LBN- Special Report- Thursday

*DEA to Refuse Relaxing of Marijuana Prohibition:

Despite 25 U.S. states and the District of Columbia having allowed the medical use of marijuana, the federal  government on Thursday will reaffirm its prohibition on the drug and its standing as a Schedule I narcotic that has “not currently accepted medical use.” The refusal to reschedule the drug will maintain its illegality, at the federal level, for doctors to prescribe to patients, effectively continuing the chill on medical research for the popular drug. According to multiple outlets, however, the government’s announcement will also expand the number of research facilities allowed to grow marijuana for medical-research purposes, effectively ending the monopoly on such research held by the University of Mississippi in contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

*House Probe: CENTCOM’s ISIS Intel Cooked:
The House Republican Joint Task Force charged with investigating allegations that officials from the U.S. military’s Central Command altered intelligence reports to portray the U.S. fight against ISIS and al Qaeda in a more positive light released its findings and made some damning conclusions.  Among them: CENTCOM leadership changed analysts’ assessments, failed to address mounting concerns about altered reports and that the positive assessments were reflected in CENTCOM press releases and congressional testimony.  The report vindicated more than a year of The Daily Beast’s reporting on CENTCOM’s handling of its analysts’ reports.   “There remains significant dissatisfaction within the CENTCOM workforce with analytic objectivity and processes at CENTCOM, particularly with the involvement of senior leadership of the Intelligence Directorate. Over the last two years, the organizational culture within the CENTCOM Intelligence Directorate has been perceived as toxic by a large portion of the workforce,” the report concluded. “While the task force cannot force CENTCOM to make changes, it urges its leadership to make major overhauls.”


*Trump to Supporters: Obama Is ‘Founder of ISIS’:
Speaking to a crowd in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday night, Republican nominee Donald Trump accused President Barack Obamaof founding the Islamic State terror group. “He is the founder of ISIS,” Trump said, repeating, “He’s the founder of ISIS, OK?… He’s the founder! He founded ISIS.” Taking it a step further, Trump went on to target his opponent in the presidential race. “And I would say, the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton,” he said. The comments are just the latest in a spate of inflammatory remarks that many believe have gone too far and border on inciting violence. Earlier Wednesday, Clinton warned Trump over his fiery rhetoric, saying he’d “crossed the line” by implying at another rally that supporters of gun rights could stop her from appointing U.S. Supreme Court justices, a comment that many interpreted as a call to assassinate her.

*Most Want to See Clinton, Trump Tax Returns, Medical Records, Notes Media Expert:
According to media expert and author Michael Levine( are again asking questions about Hillary Clinton’s health, while Democrats continue to insist that Donald Trump release his tax returns. “Most voters still believe major White House hopefuls should make public recent tax returns, but now most also think they should release their medical records, too,” said Levine.   A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 67% of likely U.S. voters think all presidential candidates should release at least their most recent tax returns to the public, although that’s down slightly from 73% who felt that way a year ago. Just 23% disagree.

*WWE to ‘Integrate LGBT Characters’:

Pro-wrestling organization WWE announced that it plans to incorporate more LGBT characters into its programming, thanks to a new partnership with GLAAD. Speaking at a Beyond Sport United event in New York City on Wednesday evening, the WWE’s chief brand officer Stephanie McMahon said “We will integrate LGBT characters into our programming… and I do think there will be an opportunity to integrate some of those storylines in the near future.” The entertainment organization claims to have brought GLAAD representatives into the workplace to discuss inclusivity with the WWE’s writers. “We’ve had GLAAD come in and speak to our entire writing team and give a whole tutorial on sensitivities, the right words, the wrong word, why those words matters,” McMahon revealed. “I think that with their guidance and support, we will be able to portray that appropriately.”


*Arianna Huffington Resigns From HuffPost:
Arianna Huffington announced Thursday that she will step down as editor in chief of her namesake news outlet, The Huffington Post, to run a new venture called Thrive Global. Huffington launched the news site, popularly referred to as HuffPost, in 2005, as a left-leaning alternative to news-aggregation titan Drudge Report. The site was bought by AOL in2011, for $315 million, and Huffington was named editor in chief of a newly formed Huffington Post Media Group. In June 2016, Huffington announced the launch of health and wellness advisory startup Thrive Global, which she reportedly told staffers would create educational workshops, online courses, and certifications to help companies focus on and improve the well-being of its employees. “I thought HuffPost would be my last act,” she confessed while announcing her departure on Twitter. “I’m filled with gratitude to all the colleagues and friends I’ve made here.”

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Approximately 70% of the nearly $500 million spent on candy during the week leading up to Easter is for chocolate.

*Katie Ledecky Leads Team USA to 200m Relay Gold:
The U.S. women’s swim team took home gold in Wednesday evening’s 200-meter freestyle relay competition, thanks to a strong finish by superstar Katie Ledecky. The American team trailed by 89-hundredths of a second when the 19-year-old phenom hit the water following three legs from teammates Allison Schmitt, Leah Smith, and Maya DiRado. Ledecky’s powerful front crawl pushed her ahead of the competition and gave Team USA a 1.84-second victory over second-place Australia, with Canada trailing in third by another half-second. The relay gold become Ledecky’s third gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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*LBN- BONUS SITE: SPACE.COM: Jupiter’s Effect Will Make Perseid Meteor Shower One to Remember
The Perseids, the most widely observed and dependable of the annual meteor displays, will peak during the overnight hours of Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. into the morning of Friday, Aug. 12, and this year has all the earmarks of being a spectacular show.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Macy’s, the country’s largest department store chain, plans to close more than 10 percent of its locations as part of efforts to reverse years of sagging sales and increase profits. The retailer said on Thursday as it announced its second-quarter earnings that it would shutter 100 stores, mostly at the beginning of next year. Macy’s shuttered 41 stores in its previous fiscal year.

*WHO READS LBN: Legal journalist, Linda Deutsch

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***John Saunders, a widely known ESPN and ABC sportscaster who guided viewers through many premier sporting events over the last 30 years, has died, ESPN announced on Wednesday. He was 61. The network provided no details on when and where he died or on the cause of death.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Jared Wynn: When a candidate’s umpteenth wife is a nude model and said candidate’s largest block of voters believes nude modeling to be a sin, pointing out the hypocrisy isn’t slut shaming, it’s pointing out the hypocrisy. There’s nothing for feminists to point out, and if there were, they’d still think twice since she’s married to a raging bigot and chauvinist.

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*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Christie Brinkley and rocker John Mellencamp are officially broken up. Insiders say that Christie, 62, was too worried that heavy smoker John — who’s already suffered one heart attack — could drop dead of another killer cardiac attack at any moment.   ***Melanie Griffith virtually toasted Antonio Banderas on his 56th birthday Wednesday. “Happy Birthday to my ruggedly handsome ex husband @antoniobanderaoficial,” she captioned a comical snap of the two of them when they were married. “I will always love you.” Banderas celebrated with a cake and a party.   ***Lindsay Lohan has set her sights yet again on a career comeback, following her breakup with Egor Tarabasov. On Monday, she was spotted at de Grisogono owner Fawaz Gruosi’s birthday in Sardinia, Italy, where “She was telling people she is going to spend more time in Hollywood and on her comeback.”   ***“Morning Joe” co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough had a “lovers’ tiff” on air while making the same point that the GOP leadership is not doing enough to denounce Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Brzezinski laid into House Speaker Paul Ryan, but was interrupted by Scarborough, who said, “It means nothing coming from you. You’re a Democrat.” Offended, she said, “Excuse me?”

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