LBN- Special Report- Wednesday

*Warplanes Kill 12 Kids at Syrian School:

Seventeen people, including at least a dozen children, were killed in Syria on Wednesday when warplanes struck outside a school compound in the rebel-held province of Idlib. The Idlib News network said children were near the complex when the strikes hit. Other groups, including the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, measured the death toll at 22, with 14 children among the dead. Several of the wounded were listed in critical condition in local hospitals. Idlib is regularly hit by U.S.-led coalition planes, in addition to Syrian and Russian warplanes. Turkish media reported barrel-bomb drops in a triple attack on neighboring areas.

*Trump’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Destroyed by Sledgehammer:

Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was pulverized by a someone dressed as a construction worker, armed with a pick-ax and a sledgehammer, early Wednesday morning. In an interview with Deadline, the man said his name is “Jamie Otis,” and claimed he original wanted to remove Trump’s star to auction it off to raise money for women who have recently accused Trump of sexual assault. The assailant was unsuccessful, and instead ended up simply smashing Trump’s star to pieces. (Deadline also obtained video of the vandalism, and the LAPD are investigating.)

*Secretary Carter: Raqqa Fight Against ISIS to Begin Within Weeks:

The fight against ISIS will soon be extended to the terror group’s de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa, said Defense Secretary Ash Carter. In an interview with NBC News, Carter said the new fight will begin within the “next few weeks,” in addition to a current battle to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul. Fighting for the stronghold in Syria “has long been our plan and we will be capable of resourcing both,” said Carter. About 5,000 Americans are supporting the military campaign in Mosul that officially started on Oct. 16. Carter said U.S. special forces are not in Mosul at the moment, but “Our forces do accompany… the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga. So they will get nearer to the city as those forces get nearer to the city.” He added, “We are not going to be part of the occupation or hold forces.” The battle to retake Mosul is expected to take several months.

*Defense Secretary Halts Guardsmens’ Bonus Repayments:

Weeks after a controversial Pentagon decision to demand repayment, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered a halt to collections of what many have been erroneous enlistment bonuses to California National Guard members who served overseas. Investigators are still trying to determine, Carter said, if any personnel “received incentive bonuses and tuition assistance improperly as a result of errors and in some cases criminal behavior by members of the California National Guard.” He added, “While some soldiers knew or should have known they were ineligible for benefits they were claiming, many others did not.” Members of Congress have demanded Carter quit demanding money from Guard members who were asked to repay the bonuses. Carter asked that the collection of the reimbursements halt “as soon as is practical” and that a new process be established to help make sure veterans are treated “fairly.”

*Iran Unveils New Naval ‘Suicide Drone’:

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has released a “suicide drone” thatcan be used by naval units to attack ships with missiles or by flying directly into them. Though the drone is primarily meant to carry out surveillance missions, it can be armed with missiles and heavy explosives for combat missions. The unveiling comes after several tense encounters between Iranian forces and U.S. Navy vessels. An Iranian news agency said the drone, which is white and powered by two small propellers, “can collide with the target and destroy it, [whether] a vessel or an onshore command center.” Local reports about the drone claim it has a 620-mile range and a four-hour maximum flight time.

*Trump Has Close Financial Ties to Dakota Pipeline:

Donald Trump has close financial ties to the operators of the proposed Dakota Access oil pipeline, with the Republican presidential nominee having invested in the company and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from its chief executive. According to The Guardian, Trump’s Federal Elections Commission disclosures show as much as $1 million invested in Energy Transfer Partners, with an additional $500,000 to $1 million in Phillips 66, the energy company with a 25 percent stake in the controversial pipeline project upon its completion. Additionally, the operator’s CEO, Kelcy Warren, has donated $103,000 to help elect Trump, including a reported $3,000 personal donation to the campaign—an amount that runs over the personal limit of $2,700. The multibillion-dollar pipeline project has been opposed by local Native American tribes, as it runs close to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, causing fears of contaminated water and destroyed land. Its protest camps, which have been visited by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein along with celebrities like actress Shailene Woodley, have been the site of clashes between security forces and demonstrators. Trump has repeatedly stated that he unequivocally supports any such energy pipelines.

*WHO READS LBN? Political journalist, John Fund:

*U.S. Airstrikes Spike as Afghans Struggle Against ISIS, Taliban:

A new spike in U.S. airstrikes in Afghanistan has pushed the year’s total to surpass the 500 conducted in 2015, according to a Reuters report. The increase comes as the U.S. continues to struggle to exit the fragile country. Military officials say American warplanes have executed about 700 strikes so far in 2016. The U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan was officially declared over in 2014. However, ongoing violence and new Afghan moves to contain ISIS as well as the Taliban have kept American forces on the lines. On Tuesday, Afghan police reportedly killed an ISIS commander in Ghor province, which led to the kidnapping and execution of dozens of civilians as revenge. U.S. military spokesman Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland said the increase in airstrikes was caused by “additional authorities U.S. forces received and due to the Afghan change in strategy to offensive operations.” He added, “The new authorities have allowed the U.S. to be more proactive and deliberate in supporting this year’s Afghan offensive operations and in aggressively targeting [Islamic State].”

*Schools Closing Over Poll Violence Fears:

State and local officials say voting stations have been moved or classes canceled entirely at schools in Illinois, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin on Election Day due to concerns about potential confrontations or violence. Yet the National Association of Secretaries of State does not suggest that armed guards or police should be stationed at polls. A lot of the anxiety has been stoked by Republican nominee Donald Trump’s constant false claims that the election is being rigged, which some believe could lead to confrontations among voters and poll observers.

*Paul Beatty Wins Man Booker Prize:

U.S. author Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday for his satire The Sellout, making him the first American to receive the literary award. The novel provides a humorous and biting take on race in the United States. “The truth is rarely pretty, and this is a book that nails the reader to the cross with cheerful abandon,” Amanda Foreman, the head of the judging panel, said before the winner was announced Tuesday. Up until 2014, the Man Booker was reserved for authors from Britain, Ireland, and the Commonwealth nations.

*Joe Arpaio Officially Criminally Charged:

Maricopa County Sheriff and immigration provocateur Joe Arpaio has been formally charged with criminal contempt-of-court for ignoring a federal judge’s order in a racial-profiling case. The controversial Phoenix lawman could face as much as six months in jail if convicted. The profiling case stems from his immigration patrols and Arpaio has openly defied the judge’s order. Arpaio’s officers were found to have violated the rights of Latino citizens in the area. “When they filed on Oct. 12, we knew eventually the charge will be filed, so we were fully expecting this,” his lawyer said in a statement. “We will be pleading not guilty and vigorously contesting the allegations.”

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