LBN – Special Report – Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Did you know that:    ***In June of this year (2017), LBN will turn 15 years old.   ***84% of LBN daily readers (in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries) feel it is “independent” it its coverage of news and information?   ***Is read daily by 3 Nobel Prize winners?   ***Is read daily in 11 separate time-zones throughout the world?

Britain Formally Triggers Brexit

A letter signed by Prime Minister Theresa May has been delivered to European Council President Donald Tusk, formally triggering Britain’s exit from the European Union. The letter was handed over by Tim Barrow, Britain’s permanent representative to the EU. By invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, Britain now has two years to negotiate an exit deal. Government officials reportedly asked Conservative Members of Parliament to refrain from “Brexit Day” celebrations as a long period of economic and political instability is expected to follow Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

Shots Fired After Driver Tries Running Over Cops Near White House:

A driver rammed a police car near the US Capitol Wednesday and tried to strike several cops before Capitol Police opened fire, according to multiple reports. The female motorist hit the squad car and then targeted several officers near Washington Avenue and Independence Avenue, several blocks away from the White House, around 9:30 a.m., ABC News reported. Capitol Police fired shots during the mayhem, but no one was hit. The suspect was taken into custody at 3rd Street and Independence Avenue about 15 minutes later, according to the Washington Post. No one was hit by the suspect’s car.

BACKFIRED – Anti-Abortion Activists Who Secretly Filmed Planned Parenthood Hit With Felony Charges

Two anti-abortion activists who shot undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood in 2013-2015 face 15 felony charges, California prosecutors said Tuesday. California Attorney General Xavier Becerraannounced the charges Tuesday against David Daleidan andSandra Merritt, who run the Center for Medical Progress. Becerra said the pair used a bogus bioresearch company to set up Planned Parenthood workers and secretly record them. The pair used the videos to claim Planned Parenthood was selling fetal tissue from abortions for profit, though a subsequent investigation into those claims found no wrongdoing. Daleidan and Merritt are accused of filming 14 people without their consent between October 2013 and July 2015. They face one felony count for each person they covertly filmed, as well as a charge of criminal conspiracy. “The right to privacy is a cornerstone of California’s Constitution, and a right that is foundational in a free democratic society,” Becerra said in a statement after the charges were announced. “We will not tolerate the criminal recording of confidential conversations,” he said.

Report: BuzzFeed Is Going Public in 2018

BuzzFeed, which once began as a “great cat site,” is preparing to go public in 2018, according to a report by Axios. The site, which now has grown so large as to have a BuzzFeed Motion Pictures Studio in Los Angeles and an award-winning news vertical, has turned down past offers from media companies over long-term plans for an initial public offering. The site also plans to open a Texas bureau in Austin, it announced Tuesday.


LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Score one for the machines. The largest fund company in the world, BlackRock, has faced a thorny challenge since it acquired the exchange-traded-fund business from Barclays in 2009. These low cost, computer-driven funds have exploded in growth, leaving in the dust the stock pickers who had spurred an earlier expansion for the firm. The rise of passive investing — exchange-traded funds, index funds and the like — has revolutionized the investment world, providing Main Street investors with greater opportunities at lower fees while putting pressure on even Wall Street’s biggest money managers. Now, after years of deliberations, Laurence D. Fink, a founder and chief executive of BlackRock, has cast his lot with the machines. On Tuesday, BlackRock laid out an ambitious plan to consolidate a large number of actively managed mutual funds with peers that rely more on algorithms and models to pick stocks.   ***Westinghouse Electric Company, which helped drive the development of nuclear energy and the electric grid itself, filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, casting a shadow over the global nuclear industry. The filing comes as the company’s corporate parent, Toshiba of Japan, scrambles to stanch huge losses stemming from Westinghouse’s troubled nuclear construction projects in the American South. Now, the future of those projects, which once seemed to be on the leading edge of a renaissance for nuclear energy, is in doubt. This is a fairly big and consequential deal,” said Richard Nephew, a senior research scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. “You’ve had some power companies and big utilities run into financial trouble, but this kind of thing hasn’t happened.”

LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***Could learning to dance the minuet or fandango help to protect our brains from aging? A new study that compared the neurological effects of country dancing with those of walking and other activities suggests that there may be something unique about learning a social dance. The demands it places on the mind and body could make it unusually potent at slowing some of the changes inside our skulls that seem otherwise inevitable with aging. Neuroscientists and those in middle age or beyond know that brains alter and slow as we grow older. Processing speed, which is a measure of how rapidly our brains can absorb, assess and respond to new information, seems to be particularly hard hit. Most people who are older than about 40 perform worse on tests of processing speed than those who are younger, with the effects accelerating as the decades pass.   ***The Food and Drug Administration approved on Tuesday the first drug to treat a severe form of multiple sclerosis, offering hope to patients who previously had no other options to combat a relentless disease that leads to paralysis and cognitive decline. The federal agency also cleared the drug to treat people with the more common, relapsing form of the disease. “I think that this is a very big deal,” said Dr. Stephen Hauser, the chairman of the neurology department at the University of California, San Francisco, and leader of the steering committee that oversaw the late-stage clinical trials of the drug, ocrelizumab. “The magnitude of the benefits that we’ve seen with ocrelizumab in all forms of M.S. are really quite stunning.”

LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Michael Strahan’s role at “Good Morning America” is still ruffling feathers at the morning show. Sources claim fellow anchors on the show are sick of ABC bosses giving him preferential treatment. “They roll out the carpet for [Strahan] while seasoned talent is treated like dirt. He’s been given a lot of opportunity, flexibility, when the others who have been working there longer don’t get that kind of treatment,” a source said. Strahan signed a special deal that allows him to continue to analyze football at “Fox NFL Sunday” and host ABC’s “$100,000 Pyramid.” But he was forced to drop most of his lucrative endorsement deals when he joined the morning show.


LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:  ***Los Angeles-based music management company Deckstar has merged with London entertainment firm James Grant Group. While each company will take point on talent that originates from their respective countries, JGG’s L.A.-based employees will move into Deckstar’s offices on Wilshire Boulevard, while Deckstar founders Lawrence Vavra and Matt Colon will join JGG’s boards.   ***Lorde has signed with publicity firm PMK*BNC’s music department. Earlier this month the Grammy winner released “Green Light,” the lead single for her much-anticipated sophomore album, which is due this summer.

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: The Duchess Yacht offers any type of Charter imaginable, from Harbor/Sunset Cruises, Day Cruises, Whale Watching Cruises, Overnight Cruises and Fishing – “Winner – Best of Los Angeles Award” —–

LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Bill Minor, whose courageous reporting helped open Americans’ eyes to everyday racial discrimination in the South in the 1960s and won him recognition as the “conscience of Mississippi,” died on Tuesday in Ridgeland, Miss., outside Jackson. He was 94. His death, at a hospice, was confirmed by his son Paul.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: The big story everyone is chasing is whether President Trump is a Russian stooge. Wrong. That’s all a smoke screen. Trump is actually a Chinese agent. He is clearly out to make China great again. Just look at the facts. Trump took office promising to fix our trade imbalance with China, and what’s the first thing he did? He threw away a U.S.-designed free-trade deal with 11 other Pacific nations — a pact whose members make up 40 percent of global G.D.P. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was based largely on U.S. economic interests, benefiting our fastest-growing technologies and agribusinesses, and had more labor, environmental and human rights standards than any trade agreement ever. And it excluded China. It was our baby, shaping the future of trade in Asia. Imagine if Trump were negotiating with China now as not only the U.S. president but also as head of a 12-nation trading bloc based on our values and interests. That’s called l-e-v-e-r-a-g-e, and Trump just threw it away … because he promised to in the campaign — without, I’d bet, ever reading TPP. What a chump! I can still hear the clinking of champagne glasses in Beijing.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Tony Medley: Contrary to LBN’s allegation, Warren Beatty did not announce that “La La Land” was the winner at the Academy Awards. He was clearly perplexed and refused to announce the winner, when Faye Dunaway grabbed the announcement out of his hands and blurted out that “La La Land” was the  winner, even though the card from which she was reading only said that Emma Stonewas Best Actress. Beatty should actually get some credit for not reading out the wrong winner instead of being impaled with such an erroneous stigma.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Dennis Prager: In the last few weeks, there has been a spate of columns by writers on the left condemning the left-wing college students who riot, take over university buildings and shout down speakers with whom they differ. These condemnations, coming about 50 years too late, should not be taken seriously. Take New York Times columnistFrank Bruni. His latest column is filled with dismay over the way Middlebury College students attacked Charles Murrayand a liberal woman professor who interviewed him (she was injured by the rioters). I have no doubt that Bruni is sincere. However, sincerity is completely unrelated to wisdom or insight. Here’s the problem: It is the left that transformed universities into the moral and intellectual wastelands most are now.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Mark Brian Baer (Attorney, award-winning mediator): I know I’m a bit odd, but I associate advice with the advisor and their knowledge and expertise in the subject matter pertaining to their advice. As such, unless I was born physically beautiful and wanted to learn how to become a super model, marry an extremely wealthy and disgusting human being, and procreated with that person, I really don’t think that Melania Trump has much credibility as an advisor. By the same token, unless I want to learn how to become a disgusting human being, I don’t give much credibility to Donald Trump as an advisor. He can’t really advise how to become wealthy and powerful because he earned that the old fashioned way – he inherited it, as have his children, while he’s alive, as he did.


LBN-SPOTLIGHT: Expansive shop specializing in both formal & casual clothing for shorter men. —–

LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***The Who‘s front man Roger Daltreycontinues to be outspoken about his support for Brexit, or more like his support for England getting out of the EU. “We are getting out, and when the dust settles I think that it’ll be seen that it’s the right thing for this country to have done, that’s for sure,” he told NME.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

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