LBN – Special Report – Tuesday February 28, 2017

LBN-INVESTIGATES: It’s common advice to avoid using social media when driving, operating heavy machinery or engaged in other delicate tasks. Now we can add to that list; don’t tweet when handing out the world’s most prestigious movie awards. For the biggest disaster in the history of the Oscars went down when a starstruck accountant’s mind could have been taken off the job after he spent the minutes before the Moonlight / La La Land mix-up tweeting pictures of celebrities from his personal account. And Brian Cullinan, 57, the LA-based, Cornell-educated partner at PwC who was responsible for handing out the Best Picture award envelope, “feels very, very terrible and horrible” about the mistake, his boss has said. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning on the existence of a now-deleted tweet bearing a photo of Emma Stone taken and sent by Cullinan, a mere three minutes before he made the biggest goof in Oscar history and gave Warren Beatty the wrong envelope on Sunday night. “Best Actress Emma Stone Backstage!” Cullinan tweeted at 9:05 p.m. PST, according to the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper obtained a copy of the post, along with multiple other tweets that he apparently sent out during the show, which suggest that the humble bean counter was not fully focused on the less-than-glamorous job of envelope-monitoring.

Trump Concedes Health Law Overhaul Is ‘Unbelievably Complex’:

President Trump, meeting with the nation’s governors, conceded Monday that he had not been aware of the complexities of health care policy-making: “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” The president also suggested that the struggle to replace the Affordable Care Act was creating a legislative logjam that could delay other parts of his political agenda. Many policy makers had anticipated the intricacies of changing the health care law, and Mr. Trump’s demands in the opening days of his administration to simultaneously repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement made the political calculations far more complicated. Governors of both parties added still more confusion on Monday when they called for any replacement to cover all the people already benefiting from the landmark law.

Trump: Obama Is ‘Behind’ Leaks, Protests:

President Trump on Tuesday morning blamed former PresidentObama for leaks of classified information from the White House and for protests in the wake of a controversial executive order halting immigration from seven predominantly-Muslim countries to the U.S. Trump made the comments in an interview with Fox and Friends, during which he gave no evidence for his claims. “I think he is behind it,” Trump said. “I also think it’s just politics. That’s just the way it is.” He continued, “You never know what’s exactly happening behind the scenes … I think that President Obama’s behind it because his people are certainly behind it.” He added, “Some of the leaks possibly come from that group. You know, some of the leaks—which are really very serious leaks because they’re very bad in terms of national security—but I also understand that’s politics and it will probably continue.”

Australian Arrested for Alleged ISIS Missile Help:

An Australian man was arrested for allegedly helping ISIS develop a missile program, officials said. “Police will allege that the man arrested has sought to advise ISIL on how to develop high-tech weapons capability,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday. The man, Haisem Zahab, was arrested near the country’s capital, Canberra, following an 18-month investigation. Officials have so far concluded that Zahab was not planning an attack on Australian soil. His charges of foreign incursion could result in a life sentence.

LBN-INVESTIGATES: If you think that chicken sandwich you ordered at Subway did not fully taste like fowl, you may have been right. According to a Canadian study, a DNA test showed only half of Subway’s oven-roasted patty is made with real chicken. Subway was among five fast-food restaurants whose chicken the Canadian Broadcast Corporation had tested. The results showed the Oven Roasted Chicken patties averaged 53.6 percent chicken DNA while the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki strips came in at 42.8 percent.


Samsung Acting Chief Indicted on Bribery Charges:

Samsung’s acting chief Lee Jae-yong was indicted on Tuesday on charges of bribery and embezzlement surrounding South Korea’s recently impeached president, Park Geun-hye. Samsung is accused of seeking special treatment from the government in exchange for donating to charities run by a close confidant of Park, who was impeached in December. Four other Samsung executives are expected to face similar charges. Lee is also accused of having lied to Parliament when testifying on the matter. Samsung has not commented publicly on the charges.

LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***Cancers of the colon and rectum have been declining in older adults in recent decades and have always been considered rare in young people. But scientists are reporting a sharp rise in colorectal cancers in adults as young as their 20s and 30s, an ominous trend. The vast majority of colorectal cancers are still found in older people, with nearly 90 percent of all cases diagnosed in people over 50. But a new study from the American Cancer Society that analyzed cancer incidence by birth year found that colorectal cancer rates, which had dropped steadily for people born between 1890 and 1950, have been increasing for every generation born since 1950. Experts aren’t sure why. Rectal cancers are rising particularly sharply, far faster than cancers in other parts of the large intestine or colon. The American Cancer Society estimates about 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancers will be diagnosed in Americans under 50 this year, with more than 95,500 cases of colon cancer and nearly 40,000 cases of rectal cancer in all age groups.

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***At least four automakers knew for years that Takata’s airbags were dangerous and could rupture violently but continued to use those airbags in their vehicles to save on costs, lawyers representing victims of the defect asserted in a court document filed on Monday. The Justice Department’s criminal investigation into Takata’s rupture-prone airbags has so far painted automakers as unwitting victims duped by a rogue supplier that manipulated safety data to hide a deadly defect, linked to at least 11 deaths and over 100 injuries in the United States. But the fresh allegations against Ford, Honda, Nissan and Toyota, made as part of a class-action lawsuit in Florida and based on company documents, point to a far deeper involvement by automakers that used Takata’s defective airbags for years.   ***In rational response to government intervention in deciding what’s “fair”, the blowback from minimum wage demanding fast food workers has struck again. Wendy’s plans to install self-ordering kiosks in 1,000 of its stores – 16% of its locations nationwide.

LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Ward Chamberlin Jr., a leading architect of the nation’s public broadcasting system who revitalized PBS stations in New York and Washington and nurtured the career of the documentarian Ken Burns, died on Thursday in Bedford, Mass. He was 95. The cause was complications of dementia, his daughter Carolyn Chamberlinsaid.

LBN-INVESTIGATES: The Raramuri people of Northern Mexico make their sleeping arrangements so that they can wake during the night to discuss their dreams with one another.

LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***Comedy Central wants to move stand-up comedy out of the clubs and into the realm occupied by massive outdoor events like Bonaroo or Lollapalooza. The Viacom-owned cable network plans to launch the “Colossal Clusterfest,” a three-day event that will feature comedy showcases, music, podcast recordings andcollaborations by the artists attending, all held at San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza and Bill Graham Civic Auditorium from Friday, June 2 to Sunday June 4. Comedy Central plans to air a 90-minute live special from the event on June 4. Jerry SeinfeldKevin Hart and Bill Burr will headline the event, which will also feature Sarah SilvermanIce CubeHannibal Buress, Tig Notaro, Pete Davidson, Fred Armisen, Natasha Leggero, Tegan andSara, Chromeo,  Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from the Comedy Central series “Broad City,” Bob Odenkirk, Vince Staples, Chris Hardwick, Reggie Watts, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Princess featuring Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Lieberum.

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Hollywood recluse Johnny Depp was a surprise guest at Madonna’s ultra-exclusive after-party. Sources tell us Depp — who has been lying low after his bruising divorce from Amber Heard followed by his headline-making legal battle with his business managers — showed up at Madonna’s party, thrown with her manager Guy Oseary at his Hollywood home.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Erin Gloria Ryan: At a little after midnight eastern time last night, I was scrubbing the stubborn stains of a meatloaf pan with a heavy-duty dish brush. The television was on in the living room, a window from mundanity into a night of Hollywood glamour. La La Land was winning the Oscar for Best Picture.  That’s predictable. I thought.  “Wait!” shouted my Oscars-viewing companion from the couch. “They made a mistake! It’s Moonlight!” I wiped the greasy water from my puckering hands and walked to the television in time to see the high-glitz bedlam unfold. Concerned people with headsets and spiking blood pressure paced the stage. Warren Beatty had the wrong envelope. And he announced the wrong winner. He was very sorry. Everybody was very sorry. The stage was crowded with the wrong people. Emma Stone’s mouth was a sideways capital D. The winner of Best Picture wasn’t her film, the frontrunner, the shiny Hooray For Everything film Hollywood has been historically wont to shower with praise. It was the scrappy underdog that had actually won. Nobody could believe it.  That’s predictable. I thought.

LBN-COMMENTARY by David Brooks: Being around a college classroom can really expand your perspective. For example, last week we were finishing off a seminar in grand strategy when one of my Yale colleagues, Charles Hill, drew a diagram on the board that put today’s events in a sweeping historical perspective. Running through the center of the diagram was the long line of Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment included thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant who argued that people should stop deferring blindly to authority for how to live. Instead, they should think things through from the ground up, respect facts and skeptically re-examine their own assumptions and convictions. Enlightenment thinkers turned their skeptical ideas into skeptical institutions, notably the U.S. Constitution. America’s founders didn’t trust the people or themselves, so they built a system of rules, providing checks and balances to pit interest against interest. De Tocqueville came along and said that if a rules-based democratic government was going to work anywhere it was going to be the United States. America became the test case for the entire Enlightenment project. With his distrust of mob rule and his reverence for law, Abraham Lincoln was a classic Enlightenment man. His success in the Civil War seemed to vindicate faith in democracy and the entire Enlightenment cause.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Doug Glanville: Major League Baseball and the Players Association agreed last week to change the intentional walk protocol so that the pitcher will no longer actually have to throw the four pitches that had been required. The reason? After some progress in speeding up the “pace of play,” baseball experienced a regression in 2016, as the average length of a game increased by four minutes. Under this new rule, the manager of the pitching team will simply point and the umpire will then award first base to the hitter. No mess.The purists, and even the semi-purists, are grumbling about this change. For them, the idea of awarding a base to a hitter without a pitch even being thrown is at a minimum blasphemy, and at worst apocalyptic. We are putting the spiritual sanctity of the game at risk, maybe even tempting the end of days from a fiery comet etched in speedup rules.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Kim Masters: Unlikely as it is, I find myself rising to defend Warren Beatty. It’s unlikely because the truth is that, while Beatty can be very charming, I have found him to be rather challenging in some of our past interactions. He is more or less incapable of uttering a simple declarative sentence. Ask him a question and he has a tendency to launch into a meandering response, often without ever getting to an answer. I used to have a rule: Never get on the phone with Beatty unless you’ve gone to the bathroom first. Once, in the middle of a four-hour conversation while I was researching my book, Hit & Run, I developed a blinding headache and fought the urge to say, “Whatever I learn in the course of this conversation will not have been worth it!” Another time, I told a studio chief that I had just had a five-hour lunch with Beatty, and without missing a beat he said, “Oh — you only had hors d’oeuvres?”


LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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