LBN – Special Report – Wednesday

U.S.: Up to $800M of ISIS Cash Destroyed

The United States has repeatedly targeted ISIS funds in airstrikes and has destroyed between $500 million and $800 million of the group’s money, a U.S. official said. Major Gen. Peter Gersten told reporters the strategy to target the extremists’ stashed money has helped lead to a 90 percent increase in defections and a drop in new recruits. Gersten, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for the U.S.-led operation against ISIS in Baghdad, didn’t specify how the U.S. knew how much money had been destroyed. He gave an example that an estimated $150 million was destroyed at a house in Mosul. Security forces received intelligence about where the money was stored in the house before carrying out a strike. Though it’s unclear exactly how much money ISIS has, the U.S. Treasury has described the group as “the best-funded terrorist organization” it had encountered.

*Michigan ‘Covered Up Lead’ in 2nd City

Emails reveal that a technician who submitted samples indicating high lead levels to Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality was told to go back and get more in an attempt to manipulate the results. In 2008, a homeowners association in Fenton, Michigan—which operates on a private water system—sought help as it struggled with dangerous lead levels. The Guardian reports Adam Rosenthal, a state environmental quality analyst, wrote in September 2008: “I just saw the results—115 ppb for lead is a bit high. Since this is an annual round of monitoring, which ends 9/30/08, there is still time to collect more samples and possibly bump this one out.” He added, “Since compliance is based on the 90th percentile, the 9th highest sample would count, 20 samples would be the 18th highest for the 90th, and so on. Otherwise we’re back to water quality parameters and lead public notice.” Rosenthal copied Mike Prysby, who was criminally charged last week for his role in the city of Flint’s lead disaster, on the exchange. Prysby and state employee Stephen Busch—who is also cc’d on the email—are both accused of endangering the public by “improperly [manipulating] the collection of water samples” and removing “test results from samples.” Marc Edwards, a lead expert and professor who helped discover the origins of the Flint water crisis, said, “It just shows that this culture of corruption and unethical, uncaring behavior predated Flint by at least six years.”


*Comcast in Talks to Buy DreamWorks Animation

Comcast is in talks to buy the DreamWorks Animation studio for an estimated $3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. It was not immediately clear what an acquisition would mean for DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Journal reported. DreamWorks, the maker of the Shrek and Kung Fu Panda franchises, has entertained several unsuccessful buyout talks in the past with firms such as Japanese communications and media company Softbank in 2014 as well as toy company Hasbro a few months later. DreamWorks Animation was spun off from DreamWorks Studios in 2004.

*ID’d Body May Be Charles Manson Victim From 1969

A stabbing victim who was linked to Charles Manson and his followers has been identified, some 46 years after her death. People magazine reports the so-called Jane Doe  No. 59 is Reet Jurvetson, a Sweden native who grew up in Montreal. Investigators say she was 19 when she died of about 150 stab wounds to the neck and found near Los Angeles’s Mullholland Drive, in an attack similar to other Manson killings. A now-retired Los Angeles police detective, Cliff Shepard, reopened the case in 2003. He said: “Manson claims there are other victims. She could have been someone who was at Spahn Ranch.” Last June, an old friend of Jurvetson’s reportedly saw a police photograph and called her sister. Samples taken from Jane Doe #59’s bloody bra matched Jurvetson’s family members’ DNA.

*WHO READS LBN? Literary Agent Bob Diforio

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***La La and Carmelo Anthony flying from New York to Miami for the weekend aboard private charter service JetSmarter .    ***Brooke Burke discussing her four kids with host JD Roberto on Daily Burn 365 in NYC.   ***Marina Abramovic having a credit card declined at a Soho deli while buying seltzer and celery . . . Susan Sarandon at Lady Bunny’s sold-out “Trans-Jester” show at Stonewall Inn on Saturday.   ***Jack Huston celebrating his cover for At Large Magazine at Elyx House in NYC.   ***Prominent Social media strategist Brooke Soliz Taylor having dinner last night at the popular Italian restaurant Lago in Santa Monica.   ***Acclaimed music composer Alexander Rudd having lunch at Chaya on Main Street in Venice.

*LBN-BOOK NEWS:   ***Scientology leader David Miscavigeis fighting a planned tell-all by his dad, Ron Miscavige, days before the book’s release. According to Scientology critic Tony Ortega’s blog The Underground Bunker, attorneys for David have threatened to sue over “Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me,” due out Tuesday from St. Martin’s in the US and Silvertail Books in the UK.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***Prince died without a will, according to court documents filed by his sister on Tuesday, potentially causing big complications for that star’s sprawling financial estate and musical legacy. In probate documents filed with the Carver County District Court in Minnesota, Tyka Nelson, 55, Prince’s sister, said that her brother died without a spouse, children or surviving parents, and that “I do not know of the existence of a will.” Ms. Nelson’s petition also listed five half-siblings as heirs, and asked the court to appoint a special administrator for the estate “because no personal representative has been appointed in Minnesota or elsewhere.” Minnesota law treats surviving half-siblings the same as full siblings, raising the possibility of a drawn-out family battle.


*LBN-LEGAL INSIDER:   ***Ajamie LLP Lawyer Courtney Scobie has been selected to the 2016 Texas Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Managing Partner Tom Ajamie says, “Courtney is an outstanding trial lawyer. She pays attention to detail, is bright and will work day and night until the job is done correctly.”

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Financial Planning With A Soul

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas Edsall: For years now, people have been talking about the insulated world of the top 1 percent of Americans, but the top 20 percent of the income distribution is also steadily separating itself — by geography and by education as well as by income. This self-segregation of a privileged fifth of the population is changing the American social order and the American political system, creating a self-perpetuating class at the top, which is ever more difficult to break into. The accompanying chart, taken from “The Continuing Increase in Income Segregation,” a March 2016 paper by Sean F. Reardon, a professor of education at Stanford, and Kendra Bischoff, a professor of sociology at Cornell, demonstrates the accelerating geographic isolation of the well-to-do — the upper middle and upper classes (a pattern of isolation that also applies to the poor, with devastating effect). In hard numbers, the percentage of families with children living in very affluent neighborhoods more than doubled between 1970 and 2012, from 6.6 percent to 15.7 percent.

*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:…Comedian Amy Schumer

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