LBN – Special Report – Wednesday March 8, 2017

Report: Obama ‘Livid’ Over Trump Tweets:

Former President Obama is “livid” with anger about PresidentTrump’s latest accusations of wiretapping and hasn’t returned the new commander in chief’s phone calls since the inauguration, according to a new report in The Wall Street Journal. Trump reportedly called his predecessor to thank him for the letter he left in the Oval Office but that overture was never returned. Trump tweeted on Saturday: “How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” He has since provided no evidence for his claims. Sources close to Obama told the Journal that the former president was angry over the accusation. Presidential historianDouglas Brinkley said the apparently fraught relationship is a break with tradition. “There are these kinds of things that have happened in the past, but nothing to the degree where a sitting president would charge his predecessor with a felony,” Brinkley said. “It creates a feeling of instability in the United States.”

 House Intelligence Chief: No Evidence for Trump’s Wiretapping Claim:

The chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives intelligence committee said he has seen no evidence to support PresidentTrump’s claim that his phones were wiretapped by the Obama administration during his campaign. “I have not seen that evidence,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said at a press conference Tuesday. “I think the bigger question that needs to be answered is whether or not Mr. Trump or any of his associates were in fact targeted by any of the intelligence agencies or law-enforcement authorities,” he said. If the accusation were true, he said, Congress’s intelligence committees should have been aware of the matter. Trump made the claim in a series of tweets Saturday, though he has yet to back up the allegations with any evidence. He has, however, pushed for a probe into the claims. “We are supposed to be kept up to speed on any pertinent counterintelligence investigation,” Nunes said. “If Trump or any other political campaign, or anybody associated with Trump, was under some type of investigation, that clearly should have risen to the Gang of Eight level,” Nunes said, referring to the two intelligence committees.

TIME OUT – China Calls for Compromise With North Korea:

China on Wednesday suggested that North Korea could halt its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the U.S. stopping military drills with South Korea. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi compared the escalating confrontation as a dangerous collision waiting to happen, with “two accelerating trains, coming toward each other with neither side willing to give way,” the Associated Press reported. “Our priority now is to flash the red light and apply the brakes on both trains,” Wang said, adding that North Korea should suspend nuclear and missile activities to defuse the crisis. South Korea and the U.S., in turn, should halt their military drills, he said. “This suspension-for-suspension can help us break out of the security dilemma and bring the parties back to the negotiating table,” he said. North Korea has lashed out at Washington for the joint military drills underway on the Korean Peninsula with South Korean and U.S. forces, saying it views them as preparations for an invasion. This week, Pyongyang caused alarm in Japan and South Korea with its latest test-launch of ballistic missiles, a test that the country’s state-run media later said was a practice run for striking U.S. military bases in Japan.

ISIS Gunmen Dressed as Doctors Attack Kabul Military Hospital:

The Islamic State terror group has claimed responsibility for aWednesday attack that has so far killed 30 people and injured at least 50 more at a Kabul military hospital in the Afghan capital’s heavily guarded diplomatic zone. Gunmen reportedly disguised as doctors in white lab coats took positions throughout the facility before launching the attack with a suicide bomb. The 400-bed hospital is across the street from the U.S. embassy, at a busy intersection in the city. The area has been blocked off while special forces try to overtake the attackers. “Our forces are there and there is heavy fighting,” Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri told Reuters. One attacker has been killed, but others were still fighting, he said. At least one soldier has died trying to fight off the gunmen, and three others wounded.

WikiLeaks Releases Trove of Alleged C.I.A. Hacking Documents: 

In what appears to be the largest leak of C.I.A documents in history, WikiLeaks released on Tuesday thousands of pages describing sophisticated software tools and techniques used by the agency to break into smartphones, computers and even Internet-connected televisions. The documents amount to a detailed, highly technical catalog of tools. They include instructions for compromising a wide range of common computer tools for use in spying: the online calling service Skype; Wi-Fi networks; documents in PDF format; and even commercial antivirus programs of the kind used by millions of people to protect their computers. A program called Wrecking Crew explains how to crash a targeted computer, and another tells how to steal passwords using the autocomplete function on Internet Explorer. Other programs were called CrunchyLimeSkies, ElderPiggy, AngerQuake and McNugget.

