LBN – Thursday, May 17, 2018

*Anti-terrorism fight has cost U.S. $2.8 trillion:

The U.S. has spent as much as $2.8 trillion on the fight against terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a study published Wednesday. The report from the Washington-based Stimson Center think tank said the figure included spending on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, in addition to homeland-security efforts and overseas programs. Spending on counterterrorism reached a peak of $260 billion in 2008, accounting for more than a fifth of the government’s discretionary budget. The report said the U.S. lacked a system for accounting for spending on counterterrorism and that loopholes have increasingly allowed billions to be spent on items that shouldn’t qualify for emergency funding.

*North Korea Calls South Korean Government ‘Incompetent’:

North Korea’s chief negotiator has issued a fierce statement calling the South Korean government “ignorant and incompetent,” and threatening to halt all talks with the South unless its demands are met. Ri Son Gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the country, issued the latest in a string of inflammatory statements Thursday, in a marked change from the warm words between the countries over the past months. “Unless the serious situation which led to the suspension of the north-south high-level talks is settled, it will never be easy to sit face to face again with the present regime of South Korea,” he said. South Korea earlier offered to act as a “mediator” to smooth out the differences between the U.S. and North Korea. A South Korean official said Thursday the country will “sufficiently convey [to the United States] what we’ve discerned about North Korea’s position and attitude… and sufficiently convey the United States’ position to North Korea” to help ensure the talks do go ahead.

*Mueller Won’t Indict Trump if He Finds Wrongdoing, Giuliani Says:

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, will not indict President Trump if he finds wrongdoing in his investigation of Trump campaign links to Russia, according to the president’s lawyers. They said Wednesday that Mr. Mueller’s investigators told them that he would adhere to the Justice Department’s view that the Constitution bars prosecuting sitting presidents. The disclosure provides the greatest clarity to date about how Mr. Mueller, who is also investigating whether Mr. Trump tried to obstruct the inquiry itself, may proceed. If he concludes that he has evidence that the president broke the law, experts say, he now has only two main options while Mr. Trump remains in office: He could write a report about the president’s conduct that Congress might use as part of any impeachment proceedings, or he could deem the president as an unindicted co-conspirator in court documents.

*U.S. Fertility Rate Hits 40-Year Low:

The U.S. fertility rate plunged to its lowest point in four decades last year while birth rates also declined for almost all women under 40. Both the birth rate—which is the number of births per thousand women—and the fertility rate—a lifetime average forecast— fell in 2017, according to new figures from theCenter for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health StatisticsDonna Strobino of John Hopkins University said the change came down to women delaying having a baby for the benefit of their professional lives. “Women are becoming more educated, they are in the workforce, they are pursuing their careers,” said Strobino. “And in the absence of policies that really help women who are working to really take some time off post-partum, you are probably going to see a continuation of this delay.” While births decreased among younger women in the U.S. last year, the rate rose in women aged between 40 and 44.

*Trump Calls Some Illegal Immigrants ‘Animals’ in Rant:

President Trump lashed out at undocumented immigrants during a White House meeting on Wednesday, warning in front of news cameras that dangerous people were clamoring to breach the country’s borders and branding such people “animals.” Mr. Trump’s comments came during a round-table discussion with state and local leaders on California’s so-called sanctuary laws, which strictly limit communication between local law enforcement and federal immigration officers, and which the Trump administration is suing to invalidate. It was hardly the first time the president has spoken in racially fraught terms about immigrants, but it underscored his anger about unchecked immigration — the animating issue of his campaign and his tenure so far — and his frustration that he has not been able to do more to seal the nation’s borders. As he has in numerous private meetings with his advisers at the White House, Mr. Trump used the session to vent about the nation’s immigration laws, calling them “the dumbest laws on immigration in the world.” He exhorted his administration to “do much better” in keeping out undesirable people, including members of transnational gangs like MS-13.

*F.D.A. Names and Shames Drug Makers to Encourage Generic Competition:

Pharmaceutical companies that spend billions of dollars to develop new drugs do not want competitors to profit from inexpensive generic copies of blockbuster medicines. To avoid rivals, they fight for patent extensions, seek new uses for old products and, sometimes, prevent generic drug companies from obtaining samples. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, calls this “gaming the system,” and has vowed to stop it as part of the government’s campaign to lower drug prices. On Thursday, the F.D.A. took a new tack and began posting a list of makers of brand-name drugs that have been the target of complaints, to persuade them to “end the shenanigans,” in the commissioner’s words. Dr. Gottlieb calls it transparency, but this approach is better known among ethicists as naming and shaming.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: A kitchen faucet would need to be turned on all the way for at least 45 years to equal the amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime.

*LBN-MUSIC INSIDER:   ***50 Cent could be in legal hot water after he allegedly posted revenge porn of “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” star Teairra Marí. Marí claims ex-boyfriend Akbar Abdul-Ahad used her Instagram password to post sexually explicit images of her on her account, according to a news release from attorney Lisa Bloom. The reality star believes his actions were meant to “publicly humiliate” her after she had broken up with him. Rapper 50 Cent, who is friends with Abdul-Ahad, then allegedly reposted one of the images to his own Instagram account with the caption “get the strap.”

