LBN – Special Report – Tuesday

*Bombs Kill 69 at Busy Baghdad Markets

A series of attacks in busy Baghdad markets and a restaurant have killed at least 69 people and wounded scores of others Tuesday, officials said. An outdoor market in a majority-Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad was struck by a car bomb. Meanwhile, a second bomb in another neighborhood market killed and wounded many others. In another neighborhood, nine were killed and another 18 wounded at a restaurant. ISIS has claimed responsibility for two of the three attacks.

*WHO READS LBN: Comedian Chelsea Handler

*Magic Mushrooms ‘Lift Severe Depression’

Researchers who used “magic” mushrooms to treat significant depression in a clinical trial have said the method could one day be used in mainstream medicine. The trial found that two doses of psilocybin, the active substance in ’shrooms, eased severe depression in all 12 of the study’s subjects for three weeks. In five of the volunteers, symptoms didn’t return for three months. Because of the legal restrictions surrounding the drug, the trial required large sums of money and years of research. The scientists caution that the small size of the trial only takes the research a small step further—more studies are needed. Despite the promising results, lead author Robin Earhart-Harris also gave a don’t-try-this-at-home caution, “I wouldn’t want members of the public thinking they can treat their own depressions by picking their own magic mushrooms. That kind of approach could be risky.” She noted, “Psychedelic drugs have potent psychological effects and are only given in our research when appropriate safeguards are in place, such as careful screening and professional therapeutic support.”

*Twitter May Ease Rules for Character Limits Reports Media Expert

According to media expert and author Michael Levine, ( Twitter users are about to find it much easier to fit all they want in their tweets, as the company plans to exclude photos and links from the 140-character limit. “Twitter user growth for the social-media platform has been lackluster in recent months, and company executives are reportedly seeking new ways to combat the stagnation. Twitter’s stock price is down more than 70 percent in the past year,” reported Levine.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES:   ***The phrase “tying the knot” initially came from an ancient Babylonian custom in which threads from the clothes of both the bride and bridegroom were tied in a knot to symbolize the couple’s union. Literally tying some type of ceremonial knot at a wedding ceremony can be found across cultures

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***A few years back, the heavy-equipment manufacturer JCB held a job fair in the glass foyer of its sprawling headquarters near here, but when a throng of prospective employees learned the next step would be drug testing, an alarming thing happened: About half of them left. That story still circulates within the business community of this historic port city. But the problem has gotten worse. All over the country, employers say they see a disturbing downside of tighter labor markets as they try to rebuild from the worst recession since the Depression: They are struggling to find workers who can pass a pre-employment drug test. That hurdle partly stems from the growing ubiquity of drug testing, at corporations with big human resources departments, in industries like trucking where testing is mandated by federal law for safety reasons, and increasingly at smaller companies.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss in life is what dies inside us while we live.” – Norman Cousin —–

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Bruce Willis and John Lithgow at “A Streetcar Named Desire” at St. Ann’s Warehouse in NYC.   ***Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King at the Lambs Club in NYC as Les Moonves and Steve Martin also dined. ***Alan Cumming, Kelly Cutrone and Mimi Prober at a Soho Grand bash for Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra’s JCRT line.

*UNIQUELY, LBN: Dr. Jon Perlman, an LBN reader from Beverly Hills, California.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Jon Pareles: When Bob Dylan released an album last year of standards associated with Frank Sinatra, “Shadows in the Night,” it was an intriguing sidebar to his own enormous catalog of songs disrupting Tin Pan Alley’s principles: a ragged voice and a rootsy band in the ruins of long-gone youth and pop’s elegant past. A second standards album, the new “Fallen Angels,” just repeats the gesture with diminishing returns. But “Melancholy Mood,” which was the B-side of Sinatra’s debut single with Harry James and his Orchestra in 1939, executes the gesture convincingly. Over the gently swinging band — which, like James, starts with a full instrumental verse — Mr. Dylan’s voice certainly has the mileage and tatters to put across sentiments like, “All I can see is grief and gloom/Till the crack of doom.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: What is the central challenge facing our era? My answer would be: social isolation. Gaps have opened up among partisan tribes, economic classes and races. There has been a loss of social capital, especially for communities down the income scale. Take, for example, the town of Lost Hills. Lost Hills is a farming town in the Central Valley, 42 miles northwest of Bakersfield. It is not a rich town, but neither is it a desolate one. There are jobs here, thanks to the almond and pistachio processing plants nearby. When you go to the pre-K center and look at the family photos on the wall, you see that most of the families are intact — a mom, a dad and a couple kids standing proudly in front of a small ranch house. Many of these families have been here for decades. But until recently you didn’t find the community organizations that you’d expect to find in such a place. There’s still no permanent church. Up until now there has been no library and no polling station. The closest police station is 45 miles away. Until recently there were no sidewalks nor many streetlights, so it was too dangerous to go trick-or-treating.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Angelina Jolie is disgusted by Donald Trump’s suggestion to temporarily ban Muslims from entering America. “To me, America is built on people from around the world coming together for freedoms, especially freedom of religion,” Jolie, 40, said at a Monday BBC event in London, according to CNN. “So it’s hard to hear this coming from someone who is pressing to be an American president.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Marcelle Luna

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