LBN – Special Report – Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

*Army Deploys Across Britain Amid Fears of New Terror Attacks

Hundreds of British Army soldiers were ordered to fan out throughout the U.K. on Wednesday to help police protect “key sites” in the aftermath of Monday night’s terror attack at anAriana Grande concert in Manchester. The deployment came hours after Prime Minister Theresa May’s government raised the U.K. terror threat level to “critical,” meaning officials believe more attacks could be imminent. As a precaution, Westminster Palace has been closed to the public. Worries about additional strikes heightened as Home Secretary Amber Rudd indicated that investigators believe Salman Abedi, who has been identified as the suicide bomber that killed 22 people—many of them young girls—was “likely” to have not acted alone. “It was more sophisticated than some of the attacks we’ve seen before, and it seems likely—possible—that he wasn’t doing this on his own,” Rudd said. On Tuesday, authorities identified Abedi and arrested his brother, Ismail Abedi. The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, but analysts have yet to confirm that involvement. Separately on Wednesday, three more men were arrested in South Manchester in what is said to be connection with the attack. The Greater Manchester Police also announced that coroners have identified all of the dead and are in contact with families.

*Salman Abedi, Manchester Bomber, Most Likely Had Help, Officials Say:
He recently dropped out of university. He had gone to Syria, a stronghold of the Islamic State. He also went to Libya to see his parents, who had moved back there after decades in Britain. A portrait of Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old who carried out Britain’s deadliest terrorist attack since 2005, quickly began to come into focus on Wednesday as investigators raced to learn how he had carried out the attack and who might have helped him. Mr. Abedi’s parents in Libya had become worried about his radicalization, and they had even seized the assailant’s British passport, according to a friend in Manchester, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared for his safety. Mr. Abedi had told his parents that he wanted to visit the holy Saudi city of Mecca, so they returned his passport. But instead of flying to Saudi Arabia, he returned home, the friend said. On Monday night, Mr. Abedi set off a crude, improvised bomb as fans were leaving a pop concert by the American singer Ariana Grande. The explosion killed 22 people and wounded dozens of others; 20 were still hospitalized with serious injuries on Wednesday.“It seems likely — possible — that he wasn’t doing this on his own,” Britain’s home secretary, Amber Rudd, said on Wednesday.

*WHO READS LBN? Acclaimed author Srinivasan Pillay.

*Uber to Repay Millions to Drivers After Calculation Error

Uber plans to repay millions of dollars to its New York drivers after inadvertently shortchanging them due to a calculation error, the ride-hailing service said Tuesday. For years, Uber had been taking its commission from the full amount of the fare rather than the amount with taxes deducted, meaning drivers were losing a larger percentage of their earnings. “We are committed to paying every driver every penny they are owed—plus interest—as quickly as possible,” said Rachel Holt, Uber’s regional general manager for the U.S. and Canada. The company said “tens of thousands” of drivers have been affected by the mistake since late 2014. Uber’s repayment promise has done little to stem criticism over the mishap, however, with critics saying the glitch calls attention to bigger issues. The company has long been accused of deducting sales tax and the state’s 2.5 percent black-car surcharge from drivers’ earnings, a practice that has been called wage theft by critics. The New York Taxi Drivers Alliance on Tuesday said the company “hasn’t just wrongly calculated its commission, it has been unlawfully taking the cost of sales tax and an injured-worker surcharge right out of driver pay.” The company is already facing at least one lawsuit over allegedly making drivers take on the tax burden, though the company has maintained that it calculates tax deductions correctly.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Most of us dream every 90 minutes, and the longest dreams (30-45 minutes) occur in the morning.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Moody’s Investors Service downgraded its rating on China on Wednesday, saying the steady buildup of debt in the world’s second-largest economy would erode the country’s financial strength in the years ahead. In a bluntly worded statement, Moody’s said China’s commitment to fast economic growth would push the country to continue a borrowing binge that has already raised alarm bells. In recent years China has added debt at a pace that economists say is similar to that of countries like Greece and Spain in the years before the global financial crisis.