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Tim Kaine’s Son Arrested While Protesting Trump:

Linwood Kaine, the 24-year-old son of Sen. Tim Kaine, was arrested at the Minnesota State Capitol after he reportedly disrupted a rally in support of President Trump with about 50other counter-protesters. Kaine, who goes by “Woody,” was one of six people arrested Saturday, when they were part of an anti-Trump group at the statehouse in St. Paul. He was was arrested on suspicion of second-degree riot after counter-protesters and pro-Trump demonstrators clashed, but law-enforcement authorities said he was released pending further investigation and that no charges have been filed against him. Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s former running mate, released a statement Tuesday night. “We love that our three children have their own views and concerns about current political issues,” he said. “They fully understand the responsibility to express those concerns peacefully.”

Statue of Liberty Goes Dark on Eve of Women’s Protest:

The Statue of Liberty experienced an “unplanned outage” late Tuesday night, leaving only the flame and crown lit just hours before the nationwide “A Day Without Women” protest. The blackout began around 10 p.m. ET. National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis attributed the blackout to a project for a new emergency backup generator as part of Hurricane Sandy recovery, but many on social media believed the heavily symbolic statue’s timing was suspicious.

Texas Executes Convicted Hitman:

Convicted hitman Rolando Ruiz was executed by lethal injection late Tuesday, becoming the third inmate to be executed in Texas this year. He was declared dead at 11:06 p.m. local time. Ruiz was convicted of killing 29-year-oldTheresa Rodriguez in 1992 in exchange for $2,000. Rodriguez’s husband and brother-in-law were later discovered to have put Ruiz up to the murder in order to collect life-insurance benefits. They were both sentenced to life in prison for the crime, and Rodriguez’s husband was executed for a separate crime in 2008. Ruiz had appealed the execution, with his defense lawyers arguing that the 44-year-old’s more than two decades in prison and numerous execution dates were unconstitutionally cruel. Despite a five-hour delay in the scheduled execution, however, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeals and let it go ahead as planned.

WHO READS LBN? Songwriter, a producer, a label owner, Jack White

LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Four years ago, Edward J. Snowden’s disclosures that the federal government was hacking America’s leading technology companies threw the industry into turmoil.Now WikiLeaks has shaken the tech world again by releasing documents Tuesday that appear to show that the Central Intelligence Agency had acquired an array of cyberweapons that could be used to break into Apple and Android smartphones, Windows computers, automotive computer systems, and even smart televisions to conduct surveillance on unwitting users. Major technology companies, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, were trying to assesshow badly their core products had been compromised. But one thing clearly had been ruptured yet again: trust between intelligence agencies and Silicon Valley.   ***Ivanka Trump’s eponymous women’s fashion line is reporting record sales figures despite calls for a boycott and controversies surrounding President Trump. “Since the beginning of February, they were some of the best performing weeks in the history of the brand,” Abigail Klem, the president of the Ivanka Trump fashion brand, tells Refinery29 in an interview published Tuesday. “For several different retailers Ivanka Trump was a top performer online, and in some of the categories it was the [brand’s] best performance ever.”

MY REVIEW: “I have been reading LBN daily for years and it has definitely expanded my world. It is relentlessly independent and tells it like it is, for better or worse. I consider LBN an important part of my day.”—–Shirley M., an LBN reader from Atlanta, Georgia

LBN-NOTICED:   ***Charlize Theron at UFC 209 in Las Vegas with her WME-IMG power agent Ari Emanuel.   ***Olympic gymnasts Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson at Sunshine Cinema in NYC seeing “Before I Fall”.   ***Young M.A celebrating Fader magazine at Schimanski in NYC.

