The woman killed in Wednesday evening’s London knife attack has been identified as an American citizen in her sixties, Metropolitan police confirmed. The “spontaneous” attack near Russell Square injured five others and was believed to have been carried out by a Norwegian national of Somali origin. Police officials said during a press conference Thursday morning that “While the investigation is not yet complete, all of the work we have done so far increasingly points to this tragic incident as having been triggered by mental-health issues.” Additionally, they noted, there are no signs of radicalization for the as-yet-unidentified 19-year-old assailant. However, they added, terror-related motives remain a possibility. Those injured are of Australian, American, Israeli, and British origins, police confirmed. The neighborhood where the incident occurred is known for its budget hotels and hostels that are popular with tourists.
Senior Justice Department officials objected to a plane to fly a jet with cash to Tehran at the same time as four American detainees were released, worrying that it would create a bad impression. They were ultimately overruled by the State Department. “People knew what it was going to look like, and there was concern the Iranians probably did consider it a ransom payment,’’ one person familiar with the discussions said.
*As Political Conventions End, Media Expert Levine Challenges Minority Leaders To Teach Capitalism; Changes Attitudes In Five-Year Goal:
President Obama’s approval rating has hit a three-and-a-half-year high following last week’s Democratic National Convention, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Thursday. Since February, Obama’s approval has landed near the 50-percent mark, but that number increased to 54 percent after his well-received remarks at the DNC last Wednesday in Philadelphia. This is the highest he’s polled, in the same survey, since early 2013.
Donald J. Trump all but erased his enormous fund-raising disadvantage against Hillary Clinton in the span of just two months, according to figures released by his campaign on Wednesday, converting the passion of his core followers into a flood of small donations on a scale rarely seen in national politics. Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $64 million through a joint digital and mail effort in July, according to his campaign, the bulk of it from small donations. All told, Mr. Trump and his party brought in $82 million last month, only slightly behind Mrs. Clinton’s $90 million, and ended with $74 million on hand, suggesting he might now have the resources to compete with Mrs. Clinton in the closing stretch of the campaign.
The Libertarian Party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominees used a CNN town hall-style eventWednesday night to tear into Republican nominee Donald Trump. “I think he is a showman, a Pied Piper, the Music Man,” VP pick Bill Weld, aformer Republican governor of Massachusetts, told the cable-news audience. “More recently, it has gotten more serious and the noun that comes to my mind is ‘a screw loose.’” Weld and his presidential nominee, fellow former Gov. Gary Johnson, are polling in the low double-digits nationally, and told host Anderson Cooper that they don’t feel a vote for third-party candidates is imprudent: “A wasted vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in,” Johnson said.
*ISIS Announces New Boko Haram Leader:
The Islamic State terror group’s media arm on Wednesday announced a new leader of the Boko Haram extremist group in Nigeria, signalling a major change in strategy and new targets for terrorist attacks. The new leader was presented as Abu Musab al-Barnawi by the ISIS-controlled newspaper al-Nabaa. Barnawi was reported to have said Boko militants should stop targeting mosques and markets and instead focus on churches and aid groups in the hopes of killing Christians rather than Muslims. Barnawi also vowed to fight the “Christianization of society” by “booby-trapping and blowing up every church that we are able to reach, and killing all of those [Christians] who we find from the citizens of the cross.” In addition to laying out a new strategy, Barnawi’s comments also seem to point to more terrorist groups distancing themselves from al Qaeda and moving closer to the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo was booed and taunted every time she touched the ball Wednesday night in the women’s national soccer team’s Rio Olympic opener versus New Zealand. Solo has drawn the ire of the Brazilian people for her repeated criticisms of the country’s handling of the Zika outbreak amid this month’s Olympic Games. Fans at Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte jeered, whistled, and even chanted “Zika!” in unison whenever Solo made contact with the ball. Following the match, Solo told NBC Sports that she didn’t mind the heckling: “They were having fun. At least it’s loud in the stadium. I’d rather have that than hearing a needle drop.” The U.S. team won 2-0.
*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: ***The Bank of England said on Thursday that it would cut its main interest rate to its lowest point ever and expand other measures to bolster Britain’s economy over concern that the country’s decision to leave the European Union could weigh on growth. The move comes at a time of widespread uncertainty about the longer-term impact of the vote to leave the bloc, known as Brexit. It is unclear what Britain’s future trading relationship will be with the European Union, and crucially, how much access London’s prized financial services industry will have to the Continent. The referendum also unleashed a summer of political turmoil that led to a new government and to questions about the new leadership’s economic policies. ***A small start-up has received the green light from the federal government to do something that NASA has not done for more than four decades: land on the moon. Moon Express, based in Cape Canaveral, Fla., announced Wednesday that it had received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to set a robotic lander on the moon. That feat would win the Google Lunar X Prize competition for the first private organization to reach the moon and an accompanying $20 million reward.
*LBN-HEALTH WATCH: ***Scientists say they may have found a sort of magic ingredient to prevent asthma in children:microbes from farm animals, carried into the home in dust. The results of their research, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, were so convincing that they raised the possibility of developing a spray to do the same thing for children who do not have regular contact with cows and horses. It is a pressing problem because as many as 10.6 percent of grade-school children have asthma, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And there is no cure for this chronic and frightening disease.
*LBN-NOTICED: Barbara Lazaroff — ex-wife of chef Wolfgang Puck, who helped him build his empire — was banned from Hollywood hot spot the Tower Bar after she threw a fit and got a dressing down from the owner, Jeff Klein. Famously feisty Lazaroff flew into a rage when she was asked by staff to stop taking photos on Monday at the elegant eatery at the Sunset Tower Hotel, which is frequented by stars including Johnny Depp and Jennifer Aniston. Lazaroff, who co-founded the original Spago with Puck, is a partner in his business and helped turn him into the original celebrity chef before they divorced in 2002 after 19 years of marriage. “I’m not a guy who likes conflict,” Puck said of his ex. “Barbara thrives on it.” ***Leo DiCaprio chatting with Steve Madden at Scalinatella in NYC. ***Anna Wintour at an Architectural Digest party at Spring Place hosted by Amy Astley, along with Joseph Altuzarra, Simon Doonan and Jonathan Adler, Cornelia Guest, Aerin Lauder, Phillip Lim and Jason Wu. ***Jamie-Lynn Sigler at Yamashiro in Hollywood. ***Lamar Odom, who nearly died from an overdose at a Nevada brothel last year and was recently removed from a plane after vomiting while drunk, was spotted two times this week at Hooters in Queens with a bunch of guy pals, spies said. In July, he was seen at CityScapes Gentlemen’s Club in the same area, where sources said he stayed sober. ***Donald Trump may have had a tough week, but the unruffled Republican presidential candidate and wife Melania were seen on a date night at Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar on Tuesday night. Guests were gobsmacked to see the relaxed couple happily dining at the impossible-to-get-into restaurant that’s popular with celebrities.
- The average American woman owns approximately 21 pairs of underwear. Approximately 10% of women own over 35 pairs.
- Ten-year-old Jack Singer of Warwick, New York, wore 215 pairs of underwear simultaneously on June 13, 2010. He broke the previous record of 200 pairs.
- While underwear may or may not be worn under kilts, tradition holds that a “true Scotsman” would wear nothing underneath.
- According to bra-fitting experts, approximately 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.
- Trend analysts observe that a woman who wears a g-string is typically a woman who feels more uninhibited and more confident to display her body. Sexually, she is more willing to try different and creative positions.
- Sexual researchers note that a woman who chooses to wear white cotton panties tends to be a low maintenance and a no-frills type of a woman. Researchers note that this is akin to letting a man see her without makeup.
- The average woman will wear six different bra sizes throughout her life.
- Most bras should be replaced every 6 months.
- Bras that don’t fit correctly can cause back strain and loss of breast firmness.
- The country with the most underwear models working for Victoria’s Secret is Brazil.
Louis Armstrong (1901)
“Map Stack makes designing maps free, easy, and fun. Assemble a selection of different map layers like backgrounds, satellite imagery, terrain, roads or labels. Tweak Photoshop-like controls like colors, masks, opacity and brightness to make a map your own. Share your map with a link or Pinterest or Tumblr.”
*LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Hell hath no fury like the other woman scorned. Ozzy Osbourne‘s mistress, Michelle Pugh, filed a lawsuit against Kelly Osbourne for defamation of character after the celebuspawn lashed out at Pugh on Twitter. The suit stems from a May incident in which Kelly, 31, tweeted Pugh’s private cellphone number to her four million followers, writing, “Anyone looking for cheap chunky LOW-lights a blow out and a blowjob call…” Kelly also insinuated that Pugh’s relationship with Ozzy, 67, was a form of “elder abuse.” ***Caitlyn Jenner says she backs the Republican party, but hasn’t “outwardly supported anybody” in the presidential race, including GOP nominee Donald Trump. During an appearance on HBO’s “Any Given Wednesday,” Jenner said she wants “to help the entire Republican Party do a better job when it comes to LGBT issues.”
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