*OVERCOME – READ LBN: Now you can share LBN with your friends, family, and associates (if they’ve got the guts) by telling them to go to

*LBN-MEDIA INSIDER:   ***Veteran programming executiveSuzanne Scott was named chief executive of the Fox Newsunit of 21st Century Fox, part of the continuing reorganization of the company as it prepares to sell the bulk of its assets toWalt Disney Co. She will report to Lachlan Murdoch andRupert Murdoch, who will lead the recalibrated company. Fox News will perhaps be the largest financial contributor to the parent corporation.

*LBN-INVESTIGATES: Charter Schools

1. Charter schools are an alternative schooling option to traditional public or private primary and secondary schools.

2. Charter schools can operate on a for-profit basis.

3. Many charter schools have far higher expulsion rates than traditional public schools.

4. Albert Shanker, former president of the American Federation of Teachers, warned that the real goal of the charter movement was to smash the public schools.

5. Charter schools are so named because they operate according to a “charter” that outlines the school’s mission, methods, and means of assessing student performance.

*LBN-R.I.P.:   ***Leah Napolin, who with very little experience adapted an Isaac Bashevis Singer story into the play “Yentl,” earning a Broadway run that became a resonant symbol for the second-wave feminist movement in the mid-1970s, died on Sunday at her home in Sea Cliff, N.Y., on Long Island. She was 83. The cause was breast cancer, her friend Eleanor Pam said.


Printable Paper

1,752 papers you can download and print for free. They’ve got graph paper, lined paper, financial paper, music paper, and more.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Ellen Ruppel Shell (Ms. Ruppel Shell writes about science, social justice and the economy): The value of a college degree also varies depending on the institution bestowing it. The tiny minority of students who attend elite colleges do far better on average than those who attend nonselective ones. Disturbingly, black and Hispanic students are significantly less likely than are white and Asian students to attend elite colleges, even when family income is controlled for. That is, students from wealthy black and Hispanic families have a lower chance of attending an elite college than do students from middle-class white families. It’s a cruel irony that a college degree is worth less to people who most need a boost: those born poor. This revelation was made by the economists Tim Bartik and Brad Hershbein. Using a body of data, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which includes 50 years of interviews with 18,000 Americans, they were able to follow the lives of children born into poor, middle-class and wealthy families.

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Bret Stehens: For the third time in two weeks, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have set fire to theKerem Shalom border crossing, through which they get medicine, fuel and other humanitarian essentials from Israel. Soon we’ll surely hear a great deal about the misery of Gaza. Try not to forget that the authors of that misery are also the presumptive victims. There’s a pattern here — harm yourself, blame the other — and it deserves to be highlighted amid the torrent of morally blind, historically illiterate criticism to which Israelis are subjected every time they defend themselves against violent Palestinian attack. In 1970, Israel set up an industrial zone along the border with Gaza to promote economic cooperation and provide Palestinians with jobs. It had to be shut down in 2004 amid multiple terrorist attacks that left 11 Israelis dead. In 2005, Jewish-American donors forked over $14 million dollars to pay for greenhouses that had been used by Israeli settlers until the government of Ariel Sharonwithdrew from the Strip. Palestinians looted dozens of the greenhouses almost immediately upon Israel’s exit.

*LBN-INTEL FOR INFLUENCERS: Did you know that LBN is read by 12 members of the White House staff, 3 Nobel Prize winners, over 100 Academy Award winners, 6 U.S. Senators, and over 300 Grammy Award winners?

*LBN-COMMENTARY by Matti Friedman (Mr. Friedman, a journalist, is the author of the memoir “Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War.”): During my years in the international press here in Israel, long before the bloody events of this week, I came to respect Hamas for its keen ability to tell a story. At the end of 2008 I was a desk editor, a local hire inThe Associated Press’s Jerusalem bureau, during the first serious round of violence in Gaza after Hamas took it over the year before. That conflict was grimly similar to the American campaign in Iraq, in which a modern military fought in crowded urban confines against fighters concealed among civilians. Hamas understood early that the civilian death toll was driving international outrage at Israel, and that this, not I.E.D.s or ambushes, was the most important weapon in its arsenal. Early in that war, I complied with Hamas censorship in the form of a threat to one of our Gaza reporters and cut a key detail from an article: that Hamas fighters were disguised as civilians and were being counted as civilians in the death toll. The bureau chief later wrote that printing the truth after the threat to the reporter would have meant “jeopardizing his life.” Nonetheless, we used that same casualty toll throughout the conflict and never mentioned the manipulation. Hamas understood that Western news outlets wanted a simple story about villains and victims and would stick to that script, whether because of ideological sympathy, coercion or ignorance. The press could be trusted to present dead human beings not as victims of the terrorist group that controls their lives, or of a tragic confluence of events, but of an unwarranted Israeli slaughter. The willingness of reporters to cooperate with that script gave Hamas the incentive to keep using it.

*LBN-HISTORICAL COMMENTARY by The Mishnah: Say not, when I have leisure I will study; you may not have leisure.

*LBN-VIDEO LINK: Jon Meacham- Our Better Angels | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)   —

*LBN-VIDEO LINK- SPOTLIGHT– Author Karen LucchesiBook Trailer —–


*LBN-OVERHEARD:   ***Pete Davidson and longtime girlfriend Cazzie David, who is the daughter of Larry David, are no more. The “Saturday Night Live” comedian confirmed the news in a candid interview on Complex’s “Open Late with Peter Rosenberg,” according to People. The full interview will be released Thursday evening.   ***Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are parents for the second time. She announced the news on Twitter, writing “Somebody’s herherrrrrrre!” followed by emojis of baby bottles and hugging faces.

LBN E-Lert Edited By Renee Preston