A Russian passenger plane with 71 people on board crashed near Moscow on Sunday, leaving no survivors, according to Russian news reports. The Saratov Airlines plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Domedovo Airport, a source in emergency services told Russia’s Interfax news agency. “There was no chance of survival for crew members or passengers,” the source was quoted as saying. Emergency crews dispatched to the crash site have confirmed finding the wreckage of the An-148 aircraft. No further details were immediately available on the passengers, but at least one child was believed to be on board. Earlier news reports said the aircraft lost contact with dispatchers two minutes after takeoff.
*17-Year-Old Red Gerard Wins First U.S. Olympic Gold
In his debut Olympics appearance Sunday, 17-year-old American snowboarder Red Gerard became the first U.S. athlete to claim a gold medal at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics—and the youngest ever to take the top prize in Olympic snowboarding. “I’m just mind-blown. I can’t believe everything worked out,” Gerard said after his victory at Pheonix Snow Park. Standing on the top spot of the winners’ podium, he said, is “awesome.” The young snowboarder was in last place before his third and final run in men’s snowboard slopestyle, pulling off an upset victory to beat Canadians Max Parrot and Mark McMorris. His win was largely credited to his creative use of the slopestyle course, as he dared to use features ignored by his competitors. Recounting his performance of tricks like a “switch backside 12” and “front double 10 out of the side hit, into a backside double cork” to reporters, Gerard said, “Spins. They’re just spins. A whole bunch of spins.” Gerard, from Colorado, became the youngest American male to claim a gold at the Winter Olympics since 1928.
*Trump, Saying ‘Mere Allegation’ Ruins Lives, Appears to Doubt #MeToo Movement:
President Trump thrust himself into the national debate over sexual misconduct on Saturday, asserting that “a mere allegation” could destroy the lives of those accused, as his own White House was engulfed by charges of abusive behavior. Mr. Trump, in an early morning Twitter post, appeared to be defending two of his aides who resigned this past week after facing claims of domestic violence.“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” he wrote. “Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused — life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” The statement echoed Mr. Trump’s dismissive response to allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse made over decades against male friends, colleagues and, above all, himself.
*LBN-INTEL FOR INFLUENCERS: Did you know that LBN is read daily by: ***3 Nobel Prize winners ***12 members of the White House staff ***Over 100 winners of the Academy Award ***6 U.S. Senators ***Over 300 winners of the Grammy Award. Simply go to www.LBNElert.com and sign up (if you’ve got the guts) to receive.
*Olympic Organizers Confirm Cyberattack on Opening Ceremony
Organizers of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics on Sunday confirmed the games’ opening ceremony was hit by a cyberattack late Friday, but they declined to disclose the source of the attack. “We are not going to comment on the issue. It is one we are dealing with. We are making sure our systems are secure and they are secure,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams was quoted as saying by Reuters. As for the culprit behind the attack, Adams said, “Best international practice says that you don’t talk about an attack.” Sung Baik-you, a spokesman for the Pyeongchang organizing committee, told reporters the source of the attack had been determined but a decision had been made not to reveal it. Organizers have stressed that the attack affected only the internet and Wi-Fi systems during the opening ceremony. The location of the Winter Games—a mere 50 miles from the border with North Korea—prompted warnings from security experts that the event would be a prime target for hackers, particularly from North Korea. Russian hackers were also suspected by experts of preparing possible cyberattacks on Winter Olympics organizations.
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*Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro to Interview Trump for Michael Wolff Rebuttal
Jeanine Pirro, the former prosecutor and current Fox News host, has reportedly secured an interview with President Donald Trump for a new book that could serve as a counter-narrative to Michael Wolff’s controversial “Fire and Fury.” The New York Times reports that Pirro, one of the president’s most loyal supporters on Fox, met with Trump at the White House this week to discuss his involvement in her upcoming book, which has garnered the nickname “No Fire, No Fury” in the West Wing. In a statement issued through Fox News on Saturday, Pirro denied that her project would serve as a “direct response to ‘Fire and Fury,’” adding, “The title on Amazon always has been and continues to be ‘Liars, Leakers and Liberals’ and I plan to cover all of them.”
*WHO READS LBN? Senator Rand Paul
*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER: ***Coca-Cola Co. KO 0.07% ,PepsiCo Inc. PEP 0.94% and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. DPS -0.19% have been remaking themselves for the past decade, adding products like kombucha tea and coconut water as consumers migrate to less sugary drinks. But the three drink giants, set to report their fourth-quarter earnings this week, have recently embraced different strategies to combat the long slide in soda sales. PepsiCo said Thursday it is launching a colorful seltzer water brand called Bubly, making it the latest drink company to go after a larger piece of the flavored sparkling water market. The market grew by more than 15% last year to $2.4 billion, according to research firm Euromonitor International, led by National Beverage Corp.’s La Croix.
