LBN – Special Report – Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

*Report: U.S. Looking to Boost Presence in Afghanistan for Taliban Fight

President Donald Trump’s top military and foreign-policy advisers are pushing for an expanded U.S. role in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, The Washington Post reported Monday. Citing U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the Post reported the plan would give the Pentagon more power in dealing with the Taliban, both in terms of deciding on troop numbers for Afghanistan and ordering airstrikes. While Trump has not yet approved the plan, it has already won the approval of top Cabinet members, according to the report. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is said to be the catalyst behind the new strategy, prompting critics inside the White House to dub it “McMaster’s War.” With about 8,400 U.S. troops already on the ground in Afghanistan, the plan would add at least an additional 3,000, the report said. The strategy, prompted in part by Afghanistan’s deteriorating security situation and Trump’s desire to “start winning” again, would mark a major turnaround from former President Barack Obama’s moves to gradually decrease the number of U.S. forces stationed in Afghanistan.

*Moon Jae-In Wins S. Korea Presidency

Liberal candidate Moon Jae-in will be the next president of South Korea, according to exit polls. Moon has reportedly won with 41.4 percent of the vote, with second place going to conservative Hong Joon-pyo, who had 23.3 percent, amid very high turnout. Moon campaigned on a more open dialogue with North Korea in a break from long-running South Korean policy. The early election was called after a corruption scandal that plagued the country, resulting in the impeachment of the former president.

*FBI Finds Holes in Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin

FBI Director James Comey misstated the facts in his testimony on Huma Abedin’s role in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, and FBI officials are trying to figure out how to correct the record, ProPublica reported Monday. Citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter, ProPublica reported that FBI officials have acknowledged that Comey exaggerated his claims while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. That testimony marked the first time Comey offered a full explanation for why he chose to announce new emails on Oct. 28, just days before the presidential election and before they had been examined properly by investigators. In his testimony, Comey alleged the Clinton aide had made “a regular practice” of forwarding “hundreds and thousands” of Clinton’s emails to her husband, Anthony Weiner, to be printed out, a move Comey said forced the FBI to renew its investigation. The claim left lawmakers asking why Abedin wasn’t being prosecuted for sending emails with classified information to an individual’s computer. Sources cited by ProPublica said Comey’s claims were inaccurate, however, and that Abedin had sent only a handful of emails to Weiner, none of which carried “classified” labels. Abedin has yet to comment on Comey’s testimony, but her lawyer said after the FBI director’s Oct. 28 letter that Abedin didn’t know how the emails could have wound up on Weiner’s computer. Officials cited by ProPublica said the emails may have gotten onto his computer from a backup of Abedin’s BlackBerry device.

*Judge Scraps Aaron Hernandez’s Murder Conviction

A judge in Massachusetts scrapped former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction Tuesday, just weeks after he was found dead in his suburban Boston jail cell of an apparent suicide. Hernandez was found guilty in 2015 in the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd, a semi-pro football player. According to WBZ, Judge Susan Garsh ruled in favor of “abating the entire prosecution as if it never happened.” She added: “This court is compelled to follow binding precedent…. This court cannot know why Hernandez chose to end his life.” The precedent Garsh was referring to allows for a defendant’s conviction to be vacated if he or she died before the appeal process began.

*Spirit Cancellations Cause Airport Chaos

Pandemonium consumed a Florida airport Monday after Spirit Airlines canceled nine flights caught in the middle of a labor dispute. Cellphone videos show the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport filled with stranded passengers screaming, pushing, and shoving Broward County sheriff’s deputies, who tried to restrain the crowd. Contract negotiations have turned tumultuous between the Airline Pilots Association and Spirit, which claimed the pilots were responsible for the breakdown. “This is a result of unlawful labor activity by some Spirit pilots designed to disrupt Spirit operations for our customers, by canceling multiple flights across our network,” the carrier said in a statement. “These pilots have put their quest for a new contract ahead of getting customers to their destinations and the safety of their fellow Spirit team members.”


*250 Missing in Mediterranean Shipwrecks

Nearly 250 migrants are missing and feared dead after two shipwrecks in the Mediterranean Sea over the past few days, according to the United Nations’ refugee agency. One of the shipwrecks occurred Sunday off the Libyan coast, where 163 people are feared lost. Only one woman and six men were found alive by rescue personnel. In a second incident, some 82 people are missing after a rubber dinghy carrying about 132 sank. About 50 people on that boat were rescued and taken to Pozzallo, Sicily. The UNHCR reports that more than 1,300 refugees and migrants have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year.

*No Charges for Amtrak Engineer in Derailment

An Amtrak engineer will not be charged in the 2015 derailment of a train outside Philadelphia that resulted in eight deaths and hundreds of injuries. Prosecutors in the city were not able to prove that Brandon Bostian, the engineer, acted with “conscious disregard” when the train was speeding around a curve at double the post speed limit. “We cannot conclude that the evidence rises to the high level necessary to charge the engineer or anyone else with a criminal offense,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Additionally, Bostian was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and was not using his cellphone. “The person who was the primary and sole cause of this escape punishment and you paid the price,” a lawyer for the victims’ families said.


U.S. Department of Transportation: Distracted Driving

“Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2014 alone, 3,129 were killed in distracted driving crashes. The U.S. Department of Transportation is leading the effort to stop texting and cell phone use behind the wheel. Since 2009, we have held two national distracted driving summits, banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers, encouraged states to adopt tough laws, and launched several campaigns to raise public awareness about the issue. is your resource for learning more about distracted driving. Get the facts, get involved, and help us keep America’s roadways safe.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The revealing TV interview  show —  “Without Notes” with M. Zuhdi Jasser M.D. – Episode 2: The American Dream ——


“I know that I am intelligent, because I know that I know nothing.” – Socrates


*LBN-NOTICED: NewsMax founder Chris Ruddy and media expert and author having dinner at Cut in Beverly Hills.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

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