*LBN-BOOK NEWS: ***Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner was working on a tell-all book, sources say, but his latest sex scandal involving a teenage girl sank the project. Weiner was working up a book proposal with top literary agency Foundry Literary + Media.

*MY REVIEW: “I love the edgy photos in LBN!”—– Rachel M.,an LBN reader from Carmel, California.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***Exercise may bolster the brain function and thinking skills of people with dementia, according to a new report. The study’s findings suggest that walking a few times per week might alter the trajectory of the disease and improve the physical well-being of people who develop a common form of age-related memory loss that otherwise has few treatments. The study looked at vascular cognitive impairment, the second most frequent form of dementia worldwide, after the better-known Alzheimer’s disease. The condition arises when someone’s blood vessels become damaged and blood no longer flows well to the brain. It is often associated with high blood pressure and heart disease. One of the particular hallmarks of vascular dementia in its early stages, researchers have found, is that it tends to make the brain function less efficiently. In past brain-scan studies, people with a diagnosis of vascular cognitive impairment generally showed more neural activity in parts of their brains that are involved with memory, decision-making and attention than did people without the disease, indicating that their brains had to work harder during normal thinking than healthier brains did.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Mariah Carey at Obica in LA.   ***Taye Diggs at Virgil’s Times Square in NYC.   ***Gina Rodriguezand Jorge Bustillos of Logo’s “Fire Island” at Ballet Hispánico’s Carnaval Gala.   ***Les Moonves and Brett Ratner at a joint birthday for Rosario Dawson and the Friars Club’s Bruce Charet at LA’s Crescent Hotel.   ***Clive Davisand Butch Elias at Primola in NYC.   ***Commerce SecretaryWilbur Ross and wife Hilary Geary Ross inaugurated their Washington home with a cocktail reception in honor of Scott Snyder. Guests who wanted to be in-the-know Googled Snyder in advance and expected to meet the expert on North Korean missiles or the author of Batman comics. Snyder is, however, the decorator of the Rosses’ lavish new home, which features a red-lacquered library conceived for a new era of entertaining in DC. Guests included Reagan Chief of Staff Ken Duberstein; top Trump staffers Reince Priebus, Steven Mnuchin andKellyanne Conway; and Sens. Bill Nelson and Amy Klobuchar.

*WHO READS LBN? Bangladesh native Chowdhury Rafiquizzaman who emigrated to Rome, Italy 18 years ago.

*LBN-SPOTLIGHT: “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.” —–

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Cortez Kennedy, a 300-pound but nimble defensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks in the 1990s who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, was found dead on Tuesday at his home in Orlando, Fla. He was 48. A spokeswoman for the Orlando Police Department said that there was nothing suspicious about Kennedy’s death but that it was being investigated. He had been experiencing headaches over the past week, his stepfather, Joe Harris, said in a telephone interview.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Gossip – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind —-

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Thomas L. Friedman: In his dystopian Inaugural Address, President Trump painted a picture of America as a nation gripped by vast “carnage” — a landscape of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones” that cried out for a strongman to put “America first” and stop the world from stealing our jobs. It was a shocking speech in many ways and reportedly prompted former President George W. Bush to say to those around him on the dais, “That was some really weird [stuff].” It was weird, but was it all wrong? I just took a four-day car trip through the heart of that landscape — driving from Austin, Ind., down through Louisville, Ky., winding through Appalachia and ending up at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to try to answer that question. Trump is half right in his diagnosis, but his prescription is 100 percent wrong. We do have an epidemic of failing communities. But we also have a bounty of thriving ones — not because of a strongman in Washington but because of strong leaders at the local level.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Lance Armstrong will be taking another ride to the altar. The cyclist confirmed Tuesday on Instagram he and longtime girlfriend Anna Hansen are engaged.   ***Mark Wahlberg’s family business Wahlburgers just opened its first Manhattan location on the Upper East Side, but the star says: “We are looking for a spot in Times Square . . . If you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere.” He added, “My brother Paul is the total creative outlet . . . from the food all the way down to the business, he is the mastermind.”

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord

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