Tinder Select is a secret, members-only version of the app: 

Tinder has been operating a members-only version of the platform called Tinder Select, which is meant to serve only the elite users on the app, including CEOs, super models, and other hyper-attractive/upwardly affluent types. One source who was using the app said it’s “for celebrities and people who do really well on Tinder.” It appears that Tinder has invited people to the platform, some of whom have the ability to ‘nominate’ others. But those who were nominated can’t nominate anyone else, which prevents the members-only layer of the app from spreading uncontrollably. It’s unclear exactly how Tinder decides who gets invited and who doesn’t, but the common thread among those on the Select app is that they’re generally attractive and relatively high-profile.

LBN-HOLLYWOOD INSIDER:   ***Longtime lit agent Bob Bookman will leave Paradigm to become a manager/producer. He will join forces with Alan Gasmer, the former WMA agent who became a manager several years ago and is an executive producer of Vikings. Bookman’s last day at Paradigm will be Friday. This is all happening quickly and he’s figuring out a new company name (Gasmer will likely keep separate his Alan Gasmer and Friends banner). Bookman is also figuring out which clients will take the leap with him. Among his notable current agency clients are Bill Broyles, John Irving, Peter Moffat, Jojo Moyes David Nicholls and Tom Stoppard.

LBN-VIDEO LINK: “Without Notes”, the revealing TV interview show featuring Isabella Sinclaire, the world’s most famous dominatrix –  https://youtu.be/dTDBovmH-P8

LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Fred Weintraub, who left home, family and a baby-carriage business to become the Greenwich Village impresario who advanced the careers of dozens of fledgling singers and comedians at his Bitter End coffeehouse, died onSunday in Pacific Palisades, Calif. He was 88. The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, said his wife, Jackie.   ***Lynne F. Stewart, a radical-leftist lawyer who gained wide notice for representing violent, self-described revolutionaries and who spent four years in prison herself, convicted of aiding terrorism, died on Tuesday at her home in Brooklyn. She was 77. Her son, Geoffrey Stewart, said the cause was complications of cancer and a series of strokes.   ***Joseph W. Rogers, a founder of Waffle House, the restaurant chain that achieved a kind of cultural renown with its no-frills menu, attentive service and round-the-clock hours, died on Friday in Atlanta. He was 97.

LBN-COMMENTARY by Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Wednesday is International Women’s Day, and the organizers of the Women’s March are holding another protest. This one is called A Day Without a Woman, in solidarity with those women who have lower wages and experience greater inequalities. The protest encourages women to take the day off work, avoid shopping other than in small women- and minority-owned stores, and wear red. The problems being protested against Wednesday—inequality, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity—are all too real for many disadvantaged women, but the legal protections for them are in place here in the United States. Women who are unfairly treated at work or discriminated against can stand up, speak out, protest in the streets, and take legal action. Not so for many women in other parts of the world for whom the hashtag #daywithoutawoman is all too apt. Around the world women are subjected to “honor violence” and lack legal protections and access to health and social services. According to Amnesty International’s recent annual report, throughout the Middle East and North Africa, women and girls are denied equal status with men in law and are subject to gender-based violence, including sexual violence and killings perpetrated in the name of “honor.”

LBN-COMMENTARY by Tom Sykes: Jimmy Fallon is reportedly under pressure to take The Tonight Show in a “more political” direction in an effort to regain the late-night ratings crown from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, which just won its fifth straight week in overall viewers. Page Six quotes a source as saying that Fallon “had to figure out a way to get Trump [into his routine] because he’s too weak on Trump, andviewers are going elsewhere. [He’s been] uncomfortable talking about politics, and that’s not what the people want.” Deadline Hollywood has the numbers—it reports that Colbert’s fifth week at the top saw his Late Show on CBS clock 3 million viewers, compared with Fallon’s 2.92 million on NBC, although Fallon can take considerable consolation in the fact that he continues to win most eyeballs in the key 18-49 age bracket. However Page Six’s source said: “[Fallon] is feeling the pressure. I mean, Stephen Colbert is now beating him in a big way and he has to change his format to keep up because he’s losing viewers.”

LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “One person with courage is a majority.” – Thomas Jefferson —– www.TheExcelCommunity.com

LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:

LBN E-Lert Edited By Addison Beaulieu

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