LBN – Thursday, February 15th, 2018

*Trump Says Florida Suspect Is ‘Mentally Disturbed’

Donald Trump has called the 19-year-old who carried out a deadly shooting at a Florida high school on Wednesday“mentally disturbed” and claimed that classmates knew he was “a big problem.” The president tweeted Thursday morning saying Nikolas Cruz — who was charged before dawn with 17 counts of pre-meditated murder—was expelled from his school for “bad and erratic behavior” and that people “must always report such instances to authorities.” Shortly after he took office, Trump rolled back an Obama-era rule that made it more difficult for people with mental-health issues to buy guns. Details are still emerging about the killer. The Miami Herald reported that Cruz was expelled after coming into school with bullets in his backpack, and a number of social-media posts attributed to the suspect have been seen as potential warning signs that he was planning a mass shooting. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that Cruz’s adopted mother died last November, and that Cruz had since been living with family friends who made him keep his firearms in a locked cabinet, for which he had the key.

*Scientists Link Chicken Nuggets, Cereal, and Bacon to Cancer

We hate to spoil your breakfast, but a groundbreaking new study by French scientists has linked processed foods such as cereals, mass-produced bread, and bacon to an increased chance of getting cancer. The study, published by The British Medical Journal, suggests that the more “ultra-processed foods”—ones made in factories with lots of added preservatives and flavorings—a person consumes, the higher the risk of them developing certain types of cancer. The risky foods also include chicken nuggets, chocolate bars, and sodas—so basically all of the most delicious things in the world. The team of scientists studied the medical records and eating habits of nearly 105,000 people for the project and said, while further study is needed and they didn’t want to be alarmist, the results were “consistent and quite compelling.”

*Report: Florida Shooting Suspect Nikolas Cruz Passed Background Check for AR-15

The 19-year-old man charged with of gunning down 17 people in a Florida high school on Wednesday passed a background check to purchase an AR-15-style rifle. A special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Miami confirmed to the New York Times that “No laws were violated in the procurement of this weapon.” The suspect, Nikolas Cruz, reportedly legally obtained the weapon at some point in the last year, though no further details were given. A lawyer representing the suspect said the weapon was stored in the gun safe at the home of one of his school friends where he lived. Authorities have determined that Cruz was previously expelled from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for disciplinary issues.

*Called Out – Britain Publicly Blames Russia for Massive Cyberattack

The British government has named and shamed Russia as the culprit in a massive ransomware attack last year that targeted Ukraine and then spread across Europe, costing companies more than $1.2 billion in damages. Known as the NotPetya attack—which caused chaos in June 2017—it initially hit Ukraine’s financial, energy, and government sectors before affecting companies such as British health-goods producer Reckitt Benckiser and Dutch delivery company TNT. In an unusually blunt and public accusation, a U.K. government minister accused Russia of “ripping up the rulebook by undermining democracy, wrecking livelihoods by targeting critical infrastructure, and weaponizing information.” In a further statement, the U.K. government said the decision to publicly accuse Russia “underlines the fact that the U.K. and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyberactivity.” Russia has denied responsibility for the attack.

*THWARTED – Would-Be School Shooter Arrested Before Carrying Out Plans

In Everett, Washington, an 18-year-old was turned in by his grandparents after they found weapons in his room and alarming journal entries that claimed he was “learning from past shooters.” Joshua Alexander O’Connor was arrested Tuesday after his grandmother found a semi-automatic rifle in his guitar case. She also showed police O’Connor’s journal describing plans to shoot up his school and an armed robbery he conducted to buy weapons. “I’m preparing myself for the school shooting,” he reportedly wrote. “I can’t wait. My aim has gotten much more accurate … I can’t wait to walk into that class and blow all those [expletives] away.” Police believe that O’Connor is connected to a convenience store robbery that happened on Monday. In his journal, O’Connor “described feeling powerful as he held the cashier at gunpoint[.]” Police also found inert grenades, masks, and a jacket that matched the one that the gunman wore during the armed robbery.

*WHO READS LBN? Russell Goldsmith, City National Bank’s chief executive.

*TROUBLED – Cruz Had Troubled Family Life in Months Before Shooting

Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year old former Stoneman Douglas High School student who shot and killed 17 people Wednesday, had a history of family hardships according to the Sun Sentinel. Cruz and his biological brother Zachary were adopted by Lynda and Roger Cruz. The adoptive father died many years ago, while Lynda Cruz recently died of pneumonia on Nov. 1. Lynda reportedly kept a “really close handle on both boys,” and sought counseling for Nikolas while he was still young. After his adoptive mother passed, Nikolas was put into the care of a family friend, but was not happy. He asked a high school friend if he could move in with his family around Thanksgiving, and the family obliged. Nikolas also reportedly worked at the local dollar store. Neighbors and those who knew him note that he looked “depressed.”

*OPEN YOUR EYES – READ LBN: 84% of LBN readers in all 50 of the United States and 26 foreign countries find LBN “fearlessly independent” and “unbiased.”

*WINNING – U.S. Skier Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Olympic Gold in Giant Slalom

American skier Mikaela Shiffrin claimed a gold medal in her Pyeongchang Winter Olympics debut Thursday, the second gold medal of her career. Shiffrin clocked in at 2:20.02 with two combined runs, beating Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel by 0.39 seconds. The 22-year-old ski star’s run was delayed a day earlier due to bad weather. Shiffrin, who took home her first gold at the age of 18 during the Sochi Olympics, has said she will aim for three golds during the Pyeongchang Games.

*LBN-SEE IT:…Ryan Murphy’s roughly $300 million with Netflix is the latest sign of how streaming companies have disrupted traditional Hollywood and driven up prices for stars and series creators.

*South Africa Swears In Cyril Ramaphosa as New President

There were cheers in South Africa’s national assembly Thursday as the speaker announced that she had received a formal letter of resignation from Jacob Zuma before new president Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in. “South Africa has just emerged from a historic and challenging time,” said Speaker Baleka Mbete. Ramaphosa is a member of the same ruling party as Zuma, the African National Congress, which has won every national election since Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994. Mmusi Maimane, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, welcomed the new president but called for swift elections. “We don’t have a Jacob Zuma problem, we have an ANC problem,” he said.

*LBN-HEALTH WATCH:   ***The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a long-awaited blood test to detect concussions in people and more quickly identify those with possible brain injuries. The test, called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, is also expected to reduce the number of people exposed to radiation through CT scans, or computed tomography scans, that detect brain tissue damage or intracranial lesions. If the blood test is adopted widely, it could eliminate the need for CT scans in at least a third of those with suspected brain injuries, the agency predicted. Concussion-related brain damage has become a particularly worrisome public health issue in many sports, especially football, affecting the ranks of professional athletes on down to the young children in Pop Warner leagues. Those concerns have escalated so far that it has led to a decline in children participating in tackle sports.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Two University of Pennsylvania researchers who examined diplomatic personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Havana confirm they suffered brain injuries, but said the cases weren’t accompanied by head trauma as would have been expected. There are still no indications of what may have caused the diplomats’ mysterious symptoms. The report, published Wednesday in The Journal of American Medical Association, said the unique circumstances of the patients “raise concern about a new mechanism for possible acquired brain injury from an exposure of unknown origin.”

*Mom’s flu death may have sent Florida massacre suspect over the edge: 

The deranged 19-year-old accused of the worst school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre may have been sent over the edge when his single mom died of complications from the flu in November, family said. Suspect Nikolas Cruz, 19, is accused of killing 17 and injuring more than 15 when he opened fire inside South Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday. He and younger brother Zachary were adopted as infants by Roger and Lynda Cruz, but Roger died from a heart attack a decade ago, leaving Lynda to raise the boys herself, according to family. Lynda, 68, checked into a clinic with the flu and was rushed to a hospital, where she diedNov. 1 of pneumonia, cousin Kathie Blaine told ABC News. She was otherwise healthy before checking into the hospital, the cousin told the network.

*LBN-BUSINESS INSIDER:   ***Billionaire investor Peter Thiel is relocating his home and personal investment firms to Los Angeles from San Francisco and scaling back his involvement in the tech industry, people familiar with his thinking said, marking a rupture between Silicon Valley and its most prominent conservative.

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***A San Francisco sports radio host was fired by KNBR on Wednesday after making a series of sexually suggestive comments about 17-year-old US Olympian Chloe Kim, the Sacramento Bee reported. Patrick Connor called the American snowboarder a “little hot piece of ass” after her gold-medal win on Tuesday, during a conversation on Barstool Radio’s Sirius XM show “Dialed-In with Dallas Braden.” “She’s fine as hell,” Connor said on the program, while speaking with Braden, a former MLB player, and comedian Brody Stevens.

*LBN-NOTICED:   ***Bill and Melinda Gates were spotted at a romantic dinner for two on Monday night before Valentine’s Day. Spies said the billionaires were at American Cut Midtown in NYC, where “they enjoyed some alone time in a corner booth.” But first, “their security came in before them to scope out the place.” The next day, they both appeared at an event hosted by “Hamilton” whiz Lin-Manuel Miranda to discuss their annual “Gates Letter” and charitable work.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: The Making of A Best-Selling Book-   Without Notes with Dr. Srini Pillay – Episode 2: Inception of the Book:

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Brendan Nyhan:  How easy is it to change people’s votes in an election? The answer, a growing number of studies conclude, is that most forms of political persuasion seem to have little effect at all. This conclusion may sound jarring at a time when people are concerned about the effects of the false news articles that flooded Facebook and other online outlets during the 2016 election. Observers speculated that these so-called fake news articles swung the election to Donald J. Trump. Similar suggestions of large persuasion effects, supposedly pushing Mr. Trump to victory, have been made about online advertising from the firm Cambridge Analytica and content promoted by Russian bots. Much more remains to be learned about the effects of these types of online activities, but people should not assume they had huge effects. Previous studies have found, for instance, that the effects of even television advertising (arguably a higher-impact medium) are very small. According to one credible estimate, the net effect of exposure to an additional ad shifts the partisan vote of approximately two people out of 10,000.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK:  Felix The Cat Uncle Tom’s Crabbin 1920 1929 BANNED Vintage Animation Stereotypes —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Tanya Basu: It’s Olympics season, which means unhinged athletic prowess and performance—both in the bedroom and at the rink. The thinking goes as such: Deprive athletes of sexual activity in the days leading up to the big day. That way, the energy expended during sex is actually re-routed toward aggressive, adrenaline-filled athletic performance. That (il)logic not only completely misunderstands how energy works within the human body, it’s blatantly wrong, and has been proven time and again. Blame the story on the folks who dreamed up the Olympics in the first place, the ancient Greeks, who viewed sex as a vice that depleted the athlete of both energy and concentration. Abstaining from sex meant that testosterone would be saved from being needlessly wasted during ejaculation. Even at that time, early thinkers saw a connection between testosterone and muscularity. Not having sex meant that the athlete could—during the most stressful moments of a performance—be able to reach into that reserve of sexual frustration during trying moments to push their endurance, strength, and performance into medal-winning glory. To be fair to the ancient Greeks, scientific testing of hypotheses wasn’t the norm quite yet—which meant that story held for centuries, through the modern era.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Signs You’re Eating Pre-Made Food At A Restaurant —

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Taylor Lorenz:  An Instagram account apparently belonging to Florida shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was dominated by disturbing images of a young man with a fascination for deadly weapons. One image of a bullet-pocked target is labeled “Group therapy—sometimes it works.” Others show a masked figure brandished a handgun and hunting knives. Before a mass shooting erupted at Cruz’s former high school on Wednesday, most classmates thought of the 19-year-old as no more than “creepy and weird.” Before 6AM on Thursday, he was formally booked into Broward County jail charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by David Frost:Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn’t have in your home.


*LBN-OVERHEARD:    ***Amy Schumer is a married woman. The “Trainwreck” star secretly tied the knot with chef boyfriend Chris Fischer this week, Us Weekly reported. Their surprise ceremony came shortly after Schumer, 36, made her relationship Instagram official, posting a PDA-filled picture from Ellen DeGeneres’ 60th birthday party. According to The Blast, Schumer and Fischer rented a private home in Malibu to say their vows in front of about 80 people, including Larry David, Jennifer Lawrence, Jennifer Aniston and David Spade.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Dan Gaylord