LBN- Special Report – Thursday December 29, 2016

*DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that in addition to being read daily in all 50 of the United States, LBN is read daily in 26 foreign countries from China to India, from Brazil to Russia, from Israel to Japan, from Germany to Australia, from France to South Africa, from Mexico to Sweden, from Greece to Korea, from Spain to Cuba, from Canada to Iraq.

Syrian Military, Rebels Agree to Russian-Brokered Truce:

The Syrian military agreed early Thursday to a nationwide ceasefire, including a halt to airstrikes and shelling, set to begin at midnight Friday. President Vladimir Putin said Russia and Turkey will be guarantors of the peace arrangement, and it will be followed by more talks between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and opposition forces. Separately, Putin ordered an immediate drawdown of Russian forces and weaponry in Syria, though it was unclear how many troops, crucial to Assad’s defense, would be withdrawn. The truce includes 62,000 opposition fighters throughout Syria, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, but excludes groups labeled as terror organizations by the United Nations, including ISIS and al Qaeda-linked factions. Turkish and Russian officials said they have established a new hotline intended to monitor compliance with the peace deal. Until now, all previous efforts to stop the country’s nearly six-year civil war have failed. More than 400,000 people have died in the fighting.

Islamic State Group Urges More Attacks in Europe:

A group supporting ISIS on Wednesday called for more attacks in Europe over the holidays, posting photos of reindeer and Santa Claus next to armed jihadis. The Nashir Media Foundation, an Islamic State terror group propaganda magazine, encouraged attacks on marketplaces and hospitals, cautioning Muslims to avoid Christian celebrations for fear of being targeted, the SITE Intelligence Group reported. “Their celebrations, gatherings, clubs, markets, theaters, cinemas, malls, and even their hospitals are all perfect targets for you,” the message said. Jihadis will soon “replace their fireworks with explosive belts and devices, and turn their singing and clapping into weeping and wailing,” it said. European authorities are already on high alert after an ISIS-inspired attack in Berlin killed 12 people last week.


Brother Sues CBS Over JonBenét Ramsey Documentary Series:

JonBenét Ramsey’s older brother has filed a lawsuit claiming that CBS, producers, and experts interviewed in its program, The Case of JonBenét Ramsey, conspired to defame him for financial gain. Burke Ramsey, 29, is seeking $750 million, alleging that his reputation was ruined by the documentary miniseries’ conclusion: that he killed his 6-year-old sister. The series aired this fall, just before the 20th anniversary of JonBenét’s death. Ramsey, a child beauty-pageant contestant, was found dead in the basement of her family’s Colorado home in December 1996. Burke’s suit contends that the television series was a “sham reinvestigation” of the murder and had a “preconceived storyline.” According to the court documents, “The accusation that Burke Ramsey killed his sister was based on a compilation of lies, half-truths, manufactured information, and the intentional omission and avoidance of truthful information about the murder of JonBenét Ramsey.”

OSCE Suffered ‘Major’ Cyberattack Before U.S. Election:

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe suffered a “major” cyberattack ahead of U.S. elections in November that one intelligence agency believes Russian hackers were responsible for. A spokeswoman for the OSCE told RFE/RL on Wednesday that the “major information-security incident” compromised “the confidentiality” of the Vienna-based organization’s network but did not disrupt operations. More alarming, however, is the group that is suspected of involvement in the cyberattack. The French daily Le Monde cited an unnamed Western intelligence agency as saying the Russian hacker group APT28 is thought to be the culprit—the same hackers blamed for the attacks on the Democratic National Committee. OSCE spokeswoman Ursula Froese said it was “not possible to determine with certainty the identity of the attackers” and declined to comment on whether or not Russian hackers were involved. No further details were released on what the hackers’ motive may have been, but the OSCE deployed observers to monitor the U.S. presidential election around the time of the hack.

LBN-VIDEO LINK: Billie Lourd’s Impression of Debbie Reynolds Is Spot-On

Man Given 3-Year Sentence for Insulting Putin:

A Kazakh man was given a three-year sentence in a penal colony after he was found guilty of insulting Russian PresidentVladimir Putin on Facebook. Sanat Dosov, 46, is believed to have been arrested in August, which is when he stopped posting on Facebook. Kazakh criminal law says one cannot incite “social, national, generic, racial, class, or religious hatred” and is prohibited from insulting “the national honor and dignity of religious feelings of citizens.” Although Kazakhstan and Russia are separate countries, Dosov was still charged and sentenced under that law. He called Putin a fascist, among other insults, and apparently wrote that Putin was “ruining” Russia.

Duterte: I’ve Thrown a Man From Helicopter:

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday he once threw a Chinese man—who was suspected of rape and murder—out of a moving helicopter. The admission came while he was threatening his own government officials that he would throw them out of helicopters without hesitation. “If you are corrupt, I will fetch you using a helicopter to Manila and I will throw you out,” he said. “I have done this before, why would I not do it again?” Earlier this month, Duterte admitted to personally killing alleged criminals while he was mayor of Davao City. United Nations human-rights officials have called for an investigation into Duterte’s claims of extrajudicial killings.

LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***Women who took fish oil during the last three months of pregnancy significantly lowered the risk that their children would develop asthma, a study in Denmark has found. Among children whose mothers took fish-oil capsules, 16.9 percent had asthma by age 3, compared with 23.7 percent whose mothers were given placebos. The difference, nearly 7 percentage points, translates to a risk reduction of about 31 percent. But in the study released on Wednesday, the researchers say they are not ready to recommend that pregnant women routinely take fish oil. Although the study found no adverse effects in the mothers or babies, the doses were high, 2.4 grams per day — 15 to 20 times what most Americans consume from foods.