*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER: ***It’s like history repeating (and not in the way fans were hoping). After getting us all excited last week and sending the internet into a frenzy, reports the Spice Girls may be going on tour have been quashed yet again, by Posh Spice herself. Victoria Beckham clearly has a lot of love for her bandmates and while the meeting definitely means something is in the works, unfortunately that won’t necessarily be making new music or touring together. “I’m not going on tour. The girls aren’t going on tour,” she told Vogue UK during a preview of her autumn/winter 2018 collection in New York today.
*LBN-NOTICED: ***Will Smith at posh gym Anatomy in Miami. ***Jerry Springer at Bobby Van’s on Central Park South in NYC.
*LBN-R.I.P.: ***Jóhann Jóhannsson, the Oscar-nominated composer of such films as “Arrival,” “Sicario” and “The Theory of Everything,” was found dead on Friday in his Berlin apartment, his manager said. He was 48. Tim Husom, his Los Angeles manager, said that Berlin authorities are investigating and that an autopsy would be performed. Cause of death, thus far, is unknown.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Dr. Phil: We’ve Created a Generation of Entitled, Narcissistic People — https://youtu.be/-9omkdPGNmo
*LBN-SITE OF THE DAY:
Do you remember playing Pacman? Well check out this Pacman Doodle by Google. It is simple and fun like the old game used to be. It is sure to bring back memories.
*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Shields and Brooks on budget deal economics, White House domestic abuse scandal –https://youtu.be/vD4Q6GFlxis
*LBN-COMMENTARY by Whitney Cummings: One of the big conversations I’m trying to have onstage right now is that to be pro-woman, you don’t have to be anti-man. Saying all men suck makes you look like an idiot.
*LBN-COMMENTARY by Johnny Oleksinski: When Tina Fey’s film “Mean Girls” came out in 2004, the comedy was lauded as a silly, satirical excoriation of modern high-school life and its cliques, cafeteria antics and materialism. “Mean Girls” was a “Clueless” for the millennial age. And it was so fetch. Fast forward to 2018. “Mean Girls” is about to begin a new life as a Broadway musical in March. But some Broadway watchers believe the subject matter is too mean for these kinder, gentler times. “It just might not be the moment for ‘Mean Girls,’ ” one Broadway insider told me on the condition of anonymity. “It might feel stale and tone-deaf to the critics. And while this is something that could be critic-proof, maybe not.” The fear of offending audiences isn’t limited to musicals about bratty teens. In this oversensitive era, TV shows, Oscar-worthy movies and pop music are all under pressure to be as nice as Betty Crocker. For millennia the best art has offended, tantalized, frightened, riled up and, of course, been life-affirming. But today the American public, looking more than ever like Soviet Russia, has just one rule for entertainers: Don’t rock the boat.
*LBN-COMMENTARY by Maureen Dowd: We don’t want a president who treats the hallowed house where Abraham Lincoln once wrote the nation’s most sacred texts as the set of a cheesy reality show. We don’t want a president who treats the presidency as just another personal business franchise or family employment program. We don’t want a president who glides through the chaos he craves and conjures, while everyone around him immolates and shivers. And, finally, we surely don’t want a president who seeks advice on foreign affairs from Henry Kissinger. Ever. Again.
*LBN-A DIFFERENT VIEW:…
*LBN-OVERHEARD: ***Actor Idris Elba surprised audiences at a screening of his film in London on Saturday by popping the question to his girlfriend live on stage. Elba took to the stage at the Rio Cinema just before a preview of his directorial debut,Yardie, and got down on one knee before his girlfriend, Sabrina Dhowre. Video of the proposal shows audience members cheering Elba on and jumping to their feet as Dhowre says yes. The theater confirmed the news on Twitter, saying the on-stage marriage proposal was a “first.” “She said yes and there was so much cheering and clapping,” the theater wrote. The couple met last year while Elba was filming The Mountain Between Us, and they have been together since then. ***Celebrities criticizing the #MeToo movement have been joined by another big personality from the movie industry. Oscar-winning Austrian film director Michael Haneke called it a “witch hunt” that “poisons” the social climate. “I regard this hysteria of rash judgments that is spreading at the moment as absolutely disgusting,” director and screenwriter Haneke said in an interview with the Austrian Daily Kurier. “People are just being finished off in the media, [their] lives and careers are being ruined,” he said. “Any kind of rape or [sexual] coercion should be punished,” he stressed, but what bothers him about the ongoing debate around allegations of sexual abuse targeting celebrities is its “totally unperceived malignance, the blind rage that is not based on facts.”
LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord