fact, closer to Russia than to Japan—the President cannot imagine that Russia is pleased,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. “Let this latest provocation serve as a call for all nations to implement far stronger sanctions against North Korea.” The launch is the first since Moon Jae-in, who has shown a willingness to engage diplomatically with the north, was inaugurated as president of South Korea.

*Trump ‘Surprised’ over Democrats’ Reactions to Comey Firing

President Donald Trump said on Saturday he was “surprised” at the Democrats’ reactions to his firing of FBI Director James Comey, given that many of them had criticized Comey for the better part of the part year. “I guess I was a little bit surprised, because all of the Democrats, I mean, they hated Jim Comey,” Trump told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro in an interview that aired Saturday. “They didn’t like him, they wanted him fired, or whatever, and then all of a sudden they come up with these glowing reports. You know, look, it’s politics.” Trump echoed similar reported reactions from his administration in expressing shock at the backlash, but contradicted his vice president, among others, when he said he was planning to dismiss Comey “regardless” of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s recommendation. “It’s beyond being a hypocrite. You have these tremendous—the level of hatred toward him, especially during that period of time with Hillary Clinton where he gave her a free ride,” Trump added.

*Europol: Cyberattacks Expand to 150 Countries

Large-scale international cyberattacks have expanded to at least 150 countries, affecting more than 100,000 organizations, Europol said Sunday. The “ransomware” hacks are being carried out using stolen software from the National Security Agency, and were first carried out against hospitals in the United Kingdom. They have since targeted government institutions. The hackers often demand ransom payments in order to restore access to hacked systems. Jan Op Gen Oorth, a spokesman for Europol, warned that the numbers are likely to increase as people return to work on Monday morning and turn on their computers.

*Richard Spencer Leads March Defending Confederate Statue

Alt-right figurehead and white nationalist Richard Spencer led a protest on Saturday in support of a Confederate monument ofRobert E. Lee in Virginia. The protesters were wielding torches and chanting, “You will not replace us,” “Russia is our friend,” and “Blood and soil.” After police were called to the scene to break up a fight, officials say the crowd dispersed and there were no further altercations. The city of Charlottesville has received criticism over its decision to sell the statue of the Confederate general. In a statement, Charlottesville MayorMike Signer said the protest was “either profoundly ignorant or was designed to instill fear in our minority populations in a way that hearkens back to the days of the KKK.”

*Emmanuel Macron Inaugurated as French President

Centrist Emmanuel Macron was sworn in as France’s new president on Sunday, a week after he defeated far-right populistMarine Le Pen in a run-off. Macron, 39, is now the country’s youngest leader since Napoleon Bonaparte. “The division and fractures in our society must be overcome. The world and Europe needs France more than ever,” said Macron, who ran a pro-European Union campaign. Macron was formerly an investment banker and a member of outgoing PresidentFrancois Hollande’s socialist government. Macron’s campaign seemed on the verge of unraveling when, just two days before the election last Sunday, it announced that it was the target of a cyberattack—eerily similar to those carried out by alleged Russian operatives during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election in the United States. But the hack did not have a significant outcome on the race, as it occurred right before a nationwide blackout on election news.


*Poll: 29 Percent Approve of Comey Firing

Just 29 percent of Americans approve of President Donald Trump’s decision to fire James Comey as FBI director, according to a new poll. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found that 38 percent disapprove of the decision. Among those who said they have been following the news closely, 33 percent approve, while 53 percent disapprove. Trump abruptly fired Comey last week, and his administration pointed to Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email case. Democrats and many Republicans have decried the move, saying it creates the appearance that Trump fired the man overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election as well as the potential role Trump associates played. Trump’s approval rating is still lagging, clocking in at 39 percent in the NBC/WSJ poll.

*Texas College Nixes GOP Senator’s Speaking Invitation

A historically black university in Texas has rescinded an invitation to Senator John Cornyn to give a commencement speech. Students at Texas Southern University threatened to boycott the upcoming commencement speech and started an online petition to prevent Cornyn from speaking, saying his political views were an “insult” to what the university stands for. “The decision to host Mr. Cornyn as a keynote speaker sends the message that the policies and views he has advocated and supported, including both discriminatory policies and politicians, are acceptable by the university and subsequently the student body,” the petition said. In addition to publicly supporting President Trump, Cornyn has come out against expanding a program for children’s health insurance, and voted in favor of requiring a voter ID in federal elections, among other things. Cornyn, a Republican, was also recently named as one of Trump’s four potential nominees to head the FBI. About 800 students at the Texas Southern signed the online petition, and by Friday, the university had heeded their call and canceled Cornyn’s speech. The move follows a wave of incidents in which students rallied to prevent certain figures from speaking at various universities. In the most recent incident, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was met with boos and turned backs by students at Bethune-Cookman earlier this week. A speaking engagement by Ann Coulter was also canceled recently, when administrators at University of California at Berkeley pulled the plug over safety concerns amid student protests. The university later offered a new date for the event, but Coulter refused.


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*LBN-THIS DAY IN HISTORY: 1607 – 1st permanent English settlement founded in New World, Jamestown, Virginia

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The revealing TV interview show — “Without Notes” with M. Zuhdi Jasser M.D. – Episode 2: The American Dream ——

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “Fearing no insult, asking for no crown, receive with indifference both flattery and slander, and do not argue with a fool.” – Aleksandr Pushkin –


*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Melissa McCarthy Returns as Press Secretary Sean Spicer in New ‘SNL’ Sketch —-

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

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