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and son James together with John BenjaminHickey and Jeffrey Richman dining in the tavern at the 1770 House in NYC on Monday.   ***Kevin Dillon and friends watching a Giants game at Bounce Sporting Club in NYC.   ***And so begins yet another party season for Johnny Manziel. The disgraced former NFL star — who was last seen guzzling bubbly at a party for his 24th birthday early this month — was spotted at the Wall nightclub in Miami early Wednesday, limbering up for the boozy New Year’s celebrations in South Beach.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “Never mistake motion for action.” —–

DMV licensed 800,000 illegal immigrants under 2-year-old law: 
On the day that California officials implemented a controversial law that allows undocumented residents to obtain driver’s licenses, DMV offices throughout the state were packed with immigrants looking to take advantage of the opportunity. Two years after the implementation of AB 60 on Jan. 1, 2015, an estimated 806,000 undocumented residents have received driver’s licenses, according to Department of Motor Vehicles statistics this month. About 14,000 of these licenses were issued in November alone, the DMV said.

LBN-VIDEO LINK: George Michael talks about his sexuality (1998)  —-

LBN-R.I.P.: Debbie Reynolds, the wholesome ingénue in 1950s films like “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Tammy and the Bachelor,” died Wednesday, a day after the death of her daughter, the actress Carrie Fisher. She was 84. Her death was confirmed by her son, Todd Fisher, according to her agent, Tom Markley of the Metropolitan Talent Agency. Ms. Reynolds was taken to a Los Angeles hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Mr. Fisher told the television station ABC 7 Los Angeles that she had suffered a stroke. According to TMZ, she had been discussing funeral plans for Ms. Fisher, who died on Tuesday after having a heart attack during a flight to Los Angeles last Friday.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: For those of you confused over the latest fight between President Obama and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel, let me make it simple: Barack Obama and John Kerry admire and want to preserve Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in the Land of Israel. I have covered this issue my entire adult life and have never met two U.S. leaders more committed to Israel as a Jewish democracy. But they are convinced — rightly — that Netanyahu is a leader who is forever dog paddling in the middle of the Rubicon, never ready to cross it. He is unwilling to make any big, hard decision to advance or preserve a two-state solution if that decision in any way risks his leadership of Israel’s right-wing coalition or forces him to confront the Jewish settlers, who relentlessly push Israel deeper and deeper into the West Bank. That is what precipitated this fight over Obama’s decision not to block a U.N. resolution last week criticizing Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The settlers’ goal is very clear, as Kerry put it on Wednesday: to strategically place settlements “in locations that make two states impossible,” so that Israel will eventually annex all of the West Bank. Netanyahu knows this will bring huge problems, but his heart is with the settlers, and his passion is with holding power — at any cost. So in any crunch, he sides with the settlers, and they keep pushing. Obama ordered the U.S. to abstain on the U.N. resolution condemning the settlements (three months after Obama forged a 10-year, $38 billion military aid package for Israel — the largest for any U.S. ally ever) in hopes of sparking a debate inside Israel and to prevent it from closing off any chance of a two-state solution.

LBN-COMMENTARY by LAWRENCE DOWNES: Oh, Carrie Fisher, gone way too soon. And now your mother, Debbie Reynolds. The startling loss this week of one of Hollywood’sgreat mother-daughter pairs was another blow in an unnerving year. You could call it a Hollywood ending, if by that you mean one that is larger and weirder than real life, and that tugs mightily at strong emotions. A suggestion to grieving admirers: Make time for another viewing of “Singin’ in the Rain,” made when Ms. Reynolds was 19. Watch her becoming a star, easily holding her own against two older leading men. But even though Ms. Fisher pulled off a strikingly similar feat — making an immortal movie at 19, with two male stars — there is a better way to honor her than by revisiting “Star Wars.” Read her books. They are works where misery and brilliance commingle with wit, the creations of an actual person who had many layers and is worth getting to know, as opposed to Princess Leia, who has none and is not.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Judith Regan (Book Publisher): Profoundly creative people have a deep emotional well from which they draw to deliver the performances, art, music and literature that so resonates within us all. Because of their profound sensitivity, they operate at a higher emotional pitch than most of us. Enter substances like alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs and other activities meant to regulate their fever pitch. Tragically, that is the road to hell and ultimately results in self-destruction. Always a tragedy because they give so much of themselves. We love them, love their ability to connect with us and mourn their loss.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: The Best-Selling P.R. Book Of All-Time —— “Guerrilla P.R.”: The author puts forth a cogent, concise work that is spattered with snappy “true-life” examples of traditional and nontraditional public relations activities. Chapters include sections called “Tips and Traps,” which list practical PR advice ranging from how to handle the press to speechmaking to giving successful parties and the effective use of photos–just to name a few. The audience for this work would certainly include the novice, but more savvy PR practitioners could, at the very least, gain insight into a witty, bright expert’s mind. —–

WHO READS LBN? Comedian Adam Christing:


LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Rob Kardashian was rushed to the emergency room after his diabetes “flared up” — exactly oneyear after he was first diagnosed with the illness. Kardashian, 29, gained an “alarming” amount of weight recently, which sources attributed to the stress of his tumultuous relationship with Blac Chyna, TMZ reports.   ***A legend in the entertainment industry is offering up one of Los Angeles‘ legendary estates. The reconfigured Brentwood compound of 94-year-old TV impresario Norman Lear is now on the market for $39.95 million. The creator of iconic TV shows including “All In the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Maude,” and “One Day at a Time” and his producer-writer wife, Lynn Lear, bought the Mandeville Canyon property in the late ’80s, and improved it over the years.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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